Malachi 3:1 “Behold I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
Something clicked when I read this. I looked at myself and everyone around me and wondered, how am I doing when it comes to obeying Jesus to spread the word? After all, He told us to and that He would be with us while we do it. We are to be today’s messengers preparing the way before Jesus comes back.
There was a video on social media that went “viral” this week of a woman explaining an incident that happened at a Wal-Mart while she was waiting in the check out line to pay for her things. I never watched the video, there are way too many of them out there that are simply a waste of time, so I watch very few. I did, however, read the story. Apparently a woman was waiting for the cashier to finish ringing up her items so she could pay, but the cashier was very slow and kind of clumsy which was causing the customer to become irritated. The woman started to berate the cashier for his ineptitude until finally she was able to pay. When she attempted to pay, the card was declined and she became even more irate. I guess on the side of the cashier, he was in obvious distress, trying to do his job but was very upset (who wouldn’t be after being yelled at by a customer anyway?). So after it was suggested to the lady that she allow other customers go through and pay for their items while she waits to have her issue resolved with her card, the woman telling the story on the video supposedly asked the cashier what was wrong or was he okay or something like that. Anyway, the answer from the cashier was the heartbreaking, “My mother killed herself today and I have to come in to work because now it’s only me left to pay all the bills.” Of course the first lady who gave the cashier such a hard time felt very bad after that.
Okay, so I told all of that to say this, I don’t think this story is true, but I don’t think it has to be. To be perfectly honest, I am glad that it likely is not. Why? Because it doesn’t change the message, only the characters within the message. Jesus taught us in parables, why not continue? This is a good parable to wake people up from their revelry to pay attention to other people and show them love even if we don’t know what’s going on in their lives. Unfortunately, that’s becoming less obvious with professing Christians at least here where I live.
How are we doing in spreading the message and love? I will say in places that are deprived of freedom and where it is extremely dangerous to preach the gospel, we are doing pretty well. Why? Because there’s a thirst for the truth and people can see it clearly in those extreme circumstances. But here, in the States and in other places where “life is good”, there is no hunger, only expectancy of ease and comfort. The attitude of “I’m right and if you offend me, I will take you out of the way because I’m right” is prevalent wherever you go, whether it’s a grown man/woman or a teenager, or even younger.
We don’t have to be right. We don’t have to be offended. And we certainly don’t have to succumb to the complacency gripping the majority. We do need to have a fire within us, however. A fire that burns with love for each other and wants to spread the joy and peace that lies within our own hearts. We need to understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit so we can be led effectively by the Holy Spirit instead of falling prey to our own knee-jerk emotions in controversial situations.
We need to be the messengers we were instructed to be. Not with our words or tongue but with our actions and truth (1 John 3:18 improvised). So, now that I’ve said that, I’ve got to go and follow my own advice!