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Sunday, January 31, 2016 pm                                                Songs Index

“Home of the Soul”
Sacred Selections, #365

 

Being the 5th Sunday, tonight we examine the words of another song.    While perusing the songs that I have addressed over the past few years, I notice that I have not done many songs dealing with heaven (I have done a few).  Yet we sing about heaven all the time and we should as we assemble to teach and admonish one another and to build each other up so that we can achieve that home in heaven when this life is over.   So with that in mind, tonight we want to notice a song about heaven – “Home of the Soul.”

We don’t have much background on this song.   I could find nothing of the occasion.  It was written by James Rowe (1865-1933).  HE was born New Year’s day in England and emigrated to the Unites States at the age of 24.   He settled in the New York area.  He was a prolific song writer, with several of his songs being in our song book – “I choose Jesus” (244), “After the Shadows” (483), “He’s my King” (173),  “I am so glad Salvation’s Free” (233), “I walk with the King” (174), “Love lifted me” (261), and others.  The song and tune is dated 1911 (tune composed by Samuel Beazley (1873-1944).

The song encourages us to live our lives faithfully to the end, looking toward an eternal home in heaven. 

 I.                    Verse 1 – If for the prize we have striven- faithful work

a.        If for the prize we have striven – As we sing this song we are reminded of our need for faithfulness. 
Strive to enter through the narrow gate –Luke 13:24.  It means to fight for something.
Paul used the analogy of the athlete in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
in Philippians 3:14 Paul speaks of pressing toward the goal. 
With one mind we are to be striving together for the faith of the gospel.

b.       After our labors are o’er – We must continue to work until the sun of life sets.  Jesus spoke of the night coming when none can work – John 9:4 – He is speaking of His continued working.
The Christian’s life is to be busy as borne out throughout the New Testament

c.        Rest for our souls will be given –This rest is addressed more in the second verse. 

d.       On the eternal shore – Heaven is an eternal place.  Typically the “shore” has been adopted as symbolic of entering heaven.  It is derived from Israel crossing the Jordan River as they entered the Promised Land (Joshua 5).Moses in Deuteronomy 11:31 said, “For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it.
It was the country He had promised them and described as their place of rest.  More on this “rest” in a moment.
That heaven is eternal is described in many places – Matthew 25:46, John 3:36 – everlasting life, Romans 2:7, etc.

 II.                  Verse 2 – Yes a sweet rest is remaining – a glimpse into what heaven will be like

a.        Yes a sweet rest is remaining – Rest is one of the descriptions of heaven that makes it so appealing.  Hebrews 4:1, 9-11.  In this text the writer is contrasting our eternal rest in heaven with that of the rest promised Israel by entering the Promised Land (Canaan). Ours is an eternal rest that man cannot take away. 
We contrast this rest with the toils and troubles or this life that wear us out – our bodies and often our spirits are taxed.   Rev. 14:13 – blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on…
2 Thessalonians 1:7 speaks of those troubled in this life by the ungodly being given rest when the Lord Jesus is revealed and renders judgment.

b.       For the true children of God – the TRUE children are faithful always –
First he is a TRUE child of God – 1 John 3:1.  He has obeyed the gospel.
Second, he is unhypocritical, truly devoted, etc.  One thing I appreciate in this song is emphasis on those who are genuine and faithful.  2 Tim. 1:5 – we have a “genuine faith” as did Timothy,
Third, he remains faithful throughout this life - Revelation 2:10 calls for us to be faithful until death.
Luke 9:62 – Jesus warned of those looking back are not fit for the kingdom of God.

c.        Where there will be no complaining, never a chastening rod – in this life we sometimes face criticisms and struggles that make life a challenge.  At times we need to be reproved and rebuked and chastened.  But in that eternal, there will be no sin or sorrows or death or crying. NO temptations – so there will be no need for a chastening rod.  Revelation 21:4 addresses our character in heaven.

