Everybody likes presents, right?

by László Balogh

The grace of God is an incredible subject! There are not enough books in the world to express the fullness of it. God saved us from punishment by mercy and grace. Mercy purely means we don’t get the punishment that we deserve. Grace adds to it. By grace we get a bunch of good things we don’t deserve. Why did God do that? Why did He choose this method? Well, let’s take a closer look at it!

God is gently and slowly guiding humanity to a state He always wanted us to have. The plan of Jesus’ sacrifice existed before He created the earth. The only way we can be trusted with great liberty is if we have God’s Spirit living in us – since He is the only infallible one – but God took humanity to this level through series of choices.
What the fear of death could not accomplish, grace can. In the very beginning God presented free choice to mankind and also warned about the results of disobedience. The looming consequence did not stop them from choosing a painful path for the future. Later on God gave very strict laws of what to do and what not to do with very serious punishments as consequences, but that still didn’t change humanity. People still did hurtful things to each other. Finally Jesus came and said: ”I will show mercy and take your punishment because I love you. Plus by my grace I will equip you with the benefits of my own spirit that you can carry inside of you for the rest of your life.”
The rest of the Christian life is about discovering the benefits of Jesus’ spirit that He freely gave us by grace. Discovering grace will help you understand the difference between true God worship and religion. Religion always deals with the external. Grace works the other way around. Religion tells you to adopt a set of rules and keep them, so God would like you. Religion tells you to shape up or else God will get you. But history has proven that this just doesn’t work, and sadly a lot of Christians still live this way and preach this way.
Grace works differently. Imagine that somebody freely -no strings attached- gives you billions and billions of Dollars and tells you that you can spend it on whatever you want. He doesn’t demand, he doesn’t pose any threat, and he makes a promise that he’d never take the money back. He enlightens you though, that if you spend the money on certain things, you will hurt yourself or somebody else in the end, so he encourages you to spend the money wisely. But again, no threat, the money is yours forever. First of all if this happened, you’d fall off your chair. This is just too good to be true! Second, you’d wanna be friends with this guy. Third, you would take his advices; I mean he’s just so kind, why in the world would you want to disappoint him? He gave you so much money, it really shouldn’t be a big deal not to buy a certain few things.
This is exactly how the grace of God works. “Don’t touch it!” doesn’t work. You will touch it, and you know it. The more you discover the depth of the love of God for you, the easier it will become to choose the right thing. The more you discover what benefits you’ve received through God’s spirit that is inside of you, the more you will WANT to do the right thing. Life will stop being a drag. You’ll wake up in the morning and tell yourself: “Wow, let’s see, what good can I do today?” You won’t just not do the bad things because “God will get you”, but you’ll go the extra mile in the right direction because you even feel like doing it!
Once you discover how much God loves you, you will love Him back. Once you discover how many benefits God has given you, you’ll be so grateful! Love is stronger than fear. Love does unpredictable, unreasonable things for a loved one. It’s that strong. Gratitude is a better motivator than anything else on earth. You might do something because you fear the consequences, but you’ll hate it all the way. Gratitude will make the same task a thousand times lighter.

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