*A PASSION FOR GOD BY DAN LEAVITT Feb. 7, 2016
How To Have God’s Crazy Love
Malachi 1 (MSG)
1 A Message. God’s Word to Israel through Malachi:
2-3 God said, “I love you.”
You replied, “Really? How have you loved us?”
“Look at history” (this is God’s answer). “Look at how differently I’ve treated you, Jacob, from Esau: I loved Jacob and hated Esau. I reduced pretentious
5 “Yes, take a good look. Then you’ll see how faithfully I’ve loved you and you’ll want even more, saying, ‘May God be even greater, beyond the borders of Israel!’
6 “Isn’t it true that a son honors his father and a worker his master? So if I’m your Father, where’s the honor? If I’m your Master, where’s the respect?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies is calling you on the carpet: “You priests despise me!
“You say, ‘Not so! How do we despise you?’
“By your shoddy, sloppy, defiling worship.
“You ask, ‘What do you mean, “defiling”? What’s defiling about it?’
7-8 “When you say, ‘The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of Godis no longer a priority,’ that’s defiling. And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you’re trying to get rid of—blind and sick and crippled animals—isn’t that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator—how far do you think it will get you?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
9 “Get on your knees and pray that I will be gracious to you. You priests have gotten everyone in trouble. With this kind of conduct, do you think I’ll pay attention to you?” God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
10 “Why doesn’t one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then none of you can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased. The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is not pleased. And I don’t want any more of this so-called worship!
Offering God Something Hand-Me-Down, Broken, or Useless
11 “I am honored all over the world. And there are people who know how to worship me all over the world, who honor me by bringing their best to me. They’re saying it everywhere: ‘God is greater, this God-of-the-Angel-Armies.’
12-13 “All except you. Instead of honoring me, you profane me. You profane me when you say, ‘Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,’ and when you say, ‘I’m bored—this doesn’t do anything for me.’ You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air—act superior to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it’s a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I’m going to accept it? This is God speaking to you!
14 “A curse on the person who makes a big show of doing something great for me—an expensive sacrifice, say—and then at the last minute brings in something puny and worthless! I’m a great king, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, honored far and wide, and I’ll not put up with it!”
First your gotta know Him
- Do you know Him?
- His character
Deuteronomy 6:5, the statement is made, “Hear O Israel, The LORD our God is one LORD.”
- Likes and dislikes
- A cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7.
- The world. John 3:16.
- Justice. Psalm 11:7, Psalm 37:28.
- The righteous. Psalm 146:8
- Christians. I John 4:15-16; John 16:27.
- Non-Christians. Romans 5:8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Those who love Him. Deuteronomy 7:9.
- Those who obey His commands. Deuteronomy 7:9
- Those who pursue godliness. Proverbs 15:9.
- Those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11.
C. What He has done for us.
- He has blessed you
Ephesians 1:3 (TLB)
How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ.
- He has chosen you
Ephesians 1:4 (TLB)
Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love.
- He has secured you
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NIV)
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
- He has given us significance
John 15:16 (NIV)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
- Get to know Him everyday
Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”
- Follow Jesus’ example of praying constantly and consistently. When we examine the life of Jesus as well as that of Daniel and others who had a passion for God, we find that prayer was a vital ingredient in their relationships with God (even a quick reading of the gospels and the Book of Daniel reveals this). As with Bible study, prayer—sincere and open communication with God—is essential. You cannot imagine a man and woman growing in love without communicating, so prayer cannot be neglected without expecting one’s love for God to grow cold. Prayer is part of the armor against our greatest enemies (Ephesians 6:18). We may have a desire to love God, but we will fail in our walk without prayer (Matthew 26:41).
- Walk closely with Him NOW. (1 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 6:21).
- Eliminate the competition.
Jesus said it is impossible to have two masters (Matthew 6:24).
We are tempted to love the world
1 John 2:15-17 (NLV)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love is not in him. 16 For everything that is in the world does not come from the Father. The desires of our flesh and the things our eyes see and want and the pride of this life come from the world. 17 The world and all its desires will pass away. But the man who obeys God and does what He wants done will live forever.
James 4:4 (KJV)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
- Return. Malachi 3:7 New International Version
Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty.