A kingdom that cannot be shaken, imagine that! That's God's kingdom. That's our kingdom. What a lovely thought. That's the kingdom we should cling to and strive for today!
Things of this world are so shaken up. The right has become wrong. The wrong has become right. Our communities are rocked almost daily by violence. We can get so wrapped up in all of this, or we can get wrapped up in God's kingdom.
We are not of this world. This world is not our home. We are of a different world! A different kingdom. A kingdom that cannot be shaken! That's a kingdom to be grateful for.
"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe." Hebrews 12:28
The book of Hebrews is a letter written to encourage the Christians of that day during a time of trial. The focus is the absolute supremacy and all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. The letter, and this focus, is still an encouragement to us as Christians today, thousands of years later.
Chapter 12 begins with the writer encouraging followers of Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, to lay aside every weight and sin and run the race with endurance. He tells the readers, and this is still so applicable today, to look to Jesus. Look to our Savior who endured the cross for us. Do not grow weary!
What catches my attention most about this passage is found in the very first verse. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," Romans 12:1
Clearly weights and sins are two different things in this passage. We know that sin will hold us back from serving God, but what about these weights the writer speaks of?
I believe when the writer references weights he is thinking about things that are not necessarily sin, but are still hindrances that could hold us back from serving God and keep us from running effectively the race He has planned for us to run.
Some of these weights may be part of our old self and former manner of life. Ephesians 4:22 reminds us, "to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life...."
When we think of weights or things that would impede a marathoner what do we think of?
My first thought is diet, and I am not necessarily thinking about their physical diet, but their mental diet as well. What is this runner consuming that could help or be a hindrance to their performance on race day, physically or mentally? Think about what the runner's mindset must be. Their focus must be clear, singleminded.
Another thought I have is baggage. What is this runner carrying that could slow them down? You never see a serious marathoner carrying even a water bottle. They are dressed in the lightest, most wind-resistant clothing. They are prepared with the best equipment, the newest shoe, socks that wick away moisture. They've got to be totally focused on the goal and the prize.
I Corinthians 9:24 reminds us to, "...run that you may obtain..." So what spiritual encumbrances do we encounter that could impede us as heavenly runners? What are we consuming, physically and mentally? What's our spiritual mindset? What kind of baggage are we carrying? Are we properly equipped? Are we focused on the goal and the prize?
The choices we make are not always between right and wrong, they are not always black or white. Sometimes our choices are between something that may hinder us along our spiritual race course and something that may not. Hebrews 6:18 states that we are to "...have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us." the goal and the prize.
We are not of this world. This world is not our home. Yet we're currently on a journey through it, striving for that heavenly home just as a marathoner strives for the finish line. Striving for the kingdom that cannot be shaken.
Hebrews 12 ends with the writer encouraging us with that kind of kingdom perspective. A kingdom that cannot be shaken perspective. We are to be grateful for it. We are to worship God because of it.
Today, let's be grateful for a Kingdom that CANNOT be shaken and lay aside any weights that may hinder us as we strive for that heavenly prize!
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