Podcast 263:  Hey God, I’ve Got a Problem with You

Podcast 263: Hey God, I’ve Got a Problem with You

Often we find ourselves, like the people in Malachi’s day, lodging a complaint against God.  Why?  Because He didn’t do things the way we thought He should.  Because we don’t like the situation we are in.  Because we want more than what He has sovereignly given us.  Because He didn’t meet our expectations.

Just like spoiled, selfish children.

But the granddaddy of all complaints is found in Malachi 2:17 where the people accuse God of blessing evil and ignoring good:  “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them.”  Or, “Where is the God of justice?”

Want to see how God responds?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:17-3:5.

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Malachi:  Dealing Treacherously with Those We Love

Malachi: Dealing Treacherously with Those We Love

Message from Malachi

A Prophetic Warning to the Church

Dealing Treacherously with Those We Love

“For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence.”
Malachi 2:16

Beginning in Malachi 2:10, there is a shift from God’s chastisement of the priests to His reproof of the people in general.  Lack of priestly leadership, it seems, is no excuse for unfaithfulness to the Lord.  However, sheep follow the shepherd.  So judgment begins, as the Scripture states, in the house of the Lord, with the shepherds, the priests, and the preachers of today (1 Peter 4:17).  Malachi employs some strong words in this chapter to convey God’s dealings with His people and their attitude towards Him.  He uses treacherously five times in 8 verses.  We also find profane or profaning, abomination, and God saying He literally hates something.  Those two words alone, God and hate, should get our attention.

These are strong words for erring people.


Why Do We Deal Treacherously with Each Other?

The first question God directs to the people in Malachi’s day, and to the church today, is “Why do we deal treacherously (or, unfaithfully, deceitfully, traitorously) with one another?” (Mal. 2:10).  Why do we betray each other?  Why do we deceive, mislead, and victimize each other?  Why do we hold each other, especially within the Body of Christ and in our own marriages, with such contempt, disdain, and disrespect?  Why do we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, as family, heavenly siblings, those chosen by God and created in His own image, profane the Lord by destroying His children, those for whom He died, by our unfaithfulness to each other?  Why would we do that?

Our answer is, of course, we don’t.  We categorically deny any responsibility or knowledge of the offense.  But God sees it differently.  He says all of His people, Judah, Israel, Jerusalem, have “profaned the Lord’s holy institution which He loves.”  And what institution is that? we ask.  Marriage.  And how have we profaned marriage?  We have “married the daughter of a foreign god” (Mal. 2:11).

At this point, most of us would look at the national statistics and our own experience and know we stand guilty regarding our rejection of the sanctity of marriage.  We, the church, divorce each other as fast as those outside the church, sometimes even faster.  It’s now so hard to find someone who is still the “husband of one wife” to serve as our pastor, deacon or elder that we go to great efforts to redefine what “husband of one wife” means so more people in our congregation can qualify (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6).  And, as the church, we do this to our own shame and peril.


One Man, One Woman, One Lifetime

This passage, primarily, deals with the marriage covenant— one man, one woman, for one lifetime— and how the people and priests in Malachi’s day, and in our own day, have forsaken and profaned it (Mal. 2:11).  Divorce is the greatest betrayal most will ever experience in their lives.  And the children of divorce, those who suffer the most, carry the scars of that betrayal to their graves, often inflicting their pain and hurt on their own children.  Divorce becomes a generational curse, children suffering for the pain of their parents.

Because divorce has become such a part of the fabric of our church life, we’ve become desensitized to it.  After all, every family I know has been impacted by divorce.  Everyone, including my own.  My parents divorced.  My wife’s parents divorced.  My only brother divorced, and on and on it goes.  And since “familiarity breeds contempt” we have turned a blind eye to what God says about divorce.

Malachi is our wake-up call.


