Day Five: Mutual Ministry

16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” (Malachi 3.16-18)

“Not only did these good people fear God, they also encouraged each other. Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another (16). God has made us for positive relationships with each other, and a vital part of those relationships is mutual encouragement. We need to be encouraged by others, and we need to encourage others as well. Encouragement is a good mixture of personal interest, affirmation of what is good and godly, exhortation to continue, endure and grow, warning of any dangers, and promise of support, interest, love and prayers. It is a mutual ministry to which all are called, and which all need.” (P. Adam, The Message of Malachi)

Let’s pray: Lord, may we seek to encourage one another, to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Empower us through your Spirit to use our gifts to build up the body of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Hands to the Heavens” by Kari Jobe (click here).



Day Four: Did You Receive My Messenger?

“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.
               But 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. He 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… (Malachi 3.1-3)

“A more specific Messianic focus also appears in Malachi. The prophet predicted that the renewal of God’s people would take place through the work of ‘the messenger of the covenant’ (Mal. 3:1), who would be preceded by ‘the prophet Elijah’ (Mal. 4:5; Mal. cf. 3:1-2). The New Testament specifically identifies Jesus as this messenger and John the Baptist as the one who preceded him and who ministered in the spirit and power of Elijah (Matt. 11:14; 17:10-12; Luke 1:17). Thus Jesus cleansed the Temple (John 2:14-17) as the prophet had predicted (Mal. 3:1, 3) and will utterly purify the people of God and their worship when he returns in glory (Rev. 21:22-27).” (R. Pratt, “Overview of Malachi”, NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible)

Let’s pray: Lord, all glory to God for salvation in Jesus Christ! How great is your love, Lord! All the glory is yours! For ever and ever! All glory to you! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Yours (Glory and Praise)” by Elevation (click here).



Day Three: The Means to Open the Floodgates of Heaven

10 Bring 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 there will not be room enough to store it… 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,”  says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3.10, 12)

“It’s because of his love that God wants the whole tithe. Of course, he doesn’t need it… But it’s, from his perspective, the means to open the floodgates of heaven. It’s because when the people are serious with him, then he can pour out blessings with superabundance according to the desires of his love. That’s what comes from this passage. We are no longer under the Law of Moses. We no longer have to pay the tithe in the same way. But the spiritual principle, of engaging seriously with the Lord remains… this desire of the Lord to pour out his blessings on those who walk seriously with him. I believe it’s very clear in this passage.” (H. Blocher, “Introduction to the Prophets: Malachi”, translated from French)

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we believe it’s out of your love for us that you ask for the whole tithe. We will obey and put our trust in you. Open the floodgates of heaven and pour out blessings with superabundance! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Open Heaven (River Wild)” by Hillsong (click here).



Day Two: Grapes of Sodom

“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed…” (Malachi 3.6)

“Yet again, God is unchanging in his promises… If I thought that the notes of the bank of England could not be cashed next week, I should decline to take them; and if I thought that God’s promises would never be fulfilled – if I thought that God would see it right to alter some word in his promises – farewell Scriptures! I want immutable things: and I find that I have immutable promises when I turn to the Bible: for, ‘by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,’ he hath signed, confirmed, and sealed every promise of his. The gospel is not ‘yea and nay,’ it is not promising today, and denying tomorrow; but the gospel is ‘yea, yea,’ to the glory of God. Believer! there was a delightful promise which you had yesterday; and this morning when you turned to the Bible the promise was not sweet. Do you know why? Do you think the promise had changed? Ah, no! You changed; that is where the matter lies. You had been eating some of the grapes of Sodom, and your mouth was thereby put out of taste, and you could not detect the sweetness.” (C. Spurgeon, Sermon on “The Immutability of God”)

Let’s pray: Almighty God, you who never change, we are in awe of you. Change us, that we may live into the fulfillment of your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Do It Again” by Elevation (click here).



Day One: Trusting in the Unchanging God

Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. (The Nicene Creed)

“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed…” (Malachi 3.6)

Lord, you are the same yesterday, today and forever. Your love never fails! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Unbroken Praise” by Matt Redman (click here).