Stay Tender

img_1236

“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.”
‭‭Proverbs 28:14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You were created to be tenderhearted, to feel life.

To feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in-between.

It seems easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter.

Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened or what should have happened. Don’t let that shape your future.

Fight for a tender heart.

It means that you have to feel the pain and process it. It means you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

It means that you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance so you can live after it.

Stay tender-hearted, my friend.

Don’t let life (or other people’s choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future will thank you for it.

Jesus died for you to live in it.

God will walk with you all the way through it.

Lord give me a thick skin and a tender heart. 

Be Prepared

QTPRBLW610__24177__17418.1526471300

There are seasons of life that you are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are “in” season. You are inspired, motivated and moving forward.

Then there are seasons when you feel downright out of it. You are not where you want to be and not doing what you think you should be doing. You are in an “out” season. You are discouraged, unmotivated and stuck.

God will use you in both.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭2‬ NIV

In fact, it is often the seasons that knock you to your knees that impact other people the most:

  • When the diagnosis doesn’t shake your faith. 
  • When you face a hard time but it doesn’t harden your heart.
  • When you are brave in the face of uncertainty and transparent as you lean on God for strength. 

Be prepared to walk with God in the good times and bad, easy seasons and hard ones because God is prepared to walk with you through it all.

If you are available, He will use you to minister to those around you.

God’s love is always in season, may you be filled with it today.

A Quiet Heart

d41f448e4ba14d16dfcf461977514aae

Living in a loud world requires cultivating a quiet heart.

You may be focusing on your to-do list but God is focused on tending to your heart.

“In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Just as an untended garden grows wild and will produce good things as well as life-threatening weeds, it is the same with your heart.

Your heart needs to be tended to on a daily basis.

New things NEED to be planted, old things NEED to be pruned.

However, you are not the gardener of your heart, God is.

Your heart is the soil.

As you invite Jesus in, He waters your soul. As you spend time with Him, the Holy Spirit pulls weeds. As you trust the Father, He plants seeds of faith.

It is a partnership but one that is different than you are used to.

Your most important job is to give God time, opportunity and full access to do His work in your heart.

A quiet, secure heart is of great value to those closest to you and the loud, insecure world around you.

Shut the world out and invite Jesus in today to do some landscaping in your heart with His amazing grace.

What Your Shoulders Carry

img_4801-2

When your shoulders feel burdened and your heart is heavy, you need to ask whose yoke you are wearing.

When stress bears down on your neck and depression clouds your mind, you need to ask whose yoke you are wearing.

When despair shuts down your vision and hopelessness siphons your strength, you need to ask whose yoke you are wearing.

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When Jesus is offering you His yoke, it is an invitation to lay down whatever you are carrying (the yoke you have been walking in) whether it’s heavy because of what others have put on it or because of the burdens you yourself have added.

It is an invitation to come alongside Jesus and yoke up with Him.  His yoke is light for you because He bears all the weight of it. The word used for “easy” doesn’t mean without effort, it means “fit for use”.

There is still a yoke to bear and a burden to carry.  The difference is that Jesus bears the weight of it and gently trains you on how to fully function in it.

How to walk and rest, follow and trust, and with Him function faithfully in God’s purposes for you.

Are you bearing your own yoke? Your own plans, purpose, and expectations?

Are you walking in someone else’s yoke? Someone else’s plans, purposes, and expectations?

What are God’s plans, purposes, and expectations for this day? What would it look like to walk in them?

May you check whose yoke you are shouldering often and learn from Jesus how to be fully yoked with Him.

May you trust His gentle heart and let Him lead you to unseen delights of service to others today.

Trust Today

4a518fc619a992726171aeb0825df231

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Whatever today brings, I want to remind you to trust God in it.

Trust that He has your present provided for. Jesus will give you what you need when you need it to deal with what is happening right now.

Trust that He will heal your past. There is no sin stronger than the blood of Jesus and there is no hurt His love can’t heal.

Trust that He has your future in the palm of His hand. Jesus is preparing a place for you and preparing you for the place. Stressing about it helps no one. Rest in Him and wait.

Take a deep breath and fix your eyes on Jesus.

Trust Jesus.

Tried and Tested

55217-bsm259
“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV
When God “tests” your heart, it isn’t a test to pass or fail.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
It is a purifying of the soul.
The crucible is a vessel that can take extreme heat and not melt. It is used to melt the silver so that the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. Then the refiner will skim it off the top.
It is the same with your heart. The Great Refiner will use the hot fires of life to cause the impurities in your heart to be revealed so He can clear them out.
He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back from loving freely, what is tripping you up in your relationships, what is sabotaging your peace.
Things that don’t belong there but have never been processed out.
Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins with repentance or forgiveness) and allow the healing balm of His love to make you new.
How is your heart? 
What is Jesus bringing up? 
What do you need to do with it?

Hope Now

hope-is-the-only-thing-stronger-than-fear

“Wait, Israel, for GOD. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭131:3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Hope now.

Right now.

Open wide your heart and let hope flood in.

Let it wash over your mind and fill your spirit to the brim.

Don’t wait for a better day, a better time.

This is the day the Lord has made, this is the time you have.

Don’t procrastinate hope, you have permission to hope now – no matter what.

What are you hoping for today?