Softly and Tenderly, Jesus is Calling, Calling for You and For Me. So, Come! Take the Chance! Seek the Whole of the Lord While He May be Found!!!!

Come! Now is the Acceptable time!

Come! Now is the Acceptable Time to Worship!

To worship not even one single part of ourselves,

but to Worship only the entirety of GOD the Lord who is our Salvation!

Come, exactly as you are right now, into this very exacting moment ….

What have you got to lose?

Who is it you got to lose?

What is it you stand to gain?

Who is it you stand to gain?

Sound Intriguing?

A little?

A whole lot?

Exercise your God given right to dare yourselves to take ONE risk …

Dare to enter into your best voice (or worse if that is the case)

And read and then sing ….

And then wait and see what comes afterwards ….

Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling, Will L. Thompson, 1880

1. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me;
see, on the portals he’s waiting and watching,
watching for you and for me.
Refrain:
Come home, come home;
ye who are weary come home;
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
calling, O sinner, come home!

2. Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
mercies for you and for me?
(Refrain)

3. Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
passing from you and from me;
shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
coming for you and for me.
(Refrain)

4. O for the wonderful love he has promised,
promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
pardon for you and for me.
(Refrain)

Isaiah 55:6-7 New American Standard Bible

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked abandon his way,
And the unrighteous person his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

In truth, God was, is, and always will be close to those who genuinely seek after Him with the fullness of their hearts. The real problem is that we drift away from him, lose interest, and leave his presence. So, let’s seek him and receive his grace, his help while we recognize that He alone is the one who truly saves.

Our heavenly Father cares for us and loves us. He wants us to seek Him and draw near to Him with confidence and faith. He wants all of us to find Him

Not seeking and failing to call upon the Lord while He is near, means we miss the opportunity to get to know our awesome God and miss out on the blessings He promises. The writer of Hebrews tells us that, without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, (11:6). 

The Prophet Isaiah impresses the need for repentance among God’s people. Repentance is turning around from doing things our own rebellious way and wholeheartedly turning to God to do it His way. It clearly means forsaking our own manner, because the Lord’s restoration work is through our repentance.  

We need to understand that the battleground for a righteous walk with the Lord is often found in the hidden places of our hearts, minds, inside our thoughts.

Just as Paul wrote: “for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). 

Paul also stated that we are not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). 

When anyone turns to the Lord and forsakes their sinful way and thoughts, the Lord will have mercy on them and will pardon then.

Apostle Peter writes: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). 

We can read the words of Isaiah 55:6-7 and we will not be stirred. Our hearts will not be touched, our minds and souls will not recognize their importance. We will read over them and not give a second thought to their significance. It is true that these few ancient prophetic words were written about 2800 years ago.

If, however, something about them raises our curiosity bar by .001%, then if you and I are being drawn to seeking out the why of that soulful impression, that is the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit because as Scripture tells us: 

“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:8-9). 

To become a God-seeking, God-fearing person takes more than just external behaviors; it is the continual seeking after God’s heart (Isaiah 55:6-7).

To zealously seek and become a godly person refers to our having an inward devotion for God that is being outwardly displayed. So, a godly person is one who has received Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for His own sin and has accepted the righteousness purchased for him (2 Corinthians 5:21)

With God’s Spirit inside their being (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), the seeking person is able to understand the deep things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

The “eyes” of their hearts and “eyes” souls are subtly or even suddenly opened.

They begin to see life just a wee bit differently.

Life is no longer about pleasing themselves but about pleasing the Lord (Hebrews 12:28).

They realize that they will still stumble as they strive toward holiness

(James 3:2), but their goal is to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16). 

Those who are even tentatively seeking learn early that their fleshly attempts at holiness only result in a stark revelation of their pride, vanity and failure. They slowly, steadily learn that as they gradually surrender up their will to the work of the Holy Spirit and come to rely more and more upon Him for strength to overcome temptation, they can withstand more temptation and accomplish even greater eternal goals than they ever thought possible (Philippians 4:13)

Those seeking the Lord rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to help them say “no” to the flesh and “yes” to the Spirit (1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:16).

And as the person regularly opposes sin, they find that their spirit grows stronger, and temptation to sin becomes easier to resist (Hebrews 10:23).

If you want to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you must first and foremost come to invite Him into your whole heart as your personal Savior. As Christ comes to accept, as He comes into your life your faith grows; and as you repent, ask Him to forgive and cleanse you, He will. And as you submit to Him and ask Him to take total control of your life, He will do it if you allow Him.

And finally, when Savior Christ lives and reigns in our heart, He expects us to willingly let Him live and reign, recognizing 1000% Jesus Christ is Lord of all.

