"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28, NKJV).
As a kid, I was taught to "walk softly in the sanctuary." Granted, I grew up in a preacher's home. Nonetheless, my brother and I had to sit still and be quiet in church--whether we listened or not. And when I was young, I didn't listen to the preacher who was also my dad. I read my "Guide" magazine I had gotten in Sabbath School, or drew on paper, or something. But it was quiet. I remember that I wasn't allowed to run in the church, or play secular music on the piano in sanctuary, or go on the platform. It was to be considered a holy place. And last but not least, the pastor was addressed as, well, "Pastor."
How much different are things today. How often do I hear cell phones ring in church? As if something in the world is more important that our time with God. Yet those same people won't be bothered during family time. Children now play video games on mobile devices in the church--during church. They aren't taught to fold their hands or close their eyes in prayer. They don't make eye contact when you say "Hello." And forget a "Please" or a "Thank you." And sadly, there are more OMG's being said in and around the church than PTL's!
Am I being overly cynical or stereo-typical in my writing? Perhaps. But I can't help but wonder, is there anything sacred anymore? Today's text reminds us that since we are going to heaven, we should offer to God acceptable worship. And what is acceptable worship? The text tells us it is worship that is filled with reverence and awe. And what is reverence? It means to show a feeling or attitude of deep respect, admiration, and fear that is produced by something that is grand, sublime, or extremely powerful. In other words, turn off your cell phone and devices, and "Turn your eyes on Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth, will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace."
Note: This post is part of a continuing series of daily, one-minute devotions I post on the home page of my site. This particular post received a strong response, and so I have posted it in the blog in the hopes others might see and be blessed or encouraged as well.
Pastor Ben is a pastor, marriage counselor, and international lecturer on Bible prophecy for more than 18 years. His lectures and preaching appointments have taken him to Europe, Australia, and Central America. He currently serves as the Lead Pastor for the South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship in Tacoma, WA.