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Putting the Spirit Within You

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A few years ago, an angry man rushed through the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until he reached Rembrandt’s famous painting “Night watch.” Then he took out a knife and slashed it repeatedly before he could be stopped. A short time later, a distraught, hostile man slip … More

Restoration

God promised to restore Israel not only physically, but spiritually. To accomplish this, God would give them a new heart for following Him and put his spirit within them to transform them and empower them to do His will (vv. 25-30). Again the new covenant was promised, ultimately to be fulfilled in Christ. No matter how impure your life is right now, God offers you a fresh start. You can have your sins washed away, receive a new heart for God, and have His Spirit within you. Why try to patch up you old life when you can have a new one? God said His people should be ashamed of their sins (v. 32). The people had become so calloused that they had lost all sensitivity to sin. First they had to remember their sins (vv. 31-32), then be sorry for them, and finally repent.

In contrast to the desolation that characterized so much of Israel’s past history, her future in the Kingdom will have the beauty and splendor compared to the Garden of Eden (vv. 33-36). What a testimony this will be to the nations of God’s grace and power shown to Israel (vv. 33-37)! The flock of Jerusalem has reference to the sacrificial animals used. These numbered into the millions over the years. Israel’s flocks of fathers, mothers, and children will become numerous.

As we examine our lives, we may find that we too have lost our sensitivity to certain sins. But if we compare ourselves against God’s standards of right and wrong we will be ashamed. To regain sensitivity we must recognize our sin for what it is, be sorry for it, and ask God for forgiveness.

Application

I want to be sensitive to any sin that may creep into my life. I am so thankful that His mercy has been extended to include me and all I have to do is come to Him in genuine repentance.

Ezekiel 36:26-38 (English Standard Version)

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. "Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And they will say, 'This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.' Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the LORD; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it. "Thus says the Lord GOD: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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