Thursday, April 24, 2014

CONSIDER

Suggested Reading: Haggai 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Seen on the right of the photo is the Tomb of Zechariah. It is located on the foothills of the Mount of Olives facing the Temple Mount. It is cut into the rock and made entirely from that rock. Tomorrow, God willing, we begin our readings in the book of Zechariah. Haggai and Zechariah ministered in Jerusalem as a dynamic duo following the first return of the Jews from Babylon. These two prophets had the assignment of urging the people to complete the rebuilding of the Temple.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Haggai 1:5, 7, 2:7a

Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!…” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!…and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,” says the Lord of hosts.

 

Haggai was probably one of the older generation who remembered what the Temple of Solomon had looked like. They started construction of a new Temple with great enthusiasm (read Ezra 3:10-13). But the people who had not been to Babylon harassed and discouraged the project. Construction was halted as a result, but Haggai and Zechariah did their job and the Temple was finally completed (read Ezra 4:24-5:2).

The word “consider” is repeated by Haggai five times. Daily through this blog we “consider,” “think about,” “contemplate,” “examine,” “review,” “ponder,” “evaluate,” “assess,” etc. Haggai tells his people and us, “Consider your ways!” As a result of Haggai’s preaching, “The Lord stirred up the spirit” of both the governor and the high priest and resumed building the Temple (Haggai 1:14). Consider Haggai 2:5-7. King Herod, 500 years later, enlarged their Temple, and when Jesus entered that Temple, the “desire of all nations” was present (Haggai 2:7). The ultimate fulfillment of Haggai’s prophecy will be at Jesus’ return to Jerusalem, as predicted by the angels and recorded in Acts 1:6-11.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, through this blog and through the preaching of my pastor, I pray that my spirit will be stirred up so that I may be motivated again to work tirelessly for You, working with Jesus Who said, “I will build My Church,” in Whose Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve just found in my home library book #8 in the series, “Day unto Day,” by Jim and Cathy Cantelon (New Testament commentaries), and Nizar and Ellen Shaheen (Old Testament commentaries). There are eleven paragraphs on Haggai, chapters 1 & 2. Here’s just one paragraph from my son-in-law Nizar and my daughter Ellen:

“Even before they had received the official notification (the decree of Persian Emperor Cyrus which had earlier permitted the construction of a new Temple), the Lord had stirred up the people because of the exhortation of Haggai (along with that of Zechariah), and they resumed the building of the Temple; it had been lying unfinished for about 16 years. In his exhortation, Haggai told them the reason they had not experienced the blessing of God upon their fields and finances. They had put their own interests ahead of the interests of God. God desired them to build His Temple and thereby bring glory to Him (1:8). By leaving His dwelling in ruins, they were not honouring God. When believers today do not work to build up the Kingdom of God by pointing the lost to Jesus, and when they do not support or participate in the work of the Lord (the local church and other outreach ministries), then this also does not bring glory to God. Our faithful service to Him and fulfilling His desires should be our primary concern. Many people today are guilty of the same thing for which Haggai rebuked the people of Jerusalem in his day. There was nothing wrong with working hard in their fields or building fine homes; what was wrong was that they did these things while neglecting their duty to the Lord. Their priorities were out of order, and thus the Lord’s displeasure was upon them. For this reason they had not been blessed in their work or income.”

Yours for faithfully keeping the Lord our top priority and experiencing His blessings,

David

P.S. The Day Unto Day series consisted of eight books published over two years. Although it has been out of print for over 20 years, when you do a Google search, it’s amazing how many copies are still floating around for sale. For example, here is one, here is another, and here is yet another.

18 thoughts on “Thursday, April 24, 2014

  1. The Tomb of Zachariah is fascinating! What an impact he and Haggai had on the people of Jerusalem! It’s as though at times there needs to be a Babylonian experience to fully appreciate and motivate growth and change, bringing to rise “the desire of all nations.” Priorities too often slip in the mediocrity of life. God first and always. Have a great day, everyone!

  2. Excellent reading and message, today, David. Thanks for going back to the ‘Day to Day’ series and referencing Nizar and Ellen’s comments re: Haggai. Let us all work to build God’s Temple and bring glory to Him, amen!

    Yesterday, I was downtown and walked passed a man in a wheelchair wearing a raincoat holding a tin cup for money. I stopped to ask his name and situation and offered to buy him a coffee and share the fresh figs I had just purchased from Tara’s Health Food Store. I inquired if he believed in Jesus and attended church. We spoke for sometime. I said it would be good for him to rekindle his relationship with Jesus and return to his church base where help would be available for him from fellow Christians. I asked if I could pray with him and he said, yes. I placed my hand on his shoulder and prayed for sometime for God’s love and intervention in his life and for his relationship with Jesus and the church community to be restored.

