A Heart of Stone on Valentines Day?

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. – Ezekiel 36:26

A heart of stone is heavy baggage to carry around. I often feel the weight of a hard heart when I am impatient with my fellow believers. When someone offends me or treats me badly my natural inclination is to turn away from them in order to protect myself. But God has given us a new heart, a heart of flesh. What does this mean? In reality a heart of stone and a heart of flesh weigh exactly the same. They carry the same life experiences and the same trials. The difference between a heart of stone and a heart of flesh is the way that they react. Hearts of stone do not easily forgive and find fault in the actions of others. They are quickly angered and often hold grudges. Hearts of flesh provide forgiveness, even when it is difficult. They extend grace freely, remembering Christ’s great love for all creation.

This seems like a stark contrast, and it is! Because of our sinful nature we will be tempted daily to harden our hearts. That is why it is important to turn to Jesus, the one who has promised us a new spirit and a heart of flesh! When we ask for these things in prayer we can be confident that he will hear us and will help us to cultivate his love in our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, how easy it is to carry around the heavy baggage of a heart of stone! When I feel my heart begin to harden help me to remember your love for me. Please soften my heart and allow forgiveness, love, and grace to fill it. I pray in your name. Amen.

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