"Malachi (Pt. 2)"
TEXT: Malachi 3:16; Malachi 1
1. You have been chosen by God if you have received the gospel message and repented of personal sin. This reality is critically important to remember as a child of God. Why? The circumstances and situations that fill our lives can often impress upon our minds and hearts that the opposite is true—that we have been overlooked and ignored by the Creator.
2. God is untamed and does what He wills. Meaning, no human can control the actions or will of God. The Lord does whatever He desires and there is no person or being that can ultimately suppress the work the Lord does in and through humanity.
3. Be careful concerning how you talk about God and His Kingdom if you have been chosen by the Lord. To routinely speak about God in a critical way will inevitably corrupt the motivations within our hearts. As a result, spiritual growth will be halted, our focus shifts from glorifying God to glorifying self, and it often leads to one doubting (or outright denying) the faithfulness and goodness of God.
4. The end of Malachi marks the beginning of a rather bleak period of time for the people of God. The Book of Malachi closes, and it is proceeded by 400 years of silence from the Lord. It is during this period of time when the presence of God seemingly departs from His people. Giving God “leftovers” brought about a very dark season for God’s people. How does this impact present day believers? We need to remember that the same thing can happen in our churches today. We can get to the place where we perform a lot of religious activities but do so without the help and leading of God’s Spirit.
5. Every child of God should strive to live and make decisions in a manner that causes other people to consider the goodness and greatness of God. This heart motivation is essential to our spiritual growth.
6. What are we called to give to God as an offering? Ourselves. We give our whole selves and lives to the Lord for the sake of others. Humanity tends to approach God with a mindset that focuses on what we will get from the Lord, rather than obeying the Lord because it will benefit and help others. The former mindset leads to despair and the latter leads to a blessed life.
7. God wants to be known. And the Church of Jesus Christ is how the Lord has determined He will spread the truth concerning His character and nature.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How should God "choosing" you shape your life, motivations, and decisions?
2. What does it mean to give God your leftovers?
3. What are some examples regarding our speech about the Lord that is unwise to participate in (Truth 3)?
4. What does it mean and look like to give "ourselves" to God? Is this subjective and varies by individual? Or will it look the same for all? Why or why not?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- To understand the impact of being God's chosen
- To be motivated in your heart to obey the Lord for the sake of others