Ezekiel 11:19-20 says: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” God wanted His people to repent but they hardened their hearts and refused to listen. Through Ezekiel He spoke saying He wanted to give them an undivided heart of flesh, softened to hear His message to return for He craved to have a relationship with them.
Ezekiel 18:30-32 says: “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” God pleads with His people saying I love you and take no pleasure in your death and wants them to repent and turn from their wicked ways!
Jeremiah 31:33-37 says: “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “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. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord Almighty is his name:
Jeremiah 32:39-41 says: “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.” When God says He will inspire His people to fear Him, He is not saying the kind of fear that is bad but a holy reverential fear that shows respect.
God wanted a relationship with us and He goes to His son, Jesus and together they have a plan saying it’s now time! Jesus is then born as our Passover Lamb which will be the final sacrifice for our sin debt to be paid in full at Calvary’s cross! At age 12, Jesus stays behind at Passover to talk to the religious Jews saying to His mother when she came looking for me: “Did you not know I must be about My Father’s business?” He began His earthly ministry at age 30 after His baptism and right after this fasts for 40 days and 40 nights and in His weakened condition Satan comes at Him to tempt Him in every way possible! Satan always waits to get us in our weakest moment too! But what does Jesus do? He gets right into the act quoting God’s Word right back to the devil!! Jesus sees peoples hardened hearts and prays over them and preaches in the Sermon on the Mount, casts out devils, does good at every turn and loves on people all around Him! But the people except for a few hate Him as they don’t want to repent of their sinful lives! Jesus goes to Jerusalem and now it’s time for Him to die and He knows it. He’s in the Upper Room and knows He will die under a cruel and vicious people. Praying to be released from this act as He sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Olives He declares:“Father may your will be done not mine!” After this Jesus is taken to trial in the middle of the night. Pilate’s wife has a dream about Jesus and tells her husband to have nothing to do with harming this righteous man! Pilate submits to the riotous crowd having Jesus beaten and scourged thinking the people will not go any further but they refuse. Then Pilate knowing there is a custom to free a prisoner on this day hopes Jesus will be set free but they chose Barabbas instead!!! Jesus is next taken off to be crucified and goes down the streets of the Via Delarosa falling three times and Simone the Cyrene is called to help Him carry His cross to Calvary! At the end Jesus hands and feet are nailed to the cross and in pain and agony thinks of others over Himself telling the Good Thief: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise!” The mean and vicious men make fun of Jesus as Psalms 22 prophesied over Jesus comes true saying: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him. “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!” Jesus forget nothing and even from the cross thought about His mother Mary giving her into the hands of John to watch over as a son would do his own mother!
From all Jesus did for you to show His love would you ask Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you of all your sins? He paid for your redemption and all you have to do is ask Him into your heart! Are you ready to trust Him and to love God with all your heart, soul and spirit and your neighbor as yourself? Do so today! After our sermon, Pastor John Berry gave the Lord’s Supper out to all believers in Jesus.
Next week is Fellowship Sunday so come join us for a delicious meal following our church service! Visit us twice weekly at the Civic Center Auditorium in downtown Kenedy. Service times are Sundays at 10 a.m. with Bible Studies at 9:30 taught by John and Judy Berry and Wednesday services are 7 p.m. with a meal and fellowship following! We are found online at: www.stxcc.org