Archive for May 8th, 2017

Malachi 3

Malachi 3 has the prophet responding to the whining of God’s people.  Israel complained that God seemed to reward the wicked and did not exercise His justice in the world. God responds to their complaint by saying, I will set things right with My Messiah, and before Him will come My messenger”. “Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap”.  Both the launderer and the refiner work to clean, not to destroy.  God is in the restoration business.  But He has to clean up sin for us to come back to Him.

God reminds us that He never changes and His love and desire for us is always the same.  “I the Lord do not change”.  God is always there, always waiting, always willing to restore and redeem us.  But mankind has always had an issue – sin.  And as such, we are facing the reality of that sin.  “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them.  Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts”. God makes it clear.  There is a path back to Him.  But we have to take a step and come back to Him.

One area where we get on the wrong side of God is around money.  Scripture tells us that ‘money is the root of all evil’.  God does have some expectations about money.  First and foremost, we must never forget that all of what we have is not ours, but God’s. And we need to be sure that we are returning to Him what is already rightfully His.  In the case of Malachi – it is about tithing.  God says “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me.  But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’  In your tithes and contributions”.  God is paying attention.  He expects us to return a portion of what He has entrusted to us to Him.

Some of us really struggle with that idea that we have to give some of our hard earned money to God.  But it actually isn’t ours.  And God does have a promise for those of us who take Him at His word. “And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need”.  We can’t outgive God.  I’ve been tithing for decades and He is faithful – always.  We can trust God and what He promises.  If we are faithful to give to Him, He’ll reward us with His ongoing blessing.  Our life and marriage is living proof of that faithfulness!

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