Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Heart Problems by John

Malachi 2:10-16

1. Doctors have said that smallpox has been eradicated from the earth.
(1) If true, that means we won't see American Indians sporting vacination scars in movies while they attack the wagon train!
(2) It also makes us wonder, is it really gone?
2. Did you know malaria probably still kills more people today than cancer, aids, or heart disease?
3. Many diseases were grouped under the name "leprosy" in the Old Testament. We've narrowed that down to just one disease today.
4. All of these diseases kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.
(1) God has compassion for people with any of the varied illnesses that confront us.
(2) Jesus proved that by the healings He did, and the compassion He showed while on earth.
(3) God has always been more concerned about the problems that affect the soul.
(4) Jesus said we were not to fear those who kill bodies, but fear the One Who has power to cast body and soul into hell! (Mt 10:28). That's our Heavenly Father!
5. God is concerned with our heart problems, and this Scripture in Malachi deals with a whole slate of heart problems.
6. Today, I want us to consider just the family heart problem Malachi dealt with.
7. Husbands were not pleasing the Lord when they sent their first wives away.
8. Let's note three things.


1. When you hear someone say, "I want justice!" is it possible they are really saying "I want to get even!"
2. Real justice is not revenge. It is a positive way of life.
(1) It's not a matter of doing unto others what they did unto you. That's taking revenge.
(2) It's a matter of treating people fairly with love and respect.
3. Micah 6:8 says, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
4. If a man treats the wife of his youth justly, he doesn't send her away and replace her with a younger, more attractive (to him!) woman!
5. The same holds true now for both husbands and wives!
6. God says the real reason for divorce is our hearts are hard! (Mt. 19:8).
7. He also said He did not accept their sacrifices because of their hearts were hard! (Mal 2:13).
8. Some of us today feel like God is far away, and that He pays no attention when we pray...Could that be the reason? Yes it could!


1. The word "divorce" means "a sending away."
2. From the very beginning God made two people one flesh!
(1) He only made one woman for Adam!
(2) When questioned about divorce, Jesus said, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning." (Mt 19:8).
3. If He had wanted man to have more mates, he could have made two Eves for one Adam, or vice versa.
4. V 14 is the only time this Hebrew word, chabereth, is used in the Bible of husband and wife. It is used of men who are equals and friends.
5. It is evident God expects husbands and wives to enjoy an equality in marriage that most families today never experience.
6. Husbands and wives become one flesh, and to separate them destroys something God has approved.
(1) There is no marriage service in the Bible.
(2) Here, God says He has been a witness between husband and wife! v. 14. God was at their wedding!
(3) These men wronged their wives by divorcing them, and they put aside something God approved!


1. If a person's heart is so hard he can't treat his mate with respect and justice, he does not have even a vestige of God's Holy Spirit, v. 15.
2. Abraham discovered he could have children with other women, but only the child of Sarah would be the godly offspring of his covenant with God! (She was the wife of his youth!)
3. If Abraham learned from that, we too, must guard our spirits.
4. Twice, in vv 15 and 16, God tells us to guard our spirits!
5. If we take heed of our spirits and get them right with God, these other things will not happen!
(1) James said, "Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14,15)
(2) Divorce of an older wife was equivalent to a death sentence in that time. She probably could not go home to her parents (They were probably dead!) and she had no way to make a living!
6. God's way is the way of life! Any other way is the way of death! Take heed to how your spirit is doing!


1. The trouble in families has always been heart trouble!
(1) When our hearts get hard toward the Lord, we see all kinds of sin resulting.
(2) What appears to be hard hearts between Christian husbands and wives is really a hardness of heart toward the Lord!
2. The solution to family problems is essentially getting the heart of our beings right with the Lord!
3. Every family problem is a spiritual problem because God attends, witnesses and approves our marriages!
(1) He hears the vows we make.
(2) He sees our hearts.
(3) He sees the way we sin against our mates.
4. And He refuses to treat us as if everything is okay when it is not!
5. The secret of a happy marriage is:
(1) Know the Lord.
(2) Know the Lord well.
(3) Keep your heart soft toward Him by watching out for things that hurt our spirits.
6. Young person, if you want a happy marriage, start by making Jesus the Lord of your life.
7. If you've been married a while and things aren't going well, is Christ the center of your life?
8. This is the time you can set things straight with the Lord, and He will hear you when you pray.

ECC 5/07/2006


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