Can it be True? – Malachi 1:1-5 – Sermon Notes

‘Really? When was that?’

They’re asking God when has he loved us. They want to be reminded of the point of serving him. Life seems to be harder this way. This was a collective problem. It all started when they muttered with one another. These people still looked spiritual. They still prayed and went to the temple but settled without really going anywhere. They denied being radically changed. There’s quite a lot of this collective problem in the church today. We wind each other up into being unenthusiastic. God has answers.

‘Jacob I have friended, Esau I have enemied’

God shocks them with this phrase. Jacob was the nastier brother. God has chosen to befriend him. God treats some people differently. He talks about his special care or love that he has for his people. That’s given by his kindness and not by what we’ve done. It is true that we don’t get to do whatever we like but Malachi is saying ‘wake up’.

We often want what they have

A common Christian illness. God is saying why fill your life with stuff that’s not going to last. Their answer is that it’s fun. It’s foolish to chase the things other people chase. Apple products etc.

 

– Not just their God

 

Jesus is Lord of everything in the world. It will be abundantly clear. The only reaction when Jesus clears all the stuff away will be ‘what a fool I was’. We have the amazing privilege of being a friend of God and not an enemy. The things we chase won’t last. Jesus rules over everything.

Stop Pointing the Finger – Malachi 1:6-2:9 – Sermon Notes

There’s always someone

They saw the world around them and how wicked seemed to prosper and pointed the finger at them. They were forgetting something. God had a plan for bringing justice to the world without everyone being destroyed. That’s not the way it worked out as we see there’s an issue with the plan that depends on people being won over.

God’s people were rubbish

They didn’t want to give their stuff to him. They were self righteous. This is a warning if we think that we’ll never be like them.

Their sacrifices weren’t sacrificial

They brought God the animals that would’ve died anyway. They respected their governor more. The sacrifices were a burden to them and were dishonest. They made it worse by lying. The plan was to show the world that God is great. What they do is the opposite. The NT says we are to all offer our whole lives as sacrifices to God as gratitude for being saved. In our attitude, we would rather keep our own stuff. If you pray, where is the honour and trust that is due to your Father? If we sing to Jesus, where is the respect due to your Lord? Jesus is a great king who should be fully honoured.

God’s people talked rubbish

It gets worse. God turns to the priests who he says have not set their hearts to honour his name. God is furious. Anyone who is a Christian is a priest and has received God’s amazing promises and commissioned to tell them to the world. This is a powerful wake up call. Stop making the plans you want and saying to God he can have what’s left. The people kept on like this and 100 years later, God shut the temple doors for good.

Need someone to: give perfection to God, from God; deal with God’s anger in my place; exactly express to the world what God wants to say; change me – I shouldn’t be doing this.

Jesus is God’s word. Perfect expression of God’s character. Ultimate priest.

Stop insisting that you’ve done your best. Not true. Stop pointing the finger talking as if you’re better.

Jesus really is the best. How he loves. He is the best sacrifice, the perfect priest. If you are a child of Jesus, honouring him will be your great concern. A son does honour his Father and a servant does honour his Master.

God’s Treasured Possession – Malachi 3:13-4:6

The people caught in the vicious are religious but desire the things that people who aren’t followers have. Is Malachi overreacting? Divorce, temple sacrifices, money. We find out why. Malachi says that being caught in this circle is dangerous because in the end, you’ll give up.

Bad End

‘What progress have I made towards my goals by following God’s requirements?’. If you aim for things that non Christians aim for, you’ll find that you won’t get those things living as a Christian. Eventually you’ll give up and attempt to take others with you. It’s not that God is unjust. It’s that we are ready to be harsh against Him.

Good talk

Those who feared the Lord talked with each other. We need to express to each other how we should treat God and how we know that we haven’t. Isn’t it amazing to overhear God call you his treasured possession? Doesn’t it drown out all the competing things we long for. One day, righteousness will rise over the earth.

