Showing posts with label Malachi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malachi. Show all posts

Sunday, 28 January 2018

God Loves Us. He Calls Us to Be His Faithful People.

Malachi 1:1-2:17  –  God looks upon us in our sin. What does He see? He sees ‘the Wicked Land. He sees ‘a people always under the wrath of the Lord’ (1:4). He looks at what Christ has done for us – ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’; ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’; ‘Christ died for our sins’ (1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3). God looks upon us in Christ – and everything is so very different: ‘God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). There, at the Cross of Christ, we hear God’s Word of love – ‘I have loved you’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (1:2; Jeremiah 31:3).      

Malachi 3:1-4:6  –  God calls us to be His faithful people. He says, ‘Return to Me’. He promises to bless those who return to Him: ‘I will return to you’. God calls us to honour Him with our ‘tithes and offerings: ‘Bring the whole tithe (tenth) into the storehouse…’. When we honour the Lord, He has promised that He will honour us: ‘Those who honour Me, I will honour’. When we honour the Lord with our obedience, He promises that He will honour us with His blessing. He promises to ‘open the windows of heaven and pour down for us an overflowing blessing’. Satan – ‘the devourer’ – will be defeated. We will ‘serve God’. He will take ‘delight’ in us. We will be His ‘treasured possession’ (3:8-12,17-19; 1 Samuel 2:30).     
—–    
An additional note on tithing
After this article was posted, I received an important comment from
Dr Russell Kelly. Rather than posting Dr Kelly’s detailed comment on this blog, I have decided to add my own note. Dr Kelly has discussed, at length, the question, “Should the Church teach Tithing?”. He has reached the conclusion that “Tithing is not a Christian Doctrine”.
Also of interest is Stuart Murray’s book, “Beyond Tithing” (Paternoster Press, 2000). Murray adopts a similar position (though his exposition of Scripture is less detailed than Russ Kelly’s). In his discussion of Malachi 3:8-12, he writes, “Tithing is an important, although somewhat obscure component in the worship life and social legislation of the nation of Israel. Nothing more. … It is not a fundamental principle that can or should be transferred from its Old Testament context into the experience of Christians and churches today.” (p. 88).
I appreciate the work of Russ Kelly and Stuart Murray. I hope that, by adding this note, I have indicated that I am aware of the importance of taking great care in our interpretation of Malachi’s words regarding tithing. Whatever our answer to the question, “Should the Church teach Tithing?”, I hope that all of us will hear the words of Malachi as a call to consecrate ourselves fully to the Lord our God. 
    

Friday, 29 December 2017

Christ's resurrection and our salvation

"The Sun of Righteousness will rise ... " (Malachi 4:2). The perfect Son of God has risen from the dead. This is the great declaration of salvation. The resurrection - This is what stands at the heart of the New Testament. The resurrection stands at the centre of the Gospel of Christ. This is the thought that we are to carry with us into the New Testament.

We must never take God's blessing for granted.

There is, in Malachi 3:1, a prophecy which has two parts - John the Baptist, Jesus the Saviour. When Jesus comes to us, He makes us new (Malachi 3:2-3). This purpose of God - to make us holy - is in fulfilment of His plan, which has been spoken of in "the past, as in years long ago" (Malachi 3:4). In His coming, there is salvation, and there is also judgment (Malachi 3:5). When we speak about prophecy and fulfilment, there is something we must never forget: "I, the Lord, never change" (Malachi 3:6). When we read God's Word, we must pray that we will see the continuity that comes from the character of God. In Old Testament times, in New Testament times and today, He calls us to "return" to Him. He promises that He will "return" to us. as we are faithful in committing ourselves to Him, He will send His blessing to us (Malachi 3:7-10). This blessing is described in Malachi 3:11-12. if we are to enjoy His blessing, we must learn to stop speaking against Him (Malachi 3:12-14). It is a good thing to seek God's blessing. We must never take His blessing for granted. That is arrogance (Malachi 3:15). The better way is the way of fearing the Lord and serving Him (Malachi 3:16,18). When we give ourselves truly to the Lord, we will draw strength from this: "They will be mine, says the Lord of Armies. On that day I will make them My special possession" (Malachi 3:17).

The Lord is not great because we call Him great. We call Him great because He is great.

