God’s Return Policy
The Book of Malachi 3:7-12
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Return policies impact our daily lives, whether it’s returning defective merchandise, library books, or reviewing the overdraft policy of returned checks. Failure to return borrowed items from a friend can erode relationships; failure to return rented items can incur fees and penalties. Sometimes, we fail to return things due to a lapse of memory, because we have misplaced the items or because the items are badly damaged. Unfortunately, sometimes the failure to return is due to malice or thievery. Malachi accused the Israelites of this last case, and challenged them to return their hearts and obedience to God.
1. Returning To A Relationship Or The Returning Of Items Require Honesty. Some of us are robbing God in broad daylight, defrauding God of His Glory, robbing Him of His Honor and of time. Some are like the ancient Israelites, offering not the best or first fruits, but the infirm, diseased, and least desirable animals as sacrifices, giving lip service to worship and grudgingly the leftovers of their time. Malachi challenged the Israelites to honestly examine their lives to evaluate whether their offerings, worship and time were worthy of the Holy God. The challenge remains for us, and whether the Lord convicts you about tithing, study, worship or spending quality time with Him by going without or reducing time spent on social media or television, obey His command to you.
2. Accepting His Divine Dare. God allows trials and obstacles not to tempt us, but to challenge us so we can grow. His challenge is for us to be obedient and see what He will do.
3. Heals Affected Third Parties. When Israel robbed God, they also robbed the priests and poor. When we fail to return our tithes and time to God and His purposes, we affect others. God multiplies our time, tithes and offerings to heal and serve others.