Summary: Just as the Israelites in Malachi’s day offered second rate worship to God, it is possible that we are doing the same. Nine practical suggestions to insure that you are giving God your best in worship.
1. We talk a lot about giving our best…
a. Whether it is on the job, or in school, or on the athletic field…we emphasize giving our best
b. Did you know that when it comes to worship, God wants you to give your best?
a. He is not talking about what you wear - I don’t dress up to impress God. I dress up to impress you and some of you are not impressed
b. If you want to impress God…have pure hands and a clean heart and give Him your best - I Sam. 16:7 says "God looks on the heart" ….Eccl. 9:10
3. Don’t you want to give your best…
a. I want to preach my best - I am a dying man preaching to dying people…II Tim. 4:2…what we discuss each week is a matter of heaven or hell
b. And what is true of my preaching is true with our praying…when we pour out our hearts to God it should come from the depths of our soul…I Pet. 5:7
c. And what is true of preaching and praying is also true of our singing…when you sing you should give it your very best…focus on the words…sing them in such a way that honors God and encourages those around you…
d. And what it true of preaching and praying and singing should be true of our giving…Ac. 20:35 - we are told that "It is more blessed to give than it is to receive"… II Cor. 9:7 - "God loves a cheerful giver"…
e. And what it true of preaching and praying and singing and giving should be true with our communion...when we stop and focus on the most important event in history - the death of the Son of God on the cross….we should give it our best
4. Here is the question this morning - When it comes to your personal worship, do you give God your best?
5. Look at what the Israelites were giving to God…
a.(vs. 8) - "blind, crippled and diseased animals" - they were bringing God their leftovers…and Malachi says "that is just wrong" - when it comes to worship then or now God does not want our leftovers…God did not want a second class animal and God does not want a second class effort
b.(Deut. 15:21) "If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God."…. (Lev. 22:21) - "When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable to the Lord."
(1) And yet that is exactly what the Jews were doing…that is what they were giving God
(2)Malachi asks an inter. question - vs 8 - "try giving that to your governor, would he accept it?
(3)Look at verse 10 - Why don’t you just close the church doors?…If you are not going to give me your best, why don’t we just shut the doors and forget it…it is useless…I am not pleased…I won’t accept it
(4)Look at verse 12 & 13 - God uses the words "profane, defiled and contempable" - in fact He says in vs 13 that you have made worship a burden rather than a blessing
(5)Look at verse 14 - KJV says you are a deceiver…NIV says you are a cheat…When one fails to give God their best they are cheating themselves and cheating God