Our Response to God’s Promise
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)
“Therefore,” in light of the promise that the believer’s salvation is eternally secure, “since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,” the author says that the believers should respond in two ways: “let us be thankful.” In a time when it is hard to find things that never change, we can be secure in the fact that God’s gift of salvation will never be taken away from us. In response, may we live our lives being thankful to the One who has so greatly blessed us. Even with trials and challenges in our lives, those negative aspects pale in comparison to the promise of heaven in the future.
Second, the author challenges his readers and us to worship the Lord, “serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” From the first verse of this chapter, we must “lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us.” As we worship the Lord, we should follow the example of the psalmist in Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Another individual who understood this mindset of presenting ourselves in worship to God was Paul in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.” We must strive to be pure as we worship God through our day to day actions, for “our God is a consuming fire.” As Lea writes, “We must focus attention on this feature of God’s character in addition to celebrating His grace. When Jesus returns in glory, the fire of God’s holiness will consume all that is false and wicked…We must show the reality of our confession by our obedience and worship.”
Isaac De Guzman