So, we began a new series a few weeks ago, which I have entitled “God’s Own Heart,” and this series of teachings is to answer the following question: “What is God’s own heart?” In other words, what does His heart look like? What is in His heart? And what are His innermost passions and desires?
So, we began three weeks ago by looking at one of the references that we have to David being a man after God’s own heart found in 1 Samuel 13:14 which says, “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
We saw that if we want to learn what is in the heart of God, we ought to look at the heart of David, since he was said to be after God’s own heart. Of course, David was flesh & blood and had a nature like ours. So, he is not a perfect reflection of God’s nature. However, we can look at a lot of things in his life, study his heart, and learn more about “God’s own heart.” So, that means that, as a general rule, the things he cared about, God cares about. The things he desired, God desires. The things he sought after, God seeks after. The things he focused on, God focuses on. And those last couple of sentences are what we looked at in part one of this series: What does God look at and what does He seek?
Last week, we talked about His love, and we found out that the undisputed most emphasized topic in the entire Word of God is love. Therefore, love must be the greatest part of His heart—for if love is talked about the most, then it must be what is in God’s heart in abundance. We verified this by that truth in Matthew 12:34-35 where Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So, if we want to know what is in God’s heart in abundance, all we need to do is study His Word and find out what He likes to talk about—and love is obviously the top conversation piece.
We proceeded to look at a passage of Scripture that verifies this--Matthew 22:36-39–-when Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” And the truth we learned last week is this: Would the Lord make such a fuss in His Word about love—namely, us loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbor as we do ourselves—if He was not doing this Himself? And the answer to that question is obvious: Of course, He does! Therefore, we learned that if He says that the greatest of all virtues is love (1 Corinthians 13:13), and if He says that the greatest of all commandments is love, then love must hold the greatest part of His heart! Amen? Yes, the Lord God loves you and me with all His heart, with all of His soul, with all of His mind, and with all of His strength! Amen!
Yes, love is what flows from God’s heart—not condemnation, not criticism, not ill-will—only love. We saw this from Jesus’ statement in Mark 7:21-22 where Jesus taught us something about the heart. He said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” Here, we saw how Jesus was teaching us that, when it comes to mankind, our hearts are deceitfully wicked and these are the things that proceed from our evil hearts. However, since God is good, perfect, holy, and love, the opposite must be true for His heart. So, out of the heart of God “proceed good thoughts (not evil thoughts), faithfulness (not adulteries), purity (not fornication), giving life (not murders), gifts (not thefts)…” Therefore, His mind—His thoughts, meditations, etc.—are only on good, not of evil (see Jeremiah 29:11)! This is the way God thinks!
But also, regarding the Greatest Commandment, Jesus told us to love our neighbor as we do ourselves, didn’t He? Yes, He loves you and I as He does Himself. What does this mean? It reinforces that awesome truth that God loves us just as much as He loves Jesus (see John 17:23)! Yes, He loves us just as much as He loved His Only Begotten Son! Hallelujah!
And, finally, we looked over at Matthew 6:21, where Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” and we learned that if we can find where God’s treasure is, then we can find out where His heart is also. And we learned that God’s treasure is in us!
We saw how the Bible teaches us that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” (2 Corinthians 4:7) and also that the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…” (Ephesians 1:18) Therefore, God’s treasure—Christ’s very inheritance—has been placed on the inside of every born-again believer! Glory! So we learned that this means that since God’s treasure is in us, then His heart is there too! Amen! In other words, God’s heart is with us just like His treasure is! Glory be to God!
We verified this by looking at those two Kingdom parables that the Lord Jesus taught us—the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price & the Parable of the Hidden Treasure (see Matthew 13:44-46). And we learned in both of these parables, that while there is certainly truth that we are like the man in these parables that sell all we have to purchase this treasure and pearl of great price, we would not have been able to even do this if Jesus Himself would not have done it first. Therefore, we saw how Jesus was first this merchant who sold all He had on the Cross in order to redeem us—all because we are that precious commodity in His heart! Thank you, Jesus!
That’s right, church—if where one’s treasure is, there their heart will be also, then God’s heart is most certainly with us because we are His treasure! As a matter of fact, if the Lord was constantly criticizing the religious leaders of His day for having hearts that were far from Him, then He is not going to be like that, is He? No, His heart is obviously not going to be far from us. On the contrary, His heart must be near to us! Yes, His heart is with us!
Church, love is the greatest thing on God’s heart. And do you know why? It is because God is love! He doesn’t just have love to give; He is love personified. In other words, agape is the core part of His very nature! Love is the greatest part of His heart! Amen!
GOD’S HEART OF WORSHIP
So, this week, I want us to move into a part of God’s heart that most are completely ignorant of. Yes, the thing I want us to focus on this week is something that most Christians simply cannot relate to—yet, it is a big part of who He is.
So, let me begin by asking you a question: What is the first thing that you identify King David with? In other words, when you think of David, what is the first thing you think of?
Some might have answered that when they think of David they think of Israel’s greatest king. Others might have recalled his faith and boldness in situations like his confrontation with Goliath. But probably for most of you, you first identified David with being a worshipper, and understandably so—for he was first a psalmist, and a great one at that!
David was undoubtedly used by the Lord more than any other man in writing all of these psalms that you and I benefit from today. In fact, 73 of the 150 Psalms in the Bible are specifically attributed to him by being referred to as “a psalm of David.” And if you add the two psalms (Psalm 2 & Psalm 95) that the New Testament attributes to David (See Acts 4:24-26 & Hebrews 4:7), you find that at least half of the Psalms (i.e. 75 out of 150) that we have recorded as Holy Scriptures were Davidic psalms. Therefore, it is rather clear that a big part of David’s heart was being a praiser and a worshipper of Yahweh.
So, you know where I am going with this, don’t you? Since David was a man after God’s own heart, then this heart of worship that He possessed just might also be a part of God’s heart. Yes, I believe that God too is a praise & worshipper like David was, and today I will show you why I believe this is true.
Now, let me first of all say, I do understand that God is not paying homage to anything or anyone else. He alone is God, and there is none other! So, He is not worshipping His creation in regards to reverencing and/or lowering Himself to us. That is His creation’s job—to worship Him in that respect.
Therefore, no one is arguing the fact that God lays prostrate before no one. However, if we do a careful study of what the terms “praise & worship” truly mean and also look at other Scriptures that illustrate this other side of God, we can get a glimpse into God’s heart of worship. Amen?
So, let’s first look over at passage of Scripture that will rock your world! Yes, you are about to get a different picture painted in your heart of Who it is that you praise & worship! Amen!
Now, first of all, let me give a quick lesson to the Wednesday Night, Spiritual Giftings crew: I overheard a lot of different prophecies being given this week during the exercise and several of them contained a lot of things that you will hear here in Zephaniah chapter 3 and also in this message today. So, here is a good lesson on how to judge prophecies: When someone gives you a word, a lot of times the Lord will confirm it through the corporate message you hear, like say through the pastor’s message on Sunday. And that is exactly what is happening here today—the Lord’s wisdom well at work. Amen.
In the third chapter of the Prophet Zephaniah’s Book, we have a beautiful description of our God’s own heart: Zephaniah 3:14-17 reads— “Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.’”
Notice, first of all, that Zephaniah is concluding his prophecy with a section of hope here. This was actually quite common in many of the major & minor prophets’ books—as there were continuous references in their writings of the salvation that would come in a later dispensation that you and I now live in. In other words, the gospel was forecasted in the Old Testament through the prophets—who prophesied of the grace that would come to us.
Concerning this, the apostle Peter said in First Peter 1:10-12– “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.”
The gist of what Peter was saying here is this—that many of the prophecies that were given through the major and minor prophets were not things that Israel would see fulfilled in their dispensation. Rather, some of these things that were given through them were written for us who are now experiencing the good news they spoke of! Glory to God! And Peter said that the blessings of salvation that we are walking in today are things that even angels desire to look into.
Now this phrase— “things which angels desire to look into” --describes how a child might curiously peer over a gate to see what was on the other side. Church, even the angels of God are interested in the glorious salvation that you and I have! This is one of the reasons I believe that the cherubim are positioned in such a way on the top of the arc of the covenant—that they might peer over into the mercy seat and see the glorious covenant that has been established between Christ Jesus and God the Father! Hallelujah!
