5th May 2013

Come Just As You Are

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 (NIV UK) 

Dr Billy Graham often used a phrase to encourage people to accept the redemption we have in Jesus. He would say, “Come, just as you are!” It is a reminder that God sees everything, our best and our worst, and he loves us anyway. The call to come “just as you are” is a reflection of the apostle Paul’s words recorded above.

Many people today don’t even think in terms of sin. Our modern and postmodern generations tend to think in terms of ‘emptiness’, ‘hopelessness’, or ‘meaninglessness’, and often view their inner struggle as being rooted in a low sense of self-worth. They might try to learn and love themselves as a means of becoming loveable, but likely not, as they feel that they are so messed up, so broken, that they could never be good enough to be loved.

But God doesn’t define us by our lacks and our failures; he sees our whole being—the good, the bad and the ugly, and he loves us dearly in spite of everything. Even though God doesn’t have a hard time loving us, we often have a hard time accepting his love. Deep inside, we know we aren’t worthy of it.

In the 1500s, Martin Luther struggled to live a morally perfect life, but continually found himself failing, and in his frustration he at last discovered freedom in God’s grace. Until then, Luther had identified himself with his sins and found only despair, instead of identifying himself with Jesus—God’s perfect and beloved Son—who took away the sins of the world, including Luther’s.

In these modern times, even though many people don’t tend to think in terms of sin, they nevertheless have feelings of hopelessness and doubt that create a deep-seated sense of being unlovable. What they need to know is that, in spite of their emptiness, despite their worthlessness, God values them and loves them.

God loves you, too. Even though God hates sin, he doesn’t hate you. God loves all people, even sinners, and he hates sin precisely because it hurts and destroys people.

“Come just as you are” means that God is not waiting for you to get better before you come to him. He loves you already, despite what you have done. He has secured a way out of anything and everything that could separate you from him. He has secured your escape from every prison of the human mind and heart. In repentance, we simply hand him all the wrongs we have done and will do. In faith, we surrender all that we are and all we have to him, trusting him to put everything right.

What is it that holds you back from experiencing the joy of knowing God’s love for you? Whatever it is, why not give those burdens to Jesus? He is more than able to carry it for you.

Prayer
Merciful Father, it’s not a good bargain, not a bargain at all—in that you take all our wrong-doing and exchange them for Christ’s righteousness. Help us to embrace your graciousness and mercy fully, and so follow you fully in our reconciliation with you. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

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joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

On the 11th May Joseph Tkach is speaking in our London church.You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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