I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.
— Ezekiel 36:26-27 (The Message)
The year was 1990 and I was a volunteer with Prison Fellowship Ministries, which was founded by the late Chuck Colson. He was speaking in Albuquerque at a fund-raising event and I had been invited to attend. He was a dynamic speaker that night and one thing he said affected me more than anything else I have ever heard anyone say.
He spoke at the time about the Criminal Justice System and all the approaches to solving the problem of crime in America. He contended that no matter what we do to help with the prevention of incarceration or rehabilitation of prisoners, whether it be through education, job skills training, counseling, mentoring, half-way houses, financial assistance and all of the myriad of programs—the end result will always be the same. Crime will continue to increase, new inmates will be added to the system and old inmates will return to prison within a year or so of their release. Billions of dollars later and we will still be building prisons, jails, detention centers, juvenile facilities and beefing up police departments as fast as we can.
“What’s the answer?” he asked the huge gathering at the Marriott hotel that night. There was a hush over the crowd as we all awaited his reply. “Crime is a matter of the heart—and until the heart changes, crime in all of its various forms, will continue to be our biggest problem in America—and the only One who can change the human heart is Jesus Christ.”
I’ve never forgotten that statement. I have used it many times in many applications because it is true in all of the situations and circumstances of life in which we fail or fall short of God’s best.
So my friends—whether it be wokeness, critical race theory, election fraud, protests gone bad, riots, vandalism, anarchy, burnings, killings, prejudices, abuses of authority, dishonesty, stealing, cancel culture, or posturing political rhetoric, all of these will continue to dominate the news cycle until there is a massive heart change in our culture.
America—what will it take? Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can do that. It all begins with prayer and revival will come. Let’s share that Good News with someone today. Maranatha!
Create in me a clean heart, O God … — Psalm 51:10
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