Day 18- Tenderness
Author: Sydney Russom
My hope as I write this today is not to sum up the tenderness of Jesus in a few feeble paragraphs; rather, it is to set before you a spiritual appetizer that I pray would increase your hunger for greater knowledge and experience of His tenderness.
If we should fight for one thing, I believe it should be that we continue to have a soft and tender heart before the Lord. Tenderness is a mixture of delicacy, vulnerability and youth. It’s a combination that puts us in need and makes our lives depend on the communion and the instruction of the One who has purchased us with His blood. Talk about tenderness!
Jesus allowed His flesh, His heart and His Spirit to be exposed in this way before the Father and before all of humanity for the sake of love and redemption. If we should have any motivation to remain tender-hearted, it should be that the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth presented Himself to us in such a way. Tenderness is achieved through honesty. It is achieved when our unfiltered pain, thoughts and questions are met by the Lover who bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Honesty before the Lord is a tender kiss of worship that chooses to submit all things to the blessed covenant (Proverbs 24:26). And when we encounter His covenant kiss toward us in the face of honesty, our hearts are softened in thankfulness and holy wonder.
Today I am telling you that what is best for your heart is to tell the Lord how you feel and to wait patiently for His response, having already made the choice to yield to whatever He might say. His voice is the hammer that breaks up the stony recesses of our hearts and keeps us tender (Jeremiah 23:29).
Jesus, you are precious. You have been and always will be the Forerunner of tenderness. Holy Spirit, would you open my understanding to know and experience the tender-heartedness of God, and would You write this truth upon my heart. Send forth Your word to break up every hard place within me that wants to turn away from You in unbelief or rebellion. I trust You. I choose to be honest with You about the good, the bad and the ugly because this is what You have asked of me, and this is the way of tenderness. I give myself to Your loving kindness today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Proverbs 24:26 (NIV) "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips."
Song of Solomon 1:2 (NIV) "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine."
Psalm 95:7-8 (AMP) "For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts and become spiritually dull as at Meribah [the place of strife], And as at Massah [the place of testing] in the wilderness…"