There are two planks that form the foundation for true thankfulness! Having a thankful heart results from being amazed by God’s mercy and grace in your life. Mercy mercy is God sparing you from judgment you deserve and grace is God sharing with us blessings we don’t deserve. When you are able to grasp the significance of God's mercy and grace in your life, you will have a thankful heart.
The daughter of a well-known local judge was stopped for speeding and given a ticket. She knew she would have to appear before her father in his courtroom.
When her father found out his daughter would be appearing before him he assured her that he would judge her according to the law as he would with any other citizen who would come before him.
Indeed, when she came before the bench he declared her guilty of this traffic violation and slammed his gavel as he sentenced her to a $100 fine.
But after he had pronounced the sentence he laid down his gavel, stood, took off his robe and went down to stand next to his daughter as a father, not a judge. After he hugged her he pulled out his wallet and paid her fine in full.
This girl received grace from her father but not mercy.
A wonderful example of how to practice the lifestyle of grace comes from an incident in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 2006, when a man entered an Amish schoolhouse and murdered 5 girls while wounding 5 others before killing himself. As horrific as this was, the greater story was the response of the Amish people in expressing their love and forgiveness to the shooter’s family. Ann Curry of NBC news, wrote: "I realize I did not know what forgiveness was until now."
Perhaps the most telling comments came from the pen of Marie Roberts, the shooter’s widow, in a note to the Amish. "Our family wants each of you to know that we are overwhelmed by the forgiveness, grace and mercy you’ve extended to us. Your love for our family has helped to provide the healing we so desperately need. Your compassion has reached beyond our family, beyond our community and is changing our world." Isn’t that the goal of the gospel of grace?
Receiving mercy and grace from these grieving families brought this sincere expression of from the killer's widow.
The two planks of thanks are mercy and grace.