The Throne of Grace
James Smith, 1842
"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
The throne of judgment sometimes appears truly formidable and dreadful — but the sick sinner is not cited to the bar of justice — but invited to the throne of grace. There the Lord waits to be gracious, and is exalted to show mercy. He does not impose hard conditions — but dispenses favors with all the goodness and majesty of a God. He says, "Ho, everyone who thirsts — come! And he who has no money — come, buy wine and milk without money and without price!" The Lord loves to trade with those that have nothing to pay; He says to all such, "Ask what I shall give you."
He addresses you, reader; He asks of you, what He shall
bestow upon you. Unworthiness is no bar — poverty is the best
recommendation. He does not sell blessings — but gives of the
fountain of the water of life freely. Jesus said to the poor adulteress at
Jacob's well, "If you knew the bounty of God, and who it is that says to
you, Give me a drink; you would have asked Him, and He would have given
you living water." It is for lack of knowing . . .
the bountifulness of God,
our own dire necessities, and
the value of spiritual blessings —
that we do not ask of God.
He loves to see us . . .
coming to His throne,
and to hear us pleading His word,
and to see us waiting and expecting the blessings we have been entreating of Him.
He bids us to come boldly, not as if we were
afraid of His wrath, alarmed at His justice, or in danger from His holiness;
but to come . . .
trusting His word,
believing His willingness, and
expecting the favors we plead for.
His throne is before you, there is no need of rising from
your sick-bed in order to approach it; the eyes of the Lord are upon you,
and His ears are open to your cry. Remember, there is One there who loves
you — even Jesus! He is there as an Advocate — to plead for you; as the
Mediator between God and man. God looks first upon Him — and then
upon the praying soul. And all the merit of His blood, the virtue of His
infinite sacrifice — is placed to the account of the sinner who . . .
comes in His name,
pleads his promise, and
relies on His perfect work.
What sweet encouragement is this! Look not at your
unworthiness, pore not over your sin; but remember that Jesus is
before the throne, and He is there as your Friend, Savior, and prevalent
Intercessor. This will . . .
inspire you with confidence,
fire your soul with fervor, and
encourage you to plead for faith.
Come then, boldly to the throne of grace, for God bids you, and Jesus is there to plead for you. Come for mercy — not for justice; the mercy of God, the mercy that flows in the channel of redeeming blood! Come to obtain — the blessings you need are to be obtained; are to be obtained by you! There is nothing to discourage you, if you look simply to Jesus! Come because He bids you, and your need urges you.
Beware of tiring in prayer, pray always; that is, let your prayers be continuous. Go again and again — as the poor widow went to the unjust judge; as the friend that needed bread at midnight. Be importunate — and you must prevail. Beware of asking for the blessings you conceive you need — and then neglecting to expect them; but watch for the blessings you ask of your God. Say, "I will wait for the Lord, though He hides himself from me; and I will look for Him. I will get upon my watch-tower. I will wait to hear what the Lord shall say unto me." "The vision awaits an appointed time. Though it lingers — wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
Behold the throne of grace!
The promise calls me near;
There Jesus shows a smiling face,
And waits to answer prayer.
That rich atoning blood,
Which sprinkled round I see,
Provides for those who come to God,
An all-prevailing plea!
My soul, ask what you will,
You can not be too bold;
Since His own blood for you He spilt,
What else can He withhold?