Yesterday, an echocardiogram revealed important information about my heart. I’m thankful the report was good.
During the procedure, I was amazed to see the inner workings of my heart on the screen. As the tech moved the probe around, some views showed all four chambers working in tandem, and some views showed how valves were operating. This technology enables cardiologists to assess heart health by observing the heart muscle at work and checking the efficiency of its pumping action.
Beyond the view of modern medicine, God sees into our heart of hearts.
. . . For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
–1 Samuel 16:7*
God knows my heart as no other. That thought led me to ask:
- What does God see when He probes the inside of my heart—the real me?
- Is my Christmas preparation pleasing to Him? (Sometimes my heart churns with “so much to do.” At other times, it’s filled with wonder that God loved me enough to lie on manger hay and later die for me.)
- Do my activities honor Immanuel, God with us, or simply fulfill the tasks I believe I must do?
- Is my worship fitting for the King of kings?
- Do I laugh enough and enjoy His presence and blessings?
Although sin must be confessed, the condition of our hearts should not create despair. Followers of Christ have the hope and assurance that God will continue to teach us and transform our hearts.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Another question I considered was, “What view of my heart is reflected to others?”
Whether engaging in conversation with me or glancing from a distance, do other people see the love, joy, peace, and patience of Christ, or do they see selfishness, frantic hurry, anxiety, and impatience? Do the yearnings of His heart shine through my countenance and words?
Father, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
One last question: What were hearts like at the manger?
Joseph must have had a humble heart after his appointment as the earthly father for the long-awaited Messiah. Maybe he was a bit overwhelmed, too, with the responsibility.
Heavenly Father, give me a humble heart as Your servant. When I’m overwhelmed, remind me that You always promise guidance like you offered Joseph.
Mary’s heart was filled with treasures as she pondered the happenings of that holy night in her heart.
Lord, speak to me from Your Word, and help me tuck the treasures you teach me deep in my heart so You may use them to echo Your truth.
The shepherds’ hearts were filled with worship—true worship in an outdoor cathedral illuminated by a star.
Abba Father, as I complete daily tasks this month, give me a heart of wonder and worship.
The busy innkeeper’s heart is unknown to us. Maybe he was indifferent to the traveling couple and the holy Child who occupied his stable. Did he hear the news later and regret missing the opportunity to sit at the feet of the Messiah? If so, did he spread the news to fellow businessmen?
Lord, I don’t want to miss an opportunity to praise and worship You due to seasonal rush. Lead me to take time to reflect and to share the good news.
A Christmas Prayer
Lord Jesus, be at home in my heart this Christmas. Remove the tinsel and wrappings of sin that clutter the space reserved for You. May my heart and countenance echo the joy and peace of the night in Bethlehem when You became Immanuel, God with us. Seal the majesty of the manger in my heart.
Dear reader friend, please tell me how I can pray for you this Christmas, and add thoughts you want to share below.
*Scripture verses are from the English Standard Version.