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The Justice of Jehovah

(Malachi 3:6-18)

Lesson 13 -- fourth quarter 1997
November 30, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

What a lesson text to conclude this quarter! I find so much in it that encourages me to continue on in the things whereof I have written to you. I am so far from perfect and so prone to not live what I know, but this lesson recharges my spirit and reinvigorates my commitment. I thank the Lord for this cap sheaf!

"Return unto me, and I will return unto you." I wrote the quarter's youth pages with a full heart. So much of my message has been for me. I see again where I have strayed from the Lord's ways. I have such an inclination to do things my way and for my purposes. Praise the Lord, no matter how far we stray from Him and His ways, He still seeks and draws us. And when we return to Him, He returns to us. Isn't He just so absolutely gracious! My heart says, "Yea, Lord, I will return."

"Prove me now herewith." We know God's ways; we know His rules for living. Sometimes we also wonder about the desirability of living according to God and His Word. We fear so many things, possibilities and people. We see ourselves being tested on every side, but seem so reluctant to put God to the test. Can it be that we think He just might fail us? Could we possibly think that He will flunk the test? Look, God wants you to test Him, not because He is cocky but because He is faithful. So take the Word and live it; set your feet in the Lord's ways and walk faithfully in them. By all appearances you may be risking everything or at least something extremely important to you. The truth is, with God you run no risks! "OK, Lord, I will put You to the test."

"I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes." Perhaps you have tried so hard in the past, and have "always" failed. Perhaps your sowing produced good for a while, then stuff quit growing to maturity and fruition. Now it seems like all you do is poke seeds in the dry, parched ground; come to think of it, you just leave the seeds in the bag now. Perhaps it seems like you begin by tossing a javelin and somehow end up with a boomerang that comes back and bongs you on the head. My friend, the enemy is at work. He's got all kinds of tried and proven ways of upsetting your apple cart and making your row to how longer. So don't give up! Keep on! Follow after God, and for your sake He will rebuke the devourer. "Yes, Lord, You deal with him."

Those are but three encouraging promises in this lesson. Highlight or underline more to pass along to your class. Besides lifting your own spirit they will surely boost those of others.

"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another." Your relationship to the Lord should not (and ultimately really cannot) be just between Him and you. God wants your faith to grow, blossom and bear fruit in the company of the family of God. Unless you and your youth group are really unique, you find it difficult to "talk spiritual" with each other. I'm sure you know what I mean. I know what I mean because that is the way it goes with me and my peers. Let's change!

"And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." Guess who He is talking about?!! You! Me! Oh, I don't feel much like a jewel these days, and I certainly don't shine forth like one. But He's still working on me. And when the wonders of His grace are fully consummated for time, my hope in Jesus is to be one of His jewels in that day. So let's keep on with Him!

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