Worship, Church-life, and Divorce

The permissive, tolerant, “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude towards the sin of divorce by the priests in Malachi’s day, and from the pulpits today, is the reason the church is in the shape it’s in regarding marriage.  Pastors today tend to shy away from controversial topics that may incite the congregation and divorce certainly is top of the list.  But truth is to be proclaimed from the pulpit and from the man of God regardless of how uncomfortable that truth may be.  Pastors, priests, and shepherds are to preach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and not simply what the people want to hear (2 Tim. 4:2-3).  Pastors today should view the sanctity of marriage much like Nehemiah did when he rebuked the marital infidelity of the priests and drove the grandson of the high priest from his presence because he had “defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites” (Neh. 13:29).  His crime?  He had divorced his wife to marry another woman, a foreign woman (Mal. 2:11).  Where are the men of God today who will not allow divorce as an option among those he shepherds!

When Malachi speaks of the “daughter of a foreign god” (Mal. 2:11) he is referring to a woman who is not from Israel nor holds to the beliefs and values of the people.  He’s talking about a pagan woman, one the Lord warned would lead His people to worship foreign gods (Ex. 34:11).  It’s a classic case of mixed marriage, being unequally yoked, a believer with a non-believer, which God explicitly forbids (2 Cor. 6:14).  God is speaking about a believer, one under covenant, who divorces his own wife to marry a pagan, a heathen, someone who is not a believer (Mal. 2:10).  And this sin, dealing treacherously with your spouse, had crept into the camp of Israel while the priests, the watchmen and shepherds of God’s people, did nothing to stop it.  In fact, they encouraged divorce and were divorced themselves.  Same can be said of the church and the pastors today.

But why is this so important?

Simply put, as hard as it is to accept, God says He will not receive your worship if you are unfaithful to the “wife of your youth” (Mal. 2:13).  Why?  Because “He hates divorce” (Mal. 2:16).  Cut and dry.  Not open to negotiation or compromise or political correctness.

God says the man who divorces his wife and marries the “daughter of a foreign god” will be “cut off” from Him and His people since he is fully aware, willfully aware, of what he is doing.  Then that very man, while showing such contempt to His covenant, has the arrogance, the audacity, the blatant hypocrisy to come and bring an offering to the Lord and expect God to be pleased (Mal. 2:12).  Not gonna happen.

Malachi 2:13 reads:

And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.

Regardless of how much emotion you put into your worship of the Lord, even with tears and weeping and crying, God will not hear you nor receive your worship as long as you profane His covenant.  In what way are we profaning His covenant? you ask.  “Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously (or, unfaithfully, deceitfully, traitorously); Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Mal. 2:14).

In other words, until this sin of treachery and betrayal against our spouse is made right, God and the church can go no further.  They stop at this point.  The pride and belligerence of those who are called by His name (Isa. 43:7), those who defiantly refuse to change their attitudes about something God calls an abomination (Mal. 2:11), must be confessed and repented of.  Must.  Why?  Because God “hates divorce” (Mal. 2:16). He hates divorce because it is the breaking of a covenant between a man and a woman (Mal. 2:14), between two who are now one flesh (Mal. 2:15; Gen. 2:24), and the violation of an oath given before God of our vow, our pledge, and our solemn promise of faithfulness in marriage (Mal. 2:14).  It’s the very definition of dealing treacherously with each other (Mal. 2:10).

There’s no middle ground with God on this issue.  None.  In fact, it might be that the anemic spiritual condition of the church in the West, and of you and me as Believers in Christ, is caused by our willing acceptance of divorce as a viable option in relationships covenanted by God— which is the furthest thing from the truth.  In fact, the Bible gives us only two acceptable reasons for divorce: sexual immorality (Matt. 5:32, 19:19) and the abandonment of a believer by an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:15).  No where do we find popular phrases like: irreconcilable differences, incapability, or lack of fulfillment, as reasons for divorce.


How Did We End Up Here?

How did we get in this place?

By lowering our standards and accepting the political correctness of this fallen age more than the unchanging truth of Scripture (James 4:4).  By leading our churches via consensus and not by the truth of God’s Word.  In essence, as our congregations begin to experiment with divorce, instead of standing tall and strong for the truth and offend those who are sinning, we change our preaching and morph our Biblical standards just enough to keep those in dire need of repentance coming back.  We want to make church comfortable, even for those in the very throes of sin.  And in doing so, we systematically diminish the holiness of God and the covenant relationship of marriage.  “After all,” we say, “it’s the loving thing to do.  We don’t want to offend anyone.”

