Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.Hebrews 13:9 (NIV)
The writer of Hebrews drops a powerful truth about grace:
It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace!
Our hearts are not strengthened by works! Our hearts are only strengthened by Grace!
For the recipients of Hebrews, as well as 21st Century believers, to grasp this truth should be revolutionary. Paul’s directive in Romans 12:1-2 challenges us not to be conformed to this world’s culture. But, without Christ, we are prone to be weakened, not strengthened, without His Grace’s work in our hearts.
We are bombarded with a 24-hour news cycle that echoes the concerns that only God can fix, if He is allowed! But, we live in a world consumed with rhetoric that tends to weaken our heart. The culture and mindsets on the world’s stage purposes to contaminate Godly wisdom. Thus, our ability to be His reflection is minimized unless we allow His Grace 24 hour access to strengthen our ‘mind, will and emotions’.
God sent Jesus, full of grace and truth, to strengthen us, not just in His time on earth but in our time on earth. We are His ambassadors. How can we live fully awake to God’s on-going Divine Influence on our heart? Can we live full of both His grace and truth? Glad you asked.
There are 3 Ways that His Divine influence (Grace) are maximized in a believer’s life:
- THE WORD OF GOD – Why do we need to study God’s Word? We need to study God’s Word, not just to memorize scripture, but to come to know Jesus through His Word.
When I first gave my life to Jesus, I found that reading the Gospels brought me to the powerful conclusion that “Jesus put a face on God!” Without the Word, we don’t know what God looks like, acted like, or thought like. Jesus told us a great truth in John 14:
If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:7-9 (NIV)
The Word of God throughout the Gospels reveals how Jesus thought, made decisions and used His emotions for the Kingdom of God. He was the reflection of His Father’s love and ways. We are called to be that same reflection. Read the Word to get to know how Jesus lived. He lived under the Divine Influence of His Father. That same Divine Influence is available to us. Go for it.