Do you watch The Voice? My family is a singing family and they love to watch The Voice and appreciate the unknown talent that suddenly appears before the eyes of America. A couple of weeks ago, one of the contestants, Brooke Simpson, daughter of Christian evangelists sang Amazing Grace. Of course, I love that song already and being married to a singer, I have learned to appreciate a powerful rendition of a song and it was powerful. As a pastor, I loved that millions of people were being exposed to a song about God’s grace. I know that many people who had not been in church for years were moved to hear a song so embedded in their childhood. But I couldn’t help think that though that many people unfamiliar with the song were so close to this existential message, but still missed it. They could hear it. They could feel it. But they could not take hold of it.
This is the Throne of Grace for many believers. We sense it. We hear about it in sermons and songs. We can even talk about it, but we never take hold of it. We never enter into the Throne Room of God to receive power, mercy, justice, healing, grace.
How do we open this door? How do we move within the full measure of God’s presence and power? The first thing we have to remember is that it is a throne of grace. Grace, grace, God’s grace. It is not the throne simply where grace is given. It is a throne of grace, as if it were composed of grace. One day, it shall be a throne of judgment, but today and every day until Christ returns, it is a throne of grace. Walking into the Throne Room of grace requires on our part an understanding an ability to experience grace. If I am not full acquainted with grace, how can I stand before the Throne of Grace. But what is grace?
Grace is love and kindness in the face of undeserving merit. With God, it is the immeasurable kindness and enduring, unconditional love of Jesus Christ in response to my sin, rebellion, and betrayal of Him. Grace is powerful in that I see God loving me at the worst and if He can love me at my worst, then He truly loves me. This separates God from everyone in my life. They would struggle to love me at my worst. My wife and children might be able to do it, but if I had committed adultery and abandoned my children, would they still have died for me and worked feverishly to better my life? But this is what I did to the Lord. I worshipped other idols and gods, infidelity to my Lord. I have abandoned Him, not going to church, not seeking Him, not praying, not praising. I have done this many times in my life, yet He pursues me with love so wonderful I can’t express.
The problem with grace is that to fully apprehend the significance and meaning, I must first acknowledge my sin. I have to acknowledge the things I have done that should have disqualified me from blessing. If I do not acknowledge my sin as sin, then grace has no meaning. If I do not own where I have betrayed God, hurt Him, and hurt the people in my life for which the only just response would be severe punishment from Heaven, then I cannot appreciate grace. Grace can only be fully grasped with a heart of repentance. As I am fully aware of my sin, I understand more the depth of God’s love for me.
Many people do not enter the Throne Room of God, never receiving the power, miracles, and grace He desires to pour all over us because we refuse to acknowledge our sin. Or if we do acknowledge it, we justify it explaining it away to ourselves as nothing because of the circumstances.
“ I am mean and grouchy, but that’s the only way I can get things done.”
“I had an affair, but my husband abandoned me emotionally a long time ago.”
“I lied, but had I told the truth up front, it would have caused you to stress and worry.”
Arrogant attitudes hide sins from our own eyes and keep us outside the Throne Room of God. We miss out. We are so close, but we can’t take hold of it. Don’t celebrate God’s grace from a distance. Go boldly into the Throne Room of God’s Amazing Grace. Go there often and remain there a long while each time you go.
Tomorrow, we will continue with learning how to open the door and move into the Presence of the Throne Room of God.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (NIV)
It is difficult Lord to admit and confess my sin. I don’t want to be that person and to confess my sin is an admission that I am that person. It is too painful to think about what I have done and how I have hurt people. Nevertheless, until I see my sin for what it is, I will never see your grace for the wonder it is. Help me Lord by breaking this spirit of pride within me and help me to humble myself in prayer. I need to confess my sin and take hold of the amazing grace that only You can give. -Amen.