The Heart Knower


Acts 1:23 So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.  24 Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”  26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.


The disciples felt that they needed to replace Judas. Peter led the charge, quoted scripture and then they followed the method the religious leaders had for so long. They cast lots.

It seems odd that they would use such a procedure but it was what they knew. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them, and we realize that Pentecost becomes the defining moment. All things change and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit transforms even decision making.

But that hasn’t happened yet, and there is something striking about Peter’s prayer. He prays to the “Lord, who knows everyone’s heart.” There is actually one Greek word here, “cardiognosta” — meaning literally, heart-knower. And interestingly, the prayer is answered. Matthias is chosen but never heard of ever again — but the one who knows the heart — eventually does choose a great apostle — Paul!


God knew the hearts of both Joseph and Matthias and while the apostles went through their human motions of casting lots, they also prayed a significant prayer. While they may have thought their prayer was being answered in the selection of Matthias, they did not realize that God was answering their prayer in a process which would take much longer. Paul would not become an apostle for quite some time but he would be the one who would be sent as a missionary to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

God knows our hearts and understands our motivations and desires. Sometimes, from a human perspective, we make decisions that look good on the outside. When it comes to leaders we tend to be attracted to those who look and sound good on the outside. I’m sure that both Matthias and Joseph had great credentials. They seemed to fit the requirements which had been outlined. Paul never would have met those requirements! The job description had been defined and the right candidates selected. Now it was just a decision between the two. But God knows the heart!

The condition of our hearts is what matters most. It doesn’t matter how qualified a person may be, or how lengthy their resume, God looks at the heart.

The condition of our heart, or our relationship with God should be most important in our lives. Falling in love with Jesus should be our passion. As we fall in love with him we will follow him to the places where he wants us to go, live and serve! Our motivations for life must come from the heart — and that is to be a heart which is constantly turned toward God.

We may be able to fool those around us, but we can never fool God. He is the “Heart Knower” — who can see past any kind of facade we may have built. Don’t try and fit the mold, but be one who is intimately acquainted with the heart of God. When we know his heart, he knows our heart, and our desires become one and the same. This is what God desires.


Lord, I want you to know my heart as I know yours.  Amen.

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