Scripture readings: Haggai 2:10-19; Matthew 7:13-23 (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33)
Sermon: From now on, Blessing
We come to our next section of the prophecy of Haggai this morning in which Haggai again exhorts the people to serve the Lord – this time, not so much actually to obey the Lord, but to obey the Lord from a true heart. It is easy to become blasé about our faith. Even as a lot of life is repetition, so is the practice of our faith, and that can become a dangerous thing. We begin to take things for granted, as some in Judah were doing at that time. So we need to watch over our hearts, that we serve the Lord from a true heart and as we do so, the Lord promises blessing. Haggai, therefore, exhorts us to:
1. Worship the Lord from a true heart – that listens to his Word;
2. Worship the Lord from a true heart – with right motives; and,
3. Worship the Lord from a true heart – then we may look to the Lord to bless us.
Haggai 2:10-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Ask now the priests for a [a]ruling: 12 If a man carries holy meat in the [b]fold of his garment, and touches bread with [c]this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a [d]corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai said, “‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. 15 But now, do [e]consider from this day [f]onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the Lord, 16 [g]from that time when one came to a grain heap of twenty measures, there would be only ten; and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty [h]measures, there would be only twenty. 17 I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind, mildew and hail; [i]yet you did not come back to Me,’ declares the Lord. 18 ‘Do [j]consider from this day [k]onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the Lord was founded, [l]consider: 19 Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’”
Matthew 7:13-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
A Tree and Its Fruit
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will [a]know them by their fruits. [b]Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will [c]know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [d]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’