New Heart and New Spirit — January 23, 2014 (Thursday)

Today’s Verses:

Ezekiel 18:30-32

Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

Ezekiel was a prophet who was among the Jews exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. Ezekiel’s calling from God was to communicate to his fellow Jews that as a result of their rebellion and disobedience, Jerusalem would fall. Once this occurred, Ezekiel’s mission shifted to telling the Jews of God’s coming redemption and restoration. The word “repent” in English means “to feel sorry for” or “to feel regret.” But, the Hebrew word that has been translated “repent” is “shuwb,” which means to turn back or retreat.

Today’s Questions:

What does God say a person who repents will get?

Identify a sin or patterns in your life about which you feel sorry for, but from which you have not yet retreated or turned away.

What is keeping you from retreating from those sins or patterns in your life about which you feel sorry, but from which you have not yet retreated or turned away?

Today’s Prayer:

Oh, Father, I need you. I need your forgiveness, your mercy, and your grace. I want life! Father, help me. I need strength and courage to turn away from the things that keep me bound to a lesser life. You have already set me free, why do I still get so easily lured back into captivity? Renew my heart and my spirit. Make them yours, make them resistant and resilient. The thing I doubt the most, God, is your goodness. Though the evidence of it abounds, I still doubt it. Build my faith, speak to me, give me the fortitude to remember your promises and all you have done to make me free.

Go A Little Deeper:

Read Romans 7:7-8:11 to learn about Paul’s struggle to turn away from his sinful desires and actions.

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