VIDEO Softly and Tenderly live

Aug 15, 2012

Alan Jackson – Softly and Tenderly live (Text/lyrics)

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.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we linger 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?

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

All Aboard

train
The Lord is . . . longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish. —2 Peter 3:9

One day when I dropped my husband off at our local train station, I watched as the conductor scanned the area for stragglers. A woman with wet hair bounded from the parking lot and up into the train. Then, a man in a dark suit strode to the platform and climbed aboard. The conductor waited patiently while several more late-comers sprinted to the tracks and boarded at the last moment.

Just as the conductor was patient with people boarding the train, God patiently waits for people to come to know Him. However, someday Jesus will return and “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10). When this happens, or when our physical bodies die, it will be too late to establish a relationship with God.

“The Lord is . . . longsuffering toward us,” Peter says, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (v.9). If you have delayed deciding to follow Christ, there is good news—you can still commit yourself to Him.

“If you declare with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9 niv). He is calling. Will you run in His direction?

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. —Thompson

Now is the time to choose the Lord.

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt

The Blessing of a Praying Parent

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah experienced great sorrow prior to the birth of her son Samuel. Through that difficult time, however, she demonstrated a strong love for the Lord and a dependence on Him through prayer.

Samuel had a mother who loved God deeply. In fact, Hannah saw herself as the Lord’s handmaid, whose life was in service to Him (1 Samuel 1:11 KJV). Even when her misery was overwhelming, she acknowledged how important He was to her, and she modeled a godly lifestyle.

We are commanded to love the Lord with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) and to give Him first place in our life (Deuteronomy 5:7). If we love God, we will make sure our children know about Him and understand the importance of a relationship with Him through Christ. Our lives, though flawed, will reveal the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Samuel was blessed because Hannah was a woman of prayer. After telling of her petition, which stemmed from misery, Scripture records her declaration of praise, which came from a heart rejoicing over God’s answer to her cries. A praying mother gives high priority to bringing family concerns before the Lord. I remember my mom kneeling with me by my bed to pray. I can still recall the phrases she used and the things she talked over with Him.
Children need committed parents who 1) demonstrate love toward both the family and God, and 2) help them experience the power and joy of prayer (James 5:16). Even one parent can make a powerful difference when Christ is the center of the home. I know my mother did.

Heartfelt Prayer

“Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” (Lamentations 3:41)

It is so easy to let our prayers become routine and repetitious, and we need to remember that God listens more closely to our hearts than the phrases from our lips. The Lord Jesus cautioned us about this: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).

Many people will lift their hands to pray or prostrate themselves on the ground. Some will stand; some will kneel. Some shout, some pray silently, some even leap and dance. Some will write out their prayers and then read them to an audience; others will pray eloquently and at great length. But the thing that counts far more than posture or eloquence is our attitude of heart. We must lift up our hearts to the Lord, not just our hands or our voices. Then He will hear in heaven!

We need to feel as the psalmist felt: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1). Our hearts need first to be right, of course—pure and true in His sight. “Call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22).

Our prayers must also come from a believing heart. “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” Otherwise, “let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6-7). With these conditions met, the Christian is ready to pray, but then he must pray from deep within his pure, true, believing heart, and God will answer. “The effectual fervent [one word in the Greek, energeo] prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). HMM

The Faith to Persevere

Archery lesson
Because you have kept My command to persevere… —Revelation 3:10

Perseverance means more than endurance— more than simply holding on until the end. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, “I can’t take any more.” Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. Is there something in your life for which you need perseverance right now? Maintain your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the perseverance of faith. Proclaim as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him. Disaster occurs in your life when you lack the mental composure that comes from establishing yourself on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the supreme effort of your life— throwing yourself with abandon and total confidence upon God.

God ventured His all in Jesus Christ to save us, and now He wants us to venture our all with total abandoned confidence in Him. There are areas in our lives where that faith has not worked in us as yet— places still untouched by the life of God. There were none of those places in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they may know You…” (John 17:3). The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we will take this view, life will become one great romance— a glorious opportunity of seeing wonderful things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.

by Oswald Chambers

Most Important: Your Names Written in Heaven

…Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Those who are active in Christian service must beware of two opposite pitfalls: the elation that comes with success on the one hand, or the discouragement that comes with failure, on the other.

These may be considered by some as trivial, but the history of the Christian ministry will not support this conclusion. They are critically dangerous and should be guarded against with great care.

The disciples returned to Christ with brimming enthusiasm, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name,” and He quickly reminded them of another being who had allowed success to go to his head.

“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” He said. “In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

The second of these twin dangers need not be labored. Every minister of the gospel knows how hard it is to stay spiritual when his work appears to be fruitless. Yet he is required to rejoice in God as certainly when he is having a bad year as when he is seeing great success, and to lean heavily upon Paul’s assurance that “your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

We Are Not All Alike

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. EPHESIANS 2:10

We ought to be fully aware that in the Body of Christ we are not interested in the production of “cookie cutter” Christians.

This is a word of caution in the matter of Christian experience—there is no pattern or formula for identical Christian experiences. It is actually a tragic thing for believers to try to be exactly like each other in their Christian faith and life.

I have probably been overly cautious about testifying to my own experiences because I do not want anyone to be tempted to try to copy anything the Lord has done for me.

God has given each of us an individual temperament and distinct characteristics. Therefore it is the work of the Holy Spirit to work out as He will the details of Christian experience. They will vary with personality.

Of this we may be sure: Whenever a person truly meets God in faith and commitment to the gospel, he will have a consciousness and a sharp awareness of the details of that spiritual transaction!

Lord, help me to be a faithful steward of the gifts You have given me to use in the church.