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The Throne Of Grace

Scripture: Hebrews 4:12-16; Text: Hebrews 4:16

Our text is a verse of great importance, for it is a source of great encouagement as we live from day to day. It remind us that we do not walk alone, live alone, or face our troubles alone. Anyone who has ever faced a time of trouble, can probably remember how wonderful it was for loved ones and friends to reassure them of their companionship and help. However, Jesus is the friend and loved one who here assures us of His help and companionship. He cares for us according to 1 Peter 5:7 and He shares with us according to our text.

Please take just a moment to look again at the scripture passage. Verses 12 & 13, tells us that Jesus is the living, incarnate, Word of God. He is the One with whom we have to do or deal with each day. Verses 14 & 15 tells us that as our High Priest, He is the One whom we have professed faith in. He is also touched with all that we suffer. Verse 16 tells us that because of Him, we have access to the Father in prayer. So then, these verses remind us that Jesus KNOWS about us and our needs (Matthew 6:8), He FEELS what we are feeling (John 2:25), and He HELPS us as we face these difficulties.

In the verse directly preceding our text, we are told that He understands what we feel because He has gone through the same problems while He lived and walked on this earth. Our text then reminds us that for this reason we can come to God in prayer. Rest assured, dear child of God, that as you go to Him in prayer, He truly does understand and He really can help, because He does understand. It's like this, if the news announcer says that a storm has hit Jesup, some would pay no attention to the announcement. The reason is that it is an unknown city of which they have no knowledge. But for me to hear such an announcement would touch my heart deeply. The reason is that I lived there, it is home to me, I know the people there and I have family there. So Jesus is touched and helps us because He has been here, He knows about this life and He loves us as His family.

Having looked at the significance of the entire passage, let us now turn our attention to the text. We are allowed to come to the throne of grace with boldness. That is the first thing God wants the text to say to us and teach us. How can that be? Sin separates people from God (Isaiah 59:2) and we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). It has been that way since the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve were driven from the presence of God and the Garden of Eden, because they had eaten the forbidden fruit and sinned (Genesis 3:24).

Though we have sinned, we now have access to God at the throne of grace. Not only do we have access, we have a BOLD access. The boldness here mentioned is not a brash and prideful entrance before God, because it is not our privilege gained through anything we have done. Simply put, we have it solely because of Jesus Christ. The idea of this boldness as expressed in the original Greek, means a freedom of speech or freedom to speak. What the scripture is telling us is that we can come into the very presence of God at His throne of grace and be allowed to speak to Him, because Christ loved us and saved us. Therefore, we come through the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus (Jeremiah 23:6), we come through His NAME (John 15:16), and we come through His PROMISES (2 Corinthians 1:20). In other words, we were rag covered sinners (Isaiah 64:6), who were cleaned up (1 Corinthians 6:11), and clothed with the clean clothes of the righteousness of Jesus (Isaiah 61:10). It is so beautifully abbreviated in Zechariah 3:3-4. I love it, we are then allowed to come before the Almighty God of the universe, not just some earthly king, some peon of tribal royalty, but the Creator of heaven and earth. We can come before Him right now, or any time day or night, and call upon Him boldly in prayer and He will give us the privilege to speak to Him. Have you ever realized what a wonderful privilege you have in prayer?

Now notice that to which we have access. It is a THRONE to which we come boldly. A throne is a seat of royalty, the pedestal of a king. Earthly kings sit on their thrones as others come before them. Therefore, it is called a throne because there the King of kings sits enthroned, we come to God (1 Timothy 6:15). Men on their thrones are approached by foreign dignitaries, criminals being sentenced, citizens with reports or complaints and even the children of the king. We also come as citizens of His kingdom and children of His family. In prayer we come before the throne of God. We need to be reminded that in prayer we come to the supreme Dignitary. Sometimes mortals want too much familiarity with God, they want to get on "buddy" terms. This verse remins us that we are to come and worship Him while we speak to Him.

It is therefore called a throne of GRACE, not judgment. The little word OF is interesting and informative to study. Basically it means - about and from. Grace can then have reference to God and also mean that the grace is from Him. It is much like when Jesus said to "learn OF me" (Matthew 11:29). He was really saying I want you to learn FROM Me and I want you to learn ABOUT Me. So the throne of grace is a throne where God, Who is the essence of grace sits, and at His throne grace is imparted to us. It is good to know that it is not a bar of justice, where harsh judgments are pronounced upon criminals. But it does remind us that because of grace we come. We have no right of access or merit in ourselves, nor can any mortal obtain it for us. This blessing is freely and generously given to us as a gracious act of the God of grace.

We come then by INVITATION alone. Just as Jesus invited us to come into His presence (Matthew 11:28), so God our heavenly Father invites us into His presence, at His throne. The WHEN is anytime. He never shuts down His line, nor closes His door. The WHY is really twofold: (1). to obtain mercy and (2). to find grace. Both of these are divinely designed to help in times of need. Think about what priceless gifts are waiting on us when we come.

