Ezekiel 36:22-38

When I start something new, there is always a purpose behind it in my mind. Over the holiday, I created a little indoor treehouse in one of my closets. It was a full day project but so worth it. It’s a cozy place with one purpose. That purpose is to remove distractions and be a place where I can get lost in books. Whether that is digging into God’s Word or reading a good mystery, that’s where all the reading happens. It’s my new favorite place in the house and if you ever ask me about it, you might regret you mentioned it because I’m sure to start showing you before and after pictures and explaining all the elements of it’s formation. But let’s get back to the point of the story. . .purpose. I’m a purpose fanatic and believe that if we are doing something, we better be able to point to the “why” behind it. A clearly given purpose just brings me joy.

I love this passage of Scripture because it points forward to the new covenant God will make with His people. At this point in history, sin and exile had been a point of disgrace for the Israelites and God was speaking of His plan for restoration. He had a plan to give His people a new heart and a new spirit, to make a covenant with His people to bring His name glory, restore His name among the nations, and to bring His people to Himself. He made it clear to the people that the purpose of the new covenant was not for their sake but for His glory. They had done nothing to earn this new heart and new spirit. They had done nothing to deserve a new covenant with the one true God. Regardless of His people’s merit, God always works for His glory and our good. By providing a new heart, His people would be better able to live a teachable life seeking after God. By providing a new spirit, His people would have the guidance to live as He has called them. The new covenant isn’t about following a list of rules but rather living in communion with our God. He has provided a solution to the sin problem of the human heart and offered the assurance of restoration–all for His glory. As we start this fresh year with new projects and goals, let’s remember our purpose. We have been given this new heart and spirit. Thus, everything we do should be for the purpose of glorifying God, both the small things and the big things. Let’s be intentional and sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we seek to grow and make disciples.

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