Paul’s fearless success factor: with God at sea in tempest

Acts 27:43-44

While meditating 2 Corinthians on how to be fearless in the fearful days, I was led to read Acts 27 Paul’s fearlessness at sea in a tempest. The incident happened around 62AD, about five years after he wrote to the Corinthians. In the letter to Corinthians he stated that he was shipwrecked three times and spent a day and a night in the deep previously. Paul lived a supernatural life by the Spirit. He was always with His God (ours too).

In this shipwreck he again stayed calm and confident at all time. The captain (owner) and the helmsman of the ship panicked. The Romans centurion was persuaded to listen to them. But only Paul was right in his predictions.

Paul was right because he knew our God, “the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,” Paul described to them. God had sent spiritual messenger (angel) to tell Paul things beforehand.

Paul perceived correctly the voyage would end with disaster and much loss, cargo and ship and possibly lives before they encountered the tempest.

 After they encountered the tempest for many days and lost all hope Paul gave them his words of comfort and assurance of safety from the Lord: that there would be no loss except for the ship which would run aground on a certain island. “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”

 Paul’s further prediction and advice: unless the sailors who tried to escape on their own stay in the ship they could not be saved; that all should take nourishment for this was for their survival (after fourteen days of fasting); “not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” He promised.

That night they ate and the next day they were shipwrecked. Those who could swim jumped overboard first and got to land. The rest on boards and on parts of the ship. And all 276 escaped safely to land.  The ship was a total loss.

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2019 word: Be fearless, be sealed

When I ponder about why there is a sudden surge of interest in end-time prophesies, I receive the word “fear”, people are fearful and that is why they want to know more. That includes Christians. So last night I looked at some verses on being fearless.

The following verses are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) Bible

2 Timothy 1:7 7For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Proverbs 3:25-26  Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
 For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.

Psalm 91:5-6  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Psalm 112:6-7 Surely he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
7He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2 Corinthians 1:22 He sealed us as his own and gave us the Spirit as the down payment in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13 In him, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and in him, when you also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The following verses are quoted from Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) Bible

Psalm 105:15 “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do not harm my prophets.”

Psalm 121:7 The Lord will watch to keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life.

Acts 18:10 For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He called out with a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to harm the earth and the sea. He said,

Revelation 7:3 “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees until we have placed a seal on the foreheads of God’s servants.”

Revelation 9:4 They were told not to harm the earth’s grass, any green plant, or any tree, but only those people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads.

Zechariah 5: warning of wickedness (reblogged)

(Note: Jesus warns of how one will open a door to the evil one by one’s mouth!)Zechariah 5

AAAJ watchman

We arrive at Zechariah 5 seeing the visions of prophet Zechariah: a flying scroll and a ‘woman’ personifying wickedness. We shall read the first part: see what God means by wickedness, as shown in the vision of the flying scroll.

Summary: (verses 1-4)

God sees wickedness in the land. He wants His prophets (messengers) to see too and issue warnings.

Wickedness includes: stealing; swearing falsely using God’s name.

God wants HIs people to know He takes action against wickedness; Consequences of wickedness: “I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using My Name.”

No house will escape. Note: there is no differentiation between thieves. God uses one description: thief. (Jesus warns of the motives of thief, in John 10:10)

  1. The curses are written in heaven and voluminous. Zechariah saw a scroll measuring 30 feet long and 15…

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Christians to watch prophetic sharing (from Dr. Lance Wallnau)

eye-in-the-skyWatch Dr. Lance Wallnau’s prophetic sharing on the seven mountains/institutional houses (church/religion, family, education, government/laws, media, arts/entertainment, and business) of influence (to shape the culture of a nation) which Christians have allowed hostile takeover against Christianity. Very relevant today. Where are the gates of hell located? Have you ever thought about that? He asked. (Dr. Wallnau’s sharing starts at 4:43 minute)

Matthew 16:18 [Full Chapter]

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Jesus talks about hate crime

Jesus the Son of God
Jesus, God’s beloved Son

Jesus talks about the hate crime against Him and His followers. “The world does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.”

