In 2022, it emerged as one of my favorite words in the Bible. In terms of significance, it’s right up there with grace, mercy, faith and cross.
What is this word?
It tells me what to do when I’m physically or emotionally exhausted. It offers a strategy when depression envelops me. This word gives me direction when the weight of a burden crushes me, and when the inevitable signs of aging and physical decline remind me that my death isn’t very far away. This term reveals how to deal with conviction of sin.
What is this word?
It’s the word that encourages me when spiritual warfare rages because, when Jesus uttered it, a legion of demons had to obey it: “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit” (Mark 5:8).
Now that’s a Savior who’s more than capable of helping me when I’m on the verge of giving in to temptation!
The word instills hope when life in a fallen world weighs me down, and I think I don’t have any margin of energy or spirit left to keep going. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 shall find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
Oh, that’s someone I can love, someone who will be gentle with me instead of reprimanding me when I don’t have it all together!
It reveals Jesus’ servant heart and His understanding of our needs. It’s what He said to a group of close friends when they were dog-tired and hungry after a night of fishing. During a resurrection appearance not long before His ascension, instead of a seminar on how to evangelize or to preach effectively, Jesus, with a charcoal fire already prepared, said, “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:12).
Oh, I want to worship a down-to-earth Savior like that! One who won’t belittle me for bringing mundane needs to Him, who never views anything that concerns me as too little to broach with Him.
It reminds me that a decaying body is no obstacle to resurrection. Lazarus’ body had been dead for four days when Martha said, “There will be a stench!” Yet Jesus commanded, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43.)
Yes, that’s a Savior who bids me come to Him and share my unsettled fear of earthly demise. Who claimed that death is an “upward move” and that He has reserved a room for me in my forever home (John 14:1-3).
I love the classic hymn we sing at Christmas: “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Except I don’t always view myself as faithful to the Lord. In an effort to highlight His faithfulness to us, rather than our faithfulness to Him, and to capture His loving, accepting attitude toward us, I penned this poem.
O COME ALL YE NEEDY
O come all ye needy, broken and despairing.
Bring your worries and the burdens you are bearing.
Come if you are grieving, tears rolling down your face;
if regrets loom large and you’re desperate for grace.
O come all ye tempted, on the brink of sinning;
employ God’s means of grace; each day, a new beginning.
Come all who are hurting, your body wracked by pain;
ask God to redeem it for His glory and your gain.
O come all ye despondent, your prospects dim and stark.
The light of God’s promises can penetrate the dark.
Come if you are doubting, when your faith ebbs and flows;
Christ won’t disparage you for hard questions you pose.
O come all ye exhausted, your heart desert-dry;
when you’re too numb to feel and you can’t even cry.
Come all ye sinners, consumed by your disgrace.
He won’t condemn those who confess; enter His embrace!
O come all ye bitter; another’s sin caused your grieving.
See the scars on Christ’s body; give the grace that you’re receiving.
Don’t come because you’re good enough, but because Christ is.
He’ll embrace you warmly since your righteousness is His.
Do you really believe Jesus’ words in John 6:37? “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
Don’t come because you have it all together; come because you don’t.
Come because He speaks the word in a warm, welcoming manner, not in a stern “You ought!” tone of voice.
Shhh….Listen carefully. That’s it. Move in closer. Cup your ears. Can you detect what He’s saying?
Today, why do you need to come?
Faithfulness to Him is an admirable trait, a mark of spiritual maturity. But how do we cultivate more of it? I’m convinced that the key to greater faithfulness to our Savior is a deeper grasp of His loving, accepting posture toward us when He bids us, “Come!”
Since we are smack-dab-in-the middle-of the Christmas season, come because He came first! “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Special Note: My original poem was inspired by a song I heard recently titled, “O Come All Ye Unfaithful,” written by Bob Kauflin and Lisa Clow. I definitely got the idea for my poem from their song, and it spurred my thinking about the theme. As I started my poem, I recalled that the song lyrics mentioned coming to the Lord in weakness, but I couldn’t recall more specific lyrics. I googled the song lyrics after I wrote my poem. What I wrote has much more extensive lyrics that expand the song’s theme, but I want to give credit to the songwriters and to Sovereign Grace Music for inspiring my words. I encourage you to hear their song, for it ministered to my spirit during a worship service.