Daily Devotion, August 13, 2020 - The Unshakeable Kingdom

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion: August 13, 2020
Reading: Hebrews 12:14-29
The Unshakeable Kingdom

Icebreakers are a way of making people feel comfortable with sharing their thoughts and reactions in a group setting. Some people do not like Icebreakers, but I, as an introvert, think they are very helpful. One icebreaker that is used with youth and children is called “this or that”. Everyone stands together in the center with two marked spaces on each side and they are given a choice such as, “Would you rather be a dog or a cat?” Participants are told to go to the side that reflects their choice. There is no right or wrong answer in this example…it is a matter of preference.  

In today’s Scripture reading, there are descriptions of two different mountains: one that is fearful and one that is joyful. The one that is fearful is Mount Sinai and includes a brief description of the fear Moses felt as he approached the mountain to receive the commandments, the law, under which the old covenant was established. (Deut. 9:19).

The second description is of Mount Zion, the city of the living God, Judge of all, who sent us Jesus as mediator of a new covenant and to the shed blood of Christ which was poured out for the forgiveness of our sins. The new covenant removed the guilt and shame of our sin. This mountain is where those who have been made righteous through the grace of God poured out through Jesus, not through the law, will gather in joyful assembly. This is a kingdom that cannot be shaken and moves those who receive it to thankful and reverent worship of our God, who is a consuming fire. I don’t know about you, but the words “consuming fire” still sound pretty fearful to me. But this just reminds us that on this joyful mountain, there will be no more sin, sickness, shame and it is the consuming fire of the Lord that will burn the chaff and preserve the wheat. This refers to both God’s power to purify and his power to punish those who interfere with righteousness and holy. This power should inspire us and move us to worship and place complete trust and faith in God as the only One who is capable of judging others.

I don’t know about you but I am choosing the kingdom of joy; unlike the "this or that" game, this is the one and only choice that will bring joy.  I am thankful that God sent us Jesus to make this choice possible through establishment of a new covenant. The Old Testament shows us of the struggles that humanity has with sin and how difficult it is for God’s people to obey the laws. God established a new covenant so that we might approach the mountain with joy rather than with fear, but still recognizing the magnitude of God’s greatness. It is through Jesus we are made righteous; not because of anything we have done, but because of what he has done so that we might enter into a joyful kingdom and a place and state of eternal worship.

Dear God, thank you for the mountain of joy made possible by your grace poured out through the mighty acts of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to be in awe of your power and your ability to judge in ways we have no business doing. Help us to worship you as the One who is full of compassion, mercy, and justice and with your Son, Jesus, are the only One capable of judging. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

 
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