Living by faith - Haggai 1

Are you prioritizing your own comfort over God's work? Discover the powerful message in Haggai 1 and reflect on whether your spiritual temple is in ruins. Will you heed the call to rebuild and honor God, or continue to delay?

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Dylan Flood

35m

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This morning's passage is coming from Hai chapter 1 and if you've got your Bibles with you this morning I encourage you to open that up and um yeah read along with me otherwise I think it will be on the screen as well too in the second year of Darius the king in the sixth month on the first day of the month the word of the Lord came by the hand of Hagi the prophet to zerubabel the son of sh governor of Judah and to Joshua the son of jehos the high priest thus says the Lord of hosts these people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Hagi the prophet is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panel houses while this house lies in Ruins now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts consider your ways you have sown much and harvested little you eat but you never have enough you drink but you never have your fill you clothe yourselves but no one is warm and he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes thus says the Lord of hosts consider your ways 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 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 themselves with his own house therefore the heavens above you have withheld the Jew and the Earth has has withheld its produce and I have called for a drought on the land and the hills and on the grain the new wine the oil on what the ground brings forth on man and Beast and on all their labors then zorobabel the son of shalel and Joshua the son of jehos the high priest with all the remnant of the people they obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Hagar the prophet as the Lord their God had sent him and the people feared the Lord then Hagi the messenger of the Lord spoke to the people with the Lord's message I Am with You declares the Lord and the Lord stirred up the spirit of zerubabel the son of shaltiel governor of Judah and the spirit of Joshua the son of jehos the high priest and the spirit of all the remnant of the people and they came came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts their God on the 24th day of the month in the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king thanks good morning church I want to begin with a story as many of you would know before I even thought about pastoral Ministry I tour it a lot I went around Australia I was employed as an audio visual technician which meant I did Sound and Lighting fancy way saying I pushed buttons at big events um but I continued that a little bit also while I was studying at bible college just on the site to make a bit of money and I want to share a story from one of these times I got a call saying hey we've had this urgent gig pop up in Townsville will you come along we do this and I said yeah sure I've wasn't a good student from the beginning I can get extensions on this assignment we'll push that to the side it's like he and I got on the flight and I went there I was in Townsville for a week and a half two weeks can't quite remember but during the time we had one major event and a couple little side events all happening at the same time and during the two weeks that I was there it just so happened to be one of the boss's birthdays and so she had gone and organized a birthday party before we all left and as I think back one of the things I most enjoyed about touring was a live music all the time but also I got to meet a very diverse range of people all the time see the way it works is different texts often flying from different places to do different gigs and so there was always new conversation and during my absence while I was studying and not doing as many gigs they had hired a new vide Tech and he was on one of the other gigs that I wasn't really involved in but I had some passing conversations with him here and there seemed like a really cool dude and anyway it just so happened that when we all went to my boss's birthday party I sat next to him and we got talking General conversation how's life what are what are you up to what are your interests Hobbies likes dislikes came up that I was studying at bible college which then opened a massive time of questions and aren't you young to be going to Bible College isn't that for like older people like what what what even is this and throughout that conversation he said said very clearly to me he said Dylan I believe that there is a God I I know he's out there somewhere but I don't really want to deal with that right now I'll deal with that when I'm older you know because if I acknowledge there is a God then there's rules and things that I have to do that fall into place I just want to live my life I want to go off and do whatever I want but when I'm old and gr then I'll deal with this conversation ended another conversation started party continue it was a great night we'll come back to that as has already been mentioned we're starting a new series this morning that we've titled living by faith and during this we're going to be looking at two of the Minor Prophets being Hagi and habac and as Z's read for us this morning our Focus here is on the first chapter of Hagar but before we jump in would you join me in prayer heavenly father we thank you for your word Lord we thank you for the way which you speak to us through it and Lord I just ask that as we come now to dive into the first chapter of Hagi Lord would you prepare our minds and our hearts to hear what it is that