WEEK 4 REFLECTIONS

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Sunday

 

God wants to make us brand new. Second Corinthians says this:

 

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

This week we are looking at the how God wants to give us a brand new heart. We become brand new as we allow God to change and transform our hearts that are open to his word.  So in the course of the week we will look at how to have hearts that are open and receptive to God’s word and will. 

 

It is also an appropriate topic for Mother’s Day. As we celebrate the love and care given to us by our mothers. Today, pray for your mother and thank God that she was open to giving you life and love.

 

 

Monday

 

On the following Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.

 

Acts 13:44-45

 

Paul and Barnabas begin a brand new adventure to spread the Gospel to the world.  They bring the message of God’s great love. They go to Cyrpes and then to Antioch. At Antioch everyone gathers to hear this brand new preacher. They are excited to hear them. However, the Jewish leaders instead are filled with jealousy in their hearts that people are listening to Paul and so they don’t really give him a hearing.

 

Jealousy, anger, greed, guilt and other negative attitudes of the heart can keep us from hearing what God wants to say to us. This is why we must guard our heart from these attitudes.

 

Pray today for the grace to guard your heart from unhealthy attitudes that keep you from hearing God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify any unhealthy attitudes that have taken hold of your heart.

 

 

Tuesday

 

Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.’” The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord.

 

Act 13:46-48a

 

After the Jewish leaders reject Paul and Barnabas, they move out of the synagogue and go to speak in places where they Gentiles gather. They speak to the Gentiles who are delighted to hear the word of God and give God glory for the message of the Gospel.

 

Both the Gentiles and Jewish leaders hear the same message. The Gentiles receive the message while the Jewish leaders reject it. The difference was the condition of their hearts. Joy and gratitude come when we decide to open our hearts to God’s word.

 

Pray today for a heart that is open to God’s word and free of jealousy or other negative attitudes of the heart.

 

Wednesday

 

And I will give them a new heart and a new spirit I will put within them. From their bodies I will remove the hearts of stone, and give them a heart of flesh, so they walk according to their statutes, taking care to keep my ordinances. Thus they will be my people, and I will be their God.

 

Ezekiel 11:19-20

 

God tells the prophet Ezekiel that he wants to give his people a new heart. He will remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. A heart of flesh will allow people to walk in God’s commands of statues. A heart of flesh will allow people to call God their God and see themselves as his people.

 

A heart of flesh allows us to fulfill God’s commands and walking his statutes. Walking in God’s statutes means following God’s command to love him and love others. It means seeing God as our God and looking to him for the ultimate meaning and purpose in our lives.

 

Ask God to take away your heart of stone that keeps you from loving others. Pray for a heart of flesh that allows you to love others.

 

 

Thursday

 

Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my iniquities.

A clean heart create for me O God; renew within me a steaddfast spirit.

 

Psalm 51:11-12

 

In Psalm 51, David asks God to forgive him of his grave sins. He prays that God will blot out his transgressions and wipe out all his sins. However, that is not all that he prays for. He prays for a clean heart. He prays for a heart that is pure.

 

Take a moment to review the last 24 hours. Where have you had a heart of stone? Ask God for his mercy and forgiveness. Then ask God to give you a clean and pure heart that loves him and others.

 

Friday

 

I will sprinkle clean water over you to make you clean; from all your impurities and from all you idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put with in you. I remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

 

Ezekiel 36:26

 

This is the third time in the book of Ezekiel that God promise to give his people a new heart. Here he says that he will cleanse his people with water. The cleanings of water will give his people a new heart and new spirit. The cleansing will remove the heart of stone and give his people a heart of flesh.

 

At our Baptism, God gives us a heart of flesh. Our role is to live in the reality of this gift. Every time we bless ourselves with holy water we can remind ourselves that God has cleansed us and gives us a heart of flesh – a heart open to loving him and loving others.

 

Thank God today that he gave you a heart of flesh at your Baptism. When you go to church this Sunday, bless yourself with the holy water and ask God to take away your stony heart.

 

Saturday

 

All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

 

All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.

 

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
 


All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.

 

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.