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The Refiners Fire

The Refiners Fire

Malachi after giving some fairly stern words finishes with the fact that the great Day of the LORD is coming. We Jesus has come and He will come again. Be blessed as we celebrate His first arrival this Sunday.

Malachi 3:

1 "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.

3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.

4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

Robbing God

6 "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, 'How shall we return?'

8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In your tithes and contributions.

9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.

10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.

12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts.

13 "Your words have been hard against me, says the LORD. But you say, 'How have we spoken against you?'

14 You have said, 'It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts?

15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.'"

The Book of Remembrance

16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.

17 "They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.

18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

Malachi 4:The Great Day of the LORD

1 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

4 "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction."

Things to think about…

1.Malachi 3:1-5 speaks of John the Baptist's ministry and the ministry of Christ that would follow. The Lord whom you seek will come to His temple – vs 1. Jesus' body is His temple, the church is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Continue to pray for Jerusalem and the Jews that they would see the true Messiah – Jesus Christ and be part of this true temple.

2.We know as Christians we can forget the great gift of Jesus is for us and be ungrateful with the Lord's provision. As such we can hold back tithes and offerings, as the ancient Jews did, Mal 3:6-15. But does this passage of scripture still have any relevance for the Jews of today? Is it just living moral lives and tithing that would facilitate the Lord's blessing upon the Jews? Unfortunately many modern Israelis are more secular than they are spiritual. Tithing is only of benefit if there is an acknowledgement of the Saviour. Many modern Jews are seeing Jesus as the Messiah, but they are certainly still very much in the minority. Only 2% of Israelis are Christian.

3.The book of remembrance, Mal 3:16 and is referred to in Revelation 21:27. Note that it says you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked. It's a tragedy when there is no clear distinction between the church and the world.

4.When we think of Christmas and the arrival of the Saviour we do not think of judgement but blessing, peace and goodwill to all men. But here Malachi is saying there is a day coming that will burn like an oven. This is also connected with the advent of Christ. Clearly this will be the second and not the first advent. This day will blaze against all those who have rejected His ministry of salvation. But for those who love the Sun of Righteousness Mal 4:2 –the day shall be like a healing and be one of immense joy. Like calves released.

5.Elijah will come first, Mal 4:5. Jesus said that this was John the Baptist. Certainly we see an Elijah (and Moses) type figure arrive before Christ comes again, see Rev 11:6. Remember both Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration Luke 9:30. The second arrival of Christ will be the 'awesome day of the Lord', vs 5. Amen. Awesome indeed.

6.We know in the gospels that Jesus said He had come to bring division. He says in Luke 12:52, 53 "For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." But here in Mal 4:6 Elijah, 'John the Baptist' will prepare fathers and their children to receive the message of Christ. Luke 1:17 confirms John's fulfillment of John the Baptist's ministry by saying "and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." He certainly did this. I believe at the end of the age there will be an Elijah type man mentioned in Rev 11:3-6 who will do the same and prepare the way for Christ's return "before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes", Mal 4:4.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Sunday's sermon "The Power of the tongue" came from James 3.

1.What words have defined you in both a positive and negative way as you grew up as a child?

2.James says right through his book that these Christians needed to guard their mouths. He actually says it is impossible to praise God and curse your brother. Salt water and fresh cannot flow from the one spring. Discuss the passage. How does it speak to you?

3.Jay mentioned "the Slippery Slope" on Sunday from Ken Sande's book "The Peacemaker". We tend to be either Peace-Fakers, Peace-Breakers and Peace-Makers. Discuss the 'Slippery Slope". Jay mentioned that Christians tend to fall towards Peace-Faking. Why is this generally the case?

4.What is the remedy and appropriate communication within the church? Discuss Mt 5:21-24 and Mt 18:15, 16.

5.Pray for the church prayer points.

Prayer Points

1.Continue to pray for Tad's brother Andrew in hospital. Andrew is very weak, he is remaining at Ipswich hospital for the moment.

2.Our Community events – once a month on a Sunday in place of the Axiom evening service at church. First one at Chapters on the 23rd Feb – around 4:30pm.

3.Please continue to pray CBC's Mallacoota bushfire appeal. More exciting news this Sunday about what the Lord has done with our money thus far. Praise God for "Cowboy" and how we have helped his situation.

4.Christine Denning's mum recovering from a broken femur. Pray as she rehabilitates.

5.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.

6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

7.Sunday's message on Mal 3 "Money's too tight to mention" - Ps Jay. Axiom:- "Let's talk about the weather"- Jay.

8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

9.Church finances to meet our expenses.

10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

Praise Points.

1.Praise God for the rain (if you are on the east coast of Australia). The huge Gospers Mountain fire in NSW that was thought to be unable to be put out the Lord put out on Monday night with the rain.

2.More visitors on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.

3.New Website being finished this week – Praise God for Melody and Suzie making this happen.

4.Recharge and Kids@Church ministries blessed over the weekend – thankyou leaders. New kids and youth in both ministries.

5.CBC's Mallacoota appeal David Jeffrey of Mallacoota, over $2000 has been raised – thankyou CBC.

6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

Announcements

1.Hawkins - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.

2.1st Community gathering – At Chapters café Karalee 4:30pm Sun 23rd Feb.

3.Member's meeting – A celebration of God's grace over CBC – Sun 23rd February after morning service. Open invitation – all welcome.

4.Mallacoota Bushfire Appeal. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"

5.Kids@Church and Recharge parents.Leaders for next Sunday Older group Leader:- Rod Rawiru. Lesson :- Journey to Mars 3 Psalm 119:105. Younger Group Leader:- Maddison Willey, Assistant:- Helen Hawkins. Lesson:-Long Necked Giraffe P 20.

6.Recharge youth 7pm at Church, Fri 7th Feb for all High Schoolers. Pool party at Bakers – details will be sent to all parents this week. Meet at church 7pm and we will travel together so everyone knows where we are going and where to pick their kids up. Recharge parent on roster for this week: - Angelo

February's catechism question...

Question. 9. Question:- What do we pray for in the second petition?

Answer. "That the gospel may be preached in all of the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men"

Bible Reference – Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:20-21; Acts 8:12; Acts 28:30-31; 2 Thess. 3:1.



"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

Return to Me and I'll return to you
He seeks godly offspring