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Today is day 12 of our 40 days of Valentines challenge. The attribute of kindness is the "fruit" for our discussion today.

The Hebrew word for kindness is chasad חסד which is translated as kindness, lovingkindness, goodness and favour. While these words could be thought of as adjectives or adverbs describing a thing or action, chasad is a masculine noun, so it is a quality, something possessed or given.

Chasad is a special term of endearment expressing an intimate love between for two people who have a close relationships such as lovers or parents toward a child. An example of chasad is the silly words between lovers, or the way a tough guy speaks to a little baby. Chasad is not so much the words that are used, but the emotion and meaning behind the word.

My paternal grandfather used to pat my grandmother on her backside and lovingly say, "Hey, sweetheart." While a guy can yell out the window at a girl jogging down the street and call "Hey, sweetheart," but it would not have the same meaning.

Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Psalm 25:6 NKJV

I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly. Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. Psalm 40:10-11 NKJV

"I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy." Hosea 2:19 NKJV

In each of the above verses, lovingkindness is partnered with mercy. The word translated as mercy is racham רחמ. Both words, chasad and racham, have the common letter chet which gives the word picture of a tent wall, it means to surround or contain. The word racham represents the expectant mother's womb which protects and surrounds the new life within her. The love she has for the baby within is an untarnished love toward a child who has never sinned. This child has never broken her heart or hurt her feelings.

In the verses above David and Hoseah are speaking of the Adonai's lovingkindness and mercy toward us. Our LORD's expression of affection is a pure, spotless love that is without blemish from our sinfulness. Our Father surrounds His children with absolute, perfect lovingkindness and mercy, speaking this intimate affection between His heart and ours. YHVH tenderly wraps us in His protection for us while holding us close and drawing us to Himself. His lovingkindness and mercies provide perfect forgiveness which surrounds or covers our sins with the mighty, cleansing blood of Jesus, bringing forgiveness for our sins, as if we were a new born baby.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

During this time of year, as we prepare our hearts to remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior, I encourage you to seek your Father's heart through confession and submission. From Christ's sacrifice, our sins have been completely forgiven, and our LORD's lovingkindness and mercy surround us and draw us into a renewed relationship with Himself.

Mighty God, King of the Universe, Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth (Psalm 119:88 NKJV). Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O Lord, revive me according to Your justice (Psalm 119:149 NKJV). Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness (Psalm 119:159 NKJV). I will declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night (Psalm 92:2 NKJV). Father, lead us with cords of kindness, with ties of love. To us be as One who lifts a little child to the cheek, bend down to feed us. (Hosea 11:4 NIV). Amen.

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