Let us draw near to the throne of grace

Psalm 51 is a prayer that David prayed during a time of deep distress, when his soul was hanging in the balance. It was a prayer of repentance after his sins—committing adultery with Bathsheba and arranging the murder of her husband, Uriah—had been uncovered. David wrote, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1).

“According to Your lovingkindness” is another way of saying “Your covenant-keeping faithfulness.” David was saying, in effect, “You have committed Yourself to forgive me if I meet the necessary conditions, and I appeal to You on that basis.” How important it is to approach God on that basis.

Psalm 106:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy [lovingkindness, faithfulness to His covenant] endures forever.” Mercy is an aspect of God’s eternal nature. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

First, we need mercy, but we also need grace. What does the Bible say about grace? Grace cannot be earned. If you can earn it, it is not grace. Religious people often think that they have to earn everything. Consequently, they tend to turn down the grace of God. As Paul wrote, “If by grace, then it is no longer of works….But if it is of works, it is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6). Two things are mentioned in Hebrews 4:16 that we cannot earn. We cannot earn mercy, and we cannot earn grace. We need mercy for the past and grace for the future. It is by God’s grace alone that we can become the kind of people, and live the kind of lives, that He requires of us.

Prayer response

Thank You, Lord, that I can come boldly to You. I proclaim that I come according to God’s lovingkindness to receive mercy for my past and grace for my future. I shall draw near to the throne of grace. Amen.

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