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Whose Kingdom are You Building?

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2022 12:07 pm

Whose Kingdom are You Building?

The Verdict / John Munro

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June 20, 2022 12:07 pm

Pastor Sibu Rajappan June 19, 2022 Haggai 1:1-15

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It's good to see many of you here this morning and those who are joining us on the lifestream. Dr. Monroe challenged us this year to seek first the kingdom of God.

I hope you remember that I was calling this year and we been rehydrating the four challenges and one of that was to seek first the kingdom of God. How are we doing with that challenge, whose kingdom are you living for today. Are you focused on God's kingdom, or are you busy building your own kingdoms.

What is your priority today comfort and security here on earth or is it fulfilling God given purposes in the kingdom of God. This morning I pray that we will learn from the postexilic Jews who misplace their priorities and their effort and resources, answer the following the instruction of the Lord to fulfill his purposes.

They got distracted and started building the wrong kingdom their own kingdoms, but later stirred up by the spirit of God. They set their priorities in order. We will be in the book of Haggai or someone said this morning, Haggai. I say that Haggai is a tiny little book small yet profound edits right into somewhere in the middle of your Bible. It is a sword last book of the Old Testament. Dr. Monroe has been going through the book of Matthew for several months.

Next Sunday, God willing, he will be in the pulpit back in the pulpit.

If you are able to find the book of Matthew turned three books awkward and you would get to the book of Haggai. You get to Malachi and Zechariah. Let me give you some background to the book before we start reading that in 586 BC. If you know your Old Testament history and I think the dates are on the slides in 586 BC, the Jews in Jerusalem were taken captive by then Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. This was God's punishment for the people of his trial for that idolatry. After repeated warnings. They failed to repent and truly and turned back to their only king, they continued in their disobedience and idolatry. Later in 539 BC, Cyrus the king of Persia conquered Babylon, and this new king Cyrus the king of Persia the following year was stirred by the Lord, and he permitted the Jewish people to go back to Judea and we build their broken temple in Jerusalem. Ezra chapter 6 verse 14 says that it was the Lord's decree.

It was the Lord's commandment by the Lord's commandment, they returned back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple so under the leadership of a man by the name of the real bubble, a small group of people divinely entrusted by the Lord to fulfill his purposes, which is to rebuild the temple, made their way back to Jerusalem that we read in Ezra chapter 3, we won't have time to go through the chapter will go to a couple of verses there, but in Ezra chapter 3 we are told that they were united in their purpose. They were so focused on the task at hand to rebuild the temple. There was so much enthusiasm out there was so much passion to obey the Lord that they offered the sacrifices that was commanded in the Old Testament that sweet couple of verses from Ezra chapter 3 verses six and seven. This is Ezra chapter 3 verses six and seven from the first day of the seventh month they began to build book offer burnt offerings to the Lord, but the foundation of the temple of the Lord was. Not yet laid so were the do so.

They give money to the Masons and carpenters and food, drink and oil to the civilians and the Thai reasons to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea to Jehovah. According to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia, so what are they doing, they are freely paying the workers there, freely there generously providing for those who are bringing these building materials, especially very expensive cedar wood from Lebanon for what for the reconstruction of the temple so soon after they started the building project in 536 BC oppositions in the temple building was stopped.

Then for at least 10 years.

There were no significant effort to rebuild the temple. What started with such enthusiasm, now has, to gloomy Hall but did God commissioned them to go back and rebuild the temple, winding the stop building of the temple, the rebuilding of the temple for more than 10 years. Why did they do that there is a spiritual reason behind. So let's turn to the book of Haggai, chapter 1 where the prophet is recording God's assessment of the spiritual condition of the people.

He also gives us insight into why they stopped the work so we are in Haggai, chapter 1 Haggai, chapter 1 verses 1 to 4 in the second year of Darius or Darius the king in the sixth month on the first day of the month. The word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Sheila Teal, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehoshaphat the high priest thus says the Lord of hosts. These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord than the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet. Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in paneled houses while this house lies in ruins. Now we saw earlier from Ezra chapter 3 that there was much enthusiasm in rebuilding the temple, and that was back in 538 BC they were paying the workers they were bringing all the raw materials needed to the rebuilding of the temple. They successfully start the rebuilding in 530 6B, but when we get to the book of Haggai which is 520 we see the temple is in ruins what happens. Why where the people where they go.

Did they go back because they were not able to fulfill the purposes with which they came to Jerusalem are no when we come to the book of Haggai we see people are living in paneled houses refereeing to a the fully constructed homes or luxuriously constructed. This is indicative of their spiritual condition. They lost their focus. They lost their focus.

They were spiritually lethargic. Consequently, they were tired of striving to rebuild the temple. Now it is true. There were oppositions. It is true that the local non-Jews frustrated the Jews in their attempt to rebuild the temple, we read that about about that in Ezra chapter 4, we won't have time to go to that but in Ezra chapter 4, these people were actively trying to stop the building but look at what God says about the situation and about the postexilic Jews look with me to verse nine, the latter portion of verse nine. Got a break in the middle of that verse the question why this is the Lord speaking why, declares the Lord of hosts because of my house that lies in ruins. While each of you busies himself with his house. Notice the word for seas.

There is a sense of urgency.

There is a sense of importance, there is a sense of excitement and excitement when it came to building their own homes, which wasn't lacking the temple, God's assessment is that the priority and the passion of the postexilic Jews were to build their own houses instead of the house of God, the temple, they were more concerned about their own comfort and security. Rather than striving to fulfill their God-given purposes with which they came to Jerusalem in the first place. They were okay living in their paneled homes watching, seeing, probably on a daily basis.

The temple in also notice what they did remember and Ezra, we read that they were bringing all these raw materials and are expensive cedar word from Lebanon to bring it by sea and they departed in for the reconstruction of the temple are looking toward the Lord says in verse eight.

Now verse eight go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it. A second what happened to the wood. They brought already. What happened in the bullet wound that was already collected. Apparently, it seems that they used up the raw material for their houses. Few commentators do say that the implication of that question there on the commandment there is that all all the raw materials that was brought in for Ava used up, or unusable.

If it is a case they used the material for their homes. Nevertheless, they were okay living in well built houses seeking their reputation. Why they let God's glory be diminished, reflected in an online finished temple but instead of repenting and refocusing, they became more indifferent to God's kingdom, his glory and his temple that they made excuses and justify their self centered priority.

So first, the lost focus. Second, the name, excuse the Swede Haggai, chapter 1 was to thus says the Lord of hosts. These people say that time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord. Now is not the case and they want to rebuild the temple. I don't think so. They want to rebuild the temple, but that excuse is, it is not time yet. I will do it later now later let me finish my house first. The temple can wait right. I mean, it's been in ruins for all these years wouldn't hurt if I would turn my attention a little bit to my my house or they may be saying we we really want to start the rebuilding. Again, we do but we have already invested in our own houses. We can stop now. God wants us to be comfortable right. He wants us to be secure right I do later. Or you might hear them saying you just don't understand you just don't understand we are struggling to have enough fortunate enough drink and enough clothing and money that we are in able to even provide for ourselves and you want us to now refocus on the temple not now. Later excuses for not fulfilling the purposes of the one who gave them freedom and provided for them. Miraculously the loss focus. The lame excuse what about us. Is it possible for us to lose focus. Is it possible for us to use God-given blessings and privileges to secure our own life on earth.

Rather than living for the kingdom of God. Now it is true. It is true that we believers in Jesus Christ. Those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior are never asked to build a temple for God or a physical kingdom for God that is true we ask in believers in Jesus Christ. We are the temple of God turn with me to Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 19. Onward, this is Ephesians chapter 2 was 19 onward so then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the house of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone in whom the whole structure being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord in him.

You are also you are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the spirit we are the temple. Those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ are the temple of God, we are never asked to build a physical temple kingdom that the believers in Jesus Christ are called into is a spiritual kingdom, at least for now. Later, when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back in glory.

He is going to establish his physical kingdom, but right now, as followers of Jesus Christ. We are called into a spiritual kingdom. We don't get into the kingdom by our own strength. We don't just walk into the kingdom we are granted access into the kingdom that says it's a privilege when we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins. And when we accept him for the forgiveness of our sins as we surrender our lives to the Lordship and the kingship of the one and only king we are granted entrance into this glorious kingdom of God turn with me to Colossians chapter 1 Colossians chapter 1 verse 12 and 13 Colossians chapter 1 verses 12 and 30, giving thanks to the father what he says, who has qualified you is a father who qualifies us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom whose kingdom of his beloved son, Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption and forgiveness. It's his kingdom. We are granted access into his kingdom, seeking first the kingdom then means your highest priority is the fulfillment of the will and desires of the one and not your desires. You will, but the one and only king Jesus Christ living for this kingdom then means that you arrange our lives around the desires of Christ the King, not mine or yours is the desires of the king because the kingdom belongs to him whose kingdom are you looking for. We look to the most lost focus. We look at the lame excuse how we lost focus.

