A Life with a Tender Heart

A tender heart is the opposite of a heart that is hardened or cynical. A tender heart is often found in a young child who has not yet been hurt by people or disillusioned with life. One of the greatest gifts that parents can give their children is to love them as Jesus would love them so that their heart will stay tender toward the Lord.

Proverbs 4:3,4 When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;

A tender heart is a teachable heart and one that believes in God. We are all brought into the world believing in God. We have to be taught that there is not a God. Children want to come to the Lord and the Lord says that those who come to Him as a child will receive His kingdom and He will receive them into it.

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

We must be converted and become like children to enter His kingdom. A child has a tender trusting heart and the Lord wants us to come to Him with a tender trusting heart just like a child comes to One whom he can trust.

Matthew 18:3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Our hearts must become tender like the heart of a child so that we will have the faith of a child. A child will simply trust those whom they know love them. The Lord wants us to trust Him just as a child has a trusting heart. When we come to Him we become His child.

Romans 8:16,17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We may have to come to Him in faith that He will change our heart and make it tender if we have gotten older and no longer are trusting. He gives us a new heart and it is a tender heart. Keep it tender toward Him by listening to Him and trusting Him.

II Chronicles 34:27 Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord.

When our heart is tender toward the Lord then we will humble ourselves before Him and hear His words. He will hear us when we cry to Him and weep before Him, just as a loving parent hears the cries of their child.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

When our heart is tender towards others then we will forgive them just as God in Christ has forgiven us.

Mark 8:17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?

A lack of faith and a hardened heart go hand in hand. Do you want to grow in your faith? Is your heart tender toward the Lord as it was when you first came to know Him or when you were a child? Ask the Lord to help you if you find that you are having a hard time believing Him or difficulty in forgiving someone. Ask Him to give you a tender heart towards Him and others. If we ask anything according to His will then He hears us and we know that He wants us to be tender-hearted.

I John 5:14,15 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

 

 

 

A Life with Love Has An Enemy

Love has an enemy that wants to destroy it and the people in the relationship where love is. God is love and there will only be true love where God is but there is one who hates God and he will do everything he can to destroy what the Lord establishes. The Lord is the One who brings people together in marriage.

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

The Lord made the marriage to be between male and a female. He joins them together and they become one flesh. They are no longer two but one. The Lord’s blueprint for marriage is that the two people are to stay married until one of them dies and then the length of the marriage has been completed. However, the devil hates what God has ordained and he tries to destroy the love, the marriage and the people in the marriage. The enemy of love is not flesh and blood but it is spiritual forces.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

Struggles will come in any marriage but if you recognize who the real enemy is then you can stand firm together and resist him.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

As both of you, or even if one of you, will recognize the real enemy then you can resist him and he will flee. You must be strong in the Lord and you resist him through submitting to God and in the strength of God’s might. He will have to flee.

But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. II Corinthians 2:10,11

Do not be ignorant of his schemes. He wants one of you to harbor unforgiveness in your heart. We all wrong each other and hurt each other, and often we are not even aware of it. If you will learn to forgive quickly then that keeps Satan from getting a foothold in the marriage. The Bible says that he is “an accuser of the brethren”. He wants to accuse each one of you to the other. He might say, something like, “If he really loved you then he would not do that.” Not so, for a man often does not know what will hurt his wife. He has to learn to live with her in an understanding way. It does not come naturally.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way,

I peter 3:7

In the same way, a wife needs to learn how to respect her husband and love him the way that God designed. It is different from the way a wife “wants” to be loved. She will often love him the way she wants to be loved and the man will do the same. The older women are instructed to teach the younger women how to love their husbands.

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:4,5

This word love in “to love their husbands” means that they are to want their husbands. A man marries a woman because he thinks that she wants him. If she does not communicate this after marriage then he will feel rejected.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

The devil will do what he can to get the man to not love his wife and to get the woman to not respect her husband. It takes two to destroy a relationship. A marriage is only dysfunctional if both people are not doing what the Lord called them to do. If only one person is disobedient then that person is dysfunctional and the obedience of their partner will help them become the wife or husband that the Lord called them to be.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I Peter 3:1,2

Marriage relationships are work but when they work the way the Lord designed then they are the sweetest relationships on earth. They are a taste of heaven to the marriage partners and they are salt and light to the rest of the world. When each partner does the work that God has called them to do and be the spouse that God designed them to be then God is glorified.

