Week Seven - Day One
God Initiates your Transformation
Luke 9:23-26 - And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Ezekiel 11:19 - And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.
Jesus describes the unfathomable challenge to his disciples in Luke 9. He calls them to pick up their cross daily. This means to live wholly for him by denying them- selves and working for his glory. This is often called “receiving a new identity.” It’s the idea that you are a di erent person at your core. But, how does one do this? That isn’t something God asks us to do alone. Amazingly, he has this covered! Ac- cording to Ezekiel 11:19, God plans to transform his people so they want to live for him. This includes giving them both his Spirit and a new heart. In the biblical writ- ings, the heart refers to your core being; the combination of your feelings, intellect and will. In other words, God gives you new desires, new knowledge of him, and new courage to live for him in the core of who you are. Once God gives a new heart, the actions of a disciple flow out into life. This is everything a Christian needs to pick up their cross and lose their life for Jesus.
- Reflect on two changes in your life that show how God has given you a new heart. Take a moment to praise him for his work in you.
- The fact that he changes you is part of your ongoing testimony that Jesus is alive and active in your life. With whom will you share this information this week?