Feb. 4 - Nate Porter, Sermon on Haggai
Many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to our faith, but often we find our busy lives and our earthly desires getting in our way. On Sunday, Nate Porter drew our attention to this issue by sharing a story from the book of Haggai.
Haggai 1:2-4 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’”
Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
God saw his people, who had at one time started building His temple with much enthusiasm and passion, had become distracted with their own crops and lavish houses and abandoned the half-completed temple. He called them to shift their priorities away from themselves and back to the Lord.
It is true that our God loves us and wants what is best for us. If we don’t make the right decisions for ourselves, He may change our situation to draw our attention back to what is important. He can give us discontent for our worldly pursuits to turn our eyes back to Him.
Haggai 1:7-9 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.
Are there areas in our lives where we are placing our attention and desires in something other than God’s kingdom? We must focus our eyes on Him and not allow things that don’t matter to draw our attention from the work that God has called us to do. Even as we struggle with our commitment to him, he will never abandon us. Just as in the story, we will see that God keeps his promises to remain with us as we finish our work.
Haggai 2:4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.