Hello Project Ezra! I hope and pray that your week is going well. Mine is, but due to some additional responsibilities I’m taking on at work, things have been very busy. So this week, rather than a more complete exposition of a chapter which, sadly, I have not had time to do, I will give you the chapter and let you struggle through some of the details on your own.
Being given the responsibility, and the privilege, of writing Project Ezra each week has truly been one of the greatest gifts of my Christian life. It has driven me to study more deeply, it has driven me to pray for faithfully, and it has driven me to consider carefully the context and meaning of every passage. It has frequently been a struggle, but in a good way. I’m positive I haven’t gotten everything right, and my theology is far from perfect, but simply the fact that others, such as many of you, will consider taking what I have presented and used it when you go to the streets with the aim of glorifying God is amazing and humbling, and I can’t and don’t take that lightly. And it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that I am able to do it at all.
But isn’t that the thought process we have whenever we handle God’s word? It seems to me that the Bible is often handled very lightly and superficially in our culture, and can be twisted and bend to meet personal desires. But if we love God, we will desire to honor and glorify His rightly, and to understand Him in the way He has chosen to reveal Himself. It shouldn’t matter how difficult or unpopular that truth is, either to those we talk to or to ourselves. We must do all we can to be faithful to God intended His message to be in the scriptures, and that’s what I am challenging you to do this week.
There are a few point to consider listed below. Of course, we are reading from the Old Testament, so Christ is not mentioned specifically, and many of the details of Salvation as presented in the New Testament have not been clarified. But God never changes, and His character and nature is clearly presented from Genesis to revelations. And I believe man’s sinful nature, apart from Christ, is just as consistent. It is that nature, and how false worship and false faith manifest themselves, that I think is a good focus for this chapter, and a good springboard into the gospel. I pray they will be helpful.
READ MALACHI 1
POINTS TO CONSIDER IN MOVING TOWARD THE GOSPEL
Despising God’s name by offering polluted sacrifices
Presenting God with less than your best
Officering God grudging, rather than joyful, recognition
Promises to God that are not delivered.
Sacrifices with resentment rather than sacrifices with joy
These reactions show your motives. For self rather than for God
Offering corrupt sacrifices is evil
If you present that level of work or dedication to your wife, boss, the government, will they accept it?
If you are giving your best out of joy, do you really understand the depth and breadth of God’s gift?
True sacrifice doesn’t make you right with God, but indicates the truth or falseness of your belief.
If these describe you, you have reason to fear
Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith
Please remember to include the essential aspects of the gospel in your presentation
The Holiness of God
The sinfulness of man
The righteousness of God’s judgment and the truth of hell
God’s goodness, mercy and grace demonstrated in the cross of Christ
The substitutionary and legal nature of Christ’s atonement
Salvation through repentance and faith in Christ alone
The supernatural nature of salvation and the heart changed by God
Thanks all, and I will be praying for many divine appointments, and hearts and minds open to hear the truth of the gospel.
All for His glory,