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Monday, September 11, 2006

"The Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken"

"The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:27,28).

I had a difficult time sleeping last night and had a lot on my heart. Certainly in part I was considering the 9/11 memories and the state of our nation and of world affairs. I kept seeking to focus on the big picture and to get spiritual understanding and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit concerning shakings in my own life as well as the shakings that we all face together.

I read this sobering portion from an online news commentary this morning. It's not at all encouraging but it is true and we must face the truth and then receive encouragement from a spiritual and eternal perspective.

"Right now, as you read these words, Christians and Jews are being attacked by hate-filled Muslim radicals – not only in Israel and Sudan and in-the-news hot spots, but all over the world, including in Europe and even the U.S. (remember the one-man terror attack at the Seattle Jewish center recently). Ever-increasing numbers of Muslims, inflamed by the medieval, convert-or-die jihad mandate of world domination, are raping, slashing, burning, torturing and murdering infidels. They are bombing trains in Spain, and subways in London, and schools filled with children in Russia, and rioting in France, and butchering countless innocents in Indonesia because some reporter made a comment about Miss Universe, and killing countless more because a newspaper published some cartoons depicting Muhammad, and last month were busted shortly before they carried out their long-planned campaign to blow up 10 passenger jets bound for the U.S."

I have heard it said that reality ultimately consists of two things; that which can be shaken and that which cannot be.  All that we see with our physical eyes can be shaken.  We have seen the shakings in world affairs and most certainly we will see more.

The daily text acknowledges the reality of the shaking of the created order.   Consider your life for a few minutes.  Look back over those periods of severe shaking.  Some surely have had more severe types and perhaps even a greater frequency of "shakings".  However, are there any of you reading this who can't identify?

The entire chapter of Psalm 107 describes the shakings that took place while the Jews' were exiled in Babylon.  The ultimate reason for these shakings was to guide these people to God so they could recognize their blessings from God and give thanks to Him.  When we keep the eternal perspective in the midst of our difficulties we will be quick to recognize the Lord's blessings and offer praises and thanksgiving to our faithful God.

We want to avoid the shakings, but Scripture has a wonderful promise in the latter part of the daily text, "we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken."  We must purposefully and intentionally focus on the spiritual realm, on this "kingdom that cannot be shaken."

We are "receiving" this kingdom and the verb tense is quite significant.  Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come."  Our journey through this life is but a transition to the future Kingdom God has prepared for us.  I am convinced that very early in eternity we will recognize the brevity of our earthly journey, although since at this time it's all we know it seems long and wholly significant!

Today I encourage each reader to keep the eternal perspective, the "big picture."  We are receiving this kingdom!  It's an absolute certainty.  What is our response?  "Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: 
Lord, help us to seek first Your kingdom and pray in the spirit so that we can live in victory even while encircled by conflict. Frequently Your shakings come to bring about personal change, but we also witness Your shakings of entire nations throughout history.  Though land, dwellings and people are destroyed due to the hardness of man's hearts, Your kingdom is indestructible.  Scripture assures us that we who believe are receiving this Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, so we come with thankful hearts and worship You today with holy fear and awe, for You, our God, are a consuming fire.  Amen.
In today's podcast Brooksyne plays a song so fitting to today's theme in the background. "Our God Reigns"

Personal note: I used a short portion from Hebrews 12 today. The latter part of this chapter especially is filled with rich imagery.  As I pondered on our daily Scripture portion I wondered what visual view would serve as a backdrop. I consider all the photos I have taken or that I have from others.  But none of them seemed to be an appropriate image in which to overlay this phrase, "we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken" since any photo I or anyone else is able to take will be of that which can be shaken!  The unshakable Kingdom is not visible to the human eye.

"I Stand In Awe" (audio file)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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