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Then those who revered the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act.
Malachi 3:16-17

I see something powerful and significant happening around us. I see it when I go into a Starbucks and in the corner are three or four people huddled close around a table. I see it in a cafeteria as some employees are taking their half hour lunch to meet. I see it in offices as workers come early before the work day begins, and students who stay after school to connect. What I am talking about is the growing number of people who in the course of their everyday lives get together to talk about God and their lives. I think we are seeing something momentous gaining steam.

What we are seeing is similar to what is happening in today’s Scripture text. People who revere the Lord and think on His name are coming together to talk about Him. And God smiles.

This Scripture text is set in the Old Testament book of Malachi at a time when moral rot has undermined and weakened the nation. This is graphically illustrated in the preceding verses as the people are saying: “It does not pay to serve the Lord” (3:14), and it is the “evil who prosper and are happy” (3:15).

Yet, in the midst of the moral collapse of a nation, God’s prophet sees some who do revere the Lord and who gather to encourage each other to be faithful. Malachi sees in that small number the future of the nation. And Malachi says that God listens in as they gather, and that He has a “book of remembrance” put together “of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name”.

Malachi is alluding to the practice of ancient oriental kings having scribes who kept records of those who had served and acted honorably towards them (See Esther 6:1-3). They kept these books of remembrance so that they could reward their friends. What a beautiful metaphor this is of God remembering those who gather to talk about Him. God calls them: “my special possession”.

The Lord Jesus spoke about the special blessing there is for His followers when they gather in His name: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). That’s why I look forward every Wednesday (in a business office) and Friday morning (in a café) when I get together with men who love the Lord and love to talk about Him. Christ is always present in a powerful way.

When the fire in the fireplace burns low, you need to bring the coals together. And the same thing is true spiritually. When we meet together in God’s name we keep the fires burning and bring a smile to His face.

  • How about bringing God into your conversation the next time you have coffee with a friend?
  • How about sharing with your friend a “God-sighting”, or how God has blessed you, or answered a prayer?
  • How about getting together with a few friends to discuss a Scripture passage, or a meaningful devotional book?
  • How about getting together and praying for each other?
  • When you can’t do any of these in person, how about doing them by phone or email?

Come and hear, all you who revere God,
and I will tell you what he has done for me
Psalm 66:16

Grace and peace,

photo by John G Meadows

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