The Hebrew understanding of ‘the heart’ included the emotions, but it also involved the mind, the conscience and the will. It means everything that is going on inside of you. It is your heart that matters. Your heart lies ‘open before the Lord’ (Proverbs 15:11). Only God sees and knows the heart of every human being (1 Kings 8:39).                                                                                           Proverbs 15:11-20 Your face often reflects your heart. ‘A happy heart makes the face cheerful’ (v.13)God is interested in your heart. This passage gives some wise advice on how you can feed your heart: ‘The discerning heart seeks knowledge’ (v.14); ‘A cheerful heart fills the day with song’ (v.15b, MSG).                                                                  Acts 14:8-28 Joy comes from the heart and is not necessarily connected with your outward circumstances. Sometimes you face difficulties in life, not because you are doing something wrong, but because you are doing something right.                                        This heartfelt joy is one of a variety of different kinds of hearts we see in this passage:     Faith-filled hearts(v.9).Fickle hearts (vv.18–19).Full-of-joy hearts -  God ‘fills your hearts with joy’ (v.17). Again, he is saying that the inside is so much more important than the outside.                                                                                                                          The better you get to know God – his heart, his character and his love for you – the easier it becomes to obey him with all your heart.

Prayer:Lord, you see my heart. May my heart be fully committed to you. You know how often I fail. Please forgive and have mercy on me. Thank you that you enable me to turn back to you each day. Thank you that you fill my heart with joy. Help me to follow you wholeheartedly each day.Thank you, Lord, that you see beyond the outward appearance into my heart. Through your Spirit within me, fill my heart with joy. May my face reflect the love and joy you put in my heart and bring encouragement and confidence to everyone I encounter.

The Last Word: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1                By Michael Brandsma from notes by Nicky Gumble, BIOY.