COME JUST AS YOU ARE
Jesus made some astonishing claims about himself. Among them were: “I am the way and the truth and the life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) “I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.” (John 10:9 CEV) Jesus said to Mary, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) Apologist Josh McDowell said, “Either Jesus was who he claimed to be, or he was the greatest lunatic the world has ever seen.”
I have personally trusted His claims and have experienced the peace and hope that he promised. People can disagree with those of us who have believed until they are blue in the face, but the man with the argument must take a backseat to the man with the experience, every time.
Too often we lay heavy expectations on people before they even go through the “Gate.” (Receive Jesus.) We want to see the fruit before they are even attached to the Vine (John 15). When you think about it – it’s not only unrealistic – it’s absurd! What if a physical fitness centre required you to be in top condition before you could join their club? My guess is they’d have very few, if any members. We join a physical fitness club to get in shape! Physical fitness is the by-product of disciplined exercise and diet. It’s the same with following Jesus.
Jesus did not tell us to “pretty ourselves up and then come to him.” He said, “Come, and I will make you all that you need to be.” Come, just as you are! You need not give one iota of thought to your condition in order to come. We come because we are lost without him and are sinners requiring his work of grace in our lives.
When Jesus called his first disciples he did not send them off to some rabbinical school to learn all the aspects of the scripture before they could follow him. No! He just issued the call. “’Come, follow me’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you to become fishers of men.’” (Matthew 4:19) “For it is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
Throughout Billy Graham’s years as a global evangelist, he ended every meeting with the invitation song, ‘Just As I Am.” The second verse says, “Just as I am and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot. To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”
What are you waiting for? Have you delayed coming to Him because you don’t think you’re fit enough? Or is it because you’ve sinned too greatly or too much? Or is it that you just feel unworthy?
Set each of those thoughts aside. Jesus has no pre-conditions for you to come to him except that you do so humbly and sincerely. Like the Psalmist who cried, “Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.” (Psalm 27:7-8 NLT) “Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NIV)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Jude 24, 25; Philippians 1:6; Revelation 3:20; 22:17; I John 5:11-12; Ephesians 2:4-10