Summary: Malachi; the Final Prophet – (Part 3) GODLY INSIGHT FOR TODAY!
✎ According to national statistics Ohio ranked 7th in population in 2000 with almost 11.4 million people. You might expect Ohio to also be one of the leaders in reported crime statistics as well. You should be glad to know that we Buckeyes came in 26th overall (even better for violent crime ranking #30). Ohio is safer than many other places to live. Simplifying the data only about 1 in 25 Ohioans or 4.04% will be the victim of a crime each year.
How about you? Have you ever personally been the victim of a crime? Have you ever been robbed? Have you gone to get into your car and found it missing? If statistics mean anything then about 2 or 3 of us here this morning could expect to be a victim of some type of crime this year. (If no one relates a personal story, share when we had our CDs stolen from our van.)
Did you know that more Ohioans are victims of crime and don’t even know it (and it’s not just limited to the Buckeye state these crimes happen everywhere)? You could be a SPIRITUAL CRIME VICTIM. Satan is a spiritual criminal–a robber, murderer, and vandal. Jesus described Satan as a thief seeking to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10).
You don’t have to be a victim! God wants to restore His blessing in your life and mine. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all it’s fullness” (John 10:10 NLT). Satan wants to destroy your life; Jesus wants to have life, and life more abundantly!
As we continue today with our series, “Malachi, The Final Prophet–Godly Insight for Daily Living,” we are going to look at God’s Unbroken Promise: LIFE and PEACE.
As we get started let me give you this reminder. The foundation of Malachi’s message is built upon God’s eternal love: God’s love is sovereign, strong, steadfast, and seeking. Not only is the message grounded in love but it is also a word spoken to us by our Heavenly Father, our Master and our King. This is not merely E.F. Hutton talking. This is a message from the living God who loves us personally.
1. This is a message for us TODAY!
+ Malachi 2:1 "And now this admonition is for you, O priests. (NIV)
Don’t underline “O priests” in your bibles and think you are off the hook. Instead circle “And now this admonition is for you!” God’s message is alive! This message spoken by Malachi nearly 2,500 years ago is not outdated and worthless. Malachi’s words still ring true for you and me today!
Perhaps you are tempted to think to yourself, “I’m not a minister or a priest, so this message is still not for me.” If you are a Christian MALACHI’S MESSAGE IS FOR YOU!
+ Revelation 1:6 He [Jesus] has made us his kingdom and his priests who serve before God his Father. (NLT)
Throughout the Old Testament priest were a special class of people who served as mediators between God and man; the priest was the “go between”–you couldn’t talk to God without him. That’s all changed now!
The New Testament teaches the “priesthood of all believers. Jesus’ death upon the cross gives us access to God individually. You don’t need a priest to appeal to God for you; the Bible says you “can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19 (NLT). God’s Holy Place, once reserved only for priests, is now open to everyone who believes in Christ.
+ 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. . . (NIV)
Malachi’s message is not limited to just the priests of his day, or to the professional ministers of today. Malachi’s message is for all of us because we all are “priests of God.”
Satan would like to steal this truth from you; he wants to rob you of the blessing that can be yours as a priest of God. You are a priest, not a puppet or pawn to be manipulated in the game of life. In Christ you are a victor not a victim.
Don’t let Satan rob you. Malachi’s admonition, his message is for you! Hear God’s word for you today, and put yourself in the position to receive the blessing of the Lord.
Why is it important for us to hear God’s message?
2. This is a message of REPENTANCE.
+ Malachi 2:2-4 2If you do not listen, and if you do not 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. 3"Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will spread on your faces the offal from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 4And you will know that I have sent you this admonition so that my covenant with Levi may continue," says the Lord Almighty. (NIV)