Saturday, July 2, 2016

A True Tenderness of Heart

There are two that I know. I quite like them both. Both have the Hebrew word for God initialed within their names. One is younger, the other older. One visits the ministry freely, the other refusing to come near.1
There are two that I know, both claiming the name. One, seeing an oracle fulfilled, rejected it and threw him out.2 The other, being offered, reached out and took hold of a heart.3
There are two that I know, both reading the Word. One writes well and talks a good story. The other, finding the work of the Word, brought their family in—and lives it.1
There are two that I know, one cultivated in a good tree. The other, being wild, was grafted in.
Which feeds from the Root, and which needs to repent?4
There are two that I know. One, refusing to leave home, shall lose it. The other, having left their home, found it.5
Which are you, and which is the one that pleases God?
In general, people do not like it when someone records the words of God and speaks them into their life. This is because they want to think well of themselves rather than accurately. Surely you will have noticed how rarely people will honestly compare themselves to God. They just don’t do it, and if you seek to do so they will shout you down, marginalize you so that no one will listen to you, or level accusations, and insults and epithets at you in their effort to utterly discredit you. But they will not compare themselves to Godand won’t be letting you do so, either. When you insist on speaking what they do not want to hear, they will refuse to hear.
Such times can be the midnight of society’s soul. When someonewho sees themselves as in the Church (yes, capitol C)—witnesses—and is even themselves the very instrument of—the fulfillment of prophecy—and rejects it and throws out of their life the person bringing that prophecy, and, of those around them claiming Christ, not one person makes protest against those actions—it can be, indeed, the midnight of that ἐκκλησία’s6 soul.
The heart of Christ shines brightly against the blackness of the evil of society, but those who should be trumpeting His coming instead choose the comforts of the night.
How do you think that effects the heart of God? Do you even care?
Which are you, and which is the one that pleases God?
Are you the one that pleases God?
Are you really?
When is the last time you heard His voice? When is the last time He spoke into your soul? When is the last time you actually quieted yourself and sat down to simply listen? When is the last time you were Elijah upon the mountain of God?7
Has He, in fact, ever spoken to you at all? Have you ever heard the voice of God within your soul? Have you ever felt His arms across your shoulders? Have you ever felt His embrace surround your soul? When the time that He took you from the depths of darkness and despair instantaneously into the stratosphere of spiritual ecstasyin a moment? When the time He prophesied into your soul?
And if He did, how do you know that it was Him?
God is not a man that He should lie! 8
Which are you, and which is the one that pleases God?

The heart of God shines brightly
through the midnight of despair
and man’s pretensions mist away
as if they were not there

God is not deceived by your pretending to spiritual things. When you go through the motions of a life that is not yours to have or hold you speak deceit, however bold. You live deceit and do not hold the light or things you claim to hold. There is no Heaven laid aside for those with sin they seek to hide.
My eyes battle tears as I write this, for one of whom I write has been so very close to my heart and I would not see their eternity shorn apart, cast asunder, and thrown upon the winds of deceitfulness, wickedness, sin, and darkness and despair. As I have said to them, we have a date in Heaven, and I would see them there. What other reason can there be for showing such deep care?
Those who would rage against this do not know my heart and will not see me there. Though I rest in the lap of God, they will not see me there. If they would, they must repent and display Heaven’s cares. Oh, beloved, how tender is my heart to see that Heaven shares my love of those so precious their deaths would my soul tear!
As I wrote in an earlier hymn, “I have ever been so targeted by demon-spawn of earth”. Most of that demon-spawn claims Christ. He, though, does not claim them, for God is not a man that He should lie8, and those who attack me are deceitful, seeking to hide their own sin behind their attacks against me.9
Oh! How many times I have sought to warn them against the wickedness of their hearts and they respond, not with repentance, but with finger-pointing at me, accusing me of making excuses for my own sin!
Sin has no excuse10, and none can be made, for God is not mocked11, and is not deceived by pretenses to Christianity by those who, truly, know nothing of Him, but seek after the desires of their own flesh.12
When the light is shined upon them they rebel, seeking the darkness in their effort to extinguish that which exposes their wickedness and filth and depravity and sin.13 Those who live in darkness hate the light.
Do not let them deceive you: They are children of darkness and the spawn of Hell, though they claim to be of the light.14
These, however, hold no exclusive dominion over the hearts of men. As it is written, “I have yet 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Ba’al!” 15
The tenderness of heart that persists and insists upon tenderness and mercy will eventually be met with its kind.16 One might say that you meet with an angel, perhaps, unawares. Therefore, entertain rightly, that you may live.17
This very day, in fact, I was out and about, having prayed for someone to accompany me along the way. I was thinking about the one I had invited along, but who was too ill to make the journey, and pondering whether to bring something back for them, or avoid risking further difficulties for them. Yes, I wrestled with the idea.
Having thought better, I began returning along my way. Very shortly, someone approached. I greeted her, striking up a conversation. We found a shared love of music. I even sang for her a little bit, even though I had already confessed that I quickly run out of breath. This small, frail-looking lady, though, is a player of the bag-pipes. Oh! The irony! And, Oh! How I love the pipes, rightly played!
Sadly, I do not even remember her name, though I can hope that she remembers mine. Her name, though, is not really the point. The point is this:
Do you see how God answers the open heart? Had my friend—who was willing—been healthy enough to attend, I probably would never have met the music lover, who plays in churches all around, apparently. She, on the other hand would not have met a positive witness for those who are in need. Do you see how God answers the open heart?
The one who refuses to come near to the poor will not be come near to by God,18 but the one who gives mercy shall find it.16
I have been a poor, decrepit, wicked and evil man, but when God called I answered. I have not closed my heart to those to whom God is open, and now, God is open to me.19
Do you see how God answers the open heart?

When I am tired and nothing want but sleeping,
When I am worn and evil beckons me,
And my heart cries to God in His sweet mercy,
I feel His arms enfold and circle me!

When I am sad and my eyes fill with weeping,
When darkness comes and doubts encumber me,
And I seek peace and solace from the Savior,
Beneath His wings He gathers and shields me!

But for His love I am nothing but evil!
But for His love I am a demon seed!
But for His love I am a thrall of Satan!
But Jesus bled and died to make me clean!

When I’m alone and nothing see but silence,
When all is dark and nothing covers me,
The rains come down and death would see me freezing,
I cry to God and angels cover me!

For by His love I am the seed of Jesus,
And by His love the darkness flees from me
And by His love a chariot waits for me,
For Jesus died and rose to set me free!
Yes, Jesus died and rose to set me free!
©2016 William F. Maddock; all rights reserved; used by permission
Oh, beloved, know this; hear this and know it well: that God will respond to a true tenderness of heart.

1James 2:17
2John 1:11
3Luke 18:13
4Romans 10:16-11:24
5Matthew 16:25
6A Greek word meaning “a calling out” or “a gathering”, in particular, a religious gathering, such as a synagogue or a Christian congregation.
71 Kings 19
8Titus 1:2
9Psalm 141:9-10
10Romans 1:20
11Galatians 6:7
12Romans 1:21-32
13John 3:19
142 Corinthians 11:13-15
151 Kings 19:18
16Matthew 5:7
17Hebrews 13:1-2
18Proverbs 21:13; James 2:13
192 Chronicles 15:2; Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7; James 4:8

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