Tenderhearted

“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 thick skin and a tender heart. 

Your Heart

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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 You Don’t Need

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You don’t need more stuff.

More things will not bring satisfaction or peace.

More stuff will not make your relationships better.

Dealing with the daily conflicts that happen in your relationships will make your relationships better.

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
Proverbs‬ ‭17:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Peace never comes by ignoring the conflict but only through dealing with it.

Don’t stuff your feelings, deal with them.

Push through the uncomfortable space of it.

Be brave and talk.

Speak the truth in love.

You can’t do it on your own – you need God.

The peace that will permeate in your home is the peace starts with you and God.

Get your heart right with God then deal with the hearts of those you love and live with.

Do the hard work of communicating all the way through so that you can enjoy the blessed moments of life when you are at peace with God and at peace with others.

You don’t need a luxurious environment to possess luxurious love.

Don’t be passive with love and don’t look to possessions to solve your problems for you.

Look to Jesus to give you what you need today to break through and possess peace in your most important relationships – those in your home.

It’s Not That Kind of Test

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“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. It is a purifying of the soul.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
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?

Your Heart

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Some seasons are harder than others.

In some seasons, developing a hard heart is easier than feeling the pain of it.

It is not.

Your heart is made to process the pain. When you harden your heart instead of processing the pain it is like locking the pain inside with no way out.

Don’t harden your heart.

Don’t give up.

Push through the hard parts but don’t lose your heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Guard it, grow it, fill it.

Don’t just get through your present struggle, process it all the way through. Feel it, embrace the pain and let it work all the way through and all the way out.

Take care of your heart.

Clean it out.

Pull up the weeds of bitterness and resentment and if needed, ask Jesus to do heart surgery.

How is your heart?

Restored

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Far from teaching us to have it all, the world gives us great lessons on how to fake it until you make it, how to function in dysfunction and how to live well while being utterly broken inside.
The good news of Jesus Christ is that He has taken your brokenness upon Himself and in return offers you His wholeness. In a relationship with Jesus, He works from the inside out to restore your mind, heal your heart, fill your soul, and ignite your spirit to God’s original design.
He wants to teach you how to live with Him.
How to live whole and treasured.
How to live trusting and trusted.
How to live nurtured and nourished.
How to love and be loved.
“He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭21-24‬ MSG
It takes time and perseverance.
God provides the time, we provide the perseverance.
Don’t give up today.

Your Gifts

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“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The gift that you are with your smile and words, your hands and heart, how you cook or clean, create or organize, how you lead and follow, bless and pray is meant to be given, not hidden.
God has given you gifts. 
All kinds. 
Some come as talent.
Others are revealed in character. 
Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.
Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 
But gifts are made for giving.
Salt is made for seasoning.
Light is made for lighting. 
Gifts are made for giving.
The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.
The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build.