A New YouWednesday, January 1, 2014
The whole Old Testament demonstrates the impossibility of aligning your own heart with the law of God. So, God says, “I will do what you’re incapable of doing. I’ll write my law on your heart. I’ll give you a new heart and I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll change the prevailing disposition of your soul, so you’re wired to move in a different direction.”
This is what we call regeneration. It is God changing the prevailing disposition of the heart. When God does this, you find something deep within you rising up that wants to know Him. You hunger and thirst after Him, you have a new understanding of His word, you feel drawn to Christ, you become responsive to God.
When human life begins in the womb, the living seed comes, and in a secret, mysterious and wonderful way, new life is conceived. This happens in a moment! Hidden within the woman’s body there is a new life... and she may not even be aware of it! The next day everything seems the same. Then, some time later, she begins to feel that something is changing inside of her. She begins to wonder, “Am I pregnant?”
How new life begins
“He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
That is also how new life begins in the human heart. It is a direct work of the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes, in a mysterious and wonderful way, and plants the living seed in your heart. It may have happened to you and you don’t even know it yet. But, like every pregnancy, it will eventually show. How?
It will bring you to the place of repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. New spiritual life begins with God changing the heart. All you know at first is that you feel different. You have a new hunger for God in your life.
Some of you will look back and see how God did that in your life. There was a time when you were unresponsive to God. You may have come to church, but it did not mean much to you. Then something began to change inside you. You couldn’t really explain it, but there was a hunger for truth and for God, and a desire to be clean.
What can I do?
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit... The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:6
Here was a man who knew his religion. He’d committed himself to a moral life. He was a respected professor of theology with a distinguished teaching position in Jerusalem. Christ said to him, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Nicodemus said, “How can that be? I’m too big to get back into my mother’s womb now” (John 3:9).
That leaves a man asking, “What can I do? Give me 10 steps to developing a spiritual life. Give me an achievable goal.” But the Gospel tells us, if you want your heart changed, you need to cast yourself upon God, “Father, I can change my circumstances and my behavior, but I cannot change the prevailing disposition of my heart. Will you change me? Create a clean heart in me. Change the prevailing disposition of my soul.”
That’s exactly what God promises, “I will write my law upon their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33). “I will give you a great desire for holiness. I will give you a love for truth. I will give you a hunger for God. I will put life within you, the life of God in the soul of man.”
This week's Scripture: I will write my law on their hearts. Jeremiah 31:33
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This LifeKey based on the message “Heart,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, delivered October 8, 2000, from the series “Unlocking the Bible.” Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.