In my devotional reading this week I came across this word of the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek.:36:26, NRSV) And then I found the words of the Bob Dylan song “Property of Jesus” from his album “Shot of Love” in my head: “He’s the property of Jesus, resent him to the bone; you’ve got something better, you’ve got a heart of stone”.
I want to remind us of what we learned together in Divine Savior Church a few years ago. God is calling us to have, spiritually speaking, tender hearts and thick skin. To have a tender heart means to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, teachable, obedient, to have a “heart of flesh”. To have thick skin means to be not easily offended, to be humble with other people. I think here of the verse from our text of last Lord’s Day: “…be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…” (Eph. 4:32, NRSV). But of course many of us find that we live in just the opposite way. We are hardhearted, insensitive to God, disobedient. On the other hand we are thin-skinned, easily offended, overly sensitive, unforgiving, self-centered.
Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27, NRSV) That is what I desire so much! I want to hear Jesus’ voice, have communion with him and be radically obedient. And I want to be unconcerned about how people view me or treat me. I desire to live with a tender heart and thick skin!
With Love In Christ, Pastor Zac