Reading the Puritan poem, "Continued Repentance" from The Valley of Vision I am reminded again of how wonderful God’s grace is. Jesus didn’t wait for me to get cleaned up. He didn’t wait for me to straighten up. He didn’t even wait for me to be remotely interested in Him. God demonstrated his own love for me that while I was still a sinner, Jesus died for me, (Romans 5:8). He is marvelous! He is holy. He is just. He is mighty to save. He is my Advocate and Great High Priest. He is my Savior. He is my all in all.
And I am not worthy, but He died of me regardless. How can I ever rebel and sin against such love? In light of His great sacrifice this poem more than adequately expresses the desire of my heart. May it be your desire as well.
O God of grace,
Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul,
clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.
But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.
I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;
I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,
for thou dost always justify the ungodly;
I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always saying, Father, forgive me,
and thou art always bringing forth
the best robe.
Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return in it,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.