Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"The Throne of Grace"

    "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

    If the Heavenly seat of royalty comprised anything other than a throne "of grace," we could not come, and we certainly could not come "boldly" (with confidence).  If it were a throne that required our works, we could not come.  If it were a throne of dedication, we could not come.  If it were a throne of faithfulness, we could not come.  God's standard of perfection would bar our approach to these and all other venues of His holy presence.  Since, however, the risen Lord Jesus Christ sits upon a throne of unmerited and unexpected favor offered to trusting supplicants, we may come with confidence that He beckons our approach with the promise of receiving us, and of supplying necessary mercy and grace.

    So long as we come with a humble, sincere, and trusting heart relying on Christ alone, we may come.  In times of faithfulness, we may come - through Him.  In times of unfaithfulness, we may come - through Him.  "I am the way" declared the Lord Jesus (John 14:6).  Indeed, regardless of how trusting and obedient we may perceive ourselves to be, still we make our approach to God with the hymnwriter's pared down affirmation of access: "Nothing in my hand I bring, only to Thy cross I cling."  Conversely, regardless of how distrusting and disobedient we may perceive ourselves to be, we still may approach if we come bearing the same testimony of faith in the grace of God, as provided through the Christ of God.  As another writer penned, "Holy Father, I come to Thee.  By the grace of Your Son and His blood, I come to Thee."

    The Lord's account of the wayward son provides much light in this vital matter of relationship with God.  The elder son believed himself to be worthy of his father's favor.  "Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment" (Luke 15:29).  His broken brother, however, believed himself unworthy of a place in the family.  "The son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son" (Luke 15:21).  One son proudly trusted in his own faithfulness.  He received no ring, no robe, and no feast.  The other son humbly trusted in his father's faithfulness.  He received ring, robe, feast and far more.  Grace made the difference.  The elder offspring did not see the kindness of his father because he so focused on his own efforts.  The younger, however, apprehended the vast measure of his father's graciousness in direct proportion to the vast measure of his own waywardness.  Thus, He came home to grace.

    The path to God's throne is stained, as it were, with the blood of His Son.  If we come with head held high, we fail to see the price of our freely given access.  With a bowed heart and head, however, we come in full recognition of the sacrifice that forever makes possible our approach.  Our Lord beckons us from His throne, His throne of grace.  Let us rejoice in the wonder of such invitation, and most of all, "let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

"Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him."
(Ephesians 3:11-12)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
(I Corinthians 3:19)

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