Three Rs for 2006
My husband preached a sermon from Malachi last Sunday. It was a message for the New Year that gave us all a theme to think on as we launch into 2006. The theme consists of three admonitions (it was a good three point sermon, complete with alliteration! J )
The three are – Remember the Law, Restore the Heart, and Renew Righteousness.
The first point was a caution against relying on the law to change anything – just like the laws of our country, God’s laws cannot change us, they only show us where our sin lies. We must remember the laws of God so that we can avoid the death-traps of sin. It is up to us, and God’s Spirit working in us, to make the changes necessary to live our lives in harmony with those laws.
The second point, restore the heart, led us to consider the hearts of those whom God loved – people like Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David, and others on through history. These were men and women who failed, yet always turned back to God for mercy and grace. They always restored their love for God and restored their relationship with Him.
The third point, renew righteousness, helped us to remember that our righteousness does not come from the good works we do, but from the sacrifice of God’s only Son. It is His righteousness, freely offered to us, that holds us in God’s hand and always will. But we can renew our relationship with Him every day, just as we do with friends and family, by communicating with Him. Pray. Worship. Seek His guidance. Listen for His voice and look for those circumstances that point us to Him.
These three tenants are worthy of a poster on our walls, worthy of the time taken to consider them and the effort needed to apply them to our lives. Malachi knew the time would come when there would be no more time to consider and act upon these things – a time when everything will change, justice will be fully accomplished and Jesus will return. “Surely the day is coming,” Malachi said (Malachi 4:1).
It could be today, or any day in 2006. Are you ready? Remember the Law. Restore the Heart. Renew Righteousness.