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We’ve been doing a lot of heart checking as we have looked at the book of Malachi.  We close our look with chapters 3 and 4:

Malachi 3:13-15 13  “You have said harsh things against me,” says the LORD. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ 14  “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15  But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'”

The people have these things against God. They claim that it does them no good to serve Him and to carry out His commands. They have said it is a burden to do it and that it does no good because they see the arrogant, the people who have been cutting corners and living for themselves, they see them and by their estimation, it is going pretty well for those people.

First of all, those who were making these claims against God, that it did them no good to serve God and to obey His commands, they act as if they actually were serving God in the way He had commanded. It is almost laughable that they would talk to God about how the wicked were seemingly living it up and being rewarded for doing so while they were “towing the line” and living God’s way, when they weren’t living any better than the wicked.

Those who fear the Lord have a trusting view of His work in their lives and in the way He works in the world.

Those who truly want to honor God in their lives take other people and their actions out of the equation because they trust that what God desires from us is what is best for us and what will bless us in the end.

Look what happened next in verse 16: 16  Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard.

Those who fear the Lord are connected in fellowship with one another.

Aligning ourselves with people who are also aligned with God’s heart is key to our spiritual success. We won’t gain insight into the truth by asking the masses on Facebook about spiritual things. In this verse, those who did fear the Lord got together to talk things over, and look what happened. God heard them!

Those who fear the Lord are heard by Him.

Yes, God is drawn to listen to those who fear Him. They are in a genuine relationship with Him. He is listening for their prayer. I love this passage in Psalm 145:18-19 18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

Look at the end of verse 16:  A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. 17  “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.

God journals about those who fear Him! He is writing about you in a scroll of remembrance. You are being remembered by God as you fear His name. He goes on to say, “They will be mine.” God takes care of what belongs to Him! How many of you know that God’s hands are all over that which is His? He has a tight grip on His loved ones. He treats them as His treasured possession. It is an awesome thing to be a child of God!

18  And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

You may think there is no difference between those who fear God and those who don’t, but you will see it. God will reveal it to you. There is a difference. You’ll see.

The second part of verse 18 ties back to 14 about serving God. Those who serve God are rewarded. Those who serve God are blessed. Those who fear the Lord know their service isn’t in vain. It is worth it! You may not receive your blessing in the moment, but you know in God’s plan, there is coming a day where you will be rewarded for all you do in His name.

As we move into chapter four we see that:  Those who fear the Lord know that judgment isn’t a joke.

Malachi 4:1 1  “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.

We aren’t playing a game. Judgment is real. Verse one tells us the day of judgment IS coming. Jesus will return. Regardless of what you believe about the end time details know this: When Jesus comes, there will be a judgment and those who haven’t placed their trust in Him, those who haven’t lived in reverent and right fear of Him will have a whole lot to fear. Verse one tells us the arrogant will get what is coming to them. There will be no escaping. They won’t get away with sin and unrighteous living.

But for those who fear in the Lord, the story will be totally different. The judgment on the sin of those who fear the Lord has already taken place. It was all placed on Jesus on the cross, so those who have accepted what He did on their behalf and are walking in fellowship with God don’t have to fear judgment. Their sins have already been judged on Calvary’s cross.

That’s why:  Those who fear the Lord live with joy and live in wholeness and in victory.

Malachi 4:2-3 2  But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness (that’s Jesus) will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.  Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things, “says the LORD Almighty.

If you honor the Lord in your heart, you can be filled with joy. You will no longer be pent up and defined by your sin like a caged animal. You will live free. You can be healed body, mind, and spirit, but most importantly, you can experience spiritual healing that leads to thinking well and living well. You can overcome the enemies that stand in your way. You will live with courage and confidence.

Those who fear the Lord accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Look at verses 5 and 6:  “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Scholars agree that the reference here to Elijah isn’t referring to the OT Prophet Elijah who was already in glory, but to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, one who would have a ministry in the same spirit as the ministry Elijah had in the OT, and one that would prepare people to receive Jesus as He came on the scene. His ministry was a spiritual-heart prepping ministry as he preached that people should repent of their sin and turn to Jesus.

Every work God wants to do in your life begins with your heart. That is why the entire book of Malachi deals with returning our hearts to God. No matter what you are wrestling with, no matter the temptation, no matter the thought, no matter the pressure, the answer lies in surrendering that area of your heart to the Lord. He doesn’t want you to live pent up and angry. He doesn’t want life’s challenges to beat you up and overtake you. He doesn’t want the things that happen to you to define you and drag you down, and He surely doesn’t want you to face the judgment for your sin that has already been dealt with through Jesus’ death on the cross. God has amazing blessings for His children. Help for the now and rewards for the now and later. It is worth it to surrender. It is worth it to serve the Lord.

Will you return every part of your heart to God?

Matthew 25:1-13 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet
Luke 6:27-31-27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those
John 6:53-56 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink