While skimming through my grandmother’s Bible, I came across a notation she made next to Jeremiah 31:33.
First, the verse:
“I will put my law in their minds
And write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
And they will be my people.”
Perhaps a bit of context would be helpful.
Jeremiah was a prophet of Judah for over forty years. He was instructed by God to speak strong judgment against the people because of their sin. They were following worthless idols and had become worthless themselves (2:5). God promised disaster from the north, even terrible destruction (4:6).
Babylon, the empire from the north, did attack in 586 B.C. and Jerusalem was destroyed.
But Jeremiah offered great hope, recorded in chapters thirty and thirty-one. The verse in bold print above makes clear two glorious assurances.
“It is God’s work.” (That’s what my grandmother wrote in the margin of her Bible next to Jeremiah 31:33.)
See the phrase “I will” used twice in the verse? It is our Heavenly Father who initiates the work of transformation in our minds and hearts. We couldn’t make ourselves godly no matter how hard we tried. It is his Spirit who enlivens the instruction of God’s Word to our hearts.
A friend of mine accepted Jesus into her life as an adult. M. once told me that before becoming a Christian, she had tried to read the Bible, but it didn’t hold her attention and didn’t make much sense. But after coming to Jesus? Oh, my! What a difference! Suddenly M. became a ravenous reader of God’s Word. Every word spoke wisdom and encouragement to her heart.
You see, what God provided for my friend (and for all of us who seek him) is a miraculous, spiritual heart transplant.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you,” God says. “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
God is not saying he will force us into surgery. We can accept or reject his offer of a new heart and spirit.
When you receive an appealing offer, how do you decide whether to accept or not? Do you consider the reliability of the person or company making the offer? Probably so.
And when you are given advice to follow, do you consider the source? No doubt.
So let’s consider the One making the offer of a new heart and a new spirit–God Almighty himself. His love for us is limitless. He is the all-knowing, all-wise God of the universe. We can trust that his instructions are for our good, that following them will bring peace, contentment, joy, and more.
(Tell me again why we rebel?!)
He will be our God.
“When this is fulfilled, you are the possessor of all things,” Spurgeon said.
Think of it: innumerable blessings are ours, beginning with a precious, personal relationship with the King of the universe.
His comforting presence, 24/7.
His guidance and provision for every day of our earthly lives.
And the glory of heaven assured.
* * * * * * * * * *
We praise you, holy God, the One who has informed us through your Word, who transforms us by your Spirit, and conforms us, day by day, to be like Jesus. Praise you for the privilege to be yours, guided and cared for by an all-wise, all-powerful God!
(Photo credit: www.wallpaper4god.com.)