Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 30, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Malachi 3:7-18 (NKJV)
3:7 Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts;
12 And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts.
13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the Lord, yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’
14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts?
15 So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’”
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.
17 “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”
18 Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
“Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God, and one who does not serve Him.”
The Lord accuses His people of speaking harshly against Him. What is the harsh thing they say? “It is useless to serve God.” What do they mean? They are talking about things of this world, of course. “We call the proud blessed; those who do wickedness are raised up, even those who tempt God go free.” We could add to it: “Cheaters do prosper.” The faithful seem no less likely to get cancer per capita than the unbelieving.
What is going on, both with them and with us, is that we are engaging in a theology of glory. God can make a distinction even in this world between those who are His and those who are not, as He did with some of the plagues in Egypt. But that is not usually what He does. Usually, we observe, along with Ecclesiastes, that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.
The Lord will make a distinction. Of the faithful He says, “they shall be Mine.” We are redeemed by Christ Jesus, marked with the name of God in Holy Baptism, made to receive Christ in Holy Communion. In the day of judgment we will be His. God grant us to rejoice in this, and to long for nothing beyond the gifts of His forgiveness, His blessings, and His promise of eternal life.
We pray: “Dear heavenly Father, forgive me for setting my heart too much on the things of this world. Grant me rather to rejoice in the gift of Your love, given me for the sake of Jesus. Amen.”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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