Really?  Looks like the only One offended is the Lord.


Courageous

There’s a conversation that takes place in the movie Courageous that sums up the attitude of the church today regarding divorce.  If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize the following.  And if you haven’t seen the movie, you need to watch it today.

David:  I had a good dad, I guess.  I mean the guy wasn’t perfect.  My parents split up when he had an affair.  But I think he regretted it and I struggled with it for a while.  But, you know, divorce just comes with the territory now.

Nathan:  I disagree, man.  Divorce happens because you make it an option.

David:  Nathan, you don’t always know what’s gonna happen.  People change.  You can’t always work stuff out.  Sometimes you need to part ways.

Adam:  I think I agree with Nathan.  People don’t fight for their marriages anymore.

The church needs to step up, to take charge, to boldly lead in the fight to save our marriages.  Why?  Because divorce can no longer be accepted as an easy option for the believer in Christ.  We, as the people of God, desperately need the blessings of God to once again freely flow in our churches, families, and in our nation.  And tolerating what God calls an abomination is not the way to make that happen.


Evil is Not Good in the Sight of the Lord

One final thought.  Are you tired of hearing and reading messages like this one?  Are you weary of preaching that makes you feel bad, uncomfortable, or uneasy?  Would you rather come to church, or read a post, and be blessed and told how good and wonderful you are?

Sure you would.  Most people would.  In fact, that’s what they wanted in Malachi’s day.  But God had another idea.

Malachi 2:17 reads:

Statement:  You have wearied the Lord with your words;

Question:  Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?”

Answer:  In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?”

Just so you’ll know, the Lord doesn’t delight in those who sin and do evil.  In fact, His Word says just the opposite, “God is a just God, and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11).

Just.

Angry.

But, forgiving.

Repent of the sin that separates you from His blessing and enjoy the freedom only He can give.

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Podcast 261:  Down with the “D” Word!

Podcast 261: Down with the “D” Word!

In the latter half of Malachi 2 God employs some strong words to convey His feelings about His people and their attitude towards Him.  He uses treacherously five times in 8 verses.  We also find profane or profaning, abomination, and God saying He literally hates something.

Those two words alone, God and hate, should get our attention.

But what does God hate?  Ah, that’s where the “D” word comes in.

Want to hear more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:10-17.

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Podcast 259:  Believers with Dirty Faces

Podcast 259: Believers with Dirty Faces

One of the most sobering and frightening statements by God to the priests, clergy, and believers just like you and me is found in Malachi 2:3.  There God says:

“Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it.”

Just so you know, refuse means dung, fecal matter, excrement.  That’s right.  God is saying He will spread or smear excrement on the faces of His priests or clergy or you and me.

Do you want to know why God would do something as drastic as this?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:1-9.

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Malachi:  Excrement and the Clergy

Malachi: Excrement and the Clergy

Message from Malachi

A Prophetic Warning to the Church

Excrement and the Clergy

“Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your faces,
The refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it.”
Malachi 2:3

In the second chapter of Malachi we find one of the most chilling and sobering warnings to the priests of Malachi’s day, and to the preachers of our day, found anywhere in Scripture.  Malachi gives us just a glimpse of how our Lord views His priests and preachers and pastors— literally anyone who claims to speak for Him, who fail to give glory to His name (Mal. 2:2).  And the actions of God against the clergy are disturbing, if not outright frightening.


No Honor to My Name

In Malachi 1:6, God begins to chastise the priests because of their disdain and hypocrisy for Him.  They bend over backwards to offer praise and homage and respect to everyone on earth but Him.  He says, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  If then I am the Father, where is My honor?  And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?” says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name.”

