Links Daily Devotional

Stirred, Not Shaken

Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. (Hebrews 12:28, NIV)

Whereas in my younger golfing days, I saw every nasty lie, every uncleared bunker lip, and every rimmed putt as a bad break, I’ve backed off that thinking. For one thing, it doesn’t produce a frame of mind that equips me well for the next shot. For another, nearly all my “bad breaks” are produced by bad shots. It’s amazing how consistently good the lies are in the middle of the fairway!

I wish I could say I always get this response right. The best I can do is report that age has made me better. But here’s one thing that is sure: When I don’t allow myself to get shaken by the circumstances around me, my day—and the day of those who play with me—is much more enjoyable, even if my round is disintegrating one bogey at a time.

In just a couple of days, my American friends—and likely some others—will be sitting down for the annual Thanksgiving meal. Like many holiday traditions, it was birthed with an idea far better than what the day has become. But there are still those who make a habit of going around the table and sharing the things for which they are thankful.

I have done this many times with family and friends, yet I have never heard this line: “I am thankful that we are receiving an unshakable kingdom.”

See, the writer of Hebrews understood the value of not being shaken. In life, we will face, as Jesus said, tribulation. Troubles will come. Even as we sit down for our holy-days, we are often only gaining a bit of Sabbath respite against the tide of demands and discouragements that sweep our way. Temporary cheer fending off, in the old vernacular, a charnel course.

Maybe this is too grim. Maybe we should not be speaking of desperation and death in a week such as this. But there is the real trouble. Kingdoms that can be shaken, pushed around by falsehoods and side deals and favoritism, by lost jobs and lost health and lost friends—these are kingdoms that lead to death. They offer no hope for the future and no stability now.

In this light, words of thanksgiving for a kingdom that cannot be shaken are offered with assurance and plain sense. To be able to stand against the flood, feet planted on ground that cannot move and fixed in place by the blood that covers “once for all,” is to know unmatched blessing. We have not been saved only to be swept away. No, we have been given roots in our Savior, and he is the ground that holds them in place. Thank God for that!

Jeff Hopper
November 26, 2013
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