Just As I AM

With the news of Billy Graham’s death, I have been reflective of his impact in my life, our country, and the world.  These meditations have also included many more people that have formed my spiritual heritage.  With these memories, I could not help but think of the song “Just As I am” which have become connected with Billy Graham’s memory and his crusades.  In fact, it was the title of his autobiography, which I read several years ago.  This song was a common sound in the invitations at revival meetings and church services at my home.  I still can see my whitened knuckles gripping hard the pew in front of me as I pondered being “tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O lamb of God,” would I come?  I thought I would take the time to read the lyrics and share some history of the song with you.

The song was written by Charlotte Elliott of Brighton, England (1789–1871) and was an invalid most of her life.  As a believer surrounded by family that was very active in their faith, she struggled with feeling useless in her life.  In 1834, Charlotte was 45 and in the midst of her family working hard for a fundraiser for a ministry she languished in her feelings of uselessness. These feelings moved to doubts and conflicts of her whole spiritual life.  The next day, all those feelings hit her full force and she needed a resolution.  She brought together all of her spiritual certainties to consider over and above her emotions and expressed on pen and paper her definition of faith. She wrote in verse form her forgiveness, peace, and hope of heaven.  (Louis Benson, Studies of Familiar Hymns, Second Series, 201-202 accessed on http://www.challies.com/articles/hymn-stories-just-as-i-am/ )

 

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!

Access to a relationship with God by His initiation and on the basis of Jesus sacrifice alone!

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!

Our hope for being Right with God and ourselves is only by Jesus, “The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Don’t delay such a gift. 

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

Our faith is imperfect, but our Christ remains perfect and receives us for He is greater than our doubts. 

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!

We don’t have to make ourselves right to be received by Christ for only through Him do we get right. 

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
– O Lamb of God, I come!

Jesus has promised, so take him at His word though we are “weary and heavy laden” 

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

There is nothing so shaming in our heart that prevents God in His love toward us for it “is His goodness that leads us to repentance.”

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!

There is so much more to be experienced of God’s love that awaits for us after our own death.  The travails of this life are seasonal but God’s love is forever!

Jarrod Scott

Advertisements

The Makings of Me

Dad called last night and he was excited to share with me the report he got from his genetic kit.  You or someone you knew probably sent or received one of those genetic kits for Christmas.  I will be sending off my DNA kit shortly. They appeal to our fascination with ourselves and all that has gone into the 23 chromosomes that have determined our physical body.  Not only do we learn about our body, we also learn about all the places our specific forebears have traveled and intermingled.  We no longer see ourselves as just either red, yellow, black, or white but also as all the colors of the world.  I will look forward to learning about the various cultures and generic tendencies of my personal people groups.  This will be done with an eye to explain and understand my own tendencies and struggles.  We are always looking for someone to blame for our failings, aren’t we?

I am sad to say that my failings are personally mine and mine alone.  Yet, I read a verse in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 that instructs me to no longer to judge according to the flesh but to seek Christ in myself and others because God is making us into a new creation.  As interesting as it might be to know the genetic markings of myself and others, more meaningful is to seek Christ in them.  This will lead us to an active prayer thought life as we go about our day.  Let the people you meet through your day form an active prayer list for you as you move through your schedules and agendas.  Pray for your people that Christ would be active and work in their hearts and life.  This spiritual power of Christ will determine more of you will be than genetic chromosomes.  As James instructs, “receive the implanted Word of God.”

Pastor Jarrod

Trials…What Good are They?

Let’s face it, life is full of trials and sometimes we just want to say, ” Alright already!” …Why do I have to face so many trials and what good are they anyway?  It’s a tough question, but it’s real for all of us in some capacity.  As believer’s we hope and maybe even sometimes expect the trials to cease.  But, we find they don’t and sometimes they ​even ​seem to increase​.​

S​o we are left to ​try​ to trust that God is there ​to walk us thru​ and ​that ​He has something to teach us that will draw us closer to Him while going thru it.  The good news is Gods word is full of good examples of this and what God can do thru trials.

​I​n our F260 Bible reading for the last couple of weeks we are seeing a great example of this in Joseph.  When it comes to trials, Joseph faced some pretty tough stuff, but he kept his faith in God #1 and we can see where God used ​those​ trials to teach him several things.  One was to accept the situation and glorify God thru it.  It’s real easy to have a “Why Me” approach to trials, but when Joseph was sold into Slavery he accepted the situation and went right to work for Potiphar.  

​Like Joseph w​e must accept our situation for God to work thru it.  Then when wrongly thrown into prison he continued to work hard and instead of holding grudges against those who put him there, he helped them prosper. God used this to bless others and draw them to himself, he can do the same thru our trials.  God ​also ​taught Joseph patience thru numerous and very long trials.  Joseph knew God was going to bless him so he kept his hope fixed on God thru it all and in the end his patience paid off with blessings, as it can for us in our trials.  He taught Joseph integrity thru the temptations of Potiphar’s wife. 

​ Joseph​ knew that being faithful to God 1st and Potiphar 2nd was the right thing to do even thought it would mean more trials, and God blessed ​his patience thru it​ as he will do for us.  He taught Joseph humility thru his trials.  At any point Joseph could have taken credit for his ability to interpret dreams and gained the reward for it, but instead Joseph always gave glory to God for this ability, proclaiming that God was responsible for his abilities and that deserved the glory for it all.  Joseph knew it was God’s blessing that gave him the ability to get thru this trial, so he gave him the glory as we should when God walks us thru a trial.    

​There are several things God Taught Joseph, but I’ll close with a big one that we all struggle with, forgiveness.  God taught Joseph that forgiveness is key for dealing with the trials in our life.  If we are going to get past some of the biggest trials in our life we must first forgive those who have wronged us so God can do his great work thru them.  Joseph knew God’s plan​s​ w​ere ​bigger than he was and ​that they were ​bigger than the many trials he faced ​since​ his brothers had committed ​the sin of selling him into slavery.  But, instead of holding a grudge he forgave, he trusted God​,​ and ​he ​gave God​the Glory he deserved every step of the way.  

Joseph’s trials and how he handled them, ​can teach us a lot ​​as we face our ​daily​ trials, so keep on reading and trusting in God’s word. And even though the trials may continue, He will walk you thru drawing you and others around you to Himself the whole way.  

Chris Best