Bad End – The Sequel

The people being warned aren’t outside, they’re inside. This is a reminder to the people who don’t hear, who do what they like, the arrogant. They will join the evildoers on that day. Wicked is what they are. They lived in God’s world but used it as a way to be self righteous. They still thought it was fine to treat God with contempt. ‘Remember’ is one of the last words of the OT. If you see the symptoms of half hearted Christianity in yourself, you need to remember.

Take the warning and remember

There are people who come to church but their attitude in their heart is bitter. They will eventually give up. Some day, God will distinguish between those who serve him and those who don’t.

John the Baptist did arrive 400 years later and was like Elijah. God sent a curse as people wouldn’t turn to him. Jesus took the curse so we can keep going.

Stealing God’s Money – Malachi 3:6-12 – Sermon Notes

The author says it’s not right to respond to injustice by disobeying God.

You moved, not me (v6-7)

Noticed this tendency to rarely thank God when things are good and quick to blame God when things are bad. God doesn’t change. So these people, the descendants of Jacob who were letting God down, were not destroyed. They feel distant from God but he says that the reason is that throughout their history they have turned away from God.

All Christians are as close and welcomed to God as they can be. Often when we get like the people in this book, it’s because we have moved away and chosen to trust other things. God says he doesn’t change and will always take us back with kindness if we want to.

Stop robbing God (v8-9)

These people were robbing God by not giving him their tithes and offerings. If they did that, God said, they would be blessed. This is where a sermon could go wrong.

Jesus brings us the perfect offering. He is the light that calls people to him. He came to give us the gift. The blessing he has received from God.

Bring in the whole tithe (v10-12)

Tithing never features in the NT. We no longer keep the laws they kept to get the blessings they were promised. Jesus changes us so that we give more and more of all we have to God. We need to give things up and put all things at Jesus’ disposal because he has proved he deserves my thanks and trust. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.

Marriage Matters – Malachi 2:10-3:5 – Sermon Notes

These people knew there was a real God who was interested in the world and wondered why he wouldn’t intervene. They’d given up serving him in their hearts. Images of fire and soap are used. All of us have created injustice. God has a plan to restore. However the people took the gift of knowing God and continued to do what was right for them.

Marrying out

This is an abomination. The Lord said his place has been vandalised by people marrying others who are outside the people of God. God says they should be cut off. It’s serious because it is breaking faith. It shows that they’re doing what’s right for them. Injustice in the world? It can just continue as long as I do what’s right for me.

Divorce

People were doing outward stuff but God says to them that he’s not interested in them as they’ve got rid of their wives of their youth. They’ve broken faith. God is addressing the issue where someone decides they don’t love the other person anymore. God hates divorce.

Both issues are similar in that we’ve forgotten what marriage is for. Instead of displaying his fatherhood, they do what everyone else does. We are serial faith breakers and yet, some people will stand when he comes. When justice comes, we’ll all be on the wrong side of it. Who can endure it? Some people can. There will be a moment of judgment. Jesus made a way for us to be made pure. We are justified before God. He is the ultimate husband. All of us are faithless to the promises God has made us.

Can It Be True? – Malachi 1:1-5 – Sermon Notes

‘Really? When was that?’

They’re asking God when has he loved us. They want to be reminded of the point of serving him. Life seems to be harder this way. This was a collective problem. It all started when they muttered with one another. These people still looked spiritual. They still prayed and went to the temple but settled without really going anywhere. They denied being radically changed. There’s quite a lot of this collective problem in the church today. We wind each other up into being unenthusiastic. God has answers.

‘Jacob I have friended, Esau I have enemied’

God shocks them with this phrase. Jacob was the nastier brother. God has chosen to befriend him. God treats some people differently. He talks about his special care or love that he has for his people. That’s given by his kindness and not by what we’ve done. It is true that we don’t get to do whatever we like but Malachi is saying ‘wake up’.

We often want what they have.

A common Christian illness. God is saying why fill your life with stuff that’s not going to last. Their answer is that it’s fun. It’s foolish to chase the things other people chase. Apple products etc.

Not just their God

Jesus is Lord of everything in the world. It will be abundantly clear. The only reaction when Jesus clears all the stuff away will be ‘what a fool I was’. We have the amazing privilege of being a friend of God and not an enemy. The things we chase won’t last. Jesus rules over everything.