While leafing through a Greek-English Interlinear volume recently, my eye was drawn to an unusual compound Greek word I had never seen before. The “Heart-Knower” or Kardiognostes is commonly translated as “God who knows our hearts”. This compound word only appears twice in the New Testament, in the book of Acts.

In this scripture passage (Acts 15:8) the apostles were gathered at the Council of Jerusalem. Peter argued for the acceptance of the Gentiles through grace alone, rather than proselytizing them through circumcision under the Mosaic Law. God had given the Gentiles the gift of the Holy Spirit and cleansed their hearts by faith. God knew their hearts already, as the “Heart-Knower”.

At the end Peter declared, “But we believe we shall be saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus, just as they will.” (verse 11)

This compound Greek word also appears in Acts 1:24, where Matthias is chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. The assembled apostles prayed to God as “Heart-Knower of all men,” before casting lots.

All day I thought about God as the “Heart-Knower” and meditated on how all our thoughts are open to His gaze. Yet, I felt a calm sense of peace, as if the “Heart-Knower” holds us in His abiding care and love, regardless of our circumstances.

We are known and loved. Let us hold on to that.