God is gracious and wants to give us a lot, including a kingdom that cannot be moved. What is the response we should have to His magnanimous giving?
Some see that we can gain and will turn this into a sort of materialism. Let’s see how much we can get and then use it to achieve our own ends. This is a bad idea and will not turn out well. We’re not talking Health and Wealth Gospel. Nor are we talking about finding your purpose and achieving the American Dream with Jesus.
Some will see what God gives as completely impractical. Grace may be nice, but it doesn’t pay the bills. There won’t be any thanks or appreciation, and in fact, many will walk away after seeing that what God gives doesn’t really pay off in this life, but they will also walk through life with an absence of love, joy, peace, patience, etc.
Some will see this as an awesome self-help program. God gives you stuff and then you get love, joy, peace, patience, etc and then we become zenlike-awesome! We can write books about how Jesus has made me spiritually awesome and the seven steps you can take to be spiritually awesome like me!
Some will take it for what it’s worth–wow, look at the grace available! Life changes because now your eyes see reality for what it is and eternity becomes true reality. The result of this is “let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
Grace is a fearful thing. As “Amazing Grace” says “Grace hath taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” Grace makes us grateful and willing to serve Him who is so good.
This is where we get weird, “well fear just means awe.” Two words to define here: reverence, which means “shamefaced, downcast eyes, modesty,” and fear, which means “dread or caution. A timid apprehension of danger.”
How can grace make us afraid? First, grace makes us fear God because we see our desperate need for Him and His grace. Without Him we can do nothing. Fear is the proper response. At the same time, grace also ends much fear. Once we fear God properly, there really isn’t anything else to fear! Grace causes and relieves fear, and the result is indeed amazing.