Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Malachi – Week Three


Going Big or Going Home (Malachi 1:6-14)

 

This week’s study asked the question:  How has fear made me less generous with my time, affection and money?

 

The story of Lisa’s friend who repeatedly received horrible gifts from her mother-in-law had me in tears.  If I were Lisa’s friend, I would feel distant from and devalued by my m-i-l.  As I continued reading the lesson, I was mightily convicted – similarly to how I imagine King David was when Nathan posed a question about a rich man who took a poor man’s lamb and David reacted furiously only to learn that he was the rich man!  I realized that my gifts to the Lord are frequently cheap!

 

I learned that when I honor God, I give Him weight.  This also tells me that my gift should be heavy, a burden, a sacrifice to carry.  Whether I’m intentionally holding back from God or not, my disrespect of Him stinks!

 

Abel gave his best!  Cain gave the moldy and wrinkled.  I want to be like Abel.  I want to be enthusiastic about my work.  I want to give of my firstfruits, not the leftovers.  It’s easy to get fired up and motivated initially, but the passage of time and lack of commitment and lack of focus can become our enemies when it comes to giving God our best.  To maintain that enthusiasm, we must pray and read and study His Word and engage Him in worship.  He doesn’t let go of us, we let go of Him.

 

This week’s nifty activities included writing Psalm 51:12 on two index cards and giving them to Christian friends who will prayerfully consider your life in relation to the scripture and write down where they haven’t observed joy in your life.  What a wonderful exercise!  I pray you all have someone that you can trust to do this.  A second activity was to sacrifice an item from your closet or jewelry box.  Wow!  Life-changing stuff.

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