Ezekiel 11:14-25 (NRSV)
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, your kinsfolk, your own kin, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, "They have gone far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession." Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far away among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a little while in the countries where they have gone. Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. When they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God.
Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. And the glory of the Lord ascended from the middle of the city, and stopped on the mountain east of the city. The spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen left me. And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.
I am so grateful that "God has been a sanctuary" for me, even when I have chosen to be most disobedient and ungrateful.
Scripture teaches us that God will never leave us, nor abandon us, and God is a promise keeper!
Even in the midst of the biggest messes that I have ever created, I have always been aware of God inviting me home with the promise to give me one heart and spirit that I might be obedient to him.
It is a wonderful thing that God does not leave us to ourselves and our own devices to "get right with him." We simply cannot do it!
It takes the love of God, the work of Christ and the move of Spirit to save our souls.
Dear one, if you've been trying to do it yourself, won't you trust God to melt your heart of stone? Turn to God with all your heart and let Him be your sanctuary.
Let us pray: Lord God, how excellent is your name in all the earth! Thank you that you melt my heart of stone when it turns cold toward you. Please forgive my sin and fill me with your Holy Spirit that I might declare your praise. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta