Saturday, February 11, 2017

THE GLORIOUS CHURCH 2017 - The Glorious Church | Franco Lonapppan

 The is the first in a 5 part series that was preached at the 
Glorious Church, RegionsBeyond Conference 2017 held in Mumbai.

To listen to the audio ( which is in English and Hindi) Please click here

The Glorious church 2017

Session 1 Franco Lonappan
EZRA 6:14, Haggai 2:1-9

Nehemiah, Haggai and Ezra were contemporaries. This was a time when the people’s morale was very low. The temple was in ruins and it was destroyed by the King of Babylon. The Jews were very proud of their temple. It gave them their identity and they worshipped there.Now they wanted to rebuild it. Zerubbabel wanted to rebuild it however there was opposition and the work was halted for 15 years!!!

It is into this scenario that Ezra came to preach. It was into an atmosphere of discouragement and fear. They preached for 3 months before the people began to believe and hope would rise in their hearts.

Haggai‘s message to the people was “do not fear” The latter glory will be greater than the former. Why would this be so? God has something special for this house because Jesus was going to be present in this house and would be presented there as a child. He would walk among them there, teach and preach there. It would bear witness to the greatest miracles of all time. Prophecies told long ago were going to be fulfilled.

Was this prophecy just about the building? No! It was about this glorious church. Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty…”from this temple. What they were about to build had prophetic significance because the purposes of God were going to be fulfilled.
Haggai was prophesying into the future and even today – about a glorious church, that will be ushered in the world from every tribe, tongue and race.

There were talking about the church that we are a part of today.
In Haggai, it goes beyond the temple . Is 2:7 the desired of all nations will come. He is talking about the future. I will shake the heavens and the earth. Isaiah 2 the mountain of the Lord where people will stream towards it. It is talking about the Church of Jesus Christ.

Haggai 2:23 Talks about making us like a signet ring – again, it is speaking about the future, the temple that Jesus will build. His people in whom he will put His Spirit.
God wants to do something where we will be a blessing. It is a journey where we will be great. A new beginning where God says from now on I will bless you.

Be strong and courageous because God is in charge. He is building His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Be strong in the place of weakness. God is passionate about His house – more than you and I. He is in love with his church.
If you have come with discouragement and fear, insecurity about the future, this word is for you. It is not a new phenomenon.

Haggai says be strong in two ways:

1 Leaders be strong – Zerubbabel laid the foundation and then there came sever opposition. They were in need of encouragement. Haggai comes to tell them to be strong.
Joshua when Moses dies is told be strong and courageous three time!!!

Leadership of the church is not for the fainthearted. However, fear not, for the Lord our God is with you. Be strong and do not give up!!
In these days, God is going to strengthen us and put courage into us. We were never to fight with our own strength but with His. Its strength that can bend a bow of bronze.

I want to talk about something in our Indian culture. Its insecurity. It is a cultural stronghold. We tend to look down on ourselves and lack confidence. We want to be someone else. We are always comparing. How is the other church doing etc?

We do not like to release our sons and daughters. That can become a strong hold and can stop us from achieving what God wants us to achieve. We need to know that God loves us. We need to learn to be ourselves. We do not need to impress anyone because He love me. This liberated you to be yourself.

Insecure leadership does not help build churches. The bible is full of insecure people that God uses. They first had to encounter God and then God uses them and changes them too.
Daniel says those who know their god will do great exploits.

Jesus  knew where he came from and so He could wash the feet of the disciples. We can be ourselves. We do not need to perform. There is freedom in this place. If you are discouraged, ask for prayer.
To reach this nation we need leaders who are strong and secure in their God.
Verse 4: Be strong all of you people of the land, It’s not just leaders but all of us involved in building the church. When we know our brother is with us, it adds strength. We are here for each other’s success. Let us build that culture. We can build good churches. This nation is amazing.

2. Be confident in the promises of God 2:5
They needed to be reminded that they were a people of the covenant. He has called you and appointed you. You are the apple of His eye.

When the opposition comes we can forget who we are. If God is with us who can be against us. Nothing can stop it. Nothing is as great as the local church. He has begun your story and He will complete it.

One area we need to be confident is in God’s resources. Have faith in His resources. Often we depend on finance and not faith.
Haggai 2:8 the silver and gold is mine says the Lord Almighty.
Can we trust God for His resources?

1: Bring down the timber and build my house. Go to the mountain of prayer and God will provide.
Your provision comes from God. We need to change from “Give Me” to God where can I give. God will come I and we need to trust God afresh. The riches of the nations will come to us.

V5 Be courageous. My spirit remains among you. We do not have a spirit of fear. It cripples us. We are the temple of the Spirit. We lead by faith!! They have come through 70 years of exile from an evil King. They come back and begin to build and the opposition halts them for another 15 years!!

Haggai says my Spirit is with you. We have a Spirit of boldness. Perfect love casts out all fear. God wants to meet with some of us today. God wants to deal with fear and set you free!!

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