If you have not already done so, then I definitely invite you to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your life. Let Him be your Savior and cleanse you of your sins.

I definitely invite you to make the choice for abundant life, to give Him control of all your days while you are still able to do so. Remember that once your life ends, you have sealed your fate; therefore, seek the Lord while He may be found.

If you are indeed ready to turn your life over to God, you can talk to the Lord and sincerely pray to Him:

“Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner. I accept the fact that Christ died upon the cross to save me. I now therefore open my heart’s door and receive you as my personal Savior. Please forgive me of all my sin. I also receive you as my Lord and willingly give you full control of my life. I thank you for helping me to be the kind of person you want me to be. Guide and direct me from this day forth so that I will serve you faithfully in everything I say, think and do.”

Always remember to seek God with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind! 

Please do not hesitate to place God first in everything and in everything to give Him thanks and praise.  Do not hesitate to keep all your mind on the things of heaven, not on worldly pleasures, because the Lord is 100% faithful, righteous, never-changing, always the same: loving, kind, merciful, forgiving, and true.

Isaiah 41:9-11 New American Standard Bible

You whom I have [a]taken from the ends of the earth
And called from its remotest parts,
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will also help you,
I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
11 Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.

In truth, God is always close to those who genuinely seek after him. The real problem is that we drift away from him, lose interest, and leave his presence.

So, let’s not hesitate for even one moment more to seek him and receive his grace and his help while we recognize that he alone is the one who truly saves.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us now pray,

God my Father, I am a homeless sinner so very tired of my ways. I seek you out with all my heart. While I seek to know about you through your Word, I long to know you and be known by you as a tender father knows his child and as a child feels complete trust toward his tender father. Father, not only be my God, but also be real to me in ways that transcend explanation. Help me to sense your nearness and to know your presence. In the name of Jesus, I do pray. Amen.

An Invitation is An Invitation! Come! Freely Drink! Come Freely Eat! Come Freely Live! O’ Come and Be Satisfied!

Today the Lord our God is extending an invitation to you. He is saying to each one of us today: “Come and eat!” “Come and drink!” “Come and Be Satisfied!” Today, we are walking through the chaos and the desperation which are even now grievously threatening to starve us of our places of peace and prosperity. Chaos starves us of our places at the great feasting tables of plenty and purpose. In these times of many great and greater worries, we grow hungry and thirsty. How hungry and how thirsty are we today for life which is so infinitely better?

Isaiah 55:1-2 New Revised Standard Version

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55 Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

“Come and be satisfied!” This is the message our God is speaking to us today through his prophet Isaiah. Our text is the Old Testament Reading from Isaiah 55. Ponder again the first part of this text: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”

This day we are walking through Isaiah 55.  The prophet is speaking God’s Invitation to people who are in exile, who are broken: “Time to go home.”  He is speaking to the hungry and the thirsty… those who are yearning for their deepest needs to be quenched… It has been 70 years since the people of Israel have been taken into captivity by the Babylonians.  Most of the people have been born captives, knowing nothing else.  Only a small percentage of the very oldest among them have childhood memories… Isaiah is sent by God to tell the people: “This is the Word of the Lord for the Children of the Lord: “It is Time to go home!””

It is time to go home.  It is time to return to God.  It is time to accept the Lord’s greatest invitation to return to Him.  May this coming Lenten season, we will witness God’s Spirit move upon the hearts of the broken, those that are Thirsty.

 When God speaks to the people though Isaiah, “Come, all you who are thirsty” he is speaking to a people that have hit the bottom and have nowhere else to go. 

70 years in exile.  Some have known nothing else.  All of their efforts to rescue themselves have fallen short.  Arrogance/posturing/false strength has long ago vanished.  I have seen people literally on their death bed that are at last broken now ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ…it’s awesome.  Only those that hit the bottom are ready…  The invitation to return home to God is to the thirsty. 

Rabbi Jesus extended a similar invitation in John 7:37. The scripture says, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” 

Money doesn’t do any good.  God’s invitation is not for the rich, the powerful.  The invitation is for those who have nothing but simply bring trust and faith and receive what mercy God has to give all.  Water, wine and milk, it’s all free. 

  • Water is life giving, refreshing, cleansing, growing.  Without water there is no life. The human body cannot long survive the total absence of water within it.
  • Wine is to bless and celebrate life. Wine represents the joy of being a Christian saved by the grace and mercy of God, celebrating the new life offered in Christ. 
  • Milk is nourishing and has substance, representing the need to grow in Him, learn.  When we were first born, it was our mother’s milk which first nourished our bodies, gave us the antibodies to protect, fight off infections. Water, wine and milk are offered by the Lord Jesus Christ for those that return home to Him. 

