March 6: Hardened & Deceived

Read Hebrews 3:7-19 , Ezekiel 36:25-28

You might already know that I hate playdoh.

I have young children, though, so playdoh happens to me at least once a week. I wash my hands fifty times before I get the smell off, and I find little balls of playdoh on my socks even after I wash them.

The only thing worse than playdoh is dried out playdoh. You know what I mean: crusty, crumbly, still-stinky balls of playdoh that have dried to the point that they can cause puncture wounds.

Playdoh is not for me, but dried playdoh is not for anyone.

The writer to the Hebrews cautioned them that there is one thing worse than dried out playdoh, and that is a dried out heart: “Do not harden your hearts!” he wrote, quoting the Psalmist.

We can heed his warning to. First, what causes a hardened heart? “Exhort one another every day,” he writes, “as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

The deceitfulness of sin is the cheese on the mouse trap. Cheese looks good to a mouse. It deceives him into thinking that all will be well, that he will faint and die from hunger if he does not taste the cheese!

When this deceit lures us to sin, our hearts become hardened and dried out, no longer tender to conviction, no longer listening for warnings. We lust after what we want so that we have no room in our hearts for anything else. Crusty, crumbly, still-stinky heart.

Our sin causes us to lose our share in God’s rest and deceives us by stirring up our lusts for other things.

We refuse to be persuaded just as crunchy playdoh refuses to yield to the soft flesh of the arch of the foot.

I have a recipe for brand new, soft playdoh. When the old stuff is ruined, I make a new batch.

The Lord extends that same offer for our hearts: “And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Do not harden your heart.

Ask the Lord to reveal where sin has deceived you. (Hint: Examine areas in which you make excuses.)

Has the Lord given you a soft heart toward Him? Praise Him for it.

If not, ask Him. He delights to answer that prayer.

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