With a new heart into the new year!

331 with a new heart in the new yearJohn Bell had the opportunity to do something that most of us would hopefully never be able to do: holding his own heart in his hands. Two years ago, he underwent a heart transplant that was successful. Thanks to the heart-to-heart program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, he was now able to hold his heart in his hands, which had kept him alive for 70 years before it had to be replaced. This amazing story reminds me of my own heart transplant. It was not a "physical" heart transplant - all who follow Christ have experienced the spiritual version of this process. The brutal reality of our sinful nature is that it causes spiritual death. The prophet Jeremiah has named it clearly: "The heart is a defiant and despondent thing; who can fathom it? Üs: it is terminally ill]? "(Jer. 17,9).

When confronted with the reality of our spiritual "heart function," it is hard to imagine having any hope. Our chance of survival is zero. But the wonderful thing happens for us: Jesus offers us the only possible chance for spiritual life: a heart transplantation in the deepest interior of our being. The apostle Paul calls this generous gift the regeneration of our humanity, the renewal of our human nature, the change of our mind and the liberation of our will. All this is part of the work of salvation in which God the Father is at work through his Son and through the Holy Spirit. All-embracing salvation gives us the wonderful opportunity to exchange our old, dead heart for its new, healthy one - a heart overflowing with its love and everlasting life. Paul said, "We know that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, so that from henceforth we will not serve sin. For he who has died has become free from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will live with him "(Rom 6,6-8).

God has made a wonderful exchange through Christ so that we can have a new life in Him that is part of His communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. As we enter the New Year, let us remember that each day of our lives we owe nothing but the grace and goodness of the one who called us - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

by Joseph Tkach

pdfWith a new heart into the new year!