Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

Heart Gentleness

Scotty Smith

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. Ezek. 36:26

Gracious Father, the promise of a new heart beating within our breast shouts your grace and declares your might. There are few things we need or want more. And, hallelujah, the very moment you gave us faith in Jesus, you also gave us this new heart.

But our new heart has yet to become a perfected heart. That will require either our trip to heaven or Jesus’ return to earth—and those dates are securely in your hands.

But Oh, how we long for the Day when our hearts will only beat for Jesus’ glory and marvel at his beauty, feel with his kindness and think with his perspective, love with his affection and live with his passion.

By the work of your Holy Spirit, Father, keep changing, healing, and freeing us. The image of a heart of stone being replaced with a heart of flesh is no mere metaphor to us. It’s a gospel miracle. We want a compassionate, caring heart—a servant’s heart, a “sweet” heart—the heart of Jesus.

Father, we long to be more restful and less resentful, more merciful and less critical. We want to be more flexible than rigid, more likely to console than control, and better at worshipping than worrying.

We want to forgive from our hearts, and not just dismiss stuff to avoid the messiness of conflict. We want to encourage people for their good, not flatter them for our benefit.

We want to feel joy and hope every time we hear Jesus’ name, and not feel rejection and self-pity when we don’t hear ours. Like John the Baptist, we want Jesus to increase and us to decrease.

We praise you, Father, for promising just such a heart through the resources of the gospel. Our longings, hopes, and prayers are not in vain. So very Amen we pray, with fresh gratitude, in Jesus’ matchless name.