Don’t Look Back

Seth Horrell came back this week with a challenge from Haggai 2:1-9, about looking forward rather than looking back. It is true that we cannot go home again, it’s just not the same as we remember it. Maybe that’s why high school reunions are not what they’re cracked up to be.

The people were not impression with the new temple, it was not a impressive as Solomon’s temple. Without the temple, the people sensed abandonment by God, perhaps even anger from God. Where is he now that the temple has been destroyed? What is God saying during this difficult time in their history? Something is off, something is missing.

We must order our lives right. Churches in America spend way too must time tending a building rather than to our mission. We are to build the Kingdom of God, and put God first (Matthew 6:33). Paul knew about contentment in whatever circumstance (Philippians 4:11).

We often stay busy and leave God with our leftovers rather than give him the best.

Then comes the grumbling – this temple is not as good a the old one… the reality of the present doesn’t measure up to the memory or the dream.

God three times uses the phrase, “take courage.” Always remember that God is with us. In time God will make it right, so be ready for that moment. Don’t get discouraged, keep the faith and continue in the work. Also, don’t look back because it will hinder the present.

Questions for Further Study: Rebuilding the Temple – Haggai 1:1-2:23

Open It

  1. If you could have a house restored and money was no object, what kind of house would you want to restore?
  2. When do you procrastinate?
  3. When do you tend to own up to your mistakes, and when do you find it easier to make excuses for yourself?

Explore It

  1. What points did Haggai cover in the introduction to the book? (Haggai 1:1)
  2. What excuse did the people make for not rebuilding the temple? (Haggai 1:2)
  3. Why did the Lord rebuke the people of Judah? (Haggai 1:3-6) – The Reprimand
  4. What did the Lord challenge the people to do? (Haggai 1:7-8) – The Remedy
  5. What had led to the people’s impoverishment? (Haggai 1:9-11) – The Rebuke
  6. How did the people react to the prophetic message? (Haggai 1:12-15) – The Reaction
  7. What did Haggai say when he announced his second prophetic message? (Haggai 2:1-2)
  8. How did the Lord promise to help His people? (Haggai 2:3-5)
  9. What was God’s assurance concerning the temple? (Haggai 2:6-9)

Get It

  1. What effect might a luxurious life-style have on your spirituality?
  2. How do you handle tough experiences?
  3. What excuses do you make for not doing the will of God?
  4. If a respected church leader reprimanded you for your lack of commitment to ministry, how would you respond?
  5. What motivates you to do the work of the kingdom?
  6. Why do you need the Lord to give you courage to do His work?
  7. How has God’s discipline influenced your life?
  8. How has spiritual discipline changed the life of your church?
  9. On what future blessings of the Lord do you depend?

Apply It

  1. What steps do you need to take to stop procrastinating and get involved in ministry for the Lord?
  2. What do you want to remember the next time you are rightly confronted with a need to change?
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