Here is a summary of what Jesus has said about hate crime against Him and Christians:
The world hates Jesus.
Anyone who hates Jesus also hates God.
It hates Jesus because He accuses it of doing evil.
The devil does evil things.
The devil is a murderer from the beginning.
The devil has always hated the truth.
Because there is no truth in the devil.
When the devil lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
His children love to do the evil things he does.
All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it.
If the world hates you, remember that it hated Jesus first.
But the followers of Jesus are no longer part of the world. Jesus chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
Jesus has given them you God’s word. And the world hates you because you do not belong to the world, just as Jesus does not belong to the world. Those who hear God’s words, receive and believe, are separated from the evil world. God’s words are truth and light. The world hates truth and light. God is truth and light. Jesus is the truth and the light.
Those who love God will not love money. No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Jesus said, “And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.”

Why does the devil hate Jesus? Jealousy. Here are some classic examples of how jealousy can cause hatred and murder.

The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but He did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry…and while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Genesis 4
Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.” Genesis 27
But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. Genesis 37

Was God unjust in favoring Abel, Jacob and Joseph?
Here is what God says about His standard of holiness and reason:
Let us look at the case of Abel and Cain, which is the classic case representing all mankind, the division of two groups: those who follow and obey God, and those who follow and obey the devil.

“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. but you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:7
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed His approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. Hebrews 11:4

What did Abel give as an offering and why did it meet God’s requirement? Genesis 4:4
When it was time for the harvest, Abel brought the best of the first born lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift.
We note two things that must meet God’s requirements: the person who gives and the gift itself. God accepted both Abel and his gift, the best of his first born lambs. How did Abel know about God and His requirement? God had shown Adam. Adam had taught his two sons, Cain and Abel. But Abel obeyed and Cain disobeyed.

The lamb represents Jesus. The redemptive symbol and spiritual implication.
Without Jesus the Lamb of God, human race will perish forever, forever cut off from the holy God.
Sin is the number one enemy that blocks man from God.
Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Jesus shed His blood to redeem human race from sins and the penalty of sins.
Abel became a righteous man because of his obedience to God’s holy standard, by an act of faith, offering an acceptable sacrifice. God’s holy standard has never changed. God does not change. That is why He sent His Son Jesus who is without sin to die as the Lamb of God.

John the Baptist witnessed that Jesus is the Lamb of God -the Son of God:
When he saw Jesus coming toward him he said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (26-34) “The Father loves His Son and has put everything into His hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgement.” John 3:35-36 (27-36)

God witnessed that Jesus is His beloved Son:
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” Matthew 3:17
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5
“You are My dearly loved Son, and you being Me great joy.” Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22
“This is My Son, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.” Luke 9:35
“This is My dearly loved Son. Listen to Him.” Mark 9:7

The Apostle’s testimony: 2 Peter 1:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”[a] 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
Footnotes:
a.1:17 Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.

progress to be made in hearing God

living water .jpgThis is a pertinent issue for every Christian. Progress to be made to hear God. When I read through some of my old blogs I realize the length, breadth, height, and depth I have gone since then. My old blogs of walking by the Spirit reflected what I went through during a time of change, from not knowing God the Holy Spirit to discovering and encountering God in the Spirit. Those were days of wonders. When I read some of my blogs now I find that I have nothing much to say of my own experience except in the words of God. The words of God are my daily experience. My wonders. My signs. Do I still see visions? Do I still talk to God and receive His replies? Do I open the Bible and often see the exact words He uses to answer me? Do I still receive confirmations? Do I still see His words come to pass? Are my prayers still being answered and requests granted? Do I still pray in new tongues? Am I hearing God’s yes or no clearly? can I still have regular conversation with the Lord? Have I received more new light in understanding His words? The answer to all the aforementioned questions is “YES”. Then why am I not sharing them with my readers? Because now I know they are for me for a purpose. All I need to do is to listen and follow.

