Summary: People fail to respond to God's love correctly. Because Christ loves with unchanging love; you ought to respond to Him with reverence.
The Main Point: Because Christ loves with unchanging love; you ought to respond to Him with reverence.
The Question: How Should you Respond to God's Love?
Several years ago in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, George and Vera Bajenksi’s lives were changed forever. February 16, 1989. Thursday morning the phone rang at 9:15 a.m. "There’s been an accident..." It involved their son Ben.
As they approached the intersection of Adelaide and Simcoe Streets near the high school, they could see the flashing lights of the police cars and ambulance units. Vera noticed a photographer and followed the direction of his camera lens to the largest pool of blood she had ever seen.
All she could say was, "George, Ben went home--home to be with his Heavenly Father!" Her first reaction was to jump out of the car, somehow collect the blood and put it back into her son. "That blood, for me, at that moment, became the most precious thing in the world because it was life. It was life-giving blood and it belonged in my son, my only son, the one I loved so much."
George noticed that cars were driving right through the intersection--right through the blood. His heart was smitten. He wanted to cover the blood with his coat and cry, "You will not drive over the blood of my son!"
Then Vera understood for the first time in her life, one of God’s greatest and most beautiful truths...why blood? Because it was the strongest language God could have used. It was the most precious thing He could give-- the highest price He could pay.
"Amazing love! How can it be? That though, My God, shouldst die for me!" (Charles Wesley).
The Privilege of the Nation (1:1-1:5)… loved by God
Pollution of the Nation (1:6-3:15)… priests corrupt, people divorcing
The Promise to the Nation (3:16-4:6)… blessing and judgment coming
How should you respond to God’s love?
I. Give attention to His messenger!
A. His chosen messenger was Malachi.
1. The unknown servant (prophet)
2. Name means: My messenger
B. His chosen people are in a quandary (dilemma).
They were looking to remove the emptiness of heart through excitement and stimulus of the flesh. Dr. Minnick
1. Is it worth it to serve (worship) the Lord?
2. Is it better to chase the things of this world?
II. Give attention to His message!
A. God’s faithful unchanging love (1:2; 3:6)
1. He always loves His people (1:2).
2. He will never change His love toward you (3:6).
B. God’s complaint to His people (1:6-10)
Pro 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
1. People’s condition: failure to revere God
2. God’s expectation: honor and fear (reverence)(1:6)
3. God’s response: warning (3:18)
III. Give attention to His method!
A. God’s people’s questions are posed.
1. How have You loved us (1:2)?
2. How have we despised Your name (1:6)?
3. How have we defiled You (7)?
4. How have we wearied Him (2:17)?
5. How shall we return (from and to)(3:7)?
6. How have we robbed You (3:8)?
7. What have we spoken against You (3:13)?
B. God’s pattern used to minister.
1. God quotes their charges against Him.
2. God brings charges against the people.
3. People respond with questions.
4. God provides firm answers.
1) When life seems to have plateaued in your spiritual journey, remember God blessed you.
2) Understand that God hears and remembers all of your words. The words of honor are recorded (3:16).
3) Faulty words reflect a wrong perspective of life and its circumstances. They doubted God’s love.
4) Praise the Lord for His unchanging character.
5) Learn to respond reverently to His love.
All she could say was, "George, Ben went home--home to be with his Heavenly Father!” Her first reaction was to jump out of the car, somehow collect the blood and put it back into her son.
"That blood, for me, at that moment, became the most precious thing in the world because it was life. It was life-giving blood and it belonged in my son, my only son, the one I loved so much."
Through God’s amazing love we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19).
What needs to change in your life?
Will you allow God’s grace to make the necessary changes?
This sermon series referenced Dr. Mark Minnick series on Malachi