Heart Transplant

“My father needs a heart transplant,” the text reply said. After several major heart attacks in quick succession, the need for a transplant became painfully clear. I responded with a commitment to be in prayer for the dad and the family. Organ donation is a multi-faceted process. It’s a sad experience because the donor must perish to make the organ available. It’s a happy experience because the recipient benefits from receiving the donated organ. There is also the element of the unknown because the availability of the new heart is predicated on the death of the donor.

“For man does not know his time.”

Ecclesiastes 9:12a, ESV

I needed a new heart. My physical heart was fine; however, it was morally bankrupt, and I had no clue.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Jeremiah 17:9, ESV

It didn’t just start with my heart. God’s chosen people had experienced miraculous deliverances on many occasions, and yet they hardened their hearts and turned their backs on Him. But God had a plan, and He made a promise to them through the prophets.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27, ESV

Ezekiel was telling the Babylonian captives the same message that Jeremiah was proclaiming to the Jews in Jerusalem.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah 31:31-34, ESV

This new heart would come through the promised New Covenant. Jesus told his disciples that this new Covenant would be bought with his blood.

“And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’”

Luke 22:20, ESV

In his classic work “The Case for Christ” author Lee Strobel interviewed a noted M.D. and PH. D about the Crucifixion and was told that the blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of Jesus were evidence that He had “died of cardiac arrest” (p. 266). Our sin broke the Savior’s heart! My sin broke the Savior’s heart.

What should my response be to the One who has given me this new heart? I should be forever grateful for the new lease on life I’ve been given and live a life worthy of the sacrifice that was made on my behalf. Unlike my friend’s dad, who will never meet his heart donor, I can live in daily fellowship with my “donor” because He has put His Spirit in me and guides me on a path that will shelter and protect my new heart. We hear a lot today about heart-healthy living. I am living “heart healthy” with a heart that has a warranty that will take me into eternity. You can’t top that!

What say you, Man of Valor.

Adapted from Men of Valor Devotional by Ron Helle, 12 January 2024

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