Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Malachi – Week Five


When Divine Grace Masquerades as Discipline (Malachi 2:17-3:6)

 

This week’s study contained a wonderful story that conveyed the idea that God’s best gifts sometimes come in packaging that makes our hands bleed when we open them.  This is so true!  I’ve been here, myself.  Have you?

 

This week’s study asked the question:  Why do I resist God’s discipline since I know He disciplines those He loves?

 

I struggle regularly with the spirit of entitlement that seems to be running rampant in the world today.  I’m sure it’s not a new thing.  I’m just noticing it more often now.  Probably because it’s the shape of the plank in my own eye.  Have you ever noticed that the things we despise in others are part of our own character?  Anyway, this was the first time I ever really thought about it, but entitlement and insecurity really do go hand in hand.

 

The language lesson this week is on the Greek word for patience, makrothymia, meaning “long heat”.  The picture painted in someone who takes a long time to get hot over a situation.  I must confess:  I’m not anywhere near the ballpark on this one!

 

When will I quit trying to bargain with God to get what I want and simply beg for His mercy?  Do you do the same thing?  “I promise to go to church every week if You just get me out of this predicament, God.”  How many times have we done this?  Too many.  And we’re not alone.  Our Scriptural counterparts did it too.

 

Another treasure:  sinners are hypocrites and they are housed inside of critical spirits.  There’s another part of myself I need God to carve out.

 

This week’s activity involved researching and singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”.  This was a very interesting exercise.  I don’t want to spoil the task for you, so I won’t publish my results here.  I will admit, however, that I never knew the lyrics before, and they are beautiful!

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