by Rev. Dr. Jon Heeringa, Frontier Fellowship Board Member
A new heart! A new creation! These are the promises of Advent. This is what Israel was waiting for and what we receive through Jesus.
Ezekiel spoke God’s promise of a new heart while many Jews were exiled in Babylon. God recognized the tendency of His people toward idolatry. The new heart He promised would enable them to live undivided lives, wholly devoted to Him.
A member of the congregation I serve is one of the world’s longest-living heart transplant recipients. Twenty-seven years ago, his heart function was down to about 5% and he lay in a hospital bed totally incapacitated. After receiving a heart transplant, his feeble existence was transformed into an incredibly active life. He enjoys travel, the beach, even skiing. He knows it’s only a matter of time before this heart, too, wears out, but until then he’s determined—and now able—to live life to the fullest.
Before knowing Jesus, our hearts weren’t just at 5% function. Our hearts were dead. They were cold, hard stone—useless and immovable. But through Jesus, we received a heart transplant. Our lifeless, unresponsive hearts of stone were replaced with living, beating hearts of flesh that will never wear out. Like a healthy, hard-working muscle, the new hearts God gives are strong, allowing us to live at full capacity the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10).
One of the ways we train our spiritual hearts to remain healthy is by following what God shows us through His Word. This includes His command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19–20). God desires that no one should perish (2 Peter 3:9), that everyone would receive the new heart He has promised. By transforming our hearts, He gives us the means and motivation to join His redemptive mission.
So let’s put our new hearts to work. Thank God for the gift of a new heart. Pray for people who are still waiting to hear the Good News of the heart transplant Jesus makes possible. Send a gift or an encouraging note to someone who’s sharing the incredible message that God can replace a dead heart for one full of life.
Read more from our Advent devotional series.