In regards to this, we had a service a few weeks ago that a couple of you saw into the spirit and saw things like this: In one account, someone saw angels peering in through what looked like windows as little children peering over a gate to see what was on the other side. Also, while we were singing the song "Good, Good Father," someone saw Brother Don Van Hoozier, our founding pastor here at High Point Church who went on to be with the Lord a couple of years ago, looking down on the congregation, with his hands on something like a white picket fence, and nodding in approval. Then he turned his head and said to God the Father, "Lord, they're doing pretty good down there." Then when I took the microphone and began to sing and talk at the end of that song, he nodded in approval and clapped his hands in applause, and finally walked away.
Church, what we have today is so amazing! God desires for us to realize the so great of a salvation that we are a part of today! This is why the Lord, through the Prophet Zephaniah, told us to “Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!” Church, we have something to sing and shout about under our new and better covenant! As “Zephy” goes on to say, “The Lord has taken away your judgments (i.e. There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1), He has cast out your enemy (i.e. Behold, I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven – Luke 10:18). The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst (i.e. I will never leave you nor forsake you and the Holy Spirit shall abide with us forever – Hebrews 13:5 & John 14:16); You shall see disaster no more (i.e. He delivers us from all evil –1 Thessalonians 1:10 & Matthew 6:13).”
Then Zephaniah goes on to say, “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: ‘Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save…” So, based on all of these promises we have today, we never need to fear. We need to be strong because the Mighty One is with us! He will save—deliver, provide, heal, etc. Amen!
But notice what else the Mighty Jehovah does: Zephaniah goes on to say— “He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.’” Let’s look at another couple of translations of verse 17:
Now I guarantee you that this description of the Almighty has never entered into the hearts and minds of most believers. It certainly is true though! Our God actually rejoices over us with gladness and with singing! He celebrates us! He endeavors to refresh and renew us with His love! Amen!
HOW GOD PRAISES
So, this is what I want us to focus on this week—that our God is a praiser Himself! He rejoices in us! And He even has things (or in this case, people) that He “worships.”
Again, if David is a called a man after God’s own heart, then his heart for praise & worship will not be too far off from God’s heart, right? In other words, God is a good praise & worshipper Himself! No, not that He is paying homage and worshipping a higher being than Himself. But if we truly understand what these terms “praise” and “worship” really mean, then we can more easily swallow the fact that the Lord does some “praising & worshipping” Himself.
First of all, let’s look at the term “praise”: You see, according to the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, “praise” is defined as “to esteem, value, or prize.” Webster’s also adds this comment which I found very interesting— “It appears that praise, price, prize, are all from one root, the primary sense of which is to lift or to raise...” He goes on to say, “…and it may be questioned whether this (i.e. raise) is ‘praise’ with the prefix.” This is also where we get our word “appraise” from—which means to place an estimated value on something.
So, from this definition, “praise” literally means “to raise the value of or to lift up the price of.” In other words, you could say, praise means to esteem something or someone very highly. Therefore, if this is what it means to “praise,” how does one technically do it? Let me give you a few Scriptural examples:
In Second Samuel 14:25, the Scriptures say that Absalom was “praised” for his good looks. Does that mean that people went around saying, “I praise Absalom! Oh, I praise Absalom!”? Of course, not! Since it was his good looks that they were praising, this is probably what they went around saying— “Isn’t Absalom good looking!?! My, oh my, his hair is so beautiful!” This is praise!
Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Now, how will one generation praise God’s works to another? Is it not by them declaring and boasting in what God had done? Of course! They probably told their kids things like— “When I was your age, God parted the Red Sea and we walked across on dry ground! I’ve seen God do some miraculous things like defeat a whole army of men without us even having to lift a sword! I’ll tell you, He is a mighty God!” This is praise!
Last but not least, in Second Chronicles 5:13 we have a great example of true praise: It says, “… and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: ‘For He is good, for His mercy endures forever,’…” Notice that it says that they praised the Lord by saying something. In other words, they were praising God as they said something specific, and in this case, they said, “For the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever!” You see, this is a true statement of praise: to declare that God is good and that His mercy lasts forever is the praise of God.
So, from these examples can you see what it truly means to praise something or someone? It means to declare how beautiful and lovely it is to you! It means to boast in all that someone has done for you! It means to tell how good something or someone is!
Therefore, we ought to be able to see now how God can actually “praise” something or someone Himself—for if “praising” someone is not just saying, “Praise Joe” or “I praise Sarah,” but rather is simply talking about how wonderful we think Joe and Sarah are, then God can certainly be doing some “praising” Himself. Amen?
HOW GOD WORSHIPS
Well, what about worship—How does God worship? The word “worship” literally means “to adore, honor, or respect.” If you look at the word in its simplest form it says “worth-ship” which means “the state of being worthy, or worthiness. This describes the object of one’s worship being excellent in character and of great worth and value. Therefore, worship simply means to adore someone because of the great value and worth you place upon them in your heart.
So, if this is what worship really is, then we can see how God might do some “worshipping” Himself, right?
Let me give you an example of this from our own life: Our little dog, Bluesy (for some reason or another) loves to sit there and stare at me. And, no, not just when I have some food or she thinks she’s going to get something. No, sometimes that dog will just sit there and stare at me for no reason whatsoever. Well, there have been times when Shannon will say, “Awww, look at Bluesy adoring daddy.”
I bring this out because, what have we just seen? We are the apple of God’s eye! His attention is on us! And you could say that He is watching over us because He adores us! Yes, God is constantly adoring each and every one of His children. And why? It is because He places great value on us! And the gospel is this—He adores us because He sees us as “worthy” of this form of honor, adoration, and love. Amen!
LOVE BELIEVES THE BEST
Now the simplest way to explain all of this is with how we, as parents and grandparents, love and honor our children/grandchildren.
The apostle Paul said, in First Corinthians 13:7, that love “believes all things, hopes all things.” Now we know that God is love, so all of these descriptions of love listed in First Corinthians chapter 13 describe God, right? Therefore, God also “believes” and “hopes” all things. In fact, if you replace the word “love” with God in First Corinthians chapter 13, verses 4 through 6, you get a better picture of who God is.
So, what does this verse mean? It means that God believes the best in us. He expects (i.e. hopes) that we are the best. This is why you see Jesus seeming to expect a lot out of His disciples. It is because God, as Romans 8:31 says, is for us and not against us. He is our biggest fan and is actually rooting for us.
This is why I like to call God the ultimate little leaguer parent. You know how the parents of little leaguers can be completely irrational and blinded to the weaknesses of their children, right? Their kid can be one of the worst players on the team, but their parents think they should be batting clean-up or starting at quarterback. The reason these parents are like this is because they love their children so much that they believe in them. Yes, they expect all the good that they see in the child to come out in the game. That is how God is! Not that he is blinded to our shortcomings, but He does not focus on them. In His love, He chooses to focus on the potential that we have and looks beyond our current weaknesses. This is what love does! It believes, trusts, and hopes in the object of its love! Amen!
So, no, He does not praise & worship us like we do Him, but He does “praise” us like we praise our children and grandchildren, or “adore & love” us like we do our spouse. It’s all about relationship, church! And God’s heart is for us like our hearts are for those whom we love.
WITH ALL MY HEART
So, in light of all of this, I believe we can look into David’s heart of praise & worship in the Psalms and hear God’s heart as well. Let’s look at a few examples (for there are far too many for us to cover today), but look for God in these statements of praise & worship.
In this last example, we see how the Lord “blesses (us) at all times.” This really shouldn’t be a foreign concept to us either—for if He continuously tells us to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4), then why would we think He doesn’t do the same with us? Yes, church, our Lord always rejoices in us! And let me throw this in here: Just as He has told us to rejoice in Him always—not just when situations are ideal or our circumstances are favorable—likewise He rejoices in us always—even when we aren’t on our A-game and are not as holy & righteous as we should be. He rejoices in us always! Praise the Lord!
Again, God practices what He preaches. And so, if He desires us to have a heart of praise, love, worship, and rejoicing, then it is because His heart is to first love us in like fashion. He loves to praise His children, saying all manner of good things about us! If God had a wallet, I believe He would carry our picture around in it!
He loves us so much, church! And it’s high (point) time, we embrace this, so that our lives can reflect His love all the more! Amen!
So, we have been studying God’s heart for a few weeks now, and we have been seeing deeper and deeper into His unconditional love and amazing grace. It has been awesome!
We have seen how the Lord has given us a grand invitation to search and know His heart. We have seen how we are the apple of His eye and that He delights in us. In short, we have been learning in these first two parts of this series how God has set us before Him and His focus is on us—because He loves us! So, let’s talk a little bit more about this love today.
