Only The Best For The Highest

We live in a time when not only the vast majority have a very skewed view of God, but when much of “christendom” {1} grossly misrepresents Him. It is best to listen to God Himself, which we shall do as we explore a passage in the last prophetic book of the Old Testament.
Only The Best For The Highest
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

The grace of God is a most marvelous thing but it is very often inadequately expressed, incorrectly expressed, or both. This is true of how God is thought of, and all of this adversely affects the salvation of men {2}. This skewing of God and His grace has its roots in the lack of knowledge and application of His written Word. Passages like Malachi 1:6 to 14 seem to be disregarded. We see from that section of Holy Scripture that each Christian should do their best for God. For the purposes of this current message we will concentrate on Malachi

1:6 to 9, and the last part of 1:14.

While this passage was originally for the Jews and their priests, it is for the true Christian because we are a kingdom of priests. Also, sometimes some of the sacrifices not only represented Christ, but also each individual Christian. With this in mind we will now look at our selected passage and find the following five directives for each disciple to do and give their best for the God Who lovingly and mercifully redeemed them from their sins.

I. Esteem God For Who He Says He Is 6a-e

“‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear?,’ says YHVH of hosts . . .”--KJV*

It is beautiful that the first description God gives of Himself in this passage is that He is a Father. The term “father” has been greatly depreciated in our time. One thing that brings out that point is the increasing number of people that call their father-in-law by their first name and not by the term “Dad.” Many dads today are not respected and their wives unsubmissive. This is entirely against the Word of God, and is a result of these people not honoring God as their Father. They might do it with their mouths but not in their hearts and actions.

If we are going to call God our Father then we need to obey Him. We ought to also let His Son live through us that we may be the true sons of God. We are to depend upon Him and trust Him. Our love and devotion should be readily expressed to Him. If we are truly saved, there is to be a love relationship between us and God in that He is our Father and we are His children. You cannot have any better Father than Him.

Quite logically, as the Holy Scripture so declares, we are also to consider God as our Master. We could use the English term “Boss" to a degree. Many do not like this truth but nevertheless He certainly is the Boss. “Fear" can mean {3} fear, terror, and reverence. One who does not obey his human boss will find themselves out of a job. While no one is saved by their own works, a person is saved by the finished work of Christ.

As “YHVH of hosts” God is Commander-in-Chief of His spiritual army. He is the best Commander-in-Chief we will ever have. We should radically obey Him from a heart of love and impelled by His Spirit. He will always be victorious.


II. Love Him 6f-7

“O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Your name?' 7 "You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say, 'The table of YHVH is to be despised.'”

Every true Christian is part of His Kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:9). As His priests we ought to love Him and His ways, and love serving Him. We must be lovingly careful that we do not follow the hearts of some of the Jewish priests referred to in this passage.

We are not to despise His Name. The Hebrew word for despise here means {4} “to do that which implies contempt; to slight, neglect, make little account of, . . .". His Name, YHVH, means “the existing One." Ever since the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, we are instructed by the Holy Bible to call upon the Name of Jesus Christ, He Who is all God and all man {5}. Jesus (Yeshua -- Joshua) means “YHVH is salvation." Despising any service to Him means we disregard that He is the Sustainer of all things and the Redeemer of mankind.

The lesson from our text is that no true disciple should defile themselves and others due to the attitude of their heart (Matthew 15:18-19) and then, as a result, their service to God. Avoid complaining about, or becoming weary over, serving God. We could get weary because of man’s ways, but we should not grow weary of serving God. But there is a fine line here, because when we rightfully come under man’s authority we must not be insubordinate, unless we are expected to do something out of the will of God.

Every day we lay ourselves and what we do upon the altar of God, the gracious God Who has mercifully provided for our salvation. We defile ourselves, our work, and His altar when we follow in the steps of some to whom God said (verse 12), “But you are profaning it, in that you say, ‘The table of the YHVH is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.’” Some examples of how Christians defile the table is when they take exception to some point of God’s Word and say or think, “I don’t believe this," “You kidding?," and a sarcastic “Yeah, right."

YHVH says in verse 13, “You also say, 'My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it, . . .”. Sometimes such weariness influences people to be late for church or do something for God halfheartedly. Sometimes things are said like, “Other Christians go to church only once a week. Why should I have to go more than once?" Things like this show a clear lack of love for God.

However, we are to express love to Him by serving Him by the Spirit, doing our best whenever possible. In regard to some that have been in a certain aspect of ministry for a long time, I am not saying you have to do a certain ministry the rest of your life. Be commanded by God, directed and impelled by His Spirit, and follow His leading.

III. Give Him Only The Best 8a-e

“But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil?”

