Often, we are discouraged during our Christian walk of faith. We have felt the call of God, and as we strive to follow His will, it seems as though we cannot accomplish or reach that goal God set before us. We should try to remember that God is with us. He would not have placed that calling within us if He were not going to guide us to it. If we know and see someone struggling to follow their call, why not help them?
Sometimes how we treat each other affects how we grow and how others see us. Pray for one another. Ask if there is something with which we can help. New converts need maturing.
They look to older Christians (in faith, not physical age) for guidance and reassurance. Do not knock them off the ladder before they have had time to start climbing. The best cure for discouragement is encouragement.
After 15 years of the Israelites not working for God, Haggai received word from God to give to His people. Haggai's first message was to get the people thinking and get them stirred up to work.
In verses 1-3:
This second message reminded the older ones of the splendor of Solomon’s temple. No expense was left out. God had said it would be better. After the people got their hearts right, God started working through them and blessing them. We need to remember this, remember our lessons from the past but do not dwell on them.
Some people think it is not worth the effort if there is not a big crowd. If we are called to preach, teach, witness God’s Word, then do it. The size of the congregation does not matter, it does not mean that the Holy Spirit cannot move. He may need to speak softly to the few that are present to get a larger response. Work with what we have and where we are. Do not wait, be obedient. (Ezra 3:12, John 14:15, Luke 6:46)
In verse 4:
Everybody has a job, a calling, a gift. It is one thing to worship on Sunday morning, but our WORK is OUT THERE. Our real duty is out in the world working on God’s Temple.
Compel others to come to Christ. We cannot change the world, but Christ can through us. No matter the task we are to Stand up, Step out, and Start working. (James 1:22, Jeremiah 42:11, Matthew 28:20)
In verse 5:
Just as the Israelites were punished for straying from God, He was still with them. He will receive punishment for sins we may commit, but He is always there for us, to correct us, and to bring us back in line with Him. (Exodus 29:45-46, 2 Chronicles 20:15-17, John 14:15-17)
In verses 6-9:
The Temple that will be, will be greater than the first. It will be greater than the one now (us). The shaking of the nations refers to judgment, judgment now and judgment to come.
Everything belongs to God. We may not have much as some but do the best with what we do have. Be sure our hearts are in it. Are we willing vessels? (Isaiah 13:13, Ezekiel 38:20, Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12-17, 1 Kings 8:11, Romans 15:9-13, Luke2:14)
In verses 10-14:
Is being holy contagious? No, only God can make us holy. Is sin contagious? Yes. It creeps through and we may not see it coming. Our actions do not make us holy. Holiness comes from a repentant heart, obedience to God, the blood of Christ. Working in the church does not get us into heaven. Accepting Jesus as our personal Savior will.
We are to be apart from the world, yet we work and live within it. Do not let the world rub off on us. We are to rub off onto the world. The Israelites had started working to rebuild the temple, but their hearts were not right. Our hearts and attitudes must be in line with God. (Ezekiel 44:19, Proverbs 21:4, Isaiah 1:11-15, Titus 1:15)
In verses 15-19:
In chapter one, the Israelites worked & worked but had less & less. They were told to remember their past sins and the punishment received. ls the seed still in the barn or have we been out to plant it? If we are walking around with seed, then we should be planting. God will start blessing just take that first step. (Numbers 15:40, 2 Samuel 22:22, Matthew 23:5)
In verses 20-23:
Haggai’s final message to Zerubbabel from God, I have chosen thee. God has chosen us. As letters in the old days had a wax seal and compressed with a signet ring, our letters are sealed with the blood of Christ upon our hearts. No matter how rough the waters get, how dark the clouds may turn, not only will God shake out the evil of this land, but there will also be a pouring out of blessings on us at the end. Look at what lies ahead for us. I have been educated about Jesus. I am practicing His teachings. I can be/will be experiencing the joys of Jesus. (Ephesians 1:4, Isaiah 41:9, John 15:16)
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