09.01.15 – Baskets of Fruit and Buckets of Rain

FotoFlexer_Photo

Baskets of Fruit and Buckets of Rain; Thoughts on God’s Common Grace to Man

In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” – Acts 14:16-17

There is a difference between saving grace and common grace.  Obviously we are more familiar with saving grace. Saving grace is what the believer experiences at conversion.  But common grace is different from saving grace in the fact that it does not bring about salvation.

Wayne Grudem defines common grace as “the grace of God by which He gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation.”  I believe that to be a very accurate definition of common grace. Common grace is the grace of God that everyone alive gets to experience, even lost people. That is why it is referred to as “common.”  It is “common” because it is not simply restricted and limited to only believers to experience.  It is grace that is “common” to all people.  Let us explore this a bit further.

It is only by the grace of God that you and I have air to breathe. This is true for everyone. It does not matter if you are saved or lost; every human on planet earth gets to partake of the oxygen provided only by the graceful hand of God. Air certainly is an example of God’s common grace, considering the fact that we all deserve death and not life (Romans 3:23).  Also, because of God’s common grace to all of mankind, we get to experience the beauty of His creation. All people are the recipients of the beauty of the world around them. Unbelievers can even experience common grace from an intellectual standpoint. Many lost people have a plethora of knowledge at their disposal, and it is only by the grace of God that they have the knowledge that they do.  Any enlightenment of knowledge they have originated in God and that is why the apostle John spoke of Jesus as “the true light that enlightens every man” (John 1:9). The doctrine of common grace to all of man is further illustrated in the very gifted and talented unbelievers around us. From the skills of craftsman, to the creativity of artists; to scientists, inventors, and athletes; any abilities that they have been given, were given to them by God as an act of grace.

In our passage above, Barnabas and Paul tell the Greek residents of Lystra of God’s encompassing goodness experienced by all men. For example, the rain that falls upon all men; the vegetation and seasons experienced by all people; these are examples of God’s common grace.  Psalm 145:9 says, “The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.” The psalmist points to the encompassing goodness of God to all of His creatures. Notice that God’s goodness is all inclusive. It is not just for His children; it is for every breathing thing.

Common grace differs from saving grace because it does not save you. Common grace will not transform the heart of man. Common grace does not bring people to genuine faith and repentance. Only saving grace will do these things. Yet it is worth noting that common grace can be used by God as a tool to draw men unto Himself. The beauty of creation is enjoyed by all people, and it just might be the beauty of God’s creation that opens the door for someone to acknowledge a Creator, which in turn could lead that individual through the door of saving grace. Now I am certainly not suggesting that there are two different types of grace. But what I am suggesting is that God’s grace will manifest itself in the world that we live in through these two very different ways.

In what ways do you experience God’s common grace? Could the truth of God’s common grace to man be a tool for you to use in witnessing to someone?  Has this devotional thought helped you see the grace of God in a different light? Take time out today and think about how you personally benefit from God’s common graces, and then thank Him.

 – Pastor Eric

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “09.01.15 – Baskets of Fruit and Buckets of Rain

  1. I am blessed with God’s common grace everyday! I thank Him for blessing me with such a kind and loving family. He has even surrounded me by good friends who encourage me to strive towards Him every day. I even thank Him for putting such great role models in my life who teach me how to be a Godly young person and how to be original!

  2. It’s amazing to think that we’re only breathing because God allows us to. It really puts me in awe of him. Paradoxically, it also scares me a bit that I’m only alive because an all powerful being I can’t see allows it. But that doesn’t take away from his goodness and grace. We are blessed!

  3. It is amazing how great God really is and that he is the only one keeping us alive. If he really wanted us dead we would die instantly it makes me love God even more knowing he is such a graceful God

  4. I agree that common grace is for all to have, but you should be able to see a difference in how a believer deals with this every day grace. Most people don’t even acknowledge the many graces that happen every single day. As many of my classmates said, they are grateful for things such as a loving family even to the air we breathe every day. This devotional is convicting and I would like to be able to say that I’m always as grateful and praise God for grace as I should, but I really can’t. I think a little more thanks could go a long way.

  5. I experience God’s common grace everyday…as I imagine we all do. We all go outside and breathe and, well, live on a daily basis. So, I believe these things are God’s ways of revealing Himself to us every second of every day. Just thinking about this topic makes me so thankful for such an awesome God. I tend to only thank Him at moments like these when it’s a time that’s set aside just to do so. I need to work on constantly being in prayer and thanking Him for being so gracious.

  6. I think sometimes we over look the common grace because we get use to it. I sometimes over look the fact that he gave me the gift of being athletic, he gave me my grandparents, and I definitely over look the fact the only reason I am breathing right now is because of his grace. I believe everyone has common grace as well, but just because everyone has it doesn’t mean we should diminish it. I believe it is important to thank God every day for the common graces he gives you because I see it as him just showing you daily that he is thinking of you even when your thoughts are on something totally different.

  7. Gods grace is the only thing holding his wrath back. E deserve his wrath. We don’t deserve to breath, or just live life, yet Gods common grace allows us to. I think that it is easy to take common grace for granted and overlook it in our daily lives, when in reality, we should be thanking God all the time for allowing us this.

  8. I’ve never really thought of it that way. God’s common grace is completely surrounding my life by so many means. This shows that God cares for every single one of his creations. I totally agree with Hope that so many people overlook this. This gives everyone absolutely no reason to grumble and complain. We could completely change our attitudes if we opened our eyes to the small things God’s common grace gives us.

  9. God’s common grace is all over our world. As many previously mentioned, it is what gives us the air we breath. God’s common grace is the reason we wake up every day and are able to do most of the things we do. Such as play sports, go to school, etc… I think as humans, we sometimes take God’s common grace for granted because we get caught up in our day to day lives and we may forget to thank God for all of His blessings.

  10. Sometimes we need to be reminded to step back and appreciate all the little things God does for us. In comparison to his saving grace, some things can seem awfully small. We need to be reminded to thank him for the chance to live and breathe, and we should use that very breath to glorify his name.

  11. I am blessed to have common Grace, I am blessed to be able to breath , walk , and do many more activities because of his Grace. I am also very blessed to have the family and friends I have because of God’s wonderful Grace.

  12. I think that many times in our life we don’t truly understand just how much is going on behind the scenes if you will. So often we assume that we as humans are strong and won’t fall. It’s interesting to note just how often we find ourselves asking for Gods help whenever we find ourselves stuck in a rut. Gods grace is always there to help us, and even looking around should be enough for us to believe.

  13. I struggle to notice examples of God’s common grace all the time. However he gave us His creation to enjoy which is the ultimate example of the loving and powerful God He is.

  14. Many nonbelievers have the claim that either they don’t need God, or God owes them because of their lives. Either way, they have a bitterness towards what they say is a God that has not been there for them. This passage makes it very clear that both of these claims are lousy excuses considering the amount of blessings the world is constantly being given every day. God is involved in everyone’s lives whether they like it or not. Fortunately, it is a God who is loving and wants the very best for us and the rest of our lives.

  15. I see God’s common grace everyday everywhere I go, even in times of great pain and I’m always thankful for what I have no matter how bad my day is.

  16. I like the point that common grace can be used as a tool to save people. I think it’s wonderful how you can simply walk outside and see Gods greatness in nature, from the air we breathe to how nature works as a whole.

    • Sorry that this is late. I think this topic is one that is very important, it often gets overlooked because we grow so used to having the simple things in life. I know that in my own life that I should focus more on the everyday blessings. This is very humbling and vitally important to not forget.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s