From My Reading – Grace and Gratitude

Grace is God giving us everything we need (and even what we don’t know we need) without expectations. This gmy-favorite-quotesrace is the foundation of God’s relationship with each of us. Grace is a gift. We cannot earn it. Therefore we can hardly understand it. None of us does anything without a motive. Our offerings of goodness and assistance are never unconditional. We lost that capacity when sin entered the world. Only God can offer unconditional love and grace. 

Grace and gratitude walk together in our lives.  If we understand the grace we have experienced, we will be filled with gratitude.  If we are bitter and fearful and blind to the blessings of God in our lives, we will have no soil in which gratitude can grow.  We need to spend more time thinking about grace because grace increases gratitude. I hope you are blessed during the Thanksgiving and Advent seasons with these beautiful quotes about grace and gratitude.

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“Whatever job we get and whatever task we are assigned can serve as a container for grace” (Eugene Peterson in Practical Resurrection).

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“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I apgrace-2pear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God.

Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily” (The Apostle Paul in the letter to the Galatians 2:19-21 in The Message). 

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“The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church.  You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace” (from a conversation with Gordon McDonald, quoted by Philip Yancey in What’s So Amazing about Grace, p. 15).

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“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful” (Flannery O’Connor in  The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor).

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“Hope looks at all things the way a mother looks at her child, with a passion for the possible. That way of looking is creative. It creates the space in which perfection can unfold. More than that, the eyes of hope look through all imperfections to the heart of all things and find it perfect. The eyes of hope are grateful eyes. Before our eyes learned to look gratefully at the world, we expected to find beauty in good-looking things. But grateful eyes expect the surprise of finding beauty in all things” (Br. David Steindl-Rast in Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer).

 

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