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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grace and Gratitude

After the court proceedings from last week (story here), I thought back to sitting there and hearing the judge give out her sentencing to the drunk driver.  In my mind, I envisioned Andrew or even myself stepping up and offering to take the drunk man's jail sentence.

"What would the drunk man do with that kind of love?" I wondered.  Would he visit the prison each day to say thank you?  Would he bring gifts of gratitude?  Would He tell others what had been done for him?  Quickly then, I thought how happy he'd be at the onset - joyful at being relieved this verdict.  But I wondered (assumed) that in time he'd be out drinking again, partying it up, while an innocent person sat in a prison cell in his place.  Hmmmph!

Then the Holy Spirit then nudged at my heart.  This is exactly what Christ did for me!  He stepped before the Throne of God and willingly took my punishment!  He was innocent.  I was guilty.

Oh!  The moment I understood and received this exchange as a little girl, I rejoiced!

I thanked my Savior!  I wanted to live for Him.  I wanted to tell others!

Then I grew used to being "free."  Forgetting to say "Thank you" each day is easy when you're not in shackles.

Living for yourself instead of the One who paid the price for your sin is easy when you get caught up in this "Me" world.  Gratitude is often forgotten when you're not doomed to a horrible fate.

Since last week, I've asked the Lord to help me keep the picture in my mind of Jesus Christ stepping up to take my place in that courtroom.  When the "Guilty" charge was given, Jesus took my place!  Oh, how thankful I should be...!

I mustn't live for myself, but for the One who redeemed me so that I might have a relationship with Him!

People who have received the grace of God must be grateful people!  Have you stopped today to thank the Lord for taking your place?  Have you acknowledged that your life is His to use today?  If we are truly thankful for His grace, our lives will prove it with our gratitude!

With a thankful heart,

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