The Feast of Pentecost
St. John’s MTC, New York
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
The book of Ezekiel contains the visions and prophecies of Ezekiel, whom the Lord called to minister to the Jewish captives in Babylon. The vision of God throughout the exile was not to primarily punish the Israelites, but the intention of being true to His word. Ezekiel depicts throughout the passage how those who were exiled, continued to disobey the Lord’s calling, worshiping idols etc. We must understand that our actions as Christians reflect our God. When we act immorally, we are portraying the God whom we serve.
Throughout the book of Ezekiel, it clearly noted that our salvation is not because of anything we deserve, but only through God’s grace. Ephesians 2:9-8 reads “ For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, its is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”. We must understand that salvation is a gift we receive, not something we have earned. God desires to give us that new heart of flesh and put His Spirit in each of us. But the condition is that we must ask Jesus to forgive us and come into our hearts.
And while Ezekiel is speaking to the Israelite people, the New Testament makes it clear that the same thing is true for all who seek God’s Promise of Salvation. Romans 6:23 says it this way: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Salvation is not something we have earned. Nor is it something we deserve. It is a gift freely given by God to all who will receive it.
We find ourselves often asking God, “Why?”. Why did this action take place, why has this hardship occurred in my life etc. while waiting in silence for an immediate answer. We often forget that the exiles had to wait (5) years for God to send Ezekiel to fulfill God’s promise. The Book of Ezekiel reminds us to examine our lives, and align ourselves to be true to God.
Being born again, receiving a new heart and spirit, is God’s way of giving us a new start. God takes all the baggage we have, and erases it all as we come broken. He takes our hearts, hardened by hurt and sin by the world we live in, and gives our hearts new flesh, able to accept His love – enabling us to share it. He provides us with the Holy Spirt, clothed by His grace, to teach His word and forgiveness amongst the world.
O Lord God, grant us Your Spirit, that we may comprehend Your peace. As we pray, help us to recognize what must come from You alone, for You are mighty and holy and Your will is peace on earth. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
As we reflect the God we worship, how do we reflect our God in our daily life?