In Acts 1:24-25, the disciples, seeking God’s direction for a man to fill the apostleship vacated by Judas, prayed: “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which of these two You have chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship …”. The Greek Bible text of this prayer reveals a name for God that perhaps you have not heard before:

The English phrase “who know the hearts” is actually one word in the Greek text: “kardiognosta”. It is a compound word, literally, “heart” (kardio) “knower” (gnosta). What a great name for God: “Heart-Knower”!

This name was never specifically used of God in the Old Testament, although its truth is taught there. In Jeremiah 17:10 God says: “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind.” The Greek “kardiognosta” is used in only one other place in the New Testament, in Peter’s address to the Jerusalem council in Acts 17:8, where he reminded the church: “God, who knows the heart …”.

It is a good reminder to us yet. How many times are we fooled by the appearance or apparent winsomeness of people — but God is not. He knows the hearts of all — even ours! We may fool other people, but we cannot deceive Him. Just as He reminded Samuel, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)

This is such an inherent part of Who God is, that the disciples gave Him this name. We can use it of Him too: “Kardiognosta” — “Heart Knower”!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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1 Response to “Heart-Knower”

  1. Marc Taylor says:

    Praise God!
    The fact that He fully knows our hearts gives us assurance that He understands all of our intentions and in prayer we can share everything with Him – since He knows it all anyway!

    The second use of “kardiognosta” is in Acts 15:8 (not 17:8).

    Thank you for your article.

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