 III.                Verse 3 – Soon the bright homeland adorning – Soon – keep going

a.        Soon that bright homeland adorning, we shall behold the glad dawn
Soon - “It won’t be very long”.  We don’t know how much time we have left, but we are reminded that we need to be prepared.   James 4:14 describes our life as a vapor. 
We are also reminded that God knows what He is doing as He “waits” – 2 Peter 3:9
We anticipate that day when we will be in heaven – 2 Timothy 4:7-8. 2 Peter 3:13.  As the patriarchs, we look for that city with foundations built by God (Hebrews 11:10, 16).

b.       Lean on the Lord till the morning, trust till the night is gone
Matthew 11:28-30 – the invitation of Jesus.   As long as we remain on this life, we must continue to turn to our Lord trusting Him. 
1 John 2:17 – while the world is passing away, he who does the will of the lord endures forever. 
Trust is associated with our faith.  1 Timothy 4:10 says, “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

 IV.                Chorus – Home of the soul – heaven

a.        Home of the soul – heaven is a place for the soul that returns to God. 
1 Cor. 15:50-54 speaks of our change needed to go there.

b.       Beautiful home – the glory of heaven cannot be compared to anything we experience or see on this earth.  Even the most glorious of places or wonderful times with God’s people are but a glimpse of what heaven holds for us.  In Revelation 21-22 we find the “New Jerusalem” coming down out of heaven and its glory is described.  It is descriptive of the character of that which is in heaven.

                                                   i.      Blessed kingdom of light – the song has parts.   This is sung by the alto part.  Our home is the kingdom of God – Jesus taught that His kingdom is not of this world – John 18:36.

c.        There we shall rest – that is where it will happen.  A recurring theme in this song. 

d.       Never to roam – it is eternal and we will no longer be pilgrims as on this earth (1 Peter 2:11, Hebrews 11:13 – the fathers professed they were pilgrims on earth, Phil. 3:20 – our citizenship is in heaven).

e.       Free from all care – no more worries or troubles.

f.         Happy and bright – heaven is a place of joy and rejoicing.  In scenes of heaven in Revelation we find attitudes of rejoicing.   IN Revelation 19:7 we read of a multitude victorious singing praises to God and saying, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

g.        Jesus is there – Yes He is.  John 14:2-3 – He has gone to prepare a place. 
Hebrews 9:24-25 – He is in heaven and has offered  Himself for us.

h.       He is the light – Revelation 22:5, 21:23 – no night or darkness because God gives light and Jesus is the light.    Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World”  John 8:12, 9:5

                                                   i.      And where falleth no night – sung by alto part.  Where is light, there is no darkness.   One of the descriptions associated with Jesus being our light in Revelation 22:5 – there is no night.

i.         Oft in the storm (of life), lonely are we – again as we have noted, in this life – sometimes described as a storm – we are lonely and frightened.   But we are never totally alone – Jesus said, “I am with you always” – Matthew 28:20.    When Paul was about to die, at his first defense everyone left him, but not the Lord – 2 Tim. 4:16-18.

j.         Sighing for home, longing for Thee – is it our desire to leave this world and be with Him.    This world truly is broken and a disappointment in so many ways.  Ungodliness is everywhere.  We want something better. 
Paul’s dilemma in Philippians 1:23 – he desired to depart and be with the Lord. 
2 Corinthians 5:2-8 – describes this dilemma in greater detail. 

k.        Beautiful home of the ransomed – heaven is where the saved are.  The term “ransomed” is one of the descriptions of what our Lord did for us on the cross – He paid the price and redeemed us.  1 Timothy 2:5-6 – Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all.  See also Matthew 20:28

l.         Beside the crystal sea – our final phrase is a reference to the scene around the throne of God in Revelation – Rev. 4:6, 15:2, 22:1.    The point is heaven is where God is.  It is where Jesus is.  It is where the saints are surrounding His throne.   It is the place of the saved.  It is the home of the soul of the godly!

 

In this life we face multitudes of troubles – trials, temptations, disappointments, sickness, etc.   It can become overwhelming.  That is why we need to remind ourselves that this is temporary and what we have waiting on  the other side of eternity is so much better.  Let us sing and think often of heaven!  

But it is only of hope to those who obey the gospel.  What about you?  Will heaven be your destiny after this life?   Think about it.