RISE & BUILD
WEEK 3: February 10, 2019
SCRIPTURE: Haggai 2:4b-9
4…’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 LordAlmighty. 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.”
– HAGGAI 2:4B-9
- The question we’re answering concerns the future and how we steward this moment for the sake of those who come later. We can be tempted to look at what we see of the project and wonder if it’s truly something God can use. Haggai reminds Israel that God is at work to do something so great they can’t even begin to imagine it.
- The power of the project is God – he is the covenant-keeping God, the God who is with us through the Holy Spirit, who will shake the world.
- The purpose of the project is God’s own glory in the salvation of the world. Because he is working, the desire of all nations – the Messiah – will come and save, granting an even greater glory to this temple.
- The price of the project is great but simple: we recognize that God is the owner of all and we are stewards. There is no aspect of our lives that we truly ‘control’ or, as Christians, ‘own’: we are bought with a price, the very blood of Christ. All we are or possess – our days, our bodies, our thoughts, our talents, our families, our treasures – these are all God’s own, and we hold them temporarily as a trust.
- Stewards will return all that has been entrusted to them and give an account to the Owner of that trust. This is why Stewards seek the greater good of the true Owner.
- As faithful stewards, we must be strong in God’s might, banish fear, and take action. There are many appropriate responses to this call to Rise and Build. Each of us, no matter what, can pray. All of us should counsel together and decide how we can participate.
- God will fulfill his purpose. Four hundred years after Haggai said these words, God’s glory showed up in the Temple as ‘greater glory’: Jesus, carried in the arms of Joseph and Mary. Placed in the aged hands of Simeon, that man said that in the face of Jesus he saw the salvation of the world and the glory of God come to Israel (see Luke 2).