St. Luke's Church Faribault
2/23/2020
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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

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        Amazing Love Recovery Group

        September 29, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
        A Christian based group for people in recovery.
      • Psalm 85:1NIV2011

      • Psalm 85:2NIV2011

      • Psalm 85:4NIV2011

      • Psalm 85:6–7NIV2011

  • Revive Us Again
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • Revelation Song
  • Slide
    I have a saying. It is just camping in the rain.
    I really think everyone should camp in the rain. At least once, with kids, in a tent. On times when I’ve been camping there is a usually a large family having fun, laughing talking eating staying up late a the campfire on beautiful summer night. They go to bed without a care in the word a lot of gear laying out where they used it the day before. Then sometime in the middle if the night. It starts to rain. The next morning the lively campsite is unexpectedly soaked. The family is no longer happy a quiet comes over the camp sight as they try and dry things out. If the rain goes on for a day, they usually just give up and pack up there and go home.
    You can camp in the rain and remain dry, but you need to know how. I have been camping all my life, and I was a scout, and a scout leader. I have wilderness camped and I have friends that camp. I have read books and magazines, and tips and tricks, and I read forums on the internet, so I know how to camp and stay dry and have fun even when it is raining. I have taken my family camping and it has rained, hard the whole trip, and we still had a good time. I have learned a lot camping in the rain and here are a few tips.
    Don’t lose sight of the purpose trying to make the sun come out. You cannot change the weather as much as you would like but the purpose remains the same spending time with your family. If you are miserable because of circumstances you cannot change, you have lost sight of the purpose. Your purpose remains in spite of the circumstances.
    If you focus on the purpose, you can have a good time even in the rain. You can huddle under the tarp. or play games, or tell stories, and enjoy one another.
    If your circumstances are frustrating you, perhaps you need to learn how to better prepare, and learn from people who know how to camp in the rain, to make the most of your experience. As much as you would like to you cannot make the sun come out, so might as well know how to survive.
    slide
    Background
    We are studying the book of Haggai, chapter 2, and if anything the Israelites were camping in the rain. Well not literally, but things were not going well with the Temple project. There was political upheaval, famine, unfavorable economic conditions. The project had come to a halt. It was like they had one problem after another. It was kinda like they were camping the rain.So God sends them Haggai.
    Haggai was a real man who delivered messages from God to the population of Jews living in Jerusalem in the fall of 538 BC-This isn’t speculation, or a fable, there really was a guy living at that time giving Gd’s people these messages. There are sources other than Bible, that match up the events and timelines as recorded in the Bible.
    To refresh you memory the people in Jerusalem, have returned after spending the last 70 years in captivity in Babylon. One of the first projects they wanted to accomplish was re-building the temple. The temple was flattened when Babylon invaded and all of the gold and silver and temple articles, were carried off.
    God brought this about because the nation was not following God’s laws. It is not like God didn’t send them warnings, he sent them prophets, to speak on His behalf. But when the people didn’t listen to the prophets, Babylon invaded and their beloved temple was destroyed. The people were taken captive and led off to Babylon.
    What are prophets?
    Before we go on, I think it might be helpful if we talk a bit about prophets. Many people’s eyes glaze over when we hear about prophets and they find those books in the back of the Old Testament confusing, and hard to understand. Or when people think of prophecy they jump to the images in Daniel or Revelation and think of scary and confusing images of riders on horses and locusts, and stars falling.
    Prophets are simply people who are called by God to deliver a message to people. The words the prophet speaks are the words of God. All the prophecy books of the Bible like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, or Haggai, are books containing the messages these people conveyed to the people.
    The Old Testament prophets messages are usually similar---they follow patterns. The pattern is that the people are doing one thing-they should be doing something different. If they do not turn around judgement will follow. The judgement is usually natural disasters or wars, then after a period of time there is hope. God does not forget his people forever, God will bring them back, or restore them. So a conviction of sin, followed by an opportunity for repentance, if not then judgement, but there is hope.
    Such as when the prophet Jeremiah warned of the coming invasion there was a message of hope that it would not last forever.God said, before they went into captivity that they would be there for 70 years. God said, before any of this happened that they would be there for 70 years. That is Jeremiah 29, 10. The verse before the famous graduation verse Jeriah 29, 11 right.
    Jeremiah 29:10 NIV
    10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
    God gives this message of future events to give hope to validate the truth of the prophecy. When the message of hope becomes reality we see God’s faithfulness, we have proof that God’s word is true. Our faith in God, His word, and His promises becomes sight.
