Joh 1:16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
It has all been a bit academic here lately. I’ve written a lot about the struggles between Christianity and other religions and secular philosophy, and the influence it has on all areas of our culture. But ultimately all of that does not matter too much. We would not even be able to debate those issues, were it not for the grace freely received from God.
Face it, we are just, in the bigger scheme of things, a very, very small speck of existence in an immense universe. And our earthly existence is but a momentary flare-up across eternity. God made it so, so that we may understand how very small and temporary we are in comparison to His great and timeless existence. And the mere fact of our existence is by His grace alone. That grace is extended to all mankind, it is common to every man, woman and child on the planet. God gives everyone the opportunity to exist on this planet He made for us, in the dimension which He chose for us to come to know Him.
What happens when your brief flicker of life dies out? In space-time history, a human life on earth is remarkably short, yet remarkably important. Because it is during this short time, this birth and growth of a human spirit, that we are called to experience the remarkable grace of God. This is unlike the first grace mentioned above, that is common to all mankind. No, this is personal grace, grace extended to those who are God’s children, those who accept His loving grace.
For we are born onto this planet in a natural state of opposition to grace, in a state of selfish indulgence and moral rigor mortis. And while we take for granted the common grace of God, often doing away with it with a hand-wave and a wink (or some scientific theory?), there is no escaping our dire need for His personal grace. That grace which is advertised to us through His gospel call, which comes alive in us through the work of His Spirit, so that we may know Him, so that we may feel His love. It is so much more than the grace of mere existence, it is the grace of life.
That is why we read of grace upon grace. And one cannot see grace before one has heard the call of the Lord. Is there anything more valuable than accepting the freedom of personal grace, so that our brief earthly existence may serve its purpose to unite us in spirit with the Holy God? There cannot be. Because accepting the free gift of grace offered to us has implications larger than a space-time existence, it reaches timeless eternity.
So, dear friend, listen for the call of the Lord, see the personal grace, upon the common grace, both freely bestowed on us, but know that only personal grace can unite us with our Heavenly father. Ask today for that free grace, and be thankful for receiving it.