(Part 30)


December 23, 2017

Today’s reading:  Malachi 3:1-24

Greatness in Christ is about who we are and what we are called to do. For the latter, it is basically about doing the work of evangelization and mission, the commission by Jesus for His people to make disciples of all the nations. This is such divine work, helping bring people to salvation. But this work is dependent on the mundane reality of having money for mission.

The prophet Malachi tells God’s people what they need to do in the whole area of money and what they miss out on if they do not act accordingly. He accuses God’s people of robbing Him “of tithes and contributions!” (v.8c). When they do this, then they “are indeed accursed” (v.9a). Rather than being blessed, they are accursed! Accursed for robbing God rather than giving Him what is His due. How can an accursed people aspire to greatness?

Then God tells His people what they need to do. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse” (v.10a). For what purpose? “That there may be food in my house.” (v.10b). That the people of God may feed and provide nourishment to others, with spiritual and material food.

Then God issues a challenge. “Put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and pour down upon you blessing without measure!” (v.10c). A flood of blessings! Blessing without measure! Now that is about greatness. God’s people will be blessed materially. “I will rebuke the locust for you so that it will not destroy your crops, and the vine in the field will not be barren, says the Lord of hosts.” (v.11). They will also be blessed in their spiritual work, in being witnesses to the nations. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts.” (v.12).

God’s promises to His people do not change. “For I, the Lord, do not change” (v.6a). God still tells His people the same thing today. “Return to me, that I may return to you” (v.7b). We give back to God (what is actually His) and we receive so much more in return.

Destined for greatness? Give your contributions to God first.

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