WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN FIFTY SIX YEARS ABOUT THE MINISTRY

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN FIFTY SIX YEARS ABOUT THE MINISTRY

INTRODUCTION

How can one encapsulate one’s life and ministry in a thirty-minute sermon? It can’t be done. But every life has mountain peaks and valleys. And the comparison and contrast of life on the mountain peaks and valleys gives a feel of one’s life. As we go through life and ministry we are most aware that as high the mountain peak is we stand upon, there usually is a valley just as deep just ahead. Minuet details are sometimes laid aside and the great issues of a life emerge. On the mountain peaks we can see the other peaks of life, while the shadows of the valleys are obscured. Yet it is on the mountain peaks of life where the real light shines. But how does one get to the top of the mountain? By taking one small step at a time. Every one of us here are here because of the small choices we have made and how we have responded to the mountain peaks and the valleys of our lives where these small choices have taken us.

In the short time before us there will be time to speak to those who are in the valleys of the ministry. There may be darkness that tries to soak into the soul. There may be weariness. There may be the creeping spirit of fear that may be lurking nearby one’s soul. There may be that frustration that only one can experience who is in the warfare for souls. Be assured He is with you there. And light and fruit and victory are a short distant away.

And there may be those with us who stand on the doorstep of the beginning of their journey in their ministry. It is a road of adventure, mystery, warfare, scars, defeat and renewal and more. And the road ahead has twists and turns never yet to be dreamt in your philosophy, Horatio.

And there is one other group to be addressed. There may be those here who are engulfed in the fear of taking the first step of faith into the greater and more expansive grandeur of the life of ministry as a sold out man or woman of God.

And one final explanation in this introduction: This is not, by the grace of God, a boring, egotistical self-exalting, boasting narration about this vessel of clay.

Naught have I gotten but what I received;

Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed;

Boasting excluded, pride I abase;

I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

 

Only a sinner saved by grace!

Only a sinner saved by grace!

This is my story, to God be the glory,

I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

THEME: AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

     A. The Ministry Is Not For The Timid

NOTE: Those who know God show great energy and boldness for God … shall be strong

and carry out great exploits.    Knowing God, J. I Packer

          1. We must have from our soul great enthusiasm for the work of God

               a. “Enthusiasm”

               b. Comes from two Greek words

                    1) en – in

                    2) Theos – God

               c. Meaning – In the essence of God

          2. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV

               a. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We

ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 KJV

               b. But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish

my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus,

to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.    Acts 20:24 HCSB

NOTE: Many of us have known the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

since we were knee high to a grasshopper. In his telling of the story

Oswald Chamber said, when these three took their stand, they “smilingly

washed their hands of the consequences.”

     B. How Many Of Us Who Knew God Had A Calling And Work On Us Came

To The Conclusion That We Could Not Turn Back?

NOTE: The size of a person is determined by what it takes to stop him

Howard Hendricks

NOTE: The size of a person is determined by how filled he or she is of God

NOTE:           Back to the cold world I will not go

Back to the old paths of pain and of woe,

Back to the old life of sin, O no!

I’ve had a glimpse of Jesus.

John R Clements

 

T.S. AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

     I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE

         WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

II. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL IN THE MINISTRY

NOTE: Sewell’s Law #2 – Circumstances do not make people.

Circumstances reveal what people already are.

NOTE: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less

C. S. Lewis

     A. We Must Understand That The Ministry Is Not About Us

          1. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but

Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live

by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for

Galatians 2:20 NKJV

NOTE: The mother of John Wesley wrote to him these significant words:

“Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your

conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual

things – whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind –

that thing to you is sin.“

          2. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV

     B. We Must Understand That The Ministry Is About Jesus

NOTE: At the core of our ministry is one thing: Who Is Jesus?

NOTE: In a battle a machine gun nest can stop the advance of the troops. But in

order to take out the machine gun, the easiest way is to get rid of the

soldier using the gun.

Satan wants to take us out so we will not use the sword of the spirit that

is the word of God.

NOTE: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,

which is the word of God                 Ephesians 6:17 KJV

NOTE: If Paul was writing Ephesians 6:17 today he might say, “take the helmet

of salvation and the AK-47 of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

T.S. AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

     A. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE

          WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

     B. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL IN THE

          MINISTRY

III. WITHOUT JESUS FIRST OUR MINISTRY WILL BE EMPTY

     A. No Matter How Hard Our Ministry Is, We Have No Where Else To Go

          1. The disciples of Jesus were confronted with a decision in John 6

               a. Others did not want to continue following Jesus because of His

hard sayings

               b. They turned aside

NOTE: From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with

Him no more.

Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You

have the words of eternal life.

John 6:66-68 NKJV

          2. The criteria for the content of our preaching and teaching is not

“political correctness”

NOTE: Billy Sunday was approached by a well-meaning pastor who was

concerned that Sunday was too abrupt and abrasive in his preaching.

“Billy,” he said, “you are rubbing the cat’s fur the wrong way.”

Sunday’s answer, “Then let the cat turn around!” (Def. of repentance)

     B. God Does Not Want “Gospel Work-a-holics; He Wants Us To Love Jesus

NOTE: A young married couple was having one of their first real argument. He

was complaining because she was always nagging him about being gone,

never at home. “Don’t you understand how hard I have to work to get

you these things, the house, the furnishings, your own car?” Her reply

was, “I don’t want these things. I want you!”

     C. Why Do We Have A Ministry?

          1. Do we want to give God things?

          2. Do we want others to love Jesus as we love Him?

NOTE: Hard questions

          a. What is the real motive behind our ministry?

b. Is the goal of our ministry Biblically correct?

NOTE: Ever notice how our prayer life increases in proportion to our troubles?

Maybe if we prayed as much and as earnestly when there are no troubles,

then we might not have those troubles. God wants to hear from us.

NOTE: I would be the most foolish person on the footstool earth if I believed for

one moment that I could perform the duty assigned to me without the

help of one who is wiser than all Abraham Lincoln

T. S. AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

     I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE

         WILL NOT SURVIVE THE MINISTRY

    II. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL IN THE

          MINISTRY

  III. WITHOUT JESUS FIRST OUR MINISTRY WILL BE EMPTY

IV. OUR MINISTRY WILL NEVER STOP

     A. Our Ministry Does Not Stop When We Hit Brick Walls

          1. The brick wall of outward, culture failures

NOTE: The great “ministry sin:” How many did you have Sunday?

          2. The book of Acts is full of numbers of growth in the early church

              a. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the

disciples, and said, (the number of names together were

about an hundred and twenty) Acts 1:15 KJV

               b. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and

the same day there were added unto them about three

thousand souls.   Acts 2:41 KJV

               c. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and

the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

Acts 4:4 NKJV

          3. After Acts 4:4 numbers in the church are never mentioned again

NOTE: And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both

of men and women.       Acts 5:14 KJV

          4. From now own there are other matters

               a. Sin in the church      Acts 5:1-11

               b. Persecution      Acts 5:12-42

NOTE: And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that

they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:41 KJV

               c. Organization and administration      Acts 6:1-7

               d. Martyrdom      Acts 6:8-7:60

     5. The emphasis is now upon the ministry to the flock

          a. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone

with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in

Christ.         Colossians 1:28 ESV

          b. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as

overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest

gain but eagerly;

nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being

examples to the flock

1 Peter 5:2-3 NKJV

     B. The Brick Walls Of The Christian Life

NOTE: In his book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, James Dobson penned these

words, “ … to be a follower of Jesus Christ is no fool-proof policy against

the storms of life.”

NOTE: Any of us can fall into the trap of being mad at God

NOTE: You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus

Christ.                 2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV

          1. The ministry of suffering

NOTE: that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the

fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

Philippians 3:10 ESV

          2. The ministry of the role model

NOTE: A ministry God gave me – cancer

               a. … be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love,

in spirit, in faith, in purity.        1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV

               b. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works,

and in your teaching show integrity, dignity Titus 2:7 ESV

     C. The Brick Walls We Never Consider That Are Still Before Us

NOTE: But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my

course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify

to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24 HCSB

     D. Our Ministry Does Not Stop When We Retire

NOTE: The call of God does not have an expiration date on it

NOTE:                 The Road goes ever on and on

Out from the door where it began,

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

Let others follow it who can!

Let then a journey new begin,

But I at last with weary feet

Will turn towards the lighted inn,

My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Bilbo Baggins

The Return Of The King

J. R. R. Tolkien

     E. Our Ministry Does Not Stop When We Die

NOTE: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the

time of my departure is at hand.      2 Timothy 4:6 NKJV

          1. The key words that describe us say it all

               a. Ministry

               b. Minister

NOTE: And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of

the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

Revelation 22:3 NKJV

          2. Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ:

               a. He saves us! He calls us! He empowers us! He leads us!

               b. And He still does all the work through these frail vessels of clay!

               c. And He will also as the ages roll, aion upon aion upon aion never

ending!