"Even outside the borders of Israel, the Lord is great (Malachi 1:5). The Lord is not great because we call Him great. We call Him great because He is great. When we worship God, we are not creating His greatness. We worship God because He is so much greater than we can put into words or even imagine. His greatness does not come from our understanding of Him or our faith in Him. our understanding is limited. Our faith is weak. Our God is great. we must never forget this. It's not about our great faith or our great understanding. It's about our great God. He is great in holiness and power. more than that, He is great in love. We see the greatness of His love in Christ, His Son, our Saviour. we see His love in the death of our Saviour - "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" "His Name will be great among the nations" (Malachi 1:11). To say that God's greatness extends beyond Israel is not an excuse for complacency. Wave a God-given responsibility to proclaim His greatness: "I am a great King" (Malachi 1:14). The Lord is King. he's the King of love. Let us never think that the Lord can be compared to earthly kings. He is far greater than any and every earthly king. He is to be the King in our worship. He is to be the King in every part of our life. When we say, "The Lord is King, we're not just speaking words - even words of faith. we're pointing to the reality - "The Lord is King" - and we're committing ourselves to living in the light of this reality.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Looking Ahead To The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ

"The Sun of Righteousness will rise ... " (Malachi 4:2). The perfect Son of God has risen from the dead. This is the great declaration of salvation. The resurrection - This is what stands at the heart of the New Testament. The resurrection stands at the centre of the Gospel of Christ. This is the thought that we are to carry with us into the New Testament.

Continuity - From The End Of The Old Testament To The Beginning Of The New Testament

There is, in Malachi 3:1, a prophecy which has two parts - John the Baptist, Jesus the Saviour. When Jesus comes to us, He makes us new (Malachi 3:2-3). This purpose of God - to make us holy - is in fulfilment of His plan, which has been spoken of in "the past, as in years long ago" (Malachi 3:4). In His coming, there is salvation, and there is also judgment (Malachi 3:5). When we speak about prophecy and fulfilment, there is something we must never forget: "I, the Lord, never change" (Malachi 3:6). When we read God's Word, we must pray that we will see the continuity that comes from the character of God. In Old Testament times, in New Testament times and today, He calls us to "return" to Him. He promises that He will "return" to us. as we are faithful in committing ourselves to Him, He will send His blessing to us (Malachi 3:7-10). This blessing is described in Malachi 3:11-12. if we are to enjoy His blessing, we must learn to stop speaking against Him (Malachi 3:12-14). It is a good thing to seek God's blessing. We must never take His blessing for granted. That is arrogance (Malachi 3:15). The better way is the way of fearing the Lord and serving Him (Malachi 3:16,18). When we give ourselves truly to the Lord, we will draw strength from this: "They will be mine, says the Lord of Armies. On that day I will make them My special possession" (Malachi 3:17).

The Warning Comes Before The Blessing.

God's Word speaks out against us so that we might learn to stop speaking against Him. We speak against Him when we present ourselves as righteous in His sight. To imagine that we are righteous is to be guilty of self-deception. If we are to enjoy the blessing that comes to us from the Lord, there is something that we must hear: "this warning is for you" (Malachi 2:1). Through the warning of the Gospel, we are brought into the position where we see ourselves as sinners. This is God's way of showing us our need of the Saviour. It's His way of leading us to Jesus.

The Lord is not great because we call Him great. We call Him great because He is great.

"Even outside the borders of Israel, the Lord is great (Malachi 1:5). The Lord is not great because we call Him great. We call Him great because He is great. When we worship God, we are not creating His greatness. We worship God because He is so much greater than we can put into words or even imagine. His greatness does not come from our understanding of Him or our faith in Him. our understanding is limited. Our faith is weak. Our God is great. we must never forget this. It's not about our great faith or our great understanding. It's about our great God. He is great in holiness and power. more than that, He is great in love. We see the greatness of His love in Christ, His Son, our Saviour. we see His love in the death of our Saviour - "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" "His Name will be great among the nations" (Malachi 1:11). To say that God's greatness extends beyond Israel is not an excuse for complacency. Wave a God-given responsibility to proclaim His greatness: "I am a great King" (Malachi 1:14). The Lord is King. he's the King of love. Let us never think that the Lord can be compared to earthly kings. He is far greater than any and every earthly king. He is to be the King in our worship. He is to be the King in every part of our life. When we say, "The Lord is King, we're not just speaking words - even words of faith. we're pointing to the reality - "The Lord is King" - and we're committing ourselves to living in the light of this reality.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Praying Through God’s Word: Malachi

MALACHI

1:1-2:17
Lord, You look upon us in our sin. What do You see? You see ‘the Wicked Land. You see ‘a people always under the wrath of the Lord’ (Malachi 1:4). You look at what Christ has done for us – ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’; ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’; ‘Christ died for our sins’ (1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3). You look upon us in Christ – and everything is so very different: ‘God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). We thank You, Lord, that, at the Cross of Christ, we hear Your Word of love – ‘I have loved you’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Malachi 1:2; Jeremiah 31:3).
3:1-4:6
Lord, You’re calling us to be Your faithful people. You say to us, ‘Return to Me.’ You promise to bless those who return to You: ‘I will return to you.’ You call us to honour You with our ‘tithes and offerings: ‘Bring the whole tithe (tenth) into the storehouse…’ When we honour You, Lord, You have promised that You will honour us: ‘Those who honour Me, I will honour.’ When we honour You with our obedience, You promise that You will honour us with Your blessing. You promise to ‘open the windows of heaven and pour down for us an overflowing blessing’. Satan – ‘the devourer’ – will be defeated. We will ‘serve God’. He will take ‘delight’ in us. We will be Your ‘treasured possession’ (Malachi 3:8-12,17-19; 1 Samuel 2:30).