As mentioned, many of the Old Testament offerings sometimes represent us and our service, as well as Christ. Sacrifices to God had to be perfect, and we are called to perfection (Matthew 5:48). However, we can never attain that by ourselves, but when we surrender to God through Christ we are crucified with Him yet continue to live by Him and His faithfulness (Galatians 2:20). There always has to be some type of balance in many points in understanding Scripture. Here, every Christian should strive to do their best but understand grace will cover where we come up short.
 
However, being covered by grace does not give us a license to be lazy, sloppy, purposely lacking, etc. For example, if someone is physically sick they might not be able to do their best. There are times we all forget things. Other examples abound but the concern here expressed in Malachi along with the New Testament is purposely not doing our best for God.

The verse continues with three classes of unacceptable offerings, viz., the blind, the lame, and the sick. We are to avoid spiritual blindness by, among other things, not turning a blind spiritual eye to His commands and teachings of His written Word. We are to let only the light of Christ be the light of our spiritual eyes. Do not dabble in yoga, worldly entertainment, religions, error (Calvinism, prosperity gospel, oneness, unity, automatic universal salvation, no hell, etc.), or let someone else’s teachings overly direct your understanding of God’s Word. Favoring fellowship with Christians over fellowship with God through Christ will also blind us.

I saw the following on Facebook as I was completing this article: “You know you have gone blind when you see ‘nothing wrong’ with something


that God has called sin.” God is not stupid. He knew long before we were born what times would be like in which we live. God’s Word is settled. It is written in Psalm 36:9, “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”

Jesus said, (Luke 11:34-36), “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays." Let us set our spiritual eyes only upon God and the things of God.

We are to avoid spiritual lameness. The grace of God not only covers us but gives us the ability, the power, to do the will of God because Christ actually lives within. So when it comes to doing the will of God the Christian should never think or say, “I am only human,” “no one is perfect,” and on. No excuses stand before God because, as Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:13), “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

We are also to avoid spiritual sickliness. We can get spiritually sick by permitting sin in our life, hanging on to the ways of the world, having the wrong attitude toward God and toward sin, and more. The best attitude, and the best way to avoid spiritual sickliness, lameness, and blindness is to wholeheartedly follow Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

IV. Fear God Not Man 8f, 14g-i

“Why not offer it to your governor?”

If we were going to give something to someone that we highly respected and perhaps even loved would we not give them the best that we have? Would we not serve them the best we could? How much more should we do these things for Almighty God Who says (14g-i), “‘I am a great King,’ says YHVH of hosts, ‘and My name is feared among the nations.’”

Sadly, some people dress better for work, school, socializing, and other things than they do church. Some people do more personal care for work, school, socializing than they do for church. Some do not care about being on time for church, or doing their best to prepare a lesson, message, and so on. Along with our sin nature, part of the problem for some is that because they cannot see Him they get lax. However, we are to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Another reason why some might become lax is because of a wrong view of His grace. While an aspect of grace can be thought of as a safety net, grace is also the ability and power to do God’s will. It is by His grace that we are saved and it is by His grace that we produce the outward proofs of our salvation.

V. Please Him And Be Acceptable To Him 8g-i

“Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says YHVH of hosts.”

Do we not wan to be pleasing to God and enjoy His kindness? And should we not want these things in love and not in horrific fear? Then we should be our best and do our best for Him out of loyal love to Him. As stated, this can only be done if we have truly surrendered our life to God through Christ and Christ dwells within us. No one is saved, made right with God, base upon their works, but one is saved based upon the finished work of Christ upon the cross which will result in a life evident of His good works. It will be evidenced by the leading of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. It will be empowered by this Spirit of Christ.

Faithfulness in these matters prepares the true disciple for the age to come, the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth. A number of New Testament Scriptures indicate that those who have truly trusted Him in this time will rule and reign with Christ. So, for good reason we read again that God is YHVH of hosts. If we are redeemed by Him and remain in we will rule with Him. The phrase “YHVH of hosts” occurs twenty-four times in Malachi, which reminds me of the twenty-four elders around the throne of God as described in Revelation 4. They sit on thrones because they let Christ sit on the throne of their heart while they were in this world.

God loved each of us so much that He did His best for us by sending His Son to live, die, rise, and ascend back to heaven in order that we may be rescued from sin, self, the lake of fire, and more. Christ lived His best for us. By His life and empowered and directed by His Spirit let us always be the best and do our best for Him from a heart of love.

Notes:

{1} Not capitalized on purpose to indicate that there is true Christendom and the false.

{2} Used in the proper traditional sensible sense, denoting all people, male and female. I could not care less about being politically correct.

{3} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{4} Wilson, William: Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies (MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, VA) p119

{5} Please read Eight Passages That Plainly Show The Deity Of Christ at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/eight-passages-plainly-show-deity-christ

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by March 30, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M440 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 18-02-2017 78 1

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  • nbillett  20-02-2017
    We are chosen to be a holy people of God. God chose us and made us holy by his Spirit through the blood of his Son. We are royal, set apart to sing the praises of God.
    reply 0
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