Sermon:
“Give Carful Thought To Your Ways”
Haggai 1:5; 7
January 2nd 2011 — New Year’s Sunday

“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.”
Haggai 1:5 (NIV)

INTRODUCTION:
> William Gladstone once said, "Tell me what the young men of England are doing on Sunday and I will tell you what the future of England will be."
> The same could be said regarding the United States. Tell me what people do on Sunday in the United States and I will tell you what the future of the United States will be.
> When the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem, they found the city in total ruins. The returning Jews began to rebuild the city little by little until they finished the foundation of the new Temple.
> However their neighbors, the Samaritans, and other neighbors feared the political and religious implications of a rebuilt temple so they did everything to vigorously oppose its reconstruction. They managed to halt work on the temple.
> The Jews became apathetic toward the religious condition of their nation. They began to focus on rebuilding their own homes, planting crops, and building their economic stability, while neglecting the Temple of the Lord God!
> The Lord sent Haggai to prophecy to the people. Haggai went to the Political and Religious leaders of Jerusalem and declared…
Now this is what the LORD Almighty says, “Give careful thought to your ways.”
> This is the central theme of His sermon. He says the same thing twice. First, in vs. 5 and then in vs. 7…
Now this is what the LORD Almighty says, “Give careful thought to your ways.”
> God knows the hearts of the people.
He knows where people’s desires are.
He knows what matters to us.
> At the coronation of King Solomon, when David proclaimed Solomon King and handed him the plans of the Temple, this is what King David said to his son, Solomon…
“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.”
1 Chron 28:9-10 (NLT)
> God sees to the heart. He knows where our heart is. He knows where our priorities lie.
> Haggai was telling the people, God knows where your heart is and that your heart isn’t committed to the work of the Lord—recommit yourself to rebuilding your spiritual life, and all the other things will come together.
> Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:58…
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
> When we are committed