Dec. 7 – Malachi 3-4- Marv Nelson
Preparation. Anticipation. Remembrance. God has not forgotten, nor will He forsake His people. One will come that will make a way for the Lord. This one will prepare the hearts of His people to receive their King.
This promise caused a deep longing and anticipation within the People of the Lord. God had not forgotten them! He remembered their cries. So they waited. And waited. And waited. The preparation was not yet at hand. Their anticipation wained and they began to forget God.
Malachi didn’t know when the promise was going to take place, but he knew it would. This promise wasn’t just a promise of salvation. It was a promise of cleansing. It was a promise of renewal and dismissal of evil. The hope they longed for would eliminate the rebellious. Things would change. How then were they to wait?
Placed within this promise was an amazing nugget of truth. The burning question God challenged His priests with in chapter 2 and now to the people as a whole in chapter 3…that question was: “Will you offer all of yourself?”
When we do not withhold ourselves from God, He will not withhold Himself from us. The anticipation we feel for His advent should be an anticipation that leads us to such a sacrificial offering that we are willing to lay everything down. Will we wait with a Hope that knows when we surrender all, He will give all? This does not mean when we do, we force Christ to return, but rather this is the manner and disposition in which we are to await His arrival. God was asking His people to offer up their all. Many of them were not in a place to desire such a sacrifice. This lackluster sacrifice lingered through the nations and killed many a man’s anticipation of the Messiah’s return. They developed a box with which He should fit and thus missed Christ when He came.
Prayer: Lord, may I give you my all. May I not hold back a portion for myself, but offer all to you. May this giving of self develop a deeper anticipation of your second advent. Give me a heart of surrender.