August 2010 Devotion MP3

This is a short devotion I gave on Malachi 3:3-4 during our evening worship service on August 1, 2010. I tried a little different approach in this devotion.

Below is my rough outline.

Critiques welcomed and encouraged!

I. Introduction
A. Malachi

1. 12th of the Minor Prophets
2. Concludes the Old Testament
3. Last to minister before Christ
4. “My messenger”
5. Returned from exile/temple rebuilt
6. Persian government
7. Violating Mosaic Law
8. Not trusting/living by faith in God

II. Body
A. Open Bible to Malachi 3 (pew #676)

1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. (NIV)

  1. V. 1 foretells of John the Baptist – Matthew 11:10 This is the one about whom it is written:” ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ (NIV)
  2. Lord/messenger of covenant – John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

::::::::::::::::::::::::::Tonight’s verses 3 and 4::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

B. Verse 3 – The Lord the refiner

1. Refined with fire.
2. Impurities removed (Levites too)
3. Offerings brought in faith

C. Verse 4 – Offerings accepted

1. By faith as in the past.
2. Through Jesus sacrifice in New Covenant.

D. Scripture speaks of two types of fire.

1. Eternal fire of God’s judgment for those rejecting Christ.
2. The fire of God’s refinement we are looking at tonight.

III. Closing

A. The refining is painful.

1. Two NT examples

a. Hebrews 12:7-11 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (NIV)

b. 1 Peter 1:6-7 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)

B. How is Christ refining us V 3?

1. Refiner’s illustration

a. God’s work of perfection
b. Conforming us to be like Christ.
c. Remember it’s when He sees the reflection not us.

C. How is God refining you? Us? (Practical)

1. We are family/body of Christ/priesthood

a. Example of wife’s injury.

1. Our plans – good job, baby, house
2. Learned of selfishness, patience, empathy.
3. Wife – trust in God.
4. Not alone.
5. Be there for each other/similar stories.

2. Many issues today through which God is refining us.

a. job loss, financial, death, illness, etc.
b. May not know specific reason.
c. Big picture = God refining you to be Christ-like.
d. Make offerings/worship by holding onto Christ.

Be there for one another. Whatever your situation seek God through prayer and ask for wisdom that He show you where in your life you are not reflecting Christ. And walk in faith as He refines you remembering along the way that while it may be painful to you, it cost Jesus His life.

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