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Just As I Am

      Someone knocks on the door.  We scurry to check our appearance and glance
at the house to be sure everything is orderly before we open the door. As a
child I often envisioned the scriptural picture of Jesus standing at the door
knocking, waiting for the invitation to come into our heart-home.
  Then I was terrified He would find sin
littering my heart and turn away.

         Last week I read the findings of a
numerologist with his findings – Jesus is coming on the twenty-third of this
month. My first thought was not of preparation and pre-cleaning.  I felt relieved and thankful.  Jesus is coming.
         Matthew 24:35-36 – Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will
never disappear.
“However, no one knows the day or hour
when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son
himself. Only the Father knows.
         When our heart’s cry, throughout our
life rings out – “I’m coming to the Savior’s knock on our heart, Just as I am,
O Lamb of God, I Come!” – We know we are ready to meet Jesus!
         The answer to the door of our hearts is
for each of us. We cannot answer for another. 
Preparation for the coming of Jesus is not the outer ‘look” the make-over,
but the heart-look.  The heart is who we
really are. 
         I’m
glad Jesus takes us just as we are and changes us. It is hard to change for
someone else and it is very wearing trying to be what we are not.  Jesus loves us for what we can be, not what
we are, and He changes us, we cannot.
         Psalm 103:8…13-14 – The
Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry
and filled with unfailing love…The
Lord is like a
father to his children,
tender and compassionate to
those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
         Ephesians 4:21-24 Since
you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,
throw off your old
sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and
deception.
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts
and attitudes.
 Put on your new nature, created to be
like God—truly righteous and holy.
         “Just
As I Am
” is
not hiding our imperfections but giving them to God to change us into being the
children of God.  When our hearts respond
to Jesus, we commit to a constant coming every moment – O Lamb of God, I come…
We change our heart’s garments.  We put
on Christ in our attitudes and thoughts. 
We are renewed. Our nature is created to be like God, Who is truly
righteous and holy!
         In 1835, when these words,
“Just as I Am” were written by Charlotte Elliot, as she lay, an invalid,
desiring to serve God, but finding no way. 
She wanted to help, too, and serve God. 
Her brother, H. V Elliot, a minister conceived a plan to educate the
children of clergymen at a nominal cost. 
A Bazaar was to be held.  Everyone
was engaged in the preparations.  All
helped except Charlotte. She felt useless and questioned her faith and
God.  (Charlotte’s life in England
spanned the years – 1789–1871. Her testimony of
faith is still sung.)
         The next day the thoughts of
disappointment and grief came upon her. 
She began writing the truths of her faith in God…and her conviction and
trust in God came through the words. 
Little did she know that the lyrics to the song she wrote that day was
an answer to prayer and would change the hearts of many people in the years to
come!  Her thoughts and certainties of
her faith would be sung countless number of times in many churches.  Many continue to be drawn to Jesus by the
undeniable truths she wrote in her heart-felt lyrics.
         Just
as I Am, I come, I come
… as I read through the familiar verses, I
remembered a lady who told me, don’t skip the second verse – it tells a story!  To emphasize that thought, I recently read a
quote from my Mom, Anna Daisy Siemens, who often played for funerals. “I often
played for Brother Ediger’s Mennonite Indian Mission in Oklahoma.  They usually wanted only organ music, no
singing.  Brother Ediger warned her, the
Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians knew how many verses each song had, so play every
verse.”
         I read the lyrics again, and found the
gospel story in the second line of every verse.
          But
that Thy blood was shed for me….
     To
rid my soul of one dark blot
     With
many a conflict, many a doubt,
     Sight,
riches, healing of the mind
     Wilt
welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
     Has
broken every barrier down.
         Tim
Challies
, a blogger and author, found this last verse that finishes this
song and the reason for our salvation – God’s Love.
         Just as I am – of that free love
     The breadth, length, depth, and
height to prove,
     Here for a season, then above,
      O Lamb of God, I come!
         Isaiah
12:2 – See, God has come to save me.

I
will trust in Him and not be afraid. The
Lord God is my strength and my song;
He
has given me victory.”  With joy you will drink deeply

from
the fountain of salvation! In that wonderful day you will sing:

“Thank
the
Lord!
Praise his name! Tell the nations what He has done.

Let
them know how mighty He is!
         Ephesians
3:18-19And may you
have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long,
how high, and how deep his love is.
  May
you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that
comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able,
through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than
we might ask or think.


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