I would encourage you to ask the Lord too for His specific guidance. Read His words, pray in tongues, ask, and listen and/or read His words again for confirmation. Always wait for His replies. I have a sharing about speaking in tongues or praying in tongues. One recent day I was walking on the treadmill and broke out in tongues. I prayed for sometime and worshiped in the spirit, singing songs in tongues. Then I realized I was praying in a tongue which I had never heard or prayed or spoken before. It just appeared and came out from me. I knew it’s a new tongue. I continued to let it flow out like what Jesus said, “rivers of living water will flow from within them. ” (John 7:38-39) another occasion I was woken to pray in tongues for my nation. After I prayed I asked the Lord about my own near future direction and I asked for a vision. The vision came. I asked further what it meant and heard the Lord telling me what to do next and when it would take place. So I recorded for my future reference.

10th week 1st day: a distance of difference

distance from truth

There is a difference between what Jesus says and what a man hears. It is a hard issue. A heart issue. Here is today’s example. In today’s Bible reading, in Mark 12, Jesus talks about the reality of God and of the words of God which become life and spirit to those who hear, believe, receive as their own possessions and practice (John 6:63). He teaches that God is living and is over and above all the lives, time and history that human know of.

Note the conversation between Jesus and the well-schooled scribe (learned and recognized scholarly authority on the Law of Moses). See the difference between what Jesus says about loving God in a personal relationship through His words, and the interpretation of the scribe who places the command of God at a distance from him. 

Jesus says, “you”, “your”. The scribe replies, “the”. I have seen countless such distancing examples. Yet many Christians cannot understand why they cannot hear God. Why they cannot have a close relationship with God. The difference is the distancing of oneself when one receive the words of God. God is a personal God, and not a God in the distance, nor a God in history. He is not the God of a neighbor. He is my God. He is your God.

(The Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible NKJV unless otherwise noted.)

24…“Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving[b] that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.[c]This is the first commandment.[d] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul,[f] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

But after that no one dared question Him.

Today’s reading from the Holy Bible: Mark 12:18-37; Numbers 4:1-5:31; Proverbs 10:26; Psalm 35:11-18

9th week 4th day: my cost

Counting of gold
counting gold in the Kingdom of God

Today is about cost. The cost of relationship. The hefty prices. Payment. I have stayed away from this nation for a long time. Recently I came back for awhile. The first thing that really shocked me was the cost. One morning after my walk in the park, I got into the usual nearby economy supermarket and took a few essential basic breakfast food. When I checked out, I was in for a shock. I did not have enough cash to pay for the stuff. I thought I was carrying more than sufficient cash to even buy more if I had wanted to. But how wrong it turned out. I was holding up the queue. So I told the cashier to remove three items: tea, toilet paper, and oranges. It was the moment of truth in this nation. In less than a year, inflation of all goods and service have rocketed  by over 30%-100% (plus newly implemented additional sales and service taxes). The plastic bags cost twenty-five cents a piece. As I had to walk quite a distance to the parked car, I had to purchase three flimsy plastic grocery bags. It was like daylight robbery. When I went to a wet market to buy sweet potatoes the following day, the foreign work seller sighed and mumbled to me apologetically after he weighed and calculated the price of two tiny pieces of sweet potatoes. He said. “Nowadays no one can afford to eat anything!” Then he threw up his hands into the air and pointed to the fish market, “Tell me, who can afford to eat a fish today?” The fish market was indeed quite empty compared to a year ago. I briefly gazed at it, sighed, and left with my two precious sweet potatoes, imagining the various ways I can ration these two pieces of delicacy.

The message that touches me deeply today is what Jesus said about the real cost.

In Mark 10:13-31, Jesus talks about the un-calculative childlike requirement to receive and thereby enter the Kingdom of God. There is a Kingdom where God rules. The qualification to receive and enter it is not to count like the people of the world count. The mathematics of this world does not measure up in His Kingdom. The disciples were shock too when they heard this new math. “Then who in the world can be saved?” They questioned Jesus. Like, what is the point? Even the one who can count most cannot enter?

