Many Protestant Christians are very eager to point out (correctly) that we cannot earn God's grace. The grace of God has been purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ and is given to us as a gift.
However, it can become dangerous when we become so focused on this doctrine of grace alone that we forget that we also have a part to play in the process. It may be minuscule compared to God's role, but it is vital nonetheless.
God's grace is a gift. Free of charge. But - just as with any other gift - if we don't reach out and take that gift then we will not have access to it!
Consider the following analogy.
When you walk up to a sink and you turn the faucet to allow water to flow, did your action of turning the knob earn that water? In other words, is all that is required to get water simply the act of 'turning knobs'?
Of course not.
It's not the turning of the knob that earns the water, it is the entire process beginning with the source of the water, the purification process, the pipes through which it travels, as well as complex physical processes involved that need to happen to get that water to come out of the faucet.
Turning the knob is simply the part we need to play in order for the water to flow to us.
In the same way, our works do not earn God's grace, but they are the mechanism through which we allow God's grace to flow to us.
Who do you think will be more receptive to the inflowing of God's grace - the man who spends his days watching Netflix, or the man who spends his days serving the needy and spreading the gospel?
While engaging in good works we should never think that we are entitled to feeling a certain way. Sometimes good feelings will come. Sometimes they won't. If we find ourselves with these types of expectations, it simply proves that we were secretly trying to earn God's grace. We were merely engaged in a business transaction.
Jesus said that those who love Him will do what He commands (John 14:21). None of us may be capable of perfectly live up to this on this side of heaven, but it is through the daily process of obedience that our souls become purified.
Then Jesus said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." - Luke 9:23