Later on in the chapter God again chastises the priests for offering polluted, defiled, worthless sacrifices to Him and trying to pass it off as true worship (Mal. 1:8).  By the time we get to Malachi 1:10, God is telling the priests to “Shut the door of the temple and go home.  You’re wasting your time and My time.  No worship is taking place and I have no pleasure in you.”  Why?  Because they profane His name (Mal. 1:12), seem bored with the task of worship (Mal. 1:13), and greedily keep the best for themselves and give the scraps to God (Mal. 1:14).


The Rebuke of the Clergy

This is where it gets scary.

Remember Who is speaking: God Almighty, the great “I AM”, the Sovereign One, the Creator and Sustainer of everything, the Great and Final Judge.  And remember who He is speaking to: the priests, the preachers and clergy, those who have been called and chosen by God to give Him honor, respect, obedience, love and awe.  Before you sit back and smugly think this warning doesn’t apply to you since you are not a preacher, remember Revelation 1:6 where Christ has made each of us “kings and priests to His God and Father.”  In other words, you and I are also priests of God and, like all priests, should spend our lives glorifying God— whether we have a seminary degree or not.  This warning is for each of us today.

“And now, O priests, this commandment is for you” (Mal. 2:1).

What commandment?  Does the word “this” refer to the commandments from chapter one or do they look forward to the commands of chapter two and following?  Answer: both.  And what happens when the priests fail to heed God’s warning, fail to repent, and give Him the glory due His name?  What happens when preachers, pastors, evangelists, and teachers in the church become selfish, greedy, self-centered and self-seeking, narcissistic, nothing more than egotistical glory-seekers for themselves and begin to lead His sheep astray?  What is God to do then?

“If you will not hear (or, listen, obey), and if you will not take it to heart (or, commit, consider), to give (what) glory to (what) My name,” says the Lord of hosts, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings.  Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart” (Mal. 2:2).

What is God commanding His priests, you and I, to do?  Give glory to His Name.  The term glory means the weight or gravity of God’s presence.  It defines His importance and the honor He is due as God.  The word name is mentioned 6 times in the first 16 verses of Malachi and is the summation of all the attributes of God: His character, reputation, everything.  God is saying if they, we, do not give Him the glory due is name, He will send a curse upon us and our blessings.  In fact, He says, that curse has already begun.

So how bad will the curse be?  How serious is God about all of this?  Is He more serious than He was in Revelation 3:16 where He “vomited them (the church) out of His mouth” for being apathetic, lethargic, and lukewarm?

“Behold, I will rebuke your descendants (or, offspring, children) and spread refuse (or, dung, fecal matter, excrement) on your faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it” (Mal. 2:3).

Really?  God can’t be serious.  Does God really mean He will spread, or smear refuse, or dung, fecal matter, excrement, on the faces of His priests and their descendants.  I can’t believe God would do this?  It seems so harsh, so hard.  I didn’t think not giving glory to His name was that big of deal.

Well, it is.  You’d better think again.

One of the natural byproducts of animal sacrifices, in addition to a torrent of blood, is excessive excrement or refuse or dung.  Just like what happens when a frightened dog is put in a cage and taken to the Vet, the same thing happens to the cows, sheep, goats and other animals awaiting their death.  The place where the animals were sacrificed reeked with excrement.  According to Levitical law, the excrement, along with other parts of the sacrifice, was to be removed, carried outside the camp, and burned (Ex. 29:14; Lev. 16:27).  They were considered disgusting, defiled, and had no place around the holiness of God.  Of great offense to the priests would be to get fecal matter or dung on their clothing, sandals, or on their skin.  God is saying to the priests He would take this same fecal matter, this animal excrement, and smear it into the creases of their faces.  Why?  Because refusing to show glory and honor to the Lord is not something He takes lightly.  And then the priests are removed, outside of the camp, with the excrement, to be disposed of.  This is what God thinks of those who hypocritically proclaim His name.

After God chastises His priests as such, He then says, “Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you” (Mal. 2:4).  Then you’ll know how truly disgusted I am with you.  Then you’ll know exactly how I feel about your hypocrisy and apathy and contempt for Me.  Yes, then you’ll know how you smell to Me, not as a pleasing aroma, but as excrement.  The animal refuse from your “solemn feasts” (Mal. 2:3).


