Christian Compositions - Conservative Christian Music

Sep
8

New Piano CD – Jesus Is All the World To Me

I am excited to announce that my piano CD, Jesus Is All the World To Me, will be arriving in just two days! I am thrilled to see this project completed.


I recorded this CD many years ago, but for several reasons, I never released it. It includes some of my favorite hymns, and I am happy to get to share them with you.

Three of the arrangements are from other arrangers, and the remaining seven are my own arrangements. Only one of these is currently in print, but I hope to have all of them available in the future.

If you would like to get an idea of the style and sound, you can find sample clips of each song here.

The CDs will retail for $14.95, but I am offering a pre-release price of $10 each through Monday (9/10). There is no limit on quantity, and no coupon code is needed. Orders will begin shipping on Tuesday.

It is my hope that this CD will be uplifting, encouraging, and soothing to each listener, and that the message of each hymn will be conveyed through the music.

I would love to hear what you think of this CD! Do you have suggestions for future arrangements? I would welcome those as well.

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Jun
17

Honor Thy Father

I remember a day when I was about 18. I was making some decisions that I knew were taking me in the wrong direction. My parents had been trying to talk to me, to counsel me, and I wasn’t listening very well.

My dad decided that he wanted to send me to a camp for a week. It was a camp for those interested in missions. Not too very long before this, I had been interested, and had shared with him that I had surrendered my life to whatever God would have me to do. But my heart had been changing. I didn’t want to go….to camp or to be a missionary.

He decided I needed to go, and began having me fill out the paperwork and make preparations. I’ll spare you all the details, but in the weeks leading up to going to camp, honoring my dad was the farthest thing from my mind. I’m ashamed to even think of it, but I remember saying (when I was sure he couldn’t hear me!), “I’ve never told my dad no, but I’m about to!”

Quite angry with my parents, I went to the camp that week. I “obeyed”, but there was certainly no honor involved. I don’t think I even told them goodbye when they dropped me off. Thankfully, my heavenly Father was listening to their prayers, and continued to deal with my heart. That week, one of teachers said something that struck me hard. “Obedience is action. Submission (honor) is attitude.” I knew I was only there because I was “obeying”, but there was no submission or honor in my heart.

Before the week ended, I surrendered my life again to anything God wanted for me. That led to a lot of big changes in my heart and life, but the first thing that changed in me was my attitude toward my parents. I was heartbroken about how I had treated them, and I made a decision that with God’s help I would seek to honor them.

On this day that we set aside to honor our fathers, perhaps it would be good to take some time to consider what honor is. I’m sure we all know that honoring our fathers (and mothers) isn’t something we should do only one or two days a year; yet, do we truly understand what it means to honor them?

The biblical concept of honor seems foreign to many today, but God hasn’t changed His mind.

So, what is honor? Is it really necessary? I’m glad you asked!

The dictionary defines honor in this way – “to prize; value highly; esteem; revere“.

Another definition is, “To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

According to the Bible, honor is not an option; it is our obligation. It is not just commended by the Lord; it is commanded by the Lord.

Honor is not to be an emotional response based on my estimation of someone’s value and position in my life; it is a volitional response based on God’s estimation of their value and position in my life. My honor for, and submission to, my parents (or any God-given authority) is never to be based on my estimation of their worth, but on my esteem for God’s Word.

I honor and respect for His sake, not theirs. If I choose to dishonor those God has placed over me, I have really chosen to disobey and dishonor God. My choice speaks, not of their character or spirituality, but of mine.

Honor is far more than how I feel about a person at any given time; rather, it is to be the way I behave toward that person at every given opportunity. It is how I express my esteem for another – by my words, my tone, my attitude, and my actions.

There may be a time when you cannot obey an authority and be right with God, but you can still honor an authority even when you cannot righteously obey them. There are many examples of this in the Word of God, including Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Peter, John, the Apostle Paul, and more. I cannot think of one instance when the Bible teaches, through precept or example, someone who dishonored their authority and was approved of God. Most of the epistles address the issue of honoring authority and the importance of this principle in the home, the church, and the government.

