Grace leads to Gratitude leads to Graciousness.
Our first example of this was how Gratitude leads to the Graciousness of Worship.
Today we highlight the second part. Our lives have both horizontal and vertical elements; Love God and love your neighbor. So Grace goes both ways as well: Be gracious to God (worship – eucharist) and be gracious to others (service – charismata). A truly grateful person sees that the best expression of gratitude only begins with the words of Thanksgiving but culminates in the actions of grace. The actions of grace are the expression of spiritual gifts.
This is how Paul puts it:
For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine (Romans 1:11-12).
This is how Peter put it:
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).
This is how Jesus put it:
…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
The end result of grace is that people serve one another, or to use our grace/gratitude language, they are gracious to one another. We treat others how God has treated us. He has been merciful, kind, and loving toward us. So today, the Grace Challenge calls us to be gracious toward other people. Do you need to forgive someone? Forgive them and be reconciled. Be intentional today in kindness, in both small and larger ways. In so doing you become imitators of God and Christ!