          3. The One to Whom we minister

               a. The one who is without sin – the Lord

               b. The one who is qualified to condemn sin – the Lord

               c. The one who is qualified to forgive sin – the Lord

               d. The one who is able to set people free from sin – the Lord

               e. The Lord is the self-existing, and ever-existing God, the great I AM,

Who was lifted up on the cross, to draw all to Himself

               f. The eternal God, came unto us to be life and light, to deliver us from

the bondage and darkness of sin

               g. And what must we keep on saying?

                   1) “I am only a sinner saved by Grace

                   2) This is my story, to God be the glory!”

3) Amen and Amen

NOTE: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall

reap, if we faint not.      Galatians 6:9 KJV

CONCLUSION

AFTER FIFTY-SIX YEARS IN THE MINISTRY I HAVE LEARNED THAT:

I. WITHOUT AN INNER HOLY BOLDNESS FROM THE SOUL WE WILL NOT SURVIVE

   THE MINISTRY

II. WITHOUT THINKING LESS OF OURSELVES WE WILL FAIL

III. WITHOUT JESUS FIRST OUR MINISTRY WILL BE EMPTY

IV. OUR MINISTRY WILL NEVER STOP

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WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN FIFTY SIX YEARS ABOUT THE MINISTRY – Power Point

What I Have Learned In 56 Years About The Ministry

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Haggai 1:1-11 – KJV – Power Point

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Haggai 1:1-11 – KJV – Sermon

THE CHRISTIAN’S EMPTINESS

Haggai 1:1-11

INTRODUCTION

It is a common thing today for every one of us to get burned out. We are exhausted. We are tired. We are frustrated. We seem to be constantly running on empty.

The children of Israel were not too much different than us today. We have been saved. We have been delivered from the captivity of sin but not all have cared to come to service of God and church. These Jews came back from their Babylonian captivity, but not all cared to come. That’s like many today who do not care for salvation and others who do not care for service. Those who came had to work hard to accomplish things for God. Others didn’t care or were in opposition to them. As a result, the faithful people of God were exhausted.

Haggai – Prophesied in 520 B.C. Haggai was a contemporary of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher. Interesting both dealt with their ideals of success in life. Confucius said success was found in the proper behavior of a person in society. Haggai said that success was based on our relationship with God Who empowers and gives all good things.

Haggai worked with the prophet Zechariah. His ministry began two months before Zechariah began his ministry. Zechariah prophesied for only three years. Haggai’s written prophecies covered a period of only 3 months and 24 days.

His ministry was sixteen years after Ezra and fourteen years after Nehemiah began his ministry.

There is a common thread found in the ministries of Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra and Nehemiah. That thread, simply stated, is that the more we allow sin in our lives, the more we get tired, distracted and discouraged in our spiritual lives.

Sin blinds us to the right priorities in life. Sin short-circuits our spiritual power as effectively as a battery can be short-circuited and drained of its power.

THEME: WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

     A. Empty Harvests           Haggai 1:6a

          1. Sown much (long hours)

          2. Bring in little (inflation)

NOTE: Ye have sown much, and bring in little … Haggai 1:6a

NOTE: Which would we rather have: a minimum wage salary or $500.00 an hour?

     B. Empty Nourishment Haggai 1:6b

 

NOTE: … ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink …

Haggai 1:6b

          1. Not enough to eat

          2. Not enough to drink

NOTE: Abundance of food, but undernourished

     C. Lack Of Proper Clothing Haggai 1:6c

NOTE: … Ye clothe you, but there is none warm …         Haggai 1:6c

          1. Lack of warmth

          2. Clothes bring no satisfaction

               a. Clothing does not make the man or woman

               b. There is no peace for the wicked

NOTE: Job, food and clothing did not bring contentment because our life does not

consist of these things

NOTE: William Wordsworth wrote opposing the “decadent material cynicism of

the time.” He believed that humanity must get in touch with nature (not

God) to progress spiritually. He might be characterized as a prehistoric,

pessimistic hippie.

NOTE: THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! …

T.S. WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

     I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

II. EMPTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

     A. A Money Bag With Holes           Haggai 1:6d

NOTE: … and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

Haggai 1:6d

          1. Fast as it comes in, it goes out

          2. Impossible to save money

     B. Appearance Of Success With Little Haggai 1:9

          1. Their crops appeared to have grain, but all was husks and chaff with no kernel

          2. God took it away

NOTE: Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it

home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of

mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house

Haggai 1:9

          3. God never gave rain

NOTE: Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from

her fruit.

