November 22, 2006

Gratitude, God's Revealed Will and a Prayer

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He's given
Jesus Christ His Son

This Thanksgiving I will be with my mom, my brother and his family who live nearby. They have not yet trusted Christ. However, I am glad I can come to them with the good news of the gospel and freely tell them that God gave his Son to die to save them. I can honestly look them in the eye and tell them that God is good to all because he wishes to save all, therefore he grants food, rain, sunshine, a free society and clothes etc. with a view to stimulating them to repentance (see Rom. 2:4). This is the point of common grace and all mankind receives this grace, to one degree or another. Everyone is enjoying these common bounties of providence because of God's benevolent will (Matt. 5:45).

Instead of merely looking at the world through the secret will of God this Thanksgiving (and how Christ came to especially save you as one of the elect), try looking at it through God's revealed will as well, and think about what the death of Christ means for all mankind, particularly for those lost family members that you love and desire to be saved. If you desire them to be saved, it's because the Holy Spirit is at work in you to desire such a thing. It's not as if your will to see them saved is out of harmony with God's will, as if you merely desire such a thing because you're ignorant about who is elect and who is not. Christ, as the Godman, wished the same thing for his lost family members.

Since my family knows that I am a student of theology, they may ask me to pray before the meal, as if I am to function as a kind of family priest (we were raised Roman Catholic). If I am asked to pray, I suppose I will say something like this:
Heavenly Father,
Your Son taught us to first hallow your name when we pray. I am grateful that you are holy, just and good. You are also patient and full of generosity, so much so that you gave your only begotten Son to die for the salvation of the whole human race. I thank you for bringing my heart to know that fact and to trust in him. May you do this for those I love as well. May we all give thanks for your constant generosity this Thanksgiving in such a way that we come to your Son for forgiveness and healing, for it is in Him that you accept our prayers and thanks. Amen.

Now THAT'S a Calvinistic prayer! :-) More importantly, it's a biblical prayer.

1 comment:

Kurt said...

You make a great point...