THE GREATEST OF THESE
You know, when studying the Word of God, there are several things that we see that are certainly emphasized: One would be faith—faith is a big deal in the grand scheme of God’s plan of salvation. Another would be mercy & justice—the Lord’s pet peeve (as I like to call it) is the failure to remember the poor, widows, orphans, etc.—for He desires mercy not sacrifice. But if we had to single out just one thing that the Lord emphasizes the most in the Bible, the undisputed subject would have to be LOVE. Yes, according to God’s Word, love is what it is all about.
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, after his chapter devoted to love, the Apostle Paul said, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
What he was saying here is that now—on this earth, before the Lord returns and sets up His eternal kingdom—we operate in these three cardinals of Christianity: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of all three of these is love. Why? It is because love is the only one of these three that we can operate in now on this earth and also that we will walk in on that day when we see Him face to face. (Not that we won’t ever use our faith or hope in the kingdom of heaven, but our faith will be turned to sight in that day and we will be experiencing all of those things that our hope is in now).
So, love is the greatest of these! This word “greatest” comes from the Greek word where we get our word “mega” from. So, we could say, love is the “mega virtue” of the Kingdom of God!
In fact, the Lord inspired the Apostle Paul to tell Timothy that the whole purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, sincere faith, and a good conscience (see 1 Timothy 1:5). That means that even the entire Old Testament was written to promote this mega-virtue! In other words, the Holy Scripture—from the Old Testament to the New Testament—has always pointed towards love.
Jesus Himself verified this in Matthew 22:36-39 when asked by the lawyer, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And Jesus responded with— “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Therefore, love—both loving God and loving one another—is obviously at the top of the list of God’s passions and desires!
And here is another reason we can be persuaded that love is His heart: It is because if the Word of God emphasizes love more than anything else—In other words, if love is talked about the most—then it must be what is in God’s heart in abundance. Amen? Why do I say that? It is because Jesus said in Matthew 12:34-35 that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So, if you want to know what is in God’s heart in abundance, study His Word and find out what He likes to talk about. Amen?
But allow me to draw your attention back to what Jesus referred to as the “Greatest Commandment”— Would the Lord make such a fuss in His Word about love—namely, us loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbor as we do ourselves—if He was not doing this Himself? Let me ask you this way—Does the Lord practice what He preaches? You can sure of that! Hallelujah!
So, guess what? If He says that the greatest of all virtues is love, and if He says that the greatest of all commandments is love, then love must hold the greatest part of His heart! Amen? Yes, the Lord God loves you and me with all His heart, with all of His soul, with all of His mind, and with all of His strength! Amen!
Let me give you an example of this: How does God love you and I with all of His mind?
In Mark 7:21-22, Jesus taught us something about the heart. He said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” Is it just me or could Jesus maybe have stopped halfway through this list? 😊 So, here, Jesus was teaching us that, when it comes to mankind, our hearts are deceitfully wicked and these are the things that proceed from our evil hearts.
However, since God is good, perfect, holy, and love, the opposite must be true for His heart. So, out of the heart of God “proceed good thoughts (not evil thoughts), faithfulness (not adulteries), purity (not fornication), giving life (not murders), gifts (not thefts)…” Need I go on? Therefore, His mind—His thoughts, meditations, etc.—are only on good, not of evil (see Jeremiah 29:11)! And why? It is because He loves us with all of His mind! Amen!
But back to the Greatest Commandment: Jesus also told us to love our neighbor as we do ourselves, didn’t He? Yes, He loves you and I as He does Himself. What does this mean? It reinforces that awesome truth that God loves us just as much as He loves Jesus (see John 17:23)! Yes, He loves us just as much as He loved His Only Begotten Son! Glory to God!
Now let’s look at a couple more of the sayings of Jesus and take a deeper look into God’s heart…
WHERE IS GOD’S HEART?
Jesus also said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” So, where is God’s treasure then? Well, what does the Bible say? It says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” Paul also told us that his prayer was that we would come to know, through the wisdom and revelation, what are the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…” (Ephesians 1:18) So, evidently, God’s treasure—Christ’s very inheritance—has been placed in us.
So, if this truth that where our treasure is there our heart will be also is a universal truth (and we ought to believe it is), then since God’s treasure is in us, then His heart is there too! Amen! In other words, God’s heart is with us just like His treasure is. Glory to God!
Let’s consider two Kingdom parables that the Lord Jesus taught us—the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price & the Parable of the Hidden Treasure (see Matthew 13:44-46): Now there are two ways that you hear of these two similarly themed parables being interpreted. One is that the treasure and pearl illustrated in these two parables are the Kingdom of God itself and we are the man and the merchant who discover it. Then, having found this precious commodity, we sell all we have for the joy set before us by laying down our lives for the cause of the kingdom. Therefore, most believers see these parables as how the disciple of Christ will react once discovering the kingdom- we will forsake all to experience the life of the kingdom. This is probably the most common interpretation of this Scripture.
Secondly, these two parables have also been interpreted that the treasure and the pearl is us, and the man or merchant that sought out and found the church was Jesus. The Lord then forsook all He had to purchase us by first leaving His glory in heaven, becoming a man, and then ultimately by giving up His life for us on the Cross. So, this interpretation could be summed up by saying that Jesus sold all He had in order to redeem us as His own.
So, as I have considered both of these possible interpretations, I asked the Lord which one was correct. Is it that the treasure/pearl is your kingdom and the salvation one experiences when entering your kingdom or is the treasure/pearl the church that You died for? Is the man/merchant us discovering the kingdom or is this person Jesus who was seeking after us? As I asked the Holy Spirit these questions, He responded to me saying that the answer is both. Yes, He told me that both interpretations are correct because, as He put it to me, you cannot have one without the other. Let me explain:
You see, the Lord never encourages us to do anything that He Himself has not already first done. Always remember that. He, as any good leader, will first practice what He preaches. And these two parables perfectly illustrate this principle of God’s kingdom.
The Lord was first this man/merchant in these parables: He discovered this kingdom in first seeking out and saving we who were lost and paying His all to purchase us out of the world. Thus He began His kingdom by seeing a valuable treasure and pearl of great price that was hidden to the naked eye. He came to seek and save that which was lost and paid the greatest price to redeem us- that pearl of great price and that treasure hidden in the field.
Now there was a slight difference in both of these parables in regards to this interpretation:
In the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, after stumbling upon the treasure in the field, he did not simply attempt to attain the treasure. No, he paid the price to purchase the entire field- knowing that in purchasing the field, He was purchasing the treasure hidden in the field. What a wise God we serve!
What we see here is that the Father saw such great value in the treasure that was hidden in this field that He decided to purchase the whole field itself. This paints a beautiful picture of the lengths that love will go to redeem the object of its love. And in this illustration, we can see how God paid the price for the whole world and not just for those who would receive His call for salvation. In other words, He paid for all man’s sin, not just the redeemed people’s sin. He went to such great lengths to offer this free gift of salvation to the whole world to where all one needs to do is receive the price paid- the blood of Jesus. Then, if they receive the price that was paid to redeem them, all other sin issues are taken care of. But if they reject the lamb who was slain for their sins, then the reject the gift of salvation.
But did not Jesus pay the price to redeem all of mankind, He also paid the price to redeem all of the world itself. Yes, this planet which has thrown into a sin-cursed state when Adam sinned, was also purchased, ready to be redeemed when Jesus returns, bringing with Him the new heavens and the new earth. Come Lord Jesus, Come! Amen.
Now the point I want us to understand about these two parables is how Jesus chose to describe us- as a treasure and a pearl of great price. Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in the greatness of the price that was paid that we totally miss the value of the object that was being paid for. Now, please understand me: This is in no way an attempt to diminish the focus on Jesus’ precious blood. Oh, how we should always pay great honor and reverence to His redeeming sacrifice! But at the same time, we need to realize that if God were willing to pay such a great price for us, then we must have had some value as well.
Do you believe God is a wise investor? Well, He did choose the Jewish people, did He not? Yes, saints, the Lord knows how to make a sound investment. Well, do you think He would have paid that high of a price if there was not some comparable value in the item he was purchasing? Of course not! No, He paid such a great price for us because of the great value He saw in us. Thank you, Jesus! He saw a treasure in each one of us and He saw a pearl of great price in this church that He saw in His heart to create!
And this wonderful day that you and I are walking in the reality of was also forecasted by the prophets: In Malachi 3:17, God prophesied that the day would come (that being this church age that we are now in) when we would be His and that we would be made His “jewels”, or the Hebrew says “His own special, priceless treasures.” God has placed His priceless jewels in each one of us. That’s why Peter said in 1 Peter 2:4-5 that Jesus is the “living stone” that is chosen by God and precious and that we also, in Him, are “living stones” chosen by God and precious. We are Living Jewels!
