I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.
James Hilton’s entertaining novel, “Goodbye, Mr. Chips, tells the story of a shy, clumsy schoolteacher to whom something wonderful happens. He meets and marries a woman who loves him. And gradually the inept schoolteacher becomes a kind, friendly, gracious man, the most beloved teacher in the school.
Human love can do wonderful things. But God’s love can change character. I believe it because I have personally experienced God’s love creating in me what I was incapable of making happen on my own. Conversions are a real event. And habits really can be broken-not by willpower, but by grace.
When the little abandoned child in so many of us truly grasps the fact that God, through Jesus Christ, is committed to love us forever, it is an incredibly awesome moment. That truth illuminates the darkness in our souls. It resurrects in us the legitimate needs that we have denied or let die, and it fills our empty spaces with an unconditional validation and acceptance. As a result of being filled in our empty places, we no longer want substitutes; we want the real thing-love. And God’s love transforms us at our deepest level. The story of Mr. Chips is repeated over and over again, thanks to God and His people.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your transforming love.