4 Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. 5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the Lord—even beyond the borders of Israel!’Malachi 1.4-5 NIV
Malachi declares that God has loved us with a sovereign love. God’s love for his people is sovereign because he freely chose to love us. God chooses to love whom he chooses. He was under no constraint or obligation to love us. Those whom God chooses, he will work out his salvation and redemption in their lives. This entails the Lord frustrating the plans and bringing judgment upon (Malachi 1:4) everything that sets itself against the salvation and blessing of his people. He will save and redeem his church. Great is the Lord! Great is his sovereign love! Great is his salvation! We have seen and experienced this in Christ, and we will participate in declaring it to our campuses, workplaces, cities, and beyond (Malachi 1:5).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for our friends, classmates, co-workers, and families. May those that don’t know you experience your sovereign love that saves and redeems despite all opposition. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “We Praise You” by Matt Redman (click here).
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:6-8 NIV
“Election, then, is a biblical expression of God’s love for us in Christ. Election is meant to humble us, remove boasting, remove entitlement, remove pride, and eradicate self-reliance. God’s love is unconditional. The nation of Israel did nothing to deserve election or salvation from slavery, and, in the same way, you did nothing to deserve His love… We can do nothing good to persuade Him to love us more. Neither can we do anything wrong to make Him love us any less. No one will ever love you like God loves you (1 John 4:9,19) and the only proper response is to love Him back.” (Fries, Micah, et al., Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary, p. 210).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise you for the ultimate expression of your sovereign love displayed in Christ’s death and resurrection. I humbly ask today that you would remove pride, self-entitlement, and self-reliance from my heart. Awaken within me a stronger love and passion for you in response to your love for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “The Awesome God You Are” by Passion (click here).
10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”Romans 9:10-13 NIV
“If one’s righteousness were the condition for God’s grace, no one would enter the kingdom. All would experience separation from Him in a Christless place called hell if grace were based on human response to God’s righteous conditions. But that is what is so amazing about grace! The point is not that God loved Jacob more than Esau, but that He desired to make a covenant with Jacob instead of Esau. Consequently, the reason why election is referred to in Malachi 1 is not to create a sense of exclusion. Instead, election is deployed by the prophet to comfort and reassure the people of God. God’s electing love is not based on performance, position, or power. It’s based on His prerogative.” (Fries, Micah, et al., Exalting Jesus in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi: Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary, p. 208)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that your purpose in election stands above all other factors and influences in my life. When difficult times come, may your amazing grace reassure me that your plans will prevail. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “Grateful” by Elevation Worship (click here).
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, 3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”Malachi 1:2-3 NIV
“The words love and hate should be understood in their covenantal sense as ‘chosen’ and ‘not chosen.’ Since God chose Jacob to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, He loved him. Since God did not choose Esau, He hated him. God went against the standard rules regarding the priority of the firstborn son by electing Jacob. According to the apostle Paul, this choice took place prior to the birth of the twins (Romans 9:10-12).” (Fries, Micah, et al., Exalting Jesus in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi: Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary, p. 207)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for going against the standard rules of this world that emphasize performance, social class, strength, wealth, popularity, external beauty, and power. Thank you for choosing me before I was even born to know you and be your own. I am in awe of your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “Love So High” by Hillsong Worship (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following scripture, confession, and prayer:
4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT
“Such love is not weak or sentimental. The love of God is covenantally faithful, committed, self-giving, sacrificial, strong, and holy. Since God is love, love permeates God’s whole being and all his actions, his justice as well as his compassion. God’s love extends over all his creation. We are commanded to love in ways that reflect the love of God in all those same dimensions. That is what it means to walk in the way of the Lord.” The Cape Town Commitment
Prayer: Oh Lord, where would we be if you had not chosen us? So Heavenly Father, thank you for loving and choosing us in Christ. We humbly ask for you to empower us through the Holy Spirit to walk in the way of the Lord, to love in response to your faithful, sacrificial, holy, and strong love. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Let’s sing to the song “Jesus Loves Me” by Chris Tomlin (click here).