I hope that you have enjoyed the Thanksgiving festivities with your family and friends. I am looking forward to being with my FaithPoint family tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow, we will be in week 5 of our Unstoppable series. There are only four weeks left until our Christmas service. I am excited. Each week in the Unstoppable series is building up to our Christmas sermon. I hope that each week as we progress through our Unstoppable series that you are taking one more step to recovering the awe of the birth of Jesus and the wonders of His love.
Tomorrow we will be in the book of Joel. I cannot wait.
Here are the week 4 notes from last Sunday:
The text for this week’s sermon is Malachi 3:1-5. The title for this week’s sermon is: Calling All The Messengers.
In churches, Malachi is used a lot for sermons on tithes and giving. There is much more to the book of Malachi than just those few verses.
Here is a little about Malachi:
Malachi is a post – exile prophet. Cyrus decreed in 538 B.C. that the Jews were free to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple. The Babylonian captivity was over. Malachi’s ministry takes place 80 years after Haggai and Zechariah. Most theologians believe that Malachi’s ministry happened in the same time frame as the ministries of both Ezra and Nehemiah.
Malachi’s name means: my messenger or messenger of the LORD. Malachi defined his calling not the other way around.
Malachi calls out the people based on their hypocritical worship and dishonoring of God by their worthless offerings. Malachi calls out the priests for condoning these actions and violating the covenant that God set up with Levi.
Malachi explains to the people that God has cursed them because of their behavior.
They were cursed because of their hearts. Their hearts were dark and sinful. They said that they loved God but betrayed him with their hearts.
Malachi’s ministry is a foreshadowing of another messenger.
By definition, a messenger as one purpose. To carry the message that is given to them to its pre-determined destination.
Your purpose as a Christian is defined in one section of Scripture. Matthew 22:37-39
If you love God and love other people:
- You want to progress in sanctification
- Your desires, passion and devotion become those of Jesus
- You desire to see lost people come to know Jesus as their Redeemer King
- You give
- You serve
- You bear fruit that is keeping with repentance
- You are being transformed by the Word of God
If you are a Christian, you are a disciple. A disciple is a missionary. A missionary is a messenger. All of the terms are interchangeable. You cannot be a missionary and not be a disciple. You cannot be a disciple and not be a messenger.
There is a process that Malachi hits on that we must look at. We find out that Jesus is the refiner’s fire.
I once used the illustration of the making of a sword to help you understand the process of sanctification. This is what you need to remember.
The fire is necessary.
To embrace your calling, to fully step into who you are in Jesus – you must realize that you will be molded and shaped by Jesus in the fire…not apart from it.
The fire shows you what is in you that needs to be purged. Jesus is the fire that purges our hearts of sin and wickedness and He replaces what He removes with more of Himself.
If there is anything in your life that you are more passionate about than Jesus, you have made that thing your idol and Jesus is not your priority, therefore, you are walking in willful disobedience.
Jesus says that we are a city on a hill. Our light is to shine so bright that we pierce the darkness so that people can see the truth.
If the people in your life are stumbling around in the darkness because you fail to shine your light, you are the one held responsible.
Somewhere, a thought comes into your head and tells you that you don’t want to be offensive. That’s right. The gospel by itself is offensive enough. It doesn’t need your help.
You are called to speak the truth in love. The gospel is truth and the truth hurts. The truth is offensive. Look at Jeremiah, Micah, and Malachi.
You are not called to be offensive for the sake of being offensive.
You are called to deliver the message that was given to you.
Don’t try to be somebody else. Be the messenger that God created you to be.
You are not alone.
We are on this journey together. We want to be the messengers that God created us to be so that we can make a dent in the darkness in Middle Georgia.
God has issued you the call.
Will you say, “Here I am. Send me.”?