Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD.
Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD.
Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts.
New Year, New You?
Well according to a study performed by the University of Scranton on January 1, 2013, only 8% of people achieve their resolutions. This leaves a whopping 92% who fall off the wagon at some point between January 1 and December 31.
1. January is the worst time of year to make a change.
2. It’s a wish, not a goal. (change is in the details, not specific is a wish)
3. Something else is stopping you.
4. You don’t have a support system.
Without this, it’s no surprise that 1 in 3 people ditch their resolutions by the end of January.
(from one of the Huffington Post’s articles)
Be Strong. Work.
- You are strong when you know your Story.
- You are strong when you know your Spirit.
- Do you know your story and your Spirit? Then, let’s work to reflect God’s glory and to receive your joy.
1. You are strong when you know your Story.
The good news is that you are strong when you know your story.
You become the story you share.
- Haggai, Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all you people.
Who are these people? Prophet, Governor, High Priest and the remnant.
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are the post exilic prophets.
Israel as a kingdom has come to an end on 586 B.C.
588 B.C. Siege and fall of Jerusalem – Solomon’s temple is destroyed.
538 B.C. Decree of Cyrus allows Jews to return to Jerusalem.
Zerubbabel a governor of the Persian Province of Judah (Haggai 1:1) and the grandson of Jehoiachin.
Joshua is a high priest who returned with Zerubbabel.
The Assyrian Babylonian name of the governor serves as a good explanation of the condition of God’s people. “Sown in Babylon or being exiled in Babylon.
- Exile means displacement.
Displacement means loss of purpose and people.
When you lose your family and friends you lose the context in which the meaning and purpose come from.
- All you people not only include the remnant of Israel or the kingdom of Judah but all you people of God who has been displaced, discouraged, defeated, depressed and in despair.
Haggai – “my holiday” Zerubbabel – “exiled in Babylon” Joshua – “The LORD saves”
- Jesus comes to save his people exiled in sin, decay, weakness, depression, suffering, slavery, and death: physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death.
- This is your story if you faced the harshness of displacement or the realities of exile on this earth. We are God’s people exiled from the Garden of Eden or from paradise.
- You are strong when you know your story because you know what the bad news is and what the good news looks like.
2. You are strong when you know your Spirit.
There are many spirits, but can be grouped in to two.
One group is the evil spirit and the other the Holy Spirit.
How do you know if you have evil spirit or the Holy Spirit?
- Evil spirit motivates you to live for now in place of eternal life.
- Holy Spirit motivates you to live for now in light of eternal life.
The Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead raised God’s people from spiritual death and caused them to yearn for life that is bigger than your life.
according to the covenant I made with you when you came out of Egypt.
My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.
- The Holy Spirit rescues you from living for now in place of eternal life so you can live for now in light of eternal life.
- The Holy Spirit gives you desires to think about Jesus – his life, death, resurrection, and awesome ruling power at work in you.
- The Holy Spirit gives you desires to think about Jesus – his work, his service, his obedience, his sacrifice, his love, his people, and his purpose.
- He turns your fears into confidence. Your worries into peace. Your weakness into your strength. He is here with us. He is in our midst. He is in your heart.
3. Do you know your Story and your Spirit?
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts.
Work, for I am with you.
- What working (discipleship) looks like:
I do, you watch, we talk.
I do, you help, we talk.
You do, I help, we talk.
You do, I watch, we talk.
How do we work?
Let’s work out of our strength in Christ.
Let’s work to reflect God’s glory and to receive your joy.
- Acknowledge – you become strong when you know your story in Christ.
- Assess – how often do you hear your story?
- Align – how often do you want to hear your story?
- Act – make time
Word – knowing your Story
Prayer – knowing your Spirit