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Lyric Sheets For The Message
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What does it mean to be successful? How do you measure success in your life? Haggai is addressing the people of Israel when they weren’t having much success. Things weren’t going well for them and they weren’t sure why. Has that ever happened to you? Let’s take a look at God’s principles of success.
Don’t Be Selfish
The mission was to build God’s house, but that wasn’t happening, because it had slipped to the bottom of the people’s to-do list.
Haggai 1:2-4 (NLT) “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’” Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?”
The people were making excuses. They were prioritizing their own comfort and material well-being ahead of what God had told them to do.
Haggai 1:9-10 (NLT) “You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because My house lies in ruins, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses.”
They didn’t have the time or resources for God’s priority, but they had enough to do what THEY wanted to do for themselves. Do you ever wonder why you’re not succeeding despite all your work? If you take care of God’s priorities, you can trust God to take care of you. Get moving on God’s mission.
Haggai 1:8 (NLT) “Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.”
It’s not just about the building, what’s really at stake was the honor of God. When we focus on the things we want to the exclusion of what God wants, that is dishonoring Him. Something else will always come up and be a temptation to NOT do what God has told you to do. Perhaps today is the day to change your priorities.
Haggai 1:12,14 (NLT) When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom the Lord their God had sent, the people feared the Lord… They began to work on the house of their God…
Don’t Be Discouraged
What is God calling you to do for Him? Have you become discouraged because the effort doesn’t seem that important? That’s what happened to the Israelites.
Haggai 2:3 (NLT) “Does anyone remember this house – this Temple – in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all!”
God says: don’t play the comparison game, and don’t get discouraged!
Haggai 2:4-5 (NLT) “But now the Lord says, Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.”
God gives us what we need to overcome discouragement and empower action. God also lets the people in on a little secret. Although this temple wasn’t as big as Solomon’s, it’s going to be used in a mighty way by God.
Haggai 2:9 (NLT) “The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace.”
When you’re serving God, even in the smallest way, you’re part of something far greater than you realize! You are building more than you know!
Don’t Be Clueless
Haggai 2:15-16 (NLT) “Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the Lord’s Temple. When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, you found only twenty.”
We each need to be willing to evaluate our lives, think about life in terms of your relationship with God. Also, don’t be clueless about God’s promises.
Haggai 2:18-19 (NLT) “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.”
The greatest success in life is to accomplish God’s purpose by God’s power.
Learn to prioritize God first. Decide to invest in what matters to God. Maybe like Israel, it’s time to get to work doing the work of the Lord!
Talk About It…
- Read/Review Haggai 1-2 and highlight or mark the words or phrases that stand out to you.
- Share a time in your life when you failed to make time for the work God called you to.
- Could it be that some of our economic problems are related to sins?
- Why do we struggle to put God first?
- Are you too busy pursuing your own priorities over God’s priorities?
- What is God calling you to do for Him?
- Share a time you struggled with discouragement while serving God. Were you comparing yourself to others?
- God is always with us and offers the encouragement we need to keep going. Look up some verses that show us this truth.
- Spend some time thinking & praying about something God has asked you to work on for His glory.
Check out our Partner site – PursueGodKids.org
Here is a great one for today
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Select the one appropriate for your children’s ages.
There are activity sheets in the teacher pack.