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Sunday, January 31st, 2021 - AM - Bible Sunday! In Spirit & Truth (Mal. 1-4)
      • Malachi 3:1KJV

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      • 2 Peter 3:18KJV

  • I Am Thine, O Lord
  • Holy! Holy! Holy!
      • Malachi 3:1–4KJV

  • Take My Life, and Let It Be
  • Formal Elements / Descriptive Data
    Text: Malachi
    CIT: God’s people must learn to worship Him in spirit and in truth now in preparation for His coming Kingdom on earth
    Proposition: Heartfelt and pure worship of God is the best cure for discouragement and disappointment.
    Statement of Purpose:
    (1) MO – Devotional
    (2) SO – I want my hearers to realize their possible sin of backsliding and be called to draw near to God in a heart of pure worship as they battle potential discouragement over the apparent delay of the Lord’s Second Coming
    Title (Topic/Name): In Spirit and Truth
    Informal Elements / Rhetorical Data

    Introduction:

    Start Low
    John 4:13–26 KJV 1900
    13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
    · Malachi – “My Messenger”
    · Note – “Listen up! Because you won’t hear from Me for four more centuries!” (Emphasize Bible Sunday)
    · Describe how this final Book of the OT, written after the messages of Zechariah and Haggai had grown cold in the hearts of God’s Remnant who became apathetic to His work, calls God’s people through Malachi to repent while providing them with the hope that the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises of salvation and deliverance were still yet to come. Explain how that when God is robbed of genuine worship (in spirit and truth), really we rob ourselves of His blessings. Discuss some areas where God might be robbed in our worship today: lack of holiness, tyranny of the urgent, lost sight of His promises (e.g. see John 4 and Jesus’ comments about worship).
    God’s people must learn to worship Him in spirit and in truth now in preparation for His coming Kingdom on earth
    Heartfelt and pure worship of God is the best cure for discouragement and disappointment.
    Body – Development – Outline:

    I. Getting Worship Right Begins with a Full Disclosure of Sin’s Exposure (Mal. 1:1-3:15)

    EXP: Go Slow

    Don’t Reject God’s Love; Recognize It! (Mal. 1:1-5)

    Malachi 1:1–5 KJV 1900
    1 The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: Yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, And laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; And they shall call them, The border of wickedness, And, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.
    Note - When all you can focus on is the bad, and you have become blinded to how God might be working through your trials, it is safe to say you are in the fast lane on the highway to apathy. When did you stop caring like you once cared?

    Deal with Sin in the Priesthood (Mal. 1:6-2:9)

    Malachi 1:6–2:9 KJV 1900
    6 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, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; And ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; Will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: This hath been by your means: Will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? Neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, Neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; And in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: For my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; And the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! And ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; And ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; Thus ye brought an offering: Should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, And voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: For I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, And my name is dreadful among the heathen. 1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, To give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: Yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, And spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; And one shall take you away with it. 4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, That my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; And I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, And was afraid before my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, And iniquity was not found in his lips: He walked with me in peace and equity, And did turn many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, And they should seek the law at his mouth: For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 8 But ye are departed out of the way; Ye have caused many to stumble at the law; Ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, According as ye have not kept my ways, But have been partial in the law.
    Note - When the god you serve becomes “god of the left-overs,” it is safe to say you have become apathetic in your worship.

    Deal with Sin Among the People (Mal. 2:10-3:15)

    Malachi 2:10–3:15 KJV 1900
    10 Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, By profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, And an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; For Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, And hath married the daughter of a strange god. 12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, Out of the tabernacles of Jacob, And him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts. 13 And this have ye done again, Covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, Insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, Or receiveth it with good will at your hand. 14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, Against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: Yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: For one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: Therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. 17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, And he delighteth in them; Or, Where is the God of judgment? 1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, Even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, As in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; And I will be a swift witness Against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, And against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, The widow, and the fatherless, And that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, Saith the Lord of hosts. 6 For I am the Lord, I change not; Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, And he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: For ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. 13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: And what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, And that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call the proud happy; Yea, they that work wickedness are set up; Yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
    Note - When you get to the place where it no longer bothers you to break your promises, or renege on your responsibilities, it is safe to say that you are completely apathetic.
    APP:
    The priests' insensitivity to sin lead to rationalizing it which culminated in rebellion through the hardness of their hearts.
    · When we become numb and past feeling as to the devastating effects of our sin, we will easily rationalize our blatant disregard for God's Word and will. Our hearts will harden and our necks will stiffen until we must be chastened through the Lord's displeasure.
    · How would any reasonable father or employer handle the same disregard for family or business policy? Should we expect the Lord to turn a blind eye to our iniquities? No, He through Christ bore our infirmities, and our sins were laid upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
    · Unfaithfulness to church begins with unfaithfulness at home.
    · Polished pretense is a sorry substitute for the real power of God in both your private and public life.
    · Guard your spirit against a traitors disposition.
    · You can fool your family, and you can fool your pastor, but you cannot fool God.
    · Mixed spiritual marriages lead to messed up spiritual mindsets.
    Note - Sin destroys our ability to rightly and fully worship the Lord. When we see sin for what it truly is as it separates us from fellowship (Is. 59:1-2), we can begin to agree with God about it, and see our need for a remedy, that remedy is not found by works, but by faith in Jesus.
    Isaiah 59:1–2 KJV 1900
    1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
    Heartfelt and pure worship of God is the best cure for discouragement and disappointment. Let God’s Word and Spirit shine the spotlight on your life to expose the damage sin has done between you and Him.
    TS: Sin begins with rejection of God’s love and impacts us as well as those we are called to serve, but -
    EXP:

