Come Just As You Are

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Come Just As You Are

By Grant Gaines

Pre-made meals have come a long way since Swanson first introduced America to the “TV Dinner” in the 1950’s. The meals today still have the basic layout as their ancestors – meat, vegetables, and often, a dessert, but the finished product of today’s frozen meals is far tastier than the meals from the 1950’s.

However, if you want a meal that will make your stomach truly shout for joy, you have to cook your dinner from scratch. No matter how good the frozen meals may taste, they don’t come close to matching the taste and freshness of a home cooked meal. Sure, it may be intimidating and often times overwhelming for novice cooks to buy all the ingredients, follow a lengthy recipe, and correctly season the finished product, but a seasoned chief doesn’t shy away from such a task.

In the same way, the Lord doesn’t shy away from what may seem to be a “big project” to most. What I mean by that is that God isn’t looking for people to be “finished products” or perfect people before He calls them to be His followers. Rather, He calls us just as we are and THEN proceeds to cleanse us from our sins and commissions us to follow His will.

We see this pattern repeatedly presented throughout the Bible – God calls us first, cleanses us second, and then commissions us third.

Take for example, the nation of Israel as they were delivered out of Egypt’s powerful grasp. God called them out of bondage first in Exodus 13-14, cleansed them of their impurities through the introduction of the Law beginning in Exodus 20, then finally commissioned them to enter the Promised Land later in the book of Joshua. Called, cleansed, commissioned.

Or how about the 12 disciples – Jesus called them as just as they were, cleansed them through three years of teaching and life-on-life ministry, and finally commissioned them to take the good news of the Gospel to the ends of the earth in Matthew 28:18-20. Called, cleansed, commissioned.

The apostle Paul is certainly a great example of this pattern – Jesus called Paul (who was formerly known as “Saul”) to be His follower while he was on his way to murder Christians (Acts 9), proceeded to cleanse Paul of his past sins and fill him with God’s truth for three entire years after coming to faith in His Son (Galatians 1:15-18), and then commissioned him to take the Gospel to foreign nations (Galatians 2:6-10). Called, cleansed, commissioned.

Why is this so important to understand? Because it gives us hope that God still wants to use us despite our shortcomings! We don’t have to be perfect to be chosen by the Lord. In fact, the Gospel is such good news because of that very fact – “Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God. He, to rescue me from danger, bought me with His precious blood. ”

Don’t let Satan lie to you – you can never be too far gone for God to save. He calls you just as you are, loves you too much to leave you that way, and finally commissions you to carry out His business.

Have you answered His call today?

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
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©Grant Gaines 2017


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