Scripture: Malachi 3:14 "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?
Observation: The people in Nehemiah’s day, the people complained because they didn’t see any benefit from being a Christian. Many looked around and felt that the pagans were better off than the people of Judah. The wicked prospered while the Jews suffered. The problem wasn’t God, however, it was the Jews. God blesses His people throughout history when they honor and trust Him. This group wanted to have things their own way and complain when God didn’t give them what they wanted.
Application: To me, being a Christian is like camping. I have known a lot of people who went out one weekend without planning what they were going to do for food or shelter. They put no work into it and expected it to be a “grand experience”. The more you put into camping, the more you get out. The same is true with faith. The more time and effort you spend developing your relationship with God and fellow Christians, the more you get out of it. Spend time in the Bible and touch the heart of God. Dare to serve others and watch God do miracles right before your eyes. What you put into any experience determines what you get out of it. That is definitely true of our life with God and our service to others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, let me dare to embrace you with all my life so that you might fill me with joy and fill my life with the blessings from you. Teach me in your word so that I may know you and your character. Meet me in prayer so that I may share my fears and find your comfort. Give me an opportunity to serve so that I may feel your purpose in my life and see your miracles in the things that I do. It is never futile to serve or know you. Life is futile without you.
Writer’s Den: This passage hits my heart because so many are abandoning the church because they have more important things to do like kids soccer, sleeping in late and spending more time at work. Others just don’t think that the church is all that important. It is part of the motivation for my writing. I pray that, like a Gideon Bible, someone will pick up some of these books and come to see the importance of the Lord in their life.
With that bit of introduction, I am proud to announce that the second book, “32 days with Christ’s Passion” is now available at Amazon.com and the third book that will cover the Bible’s story has been started. Let me know what you think of the book. I will start putting some samples of the chapters on the devotion section of the blog soon. I hope that it is helpful.
I am serious about having some of you reply. I am not good at that, but I do find that it is sometimes hard to blog because, unlike Sunday morning, I have little response and don’t know you well. Let me know what I can share with you and please feel free to share with me. Thanks.