September 30, 2018
This week is the second in our study on Malachi.
Read Malachi 3:6-18.
What did God say was the true condition of His people at that time in their relationship and walk with Him?
How did they see themselves?
What things contributed to their blindness to their true spiritual condition?
Were there similarities to the Pharisees in Jesus’ day? See Matthew 23:13-39.
What about us today? Can we become blind to our sin? What safe guards can we put in place to protect ourselves from this happening?
How would you help someone you saw had gone astray? Discus Paul’s words in Galatians 6:1-5.
In order to get right with God what was He wanting them to do first?
What was God’s attitude and response when they did? Malachi 3:7. See also the Fathers attitude in Jesus’ story of “The Lost Son”. Luke 15:20.
Discuss in your group the following:
“God’s patience seems endless. Throughout history, His people have disobeyed, even scorned, His laws, but he has always been willing to accept them back. Here, however, the people have the nerve to imply that they have never disobeyed (“How can we return when we have never gone away?” Malachi 3:7)! Many people have turned their backs on forgiveness and restoration because they have refused to admit their sin. Don’t follow their example. God is willing to return to us if we are willing to return to Him.” *
Read what the apostle John said about this. 1 John 1:8-10.
Discuss God’s promise of blessing when his people returned to him. Read Malachi 3:10-12.
How relevant is this to us today, eg: tithing like God’s people were required to in the Old Testament covenant?
Are there principles from then which we can apply today? If so what are they?
Discuss Michael’s words:
“God doesn’t demand anything of us today, eg: to believe, love, serve, etc. Christians are not ruled by tithing (giving a tenth) but an attitude of heart, sacrificially.”
See the Macedonians heart attitude of sacrificially giving financially. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5. What rewards did they receive from such generosity?
Are there other areas in addition to money we can give sacrificially, eg time, possessions, gifts/talents, etc.
How does God’s Words in Malachi 3:16-18 apply to us today?
* taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible’.