you're saying to each and every one of us we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ amen so hay one of the Minor Prophets if you struggled to find him in your Bible who here has a physical Bible couple if you struggled to find the book of Hagi in your Bible don't worry I did too it's only two chapters okay so if the pages are stuck together you might miss it two two chapters but these two chapters fit within the larger narrative the larger events that are detailed in the book of Ezra and so it's important that we don't just jump into Hagi without first looking at the context to which he's speaking into and so we're going to do a very brief overview of some Biblical history here okay one and two kings books in the Bible we see that after King David King Solomon and the succession from there we get this really sort of sad tring towards Rebellion against God we see king after King there's some good ones there's some exceptions but king after King King that continues to rebel against God that continues to lead Israel and the people into Rebellion rather than obedience to God in the way that he called his people to live and at the end of Second Kings we see that as a result of their Rebellion all of Israel is conquered by the Pagan Nation Babylon they're taken into Exile and as part of the Conquering the the Babylonian Kingdom they completely destroy the temple of God that King Solomon had built during his Reign now fast forward some years we see that Babylon was then conquered by Persia and it's here that we then open the book of Ezra and we see that the King of Persia at the time was King Cyrus and he made a decision after conquering Babylon after inheriting the Exiles of Israel he made a decision he said the Israelites can return to Jerusalem if they so wish and not only can they return but they can rebuild the Temple I'll even give back some of the supplies but it's their choice and so we see that out of all the Exiles of Israel a small remnant who's still devoted to following God a small Remnant goes we'll go we'll go back to Jerusalem will rebuild the Temple and so they do they they make some great progress early on they they go back to their land they rebuild the Altar and they lay the foundation for the new Temple on what was there but after that foundation's laid they begin to face forceful opposition see the enemies of Israel and the surrounding lands they saw that they had come back and that they were starting to work that the altar had been rebuilt and that the foundation was laid for the temple which only means that they must be rebuilding the temple they didn't like that and so they began to oppose this Remnant they bribed some of the officials to make life difficult they sent letters to the King of Persia now it's to note that King sarus was succeeded by other kings and these other kings they didn't share the same heart as cus in fact they decided to back the enemies of Israel and they said no more work is to happen and so the temple stopped being built and it's at this point that Hagi enters the picture The Remnant has been back in Jerusalem for 18 years for 18 years they've been back in the land that God had given to them but for 14 of those years there had been no progress made on the temple they came in full of energy for 4 years they did good work and then opposition hit and and so it sort of ceased and 14 years later Hagi enters the scene and so if you've got your Bibles there we'll read Hagi 1 verse2 these are the first words that Hagi says when he comes on he says so thus says the Lord of hosts these people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord now when we read that knowing a bit of the context a bit of the oppression I don't know about you I go huh that seems somewhat reasonable right it seems somewhat fair that the people would be saying oh it's not time to build God's Temple because if it was surely God would make it easy for us if God really wanted us to do this surely he would just send down fire from heaven no opposition would be there for us we would just build this Temple it would almost construct itself because God's just calling us to do this but because that's not happening it's not time we can sort of see maybe where they were coming from but Hagi doesn't stop there he continues verse three says then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Hagi the prophet is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panel houses while this house lies in Ruins now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts consider your ways you have sown much and harvested little you eat but you never have enough you drink but you never have your fill you clothe yourselves but no one is warm and he who earns wages does so to put them in a bag with holes see what had happened in those 14 years since stopping the work on the temple is the remnant's focus had shifted it shifted from rebuilding the temple of God to rebuilding a comfortable life for themselves they started off building the Temple but then things got hard there was opposition so they went well whoa whoa we didn't sign up for that let's take a step back I got this home Rena to do let's start that huh no one opposes me when I build my house let's make it nicer let's work on Old mates down the road let's make ourselves comfortable let's so much so that we can get lots of food so we can provide for ourselves let's make life comfortable their focus shifted from the work that God sent them to do to the work that they thought would make them comfortable and yet verse 5 we see God speaking through Hagi he says this he says consider your ways see while Temple work ceased home renovations Blossom consider your ways the NLT puts it this way look at what is happening