Where is God’s Honor?
Malachi 1:6-8 ESV
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.”
As followers of Jesus, we are to honor God, to revere, respect, and obey him. We are to submit our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, leave our sinful practices behind us, and now walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). And we are to love God with our whole being, and to love others as we love ourselves.
We are to give to God our lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. And we are to no longer be conformed to the ways (patterns) of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed of the Spirit of God in our hearts and minds away from living in sin to now walking (in conduct) according to the Spirit of God.
But many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and even many pastors and elders and deacons in our local church fellowships (or fellowships of what is falsely called church) are not living what they profess. They are not teaching the faith they profess to believe in, either, but they are teaching a diluted half-truth gospel that does not put sin to death.
So, they are not honoring God, but they are dishonoring him. He is not the master of their lives, for they are still their own master. The offerings they give to God are of their own flesh, and they are hypocritical offerings because they are knowingly, deliberately, and habitually living in sin, doing what their flesh desires, while they ignore the Lord’s commands.
They make a pretense of righteousness, of holiness, of faithfulness, and of devotion to God, but it is all a lie. It is all for show in order to hide the truth of the evil they are doing in secret when they think no one can see, and that no one knows. But God knows, and he can see, and he is not okay with his people (or anyone) living in deliberate sin against him.
Who Would Shut the Doors
Malachi 1:9-11 ESV
“And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.”
Our hands are our deeds, and our deeds are what we do, either for good or for evil. If what we are offering to God is half-hearted, uncommitted, cowardly, weak-willed, pathetic, ineffectual, and diluted faith and devotion to the Lord, which is useless and worthless in God’s sight, because it is a false righteousness, then we will not receive God’s favor (grace).
And, oh, how I feel God’s passion with this next statement:
“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand.”
God is not going to show you grace if you are deliberately and habitually doing what is evil in his sight while you put on a show of righteousness. Jesus’ words to the Pharisees bear this out. God is not happy with you! He is not happy with those who profess his name and who gather together supposedly in his name while they dishonor him with their lives.
And so much of what is called “church” today, at least in America, fits with this description. And God passionately wants the doors of these gatherings shut because they are a disgrace to the name of Jesus. For, they worship him in vain, for their worship is a false worship based in human emotions and not in heart surrender to the Lord Jesus.
For, what the Lord desires, what he requires of us is a pure offering, from a pure heart which is surrendered to him, and which is committed to his service and to obedience to his will and to his ways. He doesn’t want from us only what we are willing to give, but he wants it all. For, Jesus said that whoever will not take up his cross and follow (obey) Jesus is not worthy of him, and he/she will not have eternal life with God.
But You Profane It
Malachi 1:12-14 ESV
“But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.”
Not content with merely ignoring the Lord’s commands, and refusing to obey him, these who dishonor the Lord also do so by teaching a false grace gospel which makes no demands for repentance, obedience, or submission to the Lordship of Christ. And not only that, but they attempt to discredit the true gospel of our salvation which Jesus and his NT apostles taught.
For, they teach that to repent, to obey, and to submit to Christ as Lord is “works-based salvation,” or they call it “Lordship salvation,” which they say is wrong and to be avoided and not adhered to. And they accuse us who are teaching the full gospel (the whole counsel of God) of being hateful, prideful, self-righteous, judgmental and of teaching what is false.
So, they have turned the truth of God and of his gospel and of his holiness and righteousness into a lie while they have raised the lie up and have turned it into what they claim is the truth. And many are falling for this cheap grace gospel and are being promised heaven when they die while they are still living in bondage to sin and are headed straight to hell.
So, they pretend righteousness, piety, and religious commitment while they live in secret sin, in rebellion against the Lord, in adultery against their spouses, cheating on their marriage partners with other lovers, and while they profane Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins which was intended to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now become slaves of righteousness.
So, the bottom line in all of this is that God is not interested in your half-hearted commitments to him, which are no commitment at all, while you sin in secret, in open rebellion against the Lord, and while you feign righteousness and holy living. For, if we live to please our flesh, we will die in our sins, but if we live to please the Lord, then we have eternal life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]
More Than Words
Nuno Bettencourt / Gary F. Cherone
Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel…
Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
Cos I’d already know