BY: JOHN DRIVER
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Jeremiah 17:10 (NKJV): “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Sometimes you read a scripture and it confirms all your worst fears about God. God is searching me? Shining His huge holy spotlight upon me?
Ideas like this are one of the main reasons so many people are reticent to approach God or the things of God. “I knew this was what God was like! I just can’t take all the judgment!” And in reality, if God were to indeed give each of us what we deserve… “according to our ways,” how could any of us—from church-goers to church-haters—stand under such divine scrutiny?
But there is good news. God’s searching is deeper than just judgment. It is not that kind of test. The Hebrew word for “to search” can also be translated “to taste.” God is not just sitting on a high throne somewhere casting down judgment upon puny human garbage. He is in the garbage pile with you. Searching for you.
Not just judging your heart, but tasting your heart.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: When a judge in a courtroom renders a judgment or a sentence, the gavel falls and then it’s done. He returns to his chambers, takes off his robe, gets in his car, and goes home to eat dinner with his wife and family. And though there may be a mental strain he carries from the judgment he has rendered, he does not have to go into the jail cells with those who have stood before his bench. He does not wear the orange jumpsuit or feel the iron bars.
But a judge on a cooking show is different. When he tastes something, he is affected by it. Pleased by it. Poisoned by it. It is ingested and thus becomes a part of him, for better or worse.
God is indeed the universal Judge, but make no mistake, He is not rendering impersonal sentences from a distant throne. Judge Jesus (I hear they are making a new daytime show about Him) came to this earth—your earth—and tasted the hearts of man. He ingested the experience and the result was His own poisoning. It was a lethal dose.
But He loved your heart enough to die for it.
And since Jesus tasted humanity’s poison and let it destroy him… and then came back from the dead to tell about it, now you can stand before the Judge with confidence. If and when we ingest the antidote of His daily grace, we can be confident that our poison no longer affects God’s judgment of us.
Now we are free to be transformed into to something God finds delicious.
PRAYER: Jesus, I know that I could never stand under Your righteous judgment, but I can stand under Your grace. So I accept your antidote and invite your searching. Change me into that which is pleasing unto you. I rest in Your judgment, for I trust in Your grace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When I am not working as the Young Adults Pastor at Life Assembly, I am a covert agent for the CIA. Past missions include extracting hostile, yet crucial young assets from the Chic-Fil-A playground before they were ready to leave. They really needed a bath before bed. I have also found myself many times vacuuming crumbs off my bed with a full-sized vacuum cleaner and wondering what planet I was on. I thought I saved the world once, but it was really just a turtle crossing the street. I like yelling at people when I drive; it gives me many chances to pray later. I like writing ridiculous bios about myself just to see who really reads far enough to find the ridiculous part. My wife has endured me for thirteen years and I reward her with my mediocre appearance and many distractions and projects. I cheer for the Vols when they are good and bad. They rarely cheer back. I like music. Oh yeah, and I write books.