When dealing with the Pharisees, Jesus addressed the issue of honoring parents. He used their abuse of this specific command to illustrate the hypocrisy of their attitudes and actions toward God. The Pharisees thought they could somehow negotiate their own terms in fulfilling (or disregarding) this commandment, and thus be “free” of the requirement God had placed on them.

Jesus said, “But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” (Mt. 15:5-6)

Jesus made it clear that this was a “non-negotiable” command of God. Remember, Jesus wasn’t speaking to children here, but to very devout, religious adults who were refusing to obey God’s command and imagining that God was somehow alright with it. (Mt. 15:3-9) While we may not be obligated as adults to obey our parents, we are never released from the obligation to honor them.

Proverbs says, “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Pro. 23:22)

That word “despise” means, “to scorn; to disdain; to have the lowest opinion of”. Neither their age, nor ours, gives us a right to have these attitudes toward our parents. In fact, just the opposite is true. Part of our responsibilities as adult sons and daughters is to esteem, honor, and care for our aging parents.

Jesus also made it clear that the underlying issue was and is a heart issue.

“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” (Mk. 7:6)

The reason they did not want to honor their parents is that in their hearts they did not honor God. They set up themselves, rather than God’s Word, as the final authority. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mt. 15:9)

He also made it clear that it’s possible to honor with the lips and yet not mean it with the heart. Words that are spoken, no matter how sweet, mean nothing if they are not sincere. In fact, it was their outward display of honor that wasn’t matched by an inward desire to honor that was disgraceful to God.

Lest we think this command to honor our parents is somehow null “under grace”, it is repeated in Ephesians. Jesus Himself referenced this commandment multiple times. This is clearly one of the areas God watches to determine the sincerity of our love, obedience, and honor for Him; yet it seems to be an area where we are tempted, just as the Pharisees were, to excuse our neglect or outright disobedience.

One of the identifying characteristics of the people of the last days, and of those who are false teachers and who walk after the flesh, is their attitude toward authority. They are “disobedient to parents” (II Tim. 3:2), they “despise government” and “despise dominion” – or authority.

“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” (II Pet. 2:10)

“Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” (Jude 1:8)

As we read through the Bible, we find that God has very strong words for those who choose to scorn, mock, or despise their authorities, especially their parents. He also says that He will bless those who do honor their parents. It is the “first commandment with promise”.

We live in a world that has little respect for any authority. They live by the rule of self. But as God’s children, we need to cultivate a culture of respect and honor, and this begins in our own lives and homes. We need to teach our children to honor their parents, not because we think we deserve it, but because God commands and desires it. We need to model an attitude of honor and respect for our parents, for others in authority, and for one another.

I encourage you today to honor your father. If you haven’t done so in the past, start now. Don’t just say the right words; do the right thing. Don’t try to determine if you think he is “honorable”. Honor him so that you can be honorable. Live a life that honors his name. Treat him with respect, in private and in public. Look for ways to be like the Lord Jesus.

If we truly want to honor our heavenly Father, we should start with how we treat our earthly one.

“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Eph. 6:2-3)

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Jun
6

“All for Good” – Ladies’ Bible Study Available for Download

I am very excited to share with you this Bible study for ladies entitled, “All for Good“. It is a study of Romans 8:28. In a class or group setting, it is designed to be taught in one or two lessons.

The personal study is 18 pages, and takes a journey through much Scripture to discover how God works all things together for good to them who love Him.

This study is available in PDF format for download only, but there are several ordering options available:

The Personal Study Guide
-This is for those who wish to do this study on their own. It includes a welcome letter, 18 pages of study notes, fill-ins, questions, and projects.

The Group Study Package
-This is suitable for a Bible study group or Sunday School class. It includes:

  • Welcome Letter
  • Full Teacher Text
  • Teacher Summary
  • Object Lesson
  • Student Handout Sheet
  • Personal Study Guide

The Group Study Package w/PowerPoint
-If you enjoy teaching with PowerPoint, this package includes everything that is in the Group Package, plus all of the PowerPoint slides and a PowerPoint Summary sheet with room for notes.

“Look Inside” preview pages are available for each of the products. If you have further questions before ordering, please feel free to contact me. If you order the download package, please note you are purchasing the right to make copies for your class or group. Please do not share the download files with others.

As always, this Bible study is based on the King James Version of the Bible.

If you use this study, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to e-mail me, comment on this post (I do check all comments before making them public, so it may not appear immediately), comment or message me through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

What do you think worked well in this study? What could be improved?

Thanks so much!

Niki

P.S. If you know other ladies who are looking for KJV Bible studies, please share!

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Jun
5

Design Contest Decision


The final selection is….Cover B!

I want to say thank you to each of you (over 200!) who took the time to vote for the cover design of my upcoming book. I appreciate all of the comments and feedback. They are very helpful!

I also want to say a special thank you to Lydia Miller, the creator of Cover Design A, for her creative work. I appreciate the time and effort she took to submit her entry. Her design was a favorite of many! 

In case you were wondering, I was the designer of Cover B. I didn’t plan to design anything, but in an unexpected and rather unusual turn of events, Lydia’s entry was the only one I received. I seriously considered awarding her the cover design by default, but felt that undermined a large part of the reason I chose to have the contest, and that was to see different designs and allow my customers to choose the one they felt was best suited to the book.

Lydia’s design was beautiful, and received quite a few votes. She is receiving the runner-up prize, as well as another gift, since the contest didn’t turn out exactly as planned.

If you think of it, please pray for me as I finish the writing and editing of this book. I’m looking forward to completing it. It is my prayer that it will be used of the Lord to be a help and encouragement to many.

Thanks again!

Niki

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May
29

Vote for Your Favorite Book Cover!

I’m very excited about the cover design options! Please vote for your favorite design by commenting on this blog post. Choose Design A or Design B.

You may vote one time. Voting will close on June 2, and the winning design will be announced June 4. You may also vote on my Christian Compositions Facebook page.

Thanks so much for participating!

Niki Lott

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May
1

Book Cover Design Contest!


I am excited to announce an exciting and fun contest for my creative, graphic-design friends! I have been working on a new Bible study for ladies entitled, The Classroom of Contentment, Where You Learn That God Is Enough.

While I have learned to do some basic design, it is NOT my strong suit. That’s why I thought it would be good to enlist some help.

You will find all of the details, submission guidelines, and the entry form for the contest here. The following are some of the highlights:

  1. The deadline for submissions is May 25, 2018.
  2. Your entry form must be completed and e-mailed to: info@christiancompositions.com. (Be sure to add this address to your “safe” list so that any questions or replies I may send do not go into your junk e-mail folder.
  3. You must have a valid e-mail address.
  4. Entry must meet the technical specifications as well as be consistent with the image and values of Christian Compositions*.

Of course, you want to know what the prizes are, right?

Creator of the winning design will receive:

  • Credit in final book(s)
  • Signed copy of the finished project
  • $75 Amazon gift card
  • $25 Christian Compositions gift certificate

Two runners-up will receive:

  • Copy of the finished book
  • $20 Christian Compositions gift certificate.

I will select the top ten finalists, and will post the final designs on the Christian Compositions blog and Facebook page on May 28. Voting will close June 2, and a winner will be announced June 4. I am looking forward to the entries and the finished product!

Be sure to download and read all of the details before entering to ensure that your entry is valid. Happy designing!

Niki Lott
Christian Compositions

P.S. If you follow the Christian Compositions page on Facebook, tune in for a Facebook Live about this contest this afternoon (5/1) at 3:00 p.m. EST! 

*The purpose of Christian Compositions is to produce Christ-honoring, conservative Christian music and products. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that believers should seek to live a life that is holy and glorifying to our Savior. Further details are included in the entry download.

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Feb
19

Regret or Repentance? Two Rebels, Two Returns, Two Results

Today, I ask you to think with me of two prodigal sons in the Bible – one unnamed, yet familiar, the other named Absalom.

These accounts had similar beginnings, but far different endings. Both sons went away from their fathers. Both sons had their own agendas and rebellious hearts. Both came to a point where they wanted to return to their fathers. Both returned and were received by their fathers with a kiss; yet, there the similarities end, because one returned with a heart of regret, the other with a heart of repentance. One returned saying, “…make me as one of thy hired servants..” (Lk. 15:19); the other returned and stole the hearts of his father’s servants (II Sam. 15:6).

