Just As I Am

Today and next week we have a two part “I Am” series from a guest contributor who is a relative of mine. 

I was recently struggling with the issue of “the age of accountability.”

Most Christians believe that a young child that dies before without having accepted Jesus as their Savior will go to heaven because they don’t understand the reality of sin and the need for saving faith in Jesus Christ. This “age of accountability” is usually thought to be about 12 years old, but there are no verses that speak on this directly. Because there are so many different positions, I was confused and scared at the possibilities.

That’s when I made my big mistake. I told God I didn’t think He would send small children to hell. However, if He did, I didn’t think I would want Him as my God.

I then attempted to “move on.”

My relationship with my Creator took a nose dive. Where was my Rock, my Fortress? (Ps. 31:3)  Why wasn’t I being gathered under His “wings”? (Ps. 91:4) I thought my decision would bring peace of mind, but I found the exact opposite.

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

 Charlotte Elliott (1835)

A few weeks later, during my devotions, I was reminded of that old hymn “Just As I Am.” How wonderful that Christ reaches down from Heaven and accepts us as we are! He saves and cleanses us without asking us to do anything to earn that salvation.

Finally, I stopped listening to myself and listened to the Holy Spirit.

“It works both ways,” He whispered.

Yes, He does accept us as we are, but I must accept God as He is. He is the great “I Am.” (Exodus 3:14)

How dare I tell Him what He should do and how He should act! My place is to accept Him by faith, just as He is, even if I don’t have full understanding. Especially when I don’t have full understanding.

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.

I come to God just as I am, and accept Him just as He is. That’s when He can and does change me.

In my next blog post, I’ll share what this truth means for me and for all of us.

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