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Summary: Malachi - The Final Prophet (Part 2) GODLY INSIGHT FOR TODAY!

✎ ILLUSTRATION: YARD SALE–FLEA MARKET. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! All too often stuff that is in the yard sale today is in the dumpster tomorrow.

Sometimes we feel like the leftovers from a yard sale; our self esteem is in the dumpster. We’re useless; we’re no good for anyone or anything.

God doesn’t see us as worthless. God was not searching for bargains at a yard sale, but He willingly paid the highest price for our lives. God gave His Son; Jesus laid down His life so we could live. Unfortunately we don’t feel alive.

A grey Monday morning feeling lingers through Sunday morning and we get up and make ourselves go to church. We go through the motions of worship, but our hearts are cold. The Bible tells us that God will give us “joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair,” but we leave wondering if it’s really real (see Isaiah 61:3).

Last week we began our series in the book of Malachi; The Final Prophet: Godly Insight for Daily Living. Malachi opens with the foundation of God’s love; God’s love is [1] sovereign, [2] strong, [3] steadfast, and [4] seeking. Having laid the foundation of God’s love, Malachi addresses our approach to God. How do we come to God in worship? Are we guilty of bringing God our leftovers from yesterday’s yard sale?

+ Read: Malachi 1:6-14

1. THE PROBLEM.

Israel was bringing God their leftovers from yesterday’s yard sale. God gave His people clear instructions about the sacrifices they were to offer. For instance God’s law says, “If your sacrifice for a whole burnt offering is from the herd, bring a bull with no physical defects” (Leviticus 1:3 NLT); diseased or deformed animals were not to be given as an offering to God.

God was not pleased with the sacrifices offered by Israel. Their sacrifices were given as a duty, with disregard, and in disobedience.

▸ DUTY: the people felt obligated to bring an offering; it was an expectation and not an expression of worship. Therefore, they gave as little as possible; their worship was cheap.

▸ DISREGARD: the people didn’t care how they sacrificed to God; it was an attitude of neglect. Disregard and indifference was the rule of the day.

▸ DISOBEDIENCE: the people offered sacrifices as they wanted and not as God commanded.

Actions speak louder than words. The way the people came to God revealed their genuine attitudes about God.

+ Isaiah 29:13 These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren’t in it. . . they act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it. (MsgB)

When an animal sacrifice was brought to the temple, it was an act of worship. You may be tempted to think, “We don’t have that problem because we don’t sacrifice animals on an altar to God anymore.”

You’re right, God doesn’t require animal sacrifices from us. God wants MORE than that.

+ Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)

+ So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (MsgB)

You see it’s all or nothing; God wants us to give Him our very selves. Everyday, everything we do and say is a sacrifice, a love gift to God.

For the nation of Israel their sacrifices were no longer offered from a heart of love; instead it was simply a burdensome job for the priest. Their worship was not an outpouring of adoration, but instead it was a chore.

How about you and me, do we have the same problem? Do we come to God as an act of duty; is our worship filled with disregard and disobedience? Be careful how you answer because actions speak louder than words.

DUTY:

▸ Why are you here today? Are you simply here to be seen by others or to appease your conscience? Will you be quick to leave at the conclusion of the service or will you be willing to spend time in prayer or with other believers who have gathered?

DISREGARD:

▸ The Bible says we belong together; we are interdependent upon one another. Are you reaching our and entering into relationships with other believers, or are you trying to go it alone?

▸ Is it more important for you to be on time for work than on time for worship? Do you come late simply because it is more convenient for you and your schedule or desires?

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