Hello friends. This week’s suggested reading is Malachi chapter 3. Although I’ve read this chapter before, I didn’t realize what a powerful passage it is. This has actually happened to me a lot lately. Due to the layout of Grant Horner’s Bible reading plan, which we use to help pick our weekly readings, I’ve had to find appropriate open-air passages from sections of scripture that I personally, and I think the church in general, has tended to neglect. Outside of a systematic reading plan that covers the whole word of God I had the tendency to read only the New Testament, (along with Genesis and a psalm or two occasionally) and I am now finding jewels of wisdom and theology that I missed for years. I would encourage you to use Grant Horner’s system, or a system like it, so that you have a chance to explore the entire word of God. He inspired it all, so we should read it all!
The passage, like many we have read, deals with God’s faithfulness to those who love and fear him and his swift judgment against his enemies. However, it also shows that God’s faithfulness to us does not necessarily mean constant comfort and ease for the believer. He will use our circumstances, sometimes due to disobedience and sometimes not, to teach us, purify us, and refine us. At the same time, while he disciplines his children, he may appear to pass over the sins of the rebellious. As a result, nonbelievers may, and frequently do in my experience, say that it is vain and there is no profit in serving God (vs. 14). But another verse that comes to mind is 2 Peter 3:4 and following, which shows that rather than God being either unable or unwilling to deal with man’s rebellion, he is patient, wishing all to come to repentance.
I would suggest using this passage to encourage people not to presume on God’s patience. I have actually had people I witnessed to say they would repent at the last minute, on their death bed, so they could continue living the way they wanted to now. But although God is very patient with us, none of us is promised tomorrow. We need to remind people that only God knows when our time on earth will end, and when we stand before him there will be a distinction shown between the righteous and the wicked (vs. 18). And while on the day of his coming believers will be purified like gold and silver, those who have chosen to reject him will not be able to stand before his holiness.
We are now just over one week away from Sermon on the Mount Saturday. Tony pointed out to me that I actually listed the wrong passage on one of my previous posts. Rather than reading Matthew 26 through 28, which we used for Mission Good Friday, for Sermon on the Mount Saturday we will be reading Matthew 5 through 7. We have about 60 people signed up so far, and are hoping for many more. Invite your friends and your church family to join you and to pray for you, and make sure you confirm the Facebook event. I would love to see the numbers at least double in the next couple days, and we’ve had far more people that that participate in our large events in the past. Also, if you participate in Project Ezra, even if you can’t participate in this particular reading, please post your location, either on the event wall or on the Mapping Event so we know where you are and I can add you to our map. I know there are lots of people who have read before, and some that have read very regularly, that are not on the map, but I will only add those I hear back from so we have as accurate an idea of who is participating now as possible. To take a look at the map, go here:
We still want more pictures, videos as testimonies. Our last post including pictures and videos from several Project Ezra participants in the U.S. and Canada. Take a couple minutes to look at them if you haven’t done so already, be sure to post yours to the Project Ezra wall to, or email them to me. I will continue to look through videos, pictures, testimonies and blog posts looking for those that I think will encourage the group, and post them when I can. Thanks for being part of Project Ezra, and being faithful to share God’s word with the lost.
All for His glory!