Morning Musing: Malachi 1:1

“A pronouncement: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.”
— ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭1:1‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

While it’s popular today to talk about eating dessert first, I am more of a save-the-best-for-last kind of guy. I’d rather slog through the tough stuff at the beginning so I can sit back and savor the best stuff with even more time to enjoy it. Well, as our journey through the minor prophets comes near to its end as we land on the final book of Malachi, we have saved the best for last. Here’s a little preview of coming attractions.

Continue reading “Morning Musing: Malachi 1:1”

Morning Musing: Zechariah 8:18-19

“Then the word of the Lord of Armies to me: The Lord of Armies says this: ‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth will become times of joy, gladness, and cheerful festivals for the house of Judah. Therefore, love truth and peace.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Last week we spent some time talking about how much God hates religious exercises. Empty religion is an offense to Him. Just like you don’t want someone doing something for you if their heart is not in it, God feels the same. Ladies, if your guy bought you flowers because he felt like he had to, would you be happy? Guys, if your girl got you the latest cool gadget out of a sense of obligation, would you be drawn to her for it? Of course not. Neither does God want religious exercises done out of the same motives. But, just because He hates empty religious exercises doesn’t mean He hates religion. That’s a distinction we don’t often make, but which we must if we want to be right with Him.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 7:2-5

“Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer, Regem-melech, and their men to plead for the Lord’s favor by asking the priests who were at the house of the Lord of Armies as well as the prophets, ‘Should we mourn and fast in the fifth month as we have done these many years?’ Then the word of the Lord of Armies came to me: ‘Ask all the people of the land and the priests: When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and in the seventh months for these seventy years, did you really fast for me?’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever done something for someone a long time only to later discover they either had never noticed or didn’t want you doing it the whole time? That would be a frustrating experience to say the least. But, what if some point early on in your efforts, the other person had communicated her position to you in some way that you ignored? You ignored it and forgot about it and kept right on doing whatever it was. That changes things, doesn’t it? Now who were you really doing it for? It wasn’t her anymore. You were really doing it for yourself. Well, what if the object of this unwanted affection were to be God?

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:23

“See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We love the idea of going on a quest. We may not necessarily want to go on one ourselves, but we love the idea. Every good story is based around some kind of a journey. We have to get somewhere in order to do something, overcoming some obstacles along the way. This concept pulses so deeply in our hearts that it lies at the root of our religion too. Every religion is about people going on a quest to obtain the blessing or the power or the presence of the divine. Every religion, that is, save one.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 8:11-13

“For this is what the Lord said to me with great power, to keep me from going the way of this people: Do not call everything a conspiracy these people say is a conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the Lord of Armies as holy. Only he should be feared; only he should be held in awe.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been reading along in the Scriptures and suddenly something grabbed your attention and wouldn’t let go? This passage did that for me this week. I have been starting to get ready for the Christmas series I’ll preach in a few weeks and read these verses as I was reading the context of two of Isaiah’s major prophecies about the coming Messiah. As I did, the Spirit whispered that these verses are really important. Here’s why I think He did.

Read the rest…