Summary: This is the 28th sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#28]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM BEING GOD’S TREASURED POSSESSION
Today is our last 3:16 sermon from the Old Testament. Karen and I really appreciate Ray taking care of the Worship Service last week. Karen and I really enjoyed our time away- On Tuesday and Wednesday we camped and I fished. On Thursday, we drove to Colorado Springs, (I did fish along the way). On Friday, we went to the US Air Force Academy to watch Tharon swim at the Para-World Championship Team Trials. Tharon did pretty well on Friday, (good enough to make the team). Tharon had some ups and some downs at this meet; but he still did well. On Monday, Karen and I drove home.
On Friday, I officially found out that Tharon has made the US World Championship Para-Swim Team. Now, I must tell you that it never gets old to see your kid be successful. It is easy to remember when Tharon medaled in Rio at the Paralympic Games, or when he was recognized by the City of Hobbs, or when he was recognized by Hobbs Schools, or when he was recognized on the floor of the State Senate.
Tharon has many medals and ribbons to prove his success in swimming. Tharon has met many famous and influential people all over the world and most of them remember Tharon. I am very proud of Tharon’s accomplishments; but I must admit that my greatest memories of Tharon’s life is when he gave his life to Christ- When I baptized him- When I hear the stories of all of the lives he has changed.
All of this has meaning to today’s sermon. After I have bragged on Tharon, I want to tell you that it hasn’t all been medals, ribbons, and publicity. There has been conflict over decisions he has made, relationships that he has been in, bad doctor’s reports, etc…; but I have never stopped loving him. In the Book of Malachi, God reminded the Nation of Israel how much He loved them. He also pointed out that they were living in ways that were completely opposite of how He had commanded them to live. That brings us to the point where some of those who had been faithful to God started to talk about how good the Lord had been to them; and the Lord heard them. God said that those people and all others that are found to be righteous are His treasured possessions- That includes us as Christians.
Malachi 3:16-18 (NIV)
“Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
There is hope in…
1. Living a life that honors God.
Do you ever ask yourself, “Why do I bother trying to do the right thing”? “Why should I try to be without sin when God forgives me of my sin? Let me give you the short answer: It’s because God loves you. You are God’s treasured possession. Notice that I said possession. If you are a Christian, then God owns you; but instead of treating you as a slave, Jesus treats you as a friend. You should want to please God with the way you do everything.
There is hope in…
2. Spending time with other Christians.
This small group of Israelites had something in common- They wanted to please and serve God. As they were talking with one another about how great God was in their lives, God was listening. Just as we study God’s Word together today, He is listening. This is the point of fellowship with other Christians- This is the point of being a part of a local congregation of believers in Jesus Christ. We are supposed to strengthen one another. The only way we can be strengthened in Christ is to live like Christ.
Malachi 3:16-18 (MSG)
“Then those whose lives honored GOD got together and talked it over. GOD saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God's presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the GOD-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored GOD's name. GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies said, "They're mine, all mine. They'll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you'll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn't, between serving God and not serving him.”