How Should the Priests Repent?

“My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he might fear Me; so he feared Me and was reverent before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity” (Mal. 2:5-6).

God then uses Levi and as example of how He expects His priests to live and function and fulfill their duty as examples of holiness, righteousness, and sanctity before the God and the people.  What God said to the priests in Malachi’s day, He also says to us today:  We would be wise to listen and obey (Mal. 2:1).

One. the priests must live in contentment with God (Phil. 4:11-13), satisfied with the “life and peace” given them (Mal. 2:5).

Two, they must learn to live in the fear of the Lord, learning how to honor and revere Him above all else (Mal. 2:5).  They must show profound respect for God, His glory, and His name.

Three, they must live and preach the truth.  They must stand for God’s Word, His righteousness, justice, and equity (Mal. 2:6).

Four, they must spend their lives for the sake of others, as a watchman on the wall (Eze. 3:17), turning many away from iniquity by word and deed (Mal. 2:6).

Five, the priests must “walk with God” (Mal. 2:6).  Not walk after God, but walk with God, like Elijah, like David, like Daniel, like Enoch.  They must have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and care about nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2).

Finally, the priests then and the preachers today must seek and speak the knowledge and truth of God.  Why?  For he, you and I, are a messenger of the Lord of Hosts.

“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” (Mal. 2:7).

We, as preachers, as priests, as believers in Christ, as heirs, as joint heirs with the Lord (Rom. 8:17) must seek with every breath in our being the glory of God and the honor of His name.

For if we fail, it may take more than just a few handy wipes or a swipe of antibacterial lotion to wipe the excrement of our sin off our faces.

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Malachi:  When the Creation Argues with the Creator

Malachi: When the Creation Argues with the Creator

Message from Malachi

A Prophetic Warning to the Church

When the Creation Argues with the Creator

“If then I am the Father, where is My honor?
And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?”
Malachi 1:6

As I was studying in Malachi this week I was struck with the realization that much of what we do on Sunday, much of what I do on Sunday, despises the Name of the Lord.  Now, I know that may sound harsh, but hang with me a minute and let’s unpack a few of these verses together.

The prophecy of Malachi is built around two pillar statements of God.  The first: “I have loved you” (Mal. 1:2) and the second: “I do not change” (Mal. 3:6).  God begins by affirming His love for Israel, the descendants of Jacob, and He does so by declaring His choice or election of them as His own possession.  He tells them, “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?  Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated” (Mal. 1:2-3).  He reaffirms, time and time again, that His love for His children is unconditional and will not change.

But what about the love of His children for God?  What was the response of Israel to God’s love?  What did they feel?  How did they show their love and gratitude for His grace?  And let’s make this personal:  What about us?  How do we show God how much we love and appreciate Him for what He has done for us?

If you will look closely, I think you will see the words spoken to the priests of Israel in Malachi’s day could also be spoken to the church today— to you and me.

Let’s look at the heart of God when faced with ungratefulness in His children.

The Sin of Ingratitude

God begins by quoting an ancient proverb: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master” (Mal. 1:6) — which is true.  Son’s generally honor their fathers and servants, or employees, generally honor their masters, or employers.  So what’s the deal?  I’m sure we can all agree on this statement.

But God begins to move quickly towards building His accusation against the ungrateful objects of His love:  “If (or, since) then I am the Father (and He is), where is My honor?  And if I am a Master (which He is), where is My reverence?” says the Lord of hosts (Mal. 1:6).  In other words, since a son honors his father and a servant his master, and since I am the Father and Master, no… since I am God the Father, where is the honor due Me that any ordinary father or master would receive from you?  Why am I being treated with less respect and honor than you treat each other?  What’s your reason for your contempt of Me?

