Friday, January 29, 2021

Saturday prior to Epiphany 4

 John 6:37—The hymn of the day is, “Just as I Am, Without One Plea,” (LSB #570). God’s action, not man’s, is primary in salvation and Christ’s mercy is unfailing. See John 6:44, 10:29, 17:6, 18:9. This hymn has become a treasured hymn of many people.

Charlotte Elliott learned an important lesson about Jesus one sleepless night in 1834. She was an invalid, so when her family held a bazaar in Brighton, England, to raise money to build a school, she could only watch from afar.

That night she was overwhelmed by her helplessness and could not sleep. But her sadness turned to joy when she realized that God accepted her just as she was.

Her experience inspired these well-loved words: “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!” When she published the poem in The Invalid’s Hymn Book, she included with it John 6:37.

Jesus always accepts people as they are. In John 6, the people had come from miles around to hear Jesus. When the crowd became hungry, He miraculously fed them with a boy’s unselfish gift of five loaves and two fish. Then the Lord offered Himself as “the bread of life,” promising that He would not turn away anyone who came to Him. [2]

It’s still true today. No one who comes to Jesus will be turned away. Come to Him with all your sin and watch that great exchange; your misery for His perfection.

There is no one in the whole world who can withstand death. All men flee from it and quake in terror before it. Nevertheless, they are overtaken by death. But faith remains firm and stands up against death. Faith conquers death and devours this ravenous glutton. Likewise, the whole world cannot constrain or suppress the flesh. But faith takes hold of the flesh and subdues it. Faith bridles the flesh into obedience. Similarly, no man can endure the raging, persecution, blasphemy, reproach, hatred and jealousy of the world. It makes a mockery of faith and treads it under foot, and even finds joy and pleasure in all this. Yet faith alone is the victory that overcomes the world.  (Martin Luther)[2]


[2] Luther’s Works: American Edit Edition.55 volumes. (Volumes 1-30, Concordia Publishing House; volumes 31 31-55, Fortress Press)

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts copyright © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.


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