December 23

Ezekiel 11:19-20 (NIV) 19I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel saw another vision of God. The predictions of doom were so dark that he cried out asking if any would survive. The LORD said that He was the sanctuary of those already in exile. There were two separate times in which Babylon came and took people into captivity. He was prophesying in between those times.

Then the LORD gave him one of the first promises of restoration in Ezekiel. He promised to give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them. God had just shown Ezekiel how corrupt their hearts had become. This was the only hope for them in the future, a new spirit. Their main problem was that their heart was divided between Jehovah and other gods. The only way that can be dealt with is to have a new heart. The heart they had then was too hard. They did not have the tenderness of God's heart toward them. If we could but see how tender and patient God's heart is toward us, it would help to give us an undivided heart.

The new heart is that of the new creation birthed when we come to Jesus asking for life. He takes out our old stony heart and gives us a heart of flesh. Then, in tenderness toward His Spirit within us, we live the spirit of the Law. We become His children and can call Him our God. Is your heart tender toward His Spirit? Is it divided between Him and the world, like Judah of old? If you recognize it is, ask for revelation of His tender heart toward you. Ask for that miraculous work of a spiritual heart transplant.

Meditation: God longs for your heart to be undivided.

December 23

Revelation 1:16-18 (NIV) 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

According to early church records, the Romans attempted to boil John in oil, but it just didn't seem to bother him, so they exiled him to an island. There he saw a vision of the Christ in all His glory. The last time John saw Jesus was at His ascension. The last time John saw Jesus in glory was on the Mount of Transfiguration. Now, from the right hand of the throne of God, Jesus, in all His glory, reveals Himself to John.

John's reaction is the same as those in Scripture who have a revelation of glory. He falls on his face stunned and weakened. The Lord identifies Himself with His familiar expression used throughout Scripture, "Do not be afraid." He says He is the first (alpha) and the last (omega), the Living One. He was dead and is alive forever and ever! He holds the keys of death and Hades, taken in His conquest of Satan.

This is the same glorious Christ our eyes will see when we pass from this life. There is no need to fear. He is the Victor over death and hell. He is the alive forever, and has prepared the way for our reception into the presence of God. He has something to say to us, and that is why He has appeared to John. There are things in our individual and corporate lives that please Him, and some things that displease Him. The Spirit is still speaking to the churches. You don't need a revelation like this. Just open your Bible and your heart, and hear what He has to say to you.

Consider: The sword from His mouth encourages and convicts. What am I in need of hearing today?