Sept. 30, 2009
Read Malachi 1
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Casual attitude toward the Lord and worship. Their worship is sloppy and the priests neglect the commands of God. Unworthy sacrifices indicate no honor or respect (1:7-10,12-14). The Messiah, worthy of pure offerings (3:2-3). Repent (3:6-9). Support the work of the Lord (3:10-12). Get ready! Judgment cometh (4:1-6)!
To illustrate our responsibility and relationship with our Heavenly Father, Malachi was led by the Holy Spirit to write: A son honoureth his father. and a servant his master: If then I be a Father, where is Mine honour? and if I be a Master, where is My fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you (1:6).
Malachi said the Israelites were thieves in robbing God of His tithes and offerings (3:8).
The Israelites were instructed: Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase (Prov. 3:9). Surely as Christians we recognize that the standard of responsibility or loving liberality has not been lowered in the Kingdom of Christ. With all our privileges and opportunities to teach the world His Word, how could we think of giving less? Since we know that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), our motivation surely would be to give at least a tenth of our income.
The principle of tithing precedes the giving of the Law by more than 500 years and was introduced by Abraham, the father of all them that believe (Rom. 4:11,16; Gal. 3:6-9), who gave to Melchizedek (the Lord's representative). . . . tithes of all (Gen. 14:18-20; Prov. 3:9-10;11:24-25; II Cor. 8:12;9:6-8). Hebrews records that this event set a spiritual precedent for the Levites who have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the Law (Heb. 7:5).
Jesus said: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's (Matt. 22:21). To refuse to give unto God the things that are God's is to keep for ourselves what is His. We are, at best, only stewards, caretakers, or managers. If, through selfishness or neglect, we keep for ourselves what belongs to His ministry, we are guilty of both robbing God and depriving lost souls of knowing the Lord by receiving His Word.
A tithe is merely what we owe. Offerings (Mal. 3:8) go beyond a tithe and are an expression of our love and gratitude for the privilege of being stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us. Jesus said: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt. 6:21).
Thought for Today:
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself (Prov. 11:25).
The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple (Mal. 3:1). Jesus went into the Temple. . . . saying . . . My House shall be called . . . the House of prayer (Mark 11:15-17).
1:6 fear = reverence, willing obedience; 1:13 snuffed at = sneered, lightly esteemed, despised, scorned; 2:12 The Lord will cut off . . . the master (who hath married the daughter of a strange god — see 2:11) and the scholar = the priest and the layman will be rejected; 3:13 Your words have been stout against Me = your attitude has been harsh, strong against Me.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Official: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) • Country: El Salvador (5.9 million) in Central America • Major language: Spanish • Some intolerance of Protestants by government officials • 75% Catholic; 20% Protestant; .5% Baha'i; 2.5% Other; 2% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be sensitive to give God the praise for everything He does (Ps. 40:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:4