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Happy New Year! Congratulations to everyone who completed the One Year Old Testament journey in 2022 today! It has been awesome to go through the journey this year with each of you. It is quite a blessing to realize that you've read through God's Word this past year! It has been a huge blessing for me. God has continued to transform me this past year through this journey. Reading through the Bible in a year will change us. For the better! :) For those of you wrapping up the One Year Old Testament today in 2022, I'd like to ask you to post up your reflections on this experience in the Comments section below. The reason for this request is because we have hundreds of new folks signing up to take the One Year Old Testament journey in 2023. What advice would you give them? Any encouragement? What has reading the Bible on a daily basis meant to you over the past year? Has this experience changed you in any way? Thanks for sharing! I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this One Year Old Testament Blog ministry! If this blog has been a blessing to you in 2022, please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!
Today we finish the book of the prophet Malachi, and it is an awesome 2 chapters we read today! The first half of Malachi chapter 3 verse 1 is prophesying 400 years in advance of the coming of John the Baptist, who will prepare people's hearts for Jesus by preaching repentance of sins: ""Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me." This is a great thing to reflect on as we close out one year and begin anew. Do we need a messenger from God to encourage us to repent from our sins? Will we listen to that messenger and make way for the coming of Jesus into our hearts and lives? The second half of verse 1 then prophesies that Jesus is indeed coming to usher in the new covenant, or the new testament: "The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming," says the LORD Almighty." The Good News for us today is that Jesus has come already for the forgiveness of sins and Jesus is coming again in glory!
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Verse 2 tells us this about Jesus: "For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal or like a strong soap that whitens clothes." Will you allow Jesus to refine you through his holy fire? And make you pure through his holy soap? (Okay, I realize this is a bit cheesy wording here - has anyone ever called Jesus holy soap before?? :) Actually, would you believe it - I found an image of "Jesus soap" online, as you'll see below! How this all ties into our Malachi readings today I've lost track of... I apologize for my end-of-year giddiness... :)
Verses 6 & 7 are so powerful for us to reflect upon: ""I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already completely destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my laws and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty." As I reflect back upon our One Year Bible readings this year, it is so true that God does not change. He has shown so much compassion over and over again to the Israelites in the Old Testament. And he continues to show so much compassion to us today over and over again. In light of God's holy and unchanging love and compassion for us, will we return to Him? As you look back on our One Year Bible readings this year, do you agree with God's statement here that He does not change? Do you believe that all the way from the Old Testament's Genesis to the New Testament's Revelation God does not change?
Verse 10 is one of my favorites and one of the most challenging in the Bible: "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!" This verse has and will continue to be interpreted so many ways. Check out the NIV translation of Malachi 3:10 (slightly different than the NLT version above) - "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." It is very rare in the Bible that God says "test me" and follows it up with an incredible promise of a blessing. This next year, will you test God with a tithe? In this new year, will you trust God with your tithe?
Chapter 4 verse 2 makes me smile with the metaphor of us being compared to a calf frolicking in a field: "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." Do you want to be set free? Truly free from your burdens and doing things that you do not want to do? Will you entrust your life to the Sun (Son?) of Righteousness, Jesus? And then - are you looking forward to leaping with joy like a calf let out to pasture?? :) I love this metaphor... it will stick with me.
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of the Steven Curtis Chapman song "Heaven is the Face." Here's a great live version of this song:
Can you imagine meeting Jesus in heaven? Click here and make your imagination real!
Comments From You and Question of the Day: For those of you wrapping up the One Year Old Testament today in 2022, I'd like to ask you to post up your reflections on this experience in the Comments section below. The reason for this request is because we have hundreds of new folks signing up to take the One Year Old Testament journey in 2023. What advice would you give them? Any encouragement? What has reading the Bible on a daily basis meant to you over the past year? Has this experience changed you in any way? Thanks for sharing! Also, for everyone, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!