God has done wonderful things for us in the past. He sent his Son, Jesus, to suffer the punishment for our sins (evil deeds). He has forgiven us if we have invited him into our lives. And he has made it possible for us to have a close relationship with him (Hebrews 10:19-22). Godís relationship with his people is so close that he is adopting them as his sons and daughters (Hebrews 12:5-7).
And Godís promises for the future are even more wonderful. We have read about those promises in Hebrews 12:22-24. God will end the power of the evil forces that control this world (Hebrews 12:26). He will rule with his people (Hebrews 2:6-8). And his perfect rule will never end.
Here, the author of Hebrews begins to discuss our reaction to these wonderful things. Firstly, he says that we should give thanks to God. Our attitude is more important than our words are. Of course we should praise God. But it is even more important for us to be grateful to him.
If we are grateful to God, then we will want to serve him. It is a great honour to do Godís work. And what we do will please him. That is the real meaning of worship: to live in a manner that pleases God (James 1:27).
People felt great fear when God declared his commands (Hebrews 12:18-21). God is very great; of course we must respect him. But we do not have to feel the same kind of fear as people who do not want to obey him. Godís people love to obey him; his law is in their hearts (Hebrews 8:10). So they are careful to respect God and they have a serious attitude towards him. They are humble towards God, their Father.
Next part: God is like a burning fire (Hebrews 12:29)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.