It’s 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 far away. This term reveals how to deal with conviction of sin. When a temptation seems too strong to handle, it spurs me to action.
What is this word?
When should you come?
When You’re Pummeled by Spiritual Warfare
When Jesus uttered it, demons had to obey it: “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit” (Mark 1:25, 5:8, 9:25). Now that’s a Savior who’s more than capable of helping me when I’m on the verge of giving in to temptation!
When You’re Weighed Down by Burdens
The word instills hope when life in a fallen world weighs me down and I don’t have any margin of energy or spirit left to keep going. That’s when Jesus opens wide His arms and says, “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, now that’s a person I can love, someone who’ll be gentle with me instead of reprimanding me when I don’t have it all together! Someone whose posture toward me is arms open wide rather than a pointed index finger.
When Your Needs or Stressors Seem Too Insignificant to Take to Jesus
It’s what Jesus 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. Who says to me, in effect, “Nothing is too little to pray about, Terry. Everything is little to God!”
When Death Looms and Your Fear Ramps Up
The Savior’s use of this word reminds me that a decaying body is no obstacle to resurrection. The body of Lazarus 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).
When You Think Youth and Adult Ministry Is More Important than Work with Kids
It’s a word that revealed Jesus’ heart for young children. When Jesus’ disciples rebuked those who brought children to see Him, He in turn rebuked the disciples: “Permit the children to come to Me!” (Let’s never, ever underestimate the importance of a church’s children’s ministry!)
When You Think Jesus Is Turned Off by Your Shady Past
“Come” is a term that revealed Jesus’ keen interest in those who are socially despised and morally bankrupt. When a despised tax collector wanted to see Jesus so much that he climbed up a tree in order to spot Him, He told Zaccheus, “Hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Jesus responded to the tax collector’s openness and interest in seeing Him. As a result, salvation came to Zaccheus that day.
Jesus’s use of “Come” also shows his hospitable attitude toward seekers, even before they commit to Him. Jesus asked two disciples of John the Baptist who were following close behind Him, “What do you seek?” When they wanted to know where Jesus was staying, He said, “Come and you will see.”
What If I’m Not Always Faithful?
I love the classic hymn we sing at Christmas: “O Come All Ye Faithful.” In December 2022, our church praise band led us in a new song from Sovereign Grace Music, “O Come, All Ye Unfaithful,” written by Bob Kauflin and Lisa Clow. I wept as we sang. I’m not always faithful to the Lord, yet He still reaches out to me and invites me to come to Him.
That song prompted me to write the following poem. Though Kauflin and Clow definitely inspired my poem and the concept behind it, I couldn’t recall anything but the title of their song as I began writing the following lines. My poem contains more extensive lyrics, but it wouldn’t exist without their moving song. Their song and my poem represent efforts to highlight the Lord’s faithfulness to us, rather than our faithfulness to Him.
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 the 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 when you 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 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.
He’ll Never, Ever Cast You Out!
Do you really believe Jesus’ words in John 6:37? “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” In this verse, the Greek uses two negatives piled on top of each other. A literal rendering is, “The one coming to me I will not, I will not, cast out!” In effect, Jesus said, ” I will most certainly, never ever cast you 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. Now 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).
Flashback! This is a revision of the most popular article I posted from the past two years, based on reader feedback.