First, we obtain mercy as we pray. Mercy means that you do not get as bad as you deserve, and that you get more than you deserve. That is not a contradiction, it just needs an explanation. We all deserve death (Romans 6:23a) and to be eternally separated from God; so we deserve to be cast away from God forever into hell. Because of His mercy, we will not have it that bad. We will get less punishment that we deserve, that is mercy. On the other hand, we will get much more that we deserve too. You see, none of us are worthy of heaven, but one blessed day, by His grace, we shall be carried home to glory. Since we have the gift of God, eternal life (Romans 6:23b); it is evident that we will enjoy much better that we deserve and that is also the mercy of God. He is indeed a God of mercy (Titus 3:5) and He shows it in so many ways. When we come to God in prayer, He should punish our sins, but instead He shows mercy. We ask for blessings that we, by right, should not receive; yet He gives them in mercy. What a blessing is His mercy, we obtain it in our time of prayer as we speak to Him at His throne.

Second, we find grace as we pray. It is already there, we just find it as we come in prayer. It is like a cool fountain at the foot of His throne. As we come, it is flowing and we may freely drink. However, if we fail to come, how shall our souls be refreshed? Looking back over our lives, we recognize that He has been so very gracious to us. He chose us in Christ, predestinated us to be like Jesus one day, gave Jesus to suffer and die for our sins, and finally He sent His Holy Spirit to quicken us from death in sin to life in Christ. Salvation is like a precious package of many special gifts, but they are all wrapped together and bound up in His grace. Grace is God's free and undeserved favors. Paul said we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). If He never gave us anything else, that would be more than enough. But He gives even more for He gives us grace and more grace. Every day, blessings come as prayers are answered; that is grace (Philippians 4:19).

His mercy and grace are provided to help us in our times of need. We all have times of need during which we need help; and the One whose help we need most is God. The Psalmist of Israel realized this fact a long time ago. Listen to what he said in Psalm 46:1. Help is a very POSITIVE thing! It does not discourage us, it encourages us. We need help when we get sick, when we lose a loved one, a job, a house, a friend, etc. We need His help in making decisions, in choosing our words, in living our daily lives. We need God's help to overcome fear and uncertainty, and the constant changes of our lives. I could tell you my needs and you could tell me yours, but neither of us would have a need that God could not meet (Ephesians 3:20).

In the model prayer taught by our Lord, He revealed that we have both PHYSICAL and SPIRITUAL needs. He told us to ask for daily bread and a physical need and for forgiveness, as a spiritual need (Matthew 6:11-12). He fed the Children of Israel with quail and manna, and He feeds us through our jobs and income. We sometimes offend others and some are willing to forgive us, but when we are forgiven by God, our sins are gone forever. Whether our needs are for the flesh or the spirit, He is able to supply every one that is consistent with His holy will. For that reason Jesus taught us to pray for His perfect will to be done (Matthew 6:10). Are you willing to trust His wisdom above yours? I certainly am!

Let me conclude by reminding you that it is a throne; not for receiving gifts, nor taxes as are the thrones of earthly kings. His is a throne for giving, where He gives us the riches of His grace. It is here that we share with Him all the deepest feelings of our hearts. You have no problem that He wcannot understand. He knows all our shameful secrets, so we might as well confess them and ask for His forgiveness. What ever confounds or confuses us, He has the wisdom of the ages and can help us understand. He is so gracious to invite us to come boldly , to bare our hearts before Him and receive the bounty of His blessings.

Have you been to His throne lately? If not, why? If yes, how often do you go? Do you pray daily, weekly, or just when you have a special need? If you only pray occasionally, you are missing one of the most enriching blessing of your life. There is no mortal who can do so much for you. No one so worthy of your praise, as He is. Confess your sins to Him (1 John 1:9). Give Him thanks for all He has given to you daily (Philippians 4:6). Ask for His mercy and grace, and blessings as you have needs (John 16:24). We should cultivate a strong prayer life of praying for others, our church, our nation; as well as ourselves. There are so many needs, that we should pray without ceasing according to 1 Thessalonians 5:17. That does not mean we must stop what we are doing and do nothing else but pray. Rather it means that in all we do, we should have the spirit of prayer and communion with God in our hearts at all times.

Remember this verse, it can mean so much to you during the rest of your life. If you are saved and trying to serve the Lord, faithful child, He invites you to come and talk to Him. Any day, about any need, He will hear. He has opened the door of opportunity, if you do not avail yourself of this privilege, you have deprived yourself and you have no one to blame but yourself. Like a banquet, if you leave hungry it is you fault. May we all hear His invitation and heed it. As we draw near to Him in prayer, our hearts will be cleansed and our sins purged, and our lives enriched by His mercy and grace.

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This page last updated on June 7, 2014