Today's Devotions

Showcase: Forgiveness

  • Total Forgiveness, RT Kendall +

    This was a valuable resource for me in a time of hurt from a brother in Christ. I could not Read More
  • Forgiveness: Desmond Tutu +

    Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu explains how love and forgiveness kept post-apartheid South Africa from tumbling into anarchy. Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/2-chronicles/34.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/revelation/20.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/malachi/2.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/john/19.html

ONE OF THE SIGNS THAT A culture is coming apart is that its people do not keep their commitments. When those commitments have been made to or before the Lord, as well as to one another, the offense is infinitely compounded.

There is something attractive and stable about a society in which, if a person gives his or her word, you can count on it. Huge deals can be sealed with a handshake because each party trusts the other. Marriages endure. People make commitments and keep them. Of course, from the vantage point of our relatively faithless society, it is easy to mock the picture I am sketching by finding examples where that sort of world may leave a person trapped in a brutal marriage or a business person snookered by an unscrupulous manipulator. But if you focus on the hard cases and organize society on growing cynicism, you foster selfish individualism, faithlessness, irresponsibility, cultural instability, crookedness, and multiplied armies of lawyers. And sooner or later you will deal with an angry God.

For God despises faithlessness (Mal. 2:1-17). Within the postexilic covenant community of ancient Israel, some of the worst examples of such faithlessness were bound up with the explicitly religious dimensions of the culture—but not all of them:

(1) The lips of the priest should “preserve knowledge” and “from his mouth men should seek instruction—because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty” (Mal. 2:7). The priest was to revere God and stand in awe of his name (Mal. 2:5), convey true instruction (Mal. 2:6), and maintain the way of the covenant (Mal. 2:8). But because the priests have proved faithless at all this, God will cause them to be despised and humiliated before all the people (Mal. 2:9). So why is it today that ministers of the Gospel are rated just above used car salesmen in terms of public confidence?

(2) As do some other prophets (e.g., Ezek. 16, 23), Malachi portrays spiritual apostasy in terms of adultery (Mal. 2:10-12).

(3) Unsurprisingly, faithlessness in the spiritual arena is accompanied by faithlessness in marriages and the home (Mal. 2:13-16). Oh, these folk can put on quite a spiritual display, weeping and calling down blessings from God. But God simply does not pay any attention. Why not? “It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant” (Mal. 2:14).

(4) More generically, these people have wearied the Lord with their endless casuistry, their moral relativism (Mal. 2:17).

“So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith” (Mal. 2:16).

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Prayer by Alex Kirk, Chatham Community Church +

    What role does prayer play in our lives? What is prayer, anyway? Alex Kirk, pastor of Chatham Community Church, gives Read More
  • How to be Mary in a Martha world by Jim Abrahamson, Chatham Community Church +

    Jim Abrahamson spoke at Chatham Community Church on an essential of the Christian walk Who/what is our savior? What is Read More
  • Christ the King Sunday by Art Going (Holy Trinity Chatham) +

    A thoughtful discussion of how we function as colonizers for Christ the King.  Read More
  • MY STUPID MOUTH by Steve Tamayo of Chatham Community Church +

    Tremendous sermon on the liabilities of our tongue, both in what we say and don't say. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • My Soul Cries Out in Worship +

    Over the past ten years, Vicki Yohe has written some of the most popular songs sung in churches. This song Read More
  • Worship Matters: A blog by Bob Kauflin +

    Worship Matters is a blog by Bob Kauflin. Good, inspired food for one's soul. http://www.worshipmatters.com/ Read More
  • Worship Wars in Bethany +

    Jim Abrahamson preached on the worship wars in Bethany in 2003.http://sermons.biblechurch.org/2003_08_03.final.mp3 Read More
  • The Greatest Treasure Remains: Come, Now is the Time for Worship +

    Come, now is the time to worship Read More
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