I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
Welcome back to my Strength in Hymn series. “Before the Throne of God Above” was written by Charitie L. Bancroft in 1863. I appreciate the lyrics because I so often need to be reassured of God’s love, and that my salvation does not depend on my efforts at righteousness but on his perfect sacrifice. I do not need any human mediator to stand between God and me, because Jesus is more than sufficient. He is interceding for me in heaven, even when I doubt and despair.
This hymn is the favorite of my second cousin Jean, who also likes “How the Deep the Father’s Love” by Stuart Townend, as sung by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. The photos above were taken while walking in her neighborhood in Chapel Hill, North Carolina while en route to see my family in Maryland.
Though Jean is a distant relative, she is a close friend. This is funny, since while our mothers grew up near each other, Jean and I did not, and we still live several hundred miles apart. We hadn’t even seen each other since our teenage years when we reconnected at a family reunion in Pennsylvania seven years ago and discovered our common faith in Christ. We talk frequently on the phone and visit each other whenever we can. She loves Jesus, faithfully encourages me to stay close to God in my trials, and prays for me more than anyone else does. You can read more about that here: Weekend Gratitude: In Every Situation
Jean and her sister Marge bought a huge load of “road trip” food for us. Both of them have been so kind to my family for the past several years and I’m so delighted that Marge was able to join us for dinner. The picture of Marge, her mother Priscilla and me was taken a few years ago. You can read more about them here: My Scrapple Experiment (It’s More than Meat and Cornmeal to Me!) and here: Weekend Gratitude: Family Reunion in Pennsylvania
I love Jean’s woodsy, hilly neighborhood! My kids enjoyed skate boarding and rip sticking, catching fire flies and watching for deer and bunnies. But I enjoyed the fellowship most of all.