Common Grace

There is no better example of “common grace” than Spring-time. Common grace, also known as “general grace” is defined as “non saving grace in which blessings are given to humanity for physical sustenance, pleasure, learning, beauty, etc. as expressions of God’s goodness. It is particularly contrasted…. with God’s special or saving grace.” (McKim, Donald K., The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, Second Edition). Common graces are the gifts given all mankind regardless of their belief system, faith, or acknowledgment of God the creator. How gracious and good is our God to lavish us with the beauties of nature, the breath of babies, the animals all around, intellect for scientific discovery even if we never choose to acknowledge Him as the giver?

Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. James 1:17

Spring-time walks made beautiful by eyes specifically created to see color, not black and white. Spring-time with the Forsythia shooting out from it’s bush, out from the winter neutrals, shocking our color starved eyes with life and beauty. The rest of nature snoozes in hibernation as Red Bud Trees awaken and sing of the new morning. Daffodils dwarfed under trees trumpet with their blooms God’s love song. Paper Whites shyly whisper beside….. Spring is coming. And in every petal, in every bud about to blossom is God’s message, “Broken humanity, I love you. I love you…..” The azalea flowers will soon clump together, every hue in the rainbow proclaiming, “I bloom for He is good….” The hydrangea bush in the shade will not collapse under their rotund blooms. They will hold their weight and will say, “God is gentle and kind. Masterful and sovereign over all creation.”

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20

Birds will hatch, goat kids will be born with ears floppy and soft. God will feed them from His very hand…

Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food? Job 38:39-41

All this glory and yet nature is not where God sets His sight, pours His love. Mankind is the object of His love…

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:3-5

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

All mankind was given God’s very breath. All mankind was created in His image. But for those who choose Jesus. For those who surrender to His Lordship… we are the recipients of not only God’s common grace but also His saving grace….

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

After salvation His grace continues as He pours His Holy Spirit into us, allowing us to be beauty and light to the broken world around us.

As we are reminded in Altar’d, “You are the dwelling place. You are the place where He displays His glory. You are the place where His glory is ‘at home.’”

As followers of Jesus Christ are we shining brighter, acting more lovely, blessing more profoundly the world around us than the flowers blooming outside our doors?