A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
It is during the Thanksgiving season that Psalms 100 is usually the scripture of choice.
In days gone by what was spoken of in Psalms 100 was the general consensus of the people. They were truly thankful.
Now when I say “the people” I am speaking of Christians in general, even folks who call themselves Christian. In fact I guess I could even use a broad stroke and say America in general.
But today we are no longer thankful.
I honestly believe that this mentality of unthankfulness, especially during Thanksgiving is in large part due to one thing that is prevalent in the church today.
What is that one thing?
So what is cheap grace?
– It is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance
– It is the act of taking communion without confession
– It is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ
It is pretty much what 85% of the churches are teaching today, the license to sin all under the umbrella of grace.
See, when people have this sort of “entitlement” attitude, and this is the attitude that cheap grace creates, there is no room for being truly thankful.
We in the church no longer live with restraint. If we want it, we go get it. Instant gratification is the mantra today.
Look at how our savior is sold over the airwaves. We have this psycho-babble, positive thinking garbage, that we can do anything / have anything we want as long as we set our mind to it attitude.
The ultimate goal in today’s church is “Our Best Life Now.”
So when it is all about us, and less about God, one can see how we have turned into a people no longer thankful for what the Lord has done in our lives.
Think about it for a moment, in this world of cheap grace, we are denying God, His Word and His Son.
What we are doing is justifying our sin without justifying the sinner.
Look around and what do you see, and I am not just talking about the state of the church today. How often do you hear hell, damnation and repentance being preached from the pulpit?
Walk into most churches today and one honestly cannot tell that there is a church service going on brining honor to God.
It is more like a rock and roll concert, feel good fest going on today.
Look at our youth groups, drinking and partying out in the parking lot behind some building, but in the youth hall they talk about God and being a good person.
Singles Groups, oh my goodness. All they are is pickup joints jumping from one bed to the other. Everyone knows it goes on, but they all come together on Wednesday night being all holier than thou.
We think that slapping the name “Christian” on it to make it all fine and dandy.
We are fooling ourselves and living in the realm of cheap grace.
You get the idea?
It is this sort of environment that we have bred. But because we have allowed cheap grace to fester, we now maintain an unthankful attitude.
Scripture tells us of the last days…
2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
This not only describes the world, but this also describes the state of 85% of the churches today in the US.
I know that this is not some warm and fuzzy message. I also know that it is hard to hear. In fact we really don’t want to hear this because the holidays are suppose to be a joyous occasion.
I want to challenge everyone to return to the grace that matters, the costly grace. Everyday we need to wake up and truly be thankful for the gift of God’s Son on the cross. The one who died for our sins, who bled for us and three days later rose again victorious for us.
We need to come to Him daily and seek His grace upon us and acknowledging that fact that His grace is sufficient for us.
See taking God’s gift for granted is the path of cheap grace. God did not have to let His son die in our place. He did it because he loved us..
His grace came at a cost and we need to remember that.
Take the time to reestablish our ties with our Lord and the real grace God offers.
It is this costly grace that calls us to follow Him, reverent and holy, and to truly give our lives over to Him, forsaking all other things.
It is this mindset that allows us to be truly thankful for what the Lord is doing with us, for us and in us.
Remember the cost He paid and don’t cheapen it. He gave His all and that is something that should drive us to be ultimately thankful.
Costly Grace, not cheap grace.
By Ray Gano