The intimacy which God invites us to have with Him is so amazing! Through the marvelous work of Christ, we have “received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15). Paul expresses a similar thought in Galatians 4:6, and then says, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:7). How wonderful it is to be able to have confidence about our relationship with God, who through Christ has invited sinful man to sonship. How we see God, I believe, is at the very center of our personal growth as Christians. Seeing God as savior is only part of how we should look to God.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have
grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
This verse caught my attention in our mid-week study and has been running through my head ever since. The Jewish Christians were being challenged in their walk with Christ, being tempted to go back to the ways of the old law. Thus, the writer has spent much of the time comparing both the Old Covenant and New Covenant, revealing that although going back may be tempting, you are going…backward. They would be leaving the “kingdom which cannot be shaken” and going back into a broken world. Have you been tempted to do so? You know…go back into the world? How do we fight against such temptation?
Part of the answer is found in the exhortation given to these Jewish Christians. By the immeasurable grace given them through Christ, they were (we are) called to serve (some translations use the word worship) God acceptably. And I think that acceptably is linked to the next two words, which are reverence and fear. What does reverence mean? Some define it as modesty or awe towards something, in this case God. This reverence, as one person put it, “would always restrain a good man from an unworthy act.” Then, there is this word fear. Not just any fear, but godly fear. It carries the idea of veneration; that is, great respect toward God. Why such fear? Listen to Hebrews 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
An electrician (we do as well), works with electricity every day. He knows its benefits and its capability. It can help, and it can be devastating. What keeps the latter from happening is a healthy fear (i.e., great respect) of its potential. Could it be the same as we walk with Christ? How we view God, plays a significant role in the choices we make and the road we travel towards Christ likeness. Sometimes I need to be bold enough to ask myself this simple, yet profound question, “Am I serving God acceptably with reverence and godly fear?” Thank you, Lord, for Your grace!