There is nothing we can do to earn our way to Heaven.. All we need to do is proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior, and believe it.. That's it.. We don't NEED to do good works, we don't NEED to go out and make disciples, we don't NEED to love everyone including our enemies, we don't NEED to change our behavior or our sinful lifestyle, and we don't NEED to be obedient.
We don't NEED to be humble, tithe, turn the other cheek (I totally failed at that one today!) control our emotions, guard our hearts and our tongues, and we don't NEED to try our hardest to live as Jesus would (something else I failed at today).. We don't NEED to do any of these things.. But shouldn't we want to?
It's almost as if we have decided that we can and should be able to do whatever we want, behave in a manner that pleases us, regardless of how our behavior affects othe people because we live under the umbrella of grace.. Yes, we all make mistakes.. But that is where repentance comes into play.. We should be able to recognize that sometimes our behavior is not how Jesus would want us to behave, ask for forgiveness and repent (meaning, do our best to change that behavior)..
For example: I made a mistake today.. I got angry and instead of controlling my emotions and turning the other cheek, I fired off an angry email.. I should have prayed about it, I should have let it go, but I didn't.. Yeah, there is grace for that.. But what if I had considered all of this before I sent the email and then said to myself "I will not be acting in a manner that is pleasing to God, what I am doing is probably not ok, but I'll do it anyway because God will give me grace for it"? That my friend, would not be ok..
It's no different than deciding that it would be ok to cheat on my husband because even though its not ok, everything will be fine because I can just ask God for forgiveness later and He will give me grace for it..
The point is, we should want to be obedient.. We should want to do good works.. We should want to live the way the Bible tells us too.. Not because we have to, not because our salvation depends on it, but because it pleases the Father when we do..
Grace is a gift, not a perk..