“As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord cut him off from the tents of Jacob—-even though he brings offerings to the Lord Almighty. Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.” (Malachi2:12–13)
In the first verse of Malachi, chapter 2 God gives an admonishment: “And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do no set your heart to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.” The people of Judah had become unfaithful to God by marrying people of other gods. Two offenses prevented God from accepting the offerings of he people—-marriage to a pagan and divorce. A right spirit, not an emotional outpouring, would make the offerings acceptable, but this was not forthcoming.
Christ said that life does not consist of things, no matter how abundant. Real living is in giving and serving, not in getting and indulging. Inner peace and tranquility, not personal wealth and prestige, mark true success.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it has often said that to accept Christ is the easiest part of becoming a Christian, as all eyes will then be on you, to see how strong you are in your faith. You have given us the best blessing ever offered, to become one with God through His Son, Christ Jesus. Every decision we make, every action we take after accepting Christ as our Savior, will be judged and measured by all non-Christians from that point on. It is when we accept Him, that we commit ourselves to the model that He gave us when He walked on this earth. We do not become perfect as some will throw at us, but we are forgiven for our sins. Therefore, we can walk His walk the very best we can and when we stumble, we can seek forgiveness from Him as humble servants of His, and depend upon His favor for us. In Jesus’ name pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“For every negative thing found in this world, there are 1,000 good things found in God’s love.”
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and sliver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.” (Malachi 3:3–4)
God looked to the day priests would be morally pure and follow the directions He had given for worship. Impure motives and actions make our offerings unacceptable. The priests and scribes were charged with teaching us how to be acceptable, and they had failed miserably, setting a bad example. God is working to teach His people how to worship Him. He want to refine and purify us so righteous living will accompany our offerings. Only as we present ourselves acceptable to God can our offerings be acceptable by Him.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager fro money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—-God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or an see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but o put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1st Timothy6:6–19)
Wealth threatens our spiritual life. Persons caught up in the get-rich drive find that, while money itself is not evil, the love of many brings many evils. Such love often makes makes money into god. Accumulating wealth gets top priority. Money is seen as the only source of security. Godly contentment is the desired alternative. Three guidelines help Christians seek contentment and keep money in its place: 1) we brought nothing into this world and will take nothing out; 2) God gives the power to acquire money, and; 3) money should be used to serve God and others.
Second Thought of the Day:
Restitution is a good sign of a changed life. Zacchaeus exhibited repentance by pledging to make a fourfold return for wrongs committed and to giving half of his possessions to the poor. Good stewardship is the result of a new life committed to serving Christ Jesus.
“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’ But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.’” (Luke19:1–8)
A totally reformed life witnesses that the person cannot be classified with excluded, rejected sinners. Their witness defies being classed as anything but reformed.