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Courageous Faith (Haggai 2:4-5)

Sermon on 16 October 2022 by Ps Justin


Introduction

All of us are called into the ministry of edifying and encouraging one another. The prophet Haggai had a burden to encourage the people of Israel to have courage and faith to rebuild the temple. God is looking for an obedient and willing heart, and He will make you able. Obedience will bring encouragement, strength and courageous faith.

Message

King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple, and later King Cyrus or Persia allowed the Jews to rebuild the temple. However, after 2 years, work came to a halt. There was spiritual lethargy among the people (Haggai 1:2). They made excuses not to do the work. Consider your ways (Haggai 1:4-7). Consider your attitude, your priorities as a child of God. Consider your ways – forgive, repent, love, do His will.

There are four messages in the book of Haggai. The first two are about the temple of God, and the last two are about the blessing of God.

1. My house is ruined (1:1-15)

The Jews were self-centred (Haggai 1:2; 4). Ask yourself whether you are seeking the interest of the Lord or your own interests. You cannot serve two masters – you cannot seek both money and God. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything will be added unto you. Live every moment with the purpose of seeking Him and glorifying Him. The Spirit of God will not fill a Christian if the vessel if full of holes (Haggai 1:7-8). The foundation of the temple is already there; all they needed to do was to complete the building. Matthew 5:48 tells us to strive to live a perfect life; have fervency in loving one another. Hebrews 6:1-3 also tells us to move forward to maturity.

2. My house will be glorious (2:1-9)

Unlike the Old Testament which refers to a building, in the New Testament, ‘temple’ refers to the body of Christ. You are the temple of God where Christ dwells in you (1 Corinthians 3:16). Therefore, take courage and be strong (Haggai 2:4-5).

Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ – Haggai 2:4-5

God knows our needs and he will supply according to His glorious riches. Simply do the things that God wants you to do.

3. I will bless the obedient (2:10-19)

Holiness cannot be transmitted from one person to another, but sin can. You cannot rebuild the temple if you live a disobedient life. God desires to bless us, but it is our disobedience that robs us from His blessing.

Then Haggai answered and said, “ ‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. – Haggai 2:14

4. I will honour Zerubbabel (2:20-23)

Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah. In Haggai 2:23, Zerubbabel was chosen by God to be like His signet ring. The signet ring is a reference to Jesus our Messiah. Christ is God’s signet. Christ has been given power and authority (Matthew 28:18).

Closing

Be obedient to every command in the bible. The book of Haggai contains prophetic references to Jesus – He is the governor andthe high priest. The early glory of the early church will be surpassed by the latter glory of the latter church (John 1:14-17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Timothy 4:7). We are the temple where God dwells. Renew your courage, renew your faith, and renew your holiness.

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