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God Washes Us Clean

November 4, 2018 Speaker: Dan Wolf Series: Occupied with Greatness

Topic: Occupied With Greatness Passage: Ezekiel 36:22–36:32

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A Recap from Sunday's Sermon

Preaching Text: Ezekiel 36:22-32

Give God your hard heart so he can give you a new heart.

Imagine the Times-Union had an essay contest asking: "What's wrong with the world?  What can fix it?"  Many of us would share about the need for justice, education, self-actualization, or the right political leaders.  All of these things are important. But these are just symptoms, not the source of the world's problems.  In the early 1900s, the London-Times asked the above question to the top thinkers throughout England.  Scholar and Christian G.K. Chesterton responded:
Dear London Times,
I am.
Sincerely, GK Chesterton 
We are quick to blame others as the source of our problems or the problems of the world.  But in Ezekiel 36, God cuts to the source: the human heart.  For Christians, our answer to what's wrong with the world is: I am.  It is our addiction to self-centeredness that destroys our relationships and disintegrates society.   But who can change the human heart?  God can.  In Ezekiel 36:24-28, God promises to cleanse our sin, remove our heart of stone, give us a heart of flesh, and place his Spirit within us so we can walk in his ways.  In John 3:5, Jesus has come to us new through water (repentance and the cleansing forgiveness of the cross) and the Spirit (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit).  And when he makes our heart new, he then sends us to go make the world new (Ezekiel 36:33-38).
Taking It Home:  This week, spend 30 minutes giving God your hard heart by making a "searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself."*  During the time, tell God about any negative thoughts and emotions that emerge, because your emotions are the mirror of your soul.  Avoid blaming others. Confess to God about how your own sin and selfishness has contributed to recent struggles.  At the end of the 30 minutes, reread the promises of Ezekiel 36:22-38. (*language borrowed from Step 4 of AA)

 

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