One of the myths we believe in western culture is the importance of being independent. It is a poisonous untruth for us as followers of Jesus. If we are in Christ then not only are we dependent on him for everything, but we belong to him in a family relationship and to his body, the church.Read More
Here we are at the last book in the Old Testament. God’s people have returned from exile in Babylon. The temple and the city walls have been rebuilt. In spite of all that progress, the enthusiasm of the people for the things of God seems to have melted away. Malachi makes it clear that their leaders, especially the priests, bear much of the responsibility for this tragedy.Read More God’s love, sacrifices, priests
Leadership expert John Maxwell says that leadership is influence. Leaders influence people around them both by the words they say and the way they behave. The priests of Malachi’s day come in for more criticism in this passage.
It starts with an accusation that their relationship with God is not right, that they don’t take God seriously.Read More leadership, responsibility, failure, taking God seriously
Malachi’s harsh words of judgment now fall on the common people. His complaint is that they have been unfaithful in their spiritual and human relationships. They have gone after other gods, worshipping them, even disgracing the temple recently rebuilt. Even when they worship, it is not with the heart.Read More judgment, covenant, forgiveness, faithfulness, marriage
The story so far has been to highlight the unfaithfulness of the people of God. The prophet has provided plenty of evidence of their spiritual lethargy and the failure of their leaders to provide godly leadership. This section provides even more evidence of this.
But in contrast stands the unwavering faithful commitment of God to his people.Read More love, God’s faithfulness, God’s love, our image of God
I like to read obituaries. It may seem morbid, but it’s a rather fascinating glimpse into lives so recently vibrant, now gone silent. Just a few hundred words to sum up lifetimes of love and loss and heartache and hope.
“We humans are only a breath,” the psalmist intones, “none of us are truly great.Read More life, safety, peace, meaning