August 2

Haggai 1-2, Psalm 59

Jim Elliot, martyred missionary, once said, "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." So many things prevent us from being all God wants us to be. He is talking to us and leading us, but are we listening. The world is full of distractions which make us deaf, form our cell phones, the televisions, the radio, etc. Pride also derails us. The original sin and lie by Satan in the Garden of Eden still reigns in the lives of many, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5). How often do we fail to do what God is calling us to do simply because we will not listen to Him and get off our own thrones and put Him back on the throne of our lives.

This short book of Haggai is written over a short period of time, 4 months. It is fortunate to Haggai, us , and the people of Judah that Haggai was open to God and not distracted over this short time or the opportunity would have been missed. The period of time this takes place is 16 years after the small group of 50,000 (3%) of the Jewish people left Babylon after 70 years of captivity. Leaving Babylon with clarity and purpose, they allowed themselves to get sidetracked and the building of the Temple now ceased as they instead focused on their own lives. The people said, "The time has not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built." Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple lie in ruins?" (Hag 1:3-4). During these 16 years, things were not going well for the people, but they were not noticing. God wasn't punishing them, He was lovingly correcting, disciplining, and trying to re-direct them. Haggai then did something that many leaders don't do, he personally rolled up his sleeves and helped with the building. We read this in Ezra 5:1-2, "Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah...,prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah...(the leaders) rose up and began to build the house of God...and the prophets of God were with them, helping them."

When Alexander the Great conquered the world by age 33, he was asked by the historians who traveled with him to tell them the secret of accomplishing so much at such a young age. He answered in 3 words: Do it now. God is speaking and calling us, His people into action. The question is are we listening and are we willing to obediently follow His calling, now. Jesus promises us in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster