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

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