Sermon on September 11 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Malachi 1:1-5
When times are tough it’s easy to sink into doubt? Former glory days are over and God’s people are now doubting Him.
When you are in the darkness of doubt :
1. LISTEN WELL – GOD’S LOVE PERSEVERES EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T! (v1-2a)
- The God who speaks up in our apathy
Left to ourselves, we will spiral away from God. God breaks in through His Word in each generation
‘We neglect the biggest issue which is how we are with God. And the most important aspect of that issue which is not what we feel about God but what He feels about us.’
- The God who shakes us from lethargy
God’s people slipped into laziness in praise because they were lazy in listening to His Word. Are we?
‘… you come to tender up your homage to God, to sit at his feet and profess your submission to Him’
(Jeremiah Burroughs : ‘Gospel Worship’)
Every church is only one generation away from unbelief.
Is IBC Brussels leaving a gospel legacy for the next generation?
2. HANG ON – GOD’S LOVE PERPLEXES BUT CANNOT FAIL! (v2b-5)
The question: “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’” The proof:
- My love is not dependent on you
Neither Jacob nor Esau deserved anything from God. Before he does anything and despite himself, God chooses to love Jacob.
When God chooses to love you, you can’t judge His love by your difficulties or pain any more than Jacob could by his trials. Jacob was made holy through his trials and Esau received no such blessing.
God’s love is the motive and power behind all that happens in the Christian life. God loving us in Jesus gives us hope, prompts obedience and enables us to be joyful in trials.
- My love is demonstrated through pain, not apart from it
The Hebrews reasoned: ‘God can’t be present in our pain; He can’t control it – because if He could, we would get better’.
Jesus is the ultimate proof of God’s love. God’s love is mediated through pain. In the Cross we see that Jesus experienced pain and is in control of suffering.
Remember! Our greatest act of worship in this week is not the final song we will sing. It is not even in how efficient our ministries may be. It is how we react in the disappointments and perplexities of life. See this as part of your mission to glorify Jesus in the world.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. Is it normal to go through times of doubt as a believer? Apart from here in Malachi, are there other instances in the Bible where we see this? Is there anything in your life causing you to think twice as to whether God loves you?
2. Why is Malachi ‘messenger’, God’s gift to His people? Why is it necessary to listen carefully to God’s Word in every generation? Using the Scriptures, out-line some reasons why we need the Bible and we need to hear it regularly (eg Ps 119: 9-11; Mat.4:1-11; Romans 10: 17)
3. How is God’s love different from ours? In what way is Jacob a good illustration of God’s persevering love? Using this passage and others like Romans 8:28-39, write out a description of God’s love for someone who is not a Christian.
4. In what way is Jesus the greatest demonstration of God’s love? How do we know He understands pain? Take time to rejoice in His love.
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/Jeremy Doorten