What is God Looking For?

January 31, 2017

What is God Looking For?

Malachai 3:1-12

“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

2But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

5“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.

6“I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.

“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

8“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’

“In tithes and offerings. 9You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. 12“Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)”  God is calling us in this hour to give attention to His temple that has been in ruin for so long.  Oh we have our beautiful buildings and wonderful church services, but the true state of the church is seen in the state of the God’s people.  What we have seen in our private homes is often what we have seen in the church.  We all have our own little houses and we are content to pretty much keep to ourselves and just take care of our own.  If I’m good, then you’re good. 

God is asking, “How is that working out for you?  Are you abundantly blessed or are you just living paycheck to paycheck with nothing left over?”  This was the state of affairs when the remnant of Jews had come back from Babylon.  The temple was in ruins, but as long as they had their own habitations they were content to leave it that way.  Haggai chapter 1 addresses them, and I believe us in this hour.  ” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.’”

3Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”

12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.”

We are that present priesthood of God that God wants to purify, so that we can bring the whole tithes and offerings into the house.  We have often had the perception that as long as I have given my ten percent I fulfilled my requirement and brought the whole tithe.  Most of us haven’t really been faithful even in that, but the whole tithe is not just the tithe, but the offering as well.  

If we are the temple and it lies in ruin, then it must be evident that there are a lot of God’s people who are not being fully ministered too, spiritually or physically.  We in this country have grown up with the ideology that its us four and no more.  We take care of our own and don’t worry about everybody else.  That is  not God’s heart.  His heart is that we take care of one another.  That we get involved in one another’s lives and help each other in the ways that we can.  Some can help financially and some give of the talents and abilities that they have to offer so the body is no longer in lack.  

As God is teaching us to operate out of a kingdom mentality and not a capitalist one we have to see ourselves, all of us, as our brother’s keeper.  The body has to become unified not just in the church building, but in every day life. When we fail to see and address one another’s’ needs we are in effect robbing God, because Christ is in each of us.  The church, the temple of God, has to learn to function as an organism and not an organization.  Our function is to do as Ephesians 4:16 tells us, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  If we want to begin to really see the blessing of God in our lives we have to bring the “whole tithe” into the house so that every need is met as we operate, not out of obligation or guilt, but out of the love of God.  When I bless and meet my brother’s need I am doing it as unto Christ.  If Christ came to us hungry, homeless, jobless, would we not take Him in and provide what we could for Him?  In the same respect, if we took Christ in do you think He would only take from us and not give back.  We know that we can not out bless God.  

Consider and allow the Holy Spirit to show you how you can bless someone today.  It is when we start building the temple of God up in love that God’s blessings will be released upon our lives and we will experience our breakthrough.  

Blessings,

#kent

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