For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16
It was second period at Bleyl Jr. High School in Houston, Texas. I was talking to my friend, Mike, leaning back in my chair - a major "no-no" for the students. I lost my balance at the wrong time and fell backward, right at the feet of the teacher. She must have been having a BAD day because she freaked out and escorted me directly to the Principal, Mr. Brown. (I did not even get to pass Go or collect my $200.)
At my school, when you got sent to the office, you typically saw one of the Assistant Principals, Mr. Sheridan or Mr. Rushing. You NEVER saw THE Principal, Mr. Brown, unless the circumstances were severe.
Mr. Brown was very tough and intimidating. I think his physiological make up was about 50% iron. The stories of him giving swats were legendary. It was basically reported that getting swats from Mr. Brown was akin to getting caned in Singapore. Needless to say, I was scared to death as I sat in his office waiting for the hammer to fall. Was I about to be surprised!
Mr. Brown was so nice to me. He knew who I was and had watched me play basketball. He was impressed with the way I could jump. He laughed and joked with me and asked me about our team. He was not mad at me at all. He was gracious and compassionate. He did not even mention swats. I was amazed and relieved all at the same time. I thought his office was going to be a place of judgment, but what I found was a place of grace.
GOD AND HIS THRONE
The Bible tells us that God sits on a throne of GRACE, not a throne of judgment and condemnation. He wants to bless us, not curse us. He is a merciful God who longs to pour out His lovingkindness on those who come to Him in humility, repentance and faith.
You know what that means? God is a God you and I can get close to. He wants us to draw near to Him. He wants to help us in our time of need. He is truly "a friend that sticks closer than a brother" (Prov. 18:24).
The big questions are these: Will you and I take Him up on His generous and amazing offer to come boldly before His throne? Will we avail ourselves of the help and strength that He promises to give us? Will we believe His Word, or the erroneous things we have heard about Him concerning his anger and disgust for us in our weaknesses and failures? These are questions that NEED to be answered, and answered correctly.
In closing, do you know who is one of my dear friends today? That's right, Mr. Brown. He and I still keep in touch, and he never ceases to encourage me in my preaching and ministry. He has been a blessing to me ever since the day I fearfully entered his office over 33 years ago.
You know what? God is inviting you to meet Him today in His office. He doesn't want to swat you for your failures, He wants to love on you and fill you with His strength. The office door is open. Will you come?
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.