Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Malachi: What’s Mine, What’s Yours

October 17

(Malachi 1:6-14 NIV)  ""A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the Lord Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. "But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?' {7} "You place defiled food on my altar. "But you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' "By saying that the Lord's table is contemptible. {8} When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says the Lord Almighty. {9} "Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?"--says the Lord Almighty. {10} "Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the Lord Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands. {11} My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the Lord Almighty. {12} "But you profane it by saying of the Lord's table, 'It is defiled,' and of its food, 'It is contemptible.' {13} And you say, 'What a burden!' and you sniff at it contemptuously," says the Lord Almighty. "When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?" says the Lord. {14} "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the Lord Almighty, "and my name is to be feared among the nations."

(Malachi 3:6-12 NIV)  ""I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. {7} 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?' {8} "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. {9} You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me. {10} Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. {11} I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty. {12} "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the Lord Almighty."

(Haggai 2:8 NIV)  "'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the Lord Almighty."

(Job 41:11 NIV)  "Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me."

Malachi was a high impact preacher. When he preached, people left church early and didn’t come back. One of Malachi’s high risk themes was the minefield of giving. Giving is a moral issue, so obedience is crucial. Generous people enjoy talking about giving -- tightwads hate it. We must remember that God doesn’t need our money. God needs nothing. If Jesus could make bread out of rocks, and wine out of water, he could make money grow on trees. We are the ones who have the needs. But once we finally accept the truth that everything belongs to God, it changes everything. Nobody likes being told what to do with their stuff -- but if it’s God’s stuff, then God certainly has the right to tell us what to do with it. In the end, giving really boils down to a perception of ownership. Is it yours or God’s? Get this one right, or your faith will be crippled. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, October 16, 2017

Joel: Pouring Out the Spirit

October 16

(Joel 2:28-29 NIV)  "'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. {29} Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days."

(Acts 2:1-4 NIV)  "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. {2} Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. {4} All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

(Acts 2:13-18 NIV)  "Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine." {14} Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. {15} These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! {16} No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: {17} "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. {18} Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy."

(Ephesians 5:18 NIV)  "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

(Romans 8:9 NIV)  "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."

(Romans 8:24 NIV)  "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?"

(Galatians 5:25 NIV)  "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

The prophet Joel saw a day coming when God would pour out his Spirit on earth and no longer live in a temple made by human hands. Instead, God would live in the hearts of His people. The Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost produced profound, long term effects in those who were filled. This past promise of God was projected into the future and has been realized in our present day. Christians, we have become God’s temple. When the Holy Spirit lives in us, we see differently, hear differently, love differently, give differently, speak differently, and live differently. The “fullness of God” leaves little room for the old varmints of carnality. As we are “filled with the Spirit”, one by one, our self-serving, self-promoting, and self-indulging behaviors are crowded out. There is only room for one God in the temple of God. Let His Holy Spirit fill you. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Joel: What the Locusts Have Eaten

October 15

(Joel 2:25 NIV)  "'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -- my great army that I sent among you."

(Colossians 1:13-14 NIV)  "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, {14} in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

In scripture, locusts were seen as a curse from God. Today they provide a metaphor for those things that have devoured so many of our lives. Many people today live with the feeling that their lives have been wasted. They look back with remorse and hold little hope for the future. But, God says to us, “I’m not finished yet. I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” God doesn’t say He will erase the consequences of our sin -- He says, “I will change the value of the time your sins devoured.” God takes our empty way of life and fills it with meaning. He uses our negative experiences as positive examples. He changes our trials into testimonies. He takes our mess and turns it into a message. He salvages our past and transforms our future. God wants more than just eternal life for you. He also wants to redeem your earthly life. Watch for ways to redeem your past. Let the redemption begin. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Joel: Heart Rending Salvation

October 14

(Joel 2:12-13 NIV)  "'Even now,' declares the Lord, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' {13} Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity."

(Joel 2:31-32 NIV)  "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. {32} And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls."

(Joel 3:14 NIV)  "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."

Joel is often called a “minor prophet”, but his words are of major importance. Many scholars believe Joel was one of the first of the “writing prophets”. If so, God started a new work with the writings of Joel. He began to prepare people for the end of time. Joel calls this coming event “the day of the Lord”. He uses that term five times in his short book. Joel encourages a heart rending salvation -- a salvation of wholehearted repentance. He lets us know that God is not interested in the surface stuff. He writes of a non-discriminatory salvation: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord” can be saved. This is a bold statement from a Jewish prophet. Joel also makes it clear that this salvation is a choice: everyone “who calls”. Salvation may be non-discriminatory, but it is not universal. Not everyone will be saved… only those who “call on the name of the Lord”. Call on His name! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day