"'I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.'" — Ezekiel 36:25-26 (NIV)
Ezekiel speaks God's gracious words to Israel, not because they deserve good, but because God is good. The people of Israel had turned away from God and had profaned God's holy name. Yet God remained faithful and assured them that they would be cleansed, restored and made new — to the point that they would be ashamed of their former, sinful ways. We also do not deserve God's goodness. We may think that we are not as rebellious as the people of Israel. Yet we worship our own gods, what is of first importance in our lives — work, success, power, money, family. We do not turn first to God in bad times, rather trying to find our own way out. We do not praise God first in good times, instead patting ourselves on the back for our good fortune. Nonetheless, God remains faithful to us. In other words, God puts us first.
Prayer: Gracious God, we do not deserve Your kindness and goodness in our lives, yet You choose to make us new each day. May we live out this newness in lives of faithful obedience, service and love. Amen.
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