So, if where one’s treasure is, there his heart will be also, then God’s heart is most certainly with us because we are His treasure! Therefore, love is the greatest thing on God’s heart. And do you know why? It is because God is love! He doesn’t just have love to give; He is love personified. In other words, agape is the core part of His very nature! Love is the greatest part of His heart! Amen!
Last week, we began a new series which I have entitled “God’s Own Heart.” Obviously, this title comes from that very popular Biblical reference to David where the Holy Spirit called him “a man after God’s own heart.” However, while we usually tend to look at that description of King David from the standpoint of – How can we become a person after God’s heart like David was? – I want us to look at it a little differently in this series: I want us to look at this phrase from the standpoint of – “What is God’s own heart?” In other words, what does the heart of God look like? What is important to Him? What are His innermost passions and desires? For our heart describes our innermost passions and desires.
So, as I explained last week, in this series we will learn about God’s true nature and what His heart is for you and I. We will see how much He loves us and what else He loves, honors and desires. Therefore, we should walk away from this series of teachings in awe of God’s heart for us and also understanding how we can love Him better ourselves.
So, we began by looking at one of the references that we have to David being a man after God’s own heart which is found in 1 Samuel 13:14. In this verse, the Prophet Samuel said to King Saul, “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
So, here we have that oh so wonderful title given to David as being the one that the Lord sought for Himself, a man after God’s own heart! But again, we are not looking at this from the traditional viewpoint; I want us to look at this phrase “a man after God’s own heart” from a different perspective.
You see, if we want to learn what is in the heart of God, we ought to look at the heart of David, since he was said to be after God’s own heart. Of course, David was flesh & blood and had a nature like ours. So, he is not a perfect reflection of God’s nature. However, we can look at a lot of things in his life, study his heart, and learn more about “God’s own heart.” So, that means that, as a general rule, the things he cared about, God cares about. The things he desired, God desires. The things he sought after, God seeks after. The things he focused on, God focuses on. And those last couple of sentences are what we looked at last week: What does God look at and what does He seek?
You know, one way to know what is in one’s heart is to consider what they seek and are focused on. In other words, what someone spends their time in search of and what they focus on is what their heart deems important. Therefore, if we can see what God is looking at and looking for, we can get a glimpse into His heart.
We began looking at this in 1 Samuel 16:7 where the Lord told Samuel--“Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So, since the Lord chose David to be the next king of Israel, this shows us that he had a heart that mirrored God’s own heart, because the Lord was looking at and for a heart like His! So although David did not have it all together, what he did have was a heart after God. He loved God with all of his heart! He knew the God of Israel! And, last but not least, he had a heart to praise God!
On top of that, we saw in Psalm 139:1-6, 23 that not only did God know His heart—inside and out—David had a heart that was open and transparent, inviting even a more thorough inspection of his heart by God. He said, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.” But then he goes as far as saying later in this same Psalm, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties.”
However, we looked at these words in the 139th Psalm a little differently. We read them as if they are God’s heart-cry for us—and we saw that God’s heart is that we would “search Him and know Him, that we would know His sitting down and His rising up, that we would understand His thoughts from afar off, and become acquainted with all of His ways.” Amen! So, not only does God want us to have this heart like David’s to where we invite Him to search and know our own hearts; He wants us to search and know His own heart! Yes, He wants us to know His ways like Moses did, and not just his acts like the children of Israel (see Psalm 103:7). Yes, the Lord’s heart is that we all, from the least to the greatest, would come to know Him (see Jeremiah 31:34)! Praise the Lord!
But we also saw last week that not only does God look at our hearts and also desire for us to know His own heart, but He is also looking for a certain kind of heart. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
We saw how this verse reveals to us that God is constantly scanning the earth in search of something. He is on a search to find someone that He can bless and prosper, someone that He can anoint and use. This verse puts it this way - “to show Himself strong” through. In other words, God is looking for a people that He can manifest His glory through! And whom did it say that He shows Himself strong on behalf of? “Those whose heart is perfect towards Him” (KJV)
And we saw that this “perfect heart” describes a heart that is “complete or entire.” In other words, it is a heart that is fully or wholly inclined towards the Lord and, therefore, describes being “whole-hearted.” So again, God is not looking for perfect people; He is looking for people with perfect hearts—that is, people whose hearts are fully devoted and in love with Him.
But again, if this is God’s heart—to seek out and search for a heart that is perfectly and completely devoted to Him—then this must be His heart as well. Amen? Yes, church, our God’s heart is perfect towards us as well—that is, He is totally committed to us and loves us unconditionally and completely! Glory to God!
We saw this heart of His reflected in Luke chapter 15, where we have a beautiful description by the Lord Jesus of God’s heart to seek out the lost. We saw in this chapter, how we have the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Lost Son—all three parables meant to illustrate to us God’s heart for the lost being found and to show us how heaven rejoices over one lost sinner who turns to the Lord!
So, we ought to get a glimpse of God’s heart through this chapter—that He is searching for the lost! He is looking for those who have the heart to follow Him! And He does this because we are valuable to Him: We are that precious sheep that is worth something to Him! We are that silver coin that is valuable to Him! We are that son and daughter who is precious to our Heavenly Father!
Finally, we looked over at the 63rd Psalm and saw a little further into God’s heart: In it, King David says, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:1-2)
So, we looked at this from God’s perspective and from His own heart: First of all, He says to us—“Early will I seek you…” So, we saw how He is saying to us—“That’s the first thing I do! My priority is you!” So, even with having the responsibility for running the entire galaxy, you and I are His first priority! Glory!
Then we can see Him going on to say: “My soul thirsts for you, My flesh (if I had it) longs for you.” You see, this is why we are His priority; it is because He thirsts and longs for us! Where? In this dry and thirsty land we call earth—learning that God cares more for us than He does anything else that He has created, including the earth and this entire galaxy. In fact, we saw how God actually used more strength in creating our salvation than He did in creating the earth, sun, moon, and stars! Wow! That is an awesome truth!
Therefore, we saw in part one of this series, that God’s heart is searching for us because He loves us so immensely. Yes, He is looking for those with “perfect hearts” because His own heart is “perfect”—a heart of “perfect love”? (see 1 John 4:18).
So, today, I want us to move into another big part of God’s heart. You see, His attention and focus are on us and He seek after us for a reason—and that is because He delights in us! No, He is not looking in you to find fault, He actually likes you! He doesn’t just love you because that is who He is or because He has some sense of showing mercy towards us as our Creator. No, He actually delights in you!
I want you to notice something that David said in the 18th Psalm. Now we are told that this particular psalm was written by him “who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” Therefore, this song was written by David to acknowledge the Lord for “saving” him from all of his enemies. And he begins this particular psalm by saying, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies…” Then he goes on to say, beginning in verse 17— "He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me…” (Psalm 18:1-3, 17-19)
I want us to pay particular attention to verse 19. Again, David says, “He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted me.”
Now, first of all, notice that it says that He brought us out into a “broad place.” The word used for “broad” here literally describes a “wide, roomy, large place.” I see this place David describes as a type of the kingdom of God, and I’ll get more into this in a moment.
But then he said, “He delivered me…” How many of you know that, like David here, He has delivered you too! Yes, He has delivered you from the hand of all of your enemies! Glory to God! Don’t just be carnally-minded here either—we are not just talking about physical enemies; we are talking about our spiritual enemies.
In fact, you know that when we use the term “saved” that literally means “delivered” (among other things). So, when we say that we are “saved,” we are declaring that we are “delivered.” You see, sometimes we make the mistake of not understanding even our own Christian terms—for when we are evangelizing, we ask someone, “Are you saved?” and they respond— “Saved from what?” How would you respond to that? Through Christ, we have the opportunity to be “saved or delivered” from sin’s penalty and dominion—from iniquity, transgressions, trespasses, sickness, disease, weakness, poverty, depression, etc.
Colossians 1:13 says that “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” Notice that it does not say, “He is delivering us…” or, “He will deliver us…” No, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to declare to all of God’s children for all time that He has delivered us from the power of darkness. The word for “power” here is exousia, meaning “authority.” Therefore, we already have been delivered from all of the authority of the kingdom of darkness. Glory to God!
Didn’t Jesus tell us—Behold, I give you all authority over all the power of the enemy (Compare Matthew 28:18-20 & Luke 10:19)!?! And in Christ, we have been delivered from all of his power and authority in our lives! Therefore, I don’t ask the Lord to deliver me from anything—for I believe He has already done it!
