When we talk about Grace we mostly mean the special favour God shows in mercifully forgiving a person’s sin.
However, the Bible speaks of a more general love and kindness that God shows to everyone. This is sometimes called Common Grace, and while it does not make everybody a Christian, everyone benefits from it.
Common Grace is almost a ‘behind the scenes’ type of grace to which we mostly give little thought. For example, it is experienced in the way God rules the natural world. The Psalmist says:
“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart”. (Psalm 104:14-15).
Similar sentiments are expressed by Jesus in Matthew 5:45 and Paul in Acts 14:17. Saying ‘grace’ before a meal is one way one we can express our gratitude to God for His kind provision.
Another way in which we experience Common Grace is through governing authorities. These are established by God for the primary purpose of restraining wrongdoing and promoting good. Paul says:
“for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer”. (Romans 13:4)
Maybe you never thought that receiving a traffic fine was God’s grace in action for your good, but it is! Let us learn to thank God for all His gracious provisions!
– PHIL PRATT