by Craig Heidenreich
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And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
Let’s reflect for a bit on verse 24 today: ‘spurring one another on to love and good deeds’.
We Lutherans are somewhat reluctant to talk about good deeds because of the potential for self-righteousness. We are the people of grace after all, and we don’t much like ‘those boastful ones’ who draw attention to themselves.
This can mean we rarely talk about the actions that flow because we love Jesus. We miss out on the encouragement of hearing about the good things happening in our midst.
When someone obeys the law, they strive in various ways to do good and earn their own salvation. This is the pattern that underpins every world religion other than Christianity.
Christianity is unique in that we live under the ‘good news’ – Jesus intervened and saved us (when we were lost). This is equivalent to someone hopelessly in debt finding out that another person has paid it all.
Deep gratitude is the appropriate response to grace! Our lives are bought with a price, and we just want to walk with Jesus and be like him.
Jesus lived a life full of ‘love and good deeds’, and as he lives in us, the same deeds can flow. Perhaps getting this right depends on where we are focusing.
If our eyes are on ourselves, and we find ourselves in the ‘midst of a good deed’, we become like Little Jack Horner in the nursery rhyme, thinking, ‘what a good boy [or girl] am I’. When our eyes are on Jesus, we are just amazed that he includes us in the good he is doing. We might be involved, but it feels like it is ‘all him’, and we just had the privilege of joining in.
The writer to the Hebrews points out how much we need encouragement. We are part of a body capable (in Jesus) of many sorts of good deeds. We are to encourage one another to all be our best reflection of him.
We thank you, Lord, for settling the big question of our salvation and taking away the stress of trying to be righteous in ourselves. You are so wonderful, Lord – help us walk closely with you today and hear your prompt when we are to act. Amen.
Craig enjoys making friends with people from other countries and trying to learn a few words of greeting in their languages. He says it’s fun to see the joy on a person’s face to hear their mother tongue. When he has some spare time, he is happy renovating the home he recently purchased in Kapunda, South Australia.