So, when it comes to our salvation, we have already been delivered! But this passage of Scripture doesn’t just show us what we have been delivered from; it reveals to us what we have been delivered unto—namely, the kingdom of the Son of His love! Glory! Yes, church, that is the “broad place” that David prophetically spoke of God bringing us into!
But why did He do all of this? Why did God deliver us? Well, as I’ve made the point of already, He didn’t save and deliver us because He felt obligated to or because He would have felt guilty if He didn’t. No, this passage of Scripture explains exactly why He delivered us?
Notice again that David said, “He delivered me because He delighted in me.” So, say it together with me—He delivered, saved and rescued me because He delights in me!
Now this word “delighted” is, therefore, a very important word for us to understand—for this was His motivation for saving us.
When you look up the Hebrew used to translate this word “delighted” you find that it means, “to desire, be pleased with, and have pleasure in.” (Strong’s) Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies says that the primary meaning of this word seems to be “to bend towards” and metaphorically describes the bending towards of the will. Therefore, it implies the entire or full inclination towards an object or a person. So, this is where they get the word “delight” from—for when one’s will or desire is bent towards something or someone, their heart is for that thing. Yes, they delight in it, are pleased with it, and take pleasure in it. I once heard one minister say that this word simply means that He loves us very, very much!
So, can you see God’s heart for us here? He actually “delights” in you and I! No, He doesn’t just tolerate us. He doesn’t just put up with us. He actually takes pleasure in us!
Someone might say, “Yeah well, maybe He delights in us when we do what is pleasing to Him, but I can’t see Him taking pleasure in me when I am the way I am right now.” Let me reason with you by looking at probably the most popular verse in the entire Bible.
In that very popular passage of Scripture, we have a truth that most believers have not wrapped their heart around. It is John 3:16 where Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
So, why did Jesus say that God the Father gave us Jesus so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life? His entire motivation for this, our salvation, was because He “so loved the world.”
Now there are two very important parts to this phrase: One is that He didn’t just love the world; He so loved the world! That means that this was not just a casual, generic, normal kind of love. That would have been far beyond what we could imagine—that He would even love us in our lost and sinful condition. But for Him to so love the world shows us the depth, width, height and length of this love He has for us!
Secondly, Jesus here didn’t say that God so loved the “righteous,” or His “children.” It says that this immense love that motivated Him was for the “world.” Yes, the lost, cursed, dying world that had sinned and fallen short of His glory! That is who He so loved and what motivated Him to provide the Way of salvation! Glory to God!
So, here is a good question then—Have things changed today? Does God still “so love” us now that we are saved and delivered? Sure, He does!
In fact, in Romans 5:6-11, the Apostle Paul reasoned along these same lines when he said, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Let me explain to you what Paul was saying here in a nutshell. He was saying that if God sent His Son to die for us and so loved us when we were ungodly, His enemies, and still sinners, how much more will He love, bless, be gracious, etc., now that we are His covenant people!?! Glory!
Therefore, it would not be out of place for a born-again child of God to say, “I am so loved!” In fact, you could say—I am the disciple whom God so loves! Amen! So, yes, God delights in us! He so loves us! We are the people of His pleasure!
HOW GOD SEES US NOW
Of course, this does not mean He is pleased with all you and I do. But He is pleased, however, with all that we are in Christ! Let’s take a quick look over at Colossians 1:21-23 and see how God views us now that we are in Christ.
The apostle Paul begins by saying in verse 21— “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works…” Let me ask you something: do you still see yourself this way? In other words, is this the picture you see when you look at your Christian life? If most were honest, they would have to say that this description is what they can more readily identify with. But this is not who we are anymore, church. This verse says, “And you, who once were…” No, this is who we were, but not who we are any longer.
So, what are we now? I’m glad you asked. Take a look at the next phrase in verse 21: “…yet now He has reconciled.” And what have we just learned? We are now reconciled because God wanted us reconciled. In other words, we are reconciled because He wanted us close to Him again. You see, God does not think you stink. It’s us who has that “stinking thinking,” not God. You have been washed in the blood and bathed in the perfume of the Anointed One and His anointing. Now we put off the aroma of Christ and put a sweet smell in the nostrils of God. Glory!
Paul goes on to say that we have been reconciled “in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” If this verse doesn’t light your fire, then your wood is wet! Saints, this is what we need to identify with!
We now, in Christ, have been presented unto God as, first, holy. That means that you already are holy in the spirit. That is why Paul keeps addressing us in his letters as “saints.” The term “saints” means “holy ones.” Again, this doesn’t mean we are perfect in our deeds, but it does mean that we are set apart and pure in the spirit.
Secondly, he says and we are “blameless.” The Greek word used here means to be faultless and without blemish like an animal sacrifice under the Old Covenant was supposed to be. So, what does that mean? It means we are not the runt of the litter anymore! We are “top shelf”—that is, the ones inspected and approved by the Master. Like the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, we are the choicest parts of the sacrifice! Hallelujah!
Thirdly (and I love this one), Paul says, and we are “above reproach in His sight.” The phrase “above reproach” literally means “not called in,” or “not called to account.” This describes a total absence of charges on our account. In other words, the slate has been wiped clear! Glory! So, not only are we without blemish, all the charges have been dropped! And this is true “in His sight.” The word “sight” here literally describes “to look down in”—denoting a deep and penetrating gaze. Now we know that God sees all and there is no blemish that is hidden from His sight! So, through the blood, we have been completely washed and made clean to where even God’s deep, penetrating gaze cannot see any faults in us! Thank you Jesus!
So now, the only thing that can condemn us today is us. Paul goes on to say in verse 23 that all of this is true “if indeed you continue in the faith…” In other words, the only way to lose is to quit. The only way to be condemned is to agree with our adversary. The only way to not stay holy, without blemish, and above reproach in His sight is to leave. Amen.
But the truth is that when it comes to God’s sight, we are “right”—that is, we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! This is how He sees us now!
THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE
In fact, Zechariah 2:8 gives us a beautiful prophetic promise. It says, “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you (seemingly, a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ); for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”
In Psalm 17:8, we see how David knew that He was the apple of God’s eye when he said, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye. Hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”
So, how could David claim to be the apple of God’s eye? Could he just say this because it was before his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah? Did he forfeit this claim after he committed such sins? I don’t believe so because we know that He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to pen these words. And, what about us? Surely, we can’t lay hold of this title as being the “apple of God’s eye”, can we? We know how far we have fallen from God’s glory. We know our sin. We know what we have been thinking in our hearts. So, how can we be the apple of God’s eye?
It is because we are in the True Apple of God’s eye! You see, at the baptism of Jesus, the voice of God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus was, is, and evermore shall be the very apple of His Father’s eye.
However, when it came to Jesus, instead of protecting Him at all costs like we always do with our eyes, the Bible actually teaches us that it pleased Him to bruise Him, His beloved Son (see Isaiah 53:10). Have you ever read that and wondered how God the Father could do that to Jesus? Moreover, how could it actually “please” Him to put Jesus on the Cross?
The answer is simple: He did not get pleasure in causing to suffer; what pleased Him was how it would cause all of us to be redeemed, forgiven and made righteous once again! His pleasure was in us—and both He and Jesus were willing and happy to do what They had to do for you. Therefore, because of the True Son of David, we have become the apple of God’s eye. We are now the beloved sons and daughters of God. He has His eye on you. He protects you. This is the Gospel!
Now when it comes to this phrase “the apple of His eye”, we often think that this is referring to fruit, but it really has nothing to do with a physical piece of fruit. So, what does this phrase really mean? The “apple of the eye” is the pupil of the eye—which is the center of the eye. In fact, the Hebrew word used here describes “the little man of the eye.” Have you ever looked someone in the eye and seen your own reflection in their pupil? That is the “little man,” right in the center of the eye.
So, here in this phrase “the apple of His eye,” we see a big part of His heart: We are the reflection of His heart. We are where His focus is and, therefore, what He seeks to cherish and protect. Yes, God guards us as the apple of his eye.
And that leads us to an interesting point—some have said that the pupil is the part of the eye that is subject to more acute pain than any other part. So, what that ministers to me is that what hurts the heart of God the most is the pain of his people. Yes, His children’s pain is His pain as well.
Just think about how we guard our eyes. If someone or something were trying to hurt our eyes, we would throw our arms up because we are far more willing to take a temporary bruise on our arm than a permanent injury to our eyes. Amen? Yes, you are willing to suffer that pain in your arm to protect something more valuable to you—in this case, your eyes. Well, that’s exactly what the Father did for us on the Cross—it pleased Him rather to bruise His arm to protect the apple of His eye (Compare Isaiah 53:1)! Glory to God!
