Come to Me

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

–          Matthew 11:28-30

 

‘Where sin and sorrow stops, and the song of the saint starts. Do I really want to get there? I can right now. The questions that truly matter in life are remarkably few, and they are all answered by these words— “Come to Me.” Our Lord’s words are not, “Do this, or don’t do that,” but— “Come to me.” If I will simply come to Jesus, my real life will be brought into harmony with my real desires. I will actually cease from sin, and will find the song of the Lord beginning in my life.

‘Have you ever come to Jesus? Look at the stubbornness of your heart. You would rather do anything than this one simple childlike thing— “Come to Me.” If you really want to experience ceasing from sin, you must come to Jesus.

‘Jesus Christ makes Himself the test to determine your genuineness. Look how He used the word come. At the most unexpected moments in your life there is this whisper of the Lord— “Come to Me,” and you are immediately drawn to Him. Personal contact with Jesus changes everything. Be “foolish” enough to come and commit yourself to what He says. The attitude necessary for you to come to Him is one where your will has made the determination to let go of everything and deliberately commit it all to Him.

‘“…and I will give you rest”— that is, “I will sustain you, causing you to stand firm.” He is not saying, “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.” But, in essence, He is saying, “I will get you out of bed— out of your listlessness and exhaustion, and out of your condition of being half dead while you are still alive. I will penetrate you with the spirit of life, and you will be sustained by the perfection of vital activity.” Yet we become so weak and pitiful and talk about “suffering” the will of the Lord! Where is the majestic vitality and the power of the Son of God in that?’

–          Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

 

“The apostle John is told, ‘[Come up here – come and see!]  Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David’ (Revelation 5:5).  Then we’re told that Heaven will come down and to hold fast till the Lord comes.  The nations will gather and come to worship Him.  No wonder the Spirit tells us to come; let him who thirsts come drink, and the Lord proclaims, ‘Behold, I make all things new’ (21:5).

“Behold! ‘The marriage of the Lamb has come’ (19:7).

“Come! ‘Gather together for the supper of the great God’ (v. 17).

“Where does the King want us to come?  Home.”

–          Billy Graham, Where I Am

 

I came to the Lord flat on my back, staring at the ceiling.  I could not sleep.  God wanted a total commitment from me.  The burden on my heart was unbearable.  After a year of praying for God to save me from this torment, I gave up.  I said, “Lord, I give up.”  That’s what God wanted.  He wanted for me to realize that my will was not the best for me.  I needed to come to Him.  I needed to accept His will.

 

Has it been a wrestling match?  Indeed, it has.  I am rather stubborn.  I make decisions easily.  I can get the notion of my concept of God’s will and go off on a tangent.  As the troubles mount, I eventually seek God for guidance in a place quiet enough to hear His voice.  His voice seems to always say, “You went off half cocked again.  You need to wait.  You need to make sure you are going in the right direction.  Check with me first.”

 

Oswald Chambers wrote: If you abandon everything to Jesus, and come when He says, “Come,” then He will continue to say, “Come,” through you. You will go out into the world reproducing the echo of Christ’s “Come.” That is the result in every soul who has abandoned all and come to Jesus.

Have I come to Him? Will I come now?”

 

Yesterday, I wrote that our purpose is the worship God, but what is our destination?  As Billy Graham said in his last book and quoted above, “Home.”

 

When I bought Graham’s book, Where I Am, I thought he was saying those three words to illustrate where he (Graham) is now.  In a way, he is, but he is quoting Jesus, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)

 

My wife is an exotic blend of different ancestors, but Irish is not among them.  Mine is mostly Scottish, but there is probably some Irish there.  One of my wife’s favorite Irish songs is “Home, Boys, Home.”  Neither she nor I have felt ‘home’ in a long time.  We look forward to going home.

 

Why do Christians cling to life so desperately?  My wife says that she clings to life for her children’s and grandchildren’s sake.  She’ll be ‘Super Mom’ until her last breath.  I don’t look forward to the prolonged illness before death.  I really don’t like pain.  I often laugh at suffering, wondering what morsel of Truth from God will I learn this time, but pain?  Ouch!  I have three of my grandparents who died of cancer.  I am reminded of C. S. Lewis’ list of cancer deaths, followed by Who is next?

 

Maybe people cling to life because of their doubts about what happens next.  The hymn, “Just As I Am” mentions doubts in one of the verses.  In an interview with Bill Gaither, Cliff Barrows, Billy Graham’s nearly lifelong music director, mentioned the hymn.  He said that before a Crusade in London, the London press wrote an article saying that the hymn sparked emotions within the crowd.  If the Billy Graham Crusade would just eliminate the hymn, there would be far less people going forward.  Barrows went on to say that for the first few nights of the Crusade, they had no music after Billy Graham’s invitation.  Record numbers, thousands upon thousands, came forward at the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Barrows said that before the last night of the Crusade, there was a full page note from the press in the newspaper.  The words were something along the lines of, “Just sing the song already!  The silence is killing us!”

 

Billy Graham wrote near the last page of Where I Am:  “This little word come is filled with eternal promise.  I suppose that is why I have always been drawn to the song that closed most of our evangelistic crusades:

And as thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Jesus is calling, “Come.”

 

I don’t know about you, but I cannot get through this hymn without my eyes getting a little wet.  What will be your response?

 

  1. Just as I am, without one plea,
    But that Thy blood was shed for me,
    And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  2. 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.
  3. Just as I am, though tossed about
    With many a conflict, many a doubt,
    Fightings and fears within, without,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
    Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
    Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
  5. 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.
  6. Just as I am, Thy love unknown
    Hath broken every barrier down;
    Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

–          Charlotte Elliot, Just As I Am

8 Comments

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  1. I’m with you on that pain deal. I’ve watched both of my parents suffer from their ravishing of cancer…not a pretty sight.
    I fret as well.
    Some days I think, OK, let’s just get this all over with, let’s go home. Other day’s I’m like…no, not yet, I’m still busy….
    It will be what it will be…but it does seem to be human nature to hang on…
    I think it’s that unknown factor and the lack of control that is the hang-up—in death, we have neither control nor knowledge ​of what will truly be…yet in steps faith…and we are reminded…all shall be well…
    Here’s to well Mark!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. atimetoshare.me June 15, 2018 — 4:12 pm

    Right on, Julie. I love this hymn because it speaks to who we are – undeserving yet precious to God. I think we all hang on to that element of the unknown. It’s hard to simply trust that God has our lives in His hands. It’s difficult not to try being involved. Our faith must be childlike, innocent and accepting. So easy❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that hymn. Thank you for the back story on the Crusades. I am a cancer survivor and I cared for my mom who died of three forms of cancer. I pray nightly that I will never have any form of cancer again. Yes, I do believe it is the suffering before our home going that we dread the most. I “vote” for the trumpet blast and being “caught up in the air” to meet the Savior. But of course, God is sovereign and so I can only pray. My vote doesn’t really count, but prayers do make a difference. 😉 Excellent post, Mark! I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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