Softly and Tenderly

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  (John 10:27)

 Children don’t usually react well to a loud, harsh and unsettling appeal from parents to stop doing whatever it is that they are doing that is wrong.  It is very easy to ramp up our tone of voice only to scare and traumatize our little ones … and even more so when they get a little older!  So, in a more tender and caring voice we seek to calm them down, correct them and encourage them to do better all the while holding them, loving on them and reassuring them just how much we love and care for them!

The same thing could be said for us as adults, couldn’t it?  No one likes being yelled or hollered at!  Sometimes it seems that it must happen anyway when selective hearing has been employed or a complete ignoring of what is being spoken.  But our Lord doesn’t have to raise His voice … or yell at us in some way.  How loving, caring and sensitive our Savior is to each one of us.  But His kindness should never be misunderstood for approval or compromise with evil!

He wants us to be with Him … near Him … serving Him … growing in our love for Him …. preparing our souls for eternity.  But He softly and tenderly reminds us there are distractions all around us … there is an enemy who wants nothing less than our souls!

He wants us to enjoy our time here on the earth He created and fashioned for us, to derive pleasure from the beautiful world around us!  But He softly and tenderly reminds us it is not to be our eternal home!

He wants us to have good and healthy relationships with our loved ones, friends, and our brothers and sisters in Christ.  But He softly and tenderly reminds us that things like pride, selfishness, bitterness, anger and wrath will do nothing to enhance those relationships!

He so wants each one of us to be in a right relationship with Him!  So He softly and tenderly appeals to our hearts to renounce the sin in our lives that have separated us from Him.  He has gone nowhere; it is each of us who make the decision to walk away from Him!

He is fully aware when even one of His sheep has made the wrong choice or even a series of choices that are taking us away from the protection of His care and when we choose to wander off into the wilderness where so much danger lies.  So He softly and tenderly looks for us … appeals to us … and as a loving shepherd bends down to pick us up into His loving arms.

And yes, He is fully aware of our burdens, trials, difficulties and challenges.  He understands our burdens because He carried His own while walking on this earth!  Softly and tenderly He beckons you and me to come home to Him!

Are you hearing His voice, His call?  Are you seeing just how much He does love you?

May we see He is always there waiting, watching, and looking for us when we have wandered away from Him!  He is always there nurturing, caring for and loving even more those who strive with all of their heart to stay near Him!

He who softly and tenderly beckons us has prepared for us an eternal home with Him … a place of eternal rest from our weariness, peace from the hostility and sadness found in this world.  Softly and tenderly He calls and motions for us to come home!

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus:  that if One died for all, then all died;” (2 Corinthians 5:14)


Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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