Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the "A Time To..." series from Haggai. (This sermon and series is updated from 2004.)
Series: A Time To… [#5]
A TIME TO BE ENCOURAGED
This week has been pretty tough. I watched people who had done nothing wrong be punished. I watched children have to be the adults at their home. I have been very burdened about the downturn in our Church’s attendance; as well as a downturn in almost every Church’s attendance. It is easy to look at things like this and be discouraged; but if you remember Who is in control, you might be able to see it completely different. As we finish our series from Haggai, it is amazing how this also begins our Christmas season. I had not intended this sermon to be a “Christmas sermon”; but God knows better.
Haggai 2:20-21 (NIV)
20 The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21 “Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
1. Even when you feel small.
Zerubbabel struggled with the truth of who he was. He was the governor of a small version of God’s people. The Jews were not a huge and mighty Nation like they had been in the past. Jerusalem was not a massive city of beauty as it had once been. In Zerubbabel’s mind, he was the governor of a lesser Nation; but God knows the bigger picture. God was encouraging Zerubbabel by letting him know that He was going to shake things up. God knew something about Zerubbabel that Zerubbabel didn’t know- Zerubbabel was in the line of Jesus.
Matthew 1:1, 12-13 (NIV)
1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor.
Some would say, “Big deal”; but it is a “big deal”. He was in the line of David; but even more important, he was in the line of the Messiah. Jesus came to this Earth to give us eternal hope. You may feel small this morning; but if you are a child of God, there is no limit to what God can do through you.
Haggai 2:21-22 (NIV)
21 “Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
2. Because God has big plans for you.
The image here is of 2 things that seem immovable and unchangeable- Heaven and Earth. Heaven and Earth will be shaken like a rag doll. God can shake our plans around in a moment in order to fulfill His plans. No one likes to be shaken up; but sometimes it is the only way we grow in the Lord. We live in a world where the political atmosphere is crazy. We live in a world where many leaders are evil. We live in a time where it seems like being a Christian is like wearing a target on your back; but we also serve a God who shakes up things and could change all of these negatives in an instance.
Haggai 2:23 (NIV)
23 “‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
3. Because God has included you in His plan.
The signet ring was engraved with the owner’s name or a design to identify his authority. It was used to prove the authority of royal messages who carried papers stamped by the image on the ring. It was also used to mark precious articles. It proved ownership. The signet ring was always carried by its owner and worn on the right hand. It was an inseparable and valuable possession. This is what God declared Zerubbabel to be.
As a child of God, you have been chosen by God and He owns you. Jesus has bought you with His blood. The old you is dead and the new you is 100% Gods. God has a plan for your life. He has given you the Holy Spirit and gifts from the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill His plan for your life. You are part of the plan. You are valuable to God.
I pray today that you are encouraged. Your life in Christ matters. Not only does God have a plan for your life; but that plan is part of His great plan.