The return of Absalom surely included some regrets for the consequences that sprang from his actions when he killed his brother and fled the country. He did not like the impact nor the implications of separation from his father, so he sought to come home and return to some semblance of normalcy, but we see by his future actions that his heart toward his father had not truly changed. He was not sorry for the sins that had caused the distance between them, only for the inconvenience that distance produced. His return was not motivated by any type of repentance, only by regret for the outcome his own actions had created.

The return of the other prodigal in Luke 15 is a much different story. We find him coming to the end of his own resources, to the emptiness his own choices had created, and there is no doubt that he had regret, but his regret moved him to repentance. He came to see himself and his own actions in a different light. His return was not only motivated by a desire to improve his own condition, but by a desire to take responsibility for his own decisions. He not only wanted food from his father’s table but a restoration of a relationship with his father, even if that relationship was in a different context.

He realized he would rather be a servant near his father than a son far away.

There is a difference in regret and repentance. All of us at some time have regret for the consequences of our sin. It is painful to us. It creates separation from our heavenly Father. But are we truly repentant? Do we see ourselves as a victim of circumstances, or do we acknowledge responsibility for our own actions? Would we go back and do the same, or worse, if we thought we could change the outcome (as Absalom sought to do), or are we willing to forsake our sin and change in our heart and our actions toward our Father?

Regret alone will never truly change us. It will never bring restoration and peace, but repentance will.

Regret continually looks backward, but repentance allows you to move forward.

Perhaps the difference between the two can be summarized in this poem:

Regret says, “Lord, please change the bitter taste of my sin’s fruits.”
Repentance says, “Lord, please change me, dig up sin’s bitter roots.”

 Regret says, “Lord, I don’t deserve to reap what I have sown.”
Repentance says, “I don’t deserve one mercy You have shown.”

 Regret says, “It’s not all my fault, this trouble I am in.”
Repentance says, “Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned.”

 Regret says, “I’m sure hungry, And these swine eat more than I.
Repentance says, “I’ve been a fool, but I don’t have to die.”

 Regret says, “I have nothing left, no money and no friends.”
Repentance says, “I’ll go and tell my Father I have sinned.”

 Sin will lead you far astray, and no matter where you roam,
Regret laments the journey’s end, but repentance brings you home.

N.L.

© Copyright 2015 Niki Lott.

*Images used courtesy of Sweet Publishing/www.FreeBibleImages.org.

 

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Feb
10

Will God Give You More Than You Can Bear?

Does God promise that He won’t place on us more than we can bear? I know so many people right now who are going through tremendous heartache, difficulty, and sorrow. For some, it is a health problem. For others, it is the loss of a loved one. It may be a financial hardship or some heartbreak due to a relationship. No matter what the burden or trial, I often hear people say (and have probably said it myself), “Remember, the Lord has promised He won’t place more on you than you can bear.” When we say this, we do so to bring comfort to the person who is suffering or grieving, but I am afraid that quite unintentionally, we may be adding to the weight of their burden.
 
Where does the Bible promise that God will not give us more burdens or trials or suffering than we can bear? I Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
 
This verse speaks specifically of temptation, and God promises that He will provide a way for us to escape temptation; but, after searching, I have not found any other passage or verse in the Bible that holds this same promise to be true for grief or suffering.
 
Think of Joseph. God provided a way for Joseph to escape the temptation to sin, but Joseph continued to suffer for many years even though he did what was right.
 
Just because we are God’s children….
 
1. We are not exempt from suffering. In fact, the Lord reminds us often that we will suffer need (Phil. 4:12), tribulation (I Thes. 3:4), reproach (I Tim. 4:10), trouble (II Tim. 2:9), persecution (II Tim. 3:12), affliction (Heb. 11:25), adversity (Heb. 13:3), and more.
 
2. We are not promised an escape from sorrow and suffering. Again, the promised escape is from temptation, not trials. In heaven, we know that there will be an escape from all of the suffering of sin and the flesh, but we are not promised an immediate escape from our earthly trials.
 
3. We are not equal to sorrow and suffering.
 
The truth is that our burdens are often heavier than we can bear. If we believe that we are promised that nothing we face will be greater than we can bear, then when we face some great trial or tragedy and are completely crushed and overwhelmed, we may begin to doubt God. We may feel angry and betrayed. Or perhaps, we may begin to even doubt if we are His children at all, for we believe that God does not place such heavy weights on His children’s hearts.
 
