Read the word.
Teach the word.
Preach the word.
- 1 Timothy 4:13
Following God and doing His work isn’t easy. If it was easy, the Apostle Paul wouldn’t have encouraged us to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (see 1 Corinthians 15:58).
Serving the Lord takes courage, determination, and an others-centered attitude. Even though it is difficult, it is still the right thing to do—and it is never in vain! It might seem easier to be self-serving, but that’s like going the wrong way on a moving sidewalk—you put a lot of effort in but never really go anywhere or accomplish anything.
If you’re stuck on serving yourself, listen to the lessons we find in Haggai—stop making excuses and start considering your ways. Begin again to serve the Lord. He is with you. He is for you. He is in your corner. He’s on your side. He’s never going to leave you. He is never going to forsake you—no matter what! Turn to Him, today!
In his letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore my beloved brethren be steadfast immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Haggai was a prophet to the people of Israel during a time when they were anything but steadfast immovable and abounding in the work of the Lord. In fact, they thought their labor was in vain. So God sent Haggai with His word for His people.
The Lord wanted to flip the switch on their discouragement so they could be ready to serve. Haggai exhorted God’s people to stop making excuses, to start considering their ways, and to begin serving the Lord again.
There are lessons for us today from the small book of Haggai. Yes, the work done for the Lord is going to be difficult, but it is never in vain. God is for you. He’s never going to leave you He is never going to forsake you—no matter what!
Watch our study of the book of Haggai and be encouraged—God is with you!
In Nehemiah 8, we read of the special partnership between God’s pastors and God’s people as it pertains to the ministry of the Word.
We read of Ezra, a pastor who prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, to do what it says, and to teach his fellow Israelites. He read the word of the Lord clearly and distinctly. He helped those who listened to understand and apply God’s word for God’s glory. He raised up other faithful men who would be able to teach and care for others, leading them gently in the joy of understanding and application.
We read of the people, who have a vital role in the ministry of the Word. They gathered together in unity and asked Ezra to bring the Word. As they listened, they were attentive and respectful, eager and responsive, emotional and worshipful. They were obedient to do what God said and they were joyful in the application.
This is why we do what we do whenever we gather. We believe that the Spirit of God works through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God. There is nothing flashy—simply reading the scripture clearly and then explaining the scripture simply so that those who hear will understand. Through this simple act of faith and obedience, the Spirit of God can radically transform the heart of an individual, a family, a fellowship, or even an entire nation.
After the 70 year captivity in Babylon, a remnant of Israelites returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and restore worship. It wasn’t easy work, but it was eventually completed.
Even though the physical structures were built up, their inward lives with the Lord needed some work. The nation needed a spiritual renovation to restore a right relationship with God.
So all the people gathered and told Ezra the scribe to bring the book. They wanted and needed to hear from God’s word to reestablish their relationship with God.
We need the same—we need the Spirit of God to work through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God. Watch our study of Nehemiah 8 as we considered the ministry of The Word.
The final chapters of Daniel provide a prophetic outline of the end of this age—complete with details and timelines, warnings and promises. And yet, you might be wondering what Daniel might have been wondering—does this have anything to do with me?
At the very end of the book of Daniel—after all of the amazing prophetic details, an angel tells Daniel, “But you go your way till the end for you shall rest and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:13)
Did you catch that? “But you…” As true as everything is that came before it, there’s something specific for you. There are many instances of “But you” in scripture. One instance is found in the little letter called Jude. It fits so well with what Daniel may have been experiencing and speaks to us here and now as we await for Jesus’ second coming.
In his letter, Jude identifies apostates—people who look, talk, and walk like a Christian, but who are not Christians and are actually emissaries of Satan. After all of that, he writes, “But you…” and we might think that he is going to tell us how to root up and root out these dangerous imposters, but he doesn’t. He simply encourages us to build ourselves up in the faith, to continue to pray, to stay in God’s love, and to be merciful to others (read it for yourself in Jude 20-25).
God had a course He wanted Daniel to complete, and Daniel needed to remain focused on that. God has a course He wants you to complete—remain and be focused on that.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends