Summary: A WORD TO THE CHURCH - Haggai (Part 4) Sin has polluted our lives, but God has promised to bring a harvest of blessing into our lives through obedience.
· In the movie "Groundhog Day" actor Bill Murray wakes up to the same day over and over. He finds himself confronted with the same situations he had faced just the day before all over again; only of course it isn’t a new day–he’s stuck on groundhog’s day. Only he is aware of the repetition which is taking place as he experiences the repetition of the day before. Confronted with the same choices once again, Murray is able to change what had happened previously by making a different choice.
If only it were that easy! How many of us have ever had a day that we would like to live over again. If only we could go back and right our mistakes; if only we could learn from our mistakes before others were hurt.
We have been looking at a series of messages taken from the book of Haggai A WORD TO THE CHURCH.
We have learned from the prophet Haggai that 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. Jesus wants to build His Church, and it is being built through you and me!
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.
Then we looked at “GETTING GOD’S WORK DONE!” We’ll do nothing for God unless we follow His plan for action: Assessment -> Agreement -> 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.
Last week, I know I got a little excited, DON’T QUIT, THE BEST IS YET TO COME! God knows that we can become easily discouraged and just want to quit when our perspective gets out of balance. When we begin to focus on the good ol’ days instead of looking ahead to where God is taking us, when we focus on the temporal instead of the eternal it’s hard to see clearly. God wants each of us to be encouraged and move forward, to continue the work that He has called us to do because the best is yet to come!
Now as we come today to this fourth message HOLD ON! GOD’S BLESSING WILL COME, I want to preface it with two things which I believe to be true about each of us.
First, I think that DEEP DOWN EACH OF US REALLY WANT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT; even if it were possible to repeat a day trying to correct its mistakes, none of us would want to/ we would rather get it right the first time. Put another way, our desire is simply to obey God, to not the things that lead us into sin.
Secondly, I’m fairly confident that NONE OF US OBEY GOD ALL THE TIME. Each of us have come to find ourselves falling short of what we know is right. As James says, "We all stumble in many ways" (James 3:2 NIV).
We all would like to obey God; unfortunatlely it easier said than done. If only we could go back and correct all of our mistakes; if only we could make things right with God and our fellow man, but we can’t.
I have good news for you. What we can’t do; God can!
Putting the truth of this morning’s message simply, SIN HAS POLLUTED OUR LIVES, BUT GOD HAS PROMISED TO BRING HIS BLESSING INTO OUR LIVES THROUGH OBEDIENCE. Because of sin each of us are defiled; we are marked as unworthy and unacceptable by God. We can do nothing to change our condition, BUT GOD CAN, AND HE WILL!
1. IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?
The nation of Israel began to wonder if doing the work of God was really worth it. Where was the promised blessing of God that was to come through obedience to his Word? After all if obedience has no reward, then why bother trying to obey God; why not just live like the rest of the world and not worry about it?
+ Haggai 2:10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai: (NIV)