God's Word Discerns Our Thoughts
– Hebrews 4:12
Have you considered the purpose of the word of God? There are many ideas about God’s purpose in giving us his word, but I’m only going to give you my idea today. I see the word of God as coming from his knowledge of the nature of man and for the purpose of restoring man to the place of blessing he had originally intended for man.
God knows the heart of man and he knows that man, in a general sense, is in rebellion against his plan. God said, “Don’t eat the forbidden fruit!” Man said, “I wonder why God doesn’t want us to know the benefits of that fruit.” God said, “Here is the tree of life, eat from it, but leave the other fruit alone.” Man said, “Why is God always trying to steer me away from that tree?”
That may be a bit simplistic but I am convinced that it is very close to the truth. Because God knows the thoughts and intents of man he seeks to reveal to man a better way. God’s words are life and they are given to man to lead man into eternal life through faith in the provision he has given us in Jesus our Savior.
God knows the thoughts and attitudes of our heart and that is why his word is often piercing to us. He is trying to separate us from living after our soulful nature and draw us to living after his Spirit nature. That is what he meant by, “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit.”
Let us not try to convince ourselves that by doing good works we can nullify what is in our hearts. God is not impressed by our works, but he is moved by what is in our hearts. We will never be without times of failure as long as we are in this body of death, but God looks past that and sees our heart. He is after our heart.
Prayer: Lord, help me to treasure your word, even when it is painful to me, because I know your goal is to separate me from my soulish nature and lead me into your Spirit life. In Jesus name.
Take It A Little Deeper
The main idea of the devotion is brought out in the Principle section:
Principle: God knows the thoughts and attitudes of our heart and that is why his word is often piercing to us. He is trying to separate us from living after our soulful nature and draw us to living after his Spirit nature.
An affirmation of the principle is suggested:
Affirmation: God knows my thoughts and the desires of my heart and that is why I am constantly examining heart and my thought process to be sure that God's thoughts are my thoughts.
The reflection section contains ideas questions and ideas which are good for personal reflection as well as for discussion in small groups:
Reflection: If God judges the thoughts and attitudes of your heart, as Hebrews 4:12 says, then what is his conclusion about your thoughts and the things you have in your heart? Examine your recurring thoughts and measure them by Philippians 4:8. How do you measure up?
The final section is a place to journal thoughts about the devotion and to write questions and ideas for small group discussion:
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