What Grace Does for Us

We knew a man who was brought to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour in his old age. His gratitude for the grace that had saved him was very deep, and it was always a pleasure to talk with him.

He was on his eighty-second birthday, to partake, for the first time, of the Lord's Supper in remembrance of the Lord in death — the greatest privilege that any Christian can enjoy on earth — and we called at his house on that Lord's Day morning to help him to the gathering where this was to take place. He told us that he had passed through a great conflict during the night He had been thinking of his long life of sinful selfishness, and of his own utter unworthiness, and the devil had attacked him in his self-occupation and said, "You are not fit to sit down with God's people and take the Lord's Supper. You are altogether unworthy, and had better give up your intention of doing it." He told us that his distress was very great for hours, when quite suddenly the thought came to his mind, If his Majesty the King were to invite me to feast with him at his palace, he would have to provide me with a suit of court dress, for I am a poor man and could not purchase one myself. And if the Lord invites me to His "banqueting house" to feast with Him, will He do less than this? Then he remembered the parable of the prodigal, upon whom the best robe was put. He remembered the wonderful words of Ephesians 1:6, which tell us that God "Has made us acceptable in the Beloved." These thoughts banished all the darkness and distress from his mind and made him exult in that abounding grace that does everything that is needful for its objects, and in that great love which had put him in Christ and clothed him in all His perfection. In the consciousness of this he rejoiced that morning; and being set free from self-occupation was able to glory in the Lord.

There may be some amongst our readers who are often in similar distress about their unworthiness. Let us say to such that self-occupation can only distress you the more, though self-judgment is always wholesome and needful. Grace looked for no merit in you when it laboured to win you. The Lord did not save you because of your worthiness, for you had none to plead before Him, and it is not now a question of what you are, but of what He is —

"Thou art healed by His stripes,
Would'st thou add to that word?
And He is thy righteousness made,
The best robe of heaven on thee He has put;
Oh, could'st thou be better arrayed?"

Your unworthiness, if you think of yourself, could not be more absolute than it is, but Christ who bore your load of sins upon the tree, and who is now raised from the dead, is your righteousness, your acceptance, your beauty in the sight of God, and the highest angel in heaven is not so well clad as are you, nor so fit to be in the presence of God as you are in Christ.

Then give "thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col. 1:12); and gratefully and with lowliness of mind take up every Christian privilege that He puts within your reach for His name's sake.

So shall the devil's intentions be thwarted, for he would make your heart miserable and your mouth dumb so that God shall get no praise from you, for he knows that whoso offereth praise glorifieth God.