God's Man | Bible in One Year pt 3...

Continuing into Malachi 3...
 
 1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.
 
 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
 
 5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
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Just like with Habakkuk God answers those who use, even their frustrations to earnestly seek the Lord.  The question is, when God comes, who will be able to make an accusation?  When you stand before the Almighty, when you have an honest encounter, what will you say?  The situations of life are there for a reason and we need to make sure that we are always look to God for the reason.  We shouldn't be cursing cruel fate or other nonsense.  Seek what God is trying to show you in every situation.  Read 2-4 again.  He is a refining fire and a cleansing soap.  The frustrations allow the mess to rise to the top so that it can be scooped out.  Praise God for the cleansing!
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 6 “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty.
   “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
 
 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
 
   “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
 
   “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.
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Much has been said an written about tithes and offerings using this scripture as a backdrop.  I won't say anything other than to ask that each examine his heart regarding tithes and offerings.  I say that those that live budgeted lives reap greater rewards.  When we looked at our budget every month the first thing we do is put in our giving numbers.
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 13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the LORD.
   “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
 
 14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
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What does it matter if you don't SEE a return for your service?  Isn't being a servant enough?  Isn't seeking God enough?  If God is not enough then are your motives in the right place?
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 16 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.
 17 “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
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Oh the Promised Return!  God how we long to be reunited with you on that blessed day.
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