A Simple Invitation

Posted on October 4, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , |

This week’s promise: God forgives all sins, no matter how big

Just as I Am

 

“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God I come! I come!”

Charlotte Elliot (1789-1871)

 

 

A simple invitation

The simple message of the song “Just as I Am” was so popular in the early days of Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusades that it became a regular part of the response to each appeal to make a public commitment for Christ.

Charlotte Elliott seemed to have everything going for her as a young woman. She was gifted as a portrait artist and also a writer of humorous verse. Then in her early thirties she suffered a serious illness that left her weak and depressed. During her illness a noted minister, Dr. Caesar Malan of Switerland, came to visit her. Noticing her depression, he asked if she had peace with God. She resented the question and said she did not want to talk about it.

But a few days later she went to apologize to Dr. Malan. She said that she wanted to clean up some things in her life before becoming a Christian. Malan looked at her and answered, “Come just as you are.” That was enough for Charlotte Elliot, and she yielded herself to the Lord that day.

Fourteen years later, remembering those words spoken to her by Caesar Malan in Brighton, England, she wrote this simple hymn that has been used to touch the hearts of millions who have responded to Christ’s invitation to come just as they are.”

from The One Year Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown (Tyndale) entry for June 22

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