Malachi 2:10-3:1

            They were faithless to one another; faithless to their wives; and, so, faithless to God.  God is described as actually being weary by lots of talk, but no faithful presence and action.  So it was the context and situation for this last little prophecy of the Old Testament.  The answer we are left with is that a messenger will be sent to prepare the way of the Lord.  He is coming, and it will be soon.
            Keeping the end of our lives and of history in mind helps bring greater clarity and purpose to the present.  Since Jesus is returning and coming soon we are to be faithful.  Faithfulness toward God means faithfulness to the significant people close to us.  We can pray and attend church and offer many words to God, but if we do not have a faithful presence and commitment to our families then God will not look with favor upon us.
            We are told twice in these verses to “guard yourselves in your spirit.”  It is necessary to monitor the condition of our souls and be in touch with the state of our spirits so that we remain faithful.  There must be a willingness to nurture our inner selves so that the outward actions reflect faithful commitment.  There needs to be vulnerability with oneself and submission to basic accountability structures so that we are aware of strengthening the inner person.  Rather than embrace a rabid individualism, communal and certainly familial dedication is a primary way of pleasing God and realizing his blessing upon us.
            Sovereign God, the One who sees and knows all, help me guard my spirit so that I will be faithful in all I do and in all my relationships with others, especially my own family and spouse.  Strengthen my soul to remain dedicated to seeing the coming of Jesus in all his glory.  Amen.

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