Last Sunday we sang one of the beloved old hymns, “Softly and Tenderly” by Will. L. Thompson, 1880. The words are soul-stirring and soul-searching.
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 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?
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.
Oh, 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.
As I thought about and have sang this song over and over this week, I am reminded of the urgency in responding to the wonderful mercy and forgiveness of Jesus. Jesus does not barge his way in but tenderly He stands at the heart’s door and knocks (Revelation 3:20-21). We have to invite him in and oh the sweet difference it makes when he does.
Jesus has plainly told us that He is the only way to heaven, the only way to the Father, the only way to receive forgiveness from sin. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6).
If you do not want to believe that Jesus is who He says He is, you do not need to.
If you do not want to pray, you do not need to.
If you do not want to obey His commandments, you do not need to.
If you do not want to take time to read His Word, you do not need to.
If you do not want receive Jesus as your personal Savior, you do not need to.
If you want to spend your life denying the existence of God and the truth of His Word, you may do so.
Jesus never demands, but He does warn. He does not barge in but He does come near; patiently waiting to be invited in. Jesus does not manipulate but grants freedom of personal will to do and believe as you please.
It is your choice, your decision.
Jesus pleads, with outstretched hands, to come to Him, the Messiah, and He presents the opportunity over and over and over.
I thought about the snow storm the other evening. Each little flake of snow flurried to the ground, softly and tenderly, without a sound. The evidence of one flake might be questionable but as it began to pile up measuring inches its presence was undeniable. Over and over Jesus is making himself known to humanity; the amazing complexity, diversity and beauty of creation, a stunning sunset, the changing of seasons, the joy of a changed life, the incredible development and birth of a baby, the power of the reading of His Word, answered prayer, miraculous healings, the testimony of believers whose lives have been changed, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the fulfillment of prophecy. The evidence mounts deeper and deeper and scripture says that one day ALL will be held accountable. No one will be able to deny that they did not know (Romans 1:20). At the moment of death you will fall on your face before Jesus and the question you will face is, “What did you do with my Son, Jesus”? (Philippians 2:9-11). Being good does not get you to heaven. Being good only counts when it flows out of a heart of love and obedience to Jesus. Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and living a life of obedience and surrender to Him, guarantees you eternity in heaven (Romans 10:9).
Remember, your choice, your decision, determines your destiny.
Softly and tendering Jesus is calling.
Will you answer that call before it is too late?
Scripture References: (Words of Jesus in red).
- Revelation 3: 20-21 “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with Him, and he with Me.”
- John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
- Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) so that they are without excuse.
- Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted Him (Jesus) and given Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.
- Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Here is a beautiful rendition of the song.