My parents used to like to play a game with people at toll booth plazas on highways. When they got to the actual tollbooth, instead of just paying our toll they would pay for our car and the car of the complete stranger behind them. They would then beep, wave and pull off leaving the person bewildered behind them.
It was a strange thing to do that I don’t recommend but they enjoyed it. Not because they were being generous, but rather they enjoyed watching the response from the person who received the free toll passage.
A funny thing would happen when the car behind would get to the tollbooth. When they learned that their toll had been paid for by the person who just left, they never just leave it at that. The drivers would always quickly pull off from the booth in order to try and find out their mysterious benefactor was. They would chase after us and speed up to try to catch up. They just had to find out who had paid their toll and why, even if it meant that they were driving like crazy.
If we understand the enormity of God’s grace, it motivates us in this same way. Once we realize that our eternal toll has been paid for, if we really understand all that this means, we never leave it there.
We don’t say, great, Jesus died for me, so I can just coast from here on out. If we understand what was done, we always chase after Jesus trying to understand more about the One who paid for us. Why He did it, what is He like, and how can be more like Him. We strain to see Him again. We just can’t help it.
Grace is often claimed to be an excuse for laziness by those who don’t understand it. This is simply never the case.
There is no greater motivator to living a holy life following Christ than the understanding that it is a free gift from Jesus.