Isaiah 55:2 asks the question of ages: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?”  

Often all we have energy to do is to shake our head at the crazy world we live…We ask the same question of others and ourselves as Isaiah all the time, only we use different words: “Why do we waste our money, time, with ________?” 

We lament the business of being in business, the relentless drama… it’s all our choice you know, we are not victims!  Why did I spend my money on worthless stuff that is gone… Anyone ever buy anything in the past month they regret? 

Anyone engage in activity this week which was unwise?  Are any of you even now planning to waste your money and time with things that bring no lasting peace this coming week?  Do you not ever get tired of making decisions and choices you know already will not be the wisest and most fruitful possible? 

Here in these verses, we see several things about the Lord’s invitation. We see who the ones are to whom the Lord issues this invitation. We see how much it costs to come and buy the rich food and thirst-quenching drink the Lord offers to each of us. And we see the folly of going after those things that do not satisfy.

First, then, who are the ones to whom the Lord is extending this invitation? Isaiah tells us: “everyone who thirsts” and “he who has no money.” Is that you? Are you thirsty? Do you realize your spiritual poverty? If so, then this invitation is definitely for you. If not, then you need to rethink your situation.

So, are you thirsty?

In the New Testament, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

To the sinful Samaritan woman at the well, in the high heat of the day, he says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever.” And at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus says, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” You see, Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. When Isaiah says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,” he’s really looking ahead to the birth, life of Jesus, who would give the waters that will satisfy our thirst.

So, are you “just thirsty” or “desperately thirsty?” Do you sense and feel your spiritual thirst? Do you realize something’s wrong, something’s wrong with you? That you are a sinner? That you have broken God’s good commandments and gone contrary to his will? That you haven’t done the things that you know God wants you to do? That you have done things you know you shouldn’t do?

That’s sin, and it should make you thirsty, spiritually thirsty for something, anything, that will take away your guilt and your shame. Do you sense and feel your own lack of inner righteousness? That you aren’t good enough to stand before almighty God on Judgment Day and pass his muster? Do you feel these things? Do you know it and own it? If so, that’s actually a good thing, because now you are ready to hear and respond to the invitation, He extends to you.

 The great invitation of God is to return home to Him, like the soldier returning home to a waiting family…Why do you spend your energy, your time, on dead end decisions.  The invitation to go to God is free, free to us…we know, however, in the fullness of time, this act it is not going to be even the least bit free to God.

Hundreds of years after the time of Isaiah, God sends us his son Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary.  We call it Christmas….  Jesus was born to die/// die on the cross as the ultimate act of mercy and sacrifice for our sins.  The invitation is free, but it literally costs God everything.  I imagine tears as God’s children return home to him, like the tears of the family when the solider returns home. 

“Come” is the invitation of God.  The thirsty/broken are invited.  LISTENING is the way to accept the invitation.  I’m believing God has in mind a leisurely sort of listening which takes a whole lot of time for we the hearer to digest what is surely being said, listening that considers what is being heard, listening that is, on our parts, thoughtful and attentive, merciful and sacrificial (Romans 12:1-2)

There is too much listening to the invitations from man to enter into an abiding relationship with the god of this world. There is, too, far far, too little listening to the God who created this world, who authored and ordered our lives from the very beginning of our existence (Psalm 139:13-18) and we are not the least bit attentive to the quiet invitations of “Yes! there is definitely a far better party” to go to and be a part of the truest life of someone who definitely knows how to live.

“The Best Party Anywhere?” We have all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Meaning, it may sound like it’s free, but it really isn’t. There are strings attached. You may not be paying directly for that supposedly free lunch, but somewhere down the line, you are, whether in higher taxes or whatever. In this world, in this life, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

But when it comes to the food and drink that God offers, it is absolutely free, absolutely truly free. This is a gracious invitation, all by grace, a free gift. A free gift of life in maximum abundance, of eternal Salvation. Leave your debit cards at home. Leave your credit cards at home, or better yet, lock them all up forever! God has already paid the bill in full. (John 3:16-17, John 17-18 and John 19:35)

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

God, from the beginning, you were the word. You sent your only son to save us all and he even allowed himself to be tortured and crucified to obey you. Bless me with the gift of understanding and of unshaken faith in you. Let me know the meaning of your words in the Bible and how to live accordingly. Open the door of my heart. Fill me beyond overflowing with your light, your wisdom and understanding. Make me hungry beyond hungry, thirsty beyond thirsty. Amen.

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