by Dennis Marquardt

This content is part of a series.

What's Wrong with My Service? (2 of 7)
The 7 Questions of the Backslider Series - Malachi
Dennis Marquardt
Malachi 1:6-2:9

INTRO: Living for God can become a ritual rather than a relationship! When it is a ritual it is evidenced by a lack of genuine joy and poor quality sacrifices. When it is truly a relationship we take great joy in sacrificing because sacrificing for those we love is a natural thing.

Israel’s second question to God had to do with their sacrifices and service before God ... it seemed that God wasn’t pleased with either their sacrifices or service and their question basically was, “What’s wrong with our service?”

They were giving sacrifices to the Lord, they were attending worship services at the Temple ... so what was wrong? It wasn’t just THAT they gave, it was WHAT they gave ... sick diseased animals for sacrifices and ritualistic attendance at the Temple without a genuine joy or thanksgiving in their heart toward God!

They had lost their focus on the purpose of worship and the commitment of the covenant ... image was all that counted, not substance!

ILLUS: A small rural Church in Sweden years ago had an unexpected event take place. The King of Sweden showed up unannounced in their worship service one Sunday morning. The Pastor, seeing the presence of the King in the congregation and overwhelmed with the presence of royalty put aside his prepared text for that day and talked about the virtues of the King of Sweden. Following the service the King greeted the Pastor at the door, thanked him, and told him that he would be receiving a gift from the King. The Pastor was thrilled with this news. He thought it was evidence that the King like what he had said. A few weeks passed and a large box arrived at the Church. The Pastor opened it anxiously. Inside was a full size statue of Jesus hanging on a cross, attached was a note with the following on it; "hang this image of Jesus on the pillar opposite the pulpit so you will a ...

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