The word for honor in this verse means “glory and majesty” and the word for reverence means “fear, terror or the sense of awe that brings respect.”  So God is asking Israel, specifically His priests, why they are not giving Him the glory and majesty due His name and why they refuse to respect Him for Who He is.  Again, it’s the insanity of the created despising the Creator.

God then brings into clear focus those who are leading the charge against His glory, those, as in the day of Jesus, who cry out in the courtyard, “Give us Barabbas!” (John 18:40).  And it’s, of all people, His priests.

If then I am the Father, where is My honor?  And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? says the Lord of hosts, to you priests who despise My name (Mal. 1:6).

No, Not the Priests

How can this be?  How can those chosen by God to lead His people into worship and to bring the Word of God to them be the ones that despise His name?  The word despise, as used here, means “to hold in contempt, to disdain, to disrespect.”  How can this be?

Now, I don’t know about you, but if the Lord told me I was despising His Name and had little reverence or honor towards Him, and that He has no pleasure or delight in me (Mal. 1:10), I think I would immediately fall on my face and beg His forgiveness.  Wouldn’t you?  I’d be frightened, actually horrified, to think that God thought I viewed Him with contempt or that I disdained or hated His very Name.  How could I feel that way about the One Who chose me “from the foundation of the world” to be His own? (Eph. 1:4).

That’s how I would respond.  But that’s not how the priests in Malachi’s day responded.  They defiantly held on to their innocence and self-righteousness and demanded God give them some examples, some evidence, to prove what He was saying about them was true.  They refused to admit their guilt but chose instead to argue and debate with God about the validity of His accusation.  Really?  That’s nothing more than the creation shaking their puny fist in the face of God and demanding from the Creator…again?  They were, in effect, calling God a liar.

And this is where I want to take a paragraph or so and show how these words fit the church today, fit you and I.  When God chastises us or brings a charge against us for a blind spot in our character, or when He reveals what we thought were hidden sins that He lays open, public, for all to see— what is the proper response to God?  How are we to respond to His hand of correction in our lives?

You know the answer:  it’s with sorrow and confession and repentance— and the begging of God for forgiveness.  It’s not with self-justification or with accusing God of not having thick enough skin or for getting His feelings hurt too easily.  We don’t make light of our sin by accusing the One who revealed our sin to us.  It doesn’t work that way.

But that’s exactly what we often do in the church.  We are far less concerned about what God wants and thinks than we are about what we want.  It’s all about our desires, our demands, our preferences, our lusts, and our wants.  We want the sermon to be something that will make us feel good about ourselves, we want to hear music that we like on the radio, we want to meet in a comfortable building, sit in plush chairs, and keep the AC no higher than 72 degrees.  After all, it’s all about us in the lukewarm age of Laodicea.

We want to be affirmed as an individual, we want to be honored for just giving our time and coming each Sunday, and we don’t want to feel guilty or challenged to do more.  The fact that we’re here, well, that should be enough.

And when God confronts us with the hypocrisy of our devotion to Him, we respond much like the priests in Malachi’s day.  We argue, we debate, we scream, we pout, we vote, and we get a new pastor— one that will tell us what we want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Sound familiar?  I thought so.

Several years ago Todd Agnew summed up the thinking of the modern church in a song he wrote called, My Jesus.  Listen to the song and follow along with the lyrics, and pray that you and I will no longer despise the Lord’s name as His priests did in the time of Malachi.

Enjoy.
[powerpress url=”http://leavinglaodicea.com/podcast/music/MyJesus.mp3″]

My Jesus

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Why do you look so much like the world?

‘Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land?
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand?

‘Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?

And who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side
Or fall down and worship at His holy feet? Holy

Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part?
Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him

‘Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?

‘Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
And I think He’d prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I wanna be like my Jesus
I wanna be like my Jesus
I wanna be like my Jesus
I wanna be like my Jesus

Not a poster child for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I’m tired of living for success and popularity
I wanna be like my Jesus, but I’m not sure what that means
To be like You Jesus

‘Cause You said to live like You, to love like You
But then You died for me
Can I be like You, Jesus?
I wanna be like You, Jesus
I wanna be like my Jesus

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big_lines

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