As we have been looking at re-building the church we always need to make sure our focus is on God and not on ourselves. Everything needs to be done for the Glory of God and God knows our agendas. He knows if it is about you and not Him. I was reading this morning about Solomon building the temple. This was an impressive undertaking and it was absolutely magnificent as this was the place where God would reside. 1 Kings 6:38 “In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.” Wow, that is impressive. Ezra 3 “And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.” They would have said you should have seen the other one. The original plans must have been awe-inspiring for the rebuilders to weep when the new foundation was laid.
As we rebuild the church (not the building by the way), we need to remember that (1 Kings 8:60) “all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. Here is where Solomon got off course. He started to focus on himself. 1 Kings 7:1 “It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.” Think about that for a moment. It took 7 years to build the temple for God and 13 years to build a palace for himself. That really needs no explanation.
I believe Haggai sums up the modern church with a call to build the house of the Lord. He said in Haggai 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 Jozadak, the high priest: 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” 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. 6 You have planted much, but 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 my 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 your own house. 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 olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
This describes the church of today. We do not have the mind of Christ as Paul said we should have. Romans 15:5 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are glorifying ourselves and do not carry our cross as we have been called by Jesus to do. Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Our actions tell God very clearly “the time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house” whether or not we use words. It’s time to die to our narcissistic (self-absorbed, self-loving) ways and rebuild the house of the Lord.