The Greek word in that verse actually comes from a compound word that means to take care. We must be careful how we live out our faith.
It’s a lot like a diamond cutter working on a costly gem. They will sometimes study a diamond for months before they ever make the first cut. It’s not that he’s afraid to cut the diamond. It’s because the stone is so valuable, he wants to make sure that he makes it the best possible shape.
The diamond cutter will “take care” how he cuts. Because done correctly, the stone could be worth tens of millions of dollars. Done incorrectly, he could reduce the value to 100 times less.
Our spiritual life is like the diamond cutting process. Done carefully – in the fear of the Lord – our walk with God is glorious. Done incorrectly and we may lose out on much of what the Lord has planned for us.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
The words reverent submission in this verse are the same words taking care that we’ve been talking about. Jesus took care in His walk with God. That’s why He was able to fulfill the destiny to which He was called.
This should be the mark of faith in our lives. If we truly believe what God says, we’ll take care.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Reverence and awe is all about taking care. Why? Because God is a consuming fire. What does that mean? If I take a step out of line, then He’ll consume me in judgment?
Absolutely not! What it does mean is that everything that’s not of Him in my life is destined to perish. If I build my life on chasing after the things of the world, then I will eventually find myself with nothing to show for all my efforts.
If, on the other hand, I take God’s Word to heart and build carefully on those principles, then I’ll see God’s hand at work in my life. I’ll see those things come to pass that the Lord has promised me.
Even after my time on earth is finished, I’ll have an everlasting reward in the Kingdom of God. This is how we need to look at life. It’s not about what will make me happy right now in this moment. The question is what will be important to me one million years from today?
Question: What is an area of your Christian walk that you need to take care in?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014