John Wesley talked a lot about the idea of “Prevenient Grace” which is a basic belief that even before you are born, God is at work in your life – already drawing you towards a relationship with Him. This idea appears throughout scripture. Perhaps most clearly in this verse in Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)
I’ve heard lots of great sermons and many great stories that illustrate the truth in this principle. I absolutely love examining prevenient grace, because when we look back at our lives we so often see where God was working long before we knew it. It is a great reminder of His faithfulness to us, but that’s not what I’m posting about. I just wanted to write a brief post to introduce a thought to you.
On Christmas Eve this year my dad preached a sermon in which he mentioned that the word ‘prevenient’ comes from the latin roots “pre” and “veni” and literally means to ‘come before’ – this got me thinking about other words that have the same root: “intervene” – to come between, “convene” – to come together. Then I thought about the opposite prefix and I asked “Is there such a thing as postvenient grace?” If you’re curious, the word ‘postvenient’ does not exist, but this non-word suddenly took on a great deal of meaning to me.
If God is faithful to us before we’re even born, it stands to reason that he’s faithful to us after we’ve left this earth. God carries out the works that he begins in us.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
God is big on promises and covenants to families. Scripture is clear that God blesses those who bless him – and his people.
“I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 (NLT)
So the only difference in prevenient grace and ‘postvenient grace’ is that we get to participate in our postvenient grace by honoring God and blessing his people in and through our lives. So, how are you being a blessing to God and his people right now?