Do The Right Thing!

Malachi 2:1-9, 3:5-6

Priests of the past, were required to uphold a strict standard, set by God, to keep themselves holy, and the people consistent in righteous living. All men were responsible for their own soul salvation, but some were set in place, to assist and guide men in the ways they should go. Priests were to first, keep the name of the Lord holy at all times. They were also required to be free from sin, and pure of heart, before presenting sacrifices to the Lord. These elect men were in covenant agreement with God, and promised to keep the law of truth in their mouths, abstain from iniquity, walk in peace and equity with the Lord, and deliver messages to the people that were approved by God alone. God’s name and very nature are to be respected and reverenced, more so by those who claim to follow Him, but when men and women of God fail to consistently obey His commands, warning comes as a last result, before judgment interrupts their unpleasant lifestyles.

Our text reveals a similar situation, when God gave a final warning to His corrupt priests. God said, ” If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts” (vs. 2-4). Wait a minute! Did God say He’ll spread doodoo on their faces? Out of all that, I would focus on that part lol. I know God wasn’t being literal, but it’s all the same in a sense. The men were committing reprehensible acts, and God despised them, so for all the wicked things they were doing, God would repay them in various ways (including spreading poop on their faces lol. My bad, I couldn’t help it).

When you do things that harm your own soul, it’s frowned upon, but when you commit acts that hurt the souls of others, this brings upon greater judgment and punishment. Whether you are in a position of authority, or not, commit all your works to the Lord, and allow Him to establish your thoughts. Also, be mindful of your actions, and make sure you never do anything to harm anyone’s soul.

Walk in love,

Ell

Cycle Mania!

Malachi 3:7-12

Watching men live in disobedience, is like listening to a scratched CD, or vinyl repeat the same tune, from God’s perspective. The average parent typically deals with maybe 18 to 21 years of behavioral issues from their children, but could you imagine dealing with misbehaved kids for your entire life (I can sense, some reading this feel they actually are lol)? For thousands of years, God has endured monitoring His people rebel against Him consistently. At times, they would return, and change their ways, but only to revert back into sin, after being forgiven. God hates sin, and cannot tolerate how it causes His people to deliberately disobey Him, yet His mercy endures forever. Generations of people have turned their hearts against God, and gone away from His ordinances, but when they’ve had their fill of humiliation and trouble, they would turn around to see God still standing, with His arms wide open, to receive them back unto Himself.

After counting all your blessings, take a brief moment to consider how many times you fell short of God’s glory, and He didn’t hesitate to forgive you, after you repented. It’s been written, we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit, but many find themselves constantly falling into sin, then seeking God for forgiveness after. Live your days striving to sin less, and not repeat cycles of disobedience. God will bless you abundantly, but you have to uphold His righteous standard, and live a consistent life of holiness, righteousness, and faithfulness.

Walk in love,

Ell

Back In The Day…

Malachi 2:17-3:4

If you could lay the ole’ days side by side with modern times, there would be very little similarities, and a looooooong list of differences. It’s hard not to think back on how things use to be, because the days continue to get worse. I can remember the times, when children actually enjoyed playing outside (after doing their homework, without internet assistance), and never complained that it was too hot, or got tired after 5 minutes of running around. Food was actually healthier in the past, and home cooked meals were a norm in most houses. Churches worked together in providing services to communities, and even managed to convince some to give their hearts to the Lord. “Those were the days” (in my Archie and Edith Bunker voice lol). Unfortunately, kids have become slothful, food isn’t really “food” these days, and churches have become more social clubs than houses of prayer.

There’s nothing new under the sun, because back in ancient times, the children of God experienced the same unhealthy habits we partake of today. They would offer up acceptable offerings to the Father, and He was pleased, but over time, those offerings would be rejected, because God was more concerned about the people living holy, rather than presenting unpleasant sacrifices. When our lives don’t mirror the image of God, He cares nothing for an offering or sacrifice, until we get ourselves together. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36, 37). God cares for the human soul, but the soul that sins (without repentance), shall surely die. Forget about all your offerings, and things you do to supposedly make God proud, and focus on maintaining a healthy spiritual relationship with the Father. When you and God are tight, then the rest of your life will align itself accordingly. You’ll love people more, and be more apt to give acceptable offerings to God. Never forget, only in God, can you make this world a better place.

Walk in love,

Ell

Love Thy Neighbor…Or Else

Malachi 2:10-16)

*”why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother…?” In times of crises and distress, family should always stick together. Despite how difficult things get, family unity is what gives everyone hope, and strength to endure all things. The family of believers thrive, when each member faithfully carries out his or her calling, without being a hindrance or distraction to their brother or sister. Conversely, when supposed members of the church turn against those whom they should support, this allows the enemy the opportunity to infiltrate the church, and plant seeds of chaos and wickedness. This is why the state of the modern-day church is in total disarray. Leaders are beyond corrupt, and have caused many to follow in their misguided footsteps. God loves order, and can only bless those who walk according to His way, but corruption has overwhelmed, and overtaken the minds of many, who at one point, were committed to holiness, but have been turned over to a reprobate mind.

