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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Just As I Am

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
John 6:37

It is fitting that we close this week’s devotions on old hymns with “Just As I Am.”  Rev. Billy Graham always closed his services with the singing of this song. It has been the most famous invitational hymn in history.

Charlotte Elliot, who lived in Brighton, England, was an embittered woman. Her health was broken, and her disability had hardened her. She blamed God for her disability.

 Dr. Cesar Malan, A Swiss minister, visited Charlotte’s home on May 9, 1822. Over dinner Charlotte lost her temper and railed against God. Her embarrassed family left the room, and Dr. Malan was left alone with Charlotte.

Dr. Malan asked, “You are tired of yourself, aren’t you?  You are holding on to your hate and anger because you have nothing else in the world to cling to.”

 “What is your cure?” asked Charlotte. Then Dr. Malan explained faith in Jesus Christ to her. Charlotte softened and asked how she could become a Christian and have the peace and joy that Dr. Malan had. Dr. Malan replied, “You would give yourself to God just as you are now, with your fightings and  fears, hates and loves, pride and shame.” Charlotte then asked, “Do you mean that I can come to God just as I am?”

Charlotte did come to Jesus, and her heart was changed that day. As time passed, she claimed today’s verse as her special verse: he who comes to me I will by no means cast out. Jesus shed His blood on the cross so that we can come to Him “just as we are.”

 Charlotte wrote this wonderful testimony in 1836. Though she never enjoyed good health, she lived to be 82 and wrote about 150 hymns. As her loved ones sifted through her papers after her death, they found over a thousand letters from people who expressed their gratitude for the way this hymn had touched their lives.

 You may be like Charlotte. She wanted the joy and peace that was evident in Dr. Malan’s life. She couldn’t believe that Jesus would accept her anger, hate, and bad attitude, but He did.

Remember, Jesus will accept you “just as you are.” He has the power to make you a different person.

Source: Then Sings My Soul, Robert J. Morgan, 2003


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