Coming to the Throne of Grace

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Luke 7:37-38 ESV

Luke doesn’t try to put a positive spin on the fact that this woman was a sinner. Actually, this story hinges on the sinfulness of the woman and the grace of God. Many of us are like this woman except that we wear 21st century clothes. What has not changed is that we have exactly the same problem. If we follow this woman’s example, we will find that Jesus has exactly the same solution!

Are we willing to go into the Pharisees house and put ourselves in a vulnerable position before Jesus Christ? Are we ready to go into a place where we might be criticized, ostracized or tossed out? This woman came and wasted no time going to Jesus. She must have decided that if she was going to be tossed out at least she would have time to pour out her alabaster flask. Yet as she drew close to Jesus something unexpected happened.  She began to weep for her sins and the tears fell on His feet. Then seeing the tears coursing through the dust on His feet she knelt and began to wipe them with her hair and kissed them and anointed them with her oil. She might not have understood what was happening and the Pharisee certainly had no clue.  The throne of grace is an awesome place. We never know what will happen when we get there.  What we can know is that when we get there Jesus is ready to receive us and forgive our every sin!

Mercy for Today

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14 KJV

Often when we ask God for mercy, we are asking for a past sin to be forgiven. But mercy is about more than sin and more than just about what is past. We often think of the Psalms as being a book written by David but many were written by Asaph, two by Solomon and Psalm 90 was written by Moses, as a prayer for mercy. Interestingly he first asks for mercy early. If you are like me you might want to try this. It doesn’t take me long into my day to mess up! But he is not here simply asking for God to forgive past sins. Mercy is also a cry for undeserved help in every area of our lives.

What are you facing today? Is it physical weakness or disease? Are you struggling in a damaged relationship, financial pressures or unfair accusations? God offers His mercy “early”. He anticipates our need before we even ask. He knows about the storm even before we hear the weather forecast. He sees the test results before we get the mail. God has already looked through our empty cabinets before we make our grocery list. He stands at the door of our room and watches us as we sleep, and then greets us as we wake. In the old covenant days God’s special holy place in the Tabernacle was called the mercy seat. Today, this very morning Jesus is sitting at that same spot and offering His mercy before we even speak a word, make our coffee or begin our work. He knows what will unfold and lovingly gives us mercy and all we need to do is ask!