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First Things First

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Introduction

There must be a spirit of Awakening

What’s the problem? God’s house lies in ruins. Why?
A. His people did not put first things first.
They had become content with using the excuse that it was not time to build God’s house and for 16 years had grown accustomed to “living large”.
They had built themselves nice houses and neglected to finish the temple
They had become content with their life
They still met once a month to worship and offer sacrifices but that wasn’t good enough
B. He says Consider your ways! Open your eyes!
You have worked so hard and have so little to show
You eat but are never full
You’re always thirsty
You just throw away your money
You wonder why your life is full but it is empty
He said it is because you have neglected Me!
He said I have caused this to fall on you
C. He says Consider your ways! Go to work on my house!
He says don’t wait for assistance from the King, don’t use the excuse of others out there trying to cause you harm
Go to the mountains, work, cut down the trees, work, cut them into planks, work, and build the house, work!
Do this for me and I will take pleasure in it.
By doing this I will be glorified
So What!
A. As his people today we need to put first things first

Haggai’s words in Haggai 1:4 are a fitting retort to all those who have time for anything and everything except building the Lord’s house in this present evil world. They have room for pleasure and business, time for family and friends. They willingly devote long hours every day to the study of secular subjects in order to achieve their ambitions in art, science, or industry. But they have no room, no time to devote to the kingdom of God.

We need to make sure we are taking care of His house
We need to make sure we aren’t finding excuses not to serve and start finding reasons to serve
We need to open our eyes and have a great awakening
We should be take pride in the House of God in which we worship
God may we open our eyes and consider our ways!
We can’t neglect the spiritual dimension and then expect God to bless the secular dimension.
Transition: Once we have a spirit of awakening and realize what must be done, we can’t have a spirit of fear...

There must be a spirit of Trust

Explain: God will lead the way.
A. They listened to
A. They obeyed and feared God because they understood their condition
They finally heeded to and listened to what God was telling them
Scripture tells us they obeyed and feared the Lord
At this point in time their trust in God was restored and he gave them a calm reassurance
He said I am with you!
24 times throughout the Bible he tells us that.
2 of them right here in Haggai!
B. They ran into opposition: Here’s why it is important to trust God’s plan
We find in the book of and that a governor named Tattenai came and tried to stop the work by confronting the leadership about rebuilding the wall and wrote a letter to King Darius asking him to check and see if they were supposed to be building this temple
While they were waiting for a response they never stopped working
They put their faith in God that he would take care of this little problem that arose.
King Darius’ response was this: Stay far away from there, leave them alone and let them build.
Moreover, the taxes that are collected from your province will now be used to finance any supplies that they need.
And if anyone hinders this or changes this may a curse be on your household and death to the one who does it.
From that point on Zerubbabel and Joshua and Haggai and all those prospered.
So What?
We should all put our trust in God
When we have reservations about doing something we should remember that he has called us to be a faithful and obedient people.
We can’t out give God
When you face opposition on the way remember His words, I am with you
I believe that upsetting man is far better than upsetting God
If God is the same today and tomorrow as he was yesterday then it’s safe to assume that he will be with us today just as he led Moses and the Hebrews across the desert, just as he was with Joshua in battle, and just as he was with the Apostles in the boat.
Yes things may seem scary and uncertain but we can be sure that our faith and trust lies in a God that says I am with you!
Transition: These people had a spirit of awakening, their eyes were opened, they had a spirit of trust where they put their faith in the Lord, but lastly they had one other thing. In order for God to be pleased...

There must be a spirit of Revival

Explain:
A. Notice the Lord stirred up the spirit of these people.
These people were now excited about doing the task that God had called them to do!
There was a new energy about them
Something that hadn’t been there in 16 years
Most of the people who were there had not seen Solomon’s temple
They didn’t realize how big, beautiful, and intricate it was.
They didn’t know the cost of what went into it.
They didn’t care!
They were just excited to get the chance to do something that would please God!
The main cause of this revival in the people wasn’t due to the bluntness of Haggai’s message
It wasn’t the fact that their harvests had decreased, or that their wallets were empty
It was the fact that God, the Holy Spirit stirred them up!
This work was done as a result of a Holy Spirit Revival!
B. It is interesting to note that there were a few that were discouraging them from within:
In verse 3 it tells us that they were trying to compare it to the previous one: The gold in the Holy of Holies alone would have been worth over 4 billion dollars by today’s standards!
They tried to throw water on their fire
The enemy will always attempt to minimize any genuine work for God
He reminded them to stay strong, don’t be discouraged and do the work. He wasn’t going to let this revival die out
So What?
The great thing about doing something new is the pride in taking ownership of it.
What we need today is the same thing that happened to this group of people then: We need a Holy Spirit Revival!
We need to put our faith in Him, our trust in Him, our work in Him, Our time in Him, our tithes in Him, our worship in Him.
When we do that He will not hold back! He will be glorified, magnified and exalted!
Are you going to let the spirit stir among you or are you going to throw water on the fire.
We have some great opportunities to take care of God’s house and what a great way to stir the spirit and encourage us all to be revived again!
Conclusion: Growth requires change. When we plant a garden we get the best results when we till the ground. Sometimes the change is a bit painful and the growth slow, but with faith God produces some amazing gardens.
Exploring the Minor Prophets: An Expository Commentary 2. The Lord and His Presence (2:7b–c)

The first temple was resplendent in silver, gold, costly woods, and gorgeous fabrics. The new temple had little or nothing of these—and no shekinah glory. Five things were said to be lacking in this second temple: the ark of the covenant, the sacred fire, the shekinah, the urim and thummim, and the spirit of prophecy.

But the second temple had a glory that was denied Solomon’s. It had Christ. It was to the second temple that He was brought as a baby to be offered to God. It was there that as a boy He sat in the midst of the doctors. It was there that He sat and taught and revealed things hidden from the foundation of the world. It was that temple that the moneychangers defiled and Jesus cleansed, claiming that it was His Father’s house. He was the Word made flesh, of whom John wrote, “We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (1:14).

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