“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Romans 5:6-10 NKJV
Just as I am
This week has been especially emotional this year. For some reason I am more reflective on my past. I am dwelling on the time when I finally hit the bottom of my life, and Jesus rescued me. In the tumult of these present times, I am comforted by my salvation, as I have fewer worries and greater confidence in my God. I know that come what may, my future is in heaven, and I can have confidence in Jesus to deliver me there.
“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
II Timothy 1:12 NKJV
When I was a child, I stopped going to church. I had been judged one too many times, and I was revulsed by the hypocrisy I saw in the so called leaders, who to my childish eyes, lived lives of duplicity, filled with sin.
In my life in the world, I was abased, as I pursued all manner of sinful thinking and action. Even in my darkest, and most distant, I felt a stirring as an unknown force created in me a desire to return, to accept Christ at His word.
I felt so sinful, so unworthy of God’s love. I spent a lot of time trying to clean myself up, to find some kind of virtue, so that I could be presentable to the Lord. I was looking for my own righteousness, but only found filth in my inward parts.
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
Finding my way to Jesus seemed utterly impossible, like climbing an insurmountable mountain, with grease on my hands and feet. I had all but given up, when Jesus began to woo me.
He was no longer that unknown force, as He started sending people into my life who told me of a God who wanted to meet me where I was. After many messengers came into my life, I finally visited Grace Church in my hometown on a cold January morning.
It was “invite a person of another race to church” Sunday, and I got the feeling pretty soon that few had really taken the pastor up on the challenge. I stood out in a meeting of 800 people.
I remember the worship and was struck by the candor and transparency of the worship leader, Marty. He talked of his weakness, and his desperate need for the Lord. I had never heard that before, certainly from a man of God.
I had grown up in churches full of self righteous people with lofty titles, and I felt like a failure, as I knew I could never measure up to the seeming godliness on display. But, here I was listening to a worship leader and pastor who admitted they were sinners just like me.
During my first visit, I received a tract that the church put our that had a plan of salvation. One of the verse told of how Jesus went to cross even while we were still in sin. He had done the work before I was even born. He knew of my sin, my struggles, and was drawing me unto Himself.
Jesus was calling me, just as I was. He is lovng me just as I am. I have grown greatly since that cold January morning, and especially since Resurrection Sunday later that spring. I am still flawed, but I know that Jesus will complete the work.
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”
Philippians 1:6 NKJV
There are so many people out in this world who have never known Jesus. I am sure that there are some who may even be reading this piece, who have not been forgiven.
Know this: Jesus will meet you where you are. You do not have to clean yourself up to come to the king. He will bring the change after He has saved you, as your dead spirit will be replaced by His Holy Spirit.
I will warn you, He will not leave you where you are. He will change you, as He makes you holy.
We are in Holy Week, and I am praying for many on my list that do not know the Lord, that they have that meeting with Jesus on Sunday, and begin a journey. He will meet you where you are, and take you to be with Him.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.””
Matthew 11:29-30 NKJV
In Jesus, there is peace from striving a joy beyond measure!
Just as I am, without one plea
Aut that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidst 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
-CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT, ELIZA H. H. HAMILTON, ELLIS JR. SHORT, WANDA SHORT
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!