In a little more than two weeks, Christmas presents will be given and received. What present would you want to receive? What would you call a most precious and important gift?
Would it be what is presented to us through Ezekiel as God's gift to the members of His church? In Ezekiel 36:26 we read, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
Do you want that? Or are there other gifts that you prefer above and instead of that gift? Do men please you with what they give, and do these gifts give you more joy than that gift of which God here speaks? Do you look forward to what is called Christmas Day, because you want what you consider to be more valuable things than such a heart? If on that day you will get only one gift, would you choose that to be the present you would most like to receive?
We need a heart to receive any gift. When our heart stops beating we lose all our earthly possessions. It is indeed a most wonderful work of God when, as our text states, He takes away our hard, sinful heart and gives us a new, soft heart that loves Him, and causes us to want to serve and glorify Him.
Man comes into this world with a stony heart. With such a heart all men are born, for we come into this world without the smallest love for God, and with a heart that hates Him. We all come into this world hardhearted, having hearts that reveal a spirit of hatred against God and against all the things of His kingdom. Christ's birth then is not in our judgment a blessing.
As believers we must appreciate that birth of Christ, Who came in order to bring us this gift of hearts that love God. That is a most precious gift. It reveals the blessedness of God's love for us.
Read: Ezekiel 36:16-27 .
"How sweet is it to godly minds to be assured, not only by word, but by sight, that they obtain so much favour with the Heavenly Father that their offspring are within His care?" John Calvin