Summary: It is not that we loved God. He loved us. God wants intimacy with us. God chose to establish a relationship with His people
Love Grown Cold
Love Grown Cold
Malachi Chapters 1-4
(See also "Putting God First")
The Book of Malachi begins with Gods declaration: "I have loved you,’ says the Lord"
It is not that we loved God. He loved us. God wants intimacy with us. God chose to establish a relationship with His people.
1. GOD’S GREAT CONCERN: THE PEOPLE HAD LOST THEIR APPETITE OF GOD, THEIR LOVE OVER TIME HAD BEGUN TO GROWN COLD.
The temple had been completed, and the people worshiped there, following the prescribed rituals and offering the required sacrifices.
Haggai and Zechariah were gone, and the religious enthusiasm these prophets stimulated had now drained away.
In 42 of the 55 verses God speaks to exposes those whose love for God has grown cold.
2. BECAUSE OF THIS, GOD WAS BEING ROBBED OF THE HONOR, AND RESPECT DUE HIM.
Mal 1:6 NIV
6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty.
God was honored by mouth only and not in deed
HONOR is important to show respect
True honor more than words it brings a silent and internal homage that produces results.
3. GOD’S PEOPLE HAD LOST THE IMPORTANCE OF HOMAGE, AND SUBMISSION DUE HIM.
When we lose sight of Gods glory, when we fail to grow, our motivation to live for God begins to die.
This is what happened to the people of Judah in Malachi’s day.
They had lost sight of God, they had abandoned hope for personal growth and change.
4. THEY BECAME CARELESS IN GIVING THERE BEST TO GOD
Mal 1:7 NASU
7 "You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, "How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, "The table of the LORD is to be despised.’
Giving becomes a burden, a duty instead of a blessing
Horace Bushnell made this list of those excused from benevolence giving.
Those who believe "every man for himself."
Those who believe that Christ made a mistake when he said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel."
Those who regret that missionaries ever came to our ancestors.
Those who believe that the gospel will not save anybody.
Those who want no share in the final victory.
Those who believe they are not accountable to anybody for the trust they enjoy.
Those who are prepared to accept the final sentence. "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of these, you did not to me."
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 182.
5. HOW WE DEFILE GOD
By anything less than a total surrender or devotion to God
By the best and cleanest of heart mind, identity
Today Spiritual, defilement’s are those of the heart, of the mind, the temper, and the conduct.
Matt 15:18-20 NKJV
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication’s, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
Our mind must be on God, and not diluted by concerns in this world
The importance of : logizomai NT:3049, "think on (these things)," it signifies "make those things the subjects of your thoughtful consideration," or "carefully reflect on them
Phil 4:8 KJV
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things
6. IT IS BY GIVING TO GOD OUR BEST, GOD BRINGS US HIS BEST
The meaning of sacrifice is the deliberate giving of the best I have to God that He may make it His and mine for ever: if I cling to it, I lose it, and so does God.
-- Oswald Chambers, Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 11.
See: Pr 3:9; Mt 10:8; 16:25; 19:21.
It is clear that a sacrifice must consist of praise and thanks, or must at least not be without praise and thanks, if it is to please God. And if it is without praise and thanks, He neither wants nor likes it, as indeed He says (Isa. 1:11): What is your sacrificing to Me? I do not want your offering of incense. We cannot give God anything; for everything is already His, and all we have comes from Him. We can only give Him praise, thanks, and honor.
-- Martin Luther, from What Luther Says. Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 17.