Principle: “If you want God to value what you give to Him, then you must value what you give to God.”

Promise: “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, home-owner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved the house. It was fixed to the rock.”

Mathew 7:24-25

The Message

Principle Scripture: Malachi 1:7-9

7) “You place defiled food on my alter. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. (8) When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty. (9) “Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty.

Malachi, whose name means “my messenger” is the prophet of God speaking to the priests and people of God condemning the sacrifices being offered to God therefore defiling Gods alter. This is where the priests would accept animals to be offered as sacrifices to God for the forgiveness for sins committed by the people and also where the priest obtained their meat. Where the problem lies is that animals that were offered for sacrifice, there could be nothing wrong with them. However in this time animals were being brought that were crippled, blind and/or diseased which is disobedient to Gods law, thereby defiling the Lord’s table making it contemptible. Malachi even tells them to try and offer the same sacrifices to their governor and see how pleased he will be. Malachi even tells them to implore God with these sacrifices offered by their hands and see if He will be gracious and accept their sacrifices. All what Malachi is telling is a call to repentance and for them to stop offering to God less than He deserves. It’s actually a call to obedience.

This is the first in a new series coming from the pastor of the church I am a member of on the book of Malachi. Let me tell you how excited we are to here Gods Truth preached and how convicting it is as well. What I find myself examining is, when God presents His truth to me coming from His Word am I accountable to make the necessary changes in my life that come from His Truth!? What God has done for us today is that He alone provided the last perfect sacrifice, therefore ending the need for animal sacrifices atoning the sins committed by His people. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection was the final sacrifice. In the gospel of John 19:30 Jesus stated before He gave up His Spirit said it is finished.

Now that Jesus is the final sacrifice, how does this all apply to me. Well what it says to me is it’s a call for self-examination. We don’t offer animal sacrifices for the atonement for forgiveness of sins committed, but we do make offerings to God in the form of worship. These offering are our love to God, our service to God, our giving in the form of tithes and giving to support the local church growth, discipleship, children’s and student ministries and missionaries. There are many different forms of sacrificial worship. The call is the principle; “If you want God to value what you give to Him, then you must value what you give to God.”  The question that I find asking myself is, what is my heart, what are my motives, am I being selfless, am I offering to God less than He deserves? Am I offering to God less than He offered me? God gave me His son on the cross, His very best, What’s my very best? Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Psalm 119:9-12

9) How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. (10) I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. (11) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (12) Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.

© Copyright By Bart Hickey, All Rights Reserved, 2011, 2012 and 2013

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