Monday, August 8, 2016

Promised Presence

Yesterday I heard some good teaching on Haggai 1 that related how God works to build His holy place through willing participants in the building process.  The final point point came from verse 14, which relates that the Lord stirred up the spirits of the politician, the priest, and the people.
And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, 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.  (Hag. 1:14)
And what stirred everybody to the work of rebuilding the temple?  Was it the blueprints?  Was it the short-term and long-term visions cast by the production team?  Was it a rousing speech delivering a message that we can accomplish anything if we work together?  No, it was something more deeply powerful than these:
Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.”  (Hag. 1:13)
The stirring came through the prophet—the Word of the Lord.  There was no viability study, no big promotion, and no splashy beginning with speeches, banners, and music.  Haggai had delivered a blistering message to the people for having nice houses while letting the house of God was in ruins.  As a result, the people feared because they were condemned, realizing what they had done and not done.  After the Law had done its work, Haggai followed up with Grace—God’s blessing and encouragement through His promised presence.

Many times we believers get discouraged or negligent in the work given to us.  We place our own wants and needs before those of our Lord and our neighbor.  May we be quick to remind one another of our vocations as believers in light of our certain hope
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  (Heb. 10:23-25)

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