Sunday – July 1, 2012

July 1, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Christmas in July from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

This Sunday is your last chance to catch our series in the Book of Malachi. How does the Old Testament end? Look back to the law and forward to the second coming. Join us Sunday morning as we celebrate “Christmas in July”. The great Christmas hymn Hark the Herald Angels Sing is all about our text on Sunday- Malachi 4:2 “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” Don’t miss the end of this great series!

Word On Worship – July 1, 2012 Download / Print


Malachi 4:2-3

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the LORD Almighty.”

Our study in Malachi has presented to us the contrast between those who biblically fear the Lord and those who claim fidelity to God but show by their hearts and actions their distrust of God’s promises and sovereignty. What makes the difference in whether we choose to be those who fear God or those who do not? It is the question about how our ethics (what we do) is changed by our theology (what we believe). While the decisions we make in the 21st century are certainly different, the decisions faced by Malachi’s generation and the decision about how our faith will align with our practice have not changed one bit.

Jesus dealt with the disconnection people have between theology and ethics. In Luke 6:46, Jesus asked, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Usually our focus is on correct knowledge, but knowledge without a correct response produces the same result as not even having the knowledge. This highlights the struggle of Malachi speaking to Israel and realizing on a heart level we are no better. Just like Israel, we need to reset our hearts, reboot our worship and renew our relationship with the Father — our theme through this Old Testament book.

Malachi’s view of those who fear the Lord are the people whose character has been shaped by a daily walk with Him and whose very thoughts are of Him. They would not be like the priests of Malachi’s day, who would ask “what’s in it for me, right now?” This is the sickness of the Church today, where our eyes are more focused on the numbers in attendance than we are on the amount of Christ likeness that is in our own heart. Is our priority duty or is it discipleship? When we examine our lives, does the priority of our hearts put us on the wrong side of the anticipated Day of the Lord?

Do not let Malachi be a “one and done” study, relegated to the intellectual storehouse of biblical knowledge accumulated in your Christian experience. The call for continual renewal and sanctification is the lifework of those who pursue Jesus Christ, a call to examine and test ourselves regarding how we see our relationship with God. Do we tremble at the prospect of dishonoring Him by not trusting His promises or by living in disobedience to His commands? May we be a part of the remnant which Malachi tells are, “those who feared the LORD, talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name.” (Malachi 3:16)

Sunday – June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

What Ever Happened to the Tither? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Tithing… how old school, Old Testament, old fashion can you get? But before you agree, can you find one passage where Jesus says, "you heard it said give 10%, but I tell you 2% is fine." Or did Paul ban the practice of tithing when he said we should give cheerfully? Or is it easier to say 10% is Old Testament and I want to justify spending my money on me. Maybe it is time to take a look at tithing in the Old and New Testament as see if this is an area we need to reset our hearts, reboot our worship and refresh our relationship with God. Join us Sunday as we continue our study in the wonderful book of Malachi 3 verses 7 to 12.

Word On Worship – June 10, 2012   Download / Print

Malachi 3:7-8
Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from My decrees and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob You

The deeper I get into the book of Malachi, the more it seems he is writing a Top Ten list of problems facing God’s people. And even though this was written nearly 2,500 years ago, God’s people still struggle with these same issues today. The simple message of Malachi is God is unchanging and the human condition is also unchanging. The standards God requires from His people revealed in the Old Testament and man’s sinful fallen nature continue. Stephen’s charge against the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:51 is just as true of us today, “You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Our problem today is the same problem Israel faced: we do not see our need of God. As far as many Christians are concerned, they have not left God and God has not left them. The disease affecting the church today is one of spiritual delusion. We think repentance is something a person does when they become a Christian and then it can be placed on the shelf to gather dust. A.W. Tozer wrote the church is in the predicament it is in because “ignoble contentment has taken the place of burning zeal.” Just like the priests in Malachi’s day, the Church has a form of godliness but there is no power. We engage in the rituals and ceremonies, but the power of God is not in our motions.

Sometimes God needs to hit us where it hurts to get us to turn around and come back to Him. And where many of us are the most sensitive is in our wallets. Repentance that costs us nothing is worthless repentance. Repentance in the area of finance and stewardship is costly if it is genuine repentance. You can come to church every Sunday, but your checking account will speak more about your spiritual health than your attendance record because our wallets are closer to our hearts than we care to admit.

In Malachi’s time, God spoiled the crops and shut the rain off because of the Israelites’ selfishness. Their excuse not to give was because they had less even though they knew God had promised to bless and care for those who were faithful in their stewardship. God’s own money was not available because the people were so tight-fisted they would not let it go. Consider this: a poll taken by George Barna in 2002 showed only 6% of evangelicals in the United States gave a tithe (10% of their income). A 2010 survey indicated the average church attendee in America gives 3.1% of their income to charities, religious or secular. As the wealthiest and allegedly most Christian nation, the divine message to God’s people remains unchanged, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me.