Summary: A WORD TO THE CHURCH - Haggai (Part 3) Discouragement will often cause us to give up and quit. How can we overcome discouragement? Haggai reminds us that the best is yet to come!
· In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. The satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph it and its moons, and beam data it collected about this giant planet back to earth. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, because up until then no satellites had gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it would ever get to Jupiter.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Flying past Jupiter in November 1973, the space probe continued its incredible journey toward the edge of our solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past the planet Uranus, then past Neptune, at nearly three billion miles, and Pluto, at almost four billion miles. By 1997, 25 years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.
And it’s still going. Though now nearly 8 billion miles from the sun, the satellite keeps sending signals; some were received as recently as April 27, 2002. And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continues to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. Commenting on the Pioneer 10 in Time magazine Leon Jaroff says, “Perhaps most remarkable, is the fact that those signals emanate from an eight-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night-light, and take more than nine hours to reach Earth.”
"The Little Satellite That Could" was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of only three years. But it has kept going and going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny eight-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.
So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with only eight-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who gives up and quits.
(Craig Brian Larson, Pastoral Grit: The Strength to Stand and to Stay; Bethany House, 1998)
God has called you and I to do a great work in His Church; the greatest days for our church truly are ahead of us as collectively we do that which God is calling us to do. As you and I cooperate with God, we are a part of the miracle that is Praise A/G.
Two weeks ago we began a series of messages drawn from the prophet Haggai, A WORD TO THE CHURCH. Putting it simply, just as God called the nation of Israel to complete the work of building the temple, God is likewise telling us to complete the work He has called us to do.
We looked first at “GOD’S WORK DELAYED”. Satan cannot destroy the church, but he would like to see it’s work slowed down. The devil can keep us from doing God’s work as our priorities get out of balance through just being comfortable. In order to fulfill God’s purpose we must keep God in His rightful place as our #1 priority as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.
Last week we looked at “GETTING GOD’S WORK DONE!” We’ll do nothing for God unless we follow His plan for action: Assessment ð Agreement ð Action–Getting God’s Work Done! When we make an accurate assessment of our priorities we will come into agreement with God and with one another. Until we come into agreement nothing can be done; remember the African proverb, “The man who tries to walk two roads, splits his pants.” As we join together in unity we are then able to move forward and do the work God has call us to; that’s action that will accomplish His purposes.
Well folks getting started with God’s work isn’t enough. God has another word for His church. Haggai brought the people building the temple a third message; it’s a message that you and I need to hear as well: “DON’T QUIT; THE BEST IS YET TO COME!”
1. GOD KNOWS WE CAN BE EASILY DISCOURAGED.
Discouragement is to lose courage or hope; it is to become overwhelmed or lose heart. When we are discouraged it’s easy to want to quit–to stop doing the very things God told us to do.
Discouragement says, “What’s the use of trying anymore? Isn’t it time to just give up and make the best of it?” The nation of Israel faced that kind of discouragement.
+ Haggai 2:1-3 1On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 2“Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3’Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?” (NIV)