Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
“Let no opinion of our own merits have any room in our prayers or in our praises, but let both center in God’s glory.”-- Martin Luther
A heart free of competition. That’s what I desire.
A heart that doesn’t weigh my own goodness in the balances before I go to the Lord in prayer. A heart that doesn’t rehearse all of my own badness before I decide I am too dirty to enter into the presence of a Holy God. A heart that is done with my own glory, my own record, my own reputation. A heart that is so taken and captivated by Jesus that everything else is just a faint shadow.
Most days my heart is a mixture of wanting what I described above and then glory-grabbing for myself. I want to prove that I am worth the glory so I set out to being the best I can be, but inevitably I crash and fail, and once again my thoughts are on my record even though it is one of failure. The only thought that clears the clouds is to remember that God sees my fickleness and his steadfast love and faithfulness do not diminish because of it (Psalm 115:1). We never go to God on the basis of our own good works and we should never stay away on the basis of our bad works.
The throne of grace is always available to us. For the Christian, it isn’t and never will be a throne of judgement. All of the judgement for all of our sin was laid upon our perfect Savior. We are completely exposed and completely loved by God. This love doesn’t waver on the days that we do bad and it doesn’t grow on the days we do good. We are loved steadfastly because of what Christ has done for us. He forever won our right standing before God by living the life we were commanded to live and dying the death that was due to us because of all of our glory-grabbing. For all the times we tried to glory-grab we are covered by Christ’s perfect record of humility and we are forgiven and cleansed by his precious blood. God’s faithfulness will never end.
So with confidence, dear sisters, with confidence draw near to him. Confidence in his work, confidence in his love. You will not find a smack and a disappointed head shake. Rest assured that you will find mercy and grace to help with your day there. You will find a Savior who sympathizes with you in your weaknesses. A Father who delights in you.
Draw near. Draw near with haste.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Thank God for sending His son Jesus to live a perfect life and for dying our death so that the throne of grace is always available to us.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of times you examine your own record to determine whether you have confidence to go to God in prayer.
- Ask for forgiveness for relying on your own record instead of believing that what Jesus did was enough.
Jessica Thompson is the author of Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family and the co-author of Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus (with Elyse Fitzpatrick). She and her husband have three kids.