Stone or Flesh?
And I will give you a new heart . . . A heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26
A "heart of flesh" is known by its tenderness concerning sin. To have indulged a foul imagination or to have allowed a wild desire to linger even for a moment is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieve before the Lord. The heart of stone calls a great iniquity nothing, but not so the heart of flesh.
If to the right or left I stray,
That moment, Lord, reprove;
And let me weep my life away,
For having grieved Thy love.
The heart of flesh is tender to God's will. Unlike a strong heart that refuses to bow before God's dictates, when the heart of flesh is given, the will quivers like an aspen leaf in every breath of heaven and bows like a willow in every breeze of God's Spirit. The natural will is cold, hard iron, which refuses to be hammered into form, but the renewed will, like molten metal, is quickly molded by the hand of grace. In the fleshy heart there is a tenderness of the affections. The hard heart does not love the Redeemer, but the renewed heart burns with affection toward Him.
The hard heart is selfish and coldly demands, "Why should I weep for sin? Why should I love the Lord?" But the heart of flesh says, "Lord, You know that I love You; help me to love You more!" There are many privileges of this renewed heart. It is here the Spirit dwells; it is here that Jesus lives. It is fitted to receive every spiritual blessing, and every blessing comes to it. It is prepared to yield every heavenly fruit to the honor and praise of God, and therefore the Lord delights in it. A tender heart is the best defense against sin and the best preparation for heaven. A renewed heart stands on its watchtower looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Do you have this heart of flesh?
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Jeremiah 43
verse 2 Psalms 19
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.