Have you ever read a book or seen a movie where the hero saves someone’s life, and then in gratitude the saved person dedicates her life to serving the hero? This life debt concept is highlighted in many stories, including Star Wars and Harry Potter to name a couple. The greatest story ever told also has the life debt concept, but what sets it apart from other stories is that it is our story and it’s True. The redemption story features Jesus as the greatest hero to ever live. God loved this world so much that he sent Jesus to save the world by taking the punishment for the world’s sin. Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice to God for us all. If anyone has reason to be grateful, it is us.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus, used this same type of life debt concept when describing the relationship those who follow Jesus have with Him in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. He says, “Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive this new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” Those who believe in Jesus are given a second chance with a new life free of the guilt of sin. How great is that?! Does knowing you are forgiven of every wrong thing you have done in your life make you feel grateful?
As followers of Jesus, we live in service to God out of gratitude to Him for his love, mercy, and grace. We are not working to earn our salvation, but because we are already saved by Jesus’ sacrifice. Romans 8:7-11 gives an excellent explanation of how God’s love, mercy, and grace produces gratitude in everyone who believes in Jesus.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”
Our gratitude for God and desire to spend our lives serving him stems from the love God first showed us. Through our restored relationship, we can rejoice and gratefully give God all the glory. This month, join us as we explore what the Bible says about living in gratitude and how it flows into our relationships with our spouse, children, extended family, and friends.
Be One, Beloved