Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let’s show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:28-29
God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The God of Moses’ Sinai is the God of this world, this continent, and this country. Same God. Same holiness. Same wrath. Same grace.
His kingdom is unshakable, and it belongs to those of us who belong to Him through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We who are receiving this kingdom (it will not be fully ours until the King Himself reigns on earth) cannot effectually keep it by “holding on” to grace (for that in itself would be a work). Rather, we rest as recipients of His Kingdom “clinging to” His grace as the only effectual means of gaining our inheritance.
Clinging to His grace, we then serve the Lord with all reverence and awe, fully aware of this truth, that though the world is ever-changing, He is not. Be steadfast. Persevere. Endure in hope. Worship the King who was and is and is to come!
It is not the fire that will burn us up if we do not worship, but the fire will burn us up until we worship. – Gordon MacDonald
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their way of life, imitate their faith. – Hebrews 13:7
Here we see some two-sided instruction from God’s word.
First, we are to “remember” those who have instructed us in the doctrines of the faith; pastors, teachers, professors, even parents and friends who have rendered biblical influence in our lives. We should think about their lives and their teaching, the principles they imparted and the lives they lived. Of course, we “remember” them best, by praying for them.
Second, we see here an implied reminder for those who lead. Leaders should live in such a way that the fruit of their ministry bears witness to the truth their lips (or writings) profess. Spiritual leaders must be able to say to all who follow, “Imitate me.” Leaders lead best when they live lives that others can follow.
This kind of incarnational connectivity (disciples remembering and leaders leading in memorable ways) is absolutely essential if we all hope to see the next generation of godly leaders to arise and serve Christ’s church.
Wherever Jesus may lead us, He goes before us. If we don’t know where we are going, we know with whom we go. – Charles Spurgeon
“Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you in behalf of My name, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, house of Israel,” declares the Lord God. – Ezekiel 20:44
When God introduced Himself to Moses at the burning bush, He said, “Call me YHWH.” YHWH means “I AM” and affirms God’s self-existent, unchanging nature. In other words, God was saying that He is who He has always been and will always be. He never changes. He is immutable.
After that meeting, God continued to reveal Himself to Israel: as He delivered them from Egypt, as He gave them His law, and as He provided for their needs through manna, water, and quail. Ultimately, God would reveal Himself by His grace, when for His own name’s sake, He preserved an Israel that deserved to be eradicated.
Truly, God’s grace best reveals His glory, and it is by the Son, Jesus Christ, and the indwelling Holy Spirit that God’s grace and glory are fully displayed and received. If you know this, then you know Him.
The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. – J. R. R. Tolkien