Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

CONSIDER YOUR WAYS

           Consider your ways

                                 October 25, 2014

 

 

 

Haggai 1:3-9 NKJV

 

Then the word of the Lord  came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “ Is  it  time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to  lie in ruins?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to  put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord . “ You looked for much, but indeed it  came  to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is  in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.

 

 

 

Haggai 1:3-7 MSG

 

Shortly after that, God said more and Haggai spoke it: “How is it that it’s the ‘right time’ for you to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God ’s Temple, is in ruins?” And then a little later, God -of-the-Angel-Armies spoke out again: “Take a good, hard look at your life. Think it over. You have spent a lot of money, but you haven’t much to show for it. You keep filling your plates, but you never get filled up. You keep drinking and drinking and drinking, but you’re always thirsty. You put on layer after layer of clothes, but you can’t get warm. And the people who work for you, what are they getting out of it? Not much— a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what. That’s why God -of-the-Angel-Armies said: “Take a good, hard look at your life. Think it over.”

 

Haggai 1:8-9 MSG

 

Then God said: “Here’s what I want you to do: Climb into the hills and cut some timber. Bring it down and rebuild the Temple. Do it just for me. Honor me. You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves, but nothing has come of it. The little you have brought to my Temple I’ve blown away—there was nothing to it. “And why?” (This is a Message from God -of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) “Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. That’s why. Because of your stinginess. And so I’ve given you a dry summer and a skimpy crop. I’ve matched your tight-fisted stinginess by decreeing a season of drought, drying up fields and hills, withering gardens and orchards, stunting vegetables and fruit. Nothing—not man or woman, not animal or crop—is going to thrive.”

 

 

My disdain for cable television increases more and more with each passing day. Not because of its wicked, sinful, lascivious content...although it’s a good start for resenting it. No, more than that, we have entered an era of pseudo reality TV that is anything but real. But I’m not here today to beat up on television. I am here to bring a real and positive note upon bringing our lives back to something meaningful and more of a host for God’s joy. These scriptures we have read from Haggai jumped off of the page at me as I studied for this message and I saw them as never before.

Especially after reading them in the Peterson Message translation, I saw something I had never witnessed in these passages before. I saw the externalization of man’s spirit and how it has departed its natural place as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit in this time...the human vessel...the Temple of God...the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

There used to be a billboard on I-12 years ago that I passed all the time that had a weathered, cross bound Jesus giving motorists a judgmental glance and the huge words emblazoned across the bottom of the sign in bold lettering simply read, “CONSIDER YOUR WAYS!”.  I don’t believe these Old Testament scriptures were in any way intended for use with Jesus’ image as a finger pointing mechanism, but instead a place of personal review and getting back on track and placing importance upon fixing the places in our lives where we are hemorrhaging wisdom and understanding. The Question being asked here is how can we in our worldliness even consider our lives complete when our temples of God are in ruin? The answer is not to condemn, but to consider our ways.

 

 

 

 

If you don't walk in love you'll limp through life.

 

 

I Peter 4:7-10 NKJV

 

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

 

The inability to love is a quick road to disability as a child of God. Jesus reduced the commandments to two and both of them involved love. We cannot even fathom the degree of love in which the Father has given to not simply forgive us, but to vindicate us. We must remember that love is a reciprocal process in that when we give it it is returned to us.

Love covers a multitude of sin and the best of us needs the covering of God’s grace. The love we display for one another has the additional benefit of seeing the things that we have in shortfall forgiven us as a side effect. Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.

We live and walk in that unmerited favor that is grace. As we joyfully....without grumbling....move about our lives walking in that level of grace, we see the positive fruit of tolerance that is not simply a political pander, and not done with great patience, but caused into our lives by a God who helps us understand that each of us are recipients of the grace that only love can buy.

 

 

 

If you don't exercise forgiveness you'll develop in bitterness and envy.

 

 

Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV

 

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

 

That’s four hundred ninety if you’re doing the math! But Jesus point in this teaching was not for us to keep count, but to keep in mind that we need to lose count...we must forgive as much as we desire to be forgiven. If someone asks us for forgiveness...we are quick to say.... “Okay...but just this once”..... When it is us asking for forgiveness...we think that we deserve an unlimited ticket. There is nothing more frustrating than someone who keeps goofing it up...unless it’s you. 

Inability to forgive is one of the key entry points for disease, poverty, bondages, envy, strife, guilt, shame, and everything related. One of the reasons Jesus died for you is to remove the stain of sin. That single act is called forgiveness. That forgiveness is connected to freedom in every area of our life. When we are forgiven so great a debt, how can we continue to hold others to their offenses through holding them accountable for their trespasses.

It is the parable of the master and the servant that follows in Matthew 18. It tells the story of a master who forgives one of his servants a great debt, only for that servant to go to another servant and demand he be paid what he is owed. Great was the punishment of that servant. The inability to forgive is many times rooted in the inability to receive the forgiveness that is given you.

 

If you don't get empowered you'll live impaired

 

 

 

II Peter 1:2-4 NKJV

 

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that  is in the world through lust.

 

Recently, I shared a message on grace that spoke of its abundance and availability to the believer. God’s power is encapsulated inside His grace, not to protect it...but as a suspension, much the way a powerful antibiotic is carried to someone sick by a flavored syrup. As we begin to walk in his grace, the more we become carriers of the power of the Holy Spirit. The whole dynamic behind the letter of the Law killing makes more sense when you understand that the law is not the suspension that carries the power...grace does that. 

If I took cherry juice for two weeks for my ear infection...and it contained no antibiotic property...it would only get worse. BUT! If I take a cherry flavored suspension that contained the antibiotic Augmentin, I would almost immediately see an improvement...the pain and swelling would leave, the fever would break, the symptoms that had troubled me would begin to leave.

The same holds true for God’s grace. If I try to use the Law...I will receive some good information. But, God made a better way....a new and living way. His grace given us through the finished work on the cross not only saves  me, but empowers me to do powerful works in the earth. We are “partakers” of this divine nature...and by His Holy Spirit we receive power to overcome the obstacles of this life.

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