What Jesus replies is even more shocking. First, the one who cannot count can enter. Second, those who can count must henceforth become someone who cannot count.

What? How can this be possible? But Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

Peter could not understand and kept talking about human way of counting. So Jesus spoke to them about how the Kingdom of God’s math works. This is real good counting. I am happy I am using this math and not the one I had left behind.

Mark 10:29-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 10:31 Greek But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.

Today’s reading: Mark 10:13-31; Leviticus 24:1-25:46; Psalm 33:12-22; Proverbs 10:20-21

Watchman’s adventure: a list (1) first thing first

John 17-5
John 17:5 God spoke of Jesus

For every believer who wants to walk and live in the Kingdom of God, in the power and authority of Jesus, here is the List (1). A good list to start the year with. Yes, it has to do with our continuing to pursue and take full possession of every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly realms the Lord has given through His words. (Ephesians 1:3) Since we already have the motivation, we want to know ‘how’ to receive them. The ‘HOW’ list starts TODAY, the watchman was told. (Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. Boldness added.)

FIRST THINGS FIRST –SEE OUR SAVIOR, JESUS

The Gospel according to Matthew —

John the Baptist and messenger from God spoke:
3:1 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
3:11 “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

God spoke:
3:17 “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (NKJV)

Jesus spoke:
4:4 “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
4:7 “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
4:10 “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

God spoke again:
17:5 “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”

The Gospel according to John (NKJV)

Jesus spoke again:
11:41-42 “Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
14:10-11 “…The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,”
17:28 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world…”

Purpose of Signs: Faith and Love Grow

faith n love growTo understand God’s purpose in opening our eyes to see His signs around us in this time, we read 2 Thessalonians 1 today. The Christians in the Thessalonica were godly and mature. They were former idolaters. Their transformed lives after believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ demonstrated the power of the gospel. Despite their pagan past (influenced by ancient Greek and Roman religions, philosophies, and traditions), they have become model Christians.

2 Thessalonians 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

Greeting  Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s Final Judgment and Glory

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe,[a] because our testimony among you was believed.

11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Thessalonians 1:10 NU-Text and M-Text read have believed.

Day five: God says, “Love does not cheat!”

LoveOneAnotherCan one cheat in love? God says “NO”! Love is a covenant. In a covenanted relationship: No cheating. Love demands: purity, honesty, fairness and justice in monetary reward economic system, protection of the disadvantageous and weaker ones, love of goodness and righteousness, honor and mercy to one another, respect and reverential fear of God -the ultimate Supreme Judge. Love can sum up in one key: “Know God” (Who is good and does not change).

Bible reading ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Malachi 3 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Coming Day of Judgment
3 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. 4 Then once more the LORD will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.
5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
A Call to Repentance
6 “I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.[a] Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the LORD.
“But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”
The LORD’s Promise of Mercy
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
17 “They will be my people,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
Footnotes:
3:11 Hebrew from the devourer.

Day two: God defines love in action

20150603 an evening 3God defines love in action: (Malachi 1b)
1. Love means giving one’s best without reservation.
2. Love is the highest form of gifts.
3. The gift of love is pure and holy, according to God’s prescribed revealed standards.
4. Love gift requires a cost, a sacrifice.
5. Love can only be binding in a legal relationship.
6. The opposite of love in a legal relationship is contempt.
7. Love requires honor and respect.
8. Love can be seen by all.
9. Love is the measurement for performance appraisal.
10. Love is never cheap or cheat.
Unworthy Sacrifices (1:6-14)
6 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!
“But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’
7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.
“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?[c]’
“You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored[d] by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer[e] sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the Lord.
14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great King,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!
Footnotes:
1:1a Hebrew An Oracle: The message.
1:1b Malachi means “my messenger.”
1:7 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads defiled you?
1:11a Or will be honored.
1:11b Or will offer.