A member of my parents' congregation, Calvin Jenkins, has been waiting for a heart transplant for a good while now. Last week, he was moved to the top of the list for transplant recipients. We received word today that he was now in surgery for the actual transplant.

It's amazing that this type of radical surgery can be done! I remember the first time I heard of it being done successfully. Now we hear about it almost everyday. While the outcome of Calvin's transplant operation is still unknown, we wait with hope that all will be well.

In the book of Ezekiel, God has been trying to get his people to shape up and love him enough to do what he asks. (Ezekiel 11) One of the problems, God points out, is that his people let themselves be led by corrupt men. He says, "These are the men who are designing evil, who are teaching evil ways." (Ezekiel 11:2) God then says that he will bring them out from among evil people:

"And I will give them a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in them; and I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh: So that they may be guided by my rules and keep my orders and do them: and they will be to me a people, and I will be to them a God." (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

God's "heart transplants" are the promise of better things — just like Calvin's physical heart is the promise of a better life. However, just as Calvin's physical heart can be rejected by his body, we can reject the new spiritual heart that God has given to us.

Create in me a clean heart, O God!
Far too often, we want the blessings of God loving us, yet we are not willing to make the changes necessary for the new God-given heart to function properly. The Psalmist begged God in prayer: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalms 51:10)

How much do we want to live the life God intends for us? Enough to allow God to give us a new heart? You see, not only do we have to receive a new heart, we must renew our spiritual commitment, also! We must be willing to do anything to make God's "heart transplant" in us successful. God said in Ezekiel's day that he would bring his people out from under the evil rulers "so that they may be guided by my rules and keep my orders and do them: and they will be to me a people, and I will be to them a God." (Ezekiel 11:20)

How about us? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to obey God? Are we committed to keep the new heart God has given us alive? If we truly want to be one of God's people, then we must let him get rid of our "heart of stone" and also commit to begin living for him!