Where is My Honor?
Passage: Malachi 1:6–2:2
Below are some thoughts and questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
Malachi 1:6-2:2 reminds us that God rightly deserves and wants your heart’s greatest devotion (see also John 10:37-39). The priests (and probably the people) in Malachi’s day were offering God their last and worst sacrifices because they thought so little of Him. God said they were “despising His name” and called them to take to heart how they were treating Him in light of His true worth.
Remembering that Jesus is the all-sufficient sacrifice for all of our sins and that we are justified by His gift of righteousness and not our own, spend some time in prayer and consider these questions related to our priesthood and our temple as a new covenant people (see 1 Peter 2:4-10).
Our “priestly sacrifice” of time and attention. To the best of your understanding, what does the way you use your time and attention throughout the day and week say about the value and priority you give the Lord versus other things. Consider especially non-essential responsibilities involving your job and family, like your free time including the way you use screens. Are there ways you believe the Lord may be calling you to give your best to Him that you may be withholding? Or conversely, perhaps the Lord would want to encourage you – to the praise of His glory – for the fruit you are seeing in your life!
Our lives in His temple together. How do you think the way you treat your brothers and sisters in Christ speaks about your recognition that the church is God’s very temple? Whether in church gatherings or in less formal times of prayer, or working through conflicts, or helping someone in a tough situation – how are you doing at loving the church for His name’s sake? Ask the Lord to search your heart to help you see where you might need to grow and/or where you might need to hear His, “Well done! My grace is at work!”
Our perfect sacrifice in Jesus. Remember that valuing the Lord means valuing the sacrifice of His Son above everything else. Close your prayer time by affirming that which the priests in Malachi’s time did not do, but which Jesus has done. He offered His very best to God on our behalf (Hebrews 10:10-14). He is the “pure offering” for our sin that satisfies God’s just wrath, making us acceptable in His sight and beloved to His heart, and making it possible for the Holy Spirit to change us in ways we cannot change ourselves. Thank God for His Son’s blood that covers your imperfect efforts and for His Holy Spirit, Who alone makes each of us a new creation able to live for Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-19).