Last weekend, we were encouraged to see so many of you signing up to participate in small groups. If you didn’t have the opportunity to get in a group, there’s still time! Find out more at www.harborofhope.org/jg.
Let me share one more opportunity with you! Two of our weekend ministries have some very specific needs for volunteers right now. Harbor’s Fair Trade Café and communion prep teams have plenty of opportunities available on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings for you to participate in. If you’ve been looking for a way to partner with our community in ministry, you can find out more about volunteer opportunities and sign up at www.harborofhope.org/volunteer or email .
I’m taking the first three weeks of this year to share what I’ve been learning about God through the prophet Haggai and to encourage you to rest in these truths. Last week, we discovered in Haggai 2 that God is the Lord of the Mess.
Today, I want to give you one more promise and encourage you to prayerfully apply it to your life.
“But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.” Haggai 2:4-5
The second thing Haggai teaches us about God is that He is Lord of the Mission!
Israel was in a mess when God spoke through the prophet Haggai. God’s temple lay in ruins and they were powerless and penniless to do anything about it.
But God reached right into their despondency and called them to action! He didn’t minimize their mess or leave them in their mess, but called them to see beyond their mess to the mission at hand.
If you are in Christ, you are on mission! Regardless of whether life is very good of very messy, God is calling you to trust Him and get to work!
Our mission, unlike Israel, is not to rebuild a temple made of stones and mortar. Now that Jesus Christ has come, our calling is different!
Remember the Apostle Peter’s words...
“You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.” 1 Peter 2:4-5
This is saying that we don’t worship God in a physical temple any longer, nor do we offer animal sacrifices as a God-prescribed way of making ourselves right with Him. Instead, Jesus has become our True Sacrifice, and through His death we are brought back into the arms of our Father and made holy and secure in His love.
Our calling as Christians, Peter says, is to offer spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing God! The apostle Paul says in Romans 12 that we are to offer our whole lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.
What does this mean?
Your day-to-day, ordinary life at home, work, and play is the way for you to worship God and carry out your God-given mission. In living for Him, we make His name great and His kingdom grows and expands.
So...today, can I encourage you to live a life of worship? Begin by taking an honest look at how you are loving Jesus through your friendships and family, at work and in your free time? Are you regularly blessing others to bring them joy or alleviate a burden? Are you becoming a more hospitable person? Are you engaged in Jesus-honoring generosity with your time and resources? Are you praying that God will work out his grace in the hearts of people you love?
I don’t know if there is something holding you back from living your whole life for Jesus today...but I do know that Jesus gave His whole life for you!
Therefore, in the words of Haggai... “Do not be afraid...be strong...and get to work...for (God) is with you!”
He is with you...in the mess and on the mountaintop...He is with you!
As you prepare to attend a worship gathering, consider inviting a friend to join you for week two of our Mercy, Mercy series.
Never underestimate the power of a simple invitation!