Greater Glory 

Haggai 2:9
“‘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.”

The sermons from Haggai and Zechariah stirred the people to return to the work of rebuilding the Temple. Because of their dedication, it did not take long before walls were erected and priestly ministry restored. The completed Temple had a dual affect upon the people. Some celebrated, while others wept. Those who wept did so because they remembered how glorious Solomon’s Temple had been, then they looked at the rudimentary structure they had built to replace it. Haggai’s message was directed to them. He declared,  this new Temple was actually more glorious than the one it replaced. It’s glory was not in the expense required to build it, or in its intrinsic value, but in what would take place within it.

Five hundred years after Zerubbabel completed the Temple, Jesus was born. It was this refurbished Temple upon whose steps Jesus taught. It was from here, he declared that anyone who comes to Him will have living water flow out of them,  like a spring of everlasting life. It was just outside this Temple where he would be arrested, beaten and crucified. And it was the veil of this Temple that was torn, giving us access to God when we receive Christ.

As glorious as the first Temple may have been, the glory of the second outshines it in every way. What a joy to know that we no longer need a building in order to access God. It is through the work of Christ, that we can have an intimate relationship with God.

Pastor Jim


Consider Your Ways 

Haggai 1:5
“Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!'”

Seventy years after Judah was defeated and Jerusalem was burned to the ground, a remnant of Israelites, led by Zerubbabel, made their way back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. After an initial period of success, they were met by strong opposition that caused the work to cease for a period of fifteen years. During that time, the people who were once involved in the ministry, became distracted by life and the Temple remained an incomplete work. It was at this time  God raised up the prophet Haggai to exhort the people. His initial message was both simple and clear. He told them it was time for them to consider their ways. The needed to take the time to examine their lives and see if they were, in fact, living for the Lord. This is the first step in getting our spiritual life back on track.

For the remnant, it was not sin that led them away from the Lord. They do not seem to have returned to idolatry or to have forsaken the Lord. Instead, they were distracted from the things of God, by life itself. Haggai declares, they claimed not to have time to serve God, because they were busy paneling their own houses. They claimed not to have resources to give to God, because they used them on their own projects, while the Temple was being neglected. It is quite common for believers to be distracted by life. We get busy with school, job, career, relationships and children, and if we are not careful, these things can occupy all of our time, causing us to lose sight of the Lord and His call on our life.

Haggai gives us the first step in toward the resolution of the matter. He tells the people to simply “consider their ways.” They needed to examine their lives, see if they were truly serving Christ, and follow up by making the appropriate changes. This is good advice and we should take the necessary time to apply it to ourselves. Ask yourself a few simple questions.

First, am I serving the Lord? If so how? If not , why not?

Second, am I giving to the Lord? If so what? If not, why not? (Keep in mind that you can give time, talents and treasures to God.)

Third, have I allowed things into my life that disqualify me from serving God? If so what? And what am I going to do about it?

Consider your ways. Time is short, eternity is forever, and only what we do for God has any lasting value.

Pastor Jim