    Now, the interesting thing about prophecy is that the future view of hope is often not a single point in time. When prophecies concern a future event it may happen once at a specific point in time, and it may happen again at another future point in time. Sometimes it partially occurs at one point, it is completed later. In other words, a word about the future written in 750 BC, may come true in 730 BC, and again partially in 530 BC, and again in 0 AD with Christ, and again some time in the future, perhaps in 2020 or 2025.
    When the people came back to Jerusalem as prophesied exactly 70 years after they went into exile, like God said, they started to rebuild the temple. However, as soon as the foundation was laid, then things came to a halt. The political climate was uncertain, and disruptive, people were tired and the temple appeared it would never be as great as before. Discouraged, they stopped working on it. It is then, that the Lord speaks.
    Haggai is a bit different than the typical prophets in that His message does not necessarily seem typical of the prophets. Haggai instead of speaking words of woe, and doom is an encourager. His message is less about judgement. God says, give careful thought to what you are doing.
    If anything, God does point out that they are already experiencing some sort of judgement. God says, look around you are spinning your wheels, you have hard work but no success. God says, you are not getting anywhere. Crops are poor, employment is down.
    But God says, if you place me first, and things will get better. God says do not be discouraged that the future will be different than the past. The real benefit is that I am with you. We have a divine partnership. You and me Be strong, I am with you.
    That is where we left off. Today, the message of Haggai for a few short verses seems a little more typical of the prophets as we get a future vision. That is found in verses 6-9 of chapter 2. So let me read Haggai chapter 2 starting at verse 1.
    Haggai 2:1–9 NIV
    1 on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 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. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ 6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
    The task of completing the temple was overwhelming. The temple was only in the foundation stage, harvest was bleak, they had financial struggles, they were working hard at home, the political climate was in total upheaval.
    Therefore, God’s message of “I’ll be with you might have been taken as well....so what. You know have you ever been there? You get a flat tire in the rain, the same week the water heater breaks, the same week after your kid was sick so you had to miss three days of work and your paycheck is short and then your spouse is laid off, and then you hear-God is with you!So you are thinking---are you sure? If he is with me where is He now? Is He going to pay my bills and fix my water heater?
    It seems like God is out there somewhere---far away—in a place we do not access in this life-Now we are on our own to do what we need to do to get through this life’s difficulties on our own. We cannot expect to hear from God when our Bibles are closed. The word of God is the instructions for camping in the rain.
    This is where prophecy really shines brightly- it is that little candle in the dark- It is the weather forecast that calls for sunny skies. The message from God now is a message of hope- and encouragement. It is in the darkest of times, that God provides grace. It is in the darkness that God’s light shines, It is in the darkest hours, that God’s grace breaks into our life and shows us that there is hope. Hope in Him, Hope that He has it all under control, Hope because the Holy Spirit dwells in His people, Hope because God is faithful, and Hope because God is God.
    Haggai 2:6 NIV
    6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.
    Don’t ever forget who God is. Don’t ever forget the God we worship here in this place. He is the Lord Almighty or the Lord of the heavenly armies, and in a little while He says- He will once more shake the heavens and the earth. Does that mean God will send an earthquake? Was there an earthquake during Haggai’s time? Perhaps, but that is one of those vision future now and yet not yet events. He did shake the earth when Christ died-we know that from the scripture that is confirmed by archeological and geological evidence of an earthquake. So we know that God’s word is true. When Christ returns the Bible speaks of earthquakes, so we also it is in the future.And it was also in the past. When God does radical things earth is shaken. In Exodus, when God came down to give Moses the law of God we read this.
    Exodus 19:18 NIV
    18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.
    So God, in His grace, comes to the people and says-look don’t forget who I am, I once shook the mountains, and in a little while I will do it again. What does God mean by a little while. Is that tomorrow? or next week?
    You know the other night I drove by Lincoln school, and the parking lot was all lit up with lights. I flashed back to when there was an ice rink there. Does anyone remember when there was ice skating at Lincoln or McKinely. Remember that? I would drive down 7th St and it would be lit up and the rink was full. Man them were the days, This afternoon my family will be celebrating my sons 28th birthday, we skated there when he was like 7 or 8-it seems like a little while ago we were skating at Lincoln.Yet it was probably 22 years ago. Time goes by just like that-If there is anything I learned as I get older it is life is short.
    Isaiah 56:1 NIV
    1 This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
    Here, in Isaiah God’s message is that God’s salvation is close at hand, and His righteousness will soon be revealed. That happened when Christ came-so soon for the Lord was like 700 years....We may think that is slow but
    2 Peter 3:9 NIV
    9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
    2 Peter 3:10 NIV
    10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
    Here is the point life is short-It is a blink. When we are talking about the eternal God, life is a flash of lightning. God in a little while- will once again shake the heavens and the earth. Should we be afraid?
