For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
– Hebrews 4:12-13
The words of the Bible and the words that God speaks through His Holy Spirit in our hearts are “living and active and…” This means that the scripture passages on which we are meditating each day are “living and active and…” These words are intended to “judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
It is in “the thoughts and intentions of the heart” that either sin or its opposite – righteousness – is rooted. Of course, it is righteousness that God seeks for us…but sin has made its entrance. Therefore, roots that should be healthy are poisoned. This is why John the Baptist said:
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees…”
– Matthew 3:10
Moses had come to form a nation and provide a civil code by which that nation could exist and thrive. Jesus, however, came to preside over all creation by presiding first and foremost over human hearts.
Jesus did not come to reform outward behavior; He came to reform human hearts. There is no human heart that is “hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
It’s not that Jesus doesn’t care about our outward behavior – it’s that if our thinking and motives are redeemed, our behavior will follow suit. As we saw yesterday, Jesus said:
“…first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”
– Matthew 23:26
If you’ve ever washed cups by hand you know that you spend most of your time on the inside, the outside takes far less effort and is often cleaned simply as a byproduct of washing the inside.
These daily devotionals are about presenting your heart to Jesus Christ for grooming. Get your heart right and your day will follow. Get your day right and your life will follow.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, search my heart and show me what needs to change…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)