Morning Musing: Malachi 4:1-2

“‘For look, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,’ says the Lord of Armies, ‘not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

For the last couple of days we have been talking about this tension around the worthwhileness of serving the Lord and striving to do life His way. Yet even as we have been trying to resolve tension, we have left some hanging there each day. With what we see here at the beginning of chapter 4, we are going to repeat this pattern yet one more time, but hopefully with more weight on the resolution than remaining tension. Let’s dig in.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 3:18

“So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

We left things yesterday in an uncomfortable place. Israel in the days of Malachi was in an uncomfortable place. When the people of God are asking whether or not it is really worthwhile to be the people of God, things aren’t good. And for us who seek to follow Jesus today, even knowing what we know from the Scriptures, we sometimes wonder the same thing. Today we get a resolution of sorts. It may not be all we think we want, but it is what God gives and so let’s talk about why it should be enough.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:2b-4

“For he will be like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s bleach. He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord as in days of old and years gone by.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you want your children to be happy or good? Of course, as parents we want both. But the reality is that we very often have to choose one or the other. The reason is fairly simple. Happy is a feeling and good is a character. What makes them happy in the moment may very well come into direct conflict with what will train them to be good in the long term. That is, the two are often mutually exclusive of one another in any given moment because of the tension between what they want and what they should have. God understands this too, and His preference is always for good. The result is just what Malachi describes here.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We could all use just a little bit more listening lately, couldn’t we? And yet, here I am speaking…well, writing anyway. But I tend to write like I talk (as perhaps the audio gives away), so I guess I’m speaking. I’ve actually had the opportunity lately to be a part of a few different conversations on recent events. I’m grateful for that. I’ve learned much and also had reaffirmed some things I thought to be true beforehand. May I share some of that with you?

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Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 2:6b-8

“Woe to him who amasses what is not his–how much longer?–and loads himself with goods taken in pledge. Won’t your creditors suddenly arise, and those who disturb you wake up? Then you will become spoil for them. Since you have plundered many nations, all the peoples who remain will plunder you–because of human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the principles that spans both testaments of the Bible and in fact can be found in some form across many different religions is that we will reap what we sow. The choices that we make now will eventually become the reality facing us when the future arrives. We cannot live however we please without experiencing the consequences of this. While this may be a bit of a disconcerting idea when we are the ones who are making the poor choices, in general, this should be a point of great comfort and encouragement. Let’s talk about why.

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