As we open our bible to Mal. 1 it says, it begins to open the subject of a poor and luke-warm heart for the Lord, the following: 6 "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?' 7 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. 8 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. 9And 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. 10 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. 11For 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. 12But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13But 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. 14Cursed 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. Then we turn to Rev. 2 and it continues on this subject with the following, Jesus addressing the Ephesus church: 1"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: 'The words of(A) him who holds the seven stars in his right hand,(B) who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2(C) "'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but(D) have tested those(E) who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up(F) for my name's sake, and you(G) have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned(H) the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do(I) the works you did at first. If not,(J) I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have: you hate the works of(K) the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7(L) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.(M) To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of(N) the tree of life, which is in(O) the paradise of God.' They had abandoned their first love for the Lord. It reminds me of the parable of the sower wherer we have the seeds that fell on rocky soil and it is those who receive the good news with joy and singing but then something happens, with the trouble the faith disappears like morning dew in the heat of the day. It bears not fruit. Like the fig tree who had no fruit in season or out of season. Then we turn our bible to the church at Laodecea and Jesus just has to tell them something stern in the trouble they are in. The account goes as follows: 14"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the(A) Amen,(B) the faithful and true witness,(C) the beginning of God's creation. 15"'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.(D) Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17(E) For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor,(F) blind, and naked. 18I counsel you(G) to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and(H) white garments so that you may clothe yourself and(I) the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes,(J) so that you may see. 19(K) Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and(L) knock.(M) If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,(N) I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21(O) The one who conquers,(P) I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as(Q) I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22(R) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" This ones were wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. And this things are thing that can happen to me and us. The devil is very agile in bringing in a burn-out situation to our devotion to serve the Lord. And it happens like those at Malachi that we start to offer the Lord our second best devoted heart to his matters. We begin to look at the bible as a perhaps and not a sure certain. And like I said it can happen to me, you or anyone no matter how well grounded on the word we might think we stand. That why we have to pray that we manage Gods' grace wisely and make the best or our strength. If you leave you bible study until you just had enough of television or your ipod, the devil can move pretty quickly and suddely God's word is an upward climb or a nagging chore that you just have to do but suddenly the spirit or joy is not there. So let's us beware of this phenomenon and fight the trojan horses the devil uses to distract you from your sincere devotion to Christ. May you have a good day. Amen. thbg
Thank you bubba and redeemed4ever for your kind amens. It just so happens that I wrote this because this is the way I began to feel about myself today. I began to be surrounded by my worries and suddenly my concerns controled my life and not Christ. That notion- "That could never happen to me..." is folly and dangerous to stop praying for Gods' lead and protection.
The war is not against flesh and blood but against flocks of devils themselves who are very real and the attack on us even constant. The remedy- a joyful heart and cheerful smile as we serve Christ. Thanks again, bubba and redeemed4ever for your solidarity and fellowship on this message. Amen.