Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 12:25-29

“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, for our God is a consuming fire.”  (Hebrews 12:28-29)

The kingdoms of this world come and go.  Look back in history and see how even the greatest kingdoms came to an end after a period of decline:  the Babylonian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the British Empire and one day our own empire will come to an end.  We cannot put our ultimate hope in human institutions and governments.  They are led by weak, sinful human beings.

While I pray duly for God to bless our country, I know that one day it will come to an end.  While I am very grateful to live in a land like ours, I know that my hope and security are not found in it.  I pray that God will heal our land but I also know that this will not happen unless God’s people heed the words of II Chronicles 7:14:  “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.”  Unless there is a genuine renewal in the hearts of God’s people, our Western culture will continue to decline.  We must be the people of God who life out the gospel before a lost and hurting people.  We must rediscover the gospel as we see ourselves in light of the glorious and beautiful presence of a holy God.  It is then that we come to grips with the exceeding sinfulness of our sin and are humbled before this holy God in repentance.  We will pray and seek God’s face as we repent.  When this happens we will see the wonder of the love and grace of God found in His Son Jesus Christ.  We will grasp the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus and be in awe of His love.  The idols of our hearts will be revealed and we will turn from them.  Perhaps God will be gracious and heal our land.

However, we cannot put our trust in our country or its leaders.  For like all other earthly kingdoms, it is temporary.  But we belong to an eternal Kingdom that cannot be shaken — the Kingdom of God.  Jesus Christ is the King and Head of His Church, which will exist throughout all eternity.  Therefore, we have the responsibility to offer Him our best:  “Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

Until we are in awe of God, we will fail to be the people God calls us to be.  Until we see God in both His transcendence (as a consuming fire) and His immanence (as a loving Father), we will not be motivated to worship Him as He deserves.  Gratitude and worship are properly due when we see God as He truly is.  Then we can live as the people of God in this declining and decaying culture.  Perhaps then God will be gracious and heal our land.


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