David said in Psalm 101:3-8, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.” Another translation of this word for “wicked” here is “worthless.” So, if this was David’s heart, then we can see God’s heart—He too sets nothing worthless or wicked before His eyes. Therefore, if His covenant people are the apple of His eye, then you must not be wicked or worthless anymore. Amen?
In Psalm 16:8, David’s heart declared, “I have set the Lord always before me...” What about God? I believe He would say to us today— "I have set you always before Me!” Just imagine then—you are like God’s favorite piece of art that He proudly sets before Him, just because He enjoys looking at you.
In Ephesians 2:10 we are told that we are God’s own “workmanship”, created in Christ Jesus.
Now when this says that we are His workmanship and created in Christ Jesus, what part of us is it referring to? Well, obviously it was not referring to our bodies as the part of us being changed because if we were bald headed before we got saved, we were bald headed after we got saved. Obviously, it was not referring to our souls either because our mind did not miraculously change when we got saved. So, the part of us that became a new creation and a product of His workmanship had to have been that third and final part of our being (i.e. our spirit) right? Yes, it was our spirit that was recreated in Christ at the moment we were born again and is a product of God’s workmanship.
So, what does this mean that we are His “workmanship”? This word comes from the Greek word poiema which is where we get our words “poem” and “poetry” from. As a matter of fact, this word poiema came to describe something that was a product of an artist’s handiwork or artwork—like say a sculpture or a painting. Therefore, this word describes something that is a product of one’s creativity and artistic abilities. Oh, hallelujah! Do you see where this is going?
So, when the Apostle Paul said that we are God’s “workmanship” here in Ephesians 2:10, you could translate this that we are God’s own work of art! Better yet, since God—who has to be considered the most creative and wonderful artist ever to exist—is the one who designed and sculptured our spirit, then you could say that we are His masterpiece! Hallelujah! Did you get that?
You are God’s own handiwork, His work of art, and His masterpiece! You have been created in Christ—beautifully and ornately fashioned by the Creator, who is the epitome of creativity and artistry! And let me assure you in the worst English that I can: God don’t make no junk! If you are His workmanship, then you are perfect, complete, and beautiful! There are no flaws in your spirit man!
In fact, do you know the reason why your spirit is flawless? It is because you have received the spirit of Christ Himself! That is why Paul said in this verse that you were created (i.e. recreated) in Christ Jesus. It is because it is in His image and in His likeness that you have been designed!
So, let’s use the analogy of a painting or a sculpture to describe what happened in your spirit when you were born again. When God took your dead spirit, where no good thing dwelt and painted/sculpted you into a new creation in Christ, what He did was He painted on the canvas of your heart the likeness of Jesus Christ! What He did was He sculpted, as the potter sculpts the clay, a full image of Jesus Christ Himself in your inner man! So, He made you all that He is because you are in Him and He is in you! Praise be unto God!
Understanding this is what will make truths in the Word of God such as we are the righteousness of God, we are saints, and we are beloved, easier to accept! It is because it is not our righteousness! It is not our holiness! It is not a matter of how lovely we are! You are accepted, forgiven, redeemed, saved, righteous, holy, and loved because of who He is in you! So, when the Father looks into a born again, child of God, He is not looking at our faults and shortcomings; He is looking at the beautiful image of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is what makes us God’s masterpiece!
The reason the majority of the church has trouble accepting this is because most identify themselves by who they are in the flesh. But as 2 Corinthians 5:16 says, we are no longer to judge anyone according to the flesh, and that includes ourselves! We are to form our opinion of our self by looking at the inward man, the hidden man of the heart. To not do so, is to look at an extremely valuable painting and to estimate its value solely by the frame that holds the painting itself. This, of course, is utter foolishness! I mean, who goes to the Musee du Louvre in Paris to see the original Mona Lisa painting and stands there admiring only the frame and not considering the portrait inside the frame? No one does that! So why do we only focus on our earthen vessel and not consider the treasure that has been placed within us?
Friends, in the eternal part of you has been placed a beautiful and perfect masterpiece! So, let’s begin to focus on what is important and what is eternal! God placed a priceless treasure in our hearts the moment we were born again. Let’s esteem it! Let’s give attention to the new creation we have been made in Christ!
So, why is this so important to understand? It is because when you come to truly know in your heart how important you are to Him, how much He loves you, how His delight is in you, and how you are the apple of His eye, you will be more prepared and equipped to give Him the other desires of His heart. Let’s conclude this teaching by looking a little further into this.
THE DESIRE OF HIS HEART
In Psalm 37:4, we have another very popular passage of Scripture—one that many Christians hold on to dearly. But I want us to flip this verse as well and see God’s heart in David.
This verse says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” So, what David was clearly saying here is that when a believer “delights” him or herself in the Lord, then He will give them the desires of their heart—not meaning that He will give us any, old flaky thing that we want just because we are delighting ourselves in Him. What this means, rather, is that when we are truly delighting ourselves in Him—that is, loving Him and having hearts that are pursuing Him and His things—we will already have desires that are in line with His desires, and therefore, will get the desires of our heart. Clear as mud?
In short, when you and I are taking pleasure in Him, loving Him with all of our hearts, and desiring Him, then our desires will be in accordance with His will. Therefore, we can expect that He will give us those desires that delight in Him. Amen?
So, what about God? Since David wrote this, let’s flip it and see God’s own heart: As we have seen, He delights Himself in you! Oh yes, and guess what else is true therefore? We have the capability of giving Him the desires of His heart. Glory to God! What I mean is that as you and I receive His love, pleasure and delight over us, we can actually give Him what His heart desires—which is our heart, our fellowship, our love, etc. Oh yes, when you and I receive His love and let Him delight in us, then we are giving Him what His heart desires—which is a people who will let Him love them.
You see, in 1 John 4:19 we are taught that we love (the word “Him” was not in all of the Greek texts. So, let’s leave it out and see what this verse means without it) because He first loved us.
So how are we going to be able to love God and love God’s people if He hasn’t first loved us? We won’t and we can’t. Sure, He loves us all already, but if we have not tasted His goodness, experienced His love and seen His grace, we will have a major uphill battle to loving the brethren. Why? Because we cannot give away what we have not first received.
This is why I consider the revelation of God’s love for you and I to be the single greatest revelation that we can ever receive! Why? Because if we receive His love for us and it has truly impacted our hearts, then we are in the best position possible to fulfill the Great Commandment of loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves!
You see, people reveal how much of God’s love that they have received by how much of God’s love that they are walking in. In other words, we reveal how much we see and understand God’s love for us by our own love walk. We see this in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant because what Jesus was teaching us in this parable is that if we receive such a grand and glorious amount of forgiveness from God, then we ought to forgive our brothers and sisters the much smaller debt that they might owe us.
So, when we see His love for us and receive it, then we have the standard by which we are to love others with. Amen?
AS I HAVE LOVED YOU
Now in John 13:34 Jesus said that we are to specifically love one another “as I have loved you.”
So how can we love one another as He has loved us if we have not experienced that love for us first? In other words, how can we fulfill this commandment if we haven’t experienced this love personally? We can’t! Well, when Jesus said this to His disciples we understand that He was specifically referring to how they had personally experienced His love over the past three years.
So, my question to you is—how does this apply to you? You didn’t physically walk with Jesus for three years and personally experience His love. So how can we relate to this and actually obey this new commandment? Sure, we can try to love one another, but how can we love the brethren as Jesus has loved His disciples if we didn’t personally experience what His disciples did? That’s a good question, isn’t it?
Let me ask it this way—What if Jesus’ disciples would have never experienced that love themselves? They would have only been able to emulate what they had experienced themselves, right?
This is the problem with so many believers: Many have never experienced much love at all. Many had unloving parents and no good role models of true love in their life. Therefore, they cannot relate to anything close to the love of God because they have never received the example. So, if this is you, I have the solution: you can receive this love of Christ by faith.
You can respond with— “God, I choose to believe that you love me. My parents might not have told me or showed me love. But I choose to believe that what you feel towards me is real and it is true whether I feel it or can relate to it or not.” When you make that heart adjustment to choose to believe it, you have taken the first step to experiencing His love in your life. It is when we approach the love of God in unbelief that we are further away from experiencing His love than ever.
But what you most commonly hear is, “I just can’t relate to God loving me because my momma this or my daddy that…” Friends, that Christian is not creating an environment conducive to experiencing His love. No, first you must believe it by faith and then the feelings will follow.
