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Malachi is the last prophet in the Old Testament. He preached after the time of Nehemiah, when the people of God had a form of religion yet denied the reality of a relationship with God. The message of his heart was that God wanted to have a love relationship with His people. They did the rituals they thought God wanted, but they were spiritually cold and apathetic. Malachi became a messenger of repentance God used to draw His people back to Himself.

Seven Blueprints for a Burnout

There are seven examples of the people of God talking back to Malachi. These seven dialogues can be called, “Seven Whispers of a Heart Growing Cold Toward God,” because they describe the symptoms of people who have lost a love relationship with God. The mission of Malachi was to restore their relationship with God. Malachi prophesizes the Second Coming of Christ for the faithful, severe judgment for the cold-hearted, and John the Baptist, who will prepare the way for Jesus.

The Best Books in the Bible

The first four books of the New Testament are called “gospels,” which means “good news.” They are central to revealing God’s eternal plan: to redeem and save lost mankind. They are often referred to as biographies: Through them we gain a comprehensive insight into the life of a Man who only lived for 33 years, but who impacted the history of our world more than anyone who ever lived. The gospels declare Jesus the Christ, God’s greatest revelation of truth.

The Magnificent Obsession

The primary emphases and purpose of the Gospels is to reveal God’s message and to present His solution to our problem. We have divorced ourselves from God and that separation must be reconciled. Jesus, the greatest revelation of truth the world has ever been given, had a “magnificent obsession,” which was accomplishing the work His Father sent Him to do. The Gospels proclaim: Jesus came to provide forgiveness for our sin and to reconcile us to God!

The Ministries of the Messiah

In the Gospels we discover that Jesus was a Man with mission, a threefold ministry. Jesus expressed this threefold ministry in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The Gospels tell of His teaching—the Truth, His mighty works, miracles, healings and deliverance—the Life, and of redemption—Jesus’ death and resurrection, and how His sacrifice saves us from our sin—the Way.

The Strategy of the Savior

The Gospels show us Jesus has a strategy for accomplishing His mission. His strategy for reaching the world with His message of salvation involved training and teaching His disciples to meet the needs of the world. Jesus frequently placed His followers strategically between Himself and those who needed to receive God’s supernatural provision. The plan of the risen, living Christ is still to use His disciples to pass the truth of His Good News to those who need salvation.

Thy Kingdom Come

One of the primary emphases of the Gospel of Matthew is “the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus came into this world as King of an eternal, spiritual kingdom, open to anyone who believes in Him and makes Him Lord of their lives. When we pray, we pray for His kingdom to come. Our whole lives are to be centered on this goal: to see God’s spiritual reign established in our lives and our world by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Crises of the Christ

John the Baptist introduced the Messiah, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The Gospels tell of important events in the life of Jesus Christ: His baptism—inauguration, marking the beginning of His public ministry; and His temptation, a confrontation with Satan. Jesus resisted temptation by knowing and quoting Scripture and by keeping God first in His life. He proved that He was the Son of God who overcomes sin.

A Checkup from the Neck Up

One of Jesus’ greatest discourses was His Sermon on the Mount, which is a concise summary of the ethical teaching of the entire Bible. Jesus taught the beautiful attitudes and character of a true disciple. The beatitudes show us the right attitudes for coming to God and for going from God into the world to be part of His solution. The essential question is: “Are you part of the problem, or are you part of the solution of Jesus?”

A Turtle on a Fence Post

The beatitudes are the mindset of a person who comes to God and of one sent into the world by God. Jesus follows this with four profound metaphors: the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a city on a hill, and a candle on a candlestick. No followers of Jesus can have all of these attitudes and do the kind of works He commands, apart from the Spirit of God working in and through them.

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