God's grace is awesome and complex. It is the basis for the following:
* God draws mankind to Himself - John 6:44
* God convicts us of sin - John 16:7-11
* God gives us faith to believe - Ephesians 2:8-9
* God regenerates us with the new birth - John 3:3-8
* God changes us into His likeness - 2 Corinthians 5:17
* God disciplines us in love - Hebrews 2:3-11; Philippians 1:6; 2:13
* God completes the transformation - Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 15:49;
Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; 2:13; and 1 John 3:2
Because all the work involved in our redemption, sanctification, and glorification is done for us by God, the most obvious characteristic of those who understand His completed work on their behalf, is humility. God must receive all the glory for our salvation. Otherwise, we are taking credit for what He has done and is doing. Such is blasphemy and arrogance. What we received as a gift is to His glory alone. Praise Him!
This year, as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays approach, instead of focusing upon the giving of gifts, why not give something that directs the recipient's attention toward the greatest Gift ever given: Jesus. He was given for us by God the Father, and He gave Himself through obedience to the Father's will. Be sure to thank Him and share what He has done with those you love. In fact, share Him with those you have trouble loving. Who knows, you might see a change in them that will make them easier for you to love. Remember, God loves them, too.
Freely, you have received; therefore, freely give: pass it on!