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Great Love Of God - Hallelujah! What A Saviour!

"Even outside the borders of Israel, the Lord is great (Malachi 1:5). The Lord is not great because we call Him great. We call Him great because He is great. When we worship God, we are not creating His greatness. We worship God because He is so much greater than we can put into words or even imagine. His greatness does not come from our understanding of Him or our faith in Him. our understanding is limited. Our faith is weak. Our God is great. We must never forget this. It's not about our great faith or our great understanding. It's about our great God. He is great in holiness and power. more than that, He is great in love. We see the greatness of His love in Christ, His Son, our Saviour. We see His love in the death of our Saviour - "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" "His Name will be great among the nations" (Malachi 1:11). To say that God's greatness extends beyond Israel is not an excuse for complacency. We have a God-given responsibility to proclaim His greatness: "I am a great King" (Malachi 1:14). The Lord is King. He's the King of love. Let us never think that the Lord can be compared to earthly kings. He is far greater than any and every earthly king. He is to be the King in our worship. He is to be the King in every part of our life. When we say, "The Lord is King, we're not just speaking words - even words of faith. we're pointing to the reality - "The Lord is King" - and we're committing ourselves to living in the light of this reality.
God's Word speaks out against us so that we might learn to stop speaking against Him. We speak against Him when we present ourselves as righteous in His sight. To imagine that we are righteous is to be guilty of self-deception. If we are to enjoy the blessing that comes to us from the Lord, there is something that we must hear: "this warning is for you" (Malachi 2:1). Through the warning of the Gospel, we are brought into the position where we see ourselves as sinners. This is God's way of showing us our need of the Saviour. It's His way of leading us to Jesus.
There is, in Malachi 3:1, a prophecy which has two parts - John the Baptist, Jesus the Saviour. When Jesus comes to us, He makes us new (Malachi 3:2-3). This purpose of God - to make us holy - is in fulfilment of His plan, which has been spoken of in "the past, as in years long ago" (Malachi 3:4). In His coming, there is salvation, and there is also judgment (Malachi 3:5). When we speak about prophecy and fulfilment, there is something we must never forget: "I, the Lord, never change" (Malachi 3:6). When we read God's Word, we must pray that we will see the continuity that comes from the character of God. In Old Testament times, in New Testament times and today, He calls us to "return" to Him. He promises that He will "return" to us. As we are faithful in committing ourselves to Him, He will send His blessing to us (Malachi 3:7-10). This blessing is described in Malachi 3:11-12. If we are to enjoy His blessing, we must learn to stop speaking against Him (Malachi 3:12-14). It is a good thing to seek God's blessing. We must never take His blessing for granted. That is arrogance (Malachi 3:15). The better way is the way of fearing the Lord and serving Him (Malachi 3:16,18). When we give ourselves truly to the Lord, we will draw strength from this: "They will be mine, says the Lord of Armies. On that day I will make them My special possession" (Malachi 3:17).
"The Sun of Righteousness will rise ... " (Malachi 4:2). The perfect Son of God has risen from the dead. This is the great declaration of salvation. The resurrection - This is what stands at the heart of the New Testament. The resurrection stands at the centre of the Gospel of Christ. This is the thought that we are to carry with us into the New Testament.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Listen To What The Lord Says - Not The World!

"It's pointless to serve God. What do we gain if we meet His standards or if we walk around feeling sorry for what we've done" (Malachi 3:14) - This what the world says.
What does the Lord say to us?  - "The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings for you people who fear My Name" (Malachi 4:2).
The Sun is shining upon us. It's not just the sun that's up in the sky. It's Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He makes everything new. It's not pointless. Life has a purpose. It's God's purpose for our life. There is gain. We don't just think in terms of financial gain. There's spiritual growth. There's moral strength. Our life is better when we see it through the eyes of the Lord. Many times, we have let our Lord  down. He will not let us down. He will lift us up - above the world's way of thinking, and into His way of living. He will lead us in His way of blessing.
"I have decided to follow Jesus ...
no turning back, no turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me ...
no turning back, no turning back.
Though none go with me, I still will follow ...
no turning back, no turning back.
Will you decide now to follow Jesus? ...
no turning back, no turning back.

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