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Western Piedmont North Carolina Chapter

This Weeks Message
By Preacher Curt

 

What is Your Decision?

They Are Mine (Mal 3:13-18)

God provided an example. They had complained that He was not fair and that they saw no advantage in serving Him. God did not appreciate such talk (v. 13-15).

Verse 16 is a key verse that tells of the reaction of a small group of believers “who feared the Lord.” They “talked with each other,” and the Lord “listened and heard.” Their conversation was more effective than prayer. They prepared minutes of their meeting in which they were conscious of the Lord’s presence. The names of those “who feared the Lord and honored his name” were recorded. God was pleased. Small groups in Jewish synagogues and Christian churches have been keeping records of persons who have committed themselves to God ever since. Verse 17 records the Lord’s pleased response: “They will be mine.” They were His kind of people, and they would be truly His on the day when He makes up His “treasured possession.” They would receive His mercy in the judgment. They would clearly see “the distinction between the righteous and the wicked” (v. 18). These had deliberately chosen to worship God in the way He had prescribed. Jesus made the same point about the different kinds of people in His story about the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:32-46).

                Healing in His Wings (Mal 4:1-6)

Malachi 4:1-3 continues to stress the different effect of judgment on believers and nonbelievers. The beautiful expression of blessing as the rising of “the sun of righteousness . . . with healing in its wings” is memorable and appropriate. Malachi closes with two admonitions that characterize Jewish faith. The first (v. 4) called for readers to remember the law of Moses. The Pentateuch was the Torah of Moses. It came to be the foundation of the Hebrew Bible, the beginning of Christian Scripture. The second (vv. 5-6) spoke of prophecy in the role of Elijah. Such prophetic preaching would prepare the readers for the great day of the Lord, changing attitudes between the generations of believers. The prophetic books of Scripture were part of this tradition of preaching. Christians recognize in this verse the preaching of John the Baptist and of genuine evangelists through the ages.

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Serve God (Mal. 3:13-15)
 

3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

Honor God (Mal. 3:16–4:3)

3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts.

Live by God’s Instruction (Mal. 4:4-6)

Mal 4:4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, [with] the statutes and judgments.

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Mal 4:6

   And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

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• Serve God, no matter what others may say.

• Our choice to fear God or not to fear God has eternal consequences.

• Persevere in faithfulness because God knows, claims, and rewards His faithful people.

• The Scriptures direct us to Christ and instruct us in how to live for Him.