“It’s the love of Christ that compels us.”

Sunday’s look at Malachi can teach us some things. What lesson is there for us today?

Well, one thing is for sure. The book of Malachi is not in the Bible to teach us about how to sacrifice animals on the altar in order to gain forgiveness of our sins or to achieve a right standing with God.

In fact, there are many places in the Old Testament that speak to the fact that, even in Old Testament times, animals sacrifices were meaningless without a changed and loving heart. In Psalm 69:30-31, David wrote the he “will praise the name of God with a song and magnify him with thanksgiving, which will please the Lord more than an ox or bull.” In Psalm 50, God tells the people he “had no need of a bull from your stall. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for every animal is mine. But sacrifice thank offerings and call on me in your time of trouble; and I will deliver you and you will honor me.” That was something the people did not seem to understand. Even in Old Testament times, what God really wanted was his children to respond to him with thankful and loving hearts.

So why Malachi chapter 1? To remind us that God wants our best praise and our most heartfelt thanks. It seems to be a very reasonable request and expectation. After all, he has saved our souls and called us to him and into the family of God.

He is not interested in a casual tip of the hat on a few Sundays a year or a check written in haste and obligation a few times each year. Our God and Savior deserves more than that. He requires and expects more than that. And we, as his children, should want to give him much more than that.

Bring your best praise to God today. Give thanks today and bless his name.