December 31

Today's ReadingMalachi 1; Revelation 22

Today's Thoughts: Honoring the Lord

"For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 2:7

The magazines, newspapers and front page of the websites are filled with the most memorable events and significant people that have affected our lives in the past year.  We can look back over the last year and see certain markers that changed our course and shaped our lives individually. Now with the New Year here, we not only reflect on the past, but also attempt to set goals for the future.

While being in this frame of mind, I started my devotionals this morning reading the book of Malachi. Malachi has four chapters with themes that are easy to remember: mouth, marriage and money. God is rebuking His priests because of the words of their mouths, their attitudes toward their marriages and their motives toward money. The priests were to be an upright and holy group of men representing the Lord. Outwardly, the priests did carry on their functions and requirements. But inwardly, their hearts were far from the Lord.

Considering the past year, we have to take the time to reflect on what we did and why. “Were my motives pure? Did others look at my actions and wonder why I was different? Did I give my best to the Lord or did I justify my offerings in giving the leftovers? Did my attitude in my marriage honor the Lord? What kind of words did I speak? Did my mouth glorify Jesus and edify others around me?”

After examining my heart in asking these questions, I found myself in repentance. How can anyone be that good? But that’s not the point.  None of us will ever be sinless but each of us needs to be above reproach in our hearts before God. God does not hold our behaviors against us if our hearts remain right before Him. It’s when we think our behaviors justify our hearts that God rebukes us. The Lord is more than willing to work with a repentant heart.

In this New Year, be sure your heart is willing to be obedient. As you open your heart to confess, seek, yield and love the Lord, He will work with your behaviors that follow your yielded heart.  We all want the Lord to bless us this New Year. We all pray that His face may shine upon us and give us peace. No matter how short we fall, His mercies are new every morning and His desire is to bless us indeed.  As you reflect on the past and fix your eyes on the future, remember to consider the Lord. He has a plan for you as He watches over your coming and going, not only today but also for the this coming year.

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