to you and the NIV says this it says give careful thought to your ways he draws their attention to what they're doing and then points out the Folly in their Mixed Up Priorities he says you go and make a wage but you put it in a bag with holes in it so it's only going to fall out the toil the work that you're doing is meaningless check your priorities consider your ways and I'm conscious this morning that there might be some people sitting in the pews who go so what how does this apply to me Dylan the temple isn't even relevant and even if it was I certainly haven't been called to go and rebuild it the closest thing we have is a church and looking around this thing looks fairly structurally sound so like is it even necessary to consider what's going on here and if that's you let's work through this together what was the temple because if it was just a building doesn't really matter but what was the temple put very simply looking through the Old Testament in Israel's history the temple was the dwelling place of God on Earth amidst his people see the temple was more than a building it was the dwelling place of God it was where God's people went to be in the presence of God you might still be sitting there going still not relevant but if the temple was God's dwelling place then we would do well to heed the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians 1 Corinthians 69-20 says do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have received from God you are not your own you were bought at a price therefore honor God with your bodies we've just finished a series going through our doctrine of belief and in that we acknowledge that if you're a Christian here this morning then you've received the Holy Spirit and if you've received the Holy Spirit being one of the Triune God then very rarely you have have God indwelt in you and if you have God indwelt in you here this morning then your body is a temple all of a sudden this Temple idea is less foreign right it makes it personal if you're a Christian here this morning your body is a Temple and so we mimic the question of Hagi in verse 5 consider your ways this week has you've gone about all your activities where have your priorities been have you been focused on the work that God has set you to do or have you been so busy working to make your life comfortable have you been so focused on the here and now that you've made excuses that you've put off the things that God might have been prompting you to do we continue reading in verse 7 thus says the Lord of hosts consider your ways 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 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 therefore the heavens above you have withheld the Jew and the Earth has withheld its produce and I have called for a drought on the land and the hills on the Grain and the new wine the oil on what the ground brings forth on man and Beast and all their labors God doesn't just say consider your ways he gives them a reason to rebuild the Temple he says don't just build a building check your priorities work towards building the Temple work so that you may honor and glorify the Lord your God he then also reveals not only were the remnants efforts for comfort and provision they they were sewing much but reaping little not only were their efforts in vain but they were also hindered by God because they had neglected his house his work for their own comfort they had this mentality that if we just look after ourselves then we'll have so much and then maybe later we'll get back to the temple and God said consider your ways the reason that you work so hard and still have nothing is because your priorities are wrong he says quite simply why do you tend to your own needs in vain and neglect the needs of the Lord's house if you're a Christian here this morning if you've got the Holy Spirit and dwelt in you it's worthy for each of us to ask what condition is our temple in have we neglected God for the the sake of our own Comfort consider your ways give the careful thought to your priorities I want to pause here and ask a question because I feel like sometimes it can seem a little bit open-ended when we talk about some of these topics so I want to ask you take a moment to consider it if you knew that you only had 24 hours left to live what would you do what would you do with 24 hours left here on this Earth I thought about it immediately my mind goes to a bucket list what what what do I want to be doing while I'm here on this Earth what won't I get a chance to do if I go and then my mind shifts it goes well what about all my loved ones I want to make sure they know that I love them and I want to make sure that I've I've got all that sorted and then somewhere in the progression of thoughts of all the things that you do with your 24 hours you go oh I should actually probably make sure my relationship with God's all right I should probably make sure that if I've only got 24 hours left that I'm right with the big guy that my relationship with God's good because eternity is a lot longer than the 24 hours that I've got left here let me ask another question what would you do if you knew that your non-Christian family member friend relative only had 24 hours left to live you probably wouldn't be running over encouraging them say hey I know you've always wanted a parachute I've booked us into to go skydiving let's go if you're a Christian here this morning you'd probably be going over and pleading with them to take very seriously the Gospel of Jesus Christ and yet none of us know when we'll die we don't have that restriction of 24 hours and and so like the remnant that Hagi spoke to on behalf of God we too can delay the work that God calls us to do in order to make ourselves