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4

A Life that Knows a Great Love

Once you know a great love your life will never be the same. You can endure anything if you know that you are greatly loved and there is nothing that can separate you from that love. Everything else in life pales in comparison to a great love. There is only One who offers a great love and it is offered to everyone.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

This love is unfathomable. We can never understand it that the God of the universe wants to adopt each one of us into His family to be His child and to be called His beloved. Not only that, but once we become His child then He starts making us like Him, who is perfect and is love. He calls us Beloved, which means that He wants us to Be-Loved by Him. How do we become a recipient of this great love? How do we come into His family and become one of His children?

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

To become His child you must be born again not of the will of the flesh or the will of man but it is the will of God. It is His will that you become His child. You were destined to become His child. He designed you for Himself. He is the only One who intimately knows you and loves you in spite of all of your failings and faults. He loved you when you were at your worse and there is nothing that you have done that prevents Him from loving you. He died for you to reconcile you to Himself and to save you from the devil, the world and your own self.

Romans 5:8-10 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Your sins are covered by His blood and His love for you. His love covers all of your sins once you belong to Him.

I Peter 4:8b because love covers a multitude of sins.

Not only are your sins covered by His blood but they are separated from you and they are remembered no more.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Once you come to know this love you will want to stay in this love. This great love that the Lord has for you is a relationship that is mutual and for that reason you will not want to do the things you did before but you will want to please Him with all of your heart. There is nothing that can separate you from this great love which is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:38,39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

A Life that Knows Tender Mercy

Unless you know the heart of the Lord then it may be hard to understand that He has tender mercy and wants you to know His tender mercy towards you. Yes, He is a holy God and can not even look upon evil and yet He came to show us His tender mercy and bring us to Himself.

Luke 1:77-79 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

God sent Jesus into our dark and fallen world, because of our own sinful ways, to give to us the knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. It is because of His tender mercy towards us that motivated Him to come visit us with salvation. He not only wants to save us and forgive us but He wants to guide our feet in the way of peace. The Lord comes and visits us but we need to recognize our time of visitation. Has He come to you? Jesus wept over the people in Jerusalem because they did not recognize their time of visitation.

Luke 19:41-44 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Has anyone ever come to you and spoken God’s Word to you? Consider that it may be the Lord who is coming to you. It may be your time of visitation if you have not yet come to receive Him and know Him.

Matthew 10:40 He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

If you have come to know Him and are a believer then keep your behavior excellent among others so that they will have no cause to slander you (but if they do let it be because of your good deeds that they misinterpret) and will on account of your life glorify the Lord in the day of their visitation.

I Peter 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The Lord loves you and it is His love and tender mercy that is calling you to Himself. He came so that He might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh for our sins and was made alive in the spirit.

I Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

Come to Him and experience His love and compassion. He is gracious and abundant in His love for you. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is His love for those who will come to Him and honor Him as Lord and Savior.

Psalm 103:8-13 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

There is nothing greater than knowing the tender mercy and compassion of God. It is eternal life to know Jesus Christ and when we know Him then we will count all things to be worthless in comparison to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him. When we come to know Jesus Christ then we will want to press on to know Him more.

Romans 11:33a  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

 

 

A Life that Is Clean Within

Whenever we sin we feel dirty on the inside. We can wash ourselves and clean the outside of our bodies but we can not clean the inside. Just as it is such a good feeling to be clean on the outside after we have become dirty even so it is even sweeter to be clean on the inside after we have sinned. All of us have sinned and need to be cleansed from within.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

However, the Lord offers cleansing to all who come to Him.

Ezekiel 36:25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

After Jesus Christ cleanses us on the inside He then gives us a new heart that wants to obey and please Him.

Ezekiel 36:26-28 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Not only does He cleanse us and give us a new heart but He also saves us from our uncleanness and blesses us. He also removes our shame. The Bible says that sin is a shame to everyone who does it and the Lord removes our shame.

Ezekiel 36:29,30 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

We will also loathe what we did earlier when we sinned against the Lord before we came into a relationship with Him.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.

Not only does He cleanse us completely from our sin and gives us a new heart but He continues to cleanse us when we sin again, which we will do, but now we will hate it when we sin. However, His Word has a cleansing effect and for this reason when you do sin then you need to get into His Word.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

When you sin you need to confess your sin and He will forgive you and cleanse you.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It is crucial that you spend time with the Lord after you sin so that you might be restored in your fellowship with Him. Your sin does not break your relationship with Him because once you become His child then you will always be His child. However, our sin breaks our fellowship with the Lord and we need to be restored.

