Loving God's House


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Sermon - 21 July 2013
by Bruce McCallum

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Loving God's House

  1. 1. Loving God‟s House First! Why should you make belonging to your local church your top priority?
  2. 2. Haggai 1:1-15 (NIV) 1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built.'" 3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" 5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.
  3. 3. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the Lord. 9 "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.
  4. 4. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands." 12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
  5. 5. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord's messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: "I am with you," declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.
  6. 6. Why belong to a local church? Eph 2:19b LB “You are members of God‟s very own family, citizens of god‟s country, and you belong in God‟s household with every other Christian.”
  7. 7. Our gathering together is not about the lost or the saved but is about Him!
  8. 8. 1. You need to belong to identify yourself as a genuine believer. John 13:35 “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”
  9. 9.  "I don‟t need a Church" is nonsense. You can‟t love Christ & not his Body, the King & not his Kingdom, the Father & not his Family – Rick Warren
  10. 10. To say: 'I want to be a Christian, but I don't want to belong to a church' would be like saying: 'I want to be married and stay single!' You simply cannot become a Christian on your own. By new birth you have entered the family of God and belong to the 'household of faith' (Galatians 6:10). It means belonging to a group of people, rather than to an institution. Just as Jesus surrounded himself with the twelve disciples, we need to be with other followers of Jesus. The church shows us that the Christian faith is a 'together' faith. When you became a Christian, you were not only brought into a relationship with God; you were brought into a relationship with other people, too. You became a part of God's people, the church, living on earth. God bless you. (REINHARD BONNKE)
  11. 11.  Telling Jesus "I love u but don‟t need your church" is like telling your wife "I love u but don‟t need your Body. Fake love.”  „There are two things we cannot do alone. One is to be married; the other is to be a Christian.” - Paul Tournier  "A follower of Jesus disconnected from a local church family is an orphan." Rick Warren
  12. 12. 2. You need to belong to get yourself out of self centered isolation. 1Cor 12:26 (NCV) „If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with is. Or if one part of our body is honoured, all the other parts share its honour.
  13. 13. 1 John 3:16 “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
  14. 14.  “Only in our culture of idolatrous individualism do believers think they can follow Jesus without belonging to His Body”  “The earth is not changed by institution but by family”
  15. 15. 3. You need to belong to develop spiritual muscle Eph 4:16 (NLT) “As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
  16. 16. Over 50 times in the NT the phrase one another or each other is used.  Love each other  Pray for each other  Encourage each other  Greet each other  Serve each other  Bear one another‟s burdens  Forgive each other  …….
  17. 17. 4. You need to belong because the body of Christ needs YOU 1Cor 12:7 (LB) A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” 20 Eph 2:10 (MSG) “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
  18. 18.  “Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts. We are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body.” C.S. Lewis  “We've amputated the Body of Christ's hands & feet & left only a big mouth.”  “Church is not an organisation you join; it is a family where you belong.” Nicky Gumbel
  19. 19. 5. You need to belong because your church, cell, youth group will help keep you from tripping Heb 3:13 (NIV) “Encourage one another daily … so that none of you may be hardenend by sins deceitfulness” James 5:19 (MSG) “If you know people who have wandered off from God‟s truth, don‟t write them off. GO AFTER THEM, Get them back.”
  20. 20.  “No man appreciates derogatory comments about his girlfriend or wife. So be careful what you say about God's bride.” Sean Feucht  “The more optional church becomes to you, the less impact it can have on you. He builds His Church to build your life!” Brian Houston
  21. 21. 6. You need to belong because it was the custom of Jesus Luke 4:16 “(Jesus) went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom”
  22. 22. 7. You need to protect Sunday Ex 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”
  23. 23.  “Christ is the head of his body, the Church! Are you connected in the body somewhere? Sheep travel together, snakes run alone!” Jonathan Stockstill
  24. 24. 8. God often uses corporate gatherings to speak to us individually in supernatural ways. 
  25. 25. 9. Because you encourage and inspire other Christ followers by your presence.
  26. 26. 10. You establish a legacy for children.
  27. 27. CONCLUSION Is it important to belong? Yes
  28. 28. Ephesians 5:25-33 (NIV) 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30 for we are members of his body.
  29. 29.  “Jesus laid down His life for the church. And you?” PJ Smyth