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Worship Appropriately   Malachi 3:1-5,8-10,16-18   Aug. 26, 2007

Worship styles today vary significantly as we find, standing, sitting, kneeling, shouting, clapping, raised hands, and silence. In all of these actions everyone needs to Worship Appropriately, and that will not magnify man but the Lord.

1. Worship Appropriately Expecting The . . Return Of Christ. 3:1-3

A. Worship Appropriately Expecting The . . Prophesied Messenger Of Christ's Return.
        "See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me.. . ." 3:1a

B. Worship Appropriately Envisioning The . . Promises Of Christ's Return. 3:1b
        "Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire -- see, He is coming," says the LORD of Hosts.

C. Worship Appropriately Expressing The . . Purifying Of Christ
's Return. 3:2-3
2 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be able to stand when He
appears? For He will be like a refiner's fire and like cleansing lye. 3 He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the LORD in righteousness.<>  Appropriate praise saturates worship that includes an emphasis on the Lord's return. We have the prophesies, promises, and the purifying affect of this future event highlighted in these verses.  Some will mock or belittle anyone emphasizing the Lord's return because it has not occurred in approximately 2,000 years. But we who trust the Lord will allow Him to set the time table with confidence His Word is reliable. When He comes He will make a purifying work on the house of Israel. Their sacrifices will not point to the cross, but commemorate. and celebrate the accomplished work of Christ on the cross.

2. Worship Appropriately In Expressions Of . . Righteousness. 3:4-5

A. Worship Appropriately Expressions Of . . Pleasure In Righteous. 3:4
        4 And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD as in days of old
and years gone by.

B. Worship Appropriately
In Expressions Of . . Punishment Of Unrighteousness. 3:5
        5 "I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and
adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny justice to the foreigner. They do not fear Me," says the LORD of Hosts.

    The Lord is please when His people worship with righteous actions, and attitudes. How detestable it must be for God to be offered lame lambs, or halfhearted dedication from those going through the motions of worship. What about us today when thoughts focus more on the Sunday afternoon activities than on the worship services. Do we really give ourselves to the worship experiences? The unrighteous expressions of worship will be punished. In the text seven different sinful activities are listed for God's judgment. What would the list look like today? Some of the list would include the same sins. We have advanced about 2500 years in time, but man kinds actions remain very similar.

3. Worship Appropriately Excluding . . Robbery. 3:8-10

A. Worship Appropriately Excluding The Robbery Of Your . . Tenth. 3:8-9
        8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!" You ask: "How do we rob You?"  "By not making the payments of 10 percent and the contributions. 9 You are suffering under a curse, yet you -- the whole nation -- are still robbing Me.

B. Worship Appropriately Excluding The Robbery Of Your . . Testimony. 3:10

        10 Bring the full 10 percent into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. 
Test Me in this way," says the LORD of Hosts. "See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.

    On one occasion a man in a church I pastored expressed a troubling concern to me as one of hischildren was caught stealing money from his mother's purse. It is so sad when a child will talk love to their parents, and at the same time be stealing from them. On Sunday many church members express love in attendance, scripture reading and song, while all the time they have their hand on their wallet or purse holding on to God's tithe rather than giving it as God commands. I grew up in Tower Grove Baptist Church where many men and ladies shared their tithing testimonies. I noted in watching these folks the total testimony witnessed by their lives. They were right with God in money matters because they were interested in being right with God totally.

4. Worship Appropriately Exalting . . Reverence. 3:16-18

A. Worship Appropriately Exalting Reverence In . . Speech. 3:16
16 At that time those who feared the LORD spoke to one another. The LORD took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name.

B. Worship Appropriately Exalting Reverence In . .
Special Recognition. 3:17
    17 "They will be Mine," says the LORD of Hosts, "a special possession on the day I am
preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.

C. Worship Appropriately Exalting Reverence In . . Service. 3:18

    18 So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one
who serves God and one who does not serve Him. HCSB

    When people really worship reverently any person walking with God will sense the Spirit leading in that worship experience. The speech, special recognition, and service will all take on a different quality. The text tells us God noticed as the people who feared, reverenced, the Lord spoke to one another. If we walk in reverence toward God it will affect how we talk. God promises special recognition for these reverent people, and the difference in these people will be seen in their service. Some serve for self or to please man, other serve to please God, and this kind of service gives a radiance that demonstrates they worship appropriately. Amen? Amen!