Posted by: rcottrill | February 26, 2016

The Saviour Is Waiting

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Words: Ralph Richard Carmichael (b. May 28, 1927)
Music: Ralph Richard Carmichael

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Ralph Carmichael)
Hymnary.org

Note: Though he wrote much music for the church, Carmichael was more widely known in the field of secular music, arranging music for Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and many more. In my view, it is difficult to span those two worlds without compromise somewhere, and I personally don’t think it’s to Ralph Carmichael’s credit that he’s also considered the father of religious rock music. In the area of gospel music, he has given us Where He Leads Me I Must Follow, There Is a Quiet Place, and other songs.

We have a long word for it: procrastination. Crastinus is the Latin word for tomorrow, so pro crastinus means: for tomorrow. Don’t bother with it today, tomorrow is soon enough. But of course, as the saying goes, tomorrow never comes. Once we pass midnight, it becomes today, and “tomorrow” is pushed on yet another day.

Why is it we put off some things till a later time? Having a doctor check out that pain, or finding out what’s causing that odd sound in the car motor–we have lots of ways we rationalize doing nothing. We tell ourselves: maybe it’s not that serious; there’s likely no real danger; I can handle it on my own; I have more important things to do; I’m afraid of what it will cost me; maybe it will go away by itself.

Years ago, at the beginning of a holiday week-end, there was a long line at the gas station, as people filled up their cars for a trip. An attendant spotted the local minister’s car, back in the line, and went to him. “Sorry about the delay,” he said. “It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for the trip they’ve planned.” The pastor smiled and said, “I know what you mean. I have the same problem in my business.”

That speaks to spiritual procrastination, a failure to deal with things as the Lord is prompting us to do. Revelation pictures Christ standing at the door seeking entrance.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine [fellowship] with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).

While, in the context, that appeal is made to a worldly church, the imagery could also represent in invitation to individuals to trust in the Saviour and open their lives to Him.

“To as many as did receive and welcome Him [Christ], He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name” (Jn. 1:12, Amplified Bible).

Welcoming Christ into our lives, by faith in Him, presupposes we realize our great and urgent spiritual need, and see Him as the only answer–which He is. As the Lord Jesus Himself put it, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6).

Many of the excuses sinners make for rejecting the Saviour are the same ones we use for procrastinating about other things. Maybe there’s no real danger to my soul. Or, I think I can get to heaven on my own. Or, I’m afraid of all I’d have to give up if I became a Christian. But none of the feared sacrifices weighs a feather in contrast to an endless eternity.

The Roman governor, Felix, wanted to wait for “a more convenient time” to listen to Paul’s gospel message (Acts 24:25). But neither biblical nor secular history reveals that he ever found an occasion more convenient to him. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2)

In 1958, musician and songwriter Ralph Carmichael wrote a song called The Saviour Is Waiting. Its theme is similar to Mary Slade’s Who at My Door Is Standing? Carmichael’s song says:

1) The Saviour is waiting to enter your heart–
Why don’t you let Him come in?
There’s nothing in this world to keep you apart–
What is your answer to Him?

Time after time He has waited before,
And now He is waiting again
To see if you’re willing to open the door–
O how He wants to come in.

Questions:
1) What excuses have you heard from individual’s who want to put off a decision for Christ?

2) Who is there you are praying for and witnessing to, to persuade him or her to come to Christ?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Ralph Carmichael)
Hymnary.org


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