Summary: The prophet clearly tells us that God expects us to take care of the building God has given us to worship and minister in.
I have used sermoncentral along with many other resources in this sermon.
Caring for God’s House
Past 2 weeks we have been considering 5 dream teams for TBC 60th
Remember the vision of God will not merely happen to us
God’s vision will happen through us
Began with worship, discipleship, today facilities not too exciting
Want you to remember with me TBC facilities through the years
TBC began Sept 21, 1947 in a tent, 1948 Quonset Hut
August 15, 1960 A frame building, burned June 14, 1969
For 2 years met at Crawford and Julia R Ewan school
October 3, 1971 present building dedicated
Might say pastor why all this stuff about buildings
Isn’t the church to be the people of God? More than building
True, but LHL headline, “Cats might just have everything now:
Hot shooting coincides w\opening of $30 Mill practice facility”
Wrote that before yesterday, stools with players names on it
Key card entry to get in, hot tubs, message areas
See buildings matter, so a part of our dreams for next 60 years
Include dreams for our facilities, consider prophet Haggai today
Haggai is easy to overlook, probably not many sermons from it
But great story, about 600 BC Bible says & history confirms
Jews were conquered by Babylonian empire under Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel Hananiah, Azariah & Mishael taken into captivity.
Nebuchadnezzar found Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem
Had a lot of gold so took it back spoils to Babylon.
Over 65 years Jews endured captivity, hundreds of miles from home,
When Persian Empire rose to power defeated Babylon.
King Cyrus, no beef w\Jews so let Jews return home to rebuild
Estimated 40,000 did so in but some stayed in Babylon or Persia
536 BC book of Ezra describes temple work started w\excitement
Worship amidst ruin of Solomon temple to reclaim spiritual life
Haggai picks up story 16 yrs later when temple still only foundation
Book is carefully chronicled see vs 1 spoke over 4 month period
Call to care for God’s house, two lessons for us
1. Face OPPOSITION AND DIFFICULTIES
Haggai 1st of the 3 prophets in OT who spoke to the remnant
It’s possible that Haggai is an old man in his 70’s or 80’s;
if so he one of few in Israel who could remember the majesty &
splendor of Solomon’s temple been destroyed by the Babylonians
Seems for Haggai temple represented home of the presence of God
So why did they not finish the job?
Ezra 4:4-6 NLT hints, 4 Then the local residents tried to discourage
& frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work.
They bribed agents to work against them & to frustrate their plans.
This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and
lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne.
Years later when Xerxes began his reign, the enemies of Judah
wrote a letter of accusation vs the people of Judah & Jerusalem.
In other words city got all upset, why TBC no new sanctuary
City said not enough parking,
After a couple of years the people lost heart about temple
Went on to building their own homes finally 520 BC
Zechariah called out Zerubbabel & people to resume temple work.
Warning! THE WORK OF GOD CAN BE DELAYED
God will not force His people to do what they do not want to do!
When Jesus went to Nazareth could not do many miracles
Because of the people’s unbelief
16 years later people said vs 2 It’s not time to build temple yet
People lived in paneled houses, God’s temple in rubble and ruin
Vision of God does not happen to us but through us
People had other priorities fixing up own places, starting new life
No time yet for God, sound familiar? I am too busy to help
I have to work Sundays not time for churchboss
I’m working 6 days a week Sunday is only day I have for myself
& family. Excuses why no worship God each week.
Recipe for frustration STARTING BUT NOT FINISHING, SELF-CENTERED LIVING, MISLEADING APPEARANCES, NO LONG TERM PURPOSE will be mad every time
Worst of all people began to believe and live down to what enemies said they believed in opposition & difficulties more than did God! WATCH OUT they same can happen to us they didn’t have the $$ or the people to do it either, they were busy too
The people allowed FRUSTRATION to become PROCRASTINATION 16 yrs Israel walked around foundation, & dreamed about a temple, but it did not happen.
Opposition of those around them, so they gave up
They got so used to way things were never asked what could be
Why the prophets called the people to remember! To dream again
In this our 60th year we need to as well