    Recently, I cleaned out my bookshelf and came across an old favourite I had long forgotten–‘God Calling’. Sadly the book has long been out of print. It was written by two women who were inspired to write it by the Holy Spirit. It has reminded me to think act and speak out of love to others. I thought of this man, Andy, in the wheelchair. He was a gift to me because I was able to see him out of the eyes of love as God does and share God’s love for him in prayer. Please pray saints that Andy will return to his church body and renew his relationship with Jesus.

    I thank You, Lord, for the incredible blessings you have bestowed upon me, and for keeping me rooted ever so humbly in You and my church. I spread Your seeds for Your glory and give all the thanks and praise to YOU! Amen! Blessings for a splendid day serving our Mighty Lord, dear fellow saints!

  3. More of you Lord and less of me!

    We can see in today’s reading how our lack of focusing on The Lord first is not profitable for us, as He will put everything in place as we honor Him first.

    Thank you Pastor David for that excerpt from Nizar and Ellen so timely.

    Blessinfs everyone as we seek God’s guidance for the day.

  4. It seems we must suffer first before we listen. It is so uplifting to see people who have gone through unhappy experiences in their lives, come out the other side seeing the light, and are able to help others because of their own suffering. If only we would listen in the first place.
    I pray everyone had a joyful and meaningful Easter. May God use us all to bring others into His fold.

    • I feel it is an honour to be ‘crucified’ for Jesus Christ as our bible says (don’t ask me where as I’m a beginner more or less). How sad that a lot of young people and not so young people can’t see that Christianity is such a true way of life on earth and in preparation for eternal life. I feel I don’t have to PROVE Christianity to anyone. God gives us all free will. My son sent me this video. http://youtu.be/Fpp37iJogFI
      Enjoy and God bless you DM et al.

      • I did not know that the Mohammad claimed to be visited by am angel that told him Jesus did not die on the cross. Followers of Mohammad believe this one experience as the truth. Forgive them father as they are blinded in their faith…

        Us Christians have over 500 eye witnesses that God rose from the dead. Paul – a devout believer in the Jewish faith was one of those who met Christ after He died… We have so much documented evidence to the contrary of Mohammad’s vision…

        This clip has a virus associated with it unfortunately, so I have to close now and restart, Satan can attack us everywhere… Be careful out there fellow bloggers

        • Thanks for your comments David. As long as Christians know the truth that’s so important.
          Very fitting for Satan to attack that website. The truth hurts!
          Will try to contact whoever is looking after that site and warn them. Thanks again.

  5. I am guilty of not putting God as my 1st priority, I repent of this and ask Him to help me to change my priorities, and stir up my Spirit, as He did with the people of Haggai’s day.

  6. Thank you David Mainse for sharing old testament teaching from your son-in-law Nizar and your daughter Ellen. It is very timely and inspirational. I have not read much of Nizar’s teaching, but what I have has always spoken to me directly. He is truly a great leader for Christ in the middle east. Amen!

    Thank you Jesus for guiding David Mainse and his entire family as they contribute to this blog. It is truly a gift from God.

    Blessings everyone!

  7. Great delivery of fresh bread on my birthday today, David. Just a side; this message is delivered right on time. See 2:20, “And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month…” Max Lucado quoted C.S. Lewis as saying, “You can”t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only be putting first things first.(God in the Dock). “The temple symbolized the nation’s close relationship with the Almighty.”(Max Lucado).
    “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts. “And in this place I will give peace, ” says the Lord of hosts. Lord, help us to put first things first, and joyfully anticipate the coming of the Messiah,the Prince of Peace, the “Desire of all Nations” and may our temples be filled with Your Glory. Amen. P.S. I remember hearing missionary statesman, Rev. Paul Kauffman preaching this sermon, “Consider your ways,” in Haggai to the Ecclesia graduating class in Hong Kong in 1982. God bless you David, Norma-Jean, Reynold, Ron, Ann, 100 Huntley St. Team and my precious blogging friends.

  8. Happiest of birthdays to you, Ger, dear sister-in-Christ! God’s continued blessings to you on this special day and those that follow in the weeks ahead, leading up to the fruitful days of summer on the east coast!! 🙂

  9. Thank you Catherine, David and Beverlee for your kindness. Had a good day with my friends eating out and visiting. Have a good evening.

  10. Please pray for my 12 year old grandson Nicholas…who from an “A” student …has during this half of the year of (middle school) lost his focus …and is failing his grades …with “F’s” and D’s. He completes his assignments and then forgets to hand them in…until a week or two later. Please pray that the Lord restore that which seems to be lost…

    God Bless you all
    Irene

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