Consider Your Ways
“New Year’s resolutions are for people who weren’t awesome last year. #rerun” – Jarred Wilson
So, I’ll preach no goofy sermon about resolutions. Just continue to be who / what you are in the Lord. If you are not serving/giving, shame on you. If you are new, then jump on into a “New Members Class” and learn what being a member or TRCC is about and see if you want to do this thing.
When the first wave of Jewish exiles returned to from Babylon to Jerusalem in 538, they began to rebuild the temple but soon gave up. Inspired by the ministries of Haggai and Zechariah, they finally completed the task in 516. Haggai rebuked the people for living in “paneled houses” while the house of God remained in ruins. He warned that, despite their best efforts, their wealth would never suffice, because the Lord was not pleased with their neglect of his temple (see Leviticus 26:2-20). He called them to repent and renew their covenant with the Lord. Haggai assured them that God would achieve his purposes for his people and for all other nations. The rebuilding of the temple symbolized God’s restored presence among his people.
In all this message of Haggai the Lord is going to speak three messages we are going to highlight: 1. to their actions (hands) 2. to their heart (desire) 3. to their head (thinking on the Lord’s truths)
One issue that must be addressed before launching into Haggai is the misuse of Haggai to justify building buildings to the exclusion of doing the work of the Lord.
The question is: what is the temple and why is it’s rebuilding necessary?
The Temple: God’s Glory for All Nations to See
The temple is God’s way of signaling that people from every nation could encounter and worship Him personally.
[12:1] “These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth.
 You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.  You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place.  You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.  But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go,  and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.  And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.
 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,  for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the LORD your God is giving you.  But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety,  then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD.  And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.  Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see,  but at the place that the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.
God desired to establish his name at the temple for his dwelling
How does this play out?
1. God revealed himself by his name
It would be a place of revealing himself to his worshipers.
2. The temple was a place of encounter (Exodus 25:8)
 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.
3. Solomon’s dedication of the temple made clear this was a place that “all peoples” of the earth can know God’s name / fame / glory (1 Kings 8:41-43)
 “Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake  (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house,  hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
4. The nations come, particularly, the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 9:25)
 Three times a year Solomon used to offer up burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar that he built to the LORD, making offerings with it before the LORD. So he finished the house.
There are two ways to travel from Europe / Asia to Africa. Two roads (King’s Highway, International Coastal Highway). All nations had to pass through Jerusalem to get from these continents.
God was moving the good news from Jerusalem to the nations. He began there and is still sending the good news through the nations from wherever his people are obeying the Great Commission.
How do we apply the message of the Lord to us today Rome, Georgia, for Three Rivers Community Church?
1. Build Jesus’ Kingdom not our personal kingdoms 1:1-11
“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.” Haggai 1:9
A. Take care in what you are constructing, “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 on is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.” – Haggai 1:6
1. Are you building your portfolio with all of Jesus’ resources?
2. Are you using most of Jesus’ resources for amenities rather than necessities?
(Have your amenities become necessity because of abuse of Jesus’ resources?)
3. Do you find yourself manipulating money / resources to get more “stuff”?
4. Do you find that the more you have the less it seems to cover?
5. Is the Lord blowing away what you are gathering to get your attention?
6. Do you make NO time for the people of God and seem to never have enough time
B. Is the Lord impeding your progress? Consider your ways.
“Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 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.” – Haggai 1:10-11
1. What are you pushing for and seem to get nowhere?
a. Isaiah 46:10-11 The Lord’s purposes are fixed and can’t be
shoved aside for your good ideas.
2. What necessities are you continually trying to amass and can’t get enough to
meet the need?
C. Build the Kingdom! Remember, the temple showed the glory of God for the nations to see.
Building the Kingdom, the Church, shows the glory of God to the people around us!
1. Gather with the people of God
2. Grow in the faith
3. Pursue the issues that are priority for the Lord (do you know those?)
5. Study Scripture
6. Get in the global work of the Gospel here with TRCC
7. Get in the local ministry of TRCC (Young Moms, Radical Kids, Buddy Break,
Foster/Adopt, Connect Groups [where gifts are discovered and refined, ministry
2. Consequences for obedience 1:12-15
A. The people feared the Lord (this is the beginning of wisdom) v. 12
B. Know that he Lord is with his people (as a collective body) v. v. 13
C. The Lord stirs up the spirits of his people to work on his works v. 14
1. Remember, this is a lifelong war of taming the “flesh”
2. Don’t get discouraged when you fail
3. Keep seeking the Lord and his kingdom (by doing the things above)
5. Don’t ever turn back or even look back