The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. — William Shakespeare
Back at camp, we were cooking some s’mores around the campfire. We had the graham crackers, the chocolate all ready to go and the marshmallows on the stick. Just one problem: the fire was too hot. The little girls tried to roast their marshmallows, but had to turn away before they could get close enough. So it was the dads’ chance to prove their masculinity. As the fire got bigger and bigger, the hair on our arms and eyelids got shorter and shorter. We all just kept backing farther and farther away, unable to stand near the fire’s presence, risking getting consumed if we got too close.
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.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
God’s wrath makes His grace and mercy all the more stunning. Knowing that God is both wrathful and loving empowers our worship with reverence and awe. Then we can look into the growing flames with praise and thanksgiving for Christ and who we are in Him.
Consuming Fire, I praise You that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). I thank You that “Christ …suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous” (1 Peter 3:18) so that He could bring me to You without getting burned! Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com