Shaun continues the series in Malachi with a look at how the people were neglecting the tithing practice that had sustained the priests and their instruction. We too often fall into the belief that the resources we have are ours to keep, but that ignores the reality that they are created or obtained by the blessings that God has given us. We should therefore return a portion as an act of worship to perpetuate the teaching of God’s word. When we become more generous, we can also take more joy as we discover the blessings that God had given us but that we hadn’t noticed while focused the things we do for our ourselves.
Shaun’s series from Malachi continues with God’s reply to Israel’s complaint at the observed lack of justice. The issue with this complaint from Israel was that they were participating in the same injustice about which they complained. God’s response to both their words and their actions is a forecast of the coming of Jesus, and we see how caring about Jesus and caring about justice are correspondingly bound together.
Shaun continues the series in Malachai with another indictment, this time against God’s people. In pursuing their own material or worldly improvement, they had abandoned the purpose and path that God had set for them. Even so, God was waiting to love them should they repent and turn back to Him.
Shaun speaks from Malachi’s message to Israel by way of its priests. The priests had abandoned their responsibility to be God’s messengers; God, in turn, shows a complete lack of apathy both in this message and, more generally, in His love for His people. We (including, but not limited to those in particular pastoral positions), in response to this extravagant (and unearned) love, ought to heed His instructions.
Shaun continues the series in Malachi with the charge aginst the people and priest of bringing insincere sacrifices. Though we no longer practice burnt offerings in the same way that Malachi’s contemporaries did, we are still called to approach God reverently and to offer whole-hearted worship.
Shaun begins a sermon series from Malachi with the first of God’s responses to an accusation/question from Israel: how does God love Israel? Israel had followed Esau in a pattern of transactional devotion, yet God had preserved and continued to call Israel.
When we look at the story of Bathsheba in light of the Gospel, or the message of Jesus’ coming, it is a message of hope for ordinary people who don’t really see any astounding victories in their lives and who may feel more hurt than heroics.
Max Harris speaks of the Holy family using exegesis to explore its composition (and the practical implications thereof), theology to discuss the relevance of that composition, and the significance of Jesus’ role in our lives the flesh-out the impact on our family dynamics and experiences.
Chris Vogel continues the Advent sermon series with a reflection on the pattern of God’s work that was demonstrated in His interaction with Joseph in the days of his engagement to Mary. As declared in Joseph’s dream, God’s deliverance and presence are required; that requirement comes at the cost of Joseph’s comfort, sense of competence, and sense of control.
Michael Vogel looks at the genealogy of Jesus at the beginning of the book of Matthew. While the list includes many notable and kingly figures, it also points out the shortcomings of these famous Jews and the outsiders that are key to the royal line. God’s plan for salvation includes sinners and outsiders – both historic and present – so we need to remember that God’s message is for everyone, even the people we think are outsiders today.