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Of Thrones and Grace

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

 What do you focus on when you read/hear/quote that verse? I imagine many of us camp out on the word boldly. And with good reason. To be able to approach God in prayer is one of the greatest privileges we have as Christians. We can come with confidence that He hears us. We can know with confidence that He answers.

Or maybe the word that catches us is grace. It is a throne of grace, not of law. Of grace, not of judgement. Of grace, not of wrath. Stuck in our sin, we are under the law, subject to judgement, objects of wrath. But because of what Jesus has done on the cross, we can receive what we do not deserve – God’s grace.

A few nights ago at our Wednesday prayer meeting, another word jumped out at me. And until this week, I had glossed right it. And it may be the one word that holds the key to all the others. Throne. It is a throne we approach boldly. It is a throne of grace.

We aren’t much for thrones. That’s how the whole American experiment got started, by throwing off the power of a throne. A rebellious streak runs through just about everyone of us – it’s really only a matter of degree.

But here’s the kicker: if it’s not a throne, why would I want to come at all, much less boldly? It doesn’t make sense to come boldly to a friend’s living room; I was invited. Or to come with confidence to a doctor’s office; I have to foot the bill. Boldly only means something if I am coming to a place I should approach with caution. A place like a throne.

And if it’s not a throne, what value is there in the grace? Grace that doesn’t come from a throne is sympathy at best, pity at worst. And that doesn’t make much difference. Now give someone a presidential pardon and that changes everything. Because there is some authority to back it up. Even if that authority is only of one of the countries on one of the planets in one of the solar systems in one of the galaxies of the universe. So we can multiply that authority times eternity to begin to get an idea of the kind of power that flows from the throne of the universe.

Now we’re onto something!

Posted on August 17th, 2010