Posted by: William | February 19, 2008

Preparation & Trust

While reading Thomas Watson’s The Lord’s Supper, I was reminded of something important for all of us, as Christians, to remember. While discussing preparedness to come to the table of the Lord, Watson writes:

“We must come to the Lord’s table with self-denying hearts. When we have prepared ourselves in the best manner we can, let us take heed of trusting our preparations. ‘So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do’ (Luke 17:10). Use duty, but do not idolize it. We ought to use duties to fit us for Christ, but we must not make Christ, but we must not make a Christ of our duties. Duty is a golden path to walk in, but not a silver crutch to lean on.

 

Alas, what are all our preparations? God can spy a hole in our best garments. ‘Woe to man, if thou shouldst examine him and weigh him up’ (Augustine). ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags’ (Isa. 64:6)”

 

Watson reaches this thought after discussing the need for us to prepare ourselves to come to the table of the Lord. However, even after all of these preparations, we have not made ourselves worthy to come—we remain completely unworthy. However, thanks to the very One we come in solemn memory of, we have been counted worthy.

Watson’s thought here is a biblical concept that spreads out over many areas of our lives. It’s not faith that saves, Jesus saves. It’s not me who saves the sinner, it’s Jesus who saves the sinner. I think especially as we endeavor to be vessels of Christ’s love to the world, we should remember we are only vessels. We frequent a tendency to feel that success is based on our performance—it’s not; it’s based on the prerogative of a good and loving God. So let’s not put our trust in the work of our hands or the work of our hearts but in God who works all things for the good of those who love him and his perfect glory.

The group Leeland has a beautiful song in a similar vein to this discussion. It’s called Carried to the Table and you can listen to it for free on their MySpace page.

Jesus, I pray that you would place the emphasis in our hearts on you. Jesus, help us to put our trust, not in any kind of work of our own, but in you grace, in your love, in your mercy, as displayed perfectly in your cross. Jesus, give us humility; sanctify us, God!

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