more comfortable here on Earth at its very Roots what are we called to do as Christians to go and share the good news of Jesus Christ that we've received to make disciples teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded baptizing them in the name of the father Son and the Holy Spirit and yet we can make excuses we can delay the work that God calls us to do I was thinking about it in my own life I'm going to list some examples of excuses I've used maybe they ring true for you H I'll fix my relationship with God later on in life it's okay for now I'll do what God wants me to do when I'm older I'm still young I just want to go out and be crazy when I'm older that's when the god stuff can happen God I know that you're really calling me to serve in this way or to be involved in this ministry or go and talk to this person but I just really want to focus just once I get this job or this promotion then I'll go and do what you want me to do or once I've got a Lord then I'll do what it is that you're calling me to do when I'm not so busy with work or with my family then I'll have time and I'll do what you're calling me to do just once the renovation done on the house or just once I've got my life sorted out God then I'm Yours friends Our Lives will never be sorted out without God our works are meaningless if God is not at the center remember that vide te I was telling you about had a great conversation with him and he had a plan he told me he he he was still very young about my age maybe a little bit older and he said Dylan I know that there's a God out there but I just want to live my life as crazy as I want to right now I don't want any repercussions but when I'm old and gray then I'll sit down and I'll sort things out with God it's a solid plan thing is I never saw him again just two months later two months later he passed away he didn't get to grow old and gray didn't get to deal with God consider your ways give careful thought to your priorities the Lord said to the people of the remnant is it time to dwell in panel houses while my temple lay in Ruins is it time to invest in Earthly relationships when our spiritual relationship is in utter ruins is it time time to preoccupy ourselves with Earthly toil when we neglect the work that God has set for us to do is it time to build up comfort in our lives when the work that God has called us to is unfinished consider your ways our Earthly work our Earthly Ministry is meaningless without God and yet God can use our workplace our grocery visits our family whatever it is that he's calling us to whatever work he sets before us that is what we are to do and how do we respond to this we see how the remnant responded in verse 12 then zerubabel the son of Shel and Joshua the son of Je oedc the high priest with all the remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Hagi the prophet as the Lord their God had sent him and the people feared the Lord the leaders LED they considered the words of the Lord through Hagi they set the example they chose to obey and the remnant the people followed suit they also considered and chose to obey then Hagi the messenger of the Lord spoke to the people with the Lord's message I Am with You declares the Lord and the Lord stirred up the spirit of zerubabel the son of shtiel governor of Judah and the spirit of Joshua the son of jezdec 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 on the 24th day of the month and the sixth month in the second year of Darius the King 24 days is the time span we're looking at Hagi comes on the scene he says thus says the Lord consider your ways and the people stopped they reflected they saw that they were focused on on their houses rather than the Lord's and they chose to be obedient to what God was calling them see somehow within this we can start to think that oh things got easier the opposition was still there the challenge to rebuild the Temple was still still there there was still oppression there was still enemies in the land that didn't want this Temple to be built and yet the remnant the people of God knew that God had called them to rebuild the Temple they knew the mission that God had set before them and they chose to obey they lived by faith they took a step without knowing what was going to come and after they took that step of Faith the Lord said I am with you so how do we apply this what's it mean for tomorrow what's it mean for today I don't know how many times I've said it in this sermon consider your ways give care careful thought to your [Music] priorities if you're a Christian here this morning what condition is your temple in are you seeking God each and every day if you are not a Christian here this morning the reality is the temple is in ruins it needs need tending to second thing is once we've considered our ways don't delay in obeying the Lord if you're sat here this morning going I believe that there's a God but I'll deal with that later don't delay you never know what tomorrow will bring maybe the Lord's prompted Ministry on your heart take some time consider it see what it is that the Lord is leading you in don't delay take heart even if the task seems impossible take that step of Faith because the Lord declares I am with you let's pray Heavenly Father we thank you for your word and Lord God this morning my prayer is for each of us individually that we would consider our ways Lord God that we would take note of our priorities father God that we would seek what it is that you're leading us to do and Lord God that we wouldn't hesitate but that we would take that step obediently to take that step of faith and father God we thank you for your comfort that you declare I am with you we pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.