The media likes to highlight the stories involving preachers and ‘unspeakable’ sin. No matter the fact that countless other people were probably engaged in similar activity at the same time, the story still spotlights ‘a preacher, caught in the act.’ I suppose this is because the general public places preachers on a higher standard of morality. Can we say that we are surprised by preachers who are ‘caught in the act?’ I can attest that one person at least, would not be surprised.
When you read the book of Malachi, you will find this prophet dealing with two groups of people within the nation of Israel (God’s chosen people). In chapters two and three, you will find evidence of the lethargic attitude among the common people (2:10,11,13,17; 3:7,8,13). Discovered in chapters one and two, however, is evidence of this lethargic attitude even among the priests of God. The list goes on and on about how the priests despised the name of God, presented defiled food for sacrifices, profaned the offerings, and as a result caused many to stumble. They were supposed to be the good people (the leaders, in fact), but they no longer took the honor of God to heart. They turned aside from the way, corrupted the covenant, did not keep the ways of the Lord, and did not speak the whole council of God (1:6,7,11-12,14; 2:2,8,9). These people and these priests, did not give 100 percent effort to God, and as a result, were robbing God (cf. 3:9).
For today’s Christian, who is in fact a part of the spiritual priesthood (I Peter 2:9), the book of Malachi presents one critical lesson. Despite a world that says, “Just do enough to get by,” the priests of God must be those who, instead, give 100 percent effort both in honor and service (1:13; 2:2,5) as well as in proclaiming God’s message (2:7,9). When we consider that God gave His best to us (3:1-3), we cannot help but give our best to Him. All who give anything less, rob God. Instead of robbing Him, consider Malachi 3:10 this week, and ‘bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.’
In a nutshell, we can all strive to be all in. This week, instead of robbing God, consider the simple switch. May we give 100 percent effort in fear and service. Let’s be all in as we engage the Word of God as the book of life, and not as an emergency first-aid kit. Let’s be all in as we engage the needs of those around us, in heart, dedication, and practice.
Give 100 percent. Don’t rob God. Be all in.