Devotion for January 10
By Bryan Chapell

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26).

For most of my friend’s adult life, he had tried to reach his harsh-talking and hard-hearted aunt with the message of Christ’s love. Still, the older woman’s heart seemed untouched. 

After she passed away, her family gathered to divide her belongings. The family surprisingly found a few religious books and decided they should go to my “religious” friend.  Yet, because the books reeked of tobacco and a stuffy house, he stored them in his attic without looking inside.

Years later, he stumbled across the books, and found in one a handwritten letter from his aunt. In her own hand, she confessed her sins and claimed Jesus as her Savior. My friend was shocked. 

Though he would have offhandedly affirmed, “God can reach anyone,” he really didn’t expect that to happen with his aunt. Yet, her letter confirmed that no matter how hard the heart, God’s grace is greater. He can take a stony heart and make it soft for Jesus. 

Real change is possible, and to be prayed for, because grace is real and powerful. Consider someone in your life whose heart you think is too hard for God. Pray for God to soften their hearts. He can. After all, he softened yours! 

Lord, help me not to give up on sharing the gospel with those whose hearts seem hard, knowing that your Spirit can make a heart of stone soften and beat for Jesus.

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