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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
"God's Unshakable Kingdom"
Message summary: Today we encourage each reader to keep this perspective: We are receiving this eternal kingdom that cannot be shaken! It's an absolute certainty. So "let us be thankful, and let us worship God acceptably with reverence and awe!"
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“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:25-28).
We awoke yesterday morning to the news of a large, devastating earthquake in the Middle East, which I suppose is about as literal a shaking as one can experience. Scores of people are suffering and thousands of deaths have been reported with many more likely.
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 see daily the shakings in world affairs and most certainly we will see many more.
The twelfth chapter of Hebrews ends with the powerful, assuring truths expressed in our daily text. The apostle is writing to encourage faithfulness to God's children who were enduring persecution. Their world was truly being shaken.
And there are times when our world is being shaken as well! It is during such times of instability that we do well to look to Scripture for spiritual understanding and go into intercessory prayer with God. In doing so it will bring needed perspective and restore our hope as we consider our future "kingdom that cannot be shaken".
Our selection begins with these timeless words, “See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking". In the context this is clearly Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (v.24).
"For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven." What a powerful warning to all mankind about refusing and rejecting God's gracious offer of salvation.
I heard an interview with a person drastically affected by a tragedy who spoke of how he intentionally sought to hear the voice of God in the midst of the tragedy. Candidly speaking, I wonder how intentional I am in listening for the voice of God in the chaos and discord of our world.
The daily Scripture text acknowledges the reality of the shakings of the created order that we all experience in various ways. Consider your life for a few minutes and look back over those periods of severe shaking, whether it was personal, family, a national or worldwide shaking. Though we prefer to live comfortably without brutal, unexpected, or life-altering shakings, they are inevitable.
But Scripture has a comforting future promise in the latter part of the daily text, "We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken".
We are indeed "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 just how brief life's journey was, although since it's the only thing we know it seems long and wholly significant. The apostle James wrote, "You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).
Today we encourage each reader to keep this perspective: We are receiving this eternal kingdom that cannot be shaken! It's an absolute certainty. So "let us be thankful, and let us worship God acceptably with reverence and awe!"
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to seek first Your unshakable kingdom and pray in the spirit so that we can live in victory even while encircled by conflict, danger, and evil. Shakings in this life can bring instruction, correction, and growing faith when we seek spiritual understanding. Though land, dwellings, and people are destroyed due to the hardness and evil within the heart of man and due to the natural causes that destroy, 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. We pray for those currently enduring great shakings such as the people of Turkey who are enduring loss, grief, and tremendous uncertainty. May we look to You, the eternal One, for grace to trust You no matter the circumstance, for You are our strength and hope in the midst of testings as we hold onto the unshakable kingdom that is promised to those who believe. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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