How can a man who claims to love God, harbor unforgiveness in his heart? To his surprise, the unforgiveness he clings to, doesn’t affect those he hates, but it negatively affects his own self. It’s impossible for anyone to truly love God, and hate or hurt their neighbor. God’s love works against all evil, and can never cause, nor initiate anything that would hinder a man from growing in godliness.

I often mention how these are the days when “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:53). Knowing the days are evil, should motivate the body of Christ to join together, rather than fall apart. Our adversary, the devil, takes pleasure in watching us fight against each other, and uses our bitterness to keep us separated. But, God wants His people to be holy, and treat each other with kindness. Only together, can our witness be strong enough to have an impact on this perverse society.

Walk in love,

Ell

No Matter What, Trust God

Malachi 1:11-14

Are you afraid of all that’s going on in the world as of late? Does the rising number of individuals all over the globe being affected with the coronavirus, cause you to cringe and cower in fear. Have you spent hundreds of dollars on hand sanitizer and toilet paper, but forgot to load up on other essentials, like FOOD? It’s evident, we are living in the last of the last days, and the plan of the enemy is unfolding in full force. Churches are closing, men are unable to fellowship as they were commanded to, and the elderly are dying off from this horrible virus. Of all that’s going on, do you think God was caught off guard by these recent occurrences? Was He aware, that satan’s agenda to separate the body of believers would happen at such a rapid pace? Everything that’s taking place in this time, was prophesied in Scripture. From the plagues of locust swarms in East Africa, to the COVID-19 virus that has literally shut down Italy, and other countries, these are just a few of the intense end-time events, scheduled to take place.

While the world focuses on all the seemingly negative things occurring, God is monitoring His children, to see whether they’ll remain true to His Word, in midst of what’s going on, and what’s to come, or give in to the world’s “new” normal standards. Something big is about to take place in our society, and it will be uncomfortable for many, but to those who are in God, we must hold fast to our faith, and not lose heart, despite what the world tries to force upon us.

“From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles;” (vs. 11a). The state of the world doesn’t surprise God at all. In fact, He’s just tapping His foot, awaiting the moment to send His Son to the earth, to rescue the Body of Christ from all this foolishness. The world will soon see for themselves, that the name of the Lord, is indeed a very strong tower, and the righteous will be caught up, to meet Him in the air. But for now, we must continue to be bold, and stand firm, despite how the world changes, because God will give His people a strategy, on how to keep themselves, during these days of pestilence and gloom.

Walk in love,

Ell

The Perfect Sacrifice

Leviticus 22:17-25

Rendering offerings to God, was a major part of the ancient Israelite culture. The sacrificial system between God and His chosen people, was set in place as a means of restoring unity, or amending their relationship. When the perfect God required offerings from His imperfect people, He only accepted perfect sacrifices. Some may be led to believe, nothing in life is perfect, so how could God expect something from Israel, that was impossible to accomplish. Well, God’s definition of perfect differs from man’s. According to the text, perfect is defined as, without blemish. Blemishes are small flaws that spoil the appearance of a thing, so God expected the people to thoroughly inspect their offerings, before presenting them to Him. I can picture in my head, Moses and the people inspecting every little detail of a sheep or goat, ensuring that there are no flaws, which could cause God to reject their offering. L

Animal sacrifices have been replaced by the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t let us off the hook. God still demands a perfect sacrifice from our very own lives. While we may not appear perfect in the eyes of men, we have the power of God’s Spirit working within us, to keep us spotless, and free from all blemishes.

Walk in love,

Ell

Godly Representatives

Psalm 50:1-15

Parents (mainly mothers) are keen on making sure their children are well groomed, and pleasant, before leaving the house. Shirts should be tucked in, belts buckled, shoes laced properly, noses wiped, and all crunchies removed from the eyes, so that when the children are presented to the public, they represent their parents well. Throughout the day, children have the tendency to slack from following their parents instructions, especially when they are absent from each other, but when the kids see mom and dad coming, they quickly gather themselves together, and try to look as good as they did, before leaving the house.

God loves His children beyond what words can describe, and He takes delight in making sure they look good to the world. When we pray, study, and live holy before leaving our homes, God allows our lights to shine bright, and illuminate the darkness throughout world. Just as kids sometimes get a little loose when their parents leave their presence for a moment, children of God also have moments when they get a little lax in their Christian duties. In these moments, God allows things to happen, in order to guide us back into good standing with Him. This is important because, if God didn’t care for His people, and allowed them to remain unkempt, in a sense, the enemy would gladly, and easily sift them as wheat. I’m so grateful that God is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. God is our loving Father, and we should strive to represent Him better and better, each day.

Walk in love

Ell