Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Haggai II Notes

Haggai II
Sermon Notes
First Things
Lynchburg, Virginia

First Things- Lock the doors, it is stewardship Sunday.
         Christians go to church ever Sunday. Christians tithe 10% of their increase.
         This truth is not the pastor’s ego builder. It will definitely benefit the church both on attendance and finances. Why? Because the people of God will be more blessed. This is a message of blessing, not another burden to place upon you.
Exodus 23: The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
         This is said after he tells them to love their neighbor as themselves. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Don’t defraud. Don’t commit perjury.
         Then he tells them to remember the Sabbath.
         Then he tells them to keep the memorial feasts.
         Then he tells them to tithe.
         Then he says, Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. v.19. What is going on? These things are graces, gifts from God. They are meant to impart life. But if you use them for ill, or consider them to be a burden, then they will impart death instead. Don’t do that!

Time and Money and not just in the abstract. Why? Because God knows that your biggest problem is with your time and your money. If you won’t give Him those things, you won’t really give Him yourself.
                  Time- work- a big part of who you are.
Leisure- you need time for rest, the harder you work, the more you need a Sabbath.

Rest starts in Jesus
Hebrews 3:12-4:1 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.  16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.  17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Heb. 4:1   Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
We fail to enter the rest of God through unbelief. Jesus, Himself, is now our rest. Does it not follow that resting, then, is a primary means of grace?
Limited- There is only so much time. Even more than money, time is limited. Thus, we are prone to be very selfish with our time. But God can even restore the years the locust has eaten. He can give us what seems like more time. In reality, we all have 24/7. Some men get a great deal accomplished in that amount of time. Work, family, church, rest. Others find their time fritters away with not much to show for it. This, too, is a matter of faith.
Kids and studying- Sat. Sabbath start. Kids are not always 100% but usually that is because of laziness or lack of planning, not because there are too few hours in the day. They do not suffer for their Sabbath. They benefit. This has to be done on faith.
Men and work- Kinko’s 24/7. Really, honestly cannot get it done? Then, it is the wrong job.

Saints and Covenant Renewal- How much more?
Heb. 10: 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Heb. 10:19   Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21 And having an high priest over the house of God;  22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 
We could take this as the new ‘spiritual’ way of worship, no longer requiring much of us in the way of attendance. But he goes on.
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 
God requires regular Covenant Renewal Worship because WE need it! It is a means of grace, not a burden to bear. If we do not see this, then we do not agree with God.
We are taking those things meant for graces and making them like a mother goat’s milk used to boil her own kid.
And he goes on.

28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
We do not say that these things no longer apply in the New Testament. The writer to the Hebrews argues that if they applied in the Old  Testament how much more do they apply in the New!
I think this is not at all a stretch to apply to regular Covenant Renewal and tithing.
Please keep in mind, I am not trying to guilt trip anyone. I am trying to get you to see how you are hurting yourself, your spouse and your children.

         Money- working hard, it represents what you have earned by the sweat of your brow. Thus, it is easy to see your money as yours. It is easy to convince yourself that it is not a gift, a blessing, the result of God’s grace. But if you convince yourself of that, you are lying.
Tithing- We teach tithing at this church. We believe that all of your money comes from God’s blessing and that God requires you to give 10% of your increase to Him to acknowledge that blessing. Furthermore, we believe that you will live more bountifully on 90% of your blessed money than on 100% of your unblessed money. My experience as a pastor is that this is absolutely true. Those who can never seem to bring themselves to tithe 10% of their increase, seem to always struggle in financial difficulty. I have no doubt that there are plenty of well off people who never tithe but they have their own sets of problems that are not my concern.
Saving for Responsibilities- Saving for the future is wise. But if you don’t have enough time and enough money, saving is unlikely. You’ve got holes in your pockets. Would it surprise you to know that God cut those holes?
This is not just Dave Ramsay stuff. It takes faith to worship God and work and tithe and trust God for the future. But weddings are coming. Your car is going to break down. You will have to go see the doctor. Your roof will need re-shingled. For all of this, will you have to work harder? Will you need more time and more money? Is your answer to pull back from the Lord’s Day and tithing? Consider your ways.
Kingdom building- We are all kingdom builders. We are living stones in God’s house. We are building God’s kingdom one marriage at a time, one child at a time, one person at a time. This is God’s ordinary means for saving the world. He can do it without you here. He can do it without your money. He has all the resources He needs. But in order for you to be blessed in this kingdom building and to participate in this kingdom building, He does want you to see and to know that His ways work. The only way you can know that is to participate by faith.
Plants produce 30,60,100 fold by the miraculous mathematics of God. He gives the increase. But they don’t grow if there is no seed. Cast your seeds and see the Lord’s increase.
         These are starting points. How do you ever expect to get on if you don’t start? These are not the words for mature Christians. I have wanted to feed you meat but fear that you are in need of milk again.
         The Old Testament is full of references about God’s people not honoring the Sabbath and not honoring Him with tithes.