We find excuse to justify our self centered priority.

Listen to the Lord's exultation for us this morning. Let's read from verses 5 to 11 so. First, a warning then the promise. The warning verses 5 to 11 now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts. Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough. You drink but you never have your fill you clothing ourselves, but no one is warm and he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with you expedients that thus says the Lord of hosts. Consider your ways go up to the hills and bring wood and build a house that I may take pleasure in it that I may be glorified, says the Lord, you look for much, and behold, it came to little and when you brought it home, I blew it away.

Why, declares the Lord of hosts because of my house that lies in ruins what each of you busies himself with his own house.

Therefore, the heavens above you have withheld the view and the earth has withheld its produce, and I have called for a drought on the land and the hills on the brain.

The new wind oil and water.

The ground brings forth on man and beast and all on all their neighbors. The postexilic Jews used the available resources to provide for themselves.

They spend their energy that time that money trying to satisfy satisfy themselves seeking comfort and security for themselves, relying only on themselves but they found themselves significantly lacking the blessing of the Lord was God was disciplining the warning. Consider your ways examine yourself. That means look at the fact that you have taken evaluate the plans that you have made.

Consider your ways whose kingdom are you living for. If you go down the path of accumulating wealth and seeking comfort and securing your life at the cost of God's kingdom. You will find the also lacking but is nothing that can satisfy you and me, except for the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Ecclesiastes as God has put eternity into the hearts of men. You try as many times as much as you can. Nothing can satisfy you, unless the Lord Jesus is in that spot nothing can satisfy you.

There's only one thing that can give you fulfillment.

That is when you engage in the purposes and the plans of the one who created you and the one who called you into that kingdom. That is the only thing that can fulfill. Isn't that what the Lord Jesus says in Matthew chapter 6 verse 33 seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto. He is the only one who can satisfy our deepest needs. Nobody else can. Why do people strive behind accumulating wealth building their own kingdoms. The warning consider your ways consider your ways. You might say it's difficult you don't know what I'm going through is very difficult.

It is very difficult to take my eyes of the problems that is in front of me to put my focus on God's kingdom is very difficult.

That is true, that is true, living for God's kingdom in a world that has openly declared war on God and his people and his plans and his purposes is ready difficult.

This, but you don't have to do that on your own look at the Lord's promise. Look at verse 13 of chapter 1, then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord spoke to the people with voice message.

I am with you, declares the Lord. This is Yahweh speaking I am you you don't have to do this on your own when you come to the New Testament. What does the Lord Jesus say I am with you to the end of age, the creator of the king, the Lord of lords, God with us.

A manual he is with us he would never leave us even never forsake us. He is with us till the very end. Keep your eyes on Christ, whose kingdom are you in fact we cannot do this by ourselves. It is in Christ Jesus, we enter the kingdom of God is by the power of the Holy Spirit. We live for God's kingdom, and there might be some here who are intimidated by the opposition weary because of the discouragement distracted by all the enticements and the lure that is in the ward at the very verge of giving up, listen to this promise. I am with you, declares Yahweh reminds me of Philippians chapter 2 verse 12 and 13 work out our salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you. Not only do well, but also to work for his good pleasure. He is the one who helps us, it is by the power of the Holy Spirit. We do these things. So we read in verses 12 and verses 13 then Zerubbabel the son of Shield Hill and Joshua the son of Jehoshaphat the high priest with all the remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him also skip down to verse 14 and the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehoshaphat the high priest and the spirit of all the remnant of the people and they came. Worked on the house of the Lord of would you if you have lost focus would you respond in similar ways that we find in the book of Haggai repent, refocus, re-examine your plans consider your ways, and start living for his kingdom. The warning consider your ways. The promise he is whose kingdom are you living for Nessie. We don't live in this kingdom because we have to is all that after him for this kingdom know that it's not the attitude with which we come to the we don't live for this kingdom because we are ruled by a tyrant king know we live for this kingdom because we are invited by a benevolent king.

That is why we live for his kingdom. We do this in response to the inexplicable.

The infinite awesome mind blowing. Love that Christ Jesus. This king has displayed for us what he do this is what he did not have a secure every single one of us here, none of us are worthy to enter into the kingdom of God. We don't even we are not even worthy to be in the presence of a holy God the King of heaven's if this king were to come down to the in his majesty and his power and punish every single one of us because of our sins, he would be just but that is not what he did.

