Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The only thing I have to say tonight is that Jesus loves us. He loves us in the good times. He loves us in the bad times. He loves us when we are imperfect. He loves us when we are at our best. He loves us in our blindness, our stubbornness, in our most generous times, and in our most selfish times. Jesus loves us, this I know. Sometimes when life is hard, the only thing that makes sense is this fact alone. To shut out every circumstance, every situation, every emotion and surrender to this message is the very foundation of being able to deal with all those other things of the world.
Billy Graham was such a big deal when I was growing up. I don’t know of another man of God that has come to fill the void that he will leave. I hope the Lord raises someone up who is as humble as this man. Praise God for his ministry and how many folks came to the Lord as a result of what he lived and lives today. One of the things that impacted me the very most was that he played “Just As I Am” at every event he held. Observe the words, the depth of meaning. Let them sink beyond the outer layer and into every wounded part of your being. They speak truth, a truth that our spirit hungers for, desires, and is fed by. The notes in parentheses are mine, not in the song.
Just as I am, without one plea. (Without a single one, not even one), but that thy blood was shed for me (for me- as in me, the person in the mirror), and that thou bidst me come to thee (and why would the creator of the Universe care about me in this way?), O Lamb of God, I come, I come. (This is our decision. We either decide to go to Him, to allow Him to surround us, love us, protect us, guide us- or we do not.)
Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot (sometimes I believe especially after we have given our lives to the Lord that we wait to “clean up” before we come back into His presence. It makes as much sense as waiting till we are well to go to the doctor), to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot (Jesus, being created with God’s pure blood in His body because of the virgin birth could absorb all of our sins into His perfection), O Lamb of God I come, I come.
Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fighting and fears within, without, O Lamb of God I come, I come. (Hallelujah!)
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in thee to find, O Lamb of God I come, I come. (In Him we have everything we want and need.)
Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. (Trusting Him is crucial, even if the emotions as expressed in the prior verse loom large.)
Just as I am, thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down; now, to be thine, yea thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. (We don’t know He’s all we need until He’s all we have. And when we know, He has succeeded in knocking down the things in us that would not trust Him. Even that is His job. And He wants to be our first love, always.)
We come to Him, we don’t wait to get good enough because that’s impossible, we may still be in bondage when we come but we take it with us and give it to Him. He is faithful to accept us even with all of our baggage and desires to the be One that removes it, not us. He will take it away, forgive it, cleanse us from all of it. We are His, completely.
These are life lessons, the guideline to a life with Christ. We go back to these every day, to give Him all our cares because He cares for us. What comfort to know, what freedom to experience the reality of life in Christ and having Him as our soft place to fall, always. He will never leave us or forsake us. Amen.
Take away: Jesus will never reject us, will never abandon us, will never leave us stranded. We have to surrender everything to HIm so as to give Him the reins and then we will see change. And generally that change is in our own hearts. Come to HIm, surrender it all, let Him receive you and let Him guide you. What freedom it is for us to know that for the rest of our days, every single one of them, we can know with every certainty, that we are deeply loved, we will never be abandoned, we are accepted just the way we are. This is amazing stuff.
Prayer: Lord, help me to live my life with “Just As I Am” mentality- knowing that you are the place to run in the midst of our mess and You are the one with the way out. We are not. Help surrender be a reality, more and more in our lives. We surrender to win. And therein lies one of the greatest paradoxes you bring us. Thank you Jesus that we can come to you in any and every condition and you will receive us. We pray for humility.