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Bible Text:

Subject: Poverty

Proposition: Spiritual Poverty


Biblical Orientation:

Some people grow up in poverty and do not realize it. All their neighbors were poor too and they think that is the way life is. Later they find out that they lived in poverty. Truth is, some realize they did not miss much

Spiritual poverty is different. Spiritual poverty prevents joy. Spiritual poverty destroys lives. Spiritual poverty causes a person to experience hardship. Spiritual poverty after having spiritual abundance is far worse. Then a person knows what they are missing. The Jews experienced this; perhaps you are or have too

God wants to turn our spiritual poverty into spiritual abundance. Haggai is blessed to see this happen. It would be wonderful to see all of TMB experience this. God reveals how this can happen

Sermon Orientation:

The first part of the message commanded the Jews to consider their procrastination. The second part of the message calls on them to consider getting to work. They are living in physical (; ) and spiritual poverty because of their procrastination. When God reveals truths to you; the important factor is how you react to what He has revealed. They decided to hear, fear, and obey. They did this because they realized a great and wonderful truth: “I am with you”



A. The Work, The Work, The Work

1. I was once accused of trying to tell a man how to run his life

a. He said “you preachers try to tell everyone what they should do”

b. He was a song leader, I asked him to lead singing

2. Congregations may think ‘that preacher, he thinks all we should do is serve God’

a. Let me tell you something: yep, I do; however, that matters not

b. Here is what matters: God thinks you should give every bit of your life to serve Him

3. After salvation, the work becomes highly important in life

a. Failure is failure to work

b. Just ask James (2:18)

B. Therefore, God Says “Consider Your Ways”

1. Twice God has said this, within two verses of each other

a. That is not a preacher repeating himself

b. That is God repeating Himself

2. What God says

a. “Consider your ways”

b. The emphasis should be on “your”

i. “Your ways” are what you substitute for God’s ways
ii. “Your ways” are not like His
iii. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts”

c. God sent the Jews home to work; God has left us on earth to work

i. If we do not do His work, what are we?
ii. On the road to spiritual poverty

3. Your ways or His; one leads to spiritual abundance

C. Two Commands Of God To All His Children v 8

1. Go

a. Phase one of the work: start

i. Until we start doing what God tells us to do; we are procrastinating
ii. The business of God goes unfinished

b. Wood represents the materials of the work

i. God has given us His Word and His Spirit
ii. It is up to us to utilize His materials

c. We do not need more or better material

i. We need to go get it
ii. We need to use it

2. Build

a. They were to “build the house”

i. We know it as the temple
ii. It was the place where God met with man

b. We need to build the house of our personal spiritual life

i. There is no reason for us as Christians to be in spiritual poverty
ii. That is a choice, that is your choice, and if you choose it; it is a bad choice
iii. We build our personal lives by drawing close to God; here is what He says
a.) “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”
b.) Build your spiritual life through spiritual activity

c. We need to build the house of the church

i. Paul spoke much of the need to build the lives of the members of the church
ii. “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”
iii. Your spiritual welfare will affect the spiritual welfare of those around you
iv. Invest in the lives of the body

D. The Result Of When We Obey God’s Commands

1. “I will take pleasure in it”

a. God will take pleasure in the work we do

b. God will take pleasure in us building up the house of our lives and the church

c. God will take pleasure in seeing us lifted out of spiritual poverty

2. “I will be glorified”

a. A strong spiritual life glorifies God

b. A spiritually strong church glorifies God

c. This is something we all desire to do

3. Since God calls us to consider our ways; He is asking us to do a spiritual checkup

a. What is your spiritual health?

b. What is God calling you to do to improve your spiritual health?

c. “Consider your ways:” are you going to obey?

d. We have failed to understood when a person could do something to improve their physical health but does not; it is no less odd to ignore spiritual health


A. We Have The Hope Of Abundance

1. All of us desire to work and provide for our family

a. Be it a farm or a job

b. We invest our effort expecting a return

2. When it will not rain and the fruit does not come; we become hard pressed

a. It can be hard to justify working for nothing

b. Especially when what we do bring in seems to disappear before our eyes

3. Nothing the Jews did seemed to profit their lives

a. We can feel like this spiritually at times

b. It seems as if we are fighting against God; maybe we are

B. The Reason For Poverty

1. God is forthright with them and us about our poverty

a. He simply states that His house is waste

i. Too often we are so busy building up our worldly house that we do not build His spiritual house
ii. Lives are self-focused not God focused

b. We have so many things to do that when we are called upon to serve God; we do not have time

2. Why are so many living in spiritual poverty

a. God’s house comes second

b. Everything else comes first

3. People know this, but their treasures are on earth; not in heaven

C. The Reason The Poverty Cannot Be Broken

1. This person will feel as if they work and work but never get anywhere

a. Here is the truth: they are not getting anywhere

b. They never will get anywhere

c. They will always live a mediocre life

d. Is that okay with you?

2. As long as God prevents man from rising; it will not happen

a. We are unable to break the drought of God

b. As hard as a person can work; God can prevent them from profiting

3. There is a remedy, it is God’s remedy, it has always been His remedy, and it is the only way to overcome spiritual poverty


What we see in verse 12 is a pattern. It is a principle in the Word of God. It is one of those truths that transcends time. If we will learn it, life will spiritually improve. It is one of those principles where we must follow each step. There are no shortcuts

A. A Man Of God Preaches The Word Of God And People Hear

1. Listen to the declared Word of God (preaching)

a. details the foolishness of preaching

i. It sounds foolish and it is counted foolish
ii. The world immediately rejects God’s preached Word

b. What about God’s people?

i. Do they immediately accept the preached Word of God?
ii. We have all gone home thinking: what did he say?

2. If the preached Word of God is not changing our lives, we are foolish

a. Yep, foolish

b. It is foolish for us to think that God cannot use His Word and His Spirit to change our lives

3. Preaching is ordained of God

a. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach”

b. God changes spiritual lives through preaching; therefore, HEAR

B. Those That Hear The Man Of God Preach The Word Of God Fear God

1. They feared because of the content of Haggai’s preaching

a. Consider your ways

b. Build my house

c. You are suffering from procrastination and disobedience

d. You will continue to suffer until you change

2. There was ample reason to fear

a. We have ample reason to fear

b. Are any of these things left undone in your life? Then fear...

3. As your pastor, I cannot make you fear

a. I can tell you that fearing will help your spiritual life to prosper

b. Do not have a small amount of fearful respect for God; have it in bunches

C. Those That Fear God Obey God v 14

1. Zerubbabel and Joshua realized their culpability in this matter

a. Zerubbabel had been sent to lead the construction of the physical house

b. Joshua was in charge of the construction of the spiritual house

c. Both had failed

i. Praise the Lord, God did not destroy them
ii. Instead, He provoked them to do right

2. The man of God uses the Word of God and says “obey”

a. Do you hear?

b. Do you fear?

c. Do you obey?

d. How many times does God have to send that message?

3. God is not looking for some token obedience, He wants full obedience to all He is telling us to do

D. Through The Hearing And Fearing God Stirred

1. Did you catch that? Hear, fear, and obey; that is the remedy to spiritual poverty

2. God uses His Word to stir your heart and your will

a. God wants you to yield your will to His

b. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men”

i. Since we are all servants to God, this applies
ii. No one forces our will, it must be given to God
iii. Who owns your will: God or self?

3. To hear, fear, and obey is to act upon the promise of God in verse 13: “I am with you”

a. It can be done

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”

b. You can be spiritually rich

c. You can help others to spiritual abundance

d. God is here


If you have been living below your means; God wants to change that
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