Posts Tagged ‘ Prayer ’

VerseD: Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:6, ESV

Why would we avoid intimacy with our Creator? The more time we spend privately praying, the more we are aware of God at work in us and our world, the more we desire to share the Son with the world, the more joy and contentment we have.

VerseD: John 15:7

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:7, ESV

When are seeking God and His righteousness, we will want the things He wants and want to ask for the things that line up with His character and will, not selfish desires or unjust, evil requests.

VerseD: Colossians 4:2

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2, ESV

Our world will need constant prayer until Christ’s return, so let us constantly and boldly seek God and thank Him for His power and promises.

Message Series: Malachi 3:16-18

It is about time for a short message series.

For the past few weeks and over the next couple of months, I will upload short messages based on the book of Malachi. It will probably be eight total and based on the section divisions in the English Standard Version of the Bible.

No special titles. Just taking a quick look at what was said.

So read along with me, and let us study what Malachi said to his people about 2,400 years ago.

Malachi 3:16-18

Remember that Malachi literally means “my messenger”, so he is God’s messenger, as all the Prophets were.

Chapter 1 was about God’s love for His covenant people – those who obey and love Him – versus those who refuse to listen to Him. The priests offered lame, sick, and injured animals as sacrifices, basically taking the Lord’s name in vain by calling it acceptable even though they were worthless gifts.

Chapter 2 can be called the passage about “bovine scatology”, because priests then (and many now) led people astray with false teachings. So God rebuked them and showed they are outside of the covenant.

Chapter 2 finishes with God rebuking not only the priests but any who practice what God said not to, and leads into chapter 3 in which God calls out those who call evil good and vice versa (which leads to His eventual judgment!)

Chapter 3 is largely about stealing from God, which was equated to not sharing the Gospel or giving the Church (and thus God) a bad name so that others want nothing to do with Jesus. It is like robbing God of souls.

Now, on to discuss the wrath of God:

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

  • God compares the godless with the godly.
    • Contrast v. 15 with vv. 16-18
  • The deeds of the righteous and unrighteous will be easily seen.
    • This was made after most COVID-19 restrictions were being lifted, but riots are erupting around the USA due to police brutality. Minneapolis (the epicenter, based on the death of George Floyd – a black man who did not deserve the treatment he received) has been literally burning.
    • Seeking revenge is not good, nor wishing/inflicting harm on others as retribution.
      • Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35
  • We need to remember we are not fighting people, but powers, principalities, and authorities: a spiritual war. (Ephesians 6:12)
    • It is proper to be angry, but we must not let our anger lead to sinful acts. (Ephesians 4:26)
    • And we need to remember that we are all sinners in need of grace. (Romans 3:23)
  • God’s got this and hears our prayers and laments:
    • Revelation 5:8; 8:1-5
  • God will avenge – not just us, but His reputation:
    • Revelation 20-21
      • 20:12, 15

VerseD: 1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV

This does not mean we are always on our knees, tucked away in a closet, eyes closed, or however we solemnly pray.
We must be in regular contact with God: reading the Bible, thinking about Him and His Word and Church, and, of course, talking with Him.

VerseD: Joel 2:12

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord , “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;”
Joel 2:12, ESV

To this day, we still rebel against God, and He still calls us to lament our sin and to repentance. He loves us and loves to forgive us when we turn to Him.

VerseD: 2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV

Our God is able to change minds, hearts, and nations.
It only takes trusting His promises and praying as His faithful in Christ.

VerseD: Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:6, ESV

If you only pray publically, are you really connected to God?
It is our quiet, personal time with God that empowers us in the Spirit and helps to conform us to the Son.
How do you grow if you never connect?

VerseD: Matthew 6:11

Give us this day our daily bread
Matthew 6:11, ESV

We trust and ask God to give us just enough for the day, that we may trust Him, depend on Him, and glorify Him.

VerseD: Joel 2:12

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning”
Joel 2:12, ESV

In this life, it is never too late to turn (or return) to God.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Seek His mercy and grace anew today.