Thank you for your continued prayers and I know that God will richly bless you for your faithfulness. Now lets go before the Lord in prayer and enter into his presence with thanksgiving for the word of encouragement that He is.
Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving me for my sins. Thank you Jesus for dying upon that cross so I might have eternal life with you. Thank you Holy Spirit for being with me through it all. Father I ask now that the next few minutes I spend in your word that you would reveal a little more of you glory to me and in that guide me into the way that you would have me go down this road to you. I pray these things believing that you are even right now in my midst.
The Scripture for today is found in the Old Testament. It is only two chapters long but holds some great truths for us today. If you have a Bible close by open it to Haggai 2:9. I am going to suggest that sometime this week you take a couple of minutes and read the entire book of Haggai. It won’t take you long but the rewards will last for eternity.
(Haggai 2:9) “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”
As some of you know I recently took a short mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico.
The highlight of that trip for me was building a house for a family. I realize that I do not have all the time in the world to give you details of that trip as well as the message that God has for you but as we look into His word today I believe that He will allow me to use that experience as an illustration of what he is saying to us today. You see when Haggai wrote this prophecy the temple in Jerusalem had been neglected for about 15 years after its re-building was started. The foundation was laid then when persecution came the building was stopped and people forgot about the House of God.
There are three areas that I want to cover in today’s message. The first being the need to re-build. The second being the responsibility and thirdly the encouragement. Now before you get board and stop reading, This is not about building a building. It is about re-building our lives. “Know you not that you are the temple of the Living God.” Your life has been neglected long enough. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior than you are a child of God and joint heir with him. When Jesus talk about that river of life flowing out of our inner-most being he was talking about complete joy, now. It is yours to have. God wants his glory to shine in your life. What God is telling us today is first of all look at where we are and see how much more He has for us.
The need: I do not know what you are going through or what “life style” you are involved in. What I do know is that we all have areas in our lives that have been neglected. When I first went on the trip to Mexico, I flew into San Diego. They but us up in one of the nicest Hotels in the City. We were on the 20th floor overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The next morning we were all loaded into vans and taken from the penthouse to the outhouse. As soon as you cross the border into Mexico you can feel the spiritual oppression. The most noticeable thing was the fact that there was no longer any grass. The next thing that I noticed was most of the buildings were not completed. It is as if they built the bottom floor of a two-story house and then stopped. Rebar stuck out of every other building. Rebar is the steel bars that are used to reinforce concrete structures. It was everywhere. And garbage. It did not seem to bother people that they were living in squalor. Sometimes we get that way too. We get so use to the wrong in life that we stop fighting and just let it build up. Think about things just ten years ago. In the second chapter of Haggai the 3rd verse he asks; “ Who is left among you that saw this house in its first glory? And how do ye see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison with it as nothing?” Ten years ago you would not think of seeing half of the sex and violence that is now displayed openly on prime time TV. That is just one example of how we are letting things slide. You know yourself what you have done and may still be doing for the American dollar. The American dream use to be to the chance to work towards and live a good life. Now it is whoever dies with the most toys wins. Well I have news for you whoever dies with the most toys still dies. And the Bible points out to us that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgement. There is more need to re-build the House of God than ever before. What this country and this world needs is for men and woman to stand up and say “no more! As for me and my house we will serve the lord!!!”
Lets take a quick look at how the Temple got in the shape it was in the first place and see if that doesn’t compare to our own shortcomings. Haggai was a contemporary with Ezra. If you will go back in your Bible to the Book of Ezra the 5th chapter the 11th and 12th verse gives us the reason for the destruction. “And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up. But after our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.”
Now remember you are the temple of the living God. Let me make one more reference form the Bible then we will get to re-building. In the 1st chapter of Romans Paul tells us how God “gave us up to our own uncleanness through the lusts of our own hearts,” There is a great need to re-build the house of God which is our own lives.
The Responsibility: This is where the rubber of faith hits the road of reality. God has given us the responsibility of being good stewards. That mean that we are suppose to take care of things. We are told back in the book of Haggai two things that we have to do in order to rebuild the house of God. When we take these two things that God gives us seriously in our lives the re-building will begin.
(Haggai 2:4) “Yet now be strong…….and work.” Some times the simplest answers are not enough for us. Jesus told us the whole thing was summed up by loving the Lord your God with all your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself, but that is still too much for us. What is the first thing we do? We come up with excuses. My favorite is “ Its not time.” You know the cleverness of this argument is a revelation of the carelessness of the heart. We are waiting for some moment electric when everything just falls into place. People who wait for that moment never find it and never really want to. We have time to set for hours in front of our television sets we have time to shop for things that we will soon dispose of but we can not take the time to get in touch with God and get our lives right. We do not have the time to rebuild the house of God. It is not that we do not have the time. It is not that it is not the right time it is because we simply do not care. As long as we are comfortable in our little houses. You know it took us about 8 hours to build that little two room house for that family in Mexico and they cried with joy when we turned over the keys to that house to them. I just started building on a Habitat for Humanity home this week and it will take months and hundreds of hours to build my own home. Some of us tithe to the church because we know that God blesses us when we give back to him what he has given to us. Other people I know do not tithe with money alone but with their time. You see true religion is doing for someone that can never repay you. We need to take the responsibility of re-building our lives by 1st being strong, and secondly working. I know Work is a four-letter word for some folks. Well Paul said that if a man does not work then he should not be allowed to eat either. The responsibilities are simple be strong. And work and now for the good part the encouragement.
The encouragement: (Haggai 2:4) “For I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts,” (Haggai 2:5) “…So my Spirit remained among you;” (Haggai 2:7) “…I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” And then our scripture verse for today (Haggai 2:9)
We do not need to pray for the Holy Spirit to come. We do not need to pray for revival to come. We do not need to pray for God to wake up. He is awake; The Holy Spirit is here with you right now. Revival is taking place in your heart this moment. It is us that need to wake up; God is in this House right now. His Spirit is upon you this very moment. Wake up and see the glory of the Lord. Open your eyes and see the workings of his hand. Our encouragement is eternal life, abundant life, real joy love and peace. Now look over to verse 19 and own this word from God (Haggai 2:19) “ Is the seed yet in the barn? Yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, have not brought forth;” –NOW RIGHT HERE THIS IS FOR YOU- “From this day will I bless you.” From today on the blessings of God are upon you. From this moment on you are blessed of God. Yes things did not work out in the past. Yes the seed is still in the barn. You never even got a good start on life. Well today is the day. It is a new day of celebration. Not of our own glory but to the glory of God. It is for you. God loves you. Stop with the struggles and rest in his arms. You have been pushing your cart up a hill only to have it roll down the other side too long. Give it to God. Give all your cares, all your Hopes, all your dreams, turn them over to him and then give him glory when he far surpasses even your wildest dreams. I’ll end with this and then a prayer.
We know that what this nation, this world and even we need is the rebuilding of the house of God, the rebuilding of the family, the rebuilding of integrity the rebuilding of a moral culture. If that is truly what we know we need that the way it is going to happen is to realize that The living God is with you every moment of every day. Your responsibility is to bring him glory and as you do that the entire world will change. Lets pray:
Father forgive me for letting you down. Thank you for being there to lift me up. Lord use me for your glory. I surrender all to you with thanksgiving because I know the more I give of myself to you the more of you I receive in return. Lord I believe your word today and know that as I make this move in my life and use the strength that you have given me to work for your kingdom my life will be greatly blessed. From this day forward I am blessed, and I praise you for it in Jesus name;
Amen and Amen
I love you all In Christ;