And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the

corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground

bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the

hands.

Haggai 1:10-11

NOTE: In the Bible is not uncommon for God to curse the land, not because of

what the wicked do, but because of what the righteous do not do

NOTE: When we have nothing we have to trust in God. The key is to learn to trust

in God the same way when we have plenty.

NOTE: The difference between hybrid and heirloom plants

          a. Hybrid seeds produce for one generation

          b. Heirloom seeds produce generation after generation

          c. Tithing and giving are spiritual heirloom seeds; future generations are

affected. It is the gift that keeps on giving after we are off the scene.

T.S. WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

          I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

        II. EMPTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

III. TO FILL AN EMPTY LIFE

     A. Empty Jobs

NOTE: Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not

enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but

there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put

it into a bag with holes.           Haggai 1:6

          1. The ministering of bringing honor to God on the job

          2. We are always, first and foremost, to be a living sacrifice on the job

NOTE: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye

present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the

renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and

acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

          3. The ministry of living a Christian life on the job

     B. Food

NOTE: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory

of God.           I Corinthians 10:31

          1. In order to have well balanced nourishment we must feed the whole person

NOTE: But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

John 4:32

NOTE: Nourish the body, soul, and spirit

          a) The body – with proper food

          b) The soul – with the Word of God

          c) The spirit – with cleansing and freedom in our relationship with God,

self and others

          2. This includes:

               a. Spiritual food

               b. Spiritual fellowship with God

               c. Spiritual fellowship with others

               d. Spiritual peace

NOTE: The definition of peace – (Greek) – eirene;

          a) Harmony

          b) Security

          c) Prosperity

          d) Delight in life

          e) Being right with God, self and others

NOTE: The opposite of peace is stirring up trouble with others

     C. Clothes (Spiritual)

          1. Being clothed for service (like a Christian)

          2. Being clothed in the whole armor of God

NOTE: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner

of conversation;

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

I Peter 1:15-16 NKJV

NOTE: In the New Testament the word “holy” in the Greek is the identical word

for saint

NOTE: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand

against the wiles of the devil.  Ephesians 6:11

          3. Spiritual exercise warms the soul

NOTE: Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s

hand in everything

     D. Savings

          1. The Biblical answer to the bag of holes (the words of Jesus)

          2. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust

doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor

rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

NOTE: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose

Jim Elliot

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

II. EMPTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

III. TO FILL AN EMPTY LIFE

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Haggai 1:1-11 – Sermon Outline

THE CHRISTIAN’S EMPTINESS

Haggai 1:1-11

INTRODUCTION

It is a common thing today for every one of us to get burned out. We are exhausted. We are tired. We are frustrated. We seem to be constantly running on empty.

The children of Israel were not too much different than us today. We have been saved. We have been delivered from the captivity of sin but not all have cared to come to service of God and church. These Jews came back from their Babylonian captivity, but not all cared to come. That’s like many today who do not care for salvation and others who do not care for service. Those who came had to work hard to accomplish things for God. Others didn’t care or were in opposition to them. As a result, the faithful people of God were exhausted.

Haggai – Prophesied in 520 B.C. Haggai was a contemporary of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher. Interesting both dealt with their ideals of success in life. Confucius said success was found in the proper behavior of a person in society. Haggai said that success was based on our relationship with God Who empowers and gives all good things.

Haggai worked with the prophet Zechariah. His ministry began two months before Zechariah began his ministry. Zechariah prophesied for only three years. Haggai’s written prophecies covered a period of only 3 months and 24 days.

There is a common thread found in the ministries of Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra and Nehemiah. That thread, simply stated, is that the more we allow sin in our lives, the more we get tired, distracted and discouraged in our spiritual lives.

Sin blinds us to the right priorities in life. Sin short-circuits our spiritual power as effectively as a battery can be short-circuited and drained of its power.

THEME: WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

     A. Empty Harvests Haggai 1:6a

          1. Sown much (long hours)

          2. Bring in little (inflation)

NOTE: You have sown much, and bring in little … Haggai 1:6a NKJV

NOTE: Which would we rather have: a minimum wage salary or $500.00 an hour?

But without God there will be no satisfaction. Everything melts away.

