For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:17)
It is not that only death was conquered, but the abundance of Life has been offered. I think that in many ways it seems like an elaborate feast that was made and yet, if the focus is to only concentrate on the sacrifice of the cost of the feast, while not enjoying the feast, it would be insulting to the One who has given such abundant provision.
God is not honored when we do not enjoy what He has given. The point is to not only give thanks for the provision, but to let the exquisite intricacies of the feast take us to even more and more gratitude. The sacrifice of the Provider to give the feast is just the beginning (and a continual thread that runs through proper gratitude), yet like a good Father, He wants us to enjoy His presence by seeing, using, and going crazy over the things He has provided.
Another example might help a bit better, especially for parents. If I gave Titus or Justus (my two boys) a present and their ONLY response was to look at me and say, “Dad, you sacrificed so much! Thank you for working so hard!” Yet, they NEVER quit doing this, to the point of not even playing with the present, I would tell them, “Go play! You can be thankful with my provision BY enjoying what I provided. In fact, you are missing the point of the present, if you ONLY tell me how thankful you are. Expand your view of gratitude by getting lost in the enjoyment of my provision BY playing with the toy I bought you.”
Notice, the dualism that would be created if they ONLY saw the toy as the ultimate end OR if they only stayed around and kept telling me how great of a daddy I was. I have found that an incredible amount of fear is being sown into people that are scared of enjoying all the provision of God because of an adverse fear of only “using God for things.” Of course, it is wrong to use God for something else. It’s not the point. Yet, the answer must not be to “let the gifts just sit on the shelf.” This is not the point either!
He has called us to the “Much More”. It is a lifestyle that is holistic in breadth, yet Singular in focus. The Much More of living in abundant grace and righteousness calls us to honor God by learning how to have gratitude with His vast provision in every area of life.