July 28 - God is a Consuming Fire

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28 - Hebrews 12:14-29 - God is a Consuming Fire

The one thing that the Lord wants us to all understand is that we are not perfect, yet we should always be striving perfect. God knows that we aren't. The opening words of the passage say, "Make every effort ..."

We aren't told that we are to live in peace and be holy or we die. We are told to make every effort to do these things. God created humanity and will spend all of recorded time trying to help us overcome our willful brokenness.

The first verses of this emphasizes the need for us to achieve holiness. Without holiness, we can not be in the presence of God. (Hebrews 12:14-17)

Yet, things are no longer the same. In the Old Testament, approaching the mountain where God resided was tantamount to death. The people were so afraid of God on that mountain that they begged for God to stop speaking directly to them, they couldn't bear it. (Hebrews 12:18-21)

Now, however, instead of Mount Sinai, we approach Mount Zion - the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. Angels are there singing joyfully. And while God remains the judge of all men, looking for only those who are righteous and holy, we have standing before Him our mediator, Jesus Christ who shed His blood that we could be made clean.

We must not refuse Jesus Christ. This is our last, best hope (homage to the movie Independence Day, but I also discovered that Abraham Lincoln used those words in a message to Congress one month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation). (Hebrews 12:22-25)

God's voice will shake the earth. Everything that He created will be removed when that occurs. But, we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. This is the Kingdom of God. No matter what He removes in His creation, He has created a home for us that will never be shaken.

Our response is to worship God with reverence and awe. Our God is a consuming fire.