Billy Graham often used a phrase to encourage
people to accept the redemption we have in Jesus. He would say, “Come, just as
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 in Romans 5:
“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).
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 like they are so messed up, so
broken, that they could never be good enough to be loved.
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.
though God does not 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.
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
does not 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.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.