He will purify… and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness. Malachi 3:3
“The Israelites struggled with giving God their damaged goods… When he spoke through the prophet Malachi, He rebuked the Israelites for sacrificing blind, lame, or diseased animals when they had strong animals to offer (Malachi 1:6-8)… At times it can be tempting to give God our leftovers. We praise Him and expect Him to give us His all, yet we offer Him our crumbs.” Xochitl Dixon.
The writer of this devotional offers some exceptional insights into our fickleness as men and women who struggle with holding double standards. We might have wonderful excuses to why we fail to live up to the ways we wish God would treat us. But the truth is we do fail to live up to honoring God as God. We are fickle and instead of treating God as ruler, Lord and King of our lives, we hope we can get away with treating him well on a Sunday morning.
I used to have a saying that I now regret using: “I include God in all of my planning, including my plans to sin.” I used this saying not because I thought God would be pleased with my plans to hold onto my grudges or to do evil to another person, but the honest truth is I believe (and I still do) that it is hard to be fully seen by a God you have proclaimed to love and follow and tell him of such evils you’re looking to commit moving forward. In my planning I would eventually give up my plans and share how foolish they were and disregard the path of destruction for a path of forgiveness or a path of life.
However, I say I regret this saying because I treated my relationship with God as a friend or a lover, not as a God or a King. No servant or employee would walk up to their king or boss and share with them how they plan to derail their plans for their own plans. I can’t even imagine a spouse sharing their intention with their spouse the ways they are looking to destroy their marriage. It was a young, foolish outlook that did help me in some ways to not follow through on my naïve plans.
However, God is not just a friend, lover or compassionate ear for us to share our foolishness with. He is Lord. He is King. He is the one who directs my actions, my thoughts and my prayers to the concern for my marriage, my family, my loved ones, neighbors, community and enemies. He is my everything. Yet I did not treat him with the respect those titles deserve. I left glory on the table because I did not yet understand the commitment God commanded of me in my youth.
Jesus is my king, my lord, my everything because He gave everything for me so I might have a path to live and eternal life. He did not hold back his best from me, nor did He come to be served as Mark 10:45 says. He came to serve, and give up even his own life for his enemies so they might not be held by sin and darkness and the bounds of death. He came to free us. Through His life, death and resurrection, we are being refined like gold and silver. It is through the righteousness of Jesus that we’re able to bring lives fully devoted to God, only if we treat him as He is. King. Lord. Wonderful Saviour!
Prayer of the Day: “Mighty God, please help me place You first and give You my best.
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.
William ConLead Pastor
William has been the Lead Pastor of
Parkland Community Church since Nov. 2018