December 1 @ Malachi

Malachi 1-4 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He came to heal our hearts and open the door to eternal life with Him

“Mommy, I feel so clean inside.”  As a three-year-old, I really didn’t understand all that had taken place in my life the day I asked Jesus to cleanse me from my sin.  I’m not sure how dark and deep my sins could have been at such a young age, but I remember the cleansing, the warmth, and wholeness that came deep within me that morning.  I still feel it today, and there’s just nothing else like it!  Our prophet today, Malachi, ended the Old Testament with encouragement about One who was coming to bring cleansing, warmth, and wholeness to the lost. 

@ Malachi 4
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.  And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” (2)  In the first three chapters, Malachi had chastised the Israelites for their sins in marrying pagans, robbing God of the tithe and unfaithfulness to the family, but now he came with a message of hope for the future.

Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, was coming to bring healing to their sick hearts, and the freedom they would experience would send their hearts leaping for joy.  The sun can be a destructive fire or a warm glow to our lives, but those who would turn to God would feel the cleansing, the warmth from the Son of righteousness and complete wholeness.  There would be nothing else like it!

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives.  His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.” (5)  God was giving the Jews a heads up on how they could recognize the Sun of Righteousness.  There would be a prophet, a forerunner, who would announce the arrival of the Messiah as foretold by Isaiah, “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’ This messenger was John the Baptist.” (Mark 1:2-4) With such a clear marker, I’ve never understood how they missed Him.

“Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”  But then Malachi ended his message and the Old Testament with a curse.  On judgment day, those who have not asked Jesus to cleanse them from their sins will be judged accordingly, and the Sun of Righteousness will be a consuming fire.

Those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, the One who came to destroy the curse, will experience His grace, cleansing and the warmth from the Sun of Righteousness. The redeemed will no longer be cursed but will experience the blessing from the final words of the New Testament in Revelation 22:21, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.”  Thank you, Jesus, for coming and removing the curse, making us clean inside. Thank you for opening the door to eternal life with you.  I feel the warmth.

Moving Forward:  I’m blessed beyond measure today because of the Son of righteousness, Jesus, and the promise of eternal life He has brought to me.  I move through this Christmas Season with a grateful heart for what it truly means to celebrate His birth. 

Tomorrow @ Acts 19-20

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