Sunday School Material 6-1-14: Obey the Lord

(Haggai 1:1-11; 6/1/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is A key idea in our Sunday School material is that God is calling His people to obey and be blessed, instead of remain in sin and be punished. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to turn from our sins to obeying God’s will.

Body:

Read Haggai 1:1-2

I. Setting. In our Sunday School material God sends a word to two leaders through Haggai. It was the first day of the sixth month of King Darius’ second year of reign. The people have declared that it is not time to rebuild the Lord’s house.

Applications -

- God sends His word. Notice in vs. 1 that God sends a word to His people. First, we should be thankful that God speaks to His people. We are not left to guess what He wants. He tells us.

Second, God speaks through those He sends and through His word. Third, we are called hear and obey the word of the Lord, by whatever means He speaks.

Let’s work on being so thankful that God speaks to us that we hear and obey His will. It is tragic when we miss the word because we are distracted by the messenger. It is also tragic when we hear the word but don’t obey it.

- God hears what His people say. Notice in vs. 2 that God hears what His people says. When we think about God hearing our prayers that is good news. However, when we think about God hearing our gossip and complaining, it is bad news.

God even hears what is on our minds and in our hearts. In other words, we don’t have to speak with our mouths, in order for the Lord to hear us.

Let’s work on keeping our minds and mouths clean before the Lord who hears us. Prayerfully study and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples can help us carryout this application.

Read Haggai 1:3-6

II. Failing. In our Sunday School material God asks about the people living comfortably, while His house is in ruins. God reminds them of how they give much effort but experience so little satisfaction. It is like making money but putting the money in a purse with holes in it.

Applications -

- Thinking about how we are living. Notice in vss. 3-6 that God calls His people to think about what is going on. As they think things over, they should see that they work hard but hold on to so little.

Furthermore, the reason they have so little is because God is not number one in their lives.

First, we should not simply go from day to day without thinking about how things are going and our relationship with God. We should be conscious of where we are in relationship to where we should be in this life and with God.

Second, much work but little gain is a problem. The norm should be that the more we work, the more we gain. In our economy, it is not enough to simply do a great deal of work; we need to work smart, so our labor pays off.

Third, no matter how smart we work, if God is not pleased, we are sure to come up short. God is not pleased, when He is not number one in our lives. Our behavior says more about who is number one than our mouths.

For example, when we pay all of our bills and our entertainment before we pay our tithes or give our offerings, God is not number one in our lives. Let’s work on thinking about and making sure that God is number one in our lives

Read Haggai 1:7-11

III. Finishing. God wants His people to focus on getting His house in order. In the meantime, God is blowing the fruit of their labor away. God called for a drought.

Applications -

- Repenting. Notice in vss. 7-8 that the remedy for those in our Sunday School material was to repent. They were to turn from treating themselves as number one to behaving as if God was number one. 

They were to build God’s house more than build extra amenities on their houses.  In like manner, God is calling all believers to put Him first.

Surely this includes church houses looking like they belong to God. But it also means making sure diligence is being given to filling the house with saved and growing disciples. Let’s work on turning to doing God’s will.

- God’s blowing and droughts. Notice in vss. 9-11 that God has a record of blowing His people’s stuff away and sending droughts.

Think about how hard we have worked to have what we have - house, retirement, car, etc. Think about how God is able and likely to blow it away, if we don’t put Him first in our lives. 

And then think about how if we simply put God first, God will take care of us, instead of discipline us. Let’s work on obeying God, so we can be blessed, instead of punished.

Conclusion: Let’s work on turning from our sins to obeying God’s will. God has much for those who obey His will.

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