One way God intends to motivate his people is by reminding us of all the things he has already done for us. This is the past-looking motivation of gratitude. Our life today is not disconnected from our past and under God our past is one riddled with grace. Titus 2:11-14 says,
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
If you are in Christ today, you have already received grace from God at the cross of Jesus Christ. We’ve already received salvation. According to Paul such grace, such salvation does something. It trains us to renounce a whole host of things that disregard God. This gratitude welling up in our hearts puts us on a trajectory of pursuing God and the things of God with all our hearts.
We are not motivated to pay God back nor do we obey simply for some reward. Ortlund writes, “Incentive lies not in what God will do for us if we obey, but in what He has already done for us as we believe.”
How do we appropriate this truth? For one, we look back. Remembering what God has done for us, remembering his acts of grace and mercy and deliverance are essential. As you are aware of this category, I trust that you will begin to see it all over Scripture. God constantly connects our lives today to his work on our behalf in the past. “Obedience borne out of gratitude is worship.” Let this awareness overwhelm you today!
 Dane Ortlund, A New Inner Relish: Christian Motivation in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards (Ross-Shire: Christian Focus, 2008), 25.
 Ibid., 27.