Reflections on the Common Grace of God This Week

Dear Grieving Brethren,
All week the tears have flowed for those who lost their lives in the brutal
attack on the eastern coast of America. Who would have ever thought that this
could possibly happen on American soil to the degree it did?
A friend of mine lost her mother just two weeks ago . As I was counseling her about her loss
yesterday evening, she asked, “Why would God allow all this to happen?” O, how I
love that question!!! I began to respond…
You see, that really isn’t the right question to ask. The right question to ask
is, “How could a holy and righteous and just God allow so many sinners to daily
blaspheme Him, daily take His glory from Him, daily hate his neighbor, and daily
murder in his heart those who are made in the image of God?”
The Sovereign Lord of this universe is so gracious to sinners every single day.
Have you ever asked yourself why? Maybe a few of those who lost their lives
thought about Christ when they woke up that fateful morning. But those who
wanted nothing to do with the God of the Bible still had the common grace of
good jobs, a family of loved ones, new or weathered spouses, little children,
ample homes, new cars, profitable businesses, good associates, committed
friends, fashionable clothing, healthy food, a warm sun, a cool rain, a soft
afternoon breeze, the beauty of a sunset, the warmth of a strong handshake, the
love of a firm hug, the affections of a gentle kiss on the cheek, and so on…
This is the mere wonder of common grace! And still the magnitude of common grace
is to me so incomprehensible.
All this every single person had when they woke up on the last day of their
lives this week; those who loved God, and those who hated God alike. It may even
be that those who did not love God had much more in the way of worldly treasures
and the common blessings given to them by God compared to the faithful believer
with maybe his old beat up Bible. In the eyes of the world those unsaved who
died had so much. But really? And for how long?
Is God not a forbearing God especially to them that do not love His Son? Is He
not desiring that men, women, boys, and girls repent of their sins and believe
in His Son Jesus Christ for eternal salvation? I know this is the case. Yet even
those who hate Him, whether openly or in secret (He knows their hearts), are all
still the recipients of God’s common grace. We know “common grace” is not
“special grace,” but that certainly does NOT mean that it is “common” or “base”
at all. But why any grace at all to the unbeliever???
God’s common grace to the unbelieving world is a small window of opportunity for
us who KNOW Him to tell the world ABOUT Him. We who know the special love and
mercy of the God of this universe have such an awesome responsibility to preach
the special love of God toward every sinner who repents and turns to Him in
faith. We need to appeal to the kindness and goodness of God even to those who
do not believe. We need to show them that THEY have been the recipients of
common grace ALL their lives! But not a grace that is “common.” And we have such
a short amount of time! All we have is possibly a lifetime to share the gospel
message. But many will perish long before the average statistic. Can we then
afford to not open our mouths? If God has given us so much in His Son, so much
promise, so much love, so much grace, so much mercy? Can we be so stingy as to
hide this truth from the “enemy” Christ commands us to “love”?
Have you ever asked yourself why the Lord placed you exactly where you are, in
the realm of the people you go to school with or do business with? Have you ever
asked yourself why Christ would allow such a horrible event to take place? …an
event that the whole world could give witness to? Is it possible that Christ is
desiring that we “be careful how [we] walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
making the MOST of [our] time, because the days are evil”?
We may not know how to exactly read these dark times of providence for America.
But one thing is sure to us who know Him by way of special grace, “we know that
God causes all things to work together for good to those that love God, to those
who are called according to His purpose.”
May the Lord grant us boldness, grace, and wisdom to use the events of such an
evil week as an opportunity to share the glorious gospel of special grace and
forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ!!!
Indebted to Him for grace,
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
William Cowper


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