- Sermon Notes
Pastor Rich…A week ago…
Image Old City Jerusalem
Mt 23:27 – O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing!
Impact of new Christian friends in Israel
•Joseph (Yusuf) – A Palestinian youth leader on staff with Young Life.
•Andre – a Palestinian Christian businessman born in Bethlehem.
Message: God’s Love For Jerusalem & Our Response!
•Reminds me of a story I read about a man selling Bagels in NY from a cart…
•For a lot of us, like this story, life is pretty routine, on a bit of auto-pilot – we don’t necessarily pay attention to changes around us
SPIRITUALLY – this is not acceptable & God is not going to allow it to go unchecked.
A.W. Tozer; One compromise here and another one there – soon the Christians & non-Christians look exactly the same…
That brings us to the end of the OT
•There are many comparisons between Malachi’s message on behalf of God to Israel and Jesus message to us in the NT.
•The Prophet Malachi was a contemporary to the Prophet Nehemiah…
•After 70 years of captivity in Babylon God allowed his people to go back to Israel to rebuild the city of Jerusalem & the temple.
•Nehemiah made 2 trips to Jerusalem
Trip 1 – Lead the rebuilding of the wall and the gates of the city –
•Then along with Ezra exhorted the people to follow God with all their hearts – a fruitful period of revival – so Nehemiah went back to Persia.
•In his absence the Jewish people began to revert back to their old sinful ways.
•What is our tendency in the absence of accountability and time pursuing the Lord Jesus?
•God raised up one final Prophet to exhort His people to repent – Malachi…
•Malachi = “The Lord’s Messenger” – then the door closed on the OT Scriptures.
•So between Nehemiah’s 2 trips – Malachi preached and warned God’s people.He was sent to remind Israel that God was coming.
•We know little about Malachi – but does it matter?
•The period between Malachi and Matthew is known as the “Intertestamental Period.”
•The 400 year period of silence in the scriptures.
•Israel falls into the trap of going through the motions – apathy in worship – apathy in obedience.
•This is a short book – only 4 chapters and 55 verses
•An unusual Q&A format; 27 Questions to God in 55 verses – a “debate” actually.
•Imagine debating God!!!?
•This is relevant today – although Malachi was written 2400 years ago – we know complacency & compromise are alive today.
•Take inventory of your own life as we unpack Malachi and see what changes you might make – where lies the apathy and complacency in your life?
I. “I Love You”
- How often have we questioned God’s love for us through our changing circumstances when His character is unchanging – Holiness, Grace, Mercy.
- Prophets were known to bring news of correction.
- Israel had a track record of not accepting bad news brought their way.
2 Timothy 4:3; For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions
A.Commandment #1 – love God
Matthew 22:37-38; And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
•In Jesus letter in Revelations 2-3; His message to the 7 churches was very similar – He tells them what He thinks.
•Through Malachi – God tells Israel what He thinks…basically we are being reminded NOT to leave our first love.
Proverbs 3:11-12; My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Illustration – Discipline of children
•God’s Love is NOT in the shape of a diamond – it is the shape of a Cross.
B.Great is the Lord
Psalm 145:3; Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
- God made us for the purpose of glorifying Him in all that we do.
- I asked you earlier to take inventory of your life, your activities, as we make our way through the text…
II. Don’t Argue With God
- God addresses accusations against priests and spiritual leaders despising His name because of polluted sacrifices.
- They argue! Really?
- When was the last time you argued or wrestled with God? Are you giving God your best?
- Jesus gave His life so that we might choose eternal life; to give Him our best, our gifts, our first fruits…
A. The new covenant
Image 2 – Via Delorosa
- Sadly on judgement day Jesus says it will be just like this in –
Matthew 7:21-23; “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
•Complacency blinds us
•God challenges their quality of sacrifice
•This is an insult to God
•For us, we don’t bring animals to God – the new covenant was offered to us by the Cross.
B.Worship through personal sacrifice
Romans 12:1; I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
•Our lives are to be a living sacrifice – what can we bring to Jesus…
•Not just Sunday morning – but full custody of our daily life and focus on eternal priorities
Revelation 3:16; So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
I want to exhort you like Malachi did – commit yourself to make:
C.Malachi exhorts us
•God 1st in your lives and decisions
•Read His Word
•Be here and build relationships – pray for one another – don’t simply be a consumer of church.
•Know and use your gifts to build up the Body of Christ – the church.
•Share the Lord with others.
•Experience the blessing and rest that comes through obedience and service to others.