“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” – Malachi 2:1–9
God loves you! Isn’t that astounding? Almighty God, the God who created the entire universe by the word of His power, has set His love upon you.
The chief display of this love comes at the cross, where God spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all. Nevertheless, God’s love for You is not only displayed, in the most important event in all of history, it is also displayed in the day-to-day life that we enjoy together as the people of God.
When Christ ascended to the right hand of His Father, He gave gifts to His people. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:
He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The Son of God who loves you so much, that He gave His life for you, is dedicated to the growth and sanctification of His Church … therefore He both gives the church pastor-teachers and He severely disciplines those who turn aside from the Way. This is for the honor of His name, but it is also for your good as His people, because the LORD loves you with an everlasting love!
Beloved, the LORD is that zealous for your good. … The question is: “How zealous are you for His glory?”
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 36
Q. 36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.