So today, begin to receive this good news by faith. Begin to believe that He so loves you, and that is what has motivated Him to provide your salvation. Begin to believe that He has delivered and redeemed your life from destruction because He actually, really does, “delight” in you. Receive His grace and love and experience the heart of God today! In so doing, you will be fully equipped to do all of the works that He Himself does—because you will have in your heart what He has in His own heart. Amen.
So today, I want us to begin a new series which I am entitling “God’s Own Heart.” Obviously, this title comes from that very popular Biblical reference to David, where the Holy Spirit called him “a man after God’s own heart.” Our heart being our innermost passions and desires.
However, while we usually tend to look at that description of King David from the standpoint of – How can we become a person after God’s heart like David was? – I want us to look at it a little differently in this series: I want us to look at this phrase from the standpoint of - “What is God’s own heart?” In other words, what does the heart of God look like? What is important to Him? What are His innermost passions and desires?
So, in this series, we will learn about God’s true nature and what His heart is for you and me. We will see how much He loves us and what else He loves, honors and desires. Therefore, we should walk away from this series of teachings in awe of God’s heart for us and also understanding how we can love Him better ourselves.
So, let’s begin by looking at one of the references that we have to David being a man after God’s own heart which is found in 1 Samuel 13:14:
First of all, in 1 Samuel chapter 13, we have the confrontation between the Prophet Samuel and King Saul. This was, of course, when Saul made the mistake of sacrificing to the Lord without waiting for Samuel first. This angered the Lord, and so when Samuel arrived, he said that Saul had done foolishly and had not kept the commandment of the Lord. Then he said something we should all take note of: At the end of verse 13, he said, “For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.”
That, church, is an amazing statement - it shows us that the Lord’s original intention was that there never be a King David. In other words, His plan was for Saul and his descendants to reign over Israel forever! Therefore, David was simply “Plan B.” Now it would seem that David was God’s plan all along because of all of the good things that happened through him, but the truth is that God had originally planned to use Saul to do these good things and possibly even greater things than those that David did. But I guess we will never know because Saul forfeited his throne and David was next in line.
I bring this out though because we need to understand that God’s plans and purposes are not automatically fulfilled. In other words, God could have planned to make a specific individual the next great evangelist to the world, but because of some poor choices on their part, Billy Graham was next in line to be His voice to the nations. Church, we have a part to play in the whole grand scheme of things. Just because the Lord has called and invited us to play a part in His kingdom’s purposes does not mean that we cannot reject all that He has in His heart for us. Yes, church, we can both limit what God has for us and even walk away from His purpose for us altogether.
I know that this is a sobering thought, but we need to understand this lest we “throw away our crown” like Saul did. Saints, we would much rather reap the same fruit as Paul (the apostle), not Saul (the king of Israel). But as far as David is concerned, there is a sure-fire, bonified way to position ourselves to be as fruitful as possible. And that is to have the heart that He had - God’s own heart.
A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART
Now notice what Samuel went on to say in verse 14:
“But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:14)
So, here we have that oh so wonderful title given to David as being the one that the Lord sought for Himself, a man after God’s own heart! But again, let’s not look at this from the traditional viewpoint; I want us to look at this phrase “a man after God’s own heart” from a different perspective.
You see, if we want to learn what is in the heart of God, we ought to look at the heart of David, since he was said to be after God’s own heart. Of course, David was flesh & blood and had a nature like ours. So, he is not a perfect reflection of God’s nature. However, we can look at a lot of things in his life, study his heart, and learn more about “God’s own heart.” So, that means that, as a general rule, the things he cared about, God cares about. The things he desired, God desires. The things he sought after, God seeks after. The things he focused on, God focuses on. And those last couple of sentences are what I want you and I to look at today: What does God look at and what does He seek?
You know, one way to know what is in one’s heart is to consider what they seek and are focused on. In other words, what someone spends their time in search of and what they focus on is what their heart deems important. Therefore, if we can see what God is looking at and looking for, we can get a glimpse into His heart.
Now the way I want us look at this is by looking at what David was both looking at and looking for - for in learning where his attention was, we can see what God is still looking at and for today. Amen?
GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART
And 1 Samuel 13:14 teaches us a very important truth - that God is focused in on the heart. In other words, He is looking at the heart of man.
Do you remember what God told Samuel when He sent him to Jesse’s house to anoint for Israel a new king later on in 1st Samuel? He said, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
When God was looking for the next leader of the children of Israel, He did not look for the one who seemed qualified outwardly; He sought the one who was most qualified inwardly - that is, in the heart. He anointed David – a man after His own heart – to be the next king. And the fact that he had a heart that mirrored God’s own heart was the key to being the one God chose and anointed!
You see, David did not have it all together, but what he did have was a heart after God. He loved God with all of his heart! He knew the God of Israel! And, last but not least, he had a heart to praise God! His heart was a reflection of God’s own heart!
If you look at the lives of, not only David, but of all those who God used mightily and blessed abundantly, you will see this one common trait - they had a heart after God. Although their lives were filled with imperfections it was as if God did not even see their flaws. God’s heart is for our heart to be all His.
Actually, if you just glance through the Bible without giving any real thought to what you are reading, the Bible will give you the impression that these men and women of God were perfect. But that is far from the truth! None of them were perfect. Some were liars, prostitutes, idolaters, gossipers, doubters, loudmouths, drunkards, unethical, immortal, etc. And the list could go on and on.
But what God does is this: He looks beyond the natural, carnal things that we tend to look at. Rather, His focus is on our hearts, and when He finds a man or woman whose heart is like His, He has found a vessel that is capable of honor. And that is what God did with David: He found a man that was young, bright-eyed, and “ruddy” looking (whatever that means). Now the church used to sing that old song “Bringing in the sheaves,” and Jesse Duplantis said that when he was child he used to remember singing that song, not having a clue what a “sheave” was. And he saw some women who came to church that were “hard on the eyes” and he was just sure that was those “sheaves” they were singing about. LOL! But it doesn’t matter, church, how “ruddy” or “muddy” you might be, God looks beyond the physical and at our hearts! Thank, God!
SEARCHING AND KNOWING HIM
Regarding Him looking at our hearts, this means that He knows us inside and out. David said some interesting things regarding this in the 139th Psalm: In the first 6 verses, he said, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.” (Psalm 139:1-6)
So, David was saying here that our God has searched us and knows us, inside and out. But then he goes as far as saying later in this same Psalm, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties.” (Psalm 139:23) So, David was in essence inviting God to search his heart even further - thus another indicator of the good heart he had.
Now we’ve made the point already that if David had a heart after God’s own heart, then his life – his words and his actions – would mirror God’s heart (as a general rule). So, let’s look at these verses in Psalm 139 a little differently. Let’s read them as if they are God’s heart-cry for us: God’s heart is that we would “search Him and know Him – that we would know His sitting down and His rising up – that we would understand His thoughts from afar off – and become acquainted with all of His ways.” Amen!
So, not only does God want us to have this heart like David’s to where we invite Him to search and know our own hearts. He wants us to search and know His own heart! Yes, He is inviting you and I to know Him and His ways, to comprehend Him and become acquainted with Him. Just as Moses was said to know not just the “acts” of God, but also His “ways” (see Psalm 103:7), the Lord’s heart is that we all, from the least to the greatest, would come to know Him (Jeremiah 31:34)! Glory!
As the Lord told the Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, He invites you and I today to not just look at some vague, abstract view of Him (i.e. His outward appearance) such at His acts, like the children of Israel – that is, what He does or what He will do. These things are important, don’t get me wrong. But He wants us to look deeper – at His heart – and discover why He does what He does! He wants us to know His ways and to know Him like Moses did. And the more we get to know Him, the more we will love Him.
Someone might say, “Yeah, well, the Bible does say, brother, that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts!” (see Isaiah 55:8-9) To which I would respond - First of all, He was talking to the wicked there (see verse 7), not to the righteous. Secondly, we are no longer wicked servants. Jesus invited all of His disciples to be His “friends.” And one of the benefits of now being His friends is that while a servant didn’t know what His master was doing, a friend does. Therefore, Jesus promised to make known to us all of the things that He Himself has heard from the Father. (John 15:14-15) Amen! And not only that, but in Psalm 139:2, David asked the Lord to search him and know his “thought(s)” afar off. Therefore, I believe the Lord would have it that we would know His high and lofty thoughts - for we are His friends and a greater than Moses is here now! Glory!
And, again - it is not our own holiness or righteousness that is going qualify us to know Him; we will know Him in proportion to our hearts being inclined to search for Him. In other words, we will know His ways in as much as we are hungry to know His ways. Yes, we will know the Lord to the degree that we want to know Him.
