The gift of God's grace is so profound that we might, at times, find ourselves trying to earn or convince God that we merit it. However, no good deed could ever be enough to earn God's Grace. So, why do we do good works, if God has already provided His grace for us? Sometimes, I think of it in terms of a childhood experience I had with my father.
Growing up in West Tennessee, I followed a long line of Chapells who learned to use a two-man cross-cut saw. One crisp Fall morning, we were sawing on a log and a portion of rotten log fell, hit the ground, and sheared along a face of it. To my adolescent imagination, one of the pieces that split looked like a horses head. As we loaded up the truck at the end of the day, I tucked away that horse head looking piece of log and brought it home with me.
Several weeks later, I was excited to present a gift to my father. I had taken that piece of log and built a "horse" by nailing on a 2 x 4 for the body and some sticks for legs. After nailing on a rope for tail, I added a few nails to the 2 x 4 to complete my masterpiece. As my father opened my gift that I had wrapped in butcher paper and tied a bow around, I proudly proclaimed, "It's a tie-rack!"
Well, for years my father used that rotten horse head tie-rack and taught me something about the nature of God and how He views and uses our works.