Saturday, January 17, 2009

Malachi Questions

This week we conclude a three week series on Malachi.  At the same time that King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans held off the entire army of Xerxes, God sent a man named Malachi to his people in Israel.  As in all series, we entertain questions texted in during the teaching.

Q. Is ambition in ministry inherently sinful?  Where is the line between righteous and selfish ambition?

A. Ambition in ministry is not inherently sinful.  Jesus was ambitious.  Paul was ambitious.  In fact zeal (righteous ambition) is spoken about in both Psalms and Romans.  The primary difference between righteous and selfish ambition is motive, which is a heart issue.  Only God knows your heart, so what could appear as selfish or righteous may be the opposite, but the person doing it knows, and sooner or later so does everyone else.

If you are doing something to bring attention or glory to yourself, then the ambition is selfish.  If our genuine concern is expanding Christ's kingdom, then our motive and actions will be pure. That is why the Bible talks so clearly about guarding our heart.

Q. Don, what is your Bible reading plan? 

A. My Bible reading plan has been the same for several years, to read a book in the Old Testament and then a book in the New Testament.  I am currently reading in Romans.  I addition to this I read daily through the passage to be taught on Sunday.

QIn comparing teaching methods, how does Levi & Malachi's methods compare and contrast to those of pastors in modern times?

A. This is an interesting question.  Although Levi was a priest and Malachi was a prophet they had the same purpose as a pastor, to bring people to God.  Although Levi and Malachi had no modern teaching tools like computers and P.A. systems, the primary method then was the same as now . . . his mouth.  It is about speaking the word of God.

Regardless of the generation, whether it was Levi, Moses, Jesus, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards or Billy Graham, God has decreed that the primary teaching method is speaking.  It is nice to know that some things never change.

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