Consider Your Ways
CONSIDER YOUR WAYS
TEXT Haggai 1:1-11 (5, 7)
A. This is God’s plea to His people for their life of neglect
B. We all have a tendency to be slack in our duty toward God
C. Let us hear this message to Israel as if it were spoken to us
I. consider your ways in relation to God’s cause
A. The people said it was not time to build God’s house - 2
1. Many find it easy to postpone the things that they should be doing for God
a) To make a full surrender or even full time service
b) To tithe & to give offerings
2. The time to help in God’s work is an ever present opportunity
B. They dwelt in their ceiled houses, while God’s house laid waste - 4
1. They were content that their own personal interest were satisfied, while God’s house was in ruin
2. They were satisfied with material things, while God’s work suffered for lack of faith & personal effort
3. God was being good to them & they showed little gratitude
4. They put self first
II. consider your ways in view of the results of your labor
A. "Ye have sown much, and bring in little" - 6 (this has a spiritual application)
1. God was not blessing them
2. What do we possess that is of any eternal value?
3. What eternal value do the things of this world have?
4. If our labor has no eternal value, we would do well to consider our ways
B. "Ye eat, but ye have not enough" - 6
1. This is the spiritual condition of many: never satisfied
2. Many have a good appetite for the things of the world, but are never satisfied
3. Only the true "Bread of Life" can satisfy our hungry soul
C. "Ye clothe you, but there is none warm" - 6
1. What they labored for did not bring them happiness
2. All that effort, and it was wasted on worthless things
3. For most this knowledge comes to late
D. "He that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes" - 6
1. Here we learn of the inability to retain possession of anything
2. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away
3. If we do not use our resources for God, then they are of little value to us.
b) Howard Hughes
III. consider your ways in view of the work to be done - 8
A. The work: "build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified"
1. The house was the temple in Jerusalem
2. The church of Christ is a spiritual house
3. Both the temple & the church are for God’s pleasure and glorification
4. Our work is to build this house, so that Christ will have pleasure and be glorified - I Peter 2:5
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
B. The materials: "go up to the mountain, and bring wood"
1. The temple could not be built with noble thoughts or eloquent speakers, it needed timber
2. The spiritual house is built with living stones - I Peter 2:5
3. It took labor and sacrifice to bring the timber out of the mountains
4. It will take labor and sacrifice to build God’s spiritual house- I Peter 2:5
- What are you doing for the cause of Christ
- Do you hear God’s command to build
- Do your labors have any spiritual benefit
- Will you make the needed sacrifice
Eccles. 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Eccles. 2:1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
Eccles. 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
Eccles. 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
Eccles. 4:8 neither is his eye satisfied with riches; This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
Eccles. 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
Eccles. 6:2A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
Eccles. 7:6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
Eccles. 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
Eccles. 12:8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
In 1958, he apparently suffered a second mental breakdown, the first having occurred in 1944. Of his days at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Bartlett and Steele write: "Hughes spent almost all his time sitting naked in [his white leather chair] in the center of the living room – an area he called the ‘germ free zone’ – his long legs stretched out on the matching ottoman facing a movie screen, watching one motion picture after another." The same pattern was repeated in Las Vegas, made worse by a drug habit that included both codeine and Valium.
Although Hughes managed to attend to business and had many periods of lucidity, his physical health had turned precarious. A doctor who examined him in 1973 likened his condition to prisoners he had seen in Japanese prison camps during World War II.
In the final chapter of his life, Hughes left Las Vegas for the Bahamas where he stayed until he moved to Mexico, reportedly to have greater access to codeine.
(X-rays taken during the Hughes autopsy show fragments of hypodermic needles broken off in his arms.) He died of apparent heart failure on an airplane carrying him from Acapulco to a hospital in Houston.
Recluse Howard Hughes death in 1976, with no discoverable will, triggered a bitter struggle by thousands of people to claim his $2 billion fortune. (later shown to be in excess of $6 billion)