Gleanings – Health By Inactivity

Hebrews 13:1-16

“For it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace.”

It is not eating the right things and avoiding the wrong things in some religious sense that strengthens the heart of the believer. Grace is the means. The heart is strengthened by grace, by unmerited favor, by being loved even when we are undeserving.

Odd it is that the heart is strengthened not by activity but being acted upon. When we appreciate what it is that God has done for us in Jesus we become more fit for life in this world. The sacrifices appreciated by God are “to do good and to share what you have.” Being loved is what prepares us for the exercise of this “true religion.”

There is a cause and effect to our practice of faith (loving God and loving neighbor). Being loved leads one to loving. This is counter intuitive for me. In my little self-absorbed world, if I want to love more I simply need to try harder. I will forego that pair of Maui’s for me (“be content what you have’) and instead buy something for my wife. But it REALLY is the thought that counts and my thoughts may not have changed one iota in this apparent act of love. In fact what appears to be love may have beneath it much resentment because I really want those Maui’s. Real love will come out of being loved. I cannot give what I do not have.

“For God so loved the world.” This too is counter intuitive. Because all false modesty and me-centered self-loathing aside I am still not worthy. How often in my fifty years of life have I had other gods before Him? And that is why grace is so life changing. I am not loved because of what I do but in spite of who I am and what I do. I am just loved. Highest need met. So I can get on with life.

God is not so much interested in behavior modification as He is transforming the source of our behavior. He wants to strengthen the heart. And the means is grace. We are loved. For the countless many that have not experienced it in this life, you are loved! Yes, you!


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