“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will remove the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh, so that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.”
(Ezekiel 11:19 KJV)
READ: Acts 2:14-38; 7:54
Notice from the text that they were all cut to the heart, but responses differed. These were devout (and God fearing) men. Then even amongst these devout and God-fearing men, “…those who gladly received His word were baptized.”
What was the heart condition in the other two cases? Notice that in these, the men were also devout after all, they were members of the Sanhedrin, being Pharisees, Sadducees, and the high priest was present. These were the religious leaders of that time (see Acts 5:34-39).
Notice the gentiles responded positively while the religious leaders were in opposition. This tells us that irrespective of our status as believers or the position we occupy in our various church organizations, we have a responsibility to keep our hearts as fertile ground for God’s word to be effective.
This reminds me of the parable of the sower, the heart that the devil has easy access to, the one that is hardened, one that is filled with the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and a honest and good heart (see Luke 8:4-15). The honest and good heart yields fruit from the seed of the word of God in hundred, sixty, and thirty-fold. Let us examine ourselves to see the state of our heart. The Lord has promised to give us a new heart but we must allow Him to do the surgical operation to bring about the change that will make us be like He wants us to be.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Give me a heart of flesh, one that responds right to Your word.