I am not worthy the least of His favor
But Jesus left heaven for me.
The Word became flesh and He died as my Savior,
Forsaken on dark Calvary.
I am not worthy! This old tongue repeats it,
I am not worthy! The heart gladly beats it,
Jesus left heaven to die in my place,
What mercy, what love, and what grace.
From "I Am Not Worthy," by Bea Bixler (1916– )
God bless you. This is Meditation Moments again. I wonder if you wouldn’t like to join us in just a brief prayer for blessing on God’s Word.
Our heavenly Father, we thank Thee for all past mercies, Thy wonderful promises, and the gift of Jesus Christ our Lord. We ask Thy blessing now upon this wee meditation, that it may honor Thee and meet the need of some hearts. We thank Thee, Lord, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
The words of this song, oh it voices such a fundamental truth, because we are not worthy. I wonder how many times you’ve come to the Lord in prayer with those very words in your heart, if not on your lips. How could we have any other attitude in the presence of such a holy God?
For He says, “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9) And we would like to say as John the Baptist said, “He is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose.” (Mark 1:7) You remember that prayer of personal preparation that was made by Jacob at Peniel? That’s in the first book in the Old Testament, the first book of the Bible, and it has this word “worthy” in that prayer (Genesis 32:10).
“I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies.” Jacob says, “I am not worthy of all thy truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant.” That’s often been the cry of my own heart.
It was also the cry of the centurion in the seventh chapter of Luke, where he says, “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof.” (Luke 7:6) I think I’d like to read a little bit of that story there in the seventh chapter of Luke, speaking of the centurion whose servant was ready to die. He heard of Jesus, and the elders, you remember, came, beseeching Jesus that He would come and heal the centurion’s servant. They said this, in the fourth verse:
“And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying that he was worthy (the centurion) for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying, Lord, trouble not thyself: I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.” (Luke 7:4–7) And you remember that the servant was healed and Jesus’ heart was so delighted.
This is the only place I find in the Bible that it says that Jesus marveled. I can’t imagine Christ marveling, but it says, “He marveled.” He said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.” (Luke 7:9) The man who thought he was so unworthy, Jesus says of him that he had not found such great faith!
So sometimes people who feel the most unworthy are people that have very great faith, because their faith isn’t built upon any of their own works or their own worthiness. This unworthy one was the very one of whom Jesus said, “I have not seen so great faith.” It was that attitude of humility and of meekness because that’s one of the foundation stones of faith.
This theme runs through so many of the precious old hymns of the faith—the very best of them, which we are always speaking of: “We’re Under the Blood,” or “There’s Power in the Blood.” It’s never self that’s held up; it’s never our works. Like this one:
I hear the Savior say
“Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thy all in all.”
Because it isn’t in you or your worthiness! How many times you’ve heard that saying. Then those words:
When nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I wash my garments white
In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
From "Jesus Paid It All," by Elvina M. Hall (1865)
In the old revival days, how many have walked the aisle and given their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ under the power of that old hymn:
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.
From "Just as I Am, Without One Plea," by Charlotte Elliott (1789–1871)
And then that precious song that’s so familiar to us and we’ve known it from our childhood:
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling.
Adapted from "Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me," by Augustus M. Toplady (1740–1778)
Don’t you love those old songs? Nothing could ever take the place of them! Then in “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” by Charles Wesley:
Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.
Leave, oh, leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head,
With the shadow of Thy wing.
Written in 1740
And bother quoting from these old songs? Why, they’re all the cry of the heart’s unworthiness! It rings out in all these inspired words. But someone says to me, “Isn’t there a sort of a contradiction here when you say we are unworthy, and to take the attitude of deep humility when you come to God in prayer, and yet in Hebrews 4 the writer says to come boldly to the throne?”
This is the way that scripture goes: “Seeing then that we have a high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16)
No, there’s no contradiction here between the acknowledgment of unworthiness and this bold approach to God. For we don’t come to Him in our own worthiness! Oh, if that would just sink into some hearts, that it’s only in the worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what these old hymns are talking about, and nearly all of them end with some word about the blood of Calvary.
It is the cross of Calvary that gives you the right to come with boldness. You can come with boldness because it isn’t any worthiness of your own! Our sins are forgiven us because Jesus Christ the Son of God bore them in His own body on the tree. (1 Peter 2:24)
The bloodstained cross is the moral warrant on which we base this right to come boldly and our assurance that our sins are forgiven. As long as the cross stands, throughout the face of eternity, just so long will men have this boldness: That for Christ’s sake, God will pardon their transgressions.
It’s wonderfully inspiring to me to remember constantly that the cross is a finished transaction. The promise is based on blood already shed and on a transaction already completed, not on anything we can do or say or any works of ours or any worth in ourselves. We are unworthy. But the vilest sinner bowing at the foot of the cross of Calvary and claiming the cleansing power of the blood can know the peace of total remission of all and every sin, and then approach God the heavenly Father boldly through the blood of Christ, through the worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oh, it’s so wonderful when we come to this full understanding that, because Jesus died, we live. Because Jesus Christ went down in the tomb and came forth again and was raised from the dead, rejoice and reign with Him we can through all eternity! There isn’t any other way, dearly beloved, of approaching the heavenly Father except through His worthiness. Because He died for us, we are heirs and joint heirs with Him, and we ought to act like heirs, and that’s why we can come boldly.
Some of you that are suffering so terribly on beds of sickness, I wish you would listen carefully to what we are going to say to you now: Beware that the devil does not enter into controversy here and accuse you of your unworthiness, that he may take away your boldness to come to God and ask Him for the desire of your heart. You have to come with boldness to the throne of grace in the name of the only worthy one. This fact that you are now a child of the King and are coming through a highly purchased right should crown your prayer with great confidence and lift your heart with kingly boldness.
So many cases I’ve dealt with of those on beds of sickness, suffering, have so felt their unworthiness that they have accepted their condition, feeling that they deserved all that had come upon them. Some had made no attempt to resist the oppression of the devil. Jesus said that He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. (Acts 10:38) They’ve not resisted, nor come with any boldness to ask for deliverance, because they feel they are suffering for past sins, they’re reaping what they’ve sown, they’re getting their just reward.
So they just accept it and never step out on the promises, promises that were signed with the blood of Calvary for their very deliverance. Oh, beloved, this is condemnation. God’s Word says there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Get rid of that condemnation! Open your heart to the Lord, confess in full to Him everything that might hinder, and walk right in and accept your purchased rights through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!
You have Christ’s word in this: All things are yours in Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 3:21–22) Whom the Son hath made free is free indeed! (John 8:36) Quit letting the devil accuse you! God’s Word says he is “the accuser of the saints.” (Revelation 12:10)
Now take this verse in closing: “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need.” You have some rights to that throne. God bless you.