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26
Mar

Stirred, Not Shaken

No, the title isn’t based on a line from a Bond film; (actually, 007 would say, “Shaken, not stirred.”) But it is biblical.

Be stirred.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25

The writer of Hebrews made this statement, to implore those Christians who were considering a return to the old Levitical system of Judaism in order to avoid persecution, not to stop meeting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Not only that, but to use the time of persecution to do even more for one another—stir up one another—to love and good works. What an example for the church to set amidst persecution! 

As we are still in the midst of this thing called Covid-19, we’re no doubt feeling isolated and even afflicted— some physically due to the virus, while others seeing their livelihoods and savings diminished.  This is causing many to sit this out until it blows over, including Christians. But God tells us not to neglect meeting together. Not only that but to go even deeper in love and good works. I can think of few things more honoring to our Lord than His people extending themselves to one another in the midst of trials. This is beautifully exemplified by the churches in Macedonia: 

For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.  
2 Corinthians 8:2-5 

Stirring up one another to love and good works! This is the church. This is you and I! No persecution, no virus, no recession will prevail against it! 

Not Shaken

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire Hebrews 12:26-27

The earth, our possessions and even our physical bodies are all temporary (and thus, shakable). We are getting a taste of that now as a nation and a world. The writer is saying the things that can be shaken are said to be “created things,” referring to those material things— even the earth and universe. The purpose of this “removing” is stated: “so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” That includes our faith. We’ve all heard the expression, “unshakable faith.”

Let us lean into that truth as we consider how we’re to respond to this current season. As we stir up one another to love and good works, we are investing in something that cannot be changed or shaken. Let us remember God’s kingdom is unchanging and unshakable and eternal. 
 

Pastor Joe Garofalo

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