“Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited.” Hebrews 13:9, NASB
We’ve just experienced a season of tremendous giving that’s accompanied by delightful foods. In no particular order, my family possesses a fondness for egg nog, sweet potato casserole, fudge, spiral ham, and orange danish rolls. I find it satisfying to prepare these treats because they bring such enjoyment to those dearest to me. But food only lasts for so long. Our stomachs eventually empty, leaving us to seek nourishment again.
In Old Testament days, the Jewish people followed God’s system under the Law. The priests paid expert attention to their duties in the Temple, which largely involved animal sacrifices. Over and over they shed animals’ blood to receive God’s forgiveness for sins. While these sacrifices satisfied God for a while, the results were temporary.
Until Jesus came.
His death on the cross fully satisfied God and placed God’s people under a new way: GRACE.
Faith in Christ frees us from the Law. In fact, the conduct of God’s people in the Old Testament proves mankind is unable to keep the Law. As hard as we might try, we fail.
Which is why we need Jesus.
He perfectly fulfilled the Law and offered Himself as a sacrifice. His blood makes forgiveness possible for you and me. Glory to God! We have a Savior who gave His life that we might be forgiven once and for all.
The Christian life isn’t about holding to a certain set of rules. It delves much deeper than outward appearance, plunging into the recesses of our hearts. Who is Jesus Christ to us? What place does He hold in our hearts? Though we’re tempted from time to time to “try harder” to be better Christians, that’s so not where our strength lies. Hebrews 13:9 tells us, “it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.”
God gives grace. Jesus brought grace when He took on human form: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
When we find ourselves relying on our own abilities to live the Christian life, we. must. stop. Fruitless results accompany self-based efforts. Instead, we must turn our eyes upon JESUS. We must yield to the grace He imparts, knowing our strength comes from Him.
Allow your heart to be strengthened by grace today. It nourishes completely, and it focuses us on the Lord rather than ourselves.