Listening Through Lent: Just As I Am

If you grew up in a church with altar calls – invitations to publicly come forward to receive Jesus as your Savior – then you probably know all the verses of this hymn.  It is the most common altar-call hymn ever, for it gives clear voice to the invitation to come to Jesus.  Indeed, it dispels some common reasons for our hesitation: “I’m not ready;” “I’m too bad a sinner:” “I’m not sure;” “I’m afraid;” “I’m not worthy.”   The repeated answer to all those excuses is the wonderful good news, “Come just you are.”  So, with the words of this song ringing in their ears, countless sinners have come to Jesus and found welcome, pardon, cleansing and relief.

Because this hymns has so often been used in that context, we might assume it only speaks to people without the Savior.  But in reality, we never outgrow this invitation.  No matter how knowledgeable or mature in the faith we might be, we have no other solution to the anguish of our souls but to come to Jesus.  And, we never have any other way to come, but “Just as I am” – empty-handed, unworthy, needy, helpless, and with no other hope.  This hymn sets before us that unchanging gospel – the only hope we will ever have – that because of Jesus, God receives those who come “without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me.”

So, again this morning, this is my prayer, and I hope it is yours: “Just as I am, O Lamb of God, I come!  I come!”
~Pastor Bert Hitchcock

Just As I Am
by Charlotte Elliott

Just as I am! without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

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!

Just as I am! Though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
With fears within, and foes without,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

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!

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!

Just as I am! Thy love unknown
Has broken ev’ry barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

 

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