October 11. 2022

A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. – Malachi 1:6-9 ESV


Does the WORD have a word for us today! Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament in time, chronological order, and in order of the layout of the Canon, the Bible. As with everything else in God’s Word, there are poly-purposes for all that God does. No man owns the truth- we are all OFF a little, some are more off than others. Only God is omniscient- that means to possess ‘perfect knowledge’. Just like it is impossible for anything but GOD to be omniscient, It is impossible to know the mind of God and all His purposive strivings. Because of this, we can deduce that God knows the intentions of our hearts. He knows not only what we do, but WHY we DO, WHAT we DO. There are many instances in scripture where God gets tired of the fake, and insincere actions of His creatures and His children. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Romans 11:33-35) “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (Isaiah 1:11) And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22) God knows all our thoughts, our doubts, our dirt, our frowns, our self-pity, our hypocrisy, and He still loves us. Our Faith is demonstrated through humility when we are open, honest, humble, merciful, grace-giving, forgiving and willing with our Savior, Jesus.

Leader, God tells us IN THE BEGINNING that we are made in the GOD class; Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. (Genesis 1:26a) Did you hear that, we are IMAGERS of God. As IMAGERS of God, we must have FREE WILL and control our DESTINY with our choices. IN the beginning God created…. (Genesis 1:1) Our first introduction to God is as Creator. As IMAGERS of the CREATOR, we too were made to create!. Our relationships, both with God and others, is one of the greatest creations of our time on this planet. Our choices, our beliefs, our thoughts, our actions, our attitudes all become part of our ‘creation’. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) The key word in this verse is the word “thinks.” When we think we are talking to ourselves. The word “thinks” is telling you that God is targeting your thought process – what you think about on a daily basis. He wants to be the FOREFRONT of our thoughts. Like a lover, God wants us to think about HIM often, and DESIRE to spend time with HIM, and LIVE FOR HIM. After the book of Malachi, God was silent for 400 years. It was not until John the Baptist began making a way in the desert for THE ONE- that God spoke again. What made John the Baptizer stand out is that John knew His purpose and His position: Here the Word or the Lord; Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” (John 1:27) Do you know your purpose- in Christ? Do you know your position?

Conduit, in the Old Testament there was a remnant back in the city of Jerusalem, the temple was being rebuilt, the city walls and gates were being rebuilt, God was calling His people home. We have the book of Nehemiah and Ezra talking about both of those rebuilding projects. Many people were physically coming back, however, emotionally and relationally, they were further away from God than when they were scattered in captivity in Babylon. ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) God does NOT WANT TO BE A CHECKED BOX! He doesn’t want us to do empty rituals, and traditional actions, He wants our hearts, and He wants our TIME. God is not interested in ROTE activity, and checked boxes. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ (Matthew 9:13a) Like many people I know, God can get tired of empty relationships and broken commitments, unkept promises. Religion is man’s attempt to ‘GET TO’ God. However, Christianity is God COMING DOWN to connect with man. God is looking for a connection, an intimate relationship of time, and emotion. If God has become silent in your life, maybe it is time to stop going through the motions and invest in a real, deep, intimate relationship with God, the Father through His Son, Jesus. Maybe you are disappointed in your life and blame God? Maybe you doubt the closeness of God because of things you have done? Many people will stop talking to others when they have been disappointed over and over. However, communication is the foundation for all relationships both personal and spiritual. How is your relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Is He your PORTION? Is He your DESIRE? Do you crave connection and HIS PRESENCE, like you would a lover or a close friend? The Time is NOW to reconnect with the God of the universe through a personal relationship with His Son, our Savior and LORD- Jesus the Christ! GOD LOVES YOU because of who HE IS, not because of who YOU ARE. JESUS LOVES you based on what HE DID, not based on what YOU DID!


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