May 20, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship
We have all turned on the TV or opened the internet and heard the news of the latest minister of some church who has morally failed and brought disgrace to the Church and to ministry they have devoted themselves. With each sordid revelation, many, even in the church begin to question the relevancy of the Church and raise questions in their own heart and mind about the whole Christian enterprise. God takes the failure of His ministers very seriously and desires to wake all of us up to the curse of ministerial failure. But the heart of God is for His ministers to find success in His purpose for the ministry of the Word. Join us Sunday as we resume our study in the Book of Malachi and examine the "Successful Ministry of the Word" in our second look at Malachi 2 verses 1 to 9. We look forward to worshiping with you this week.
Word On Worship – May 20, 2012 Download / Print
“Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi,” says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name.”
It was no light thing to be a priest in the Old Testament. It was a gracious gift of God through His covenant with Levi. There is no order of priests making sacrifice, in the Old Testament sense, today. Because of grace, this has been done away with and superseded by Jesus Christ. In fact we find in the New Testament that we are the priesthood of all believers, and we are to worship God by bringing spiritual sacrifices to God. We are to bring our body, our substance, our financial giving, and our praise to God as our sacrifice.
In Malachi, we find the priests of Levi have corrupted the covenant God has made with them. God says: ‘This is my judgment upon you: I will curse your blessings’. There was no curse in the blessing God gave to the priests initially, blessings they inherited as descendants of Levi. They brought about the curse by their disobedient ways, which meant the blessings they would make over the people would be cursed also. As they ministered to the people, they would minister a curse! In Deuteronomy 28, God told the people of Israel very clearly what would happen if they didn’t obey His word. Instead of Israel being a light unto the Gentiles and a blessing to the whole world, God said that He would turn their blessings into a curse. I’m asking the question: is it possible that God’s people today, as the church of Jesus Christ, is more of a hindrance to the world around it than a help? Is it possible? Yes, I would say it’s more than possible, it’s probable.
God still looks for obedience to bless. I believe the weight of the message is the cry of Malachi to his own priestly people: how do you fare in comparison to your forefathers, Levi and Phinehas? How do we measure up? The priests of Malachi’s day were weighed in the balance and found wanting. I’m asking us today, how do we compare with our forefathers? What have we done with the privileges that we have because of their faithful endurance? They have passed down the charge of the Gospel to us, but what have we done with it?
What’s the solution? It’s found in 1 Corinthians 11:31, Paul said: ‘For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged’. In other words, we are to analyze our hearts, search and see if there are any wicked ways in us. My prayer for myself is that I would see that my life is now dictating, word for word, into Christ’s lips what He is going to say to me on the Day of Judgment! I am writing it now, with my life! It was George Whitefield who rightly said, “O that I could always live for eternity, preach for eternity, pray for eternity and speak for eternity”. May we all live in the light of eternity beginning with today!