“‘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.”
What a promise here at the end of the Old Testament, that the Lord whom you seek. There’s a messenger that will prepare the way, but then the Lord whom you seek, the Lord will come to his temple. This is a picture of God’s promise to come to his people right here at the end of the Old Testament, setting the stage for what’s about to happen when we turn the pages in the New Testament, and we discover that the Lord has come. Jesus, God in the flesh, has come. This promise that he would come would provide hope for hundreds of years in anticipation of that.
Malachi 3 sets the stage for Christ coming to redeem sinners and bring them back into right relationship with God. We long for His return, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
This is where we see the heart of the gospel in the Old Testament, looking to the New Testament, the reality that God is not distant from us. Even though we have sinned against him, and we deserve to be separated from him forever, God has not left us alone in our sin. He has come to us. God has made the way for us to be saved from our sin. Let’s never get over this glorious reality. God came to us in the person of Jesus to live the life we couldn’t live on our behalf, a life with no sin, and then to die the death we deserved to die for our sin. God came to us to pay the price for our sin so that we might be forgiven of our sin and reconciled to him, to a relationship with him. This radically different than every other religion in the world.
Every religion in the world says you got to do these things in order to get to god. You need to do these things in order to achieve eternal life. You got to do these things in order to have salvation, whatever that is. The truth of the Bible is the exact opposite. It’s not what you do to try to get to God, to try to earn salvation. God has come to us. Salvation has come to us and not only has come but will come. Jesus has come. He’s died on the cross. He’s risen from the grave. He’s ascended into heaven, but he has promised that he is coming back. The Lord whom we seek, whom we long to see, is one day coming back, so we pray. O God, thank you. Thank you for coming to us. Jesus, we praise you. God in the flesh, we praise you for your life, for your death, for your resurrection from the dead, for not leaving us alone in this world of sin and suffering and death.
We praise you, Jesus, for coming and conquering sin and suffering and death, for the guarantee of eternal life, free from sin and suffering and death for all who trust in you. Thank you for not leaving us alone, for coming to us, and for your promise, O God, that one day Jesus is coming back. We pray with John in Revelation. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. We look at sin and evil and injustice and oppression, hurt, pain, suffering all around us, death around us. God, we pray bring an end to it. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus, come quickly we pray. We praise you for your faithfulness to your promise in Malachi chapter three verse one to come, and we praise you for your promise in the New Testament that you are coming back.
As we pray this, we pray, O God, for the Dhobi people in Pakistan, 1.3 million of them. 0.0% believe in the gospel. O God, they don’t know. They don’t know that you have come in the person of Jesus. They’ve not heard that good news. Nobody’s explained that to them. Please, O God, please cause workers to go to the Dhobi people, to cause them to hear the gospel, and to believe the gospel. God, we pray that many of the Dhobi people in Pakistan would trust in you, would turn from their sin, and trust in you and your love for them. God, we pray please send workers and cause your salvation to spread, that they would know that the God of the universe has come for them. O God, thank you for this glorious reality. Use our lives today to make it known right where we live and wherever you lead us in the world, including to places and people groups like the Dhobi in Pakistan. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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