“Will a man rob God?” — Malachi 3:8

 

      “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price.” Is that true? Do you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ? Has he bought you with his precious blood? If so, this is in every way a reasonable deduction: — “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.” Is that reasonable? Is this not an inference which commends itself at once to your conscience? Not only is it reasonable, it demands our attention and assent, because it is the Word of God himself.

 

      If I am not my own, if I have been purchased and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, I ought to be utterly consecrated to God my Savior, dedicated entirely to him. Anything less would be worse than base ingratitude. Anything less would be robbery. Indeed, that is exactly what God calls it in Malachi 3:8.

 

      This matter of robbing God goes far beyond paying tithes or not paying tithes. It involves the totality of our lives. Every faculty and talent, great or small, God has given me, every possession, everything I call my own belongs to my God. That which I possess, he has put into my hands, he has trusted to my hands to use for him: His Honor and Glory, His People, His Church, His Kingdom, His Gospel, His Cause. I am not responsible to the Lord for what he has not bestowed upon me; but I am responsible for all that he has trusted to me. I am not responsible for what he has put in your hands; but I am responsible for what he has put in my hands. And everything he has trusted to my hands, as a steward in his house, be it ever so little or ever so great, is to be consecrated to and employed for his glory.

 

I do not much like the word “duty” as a motivator; but the Scriptures do use that word; and it is often implied even where it is not written. “Duty” is not the highest or best of motives. Yet, it is our “duty” to obey and honor our God, though after we have done all, we are but “unprofitable servants” (Luke 17:10). As Robert E. Lee taught his students, respecting every aspect of life, — “Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.” Even in the performance of duty to our God, there is delight. David sang about it in Psalm 19:7-11.

 

      In the keeping of God’s statutes, in obeying his Word, in doing his will, we find great reward. — As we are enabled of the Triune Jehovah to trust and delight in him, our ever-gracious God, our souls are made to rejoice in the Lord. — As we are enabled of him to love one another, as we find ourselves walking in love, our very lives are sweetened by the love of the brethren. Every heaven born soul can truly say, with Paul, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.

 

      The law of God in which we delight and by which we are ruled is the whole of his revealed will in Holy Scripture; and the law of God in which we delight is the whole of his will concerning our daily lives, as he makes it known to us by his Spirit. We have meat to eat that the world can never know. Our meat is to do the will of our God. Yet, if I do not render him the fruit of those powers by which I am made capable of serving him, then, according to the words of Malachi, I rob God!

 

      If we do not utterly devote ourselves to him, the Lord our God declares, “Ye have robbed me!” — Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). — O, my soul, taste not, drink not except to the glory of God! — Whatever we do — whatever you do — whatever I do — let us “do all to the glory of God!” — To do less is to rob God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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