    Prophecy is this sword that cuts both way- And either way you better pay attention because life is short, and time is short. When you do not know God’s goodness or grace, you hear these warnings about shaking heaven and earth- you may think God is mean. But when you know that God sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins. to take the judgement due us, on the cross, and you believe that He rose again to confirm the prophecies. You are on the other side of the sword of prophecy and you see it as God’s grace. You see it as Hope in the faithful God, and you see that in a little while God will keep his promise and restore His kingdom. And you cannot wait.
    slide on screen not read
    Haggai 2:6 NIV
    6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.
    And as the people in Haggai’s day faced their discouragement, and the overwhelming odds against them, as forces that they could not control like governments, and famines and economic crisis waged war against them and God says he is with them, This adds power, force, credibility and trust in a little while I will once again I will shake the heavens and the earth-This is a tremendous comfort.
    When you are overwhelmed. and when you situation seems dark and dire when you economics or health, or temptations come your way-you can open the pages of scripture and know that people like you have faced difficulties, and troubles, even bigger than yours, and God said to them-Do not fear I am with you and in a little while I will shake the heavens and and the earth.
    Haggai 2:7 NIV
    7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.
    God continues with the assurance, it isn’t only the physical the Lord will shake, but he is going to shake the nations. That means he will disrupt governments, perhaps wars or economic collapse, probably referring to the government at the time of Haggai but, God is also referring to the Roman empire in Christ’s time, and what is desired by all nations will come, may refer to Christ coming and filling the temple with a new glory. This is also a picture on the Gentiles coming into God’s kingdom in the New Testament times, and it also probably is a picture of every tribe and tongue praising God in the new heavens, and new earth for eternity.
    slide
    And the Lord Almighty Himself will fill this house. The temple was a magnificent building before it was destroyed. It may look broken down to you just a foundation—but God provides hope, not that they will do it-But THAT God will do it. HE will fill it with glory. That was a magnificent temple! That is a drawing of Solomons temple on the screen You can see the place marked out for the Holy of Holies.
    slide
    Inside the Holy of Holies was filled with gold. Surely, the people had to be thinking to themselves, where is all this going to come from-times are tough. Where are we going to get the gold? Again God’s grace comes to the people, in the word of the Lord
    Haggai 2:8 NIV
    8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
    The God we are talking about serving owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is the king of the universe what is it can you bring Him? He has it all. And even then without anything....
    Haggai 2:9 NIV
    9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
    ANd then, when God restores the temple will be a place of peace. Peace remember that is deeper than the peace we are familiar with. This peace is shalom-it is wholeness- completeness and goodness. Peace.
    If we look at Haggai up to this point here is the message-When God’s people are facing great discouragement. God comes to them with a message not of punishment but of encouragement reminds them of the divine partnership that He has with them. He asks them to put Him first. He reminds them that He is strong-He will do it-he has the power the resources and the means to do it. He has proven His faithfulness to them by what he has done in the past.
    AND this is the message to the church today. God has always preserved, and sustained His people. From the times of the exile until Christ. God has sustained His people. In the New Testament God has sustained his church through intense persecution, wars, governments and difficulties.
    He asks us as individuals to repent of our sins and be in partnership with him through Jesus Christ-He comes and dwells with us through His Holy Spirit. Those who have given their life to Christ, trusting in His forgiveness alone, His work on the cross, his resurrection form the true church and are God’s people.
    In the Churches time of discouragement God comes to us and is with us by the power of His Holy Spirit, through His word. We cannot hear from God with our Bibles closed. The Church must seek to please God, and bring Him glory by pursuing His will for us, as He has made it clear in his word.
    We must as a church seek to bring Him glory in everything that we do. When we do that the church will become what it ought to be a place of peace- Not just a passive dead body that is looks peaceful. But true peace shalom, wholeness goodness.
    The Lord’s house above else is where people should run to get peace, not a place of strife and frustration. Not a peace that occurs with quiet silence-But wholeness and goodness Shalom- Christ came to bring us peace with God, the fruit of the Spirit is peace, We bless with May the Lord bless you and keep and make his face to shine upon you and grant you peace, It is the peace of God that transcends all understanding.
    Jesus said.
    John 14:27 NIV
    27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
      • Jeremiah 29:10NIV2011

      • Haggai 2:1–9NIV2011

      • Haggai 2:6NIV2011

      • Exodus 19:18NIV2011

      • Isaiah 56:1NIV2011

      • 2 Peter 3:9NIV2011

      • 2 Peter 3:10NIV2011

      • Haggai 2:6NIV2011

      • Haggai 2:7NIV2011

      • Haggai 2:8NIV2011

      • Haggai 2:9NIV2011

      • John 14:27NIV2011

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