This devotional was originally published on June 9, 2017.
“If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.”
— Malachi 1:6
“For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”
— Malachi 1:14
“But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty.”
— Malachi 2:8
Imagine for a moment that my son borrows my tennis racket. He keeps it for six months, playing with it regularly. During one of his tennis matches, a string breaks, so in his frustration, he throws it against the fence and the grip flies off.
A week later at my birthday party, I eagerly open the gift he brings me. It is my tennis racket, with the string still broken, scratches everywhere from his fit of anger and a missing grip. He has given me a gift, but one that belonged to me in the first place. And he has returned it to me in a tattered and broken condition, presuming I will be happy just to have it back.
Are we as Christians guilty of offering the same type of gifts to God? Do we give God the money that is left over after our expenses, or do we happily return to him a portion of what he provides us as soon as the paycheck hits our bank account? Do we extol on him the praise he deserves every day, or are we content to absorb the warm fuzzies on Sunday morning? Do we have a reverence for God that exceeds any human position or person? Is God really God to us, or just a celestial figure we attempt to placate with sporadic prayer and half-hearted worship during our morning commute?
In the book of Malachi, God reminds the priests that he is the Master, a great King, and the Lord Almighty. Even though the priests were scholars and teachers of the Old Testament law, they disregarded God’s requirements of proper sacrifices. They knew exactly what was necessary for a pleasing sacrifice to God. And then they ignored the requirement and took shortcuts. At the root of the problem, they abandoned their reverence of the Lord.
As Christians, we must be vigilant to avoid falling into the same trap. Since he is the Master, a great King, and the Lord Almighty, doesn’t he deserve our best?
It can be a warning for all of us. The good news is that today can be the day for each of us to remember and recognize him as the God of the universe. And we can commit to thankfully and cheerfully giving him our best in everything.
And if you have never committed your life to follow the Lord Almighty, today can be the day to settle your ultimate destiny and begin a life with him. Recognize that you are separated from him and that he is the only remedy for the sin that separates you from him. Place your complete trust in Jesus as the Master and surrender your life to Jesus.
He is the Lord Almighty!