Springtime is here! I can enjoy an occasional snow day or a harvest banquet, but the time of year I enjoy the most are the beautiful, bright days of spring. To see the green grass sprouting up or the flowers just beginning to bloom warms my heart and makes me ready to go for a ride in the country. The world seems fresh and alive once more, as if waking again after a long and dreary slumber. All of this is possible because of the rain God poured out on us and the sunlight that He shines on us.
The sunshine and the rain are two blessings that are a kind of grace that God gives to all people. Jesus said, “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 (ESV). The incredible thing that strikes me in this text is that even those who don’t love God receive His blessings! Picture two farmers living in nearby fields. Both farmers need the right mixture of sunlight and rain for their crops to produce the bounty they hope for. Too much sun will scorch the plants, and too much rain at the wrong moment will destroy the harvest. Too little of either would be just as disastrous! One farmer loves the Lord as his God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, while the other hates God just as fervently. Yet, God pours His blessings out on both. He could direct his blessings like a spotlight focused exclusively at those who love Him, but He has chosen to pour out His Grace on all.
When the sun shines on your face, consider it a bit of God’s love beaming down on you. Think of that rain as small droplets of God’s grace given to you as a gift. We could define Grace as “unmerited favor”; it is something that is freely given, which we could never earn or purchase. We cannot do anything that would make us any more deserving of a beautiful sunrise. It will be given to us by God’s grace.
The sunlight and the rain point us to a greater show of God’s love, and the greatest outpouring of His grace that could ever have been offered. Ephesians chapter 2 teaches us about those who have received a special type of grace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ and produces eternal life. That chapter makes it clear that this grace is not something we work for or earn: it is a gift freely given to those who believe. Unlike the sunlight and the rain, not all people have experienced this grace. But, the invitation to experience this grace is extended to all. Passages like John 3:16 and Romans 10:5-13 make it abundantly clear that anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ will receive the full abundance of God’s grace.