Summary: God also loves you so much that he cannot allow you to continue your path of destruction and heartache.
CONSIDER YOUR WAYS: A CALL TO HOLINESS
Big Idea: God also loves you so much that he cannot allow you to continue your path of destruction and heartache.
Before I begin today I want to ask you to help me with my sermon. Do you have your cell phones? Okay get ‘em out. I want to ask you a question and then I want you to text me your answer. I will read some of them and respond to it at specific points in my sermon.
Here’s the question: IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING YOU WANTED … ANYTHING … AS A MEANS OF MINISTRY IN JESUS’ CHURCH, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
There’s the question. The phone number to text is on the screen – now text me.
I gotta tell you, this is my favorite passage in the book. Do you know why? It is here that the people of God say “yes” to God’s correction and priorities. It is here that God’s people turn their hearts to him.
In the preceding verses Haggai laid bare their sin. He showed them where they had allowed personal preferences to usurp God’s will for their lives and here … they respond. They repent and turn to him.
The rest of this book is instruction for those whose hearts have turned to God. For those in whom there has been no inner change, and if a heart has not turned to him, the remainder of the book has little to say.
We will return to that concept a bit later.
HAGGAI 1:7-15 (ESV)
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord's message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.” 14 And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit ofJoshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Every culture and every age of history brings new challenges to the Christian faith. This has been true from the beginning of the church. As we respond to the streams of culture, sin and need in society, the church is often placed in the dubious position of playing catch up; seeking to clarify its message. I am not sure it can be any other way. We do not have a crystal ball so we cannot see what is coming and it is only after we are faced with the questions that we can offer Biblical solutions to the great needs of the day.
One big problem is that the solution the church offers is seldom uniform. Rare is the time when all of the people of God give the same response. We send mixed messages and then the church is forced to back up and talk amongst ourselves. The great councils of the past represent this very dynamic; the church was sending a mixed message and the creeds serve as an illustration of a church that has come together and agreed on a response. It is also proof that there was disagreement and even false responses being offered by some facets of the body.
The morass of our day is quite overwhelming. The great human needs and questions that face us invite many responses from the church and not all of those responses are, as I said, uniform. The human needs requiring response by the church run the gamut: