And the heart-observing God bare witness,—unto them giving the Holy Spirit、 just as even unto us;” (Acts 15:8, EMPH)

Peter to the council at Jerusalem as they try to decide whether or not Gentiles who come to faith in Jesus ought to be required to keep the Mosaic Law [they do not].  Part of his argument is that Gentiles received the Holy Spirit just as the Jews who followed Jesus did.

What I love here is the translation “the heart-observing God.”  We worship a heart-observing God which is either one of the greatest things about his character, or one of the most terrifying, depending upon the state of your own heart.

It’s terrifying if you’re a hypocrite, an actor, someone who puts on a show for the sake of reputation and standing within a community, but who has no true life in God.  The heart-observing God knows.

It’s comforting when you realize that you don’t have to hide things from God.  God knows your heart, he knows your thoughts, he knows your inner struggles and cares and worries because he is the heart-observing God. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28, ESV) says the Son of the heart-observing God. “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7, ESV) writes Peter concerning our heart-observing God.  Who wouldn’t desire to serve a God like this?