And I will give them one heart - A whole system of renewed affections.
And I will put a new spirit within you - To direct and influence these new affections.
And I will take the stony heart out of their flesh - That which would not receive the impressions of my Spirit.
And will give them a heart of flesh - One that is capable of receiving and retaining these impressions.
Compare Ezekiel 11:19
One heart - So long as the Israelites were distracted by the service of many gods, such unity was impossible; but now, when they shall have taken away the “abominations” from the land, they shall be united in heart to serve the true God.
Stony heart heart of flesh - The heart unnaturally hardened, and the heart reawakened to feelings proper to man.
Regeneration is the only path by which we can reach the holy city. It is narrow and the gate by which we enter is strait, but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old hereditary traits of character are to be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evil-speaking must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. We are, as it were, to swim against the current of evil. TDG 108.5Read in context »
The time has come when in the name and strength of God the church must act for the good of souls and for the honor of God. A lack of firm faith and of discernment in sacred things should be regarded as sufficient to debar any man from connection with the work of God. So also the indulgence of a quick temper, a harsh, overbearing spirit, reveals that its possessor should not be placed where he will be called to decide weighty questions that affect God's heritage. A passionate man should have no part to act in dealing with human minds. He cannot be trusted to shape matters which have a relation to those whom Christ has purchased at an infinite price. If he undertakes to manage men, he will hurt and bruise their souls; for he has not the fine touch, the delicate sensibility, which the grace of Christ imparts. His own heart needs to be softened, subdued by the Spirit of God; the heart of stone has not become a heart of flesh. TM 261.1
Those who are thus misrepresenting Christ are placing a wrong mold upon the work, for they encourage all who are connected with them to do as they do. For their soul's sake, for the sake of those who are in danger from their influence, they should resign their positions; for the record will appear in heaven that the wrongdoer has the blood of many souls upon his garments. He has caused some to become exasperated, so that they have given up the faith; others have been imbued with his own satanic attributes, and the evil done it is impossible to estimate. Those only who make it manifest that their hearts are being sanctified through the truth should be retained in positions of trust in the Lord's work. TM 262.1Read in context »
Hearts of Flesh, Not Hearts of Iron—I call to mind the shepherd hunting the lost sheep and the prodigal son. I want those parables to have their influence upon my heart and my mind. I think of Jesus, what love and tenderness He manifested for erring, fallen man, and then I think of the severe judgment one pronounces upon his brother who has failed under temptation, and my heart becomes sick. I see the iron in hearts, and think we should pray for hearts of flesh.... TSB 242.3Read in context »
As God's agencies we are to have hearts of flesh, full of the charity that prompts us to be helpful to those more needy than ourselves. If we see our brethren and sisters struggling under poverty and debt, if we see churches that are in need of financial aid, we should manifest an unselfish interest in them and help them in proportion as God has prospered us. If you who have charge of an institution see other institutions bravely struggling for standing room so that they may do a work similar to the work of the institutions with which you are connected, do not be jealous. 8T 136.1
Do not seek to push a working force out of existence and to exalt yourselves in conscious superiority. Rather, curtail some of your large plans, and help those who are struggling. Aid them in carrying out some of their plans to increase their facilities. Do not use every dollar in enlarging your facilities and increasing your responsibilities. Reserve part of your means for establishing in other places health institutions and schools. You will need great wisdom to know just where to place these institutions so that the people will be the most benefited. All these matters must receive candid consideration. 8T 136.2Read in context »