    II. Getting Worship Right Rests on the Choice You Make: Blessing or Punishment? (Mal. 3:16-4:3)

    Climb Higher
    Malachi 3:16–4:3 KJV 1900
    16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: And the Lord hearkened, and heard it, And a book of remembrance was written before him For them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, In that day when I make up my jewels; And I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, Between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. 1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; And all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: And the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, That it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise With healing in his wings; And ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet In the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.
    APP:
    In light of God's immutable righteousness, we putrefy in our sinful darkness; but there is hope in His compassionate mercy through His provision for sinners.
    Beware His holiness, believe His mercy, repent and receive His salvation.
    Israel was to be getting ready for their Messiah to come. He has come, just as they were promised He would (Gabriel, Zachariah, John, Jesus). He has completed the first of His Advents, and now, we as His church await His Second Advent in glory. When He came the first time, Jesus came to provide righteousness to lost sinners through His atoning death on the cross. When He comes again, He will do so to provide righteousness across the earth, with worldwide peace and prosperity.
    Like Israel was to wait for Him, and serve Jehovah in faithfulness, we too similarly await the return of Christ, and are called to serve Him faithfully till He comes to catch His bride away. God's covenantal promises were true for Israel, and Jesus' promises are just as true for His disciples today. The world was to know God through Israel's testimony, as God fulfilled His promises to bless them if they continued in His Law; and today, the world can know Jesus as we continue in His Word.
    Heartfelt and pure worship of God is the best cure for discouragement and disappointment. Make the right choice for God.
    TS: You may have fallen away from living for God but you can still choose to turn around before it is too late, consider that -
    EXP:

    III. Getting Worship Right Is Critical - God’s Invitation Still Stands, But You Have Been Duly Warned (Mal. 4:4-6)

    Take Fire
    Malachi 4:4–6 KJV 1900
    4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, Which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, And the heart of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
    ILL: The Day of the LORD
    The Day of the Lord: Preparation (Mal. 4:4–6). Two Old Testament prophets foreshadow what is to come.
    A. Moses: Holiness before God is stressed through the Law of Moses. (Mal. 3:1, 2; Gal. 3:19–24);
    Malachi 3:1 KJV 1900
    1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, Even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
    Malachi 3:2 KJV 1900
    2 But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
    Galatians 3:19–24 KJV 1900
    19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    B. Elijah: Repentance in preparation for the Lord’s return is stressed through Elijah (Matt. 3:1–12).
    Matthew 3:1–12 KJV 1900
    1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
    The Sun of Righteousness has risen to make us ready for that Day. Are you ready? [Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook, 2005 Edition. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, n.d.), 31.]
    APP: “I am the Lord, I change not” means that both His mercy as well as His holiness are still in operation today.

    Conclusion:

    Missionary Amy Carmichael worked with children in India, and one day she took them on a field trip to see a goldsmith refine his gold after the ancient manner of the East. He was sitting beside a little charcoal fire, and in the fire was a little curved roofing tile. Another tile covered it as a lid. This was the crucible.
    The goldsmith had concocted a solution, put it in the tile crucible, placed the lump of gold in the solution, and put the whole thing in the fire. As the fire did its work, the impurities in the gold began to leak into the solution and the gold become more pure. The goldsmith would occasionally take the gold out of the crucible with a pair of tongs, let it cool, and rub it between his fingers. Then he put it back into fresh solution in the tile and heated it up again.
    Every time this happened, the goldsmith blew the fire hotter than before. Looking up at the children, the goldsmith said, “The gold could not bear the fire this hot to begin with; it would have destroyed it. But now it helps it.”
    One of the children asked, “How do you know when the gold is purified?” Here was the man’s answer: “When I can see my face in it (the liquid gold in the crucible) then it is pure.”
    Of course, Amy Carmichael couldn’t miss the lesson for her own life. When our Great Refiner sees in us His own image, He has brought us to maturity and wholeness. He uses truth to cultivate wisdom; trials to cultivate faith; tasks to cultivate faithfulness, and temptation to cultivate obedience until He can see His face in us and we have grown into the image of Christ. Is that process happening in your life? [Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook, 2009 Edition. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, n.d.), 89.]
    Heartfelt and pure worship of God is the best cure for discouragement and disappointment. Get worship right - let God’s Word and Spirit shine the spotlight on where you have drifted and then make the correction to get back on course. Choose the path of blessing. Heed God’s invitation to enter into His presence.
      • John 4:13–26KJV

      • Malachi 1:1–3:15KJV

      • Malachi 1:1–5KJV

      • Malachi 1:1–5KJV

      • Malachi 1:6–2:9KJV

      • Malachi 2:10–3:15KJV

      • Isaiah 59:1–2KJV

      • Malachi 3:16–4:3KJV

      • Malachi 3:16–4:3KJV

      • Malachi 4:4–6KJV

      • Malachi 4:4–6KJV

      • Malachi 3:1KJV

      • Malachi 3:2KJV

      • Galatians 3:19–24KJV

      • Matthew 3:1–12KJV

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