Marriage is not only the relationship between husband and wife, it is first and foremost a covenant made before God! He cares deeply for the sanctity and beauty of marriage and carefully designed it to illustrate the intimate relationship between God and his people. When we are unfaithful in marriage, we are firstly unfaithful to God! The Word teaches us that faithfulness to God will be blessed. Today in Malachi he asks - Why then are we faithless?
Today we begin a new series in the book of Malachi. God's people have returned from exile to Judah. Their expectation is for prosperity, peace and God's glorious presence. Instead, they are disillusioned to find that all they had hoped for is unrealized. Soon their spiritual zeal is diminished and their worship becomes empty, even hypocritical. The Isaraelites question God's love for them and accuse him of abandoning his chosen people. They allow their circumstances to become an indicator of God's love. Malachi reminds us that God's love is eternal, cannot be measured by human standards or circumstances, and is never to be underestimated! God is calling his loved ones to restoration and repentance. He promises, 'Return to me, and I will return to you'.
Does your life in Christ look different today than it did a year ago? Are you drawing closer toward him or do you find yourself moving further away from him? In this last message of the series, we examine the closing comments in the final verses of Malachi. God's challenges his people to turn their hearts away from the temptations of the world that ultimately lead to a wasted life. Instead, turn your hearts towards the Father! Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.
What does it mean to 'fear the name of the Lord'? In the NIV translation of the bible, the word 'fear' is replaced with 'reverance'. It means standing in awe and worship - in reverance - of the name of the one and only God. Here in Malachi, we are promised that those who fear his name will be treasured and loved by him. The Lord hears and will remember those who esteem his great name. How great is our God!
Matthew 6:21 tells us " where your treasure is, there will be your heart also". In today's message, God's word teaches us the importance of giving to his kingdom with both generosity and joy. In fact, the manner in which we give directly reflects the position and passion of our heart. Today as we further unpack the book of Malachi, God challenges us to test him with our tithes and offerings. Watch how lavishly he will pour out his blessings upon those who give generously! Indeed, he promises that when we invest unselfishly in his kingdom, grace and righteousness will abound!
In today's message, we learn how the priests of Malachi's day had grown half-hearted and negligent in their priestly responsibilities and service. They began to overlook divorce among God's chosen, condoning inappropriate offerings to the Lord and failing to lead the people according to his covenant. The Israelites are called by God to turn from their worldly ways and back to authentic worship.
God deserves only our best, not our leftovers! When we become spiritually lazy and indifferent, our hearts become distracted and begin to wander from God. The Israelites began to shift their focus from God to their difficult circumstances. God was no longer receiving the honour of his people. We are most blessed when Christ is most honoured! Today, Robbie answers the question, how do we know if we are honouring God with our lives?