IS GOD (His work and people) important to you? Is the LORD Jesus Christ first place in your life? Is furthering His Gospel a priority to you? Have you scheduled Him into your financial distribution? OR, is the LORD, who bought you with His blood, a second class citizen to you? Well, think about it – we never thought twice to budget for the cable company, the electrical company, the gym, the beauty salon, the mortgage/rent, eating out, the tanning salon, or entertainment, etc. Now what about God?
Stewardship MUST be preached on. According to Christ, our personal stewardship is the measure of our love, or lack of love, for Him (Matthew 6:19-24). It is the measure of the daily cross that is truly being applied in our daily life, or being refused. Jesus made it a life and death/Heaven and hell issue didn’t He? Here’s one example – Matthew 25:40-46.
Is the LORD calling you today to “consider your ways”?
If your stewardship is not in accordance with what God’s unchanging Word states it should be it would be wise to cease deceiving yourself into thinking all is okay. Your spending is a direct reflection of where your heart really is and just exactly WHO you are serving – self or the Savior. See Matthew 6:19-24, 1 John 3:16-19, James 2:14-17, Proverbs 23:4.
In the days of the prophet Haggai, the covenant people of God were enjoying their creature comforts, were self-absorbed, and not realizing judgment was about to come upon them. In their fleeting wealth, they forgot God (Psalms 9:17). Now watch this:
“Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is NOT come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built. 3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses (lavish comfort), and this house lie waste? (souls left untended to) 5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 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 (curse – law of diminishing returns). 7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 (it’s time to truly repent) Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it (scattered wealth). Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 11 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 1:2-11
The people had made their own comfort in this temporal abode (earth) their highest priority which had thereby negated the LORD’s work.
In Haggai’s day, those who claimed to be the LORD’s children were living for self-serving lusts and had fallen away. They were lukewarm (Luke 3:15-16). Many today are in the same exact place. Their lives are nothing but a self-serving festival of lust and yet, they are empty, guilty, sin-ridden, and hell bound – even though they were born again in the past. Unless they repent, their eternal suffering will be worse than if they had never been saved (2 Peter 2:20-21).
“Build the House” – (v8) The building of the house of the LORD refers to obeying the Great Commission Christ gave us (Matthew 28:18-20). Through our obedience to Him, the fruit Jesus creates is the blessed fruit of matured, edified and equipped saints, and lost souls saved. But today, most who claim to be Christ’s are fully given over to self-indulgence. They have compartmentalized their “Christianity” with a 2 hour attendance of a so-called “church service”, even though Jesus never told anyone to join a church or go to church. No, Jesus said “Follow me … daily.” (Luke 9:23-24) These flesh-flattering counterfeits are specifically fulfilling what the Bible foretold of this last generation (2 Timothy 3:1-8). They have a mere “form(ula) of godliness” and are on the wide road that leads to eternal damnation (Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Timothy 3:5). These Christ-denying, lukewarm apostates, who are “enemies of the cross of Christ” live for the next thrill, the bigger car or house (Philippians 3:18-21; Revelation 3:15-16). Christ promised that they shall be spued from His mouth (rejected from entering His eternal abode). Waste, waste, waste. Waste for which We Shall Give Account
The Laodicean Connection
The Bible says that “There is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) If it weren’t for this Bible truth, such a connection between modern and ancient times and people would seem eerie. Watch this. Sinful men who claimed to be right with God were living in separation from the LORD in Haggai’s day, just as they were doing in Laodicea and are doing today.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22
Though once saved, they had become “lukewarm” and were in danger of the very lake of fire. It was their ease. They allowed themselves to be inundated with material wealth which they obviously were not sharing as God intended. Was this not the root sin of Sodom? (Ezekiel 16:49)
What Were the Sins of Sodom?
Check this out. The sin of sodomy / homosexuality is not even listed here. Sodom was destroyed and so shall be all other souls who repeat these sins and don’t repent before it’s too late:
“Behold, this was the iniquity (sin) of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49
2) fulness of bread (materialism, hoarding)
3) abundance of idleness
4) neglecting the poor and reveling in their own wealth with no regard for the needy
The LORD is knocking on the doors of the hearts of all whom He saved in the past, but who have since ceased to abide intimately with Him (John 15). The fruit of their lives clearly testifies to their apostate condition.
Ready to Repent?
the top of your list. Find a good ministry that is fulfilling a New Testament mandate and HELP THEM (Matthew 28:18-20). Give, give, give – Jesus says “It is MORE BLESSED to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Now listen to this and get your house in order – don’t run away from this – face it or you will never be blessed by Him to overcome. Build the House (audio) | Consider Your Ways (audios)
When we lay down our lives (saving faith) our money is God’s and not our own. Someone has wisely stated that “If your money’s not saved it’s because you’re not saved.” When we truly repent, we will be about our “Father’s business” and not our own (Luke 2:49). We will fund HIS work and cease wasting the money He puts in our hands on wasteful trinket’s that have no eternal value.
“Let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.” Daniel 4:27
Do we not see in this verse above that we don’t have Christ’s peace due to the sins of self-idolatry and squandering/miss-stewarding the treasures He has put in our hands and for which we shall give full account?
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:9-12
Let the LORD rebuke and chasten you in order to bring about the right things in your life, which will include prudent stewardship and a passing grade in His coming judgment (Matthew 25:14-29; Romans 14:10, etc.). The “chastening of the LORD” and His “correction” are connected here with giving our “first fruits” to His work and those of His who are in need. Is that not what the earliest believers did and thereby set the example for us to do? (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37)
The LORD is calling you to repent and to be restored to Him before it’s too late. When you truly repent and lay down your life at Christ’s holy feet, all that is in your possession will then be His and you will be rich in giving generously, laying up for yourself a foundation against coming judgment. Study Luke 12, 16, and 1 Timothy 6 prayerfully.
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
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