Thursday, November 17, 2016
Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.
The people of God had returned from exile and found themselves floundering in their faith. The temple had been rebuilt but their hearts were growing cold. Instead of bringing their very best to sacrifice before God they were bringing their leftovers. The prophet was chiding the people because he knew that they would have brought their best before the secular king, and yet they brought their worst to God.
In the midst of his prophetic words we read this verse which provides a vision of the future. When the chosen people of God refuse to worship, then God’s name will spread and become great among the nations. The Gentiles will come to worship God — the very people that the Jews looked down upon would take up their place in the kingdom.
In the future there will be a pure offering made for God and true worship will occur when they come to know the LORD of hosts.
It’s easy to wear the label of Christian, but not so simple to live out authentic faith. We can become caught up in all the trappings of doing church without really knowing Christ. That’s when we begin taking short-cuts and we stop bringing our very best to God. Sunday morning service attendance simply becomes a formality and a weekly habit, rather than a place of intimate and authentic worship of God. Bringing a tithe becomes optional and many of us rationalize that we can personally decide when and where to give our funds. In the meantime we are missing out on participating in the heavenly vision of true worship.
The time will come when all the world will see and understand that Jesus Christ is Lord. The name of Jesus will become great among every nation and true worship will become a reality. The best we have to offer will be brought to the Lord with a generous heart.
We don’t have to wait for that day to arrive but we can participate now in that true worship. Our focus must remain on Jesus, the one whose name is great and greatly to be praised. In love and adoration we bring Jesus the very best that we have to offer. We give God our best time, talents and resources and provided in sacrifice to the Lord of hosts. In humble service we participate with God’s activity in the world and our lifestyle, everything that we do, day in and day out, becomes our true act of worship.
Lord, please help me to live my life to worship you. Amen.