“Refined & Reverent - with Results”

Malachi 3:1-5 Dec.10, 2006  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

The Coming – Trivial or Terrible?

 ○     cheery Christmas decorations far from prophet’s imagery
 ○     Lord coming like refiner’s fire, for judgment (1,3,5; Heb 10:27,31; Rev 6:16f)

Context: Casual, Cynical, Uncaring

 ○     contempt toward God: long since return & reconstruction (1:12ff; 2:8,11,17; 3:8,14f)
 ○     may be too casual today in pluralistic atmosphere

Master of the Melt

 ○     huge ladles & ovens at steel mills impressive; care required
 ○     Jesus aims to refine away our impurities, make us eager to do good (3:2f; Is 1:25; 1Pet 1:7; Titus 2:14; 1Cor 3:13)
 ○     arrogant & evildoers stubble to be consumed (Mal 4:1; Lk 3:17)
 ○     only one solution when overtaken by prairie blaze

Give God His Due

 ○     reverence, fear appropriate response to God’s greatness (1:6,11; 2:1,5; 3:16; 4:2)
 ○     don’t ‘rob God’ by neglecting tithes & offerings (3:3f,8)
 ○     ‘offer’ also our bodies, gifts, praise, good deeds (Rom 12:1; Php 4:18; Heb 13:15f)

...And So Treat Others Differently

 ○     wrong to break covenant with marriage partner; adulterers will be judged (3:5; 2:10ff; Heb 13:4)
 ○     perjurers akin to gossips, breaking confidentiality
 ○     be fair towards employees, not withholding wages (Deut 24:14f; Prov 22:22f; Jas 5:4)
 ○     God hears the cry of widows & orphans (Ex 22:22f)
 ○     Nehemiah didn’t ‘lord it over’ as governor, out of reverence for God (Neh 5:15)
 ○     BC churches taking steps to help in homeless crisis