ENDING THE OLD TESTAMENT
|What a great day we had yesterday at Church! What a blessing to be with God's people. What a joy to see people saved, baptized, and two families join the church. A large crowd of people in the service and a great spirit. A blessing from start to finish. Oh, how I love Sundays! |
Today, I end the Old Testament. When you read through the Bible in two months, you will spend all but the last 14 days in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament and what a great foundation it is! I finish out Zechariah and Malachi today and here are just a few thoughts:
1) DO YOU FAST? In Zehariah 7:5, God asks the people a question: "Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priest, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?" and then verse 6 says: "And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?" God is saying that for the 70 years of captivity in Babylon, not once did they fast to get God's attention. They did not fast for God's sake. Now I ask you the question today.... Do you fast? Fasting is going without food for a twenty-four hour period to discipline yourself in your devotion to God and to get closer to the LORD. You might ask, How does it work? Well, it works! Jesus said: "This kind goeth forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Jesus knew the power of fasting. When he was tempted in the wilderness, he had fasted during that time. Paul says: "In fastings, oft." Don't dismiss it as some Old Testament thing that has been done away with like the animal sacrifices.... it is in the New Testament, and the early church knew the power of fasting when it was done for God. It is a spiritual discipline that has a physical challenge. Going without food when food is all around you is not easy, but it draws the soul closer to the Lord in a way other things cannot. Today, I am fasting. I started before I read the passage today in Zechariah, but it only confirms to me what I should be doing. I would like to once a week, but I do so only once every few weeks. I hope to fast more often for I need great things from God this year for God to bless our church in unusual ways.
2) ARGUING WITH GOD? Who would be so foolish to do such a thing? Well, eight different times in the first three chapters of Malachi, we see the phrase: "ye say". In the context, God is saying one thing to the people and they argue with Him. He hears their response; not repentence, not a contrite heart, not brokeness, but God hears: "ye say". They talk back to God. Here is the first example in Malachi 1:2: "I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob," I hope that we are never found to argue with God. We are to listen and follow. Hear and obey. Let us be found so doing.
Well, so much for today. May God bless and tomorrow we are in the New Testament! Pastor Mike Mutchler