The Book of Haggai
Autor: Dorina Madaras  |  Album: fara album  |  Tematica: Cartile Bibliei
Resursa adaugata de Dorina1980 in 25/02/2017
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Pressures , demands, expectations, and tasks push in from all sides and assault our schedules. Do this! Be there! Finish that! Call them! Everyone seems to want something from us—family, friends, employer, school, church. Soon we have little left to give as we run out of energy and time. We find ourselves rushing through life, attending to the necessary, the immediate, and the urgent. The important is all too often left in the dust. Our problem is not the volume of demands or lack of scheduling skills, but values—what is truly important to us.     
 
Our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources—time, money, strength, and talent. Often our actions contradict our words. We say God is number one, but then we relegate Him to a lesser number on our “to do” lists.
 
Twenty-five centuries ago, a voice was heard, calling men and women to the right priorities. Prophet Haggai knew what was important and what had to be done, and he challenged God’s people to respond. 
 
In 586 B.C., the armies of Babylon had destroyed the temple in Jerusalem—God’s House, the symbol of His presence. In 538 B.C. King Cyrus decreed that Jews could return to their beloved city and rebuild the temple, so they travelled to Jerusalem and began the work. But then they forgot their purpose and lost their priorities, as opposition and apathy brought the work to a standstill (Ezra 4:4-5). Then Haggai spoke, calling them back to God’s values: “Has the time come for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses whilst this House lies in ruins?”(1:4). The people were more concerned with their own needs than with doing God’s will, and, as a result, they suffered. Then Haggai called them to action: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Look cautiously to your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the House!  I will take pleasure in it and be glorified,’ says the LORD”(1:7-8). And God’s message through His servant Haggai became the catalyst for finishing the work.     
 
Although Haggai is a small book, it is filled with challenges and promises, reminding us of God’s claim on our lives and our priorities. As we read the Book of Haggai, imagine him walking the streets and alleys of Jerusalem, urging the people to get back to doing God’s work. We too must listen to Haggai speaking to us, urging us to re-order our priorities in accordance with God’s will. What has God told us to do? Put ALL else aside and seek & obey Him. AMEN! 
 
➡THE BLUEPRINT      
1.) The call to rebuild the temple (1:1–15) 
2.) Encouragement to complete the temple (2:1–23)
 
When the exiles first returned from Babylon, they set about rebuilding the temple right away. Although they began with the right attitudes, they slipped back into wrong behavior, and the work came to a standstill. We need to be on guard to keep our priorities straight! We MUST remain active in our service to God and continue to put first thing first, Jesus Christ above ALL!
 
➡MEGATHEMES 
 
*Right Priorities
EXPLANATION: God had given the Jews the assignment to finish the temple in Jerusalem when they returned from captivity. After 15 years, they still had not completed it. They were more concerned about building their own homes than finishing God’s work. God spoke through prophet Haggai and told them to get their priorities straight. 
 
IMPORTANCE: It is easy to make other priorities more important than doing God’s work. But God wants us to follow through and build up His Kingdom. Don’t stop and don’t make excuses! We must set our heart on what is right and do it! We must get our priorities straight!!
 
*God’s Encouragement
EXPLANATION: Prophet Haggai encouraged the people as they worked. He assured them of the divine presence of the Holy Spirit and of final victory, and instilled in them the hope that the Messiah would reign. 
 
IMPORTANCE: If God gives us a task, we must not be afraid to get started. His resources are infinite! God will help us complete it by giving us encouragement from others along the way.
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