Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezek. 18:31)

THE FIRST HUMAN HEART TRANSPLANT was performed in 1967 in South Africa. Dr. Christiaan Bernard placed the heart of a twenty-five-year-old woman who had died in a car accident, into Louis Washkansky, a middle-aged grocer dying of heart disease. Washkansky survived for eighteen days with his new heart. Ironically, the drugs that kept his body from rejecting the heart left him vulnerable to the pneumonia that killed him. The heart itself worked normally until the very end.

God spoke to His people in a powerful and direct manner in Ezekiel 18. They were confronted with the stark difference between a life that pleased God and one that dishonored Him. They were also shown how the action of changing paths could either be life-giving or life-destroying, depending on the direction of the change. Verse 31 gives the key to changing paths in the right direction and remaining on the right path. Only a new heart and a new spirit make real, lasting change possible. God has provided forgiveness and transformation by giving His Son to die for us. Each person who wants a new heart and a new spirit need only turn from sin and ask God to apply the power of Christ’s death and resurrection to his or her life. Change will happen from the inside out.

Share God’s offer of salvation with someone close to you today.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher and enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.