Sunday, February 24, 2013
Coffee and Common Grace
Well I never thought that I would become a coffee drinker but here I am now drinking at least 24 oz a day! The reasoning to start drinking was simply to help me stay awake on the roads so that I am able to see my family again at the end of the day after work which is something that I just had to make a priority rather than taking chances with falling asleep at the wheel!
So as I drink each day I often think about God's grace and how His grace comes to us. I'm no theologian nor claim to be but I have heard the term thrown around of God's "Common Grace". And here's how Dr Tim Keller of NYC's Redeemer Presbyterian explains it:
"The Bible consistently teaches what theologians have come to call “common grace,” a non-saving grace that is at work in the broader reaches of human cultural interaction. This gift of God’s grace to humanity in general demonstrates a desire on God’s part to bestow certain blessings on all human beings, believer and non-believer alike. Understanding common grace provides the basis for Christians to cooperate with and learn from non Christians."
- taken from http://timothykeller.com/images/uploads/pdf/What_Is_Common_Grace.pdf
At least my layman, simpleton interpretation is that God showers grace upon grace down upon humanity and Creation, He certainly doesn't have to but choose to because of His character and nature of being Good and being Love. I guess in Him He personifies those characteristics because He is those, before we even came to recognize or define the pale attempts of humanity to emulate those characteristics, He is!
In fact Jesus' exhortation to us to love our enemies in Matthew 5 comes from the call and command to us to be like God, to be holy as He is holy or perfect as He is perfect, i.e. to be transformed by His Word and Spirit and empowered to live by Him so much that loving our enemies flows out of His nature in and through us, not our own.
"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is 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." - Matthew 5:44-45
So God's grace is not limited to those who believe or who are 'good enough' to believe, or those whom we think are worthy, because frankly we aren't worthy, but Jesus is and that's why we needed Him to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin and to be raised again on the third day so that we too can be raised with Him to eternal life!
So His grace extends to all, whether all acknowledge Him or not!
But how does this relate to coffee at all??? Well in my random thinking, it seems like He has enabled me to recognize this common grace at this time so that I can drive safely on the roads to be present with my family! Believe me I have prayed and prayed but it doesn't seem like God wants to zap me with some kind of supernatural staying awake power, but part of my dependence on Him at this time is exercising the wisdom to drink coffee! It's a lesson in trust because we are on a budget and so the thought of having this ongoing expense could lead to worry and anxiety but what does Jesus say:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matt 6:25-33
So, apparently God's going to look after us as we seek after Him first! Pretty good deal I have to say, pretty good deal :) Although to be so blase about it would be silly seeing that God would see right through the, "I keep my end of the bargain and you keep yours," type thinking. But as we passionately and wholeheartedly seek after Him and His heart and what's important to Him, He will supply all of our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus as we go on our journey and mission with Him.
So I guess I don't need to worry, I can trust God which is awesome because He is more than trustworthy! But I love the punchline of that passage of Scripture in Matthew 5:34
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Even better, it's not our job to be in control of everything in our lives, let alone what's in the future, that's God's job and He seems to do it infinitely better than I could, so I'll just choose to trust Him to do that!
But again back to coffee, as I drink it I meditate on God's goodness and grace and provision. You could say that even that time of meditation in and of itself is a means of grace to take the time to reflect on Him and give thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all that He's done and is doing for us!
Praise God! Soli Deo Gloria!