Sunday, February 23, 2014

Common Grace, Not So Common

Grace is an expression of love that most Christians seem to do better receiving than giving. 

44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? 
To be sons or daughters of our Father in heaven we must learn to show grace to others. What is grace? It is the divine favor.  The undeserving kindness, forgiveness, and pardon of God.  God's COMMON GRACE is shown to all people on earth in that he gives us sun and rain--a world to live in and work, receive provision to live, and experience the joys of life.

God's grace, common, and special (given in salvation) clearly shows human beings they are not God.  We want justice, revenge, and people to pay for their wrongs. God says I will pay.  Then, he says, I want you to learn this in order to be my spiritual offspring. 

That seems monumental.  So often, our human nature, what the Bible calls "the flesh" gets in the way of the Holy Spirit's work of making us people whose character become more and more like God's as time passes. 

The fruit of the Spirit in our lives is intended to remove from us the pettiness, gossip, revenge, self indulgence, lies, pride-arrogance, and pure selfishness that come to us naturally.  The Holy Spirit in the e of regeneration and sanctification supernaturally releases us into a life where love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, and self control prevail.  The new life begins as a seed grows in us throughout the span of our days into outward fruit of the spiritual life TO BENEFIT AND SERVE OTHERS. 

May God's grace become common in his people.  It is amazing when grace is shown by a Church to the world.  May we move beyond pettiness, judgment, and intolerance.  Let divine power make us people of grace demonstrating God's love to all. 

Fr. Kevin