Just As I Am

without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me,  and that thou bidst me come to thee,  O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

healing

Just As I Am – a familiar old hymn to many. At the church I attended in my childhood we sang every verse during the closing each Sunday morning. It is more precious to me now than it was then, as I could never understand the full meaning in those words until walking a few decades on this planet.

Sadly, we diminish what God has done and all that we sing about when we call into question the working of Christ’s blood as redemption for the sin of any individual. Not me, you think? Have you ever looked at someone’s life and thought “Wow, they have made such a mess of their life. And they really need the grace of God“?

Christ is the Great Equalizer. Do we not each really need the grace of God? We live in a sin-ravaged world, one in which the enemy will take every opportunity – from regret and self-loathing to pride and self-sufficiency – to separate us from the Father’s love.

Once upon a time, there were two people. One person, feeling pain and despair from the wrong choices he had made in just a few short years of his very young life, cried out for God’s grace and healing from the depths of the miry pit, accepted His forgiveness and love, and walked with a grateful heart in close communion with Him.

The other person cried out to God from the alter of the church in which he grew up and had never strayed very far, and in which he now served. Having made good choices in life, he didn’t understand why this devastating circumstance had fallen upon him. It didn’t seem fair, but he knew he needed help from above.

Is one more worthy of God’s help? Aren’t we all unworthy? Which one has more richly experienced God’s grace? I will be bold and ask you to examine your heart. Have you ever needed the Physician? Do you need him still?

Do not be deceived by the enemy. Whatever you are facing and wherever you have been need not keep you from running to the One who cares for you. The perfect Lamb of God, born in the humblest of circumstances, left the glorious presence of the Father for 1 reason, 1 purpose – to bear our sin, our shame, our burdens. His blood poured out for us, Christ conquered death and lives victoriously, patiently, lovingly waiting for you to come. O Lamb of God.

Matthew 9:12, On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”. This important truth can also be found in Mark 2:17, and again Luke 5:31.

Where Worship Begins

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” John 21:12a
image
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

I’ve been meditating on John chapter 21. There is so much packed into that Scripture! One of the things that really speaks to me is the physical, flesh and blood, resurrected Christ. How human, how relatable he is.

I keep thinking about it: Jesus – God in the flesh, having just conquered death – knows he has limited time on earth before he will ascend to be with the Father…yet here he is.

Here He is – sitting on the beach.

His friends have been out on the water all night, catch nothing. Now they come to shore, towing a net filled with over 150 fish which Jesus just provided. There is Jesus, relaxing on the sand with his campfire blazing. Food hot and ready!

Who is this man? Savior of the world! Lord of lords! God! That he would care about my comfort! My needs! My desires! Jesus, with a servant-heart, understands relationship. And he says to his friends, “Come and have breakfast.”

When is the last time someone cooked you breakfast? Perhaps there was coffee, warm bread? A little campfire breakfast cooked by Jesus for his friends…

This is fellowship. This is rest. Jesus simply says, Come on over. Grab a place to sit. Warm yourself. Eat. Rest. Talk with me. This is where worship begins. Come with a grateful heart.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28