A Better Revelation
Every time you open your Bible, God is speaking to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your reading today.
Read Hebrews 12:14-29
 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.  Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.  You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;  to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,  because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”  The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,  to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.  See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  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,  for our “God is a consuming fire.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat admonitions to Christian living are given here (14-16)?
In these verses we have a poetic image of the way God spoke to our spiritual forefathers and the way he speaks to us now. For the original readers–the first few generations of believers to have crossed over into the new covenant–these words would have had even more power. They may have even sounded dismissive and not a little arrogant. In the Old Testament, and under the old covenant, God spoke as he did at Mount Sinai: by fearful means of fire and storm (18-21). God was unapproachable by ordinary people and spoke to his people by proxy–through prophets and priests. Now, because of what Christ has done, we come to God the Father by a “new and living way” (Heb. 10:20). We are invited up Zion’s mountain to join with the saints and the angels in a song around the throne of God himself. That’s the reason the encouragement to come and worship sounds so strong–like a warning, in fact (25). The stakes are higher now–we are summoned to obedience not by earthly representatives of God, but by the living God. It’s not a bush that’s burning for our attention and devotion–it’s God himself.
How do you “offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (28, ESV)? Take a moment to worship now.
O Lord, You are truly an awesome God! I’m so glad to know You and to be able to worship You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.