When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in all the Law and the Prophets was, He gave a two-fold answer: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, AND love your neighbor as yourself.”
Because if we love God rightly, we will love our neighbor; and a failure to love our neighbor is a failure to love God.
This answer sums up the Law and the Prophets. And one of those Old Testament prophets was Malachi, whose book we’ve been studying in this series. Thus far we’ve seen how Malachi has called out God’s people for their failure to love God (the vertical axis).
In Malachi 2:10–16, Malachi is going to turn his attention to the horizonal axis—about the relationship we have to one another—because the Israelites failed to love one another well. And in this 3rd of 6 disputes in the book, Malachi’s focus is on how the men of Israel failed to be faithful to their wives. They were faithless toward God and faithless toward their wives.
This sermon has three parts:
1) Faithless Betrayal
The Israelites were breaking faith with their wives and God.
Not only were they abandoning their covenant with their wife as they divorced, but they were also abandoning their covenant with God as they welcomed idolatry into their homes, and they were trashing their own marriage covenants and the covenant of God Himself.
But the problem ran even deeper than their faithless betrayal. All of this is arising from their fragmented hearts.
2) Fragmented Hearts
Our spiritual lives cannot be compartmentalized.
God insists on our integrity, our wholeness. All of life is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Nothing is outside His domain.
He wants our whole heart, not just a piece of it. He wants our full devotion.
3) Full Devotion
God calls us to wholehearted covenant-love.
Because there’s nothing God loves to do more than to take all the broken fragments of our lives and start making us whole, so that we can begin to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.
But there is a catch. To be whole, we must give Him our whole selves.
Takeaway: We will never be whole until we are wholly His.
It will not do to give God only a part of our selves.
Jesus gave His whole self for you. Won’t you give your whole self to Him?