“My heart has heard You say...Come and talk with Me...And my heart responds...LORD, I am coming”
William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr., born in 1918, is an American evangelical Christian evangelist. His ministry began in 1947 and he conducted more than 400 Crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents.
At the Crusades Graham would preach the gospel and invite the people to come forward while the well-known hymn, “Just As I Am” was sung. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to “accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior” (Wikipedia).
In 1835, Charlotte Elliot wrote the words for the hymn, “Just As I Am”, and it has been used by many ministries as the altar call at the close of the service. Graham claims that he was saved in 1934 in a revival meeting after hearing this hymn.
The fourth verse of the familiar hymn goes like this: “Just as I am...thou wilt receive...Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve...Because thy promise I believe...O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”. Our precious Lord Jesus accepts everyone, just as they are, all they need to say is: “I come!”. He welcomes them with His arms wide open.
Millie Stamm wrote a narrative about a soldier in World War 1 who received a copy of one of the Gospels. The story went like this: Although the soldier had read the Gospel, he could not accept the certainty of Jesus Christ. One night while he was on sentry duty, he was alone, and was in the presence of danger. It was during that time that he thought about God. He was wishing he could believe that the presence of Jesus Christ was with him. To his surprise, he saw King Albert, his king, standing sentry duty with him. Stamm stated: “This experience was used of God to make him realize that the Lord would be as near and as real to him as King Albert was.” The end result was that the soldier became a Christian.
In Exodus, God's people have an inspiring promise of divine presence and love: “the LORD replied, I will presonally go with you...”. God was speaking at that time to Moses, however the promise is also for His followers today, and each believer is blessed with His companionship and love. In Romans, Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and believers everywhere when he stated: “For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love” (NLT).
Christians have the security and blessing in knowing that Jesus loves them and accepts them just as they are. In John, Jesus stated: “...those the Father has given Me will come to Me, and I will never reject them” (NLT).
“Just as I am...O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”
Lord God, thank You for accepting us just as we are. Help us to continually rely on Your promise that Your presence is constantly with us, even in danger. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington