Taking a Hike Through Hebrews
We live in the woods. That means that after a storm, stray limbs come tumbling down. In the fall, leaves, about six inches deep, cover the ground. The yard becomes cluttered very quickly and feels closed in unless we pick up the sticks, rake the leaves and clean out the dead debris from previous seasons. The best way to clean the area is to build a fire and burn what previously cluttered the yard. When we do, our yard actually looks bigger and more beautiful. We look up at the tall trees and see their stately beauty once more versus seeing only the clutter on the ground. It is a way to simplify. Is their too much clutter in our lives that block the vision of seeing God, the Father, through Jesus Christ, His Son? Are we missing the Beauty?
Hebrews 12, The Message
An Unshakable Kingdom
18-21 Unlike your ancestors, you didn’t come to Mount Sinai—all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble—to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop. When they heard the words—“If an animal touches the Mountain, it’s as good as dead”—they were afraid to move. Even Moses was terrified.
22-24 No, that’s not your experience at all. You’ve come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s—a homicide that cried out for vengeance—became a proclamation of grace.
25-27 So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.” The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.
28-29 Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!
What do we learn?
–God is Fire, cleansing all that does not belong in our relationship with Him.
–Let go and let God remove the clutter, clean His house (us) and torch all that needs to burn.
–Stick to the unshakable essentials. Love God. Love others like He loves us. Jesus died and rose again so that we can do this unhindered.
–Simply worship; with deep reverence for the Father who loves us more than we can imagine.
–Live gratefully. We’re a redeemed people!
Dear Heavenly Father, There is nothing like a good, controlled fire to clean up the clutter. Help us to stay uncluttered, unshakable in our relationship with You. Clean our house continually until there is nothing that blocks our view of You.
In Jesus Name, Amen