Jesus, I want to see You. Reveal Yourself to me through Your Word.
Read Hebrews 12:14–29
Warning and Encouragement
14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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.
The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 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, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[a] 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[b]
22 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, 23 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, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 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? 26 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.”[c] 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”[d]
- Hebrews 12:20 Exodus 19:12,13
- Hebrews 12:21 See Deut. 9:19.
- Hebrews 12:26 Haggai 2:6
- Hebrews 12:29 Deut. 4:24
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God’ (Matthew 5:8). What thoughts are evoked by the thought of ‘seeing God’?
We are commanded to run ‘fixing our eyes on Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:2a). In order to run right, we must live right by pursuing holiness – for ‘without holiness no one will see the Lord’ (14b).
The prospect of spending extended time with someone is viewed as a reward only if we enjoy a mutually satisfying relationship. To the ‘pure in heart,’ it is a precious blessing to see a holy God (Matthew 5:8); to the impure, it is a fearful prospect. When God’s voice ‘shook the earth,’ the Israelites shrank back in fear (19–21).
God’s holiness is both awe-full and awful. Mrs. Beaver says of Aslan, the Christ-figure of the Narnia chronicles, ‘If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.’1 When God’s kingdom of justice comes, so does ‘the Judge of all’ (23b). Judgment is that inescapable ‘other side’ of the coin of salvation, for without purging the earth of evil there can be no justice. ‘The removing of what can be shaken’ is necessary ‘so that what cannot be shaken may remain’ (27). Will you be counted among those who cannot be shaken?
1CS Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001, p146
Do you always ‘seek first His kingdom and His righteousness’ (Matthew 6:33a)? How can you change your priorities to make sure that Christ’s kingdom and agenda come first?
Father, may I have the strength to remain unshaken in my commitment to cultivate an intimate relationship with You.
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