Unstaggering Confidence at the Throne of Grace, Part 2
- Mark Altrogge Senior Pastor, Lord of Life Church, IN
- 2002 1 Jan
Last week we looked at a problem common to many worship leaders and worshipers alike: a sense of fear and unworthiness in God's presence. Just being aware of the daily battle with sin can hinder our efforts to worship God sincerely.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have found myself in sin right in the middle of leading a congregation in worship. I'll notice a church member looking bored and distracted. Immediately, self-righteousness rises up in my heart and I find myself judging him for not worshiping. Meanwhile, I'm so distracted by his non-participation that I'm not worshiping either! Oh, what a wretched man I am! When I want to do good, evil is right there with me (Rom 7:21). If I don't come into worship condemned, I can give the accuser of the brethren plenty of ammunition during worship itself. My heart can be cold, or I can be distracted by a whole array of sinful thoughts. Hebrews 4:14-16 holds great encouragement for sinners like you and me:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Last week we began looking at the tremendous encouragement this passage gives worshipers -- that the throne to which we come is a throne of grace. For believers, the throne is not a place of judgment or condemnation, but a throne from which grace is dispensed. The Lord assures His people in Jeremiah 32:38-41:
They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
God's everlasting intention is to do good to us and never stop doing good to us. He rejoices in doing us good with all his heart and soul. It's one thing for me to put my whole heart into doing good to someone, but it's another thing for God himself to put his whole heart and soul into doing us good!
We are accepted in the Beloved. We are clothed in Christ's righteousness. God Himself has purchased us and established a covenant to never stop doing good to us. It wasn't our idea; God himself decided that he would forever pour out grace upon us. His good intentions don't depend upon our obedience or response to Him either. No, God has made a decision to never stop doing good to us no matter what. This is the God we come to and this is the throne we come to.
In the next article in this series, we will take another look at the abundant grace our God intends for us.
Mark Altrogge is senior pastor of PDI's Lord of Life Church in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he has also led worship since 1976. An internationally known songwriter, Mark has published more than 150 songs with PDI, including the classic songs, "I Stand in Awe," and "I'm Forever Grateful." He has written on worship for numerous magazines, and is a popular speaker at worship conferences. Mark also writes and produces the Scripture memory series, Hide the Word (www.forevergratefulmusic.com).