Where Is The Blessings?

At nearly 1400 words, this post is way longer than desired, but I prayerfully ask you to read to the end, carefully considering the message.  It was a time-full message in Malachi’s time and a powerful reminder to us today.

Malachi, like all the writing of the not so minor prophets, is an interesting literary work. I bring this up because I have recently decided to restudy the “Book of Twelve” which is the Hebrew way of saying the twelve minor prophets, which as I stated a moment ago, aren’t so minor.

Malachi 2:10 asks three questions. The first two are, “Have we not all one Father?” and “Has not one God created Us?”

Answering both of those questions is easy. When we believe in creation as taught in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, then we can answer, Yes, we have one Father and He has created us through His Son, Christ Jesus.

But the third question is harder to answer. It asks, “Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers?”

We might ask, what covenant is this? What have we profaned and how have we profaned it? According to Malachi we have profaned the covenant given to Abraham and then repeated to Moses and the Children of Israel. Let us quickly look at the covenant made with Abraham. Here is Abraham a citizen of the region of Babylon who is being called out to leave all that behind and to follow God. Then, by faithfully following God, God would bless him so that all the nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:2).

We have come to see that this is a two-fold promise or covenant. The first promised blessing is of the Messiah, while second promise being that Abraham and his promised descendants would be blessed and through that blessing the nations around would be blessed. By God blessing Abraham, and others seeing how Abraham was blessed was by God designed to draw the other nations to Abraham so that He could share the source of His blessing with them.

Malachi’s three question is are in a way, rhetorical questions. The people Malachi is speaking to know full well that God is both their Father and Creator. But the people are not being blessed. Why? Malachi is pointing out the blessing is missing because you have failed to bless others with what I (God) have given you. Instead of sharing you have been selfish and kept it to yourself. You believe you are better than others, you lift some classes of people up, while you push others down making yourself as a god instead of honoring God your Father and Creator as your God.

It really sounds like a lot of Christians today that believe one group of people are substandard, not deserving of the same gospel message or the same treatment as themselves. That another group of people should be marginalized because they act different, think different, and are not like the rest of us. But are they any different than you and me? Are they not also children of the living God? Does God not love them as much as He loves us? As it states in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” Do you see any exclusion of people or a group of people in that statement? It says, “God so loved the world.” Jesus was talking to a Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus. Like all the Jews of his time he was person steeped in the traditions of exclusivity. Thinking they were better than all those around them, yet they were not a free people. They were subject to Rome. They had lost their blessing.

The design God had in mind when he spoke to Abraham and called Him out of region of Babylon, was that I (God) want to bless you so that you can bless all the nations around you and through the blessing I give you, you can bless others. When Jesus was speaking the words of John 3:16 he was trying to remind Nicodemus that the blessings Israel should have received, was for everyone, not just the Jewish people.

Jesus reinforced this thought, by following up verse 16 with 17. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Once again, Christ is telling this Pharisee of the Pharisee’s that the blessings, that was to come to Abraham which Israel was to use in blessing the whole world has not happened. But that blessings can be regained by a rebirth (John 3:3. This rebirth is not humanly possible unless we are born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). How this happens in one’s life is a mystery (John 3:7, 8), it is beyond human comprehension and only possible through God.

Verse 11 of John chapter 3 is a unique passage in that it refers to the working of the Godhead. It states that since the fall of mankind the Godhead has been busy working for our redemption. Jesus in the following four verses outlines to Nicodemus who He was, and what his purpose for coming was.

Jesus was offering to Nicodemus and all of us a way to come back under the covenant that was given to Abraham. That way is through re-birth that come from living water and the power of the holy Spirit working in our lives so that once again, we can be blessed so that we can be a blessing to other and thus draw them to Christ.

This is not an endorsement of “The Prosperity Gospel”, instead it is about regaining the blessing we were to receive that we might bless others.

So perhaps, the reason Christianity seems to be dying, our churches are growing grayer, there are fewer and fewer young people interested in Christianity is because we have withheld the blessings, and tried to segregate people into classes thinking some people are better than other people, but in God’s eyes we are all equal. Until we as Christians come to the realization that as Christ showed no partiality while He was on earth, then we too should not place one person, one social group, or one gender above another for we are all created equal in the eyes of God. Then why should they not be equal in our eyes too? -because as Christians, are we not called to reflect the character of Christ? Then as a reflection of Christ the true Christian should treat all with the same impartiality that Christ did.

Malachi speaking before the people said in Malachi 2:9, “Therefore I also have made you contemptable and base (low) before all the people, because you have not kept My ways but have partiality in the law? Perhaps this is the reason Christianity no longer has the power it used to (see the book of Acts) because we have broken the covenant because as Peter states in I Peter 2:9, 10, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who call you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

By the acceptance of God as our Father and Creator we are adopted into spiritual Israel and thus under the same covenant as Abraham. Therefore, as a Christian, since I am adopted into the same covenant as Abraham, how can we be blessed, as Abraham was blessed when we deal treacherously with one another. Because, when we treat others poorly, we profane the covenant of the fathers and thus forfeit the blessings of heaven that were meant for us to use in blessing those around us.

I write this only because I want to see Christianity turn the world upside down as it did in the book of Acts. I pray that Christianity once again becomes the blessing to others that it was designed to be by God who is our Father and our Creator so that the world will be drawn to their Father and their Creator.

But, that can only happen when we begin to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves. When we treat others as we would want God to treat us. When we stop being god and allow the Holy Spirit to regenerate us, then the blessings we receive, can become a blessing to those arounds us.

The True Pathway

Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13, 14

The narrow gate described by Jesus during His sermon on the Mount, is a reference to the tabernacle that was built by Moses in the desert. The entrance to the court is only 30 feet wide and was held up of four pillars which represent Christ and the four gospels. By studying the sanctuary, we discover that through the sanctuary there is a path to the very throne of God.

Solomon says in Proverbs 3:6, 7 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

Solomon’s wise council is for us to acknowledge Christ as our saviour and invite Him into our hearts. Christ directs the Holy Spirit who is living in our hearts to direct our steps on the path to God the Father. Our own wisdom, our own self-righteousness will not gain us entrance into heaven. It is through submitting our will to Christ, that He can direct your paths to the Throne of God. Without God’s leading, it is like walking with no direction.

Are You a Tree of Life

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30

I am sure I’ve read this passage before, but it didn’t make sense until this morning. I had always taken it to mean the tree in life in heaven or the replanted tree of life on the earth made new.

But that thinking would be incorrect and inconsistent with scripture. Look at the text again. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. Galatians 5:22, and 23 tells us what the fruit of the spirit is. These are qualities all Christians should have. Therefore, If we have these qualities in our life, not just a few but all of them, then we will be as it were a tree of life to those who are perishing in a world of sin.

Through us, the world will be fed spiritual food that will bring them to eternal life. Therefore, he who feeds the world spiritual food will win souls to Christ and we will be counted as wise among the inhabitants of heaven.

Blessings,
Pastor Lester

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