That I would encounter similar themes across my readings in the morning probably isn’t too unusual. But that I would notice them . . . that I would see them coming together . . . that, progressively, as I encounter them, they move my heart . . . that, I believe, is evidence of the Spirit saying, “Hey Corak, listen up!” It’s one of the amazing dynamics of reading the Scriptures . . . those times when you are so aware of the illuminating work of Him who has been given to, among other things, lead us in to all truth, convict us of sin, and refine as according to the Master’s plan.
Here’s what I encountered this morning as I was working my way through my reading plan . . .
In 1Chronichles 28, David is making final preparation for his death. He assembles all the officials at Jerusalem and gives them charge concerning the building of a temple for God, something that had been his heart’s desire since ascending to the throne. And then, he turns to Solomon, the son who would succeed him and oversee construction. And to him, King David says,
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.” (1Chronicles 28:9 ESV)
Then in Luke, I read of Jesus with His disciples, trying to inform them again that “the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they, apparently, have more important matters to consider . . . like who’s numero uno among them. An argument arises among them as to which of them was the greatest . . . and then Luke records this,
But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, . . . (Luke 9:47-48a ESV)
Seeing the common thread? I started to . . . and then I dove into 1Thessalonians . . .
Paul thanks God for the evidence of salvation among this church which sprang up in only three weeks (Acts 17:1-10) . . . evidence of God’s calling upon them as “our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction” (1Thess. 1:5). And in speaking further of the coming of the gospel to them, Paul writes this,
. . . but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness. (1Thessalonians 2:4-5 ESV)
God is witness . . . Theos martus. He knows. Solomon, serve God with all your heart and mind for He searches all hearts and understands every thought and plan. Disciples, quit your bickering, stop the focus on yourself, for Jesus knows the reasoning of your hearts. Paul, preach the word plainly . . declare the gospel boldly. Declare it with integrity . . . not dumbing-it-down or flowering-it-up in order to please the itching ears of men . . . but to please God who tests our hearts. Remembering that Theos martus . . . God is witness.
A Holy Spirit reminder this morning. Nothing hidden . . . nothing concealed . . . thoughts, intents, and motives fully known in heaven. Kind of strikes fear at first . . . remembering that I am wholly known by a holy God. But God’s perfect love casts out the terror fear and the dread fear . . . leaving only the reverence fear and awe fear. He knows my name . . . He knows my frame. I am His workmanship . . . created once through birth, re-created through rebirth . . . made new in Christ . . . given a stewardship to exercise for the kingdom. And, by His grace, and through His power, I am to pursue the kingdom and exercise my stewardship with integrity of heart . . . to serve Him with my whole heart . . . knowing that God is witness.
Yes, LORD! By Your grace . . . for Your glory . . .