Summary: Worship that is worthwhile to God requires priority, preparation and participation.
See if you can help me out and complete the following phrase:
One man’s trash is…
[Wait for answers]
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Because we live in a culture where we tend to rapidly lose interest in things that we just had to have at one point, we have given rise to entire industries that profit from that concept. At the most basic level, we have garage and yard sales where people sell things that they once valued, but in which they have lost interest and no longer need.
At the more commercial level, we have thrift shops that sell these items and pawn shops where people can get money for items that are no longer as valuable as the things they want to buy with the money they get from pawning those items. Then we have the whole self-storage industry that profits from people who actually pay to store these items, thinking that they might need them again someday.
Even television has gotten in on the act with shows like Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, and Storage Wars. Sorry if I offend anyone this morning, but I have a hard time understanding the draw of a television program where people go around buying the contents of storage units that are being auctioned off for failure to pay the storage fees.
Now, like most of you, I’m certainly guilty of having purchased things over the years that I thought I just had to have, only to lose interest in those items and later sell them at a yard sale or give them away to some charity so they could turn around and sell or give those items to someone else who would appreciate them more than I did. In hindsight, that wasn’t very good stewardship on my part, but on the positive side I did make some other people very happy when they were able to obtain those items at a small fraction of what I paid for them.
But unfortunately man’s penchant for losing interest isn’t just limited to our material possessions. That same mindset can easily carry over into the spiritual realm as well. That was certainly true in Malachi’s day, so he addresses that situation in the passage that we heard read earlier in the service today – Malachi 1:6-14. But certainly the attitude Malachi addresses in that passage was not limited to Israel nearly 2,500 years ago. Unfortunately it is still present in our culture today.
Before we take a look at that passage, I want to take a moment to review our main point from the opening verses of the Book of Malachi that we developed last week. Since that particular theme is the key to understanding the entire book of Malachi, we’re going to keep coming back to it each week. Let’s see if you can help me fill in the blanks:
[Wait for answers]
God desires for me to pursue Him
in the same way He has pursued me
With that idea in mind, we’re now ready to tackle the rest of chapter 1 this morning. Since we already heard the passage read earlier, I’m not going to read it again, but I want to encourage all of you to open up your Bible to that passage because you’re going to need to be able to refer back to the passage during the message this morning. Remember that Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and you’ll find it right before the gospel of Matthew in your Bibles.