A Matter of Honour
Haggai 1:4-7

 Haggai is one of the shortest books in the Bible.  Yet it is very unusual compared to the books of the other Minor Prophets.  What are the differences?

  1. Instead of the formula openings: “The word of the Lord that came to [the prophet]” or “The vision of [so-and-so]”, Haggai 1:1 starts off with: “In the second year of King Darius”.

  2. Almost all the other “Minor Prophets” are not introduced as prophets. Haggai is.  So, was Haggai a full-time prophet, perhaps a well-known one in his time?

  3. Didn’t the word of God come to the other prophets?  The word of the Lord came through Haggai to Zerrubabel and Joshua [1:1]. 

  4. The other prophets communicated what they received from God to the general populace. In Haggai’s case it was a special communication from God to the governor of Judah and the chief priest there. 

 So why is this “private communication” to two persons preserved in writing for all people through all the ages?  What important universal principle or lesson does it contain? 

 Perhaps the lesson is: What does the Lord want of us?  In Hag 1:8, God says, “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured.”  Doesn’t this tell us that God wants us to honour Him?  If we say we love Him, this love must be expressed in honouring Him.

 But how should we honour God?  Is it about cutting timber and building churches?  Or is the principle about putting God first, and not building Him a church that is shabbier than our own homes? 

 In Gen 43:28 we read that Joseph’s brothers “bowed low to pay him honour”.  1 Sam 1:2 tells us, “When he [a man] came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honour”, and “When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul came to David, he bowed down to pay him honour” [2 Sam 9:6].  We see this form of honour in 2 Sam 14:4 and 14:22.  Do we honour God in this way today, or kneel in humility when we pray?

 King Jehu said, “Call an assembly in honour of Baal” [2 Kg 10:20], so it is possible for us to honour God by calling an assembly in His honour.  We assemble every Sunday [but do we proclaim that it is in honour of God?]. We are to keep the Sabbath, or the Lord’s Day, holy by not breaking it or doing as we please or speaking idle words [Isa 58:13]. And at Easter and Christmas, it all doesn’t count, does it, if we put up images of bunny rabbits, Easter eggs and Santa?

 Moses gave Pharaoh “the honour of setting the time” for something to happen [Ex 8:9]; we too can honour God by letting him set the time for things to happen in our lives and our work.

 But doesn’t honouring someone mean making a big fuss about someone [Est 6:7], giving him or her the choicest portions, and the seat or place of honour [Lk 14:10]?  Do we do this for God in our churches, our homes? Conversely, honouring God also means not defiling him, not showing contempt for the Lord’s table [Mal 1:7], not giving him second-best offerings that cost us little [Mal 1:8].  Ps 3:9 instructs us : “Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of your crops”.

 It was fearsome King Nebuchadnezzar who taught us that to praise God is to honour Him [Dan 4:43].  But it was Paul who taught that we can also honour God with our bodies and with how we live.  “Therefore honour God with your body” he instructs.  How?  “Flee from sexual immorality [1 Cor 7:18-20].  And in 2 Cor 8:23 he says, “as for our brothers, they are representatives of their churches and an honour to God”.  How we live can bring honour to God our Master.  Let us live in ways that will bring much glory and honour to God.  And when good things happen to us, do we tell all those around us, and give God the credit, the praise, and the honour?

BIBLE CHRISTIAN FAITH CHURCH

“Holding Forth the Word of Truth”

Paul Kendagor, a full-time student in the Master of Divinity shared about the history and mission of his home church in Kenya.  The name, “Bible Christian Faith Church” reflects the conviction of the pioneers to, “stand up for Jesus and the Gospel of Truth” and their vision to “root and establish the body of believers” not in any other faith but the faith that is both Biblical and Christian. The church was a split from the African Inland Church when the latter came under the National Council of Churches of Kenya. Paul’s grandfather, Rev. George Kendagor was one the founders and he was one of the early fruits of the African Inland Mission in Kenya. 

Paul gave a heartwarming account of his grandfather’s faithful service to the Lord as a church planter, pastor, local missionary and Bible teacher.  The Lord blessed his ministry bountifully and blessed him with eleven children.  Five of them are sons and all of them are pastors. Paul’s father is one of them and he is now the pastor of the Bible Christian Faith Church.  Under his leadership, the church growth strategies include Sunday school, youth work, outreach work, a Bible Institute and a Christian school.

Paul is looking forward to returning home to assume his ministry duties in the church, the Bible Institute and the Christian school after he completes his studies at BGST.  Paul  lists the following prayer items that we may pray and show our support of the Lord’s work in BCFC:

  1. Pray for the new government of Kenya that the country will continue to enjoy peace and freedom to worship.

  2. Pray for the church to stand firm in the faith.

  3. Pray that God will raise more workers as pastors, teachers and evangelists.

  4. Pray for God’s providence for pastors and church workers.

  5. Pray for God’s provisions for the school as many parents are not able to pay tuition fees.

  6. Pray that the church will grow in quality and quantity.

News Bits

  1. Dr Quek Swee Hwa was in Jakarta and Jonggol, Bogor , last week from Apr 23-26 to finalise the submission of plans for a new campus of a missiology school and commission the first batch of 27 students who will soon begin their Field Training in Kalimantan Barat, Nias, Java and Bali .

  2. Rev Ng Seng Chuan will be preaching at Bethesda Geylang on 4 May, 8.30am . Pray for the ministry of our faculty members outside BGST.

  3. Dr Jeanette Hui will teach “Religions of Asia under the TENT programme on May 6, 13, 20 & 27, 7.30-9.30pm .

  4. Library Closure. The Library will close on May 1st (Public Holiday) and at 2:30pm on 10 May, Sat., instead of 6pm , as all staff are involved in preparation for the Public Lecture by Rev Adrian van Leen.

  5. SARS screening has commenced for all accessing BGST’s Bishan campus. Please note: (a) Access will be through the main gate facing St.13. The side and back gates will be locked at all times. (b) A health declaration station has been set up at the large fellowship hall from 8.00am to to 6.00pm . All accessing kindergarten, ground floor toilets and higher floors will need to undergo temperature screening and fill the requisite form. (c) After 6.00pm this  screening will be done at the library counter before students proceed to their lectures or to use the library. (d) A sticker indicating that temperature has been checked and the date will be issued. Kindly put on the sticker or you may have to go through the temperature screening again. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Public Lecture
by Rev Adrian van Leen

“The Internet:
A Tool for God or A Tool for Satan?

 Date: 10 May 2003, Saturday,

Time: 3.30-5.00pm

Venue: 4 Bishan St 13,

Sanctuary, Zion BP Church

 

Admission is Free.

Please call/email to register.


Rev Adrian van Leen will also
conduct the following courses:

  • New Age Spirituality (10, 12, 14, 16 May)

  • Religious Confusion in the Age of the Internet (17, 19, 21, 22 May)

  • New Age Spirituality - Field Trips

For payment details & registration, please call tel. 63538071 or email us at bgst@pacific.net.sg.

 

A Blessed Birthday to ...

Ms Lau Shuh Huey 28/4

Mr Francis Yong 29/4

Mr Colin Lim 29/4

 

Mr Ryan Loveday 30/4

Mr Ng Kee Seng 30/4

 

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This page is updated on 30 Apr 2003 by Leong Kok Weng.
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