#876. Build my house - Haggai (15/8/23)
Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. For the near future, we put our Luke series on pause as we have some stand-alone summer devotionals. I hope you find them helpful.
I begin with a brief summary of a prophetic word based upon Haggai that Susie Howe shared with us at CCP in April of 2021; I believe that this is still very relevant for us:
‘I have been reflecting all week on some verses in Haggai that I think are relevant to us as a church in this time. To set the context, many of the people who had been exiled to Babylon had returned to Jerusalem and were rebuilding their lives from the ruins. God had told them to prioritise rebuilding the temple, but the people had flagged a bit and become despondent because the temple they were building was not as big and magnificent as Solomon’s temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. So God speaks to them through the prophet Haggai… I believe that God is saying to all of us at Community Church Putney that we are not to look back to what things were like before, but we are to look forwards. We are to be strong and get to work, because God is with us. God doesn’t mince his words! He says ‘get to work! It’s business as usual!’ No wallowing in the past. We are being commissioned by God to the work he wants us to do now… I sensed God saying that in the same way, the best is yet to come for CCP. So we are not to look back but to look forward in expectancy.’ (Susie Howe April 2021)
Lesson: The Spirit is constantly seeking to realign our hearts to His will to build a house for His presence - to build the local church.
Haggai challenged the people to get building the house of God:
“Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’ Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.’ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured,’ says the Lord. ‘You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.” (Haggai 1:3-9)
The words of Haggai are very challenging to us - to me at least! Too often we are more concerned with our own desires and ambitions than we are with those of Jesus. Like the people of Haggai’s day, we can be devoted to our own homes and dreams way beyond our devotion to building God’s church - His house.
The Spirit is wanting to realign our hearts
God is gracious and He always gives us a fresh opportunity to rejoin His purposes. Today, the Spirit, as in the day of Haggai, will fill us with new vision and passion for building His house. We read:
‘So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God…’ (Haggai 1:14)
Be strong and work by the Spirit
God wants to encourage us, particularly if we've become discouraged or fearful:
‘But now be strong, Zerubbabel,” declares the LORD. “Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,” declares the LORD, “and work. For I am with you,” declares the LORD Almighty. “This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.”’ (Haggai 2:4-5)
The Spirit is constantly seeking to realign our hearts to His will to build a house for His presence - to build the local church.
Read each of the passages above again and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about how He wants you involved in building your local church.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
Until September I'll not be producing a group study. However, if you meet with your group why not simply use one of the devotionals as a basis for your discussion together?