If all this seems to be discouraging, please do not stop reading yet! The trouble is that our original premise is faulty. We are counting on a promise that isn’t there and depending on our flesh to have the strength to bear alone what we can never carry without God’s help. Our flesh is utterly weak, frail, corrupt, and broken. It is more than prone to frailty, it is predisposed to it. “My flesh and my heart faileth….”, the psalm says. Over and over the Psalmist speaks of being overwhelmed, of weakness, of despair, of grief and tears. But, he does not stop there! He then turns his mind, his heart, and his hurt over to God. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Some other passages are found in Psalms 55, 61, 77, 78, 124, 142, and 143) He chooses to think on the Lord and to trust in the Lord in the midst of, in spite of, and because of his circumstances.
 
While we are not equal to our burdens, the Lord is far greater than anything we can face. We can do all things through Christ (Phil. 4:13). “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows….” (Isa. 53:4), and “… we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities….” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus not only bore the penalty of our sin, but also the pain – the grief, the suffering, the heartache – that sin brings. And while we may not be exempt from suffering, and there may not be an escape, He promises us:
 
His presence (Ps. 23:4; Isa. 41:10; Heb. 13:5) We do not have to go through our difficulties alone, for He is with us.
 
His power (Ps. 84:5-6; 37:39; Isa. 40:31; Phil. 4:13; II Cor. 12:9)
 
We can rest in His strength.
 
His purpose (Rom. 8:28; II Cor. 1:3-7; 4:17-18)
 
We can realize that God has a purpose for our lives, in spite of and through our suffering.
 
His pity (Lam. 3:31-36; Ps. 103:13)
 
We need to remember that these promises are reserved for His children, and for those who fear and follow Him, but what precious comfort they are!
 
If we are going to weather the storms, and survive our suffering, it will not be because we are strong, but because we acknowledge our utter weakness and turn to the Lord for strength. The Lord brings us to a place of weakness to teach us how much we need Him.
 
How our flesh despises this! It so longs to be independent of God. We want to be strong, to be brave, to be resilient and able to deal with whatever comes our way. We are more proud and full of ourselves than we even know. We rarely realize how much we depend on our flesh, our reasoning, and our emotion until it fails us.
 
Our Heavenly Father longs for us to depend completely on Him. “Trust in Him at all times.” “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…”. It is easy to say that we trust in the Lord and to truly feel that we are trusting Him when things are going well. But when our hearts are broken, and nothing makes sense, and we have been betrayed and battered, it is then we must truly trust. It is easy to succumb to the wiles of Satan and the whisperings of our own hearts at such difficult times and allow ourselves to become bitter. It is easy to turn to other things or people in hopes that they can provide us comfort and healing. It is easy to stray from the Lord when we should be running to Him. But it is when we are willing to admit our own need, and realize that only the Lord can bear our grief and carry our sorrows, that we will “find rest” for our souls (Mt. 11:28-30).
 
If you are “overwhelmed”, run to the Lord and His Word. There you will find salvation (Ps. 119:92), comfort (Ps. 119:50), and strength (Ps. 119:28). His Word will teach you (Ps. 119:71), correct you (Ps. 119:67), stir you (Ps. 119:50, 107), and sustain you (Ps. 119:116-117).
 
If you are attempting to carry more than you can bear, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Ps. 55:22) “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Ps. 62:8) And remember, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Ps. 61:2)
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Feb
8

Christian Wedding Music


Finding Christian wedding music can be a real challenge! If you have a desire to have music that is lovely and romantic, but that also honors Christ and doesn’t sound like the world, it can be difficult to find.

I am thankful that there are good and beautiful songs out there. I would like to tell you about a few more!

There are three wedding songs available on the website as sheet music or PDF downloads, and they are now available as a package as well.

The first song, A Forever Kind of Love, was written a very long time ago when I was engaged to marry my husband. 🙂 It’s a simple, sweet song that looks forward to a future together.

“It’s a forever kind of love, the kind of love I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of.
It’s a faithful kind of love, committed to be true.
It’s a lasting kind of love, a living love that joins two hearts as one,
It’s a forever kind of love for I’ll forever be in love with you.”


