Summary: We have seen how God brings us into kingdom that cannot be stopped. We are guided in that kingdom by the unconditional love of God making us free to pursue peace & holiness. In this message, Pastor Danny reminds us of God's great kingdom.
Good morning Odessa First – FIRST TIME VISITORS – Intro myself – thankfulness at their being with us.
Over the last few weeks we have been focusing in on Hebrews 12 and talking about the UNSHAKEABLE Kingdom of God and how we can be a part of it.
We have discovered that God’s Kingdom contains:
1. An Unstoppable Momentum: we come to Christ in faith and we begin to run the race of living for God. The Holy Spirit provides us the momentum to run with endurance.
2. An Unconditional Love: because we sometimes get sidetracked by the things of life and living, God, our Father, brings loving correction into our lives to help us stay focused.
3. An Unrestrained Pursuit: because God loves us as sons and daughters He wants us to pursue Him, but also, pursue PEACE with all men. Doing those things that make for peace gives us the freedom to run this race with others.
Today we are going to look at Hebrews 12:18-29 and learn some characteristics of this UNSHAKEABLE kingdom we have been called into.
My goal is to help you see that God’s plan for your life in Him is good – NO – IT IS GREAT.
God desires for you to be able to run the race of this life not only with perseverance BUT WITH CONFIDENCE that when everything else might be crumbling HIS KINGDOM OF PEACE STANDS STRONG!
LET’S READ HEBREWS 12:18-29 TOGETHER
(WE) – PAGE THROUGH SLIDES AS I TALK
Several years ago I had the privilege of taking my wife, an elephant fanatic, to the Elephant Sanctuary in Hartebeespoort, South Africa. This is a really cool place where rescued elephants are brought to be rehabilitated and then released back into the wild (if able).
It is actually a 5-Star resort and the hotel accommodations were awesome. Each day we had the great pleasure of working with the elephants: grooming, feeding, and learning about them. It was great fun for our whole family. Dylan and Logan actually even got a sloppy trunk kiss from one of the elephants!
But on our first night in the Sanctuary we were treated to a “sundowner.” Our guide for the weekend came to our room and led us through the forest to the top of a mountain.
At the top of the mountain the hotel had prepared the 1st course of what would eventually be a 5 course meal. We had soft-drinks, fruits and nuts, and other appetizers. The food, however, was not the best part of the evening.
As we sat on top the mountain we looked over a ravine and watched baboons play. We could see other animals meandering through the forest. Then something wonderful happened. The sun began to set and we watched as it slowly disappeared into the night.
It was one of the most peaceful evenings I have ever spent on this earth. No car noises, no phones ringing – nothing but the sound of the wind blowing and the animals playing. It was awesome!
We walked back down the mountain and enjoyed the rest of our meal in an outdoor setting complete with fire pit and lamps. We were drawn into the moment and will remember it forever.
COMPARE THE SCENE I HAVE JUST TOLD YOU ABOUT TO THIS ONE IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
SHOW VIDEO (STOP AT 1:35)
The passage we read earlier in Hebrews 12 can be a bit – well – hard to understand if we are not up on our Old Testament history. The writer is pointing backwards in time to an event that happened to Israel 3 months after being released from 400 years of slavery in Egypt.
1. They came into the Desert of Sinai and camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
2. God called Moses to the mountain and spoke to him. God reminded Moses of the great thing He did for them in Egypt and how, if the people would keep His commands, they would be His treasured possession.
3. Moses goes down from the Mountain and tells the people what God has said. They raise their voices in one accord and say, “We will do everything the Lord has said!” Moses goes back up the mountain to tell God their answer
4. The Lord then tells Moses that He will come to him in a dark/dense cloud around the mountain so that Israel will see that Moses is God’s choice as their leader. Moses was to set up boundaries that the people could not pass or they would die. They were to view God’s presence from a “safe” distance.
5. After 2 days of consecration the people went to the mountain. God’s presence came down in a dark/dense cloud. There was thunder and smoke and lightning. The noise was so loud the people covered their ears and cowered in fear.