He left his glorious heaven he came down to this filthy sin corrupted ward.

He lived. He took on weakness became human like us.

He lived a perfect life and he took place on the cross although he never sinned by Dean or Fort or in words, he takes place the nails that went through his hands should have gone to enhance the crown of thorns that was put on his head should be put on my but instead he goes on to the cross he dies for our sins. And this, Lord Jesus. He died. He was buried for three days. On the third day he victoriously rose again, declaring that he is the son of God. He is the King of Kings and Lord of lords, and he says come to me and I will give you eternal life and he invites us into his glorious kingdom our responses. Yes, Lord, with everything that I have with everything that I have.

I will worship the King of Kings and Lord gave us his life believes that we can do is to give everything that we have deleted the foot of the cross and the foot of the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and say here it is taken everything that I have. I live for your glory, your kingdom, your power in your name because you are worth it whose kingdom you living he is worth everything are you part of this kingdom. If you are not, would you consider your ways.

Surrender your life to this king receive this eternal life. Turn with me to John chapter 3 and hear it from the words of apostle John John John chapter 1 and verse 12 John chapter 1 verse 12 but to all who did receive him. This is our king Jesus, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God who are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh of the will of man, but of God. If you are not part of this kingdom. Consider your ways. Surrender your life to Christ, receive this gift of being called the children of the living, just a couple glorious.

What a privilege we have to be part of this kingdom.

For those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Are you using your God-given blessings and privileges, and abilities to glorify your king or I am using them to build your little if you are living for his kingdom, then your life will be arranged around the desires of the plans and the purposes of the one in King. How does that look like in your personal life. If you are living for his kingdom, then your highest priority is to be and to make them think followers of Jesus because you want him to be known. You want him to be famous, not ourselves. Him. If you are seeking the kingdom of God. If you are living for his kingdom than the highest priority in your personal life will be to spend substantial quality time in the word walking in obedience to his commandments living a holy life, using every opportunity to exhort jaw king Jesus Christ, not yourself, but your king Albert and your family. If you are living for his kingdom. Parents father's happy Father's Day father's mother's parents. You will not raise your children, only to become successful doctors or engineers of professionals are athletes you will arrange your life around you will not arrange our lives around their education and around the talents and around their spouse that you are willing to forsake the gathering of the saints ignore your children's God-given purposes in the body instead. Your primary focus that is the highest priority. Your primary focus would be to disciple your children to know God, to love him to look for his kingdom and to fulfill their God-given purposes in the body. How are you spending the best of your time. Parents at work.

If you are living for God's kingdom.

You would use your God-given job and your God given ability to work as a platform to glorify God by displaying Christ and making him known, rather than only to use to accumulate wealth, fame, and security. Students if you are living for God's kingdom.

You will spend your time, talent and energy at school to shine the light of Christ, imitating him rather than taking the easy route to imitate the culture around you. You would also use your social media wherever you have a presence wisely to point people to the one who gave you everything that you process including your life and everybody in between that, how are you using your time, your talent, your money, your energy, your ability is that just to seek comfort and security or are you presenting it as an offering to the king was worth to be and to make authentic followers of Jesus Christ. Again, we don't do this because we have to. We should do this because we love to.

Isn't that what David would say what the end of South for Samuel he would not give to God that did not cost anything.

Are you whose kingdom are you looking for consider your ways.

My prayer is that the Lord will stir your hearts today just like he did to the postexilic Jews, and that you would repent if you have lost focus you will repent from it would refocus reset your priorities with heat on the top of your priority list that you would use everything that he has given to you for his glory that you would be in his word on a daily basis you will live your life of holiness. Your highest priority would be to be and make authentic followers of Jesus Christ whose kingdom are you for let's pray for. Thank you for the love that you have displayed on the cross. There's no one who loves us the way you do for the we do not deserve your love but yet while we were yet sinners you send Jesus Christ to die on the cross for wretched sinners like us and you have given through our Lord Jesus. You have given us this privilege of being called the children of the living God. So we ask you Lord that you would please stir up the hearts of the people who are here in the sanctuary, and those who are on Lifestream that we would repent of ourselves centered priority and I would refocus on our king and his kingdom. His glory and his fame for the we need your help so we ask that you would do a work only you can do. Stir our hearts today. Jesus name we pray. Amen

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