Psalm 19:7a The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

When you are forgiven, cleansed and restored then you will once again see the Lord.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

When you see Him then you will see that He loves you and longs to bless you. You will long for Him.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.

You will also see Jesus in His beauty and you will get a glimpse of that sweet heavenly home that we will one day go to and be with Him forever.

Isaiah 33:17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will behold a far-distant land.

 

 

 

 

 

A Life that Has Victory Over Temptation

Temptation is something that we all struggle with and we are sorry when we give into temptation. There is something within that tells us right from wrong. If we give into temptation then over time wrong will no longer seem wrong but will seem right and then we end up self destructing. We can see it clearly in others but the wrong that we ourselves do has blinded us to our own destruction.

James 1:14,15 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

The word “lust” in the Greek in this verse literally means desire. A desire that is outside of God’s will and standards is a lust. It can be overeating, laziness, sex, drinking and anything else where we want to indulge our flesh and we know that it is wrong. When lust is conceived it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death. Do not be deceived. Sin brings forth death and with death comes defeat, guilt and regret.

James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

The devil wants you to sin because he wants you to experience death and destruction. Sin brings destruction to soul and body. The devil came to destroy you. He is a thief. He wants to rob you of your worth, peace, joy, and everything else that is good.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

The devil only uses one weapon to get you to sin and that is a lie. He is the father of lies and he continually tells you lies hoping that you will be deceived and believe one of his lies. He will want you to think that whatever that temptation is, that if you will do it then you will be happy. He will appeal to your flesh, your eyes and the boastful pride of life. He will also tempt you to take things into your own hands to even meet your own needs. If he can get you to compromise for any reason then he has won the battle. If you are a Christian then he has lost the war, for you belong to Jesus, but the devil can still cause you to lose the battles in your daily life so that you will live a defeated Christian life.

John 8:44b He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

If you want to have victory then you must have the truth to identify the lies. The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. You resist him through the truth of God’s Word.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

When you resist the devil through God’s word then you will see the escape that the Lord has provided for you so that you can flee from the temptation.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Flee from the temptation but don’t just flee from temptation but pursue righteousness with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Faithful is He who calls you to Himself and He also calls you to become like Christ. He sets you apart for Himself and will complete in you what He began when you first became a Christian and that is the amazing transformation into His image.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Has Forgiveness

There is one thing that we can not live with and that is guilt. We will do anything we can to get rid of the guilt. It is for this reason that people try to deny that there is a God because if there is no God then there can be no guilt, or at least this is one of their faulty reasonings. We hate guilt and man was not made to live with guilt. He was made to have fellowship with God, but his guilt caused him to hide from God and we have been hiding ever since. After Adam and Eve sinned the first thing they did was try to hide.

 

Genesis 3:8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

The Lord came looking for them and He has been seeking us out since then and planning a way to bring us back into fellowship with Him. He wants to forgive us and how sweet that forgiveness is when we receive it. God sent His Son to give us salvation by the forgiveness of our sins.

Luke 1:77-79 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

When we receive the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of our sins then we realize that we will and can never be good enough to deserve it. It is a free gift from the Lord but we must receive the gift to experience the gift of forgiveness. If we do not receive the gift then we still have our guilt and will continue in our sin and the guilt will pile up more and more until we can not bear it. If we do not go to Him for forgiveness then we might do all sorts of things to block out the guilt, such as work, drugs, therapy, alcohol, religion and anything else we can think of that might cause us to forget our guilt or appease it. However, because guilt is of the conscience we can not rid ourselves of the guilt. Only the Lord can take it away and He does through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins and to remove our guilt.

I Timothy 1:15,16 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

There is no one who has done too much to be forgiven or who is too bad that He can not change. If you believe in Him for eternal life then you will find mercy. His mercy forgives and cleanses you from all of your sins, including the past, present and future sins.

I Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Jesus Christ came into the world to be the Savior of all men but it is only those who believe in Him who will experience His salvation. Do you have guilt in your life? Is there anything that is troubling you? Come to Him and He will forgive those who repent and come to Him as sinners. He did not come for those who are righteous but He came for those who have messed up.

Mark 2:17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”