- Day 14 -
If You Love Me, You will Keep My Commandments
Malachi (meaning messenger of YAH) was sent to YAHveh’s people who were called to be holy priests. As we have just learned the blood of YAHshua (Jesus) has redeemed us to be a holy priesthood, and so the following admonition is for us as well. “‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? [YAHveh is saying, “If you profess I am your heavenly Father, where is the honor due Me?” The honor He specifies is not some cheap lip service or religious works.] ‘But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? [You bring Me something that doesn’t even appeal to you.]‘…and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick … Should I receive that from your hand?’ says YAHveh. ‘But cursed be the swindler [cursed be the thief, cursed be the robber] who has a male in his flock, and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,’ says YAHveh, ‘and My name is feared among the nations’” (Malachi 1:6-8,13-14).
Try bringing such an inferior and insulting sacrifice to someone we really want to please. We wouldn’t do it, yet we do it to Him. YAHshua says, “Sacrifices and offerings…[He does] not desire” (Hebrews 10:8 NIV) — it is humble obedience He wants. Obedience is the greatest sacrifice, but we don’t bring that to Him. We bring Him our lives filled with selfish ambition and vain conceit, pleasing others and doing what pleases us with the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We give Him lip service, and that is supposed to be our sacrifice? No. He wants obedience. YAHshua (Jesus) our Messiah said, “If you love Me you will obey Me” (see John 14:15). Obedience is the by-product—the offspring of a loving intimate relationship. Among the masses of the professing believers, only a remnant will be saved. They will completely love Him because “every intent” of their hearts will be completely for His glory, honor, and praise.
Love is the ultimate, the love of YAHveh (the LORD), with the fear of YAHveh, will bring us wisdom in our service and honoring of Him. In Malachi 1:10, YAHveh says, “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates [church, congregation, or personal prayer doors], that you might not uselessly kindle fire (prayer) on My altar!” “Behold, YAHveh’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (Isaiah 59:1-2) and answer your prayers.
If you are going through rituals and motions, sitting on pews, having no intention of obeying Him fully, it is a useless fire, a halfhearted, inferior sacrifice. “‘I am not pleased with you’ says YAHveh of hosts, ‘nor will I accept an offering from you’” (Malachi 1:10).
Each person has a life to give Him, and He says we are cursed if we only bring Him some cheap sacrifice of lip service, a little token of religiosity. "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8). Paul says in Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of YAHveh [who has shown mercy to you by pouring out His Son’s blood to redeem you to Himself], to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to YAHveh, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
We are to offer everything—all of our hopes, dreams, ambitions, desires, family, body, soul, spirit, and mind—upon His holy altar, as an acceptable sacrifice made holy through a repentant heart covered in the blood of YAHshua our Lamb. This holy sacrifice of our lives is His due. There is no in-between without becoming a double minded hypocrite who has no place in His kingdom of glory. May we open up our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying through YAHshua’s own words, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34 NIV
Prayer: YAHveh (LORD), please forgive me of taking lightly the high call for which I have been redeemed. Forgive me for the half-hearted lip service by which I have deceived others and myself. I can see now that this is an empty form of religion and that my life as a sacrifice to You without whole-hearted commitment and dedication is nothing short of a repulsive, insulting, unacceptable sacrifice before You. Please forgive me, wash and cleanse me from the error of thinking I was free and unaccountable to behave in such a half-hearted self-justified way. I would not want any loved one to bring me such inferior gifts please forgive me for doing that to You.