Sunday, May 1, 2022

THE GREAT KING

Today’s Reading: Malachi 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is St. Lazarus Church built at the location where Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. The depiction behind the altar is of Jesus, the resurrection and life. The village in which the church is located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives is called to this day by the local people, El Lazaria. After 400 years of prophetic silence, the people recognized that in Jesus a mighty prophet, and more than a prophet, Immanuel (“God with us”) had come to them (John 11).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Malachi 1:14b, 2:10b

“For I am a GREAT KING,”

Says the Lord of hosts,

“And My name is to be feared among the nations.”

…Why do we deal treacherously with one another

By profaning the covenant of the fathers?

 

Almost 100 years had passed since the Temple was rebuilt and since the people had heard the powerful preaching of Haggai and Zechariah. Malachi tells us that the priests had grown tired of the daily routine and that corruption was evident. This was manifested in the failure to pay their tithes and give their offerings (reading for tomorrow), as well as their marriages to wives who were not followers of the true God. Some had divorced their Jewish wives and married foreign women.The leaders in the Temple were going through the motions of worship, even showing strong emotions (Malachi 2:13). Covering “the altar of the Lord with tears” was not acceptable to God when at the same time they were living in sin as shown by their unfaithfulness in their marriages. The last four verses in today’s reading point this out. As shown in our key verses, the people no longer feared God as they once did. They were profaning, showing disrespect and irreverence for the Covenant (the most solemn and binding commitment possible between two parties), which their fathers had made with God. The evidence of this was in their disobedience to God, going through the motions of worship, even showing strong emotions, but living in sin continually.

The “love” and “hate” spoken of in Malachi 1:2 refers to Jacob (Israel) and the neighbouring nation of Edomites, descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. We know from many Scriptures that God loves the individual person but hates the sin represented by the persistent evil practised by nations in their culture and deeds. Yes, Israel sinned too, but the difference was that Israel repented of her sins on a regular basis and reversed corrupt practises, lining up with God’s Word every three or four generations. May God grant us another wave of repentance and obedience to His unchanging Word!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I confess You as my “Great King!” I recognize Your absolute authority over my life. My tears do not prove repentance; obedience does! I pray that the grace to repent, to turn away from living in sin, will be manifested 24/7 in my life. I ask this in the Name of the One who never sinned and, therefore, had no need of repentance, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The “wife of my youth” (Malachi 2:14-15) was 19 and I was 22 when we entered what I regard as an unbreakable covenant, our marriage. She is sleeping as I write this in the early morning. We’ll be married 58 years this coming September 19th. She spends much time in prayer before she sleeps.  I’m too sleepy then, so I have my prayer time when I awake refreshed most mornings  (at my age, 79, an afternoon sleep is essential!). Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, summed it up in a humorous way when she was asked if she ever considered divorce from Billy. She said, “Murder sometimes, but divorce never!” When Norma-Jean and I gave our word (our most sacred possession) “until death do us part,” it meant just that. Obedience to our covenant with God means working through the problems and never giving up!

The other evidence of withdrawing from obedience to God is in the area of tithing…that 10% off the top of our entire income. Malachi points out that failure to PAY our tithes is actually stealing from God, as it is His, not ours. I’m jumping ahead here to Malachi 3 because of its extremely important message. These are almost the final words of the Bible which Jesus and His Apostles read and believed. We begin to GIVE back to God only when we give offerings over and above the tithe (alms for needy people, as well as for soul-winning ministries such as Crossroads, etc.). Obedience to God is a must, both in our marriages and in our tithes and offerings. Jesus and His disciples would have read Malachi and put into practice the teaching on tithes and offerings. I make no apologies for believing that these two areas of human behaviour represent the minimum level of commitment to God so that, as my father prayed in my hearing every day when I was a child, “O God, may the smile of Your approval be on my life this day.”

Yours for a revival of faith and obedience in every generation, not just every 100 years,

David

7 thoughts on “Sunday, May 1, 2022

  1. Father, help us to truly follow You today and every day. Bless all the pastors and leaders of Your church. Help them to do Your work wholeheartedly, and help Your church to go out into this world filled with hope and joy, Your Spirit and Your Word, in Jesus’s great name, amen

  2. MAY

    O Jesus, I Have Promised
    John E. Bode
    1816-1874

    O Jesus, I have promised
    To serve Thee to the end;
    Be Thou forever near me,
    My Master and my Friend;
    I shall not fear the battle
    If Thou art by my side,
    Nor wander from the pathway
    If Thou wilt be my Guide.

    Oh, let me feel Thee near me;
    The world is ever near;
    I see the sights that dazzle,
    The tempting sounds I hear;
    My foes are ever near me,
    Around me and within;
    But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
    And shield my soul from sin.

    Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
    In accents clear and still,
    Above the storms of passion,
    The murmurs of self-will;
    Oh, speak to reassure me,
    To hasten, or control;
    Oh, speak, and make me listen,
    Thou Guardian of my soul.

    O Jesus, Thou hast promised
    To all who follow Thee
    That where Thou art in glory
    There shall Thy servant be;
    And Jesus, I have promised
    To serve Thee to the end;
    Oh, give me grace to follow,
    My Master and my Friend.

    Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
    And in them plant mine own;
    My hope to follow duly
    Is in Thy strength alone.
    Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
    Uphold me to the end;
    And then to rest receive me,
    My Savior and my Friend.

    O Jesus I Have Promised
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC-2Ss9tg7I

    John Ernest Bode (1816-1874) has given the church one of its most enduring hymns of Christian discipleship. It was so popular that Bishops in the Church of England were weary of singing it and discouraged its use at confirmations.

    Born in London, John Ernest Bode was educated at both Eton and Charterhouse, as well as Christ Church, Oxford (B.A., 1837; M.A., 1840). His service as a Fellow of Christ Church (1841-1847) included taking Holy Orders as deacon in 1841 and priest, 1843. Bode served as a vicar at Westwell, Oxfordshire and Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire.

    A high point in his life was an invitation to deliver the prestigious Bampton Lectures at Oxford (1855). The lectures were later published as The Absence of Precision in the Formularies of the Church of England, scriptural and favourable to a State of Probation, an anti-Catholicism tract delivered in the face of rising success of Catholicism in England at the time. His academic aspirations were sidetracked when he was defeated for a Professorship of Poetry at Oxford in 1857 by the distinguished and influential poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888). In addition to books of poetry, his major hymn publication was Hymns from the Gospel of the Day for each Sunday and Festivals of our Lord (1860).

    Our hymn has its origins in the confirmation of the poet’s daughter and two sons in 1866. It was published two years later as a leaflet by SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) entitled “Hymn for the newly Confirmed” and later in the New Appendix to the New and Enlarged Edition of Hymns for Public Worship (1870), and in Church Hymns and Tunes (1874). When it was published in the second edition of the popular Hymns Ancient and Modern (1875), the success of the hymn was assured. Most major hymnals have included it since then.

    The text is based on a verse in John 12 following Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his travel to Bethsaida of Galilee just before his impending passion when he shares with his disciples: “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor” (John 12:23-26, KJV).

    Attachments area
    Preview YouTube video O Jesus I Have Promised (11 AM webstream)

  3. Thanks Beverlee for sharing this, The words are so meaningful and I enjoyed about the author. Blessings Eleanor.🤗

  4. I started singing the words Beverlee sent. Such a profound prayer. I then moved on to the music & the history. I think there may be 2 different renditions of music to this peace. The one from my memory was different but both are amazing. Thanks Beverlee. Blessings all.

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