August 15, 2015

Haggai - 
As we look over the centuries of the many and various building projects in God’s name...there doesn’t seem to be any connection between the buildings themselves and the belief and behavior of the people who assemble in them.  In noticing this, it is not uncommon for us to be dismissive of the buildings themselves by saying, “A place of worship is not a building; its people...                                    

But then there is Haggai to account for.  Haggai was dignified with the title “prophet”.. His single task, carried out in a three-and-a-half month mission, was to get God’s people to work at rebuilding God’s Temple....Haggai keeps us in touch with those times in our lives when repairing the building where we worship is an act of obedience every bit as important as praying in that place of worship 

Haggai 1-2 - 
On the first day of the sixth month of the second year of King Darius of Persia, God’s message was delivered by Haggai...The people procrastinate.  They say it isn’t the right time to rebuild the Temple, the Temple of God...How is it that it’s the ‘right time’ for you to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God’s Temple, is in ruins?”...Take a good hard look at your life.  Think it over.  You have spent a lot of money, but you don’t have much to show for it...Take a good hard look at your life.  Think it over....

Then the governor of Judah and all the people with them, listened, really listened, to the voice of their God.  When God sent the prophet Haggai to them, they paid attention to him.  In listening to Haggai, they honored God...This is how God got the governor of Judah to begin working on the Temple of God...This happened on the 24 day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.
 On the 21st day of the seventh month, Haggai asked if there was anyone left who saw the Temple the way it use to be, all glorious? Now put into action the word I covenanted with you when you left Egypt....

On the 24th day of the ninth month, God’s message to Haggai informed the governor that “I am about to shake up everything, to turn everything upside down and start over from the top to the bottom....I will take you, Governor, as my personal servant and I will set you as a signet ring, the sign of my sovereign presence and authority.  I’ve looked over the field and chosen you for this work.” 

Ephesians 5 - 
Watch what God does & then you do it..    Mostly what God does is love you.   Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.  Love like that.

Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices or bullying greed...Thanksgiving is our dialect. You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them will get you no- where, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God... The bright light of Christ makes your way plain.  So no more stumbling around.  Get on with it!  The good, the right, the true---these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours.  Figure out what will please Christ and then do it. 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness... So watch your step.  Use your head.  Make the most of every chance you get.  These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly.  Make sure you understand what the Master wants... Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another...

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives... a love marked by giving, not getting...Everything Christ does, and says, is designed to bring the best out of her...What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the Church.  And that provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.