Jeremiah 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? / Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.”

April 9th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The people of Jeremiah’s time had hardened their hearts and refused to heed his call to repentance. They had walked so long in wickedness that they had become used to, accustomed to, doing evil. They had made a habit (a pattern of behavior acquired through repetition) of sinning. And breaking such deeply entrenched habits, so that true, lasting change happens, can be very difficult. God was pointing out here that sinners cannot change their sinful natures.

The original “Serenity Prayer,” by Reinhold Niebuhr, is about change: “God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.” But no matter how much we try to change ourselves, only God can truly change our hearts. He is the God of transforming power. He makes “all things new” and we can become “new creatures” in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). The change comes when we surrender to His Lordship and Mastery, confessing and turning from our sins, and let Him have complete control over our lives.

“LORD, please be Lord over us this day, in Jesus’ name.”