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TEXT: Haggai 2:1-9

Where do you find your “hope?”

 

Psalm 103:15-16:As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.”

 

Greg Foster says, (Biblically) “(the word) ‘stewardship’ comes from the same Greek word (oikonomia) as “economics,” which refers to the management of things in the world. Good stewardship is good management of things in the world

 

Jeremiah 29:7 – “…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

 

What does God speak to the people in Chapter 2? God…(1. Addresses a Current Reality 2. Gives a Needed Encouragement 3. Offers a Better Future)

 

  1. Addresses a Current Reality (v. 2-3)

Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes?

 

In a blog entitled, “Do 20% of the people, do 80% of the work?”, Matt Capp writes, “According to (economist) Vilfredo Pareto, for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. This principle has been applied to the fields of business, science, software and even criminology. In church life, it is usually said that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. In other words, 80 percent of the congregation remains passive when it comes to living on mission for God. While it may not be true of all congregations, I think it is safe to say that large portions of the body of Christ do treat church like consumers. For the 80 percent, as theologian David Wells has reminded us, the church is a place to come and receive religious services and goods. If their needs are not met, they begin church shopping. However, in 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul is clear, the body does not consist of one member but of many. And the apostle Peter is even more explicit, “… As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). This is how God designed the church. And God calls each and every individual to serve the body with the gifts they have been granted.”

 

  1. Gives a Needed Encouragement (v. 4-5)

“Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.”

 

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon “Man’s Weakness and God’s Strength” wrote…“I feel that my voice fails me, and with it my very powers of thought too, and therefore I can only turn to my comrades in arms, in the good war of Christ, and I say to them, brethren, you and I can do nothing of ourselves; we are poor puny things; but let us attempt great things, for God is with us; let us dare great things, for God will not leave us.”

 

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5

 

  1. Offers a Better Future (v. 6-9)

For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”

 

Hebrews 12:26-27 — At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.”

 V.7 KJV — And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lordof hosts.”

 

Robert Alden says, “God’s claim that the silver and the gold are his may be a response to the fears of the people – they were economically destitute. The drought and consequent famine had forced them to dip deeply into their meager resources. Subsequently they found no funds for the temple project…God promised that the glory of the present house would be greater than the glory of the former house.”

 

TAKEAWAYS: How can we live as people with hope?

 

By…

*Addressing your current reality

 

*Working with what God’s given you

 

Ten Principles on Money and Possessions from Proverbs (Kevin DeYoung)

  1. There are extremes of wealth and poverty that provide unique temptations to those who live in them (Prov. 30:7-9).
  2. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’ (Prov. 12:913:7).
  3. The rich and poor are more alike than they think (Prov. 22:229:13).
  4. You can’t out give God (Prov. 3:9-1011:2422:9).
  5. Poverty is not pretty (Prov. 10:1514:2019:4).
  6. Money cannot give you ultimate security (Prov. 11:711:2813:8).
  7. The Lord hates those who get rich by injustice (Prov. 21:622:1622-23).
  8. The Lord loves those who are generous to the poor (Prov. 14:213119:728:21)
  9. Hard work and good decision-making usually lead to increased prosperity (Prov. 6:6-1110:413:1114:24;  21:172022:41327:23-2728:20
  10. Money isn’t everything. It does not satisfy (Prov. 23:4-5). It is inferior to wisdom (Prov. 8:10-1118-1924:3-4). It is inferior to righteousness (10:2; 11:4; 13:25; 16:8; 19:22; 20:17; 28:6). It is inferior to the fear of the Lord (Prov. 15:16). It is inferior to humility (Prov. 16:19). It is inferior to good relationships (Prov. 15:1717:1).

 

*Do you believe that Jesus is better than silver or gold?