Ezra 6:20- The result of the finishing of the Temple is that people sat down at the Passover and renewed Covenant with God.
Haggai 2:7-9
7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.  8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.  9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
The Lord shakes the nations and the desire of the nations comes. It is then that the Lord fills the house with glory. He says the latter glory will be greater than the former. We know for sure that this was not true of the Temple itself.
Nor was their peace. Israel was subject to her enemies. The  only place where this glory is greater is in the one who is the Temple of the Lord, the Lord Jesus. He fills His latter house with greater glory.

2:18-19 18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid, consider it.  19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
The blessing begins when the foundation is laid. Jesus is the chief cornerstone.

Hag. 2:20   And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,  21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;  22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 
The Lord overthrows the nations in Jesus.

23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zerubbabel is in the line of David. This is a reiteration of the promise that David will always sit on the throne. This is the promise of the Messiah.
God had said that Johoichin was a signet ring that would be pulled off his hand in Jer. 22:24-25. Zerubbabel would be a treasured signet ring that God would not discard.

Wise men bring wealth of nations to the new Temple, Jesus, the Christ. Matt. 2. Into a new temple of living stones made without hands. 1 Cor. 3:16-17, 1 Pet. 2:4-10. Heb. 12:26-29, Ex. 19:18, Matt 27:51.

Get right with God first, then get your house in order. And this is not marked merely be heart commitment. It always sounds self serving to tell people to go to church and to tithe in order to blessed. I assure you, it isn’t. I don’t need your attendance at church or your money to stroke my ego or fill my pocket book.
But let’s reason together for a minute. Let us consider. You don’t have enough time to get all your work done. So, you need to work your fingers to the bone and have earned Sunday for yourself and for your family. And the more time you spend, it seems like the less time you have. Your money won’t stretch to the end of the month and so you never have any left over to tithe. If you could only get over that hump, you think, then you would give to the church.
But that kind of thinking is part of your problem. You think you would give your time to the church or your money to the church or the tithe box, or the elders or the pastor. And so you justify not doing so because the church doesn’t really need it. But that is not what is, in fact, happening.
God doesn’t need your money, either. He doesn’t need your presence at church in order to see you. You are in His presence 24/7.
But God wanted the Temple built because the Temple represented the glory of God. And we exist in the new Temple, built without hands, the Temple that is Jesus  Christ, filled up with His Holy Spirit.
You see, withholding regular Sabbath worship costs you time. Withholding regular tithing costs you money. It is the clear teaching of the Word. Why? Why do you have to go to church to get time? Why do you have to tithe to get money? Because you are a people of faith who give all the glory to God. You have to live on less time than you have to understand how this gets you more time. You have to live on less money than you have to understand how this gets you more money. Why? Because this gives God glory and you are called to glorify God.
I see many of you suffer needlessly. You are Christians but you do not fully trust God. He withholds from you and you keep doing the same things, putting off being obedient to Him and hoping you will be blessed anyway. Lay it down. Do what He says and see His glory.
I mention church attendance and tithing not because these are the most important areas of life. They aren’t, necesarrily. But they are foundational. They are often the rub for most of us. Tell me lots of things, pastor, but just don’t tell me what to do with my free time or with my money. Okay, I won’t but take that argument up with God and see what He says.
My experience as a pastor is that those who do not go to church regularly, like every week forever, unless there is sickness, are those who constantly struggle in the faith. My experience of those who do not tithe, is that they struggle financially, and they also have a host of other besetting sins that eventually push themselves to the surface. These are indicators that you have not given yourself to God.

         Consider your ways and determine if this is not so.

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