Because we have all sinned, the Bible says that God legally doesn’t have to bless you. But if God were legalistic, we would all perish. We would not make it through one day. We would all be finished.
So God came and did something that was so outrageous that even today, the angels are amazed — amazed that God gave His grace to mankind. With the cross, Jesus Christ came, bore our sins and the consequences of our sins. God’s grace can now build a bridge to mankind. It’s on God’s grace that His blessings flow. If it weren’t for what Jesus did on the cross, we would all be lost.
Can you comprehend how grievous our sins must have been in the scope of eternity, that our Heavenly Father had to come personally to redeem us? If it weren’t for the cross, we’d all be lost. God extends such grace to us.
Do we take God’s grace as an excuse to continue further in sin? Do you know why God extends His grace? It’s so we’ll understand how precious His presence is and our hearts will change and we will repent. The reason God extends His grace is that so we will repent.
“For Got is not slow about His promises, as some might count slowness. But instead, He is patient toward all. For He is willing that none shall perish, but that all shall come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
I wonder how many times God has withheld consequences and we just turned and walked away. We need to be amazed at His grace.
We need to develop three things:
Develop a Heart of Thankfulness
A heart of thankfulness is somewhat like stage one in the change of our hearts as a response to God’s grace. To be thankful is simply a response to something positive that was done to you.
That is the first stage. Hopefully, we’ve all come to the point where we have learned and have grown past it. Then we can move into stage two as we view the cross. In view of what God has done for us, the second thing that we need to do is:
Develop a Heart of Gratefulness
A heart of gratefulness is different from a heart of thankfulness. To say “thank you” to someone is a good response to something done positively to you. But a heart of gratefulness or a spirit of gratefulness is a spirit that you carry around with you that is independent of what people do for you. Regardless of whether they do something positive or not, there’s a spirit of gratefulness. It has everything to do with what God has done in your life.
Gratefulness is a spirit that we carry around. A spirit of gratefulness exudes or is expressed in the way we treat one another. It’s like a gift; it affects everything positively. There’s a whole different relationship that we have.
When we lose the spirit of gratefulness, we start to drift away from one another. It’s a violation of a principle that God wants us to have — this spirit of gratefulness. It affects us and bleeds into everything. When we lose that spirit of gratefulness, that’s attrition and we start to lose things.
That is why the Lord brings us back to the cross again and again because we must never lose that spirit of gratefulness for what Jesus did for us on the cross.
The third thing we must do is to:
Develop a Sense of Awe in Our Lives
Finally, we move to the best stage of all when we view the cross. There is that sense of awe in our lives — how awesome God is. I am just amazed at Go’s grace in my life.
When God set us free by His grace, He said, “You’re free.” It should so amaze us that we should say, “You are so gracious. You are the lover of my soul.”
That’s the kind of heart that Jesus wants. We should be amazed by His grace.