Week of Monday, March 27  ­– Sunday, April 2

Heart to Heart – Man as Battle Buddy

"Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God." - Ezekiel 11:17-20 ESV

In this chapter, we get a glimpse of the last part of the vision given to Ezekiel in the presence of the elders. It seems to be a mingling of God’s mercy and His judgment. Yet, in the midst of judgment, God is making some wonderful promises to His people. One of those promises is that He will perform a heart transplant on them—replacing their hard hearts with responsive ones as a part of the New Covenant.

Ezekiel goes in to communicate God’s heart to offer a hope and a future for His people. It was a message they desperately needed to hear while in exile in a foreign land. You know there are men everywhere without hope for their future and their families’ futures—they need a battle buddy! Hear me, these men can’t afford to miss heaven, and we can’t afford to let them stand alone! Just as God spoke to the prophet, there are men of faith everywhere who need someone who will stand and speak a word of hope to them in their darkest hours. Sometimes, they need some heart-to-heart encouragement.

As we near Palm Sunday, we are reminded of Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives, looking at Jerusalem with tears in his eyes and weeping because they were missing God’s greatest gift… Him! They missed Him…men still do today! Clouded by the fog of war in the spiritual battle engulfing our nation today, good men need a true friend who sees them as they are and invests in their walk with God, pouring in wisdom and understanding built on the Scriptures!

To whom do you need to be a battle buddy today? Just as Jesus wept over and pled with the inhabitants of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, battle buddies can make a difference as they see the true condition of others and speak from the heart to a hurting brother. They are committed to lovingly speaking the truth of God into the lives of those they care about. More than anything, battle buddies sincerely desire the best for those they love! Be a battle buddy who makes the difference in the future of another man of God. Have a heart-to-heart with a hurting brother and offer some hope!

- Who among your guy friends may need a heart-to-heart and a word of hope from a battle buddy?
- Maybe you are the one in need of a spiritual mentor, friend, and confidant. Who might be a good candidate to approach and build a relationship with?
- Lord, create in each of us the desire and commitment to become a dedicated battle buddy to another man of God today!