Sunday School Material 6-22-14: Hope for a New Day

(Haggai 2:23; Zechariah 4:1-3, 6-14; 6/22/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God promises to bless the finishing of the Temple. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust God to finish the good works that He is doing in us.

Body:

Read Haggai 2:23

I. Special Man. The Lord declares that He has chosen Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel is compared to a signet ring. The “On that day” in our Sunday School material is thought to be a reference to the day that the Lord shakes the heaven and Earth.  

Applications -

- God’s use of the Governor. Notice in vs. 23 that God uses Zerubbabel, the Governor. It would be a grave mistake to think that God only uses Preachers and Deacons. The whole world belongs to God.

On one hand, there is a need for church leaders. But on the other hand, there is a need for Christian leaders in every area of our lives - politics, business, police, school, and so on.

Let’s appreciate God’s use of people in every area of our lives. We should be open to God using us in various capacities. And we should support those whom God is using.

Read Zechariah 4:1-3, 6-14

II. Special Message. An angel talks with Zechariah. Zechariah is asked to describe what he has seen. He describes it in our Sunday School material. God will bless Zerubbabel in a mighty way.

The Temple will be completed and richly blessed, in spite of its size. The two olive trees/branches are said to be symbols of the two who are anointed by the Lord (i.e., Zerubbabel and Joshua).

Applications -

- Understanding God’s will. Notice in vss. 1-3 that Zechariah saw the vision and could repeat back what he saw, but he did not understand, until there was divine assistance.

In like manner, there are times when you can study and know what a passage says. But you may need divine assistance to understand what the text means and how to apply it to your life.

God often uses the angel of the church, the Pastor, to help you with your understanding. Let’s stay open to God helping us understand His will for our lives. It is going to be easier to live by this application, if you come to Bible study, Sunday School, and pay attention to Bible based preaching.

- God’s Spirit and our power. Notice in vs. 6 that we need God’s Spirit more than we need our own power and might. God has a way of making up for our shortcomings, when He is present in our endeavors.

Let’s work on having more confidence in God’s Spirit than in our abilities. This is not to say that we should have faith without works. But it is to say that we should make sure we trust God more than we trust ourselves.

- Mountains and timing. Notice in vss. 7-9 of our Sunday School material that God can move mountains and finish the good work that He has started in His chosen person, even if it takes 16 years or more.

It is so important for us to keep our focus on God and His will for our lives, instead of simply on the circumstances of our lives. The mountains and length of time it takes to finish a job can be discouraging.

But God is able to make the mountains level ground and finish what He has started in our lives. Let’s work on developing the faith needed to face our mountains and timetables. Prayerful study with obedience and the support of other disciples can help us develop the needed faith.

- God’s presence. Notice in vs. 10 that we cannot judge God’s presence by the size of a building or outward appearance. It would be a grave mistake to think that all big church buildings are godly and small church buildings are ungodly.

God plus a small church building is much more powerful than a large church building without Him. This is not only true of church buildings; it is also true for every area of our lives.

Let’s work on making sure that God is with us, instead of trying to impress others and ourselves with personal accomplishments.

- Honesty about our understanding. Notice in vs. 13 of our Sunday School material that when Zechariah did not know, he said so. There are too many who go around pretending that they understand but really don’t. And some don’t care enough to ask questions and find out.

Let’s study and ask questions as much as necessary to get an understanding of God’s will for our lives. Of course, the more we understand, the more God expects us to obey His will.

Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting God to finish the good works that He is doing in us. God has much for those who obey His will.

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