Friday, April 12, 2013

Devotion: A New Spirit and a New Heart ~ Yvonne Ortega

Note from Shirley: In some parts of our world, Spring in springing, while in other areas, we are bringing out the winter woolies. Wherever we live, this message of Yvonne Ortega's is a reminder that in Christ we have new life.

Ezekiel 11:19: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”

Bright yellow daffodils sway in my front yard and throughout the area. The dogwood trees have sprouted and form an arch of pink and white blooms on the Colonial Parkway. Everything looks new and beautiful. The area has come to life after a cold dreary winter.

We can also come to life. We can look new and beautiful because God works in us through Jesus Christ.

In that work, God gives us “an undivided heart.” When we have an undivided heart, we put God first in our lives. We are not torn between the way of the world and the way of the Lord. The decision to choose godly behavior over ungodly becomes easier, because we love God and want to serve him.

That new spirit is the Holy Spirit. When we invite Jesus Christ into our lives, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We can quench the Holy Spirit through complacency, compromise, or condemnation of self or others. On the other hand, our thoughts, words, and actions can fan the flame of the new spirit through daily prayer and Bible study, fellowship with other Christians, and confession of our sins directly to God, our heavenly Father.

God also says he will remove our “heart of stone.” The heart of stone lacks compassion and kindness for self and others. The heart of stone holds a grudge and leaks the poison of bitterness, rage, and unforgiveness. A person with a heart of stone may show up for church on Sunday but that is the extent of the person’s acknowledgement of God and others.

After God removes our heart of stone, he gives us “a heart of flesh.” That heart is alive with love for God and both love and compassion for others. A heart of flesh beats daily for God and his children and prays for those who don’t live for God.

Dear God, please give me an undivided heart. Amen.

Over to you: What will you do this week to show you have a heart of flesh?

Yvonne Ortega is a counselor, international bilingual speaker, trainer and eleven-year breast cancer survivor. She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer (Revell) and a contributing author to The Embrace of a Father (Bethany House) and Transformed (Wine Press). She has also been published in several magazines online and hard copy. Yvonne hosted a blogtalkradio program on breast cancer, addiction, domestic violence, and other types of trauma. Archives are available. Visit her website.

Daffodil image courtesy of Marcus at

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Yvonne. This is so topical for us in South Africa at the moment. Winter seems to have arrived without warning and chased summer on its way, just as we were beginning to enjoy the hotter weather. It's good to remember it won't be all that long and it'll be spring again!