I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 11: 19

Hard-hearted, cold-hearted, and heart of stone are all descriptive phrases that are used to indicate a person who is capable of separating feelings from actions; these are people who can set aside empathy, sympathy, and compassion so that their seeking after a goal is not impaired by consideration of the others that might get in the way of achieving it. This ability is often considered to be an attribute in our world; yet, its absence is one of the most important distinctions between Jesus and the image of Messiah that His countrymen thought that they desired.

We have focused the energy of untold generations and large amounts of our own lives in the pursuit of personal and corporate strength and in seeking after an ability to move relentlessly toward our goals. When this effort results in sacrificing the hearts and the souls of people who get in our way, we have lost sight of God’s true intent and desire for our lives. The Lord does not call us to be strong in the sense that a well built wall is imposing; rather, He calls us to be strong in our willingness and ability to yield to His greater purposes and to take His love to anyone that we encounter who is in need of it. In God’s view of this world and of our lives in it, His Spirit is our strength; therefore, we can be open, compassionate, and available to bring Christ’s healing to the hurting souls in our day.

My prayer for today is that I would be less strong, more open, and that my own concept of what it means to serve God will become yielded to and changed by His true and accurate image of what that means. May the Spirit of Christ be my strength and His love be my calling card so that someone else will be drawn toward the God who restores the hearts of people.

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