The second song, With You, was written several years after the first. I wrote it for my husband for our anniversary. I enjoy seeing the progression and differences in this song from the earlier song. This song celebrates the beauty of spending life with the person you love and seeing that love grow over time.

“For with you my joys are brighter,
And with you my burdens lighter,
And each day I am thankful I have found a love that’s strong and true
With you.
And to you, I will be faithful,
And for you, forever grateful,
For there’s nothing in this world that I would rath
er do
Than to share my life and love
With you.

*This song is also available with a piano soundtrack and vocal demo.

The final song, The Vow I Make Today, was written for a young couple’s wedding. The bride had grown up in our youth group, and the groom asked if I would be willing to write a song that he could sing to her at their wedding. I was honored to be able to do this for them.  This song is based on the wedding vows, and the promises a bride and groom make to one another and to God.

“Today I vow before the Lord that you’ll be honored and adored,
That I will never cease to care, for you’re the 
answer to my prayer.
And as we seek to do God’s plan with heart in heart, and hand in hand,
We’ll find true joy as we obey.
This is the vow I make today.
This is the vow I make today.”

Perfect for weddings, these songs can also be appropriate for Valentine’s banquets, couple’s retreats, anniversary celebrations, or vow renewal ceremonies. I hope they will be a helpful resource for you!

 

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Jan
10

Just As I Am – Repentant Response or Defiant Declaration?

The original hymn, “Just As I Am” is a beautiful song that expresses how you and I can come to Christ “just as we are” for cleansing from our sin. We come hopeless and helpless, and find Him sufficient. We come guilty and find mercy. We come repentant and find forgiveness. It is a meek acknowledgement, a penitent plea, and an obedient response.

In many modern churches, we hear the idea expressed that we can come “just as we are”, but it has taken on an entirely new connotation.

If we are not careful, the concept that I can come “just as I am” no longer sounds like a sincere desire for forgiveness, but a selfish demand for acceptance.

Instead of the humble cry of the repentant, it is the proud claim of the rebel.

It seems to express, not the willingness of the obedient, but the willfulness of the obstinate.

Although many contemporary churches no longer welcome hymns, perhaps the lyrics would be more honest if they went like this:

Just as I am I come today,
And that is how I plan to stay,
Assured You love me anyway,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

“Just as I am”, I proudly claim,
“And ‘grace’ means I can stay the same,
With no repentance, grief, or shame,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.”

Just as I am, I lift my hands
To flashing lights, and pulsing bands.
I feel my praise You understand.
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, convinced I’m blessed
Because of temporal success,
At peace with my own worldliness,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

It is true that we must come to God as we are. There is nothing we can bring to buy our way into heaven, to earn His favor or forgiveness, or to merit His acceptance (Tit. 3:4-6; Eph. 2:8-9). It is equally true that if we realize our wretched condition, we cannot come to Him “as we are” without realizing how desperately we need Him, and how unworthy we are of His notice, let alone His love or mercy.

It is good for us to ensure that people know they are welcome and that the invitation of Christ is to “come”, but we must also ensure that they know the way to come. The Lord Jesus Christ is The Way. (Jn. 14:6) He is the narrow way.

In a religious culture that seems determined to make sure no one has to deal with the negative feelings of guilt or condemnation, I fear many who want to share the Gospel have left out the painful reality that apart from Christ, we are all guilty and condemned. (Jn. 3:17-18) The freedom, peace, love, and acceptance we seek are not found in ignoring this truth, but in realizing it, and then coming to Christ in repentant faith, trusting that His death and resurrection, His mercy and grace, are the only hope we have.

When we come to Christ as sinners seeking His forgiveness, trusting Him by faith, we will find the salvation and acceptance we need. A broken and believing heart is always received by our Lord. Rest assured though, if we come to Christ “just as we are”, He will not leave us as we were.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)

I wonder, which version of “Just As I Am” best expresses your heart, your beliefs, and your attitude in coming to Christ? I hope it is the biblical one.

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

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears, within, without,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve.
Because Thy promise I believe,
Oh, Lamb of God, I come,
I come.

-Charlotte Elliott

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