ODJ: restoration and salvation

September 18, 2015 

READ: Malachi 3:1-7, 4:1-5 

For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture (4:2).

An antivirus update for my laptop kept blocking the last phase of my radio recordings—the words I spoke between songs. I tried restoring the computer to an earlier date, prior to the update, which worked for one session of recordings. But when I tried to record another radio show, the antivirus once again stopped me from saving my work. In the end I restored the laptop to a time when it worked properly, uninstalled the antivirus and reinstalled a different one. The new antivirus is now working well alongside my recording software and I can save my work without hindrance. Phew!

Throughout the Old Testament we see how God longed for His people to walk willingly in His ways and be restored to Him (Malachi 1:2,6). Although they had suceeded for a while, they repeatedly succumbed to their selfish desires and allowed sin to overtake them (3:7).

When the priests revered the Lord and lived righteously, many turned away from sin because of their example as God brought life and peace to His people (2:5-7). But it wasn’t long before even the priests left God’s paths, and their false teachings led “many to stumble into sin” (v.8).

But God pressed on with His original restoration plan. Human beings had been separated from Him by the sin of one man (Genesis 3:1-19) and now they could be reunited with God through the sacrifice of the one Sinless Man—His Son (Malachi 3:1-4).

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day-plan: John 16:5-33

Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 for more on God’s plan of reconciliation and peace between Himself and mankind as well as between people. 
Why do people sometimes try to earn their salvation? How has Jesus provided the only sacrifice that could truly save us?