     A. Empty Nourishment Haggai 1:6b

NOTE: … You eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink …

Haggai 1:6b NKJV

          1. Not enough to eat

          2. Not enough to drink

NOTE: Abundance of food, but undernourished

     C. Lack Of Proper Clothing Haggai 1:6c

NOTE: …You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm …          Haggai 1:6c NKJV

          1. Lack of warmth

          2. Clothes bring no satisfaction

               a. Clothing does not make the man or woman

               b. There is no peace for the wicked

NOTE: Job, food and clothing did not bring contentment because our life does not

consist of these things

          3. So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will

we wear?’

For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows

that you need them.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will

be provided for you.

Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about

itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:31-34 HCSB

NOTE: William Wordsworth wrote opposing the “decadent material cynicism of the

time.” He believed that humanity must get in touch with nature (not God) to

progress spiritually. He might be characterized as a prehistoric, pessimistic

hippie.

NOTE: THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! …

T.S. WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

     I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

II. EMPTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

     A. A Money Bag With Holes              Haggai 1:6d

NOTE: … And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes

Haggai 1:6d NKJV

          1. Fast as it comes in, it goes out

          2. Impossible to save money

     B. Appearance Of Success With Little                   Haggai 1:9

          1. Their crops appeared to have grain, but all was husks and chaff with no kernel

          2. God took it away

NOTE: 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. Haggai 1:9 NLT

          3. God never gave rain

NOTE: It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth

produces no crops.

I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to

wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops,

a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything

you have worked so hard to get.

Haggai 1:10-11 NLT

NOTE: In the Bible is not uncommon for God to curse the land, not because of

what the wicked do, but because of what the righteous do not do

NOTE: When we have nothing we have to trust in God. The key is to learn to trust

in God the same way when we have plenty.

NOTE: They weren’t living God’s way; therefore not reaping spiritually what they

had sown

NOTE: The difference between hybrid and heirloom plants

          a. Hybrid seeds produce for one generation

          b. Heirloom seeds produce generation after generation

          c. Serving God and others is spiritual heirloom seeds; future generations

are affected. It is the gift that keeps on giving after we are off the scene.

T.S. WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

     I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

   II. EMPTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

III. TO FILL AN EMPTY LIFE

     A. Empty Jobs

NOTE: You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never

have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe

yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so

to put them into a bag with holes.    Haggai 1:6 ESV

          1. The ministering of bringing honor to God on the job

          2. We are always, first and foremost, to be a living sacrifice on the job

NOTE: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your

bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a

living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is

truly the way to worship him.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God

transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and

pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2 NLT

          3. The ministry of living a Christian life on the job

     B. Food

NOTE: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to

the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV

          1. In order to have well balanced nourishment we must feed the whole

person

NOTE: But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

John 4:32 ESV

NOTE: The “food” was ministering to a Samaritan woman, knowing that through

her a Samaritan city would turn to Him. When is the last time we got so

busy serving God that we forgot to eat a meal?

 

NOTE: Nourish the body, soul, and spirit

          a) The body – with proper food

          b) The soul – with the Word of God

          c) The spirit – with cleansing and freedom in our relationship with God,

self and others

          2. This includes:

               a. Spiritual food

               b. Spiritual fellowship with God

               c. Spiritual fellowship with others

               d. Spiritual peace

NOTE: The definition of peace – (Greek) – eirene;

          a) Harmony

          b) Security

          c) Prosperity

          d) Delight in life

          e) Being right with God, self and others

NOTE: The opposite of peace is stirring up trouble with others

     C. Clothes (Spiritual)

          1. Being clothed for service (like a Christian)

          2. Being clothed in the whole armor of God

NOTE: but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your

conduct,

because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16 NKJV

NOTE: In the New Testament the word “holy” in the Greek is the identical word

for saint

NOTE: Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand

against the schemes of the devil.     Ephesians 6:11 ESV

          3. Spiritual exercise warms the soul

NOTE: Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s

hand in everything

     D. Savings

          1. The Biblical answer to the bag of holes (the words of Jesus)

          2. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and

rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth

nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV

NOTE: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose

Jim Elliot

CONCLUSION

WHEN WE HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES IN LIFE WE HAVE:

I. EMPTY CONTENTMENT

II. EMPTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

III. TO FILL AN EMPTY LIFE

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Haggai 1:1-11 – Power Point

Haggai 1,1-11

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A Matter Of Believing – KJV – Power Point

A Matter Of Believing KJV

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