Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
During a runoff Senate primary fight with former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson, early indications were that Congressman Lyndon Johnson had lost. Six days later, however, Precinct 13 in the border town of Alice, Texas, showed a very interesting result. Exactly 203 people had voted at the last minute–in the exact order they were listed on the tax rolls–and 202 of them had voted for Johnson. While Stevenson protested, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black upheld the result, and Johnson squeaked by with an 87-vote victory. For this feat, columnist Drew Pearson gave Johnson the nickname Landslide Lyndon. It was not until July 30, 1977, that Luis Salas, the election judge in Alice, admitted that he and southern Texas political boss George Parr (who had killed himself in 1975) had rigged the election.
Scripture tells us that you can be sure that your sin will find you out. The people of Israel during the time of the prophet Malachi were only a few years removed from the godly leadership of a man named Nehemiah. In 52 days they had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, they had recaptured the law of God for Israel, and they had experienced a great season of revival. However, a handful of years later they had drifted right back into sinfulness and complacency toward God. Men were robbing God of the tithe. Divorce and broken relationships were rampant. He says here that they were bringing blemished sacrifices to the altar of God.
In steps Malachi with a scathing prophecy from the Lord. The summary of His message is found right here in the first chapter. The Lord was not pleased with their half-hearted, part-time, all bogus praise. He would not accept their leftovers or obligatory praise. Listen, you may cheat God of the worship and obedience due His name, but you will never cheat Him of His glory. He will be glorified either through my obedience or through my chastisement. The truth is you really don’t cheat God, you only cheat yourself of the opportunity to experience his power, peace, provision, and joy. The Lord wants and deserves all of us all the time.
Friend, you may ignore the Lord but the Lord never ignores our sin. You can think that because you turn a blind eye to Jesus that somehow He turns a blind eye to you, but the Lord does not slumber nor sleep. He is not absent minded or uninvolved in His creation. His eyes roam to and fro throughout the earth looking for men and women whose hearts are completely His.
Don’t cheat yourself or attempt to cheat the Lord. Give Him the glory due His name, and give yourself the privilege of experiencing the grace and power of the Lord in a special way. Obey Him. Worship Him. Follow Him….with all your heart.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, forgive me for half-hearted praise and part-time obedience. You want all of me all the time. I surrender fresh and new to You today and ask that You have Your way in me once again. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.