It's Labor Day - so I have been laboring out back painting the stairs that go up the back of our building. It was a relatively mindless task, which was a good thing for today. It has been a busy week and next week will be busier - so it was nice to just have a do nothing kind of weekend.
I'm reading through the book of Ezekiel right now. He is right up there with Jeremiah as far as having a very hard job. He was continually having to deliver bad news to the people of God (who already had a lot of bad news.) When something encouraging comes up, it stands out. Ezekiel 11:19-20 is one of those shining moments.
"And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people and I shall be their God."
Don't you long for all of God's people to have one heart?
Wouldn't you love it if everyone had a new spirit?
Wouldn't it be great if our hearts of stone were replaced with hearts of flesh that beat for God Himself?
Wouldn't it be great to have a heart that longed to walk in obedience to the Lord?
Wouldn't it be great to be God's people?
Well - we may have to wait for heaven for some of that, but the truth is, much of this is available to us right now. God can bring unity. He gives us His Holy Spirit. He replaces our selfish, sinful heart that claims to not need God -- with a heart of flesh that is tender to Him. He gives us both the desire and the strength to walk in obedience to His Word.
I am so thankful for this transformation that takes place. I am so thankful for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His continual softening of my heart. I am so thankful for my Jesus who has labored over me to complete that work that He began in me long ago.
Happy Labor Day, indeed.