In Bible-believing churches, we use terms like sin and grace all the time. We think we know what they mean but have not begun to fathom their true depth and height. In Haggai 2, God shows us how bad our sin really is so that we might understand how amazing His grace really is, ultimately through the Savior who became defiled that we might be cleansed.
Like the good Father that He is, God disciplines and corrects us when we go astray. But He also empowers us when we are weak. After taking His people to the woodshed in chapter one, God strengthens and encourages them in chapter two by reminding them of His presence and His plan. He would remain with them in power and would use them to prepare the way for the ultimate Temple, who would secure their ultimate peace, Jesus Christ. God strengthens us through the same Savior as we continue His work today.
None of us likes to be “taken to the woodshed,” that is, corrected, rebuked, or chopped down to size when our pride or foolishness gets the best of us. But as Proverbs 27 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.” How much more so the word of God that painfully, yet graciously, calls us back from our comfortable disobedience? Haggai 1 demonstrates that God loves us enough to discipline us for His glory and our good through the grace of the ultimate Temple who was torn down and rebuilt, Jesus Christ!
The impact of sin on our minds, emotions, and wills has left us incapacitated when it comes to thinking and acting aright. Since God, in his perfect wisdom, sees things properly, he has given his people the Way of Wisdom to follow. This week we’ll start a new sermon series on Topical Proverbs, and we’ll look at the rich treasures to be mined there, along with the recognition that our true source of wisdom is found solely in Christ.
Waiting can be hard, especially in difficult circumstances. The prophetess Anna was suffering catastrophic loss yet waited patiently for the Messiah for the better part of a century. What was her secret? Join us as we examine God’s word to see how believers today can wait well through life’s hardships while anticipating the glorious return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Many things are needed to sustain physical life but only one is needed to sustain spiritual life: the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Simeon testified at the temple, Jesus is all a believer needs to live in hope, grow in grace, and die in peace. No matter what the situation, He is enough.
With this sermon, we come to the close of Luke’s gospel, but not the end of the story of Christ’s earthly ministry. In this last section of Luke’s portrait of Jesus, the Son of Man, the Son of God, we’ll see that from his passion through the resurrection, and to his ascension, Jesus is giving hope to people because he has been the fulfillment of God’s age-old promises to deliver his people through his Messiah. We’ll see that the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry gives us hope and certainty that God will accomplish all of his divine plan of redemption through Christ.
Why did God announce the greatest news of all time to some of the least-respected people of the day? So the world might know that even the worst of sinners may have peace with God through Jesus Christ. God has done it all for His glory and His grace has become our joy!
Mary rejoiced by focusing on God rather than herself. Zechariah took it one step further by specifically focusing on God’s past, present, and future grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what we face in a given day, our sure hope is found in what God has done, is doing, or will yet do in Christ for His glory.
After encountering the angel Gabriel, Mary did not focus on her poverty, her obscurity, her weakness, or her impending unwed pregnancy and social rejection. She focused on the Lord and His promise and her heart was filled with joy. Our focus determines our joy. When we focus on ourselves, our misery is compounded. But when we focus on our Savior, His limitless joy becomes ours to the praise of His glorious grace.