God's Ways Work!

6 “A son naturally honors his father and a slave respects his master. If I am your father, where is my honor? If I am your master, where is my respect? The Lord who rules over all asks you this, you priests who make light of my name! But you reply, ‘How have we made light of your name?’...By treating the table of the Lord as if it is of no importance! 8 For when you offer blind animals as a sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer the lame and sick, is that not wrong as well? Indeed, try offering them to your governor! Will he be pleased with you or show you favor?”...“13 You also say, ‘How tiresome it is.’ You turn up your nose at it,” says the Lord who rules over all, “and instead bring what is stolen, lame, or sick. You bring these things for an offering! Should I accept this from you?” asks the Lord. 14 “There will be harsh condemnation for the hypocrite who has a valuable male animal in his flock but vows and sacrifices something inferior to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord who rules over all, “and my name is awesome among the nations.”  Malachi 1:6-14 (NET)

few thoughts from this:
- How do you view God?  As a loving father or a master who commands you?  
Malachi speaks to both.  If he is father how might you honor him?  If you see God as a master, who do you show him the proper respect?  
(side note...Seeing God as a loving father is much more peaceful.)

- What will you bring to the Lord's table?  Your best or what's left?
Notice here that a gift was given.  It's not about the person who will not give.  This is about what the person chooses to give.  What Malachi calls out is the one who keeps the best for himself but offers a lesser gift to God.  Think about it this way...Are you giving God your best?
Does God get the best of you or the rest of you?

- Do you find it "tiresome" to serve the Lord?  If you answered yes to this question, let me follow it up with this one...Why don't you feel God is worth the effort?  
In my experience, I have noticed this.  Those who find following God tiresome are the ones who try to half-way follow yet expect the full favor of God.  This leads to a very frustrated relationship.  Think on this...again if you find God tiresome.  Do you give God your very best or do you try to fool Him by giving him your leftovers attached with an excuse for why you gave/did "that" instead of "this"?  A life of worship that is filled with half-heartedness and excuses will lead to a tired walk.  

But let me encourage you.  God's ways work.  But kinda doing God's ways frustrates.  Just give in to God.  It's time to fully submit to what He asks...and then, even those who grow weary will find their strength in the Lord.

Pastor Matt