"Things that Cannot be Shaken"

The division of our Bible into chapters sometimes spoils our apprehension of the connection of things, and an instance of this may be seen in the 12th and 13th chapters of Hebrews. Without the break we should read, "OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE. LET BROTHERLY LOVE CONTINUE." To the human conception of things there is here a contrast that is startling. The statements appear to be incongruous, contradictory, and mutually destructive. There seems to be no connection, agreement or sympathy between a consuming fire and brotherly love. But it is thus that the thoughts of the divine mind flow out to us, and the spiritual-minded believer will discern the blessed association, not of thought only, but, of the divine nature and the expression of it that exist here.

The closing statements of chapter 12 are most majestic, telling us that everything that is not of God — that is not founded upon what He is and is not upheld by His power shall be shaken and removed, so that there might be nothing forever that should rise up and oppose His good and acceptable will, and so bring discord and ruin into that new creation — that kingdom which cannot be moved.

But brotherly love belongs to that immovable kingdom. It is the nature of God which He has imparted to us finding its expression in our dealings with one another. "Love is of God and every one that loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not knows not God, for God is love." And love shall abide. Faith is good, enabling the one who has it to remove mountains. Hope is good, carrying the heart outside of present difficulties to the glorious prospect before us and making us sing in the gloom. But greater than all is Love. Love makes those who are moved by it forget themselves in the care and service of others; it finds a holy joy in self-sacrifice for God's sake.

This shall abide. All our self-seeking, our pride, the advantages we have gained for ourselves at the expense of others, all that hateful satisfaction that comes to the flesh in being thought better of than another, all that will be consumed, for it is not of God, but of the flesh, and our God is a consuming fire and will destroy everything in us and about us that is not in accordance with His own nature. Brotherly love is of His nature, so let brotherly love continue. C — O — N — T — I — N — U — E.