O Come to the Altar

Love is a choice.  Love can be encouraged, but it can never be mandated or legislated.  It can be given, but it can never be forced.  It can be received, but it can never be required.  In love there is freedom.  That’s what makes it so beautiful.

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling

Do you hear His calling?  Hearing His voice starts with recognizing your own condition.  Mark 2:17 says, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”  Take a moment to humble yourself before the Lord, admitting that no amount of trying will ever get you to the presence of God by yourself.  

Have you come to the end of yourself?
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling

Have you ever sought something, and once you got it you found that it wasn’t really what you wanted at all?  John 4 tells the story of Jesus’s interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well.  In verses 13-14, He says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  Jesus promises that a life lived in discipleship to Him will provide an eternal satisfaction that nothing on this earth could provide.  What have you been trying to fill your life with to provide satisfaction, only to find that you have to keep refilling?  Take a moment to recognize those things and to offer them to Him.

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling

Do you ever get stuck in the past?  In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul says, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Understand that your sin no longer separates you from God once you have accepted Christ’s offer of salvation and made him Lord of your life.  Pause to confess specific areas of sin in your life that may be creating a barrier of guilt between you and the Lord.  

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

Have you been overcome with sorrow?  Jesus, referring to His imminent death and the salvation to come from it, said in John 16:20, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.”  Later, in verse 33, He says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  Sit with that verse for a moment, and let it bring you peace and encouragement.

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide

How do you feel God looks at you?  Does it look similar to how you view yourself?  Regardless of how we perceive God’s opinion of us, scripture tells us in Ephesians 1:4-6, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”  No sin can change God’s opinion of us as His chosen.  Take a moment to reflect on this image of God, standing arms outstretched, always ready to welcome you back.

Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

What can you do to make God love you more?  Ephesians 1 goes on to say in verses 7-8, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”  Isn’t it interesting that the position of God the Father presented in the lines before (“arms are open wide”) is the same image as that of Christ crucified on the cross?  Both are a welcome to come.  Pause to thank Him for your redemption bought through His blood.  

O what a savior
Isn’t He wonderful
Sing hallelujah
Christ is risen
Bow down before Him
For He is Lord of all
Sing hallelujah
Christ is risen

Make this your prayer and praise this week.  Write it down and put it next to your bed.  Read it when you wake up and read it before you go to sleep.  Praise Him for who He is, and surrender to your wonderful savior.