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.

Relationship with God, the Father! Our Relationship with God the Son! Our Relationship with God the Holy Spirit! God, You know me Perfectly!

As I read the Psalms I’m constantly struck by the power of the poetry.  It evokes strong emotions from deep within me, and indeed, when we truly consider the breadth of Imprecatory Psalms (those which invoke judgment, curses, and a call for action against one’s enemies or those who are seen to be the enemies of God), one can’t help but think that these words of Scripture were written both in the heat of and from the height of emotion.  But such a human expression of emotion is part of who we are.  It’s part of how we are created by our loving God.

When is it that we, ourselves consider the scope of God? Our God is quite big. He is all-wise and all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows us from inside out. GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT US!!! 

Psalm 139 New American Standard Bible

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.

For the music director. A Psalm of David.

139 Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know [a]when I sit down and [b]when I get up;
You understand my thought from far away.
You [c]scrutinize my [d]path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
[e]Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, Lord, You know it all.
You have encircled me behind and in front,
And placed Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot comprehend it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in [f]Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take up the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will [g]overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even darkness is not dark [h]to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You created my innermost parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, because [i]I am awesomely and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My [j]frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully formed in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my formless substance;
And in Your book were written
All the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

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

The 139th Psalm is yet another song within the Psalter which gives us insight into the truths about ourselves, including our emotions.  Verses 21-22 (outside of the scope for this devotional writing) expresses our all to obvious capacity for hatred.  And yet portions of the devotional reading, particularly verses 1-2 and 13-15, celebrate the awe and wonder of humanity while giving perspective on the awesomeness of Divinity.  “Lord, you have examined me.  You know me.  You created me.  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  Somehow our capacity for both hatred, and joyful emotions belongs to the mystery of our personhood. 

The Right Reverend John Wesley once commented “this psalm is, by many of the Jewish scholars, esteemed the most excellent in the whole book.”  He said this, in part, because of the crystal-clear testimony given within all its verses which genuinely demonstrate God knows what all of our thoughts will be long before we do, God discerns every step we take, with God’s all-seeing providence He keeps us 100% secure with His strong hands in His sight, under His power. 

And yet far from being a source of fear, worrying that we are so well known, and our emotions and lives are often not in line with God’s will, John Wesley saw this rather as a Psalm of the greatest assurance.  God knows us!!!  And yet, as the Scriptures point out time and time again, God loves us ALL, nonetheless.

Saint Ambrose, writing around the year 383, said of this passage that God is clearly “our supporter, for He has supported us with His hands.  He is called a supporter as the Creator of the human race.  And He is our supporter, for He has supported us by His visitation, that He may protect us.”

It ought to be for us, even in these days of pandemic and fear, a source of great comfort to know that God knows us so well, and yet loves us so much.  “Your eyes saw my embryo, and on your scroll every day was written what was being formed for me, before any one of them had yet happened (Verse 16).”  It can boggle the mind, “your plans are incomprehensible to me! (Verse 17),” and yet there can be a peace that comes from trusting in the One whose “knowledge is too much for me; it’s so high above me that I can’t fathom it (Verse 6).”  

When we look to our Lord and Savior Jesus, we see One who, because of His own self-awareness, was able to love selflessly and serve graciously even in the face of greatest and deadliest animosity.  He knew that He was God’s Son, beloved and well-pleasing.  He was secure within Himself and therefore could not be demeaned by any task or distracted by any temptation.  Knowing that God was 1000% with Him, that God loved Him, allowed Him to fulfill His mission for us.  

When we have that measure of 1:1 personal divine security it enables us to be freer in how we live and serve, too.  If I have assurance, security in my job, I can speak freely to my boss without fear of being fired.  If I have such security in my neighborhood, I can leave my car unlocked without fear of it being stolen. If I have such security in my relationship with God, I can express my questions thru prayer and my doubts without fear of losing His love or falling out of His grace.  

When we 1000% know God is with us, that God loves us, it allows us to live free lives in fulfillment of God’s calling.  If I have security in my relationship with my Lord, a 1000% assurance of my salvation, then I don’t have to fear what others may say or what life may bring (see Psalm 118:6 and Hebrews 13:6).  

Psalm 139, our Scripture text for today, makes outrageous claims about God.

  • God has searched every last inch of you and known every last centimeter of you.
  • God knows exactly when you sit down and exactly when you rise up again.
  • God knows every single one of your thoughts – not one escapes His notice!
  • God knows what every single word of what you’re going to say before you say it

We are absolutely known to God! God knows us yet loves us 1000%.  So, we can say with 1000% confidence, “I give thanks to you I was marvelously set apart.  Your works are 1000% wonderful, my soul knows that very well (verse 14).”

Psalm 139 is a glorious celebration of the multi-faceted splendor of God and the imminently practical implications that it bears for you and me. The treasures in this psalm concerning the nature and activity of God are timeless and priceless, 1000% knowable and genuinely deserve our prayerful, considerable attention.

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

Let us pray,

Psalm 100 The Message

100 1-2 On your feet now—applaud God!
    Bring a gift of laughter,
    sing yourselves into his presence.

Know this: God is God, and God, God.
    He made us; we didn’t make him.
    We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
    all-generous in love,
    loyal always and ever.

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