GOD’S GREAT SEARCH
But, again, although David and all of the other great men and women of God who did great things for their God had many imperfections, they all had a heart after God and loved Him more than the things of this world. So, what can we gather from this? We can gather that God is not looking for perfect people; He is looking for people with perfect hearts!
Let’s now take a look at 2 Chronicles 16:9 - for this verse very plainly states what God is looking for and what He desires: In 2 Chronicles 16:9 we are told, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
This verse reveals to us that God is constantly scanning the earth in search of something. He is on a search to find someone that He can bless and prosper, someone that He can anoint and use. This verse puts it this way - “to show Himself strong” through. In other words, God is looking for a people that He can manifest His glory through! And whom did it say that He shows Himself strong on behalf of? “Those whose heart is perfect towards Him” (KJV)
So, what does it mean to have a “perfect heart?” As we read, the word “perfect” is translated “loyal” in the New King James version, but neither of these two words fully express the idea the Holy Spirit was trying to convey to us. This word comes from the Hebrew word salem which means “to be complete or entire.” It carries the idea of being “whole or full.” This word salem is a derivative of the more well-known Hebrew word shalom. This word, commonly understood as meaning “peace,” means much more than that. It carries the idea of being totally blessed - complete and entire, lacking nothing! It carries the idea of possessing total peace in our life - spirit, soul, and body - with nothing missing and nothing broken. The word shalom is derived from this word we are looking at salem, with salem bringing in the idea of something that is full, complete, and whole. So, when applied to our heart, salem describes being “whole-hearted.” It describes having a heart that is fully and completely “towards” God. The word “towards” denotes a heart that is totally turned towards God and, therefore, a person who is seeking Him whole-heartedly.
So, what 2 Chronicles 16:9 means is that God is looking for those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him or those who are whole-heartedly seeking Him. He is seeking those that have this kind of heart after Him so that He can manifest His glory through them. Again, God is not looking for perfect people; He is looking for people with perfect hearts! That is, people whose hearts are fully devoted and in love with Him.
Allow me to reiterate to you: our imperfections and weaknesses are not the issue. It’s our heart that God is concerned about. God never called or continues to call perfect people. They all had problems and made mistakes. You can go down the list - Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Peter, and even David. None of them were perfect! They all had their faults just like us.
However, the Bible never really magnifies all the Old and New Testament saint’s faults. That is why so many Christians seem to be oblivious to the fact that the saints of old made mistakes and were not perfect. Everyone just seems to think they were saints (that is, holy and righteous), but that was not true! And you have to really read into and think about their lives before you can see their blunders. Why? Because the Bible does not focus on their weaknesses; it simply places their names in the Faith Hall of Fame of Hebrews chapter 11! Glory to God for His mercy!
And the Gospel is this: God is not focused on our mistakes and weaknesses either! God covers our sins because God is love and love covers a multitude of sins! If we were to really consider some of the mistakes and imperfections of those that God used to change the world, we would be shocked.
But the fact is, God is scanning this earth, looking for the people whose hearts are after His own heart. And these are not necessarily those that are the most righteous and holy according to our standards; it is simply those who recognize their need for Him and whole-heartedly are willing to follow Him.
THE LOST ARE FOUND
Do you recall what the Lord Jesus said in the Gospels to those who seemed to be the most “religious?” In Luke chapter 15, we have a beautiful description by the Lord Jesus of God’s heart to look for and seek out the lost.
In this chapter, we have three parables – all told in response to the scribes’ and Pharisees’ criticisms of Jesus for receiving and eating with “sinners.” We have the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Lost Son. Again, all three of these parables were meant to illustrate to us God’s heart for the lost being found.
In the first parable, He explains how if a man has a hundred sheep and loses just one, that he will leave the ninety-nine to go search for the one. Then, He says that when this man finds the one who was lost, he rejoices and invites others to rejoice with him. Then, He tells a similar parable of a woman who has ten silver coins and loses one. So, after turning her house upside down, she finds it and asks her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. Finally, He tells the story of what we call the “Parable of the Prodigal Son,” which based on this context might better be called the “Parable of the Lost Son.” And when the lost son is found in this story, there is a big party with rejoicing. Jesus told these parables to show these scribes and Pharisees that this is how it is in the kingdom of heaven - heaven rejoices over one lost sinner who turns to the Lord!
So, here is the point of these three parables: God is searching for the lost! He is looking for those who have the hearts to hear Him! And He does this because we are valuable to Him: We are that precious sheep that is worth something to Him! We are that silver coin that is valuable to Him! We are that son and daughter who is precious to our Heavenly Father!
Church, we are extremely precious in God’s sight! He seeks us because He loves us and because we are important to Him. And He does this because we are in His heart! Amen!
IN A DRY AND THIRSTY LAND
Regarding God’s desire to seek and search for the lost and for the perfect heart, let’s look over at the 63rd Psalm and look a little further into God’s heart: In it, King David says, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:1-2)
Again, let’s look at this from God’s perspective and from His own heart: First of all, He says to us - “Early will I seek you…” Now when David said this, he obviously meant, “The first thing I’m going to do in my day is seek You.” In other words, David was expressing to the Lord that he was going to give Him the first part of his day. But this is the Lord’s own heart! So, He is saying to us - “That’s the first thing I do! My priority is you!” Did you hear that, church? Even with having the responsibility for running the entire galaxy, you and I are His first priority! Glory!
Then we can see Him going on to say: “My soul thirsts for you, My flesh (if I had it) longs for you.” You see, this is why we are His priority; it is because He thirsts and longs for us! Where? In this dry and thirsty land we call, earth. You do know that He created the earth for us, don’t you? There are many out there who believe we were created for the earth, but that is not biblical. He made the earth for us! We are the reason He spent much more time on this particular planet and made it far more detailed and beautiful than all of the other known worlds.
Let’s go over to Psalm 8:3-8 and see in more detail how much more important we are than the rest of His creation:
In verses 3&4 we see God’s work in creation: Now if we truly consider the greatness of God’s creation like the moon and the stars, we should think something similar. What is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you visit (i.e. give attention to or care for) him? It is absolutely amazing that God created all these huge, wondrous, and amazing things but that He still has His “mind-full” of us (and He gives attention to and great care for us)! But I would say this, that God is not just more mindful and attentive of us than for the rest of creation, but He actually created all of the rest of creation for us!
Notice how verse 3 says that God’s work of creating the sun, moon, and stars was the work of His fingers. This means that it only took the strength contained in God’s fingers to create the universe around us. Now I am being comical here, but imagine God turning to Michael and saying, “Look Michael, check this out… (and He’s balancing the moon on His pinky).”
Now Psalm 102:25 says that when He laid the foundation of the earth and the atmosphere around it that He exerted a little more effort. It says that, unlike the other planets and stars that He made, with this planet He used His hands. This is pretty obvious when you consider the other planets out there that we’ve been able to explore. None of them are as beautiful and detailed as the earth. Why is this? Why did God put forth more effort on this planet than the others? It is because earth is the planet that God chose to place those created in His likeness and image! He made this planet in all of its beauty because He was going to place His most prized possession - His children - on it!
But did you know that God actually exerted more of His strength on one other thing? Yes, there is actually a verse where we are told that God had to use more than His fingers and more than His hands.
Isaiah 53 is probably the most detailed explanation of redemption that we have in the whole Word of God. This chapter foretells what those sufferings of Jesus on the Cross produced in our life - “Surely, He has born our sicknesses and carried our pains. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” So how much of an effort did He have to make to produce so great a salvation? Well, Isaiah 53:1 says, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
So, God actually had to use more strength in creating our salvation than He did in creating the earth, sun, moon, and stars! Wow! That is an awesome truth! So, with the original creation God only used the strength of His fingers and hands; but with the new creation, He used all the strength of His mighty arm! This ultimately shows how important we are to Him because, if He put forth more effort to save us than He did to create all that we see, then we are of very great value to Him. Amen!
So, Psalm 63:2 concludes by Him saying to us: “So, I have been looking for you in my presence (i.e. in my sanctuary) in order to see your power and your glory.” So God’s own heart for us would be expressed by Him saying, “I have been looking for you in My presence, in order that I might show myself strong in and through you and make my power and glory known.” Amen!
But again, church, it all comes back to us. Even though this is God’s heart - our heart is our own responsibility. It is our job to respond to His heart and to open the door to Him in our lives. Will you and I have those “perfect hearts” that are open to His “perfect love”? (see 1 John 4:18) This is who God is seeking - the lost who will let themselves be found. Let Him find you today!