Take care not to refuse the one who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less shall we, if we reject the one who warns from heaven?
Then his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too.” Now this phrase “once more” indicates the removal of what is shaken, that is, of created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. For our God is indeed a devouring fire.
Several people have said it, but I think I heard it first from Alister Begg. “Let’s not get all-matey with the Almighty.”
It is far too easy for us to not take God seriously because of the great grace He has shown us. I get it. If you grew up hearing about hellfire and brimstone, I want you to look forward to the big Jesus hug. He loves you and cares about you.
But sometimes I realize I get a little cavalier about my faith in God. I find myself going for days and the only prayer I’ve prayed is while I’m chomping down my lunch or maybe while I drive and I haven’t reached for my phone to play a podcast yet.
At some point in the future, God is going to shake every single created thing so that only eternal things will remain. Every work project, every donation, every task at work, and every conversation — shaken. Only the eternal side-effects of those activities will remain. The friendships, the faith, the worship brought about by serving one another (at work or out of charity.)
So to make the spiritual practical and the practical spiritual, like Bret said this weekend, take some time to reset how you pray. I really do pray differently when I’m on my knees on the floor next to my bed than when I pray sitting on my couch. I pray differently on my 12-minute commute to work (God bless that jerk in that truck that’s tailgating me!) than I do when I’m at home.
Before anyone else wakes up.
Set an alarm on your phone for 12 minutes.
Get down on your knees somewhere no one will notice you.
Tell God how awesome He is. Worship Him right there with all of the zeal and passion of a Sunday morning.
And do it again tomorrow.
Some days that 12 minutes will seem like an eternity. Your mind will wander and you’ll think about a thousand things. Don’t worry. Jesus opens His arms of love to you. You are under grace, not the law.
But maybe, sometime, maybe, in that 12 minutes, you’ll realize that the God who is a consuming fire is a forge, purifying and cleansing you.
He loves it, and He’ll do it, because He loves you.
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Extra Credit: Everytime I read these verses, this oldie comes to mind.