Pastor Dale Thomas
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Pastor Thomas has served First Baptist since 1996. He participates in the Keokuk Christian Ministerial Association as well as the Mid-American Baptist Ministers Council.
Previous sermons in synopsis can be found on the Sermon Archive page (under Pastor)
Below is the most recent sermon synopsis for our Worship message.
Sunday June 25, 2017
Pressing On for the Lord
Haggai 1: 1 – 7
Our Wednesday Bible Study has been working on the Book of Daniel, and I was interested in how many other associated prophecies are part of that book. Though there is a lack of clarity of some of the names (particularly that of Darius), they contemporaries of Daniel write of similarities regarding the Temple restoration and the restoration of Jerusalem, and the “Holy One” which we understand as the coming Messiah, Jesus. Haggai’s prophecy comes during the reign of Darius. The Lord speaks to him with authority, judgment and hope. Is this the same Darius who had Daniel thrown in the lion’s den? Is Darius an alternate name for Cyrus, or is he associated with the rulers who let the people return to Jerusalem? During their period of exile, Judah (and Israel) that remained in the promised land had gone into survival mode. They looked at taking care of themselves, first, and left the city and the Temple alone. Now this is understandable, as they had been left with little or nothing to live upon. Even the soil and weather was uncooperative (or was it God’s judgment?). There was a shortage of food, but the crops that they had were consumed by the wealthy or powerful, and the people and God had little or none.
. Their complaints to the Lord drowned out the quiet Word of God and hearing the priorities of God. The people said we have needs, but failed to observe the spiritual needs of God. Is that our situation today? I found it to politically interesting that people were protesting in the halls of Congress and in media advertising over Medicare and Medicaid cuts in a proposed draft of the health care bill that had not even been released or published. Are we talking and complaining so loudly, that we not only cannot hear what God has to say, but we are unable to see what God is already doing?
. In verse 7 we find the wisdom of God’s Word: “Give careful thought to your ways.” This is important enough to be heard/said a second time in Hag. 2: 15. Are we giving careful consideration to our lives and livelihood? Even when we see what God is doing in the hearts and minds of many, our “contact” with the world and its corruption defiled us from coming into the holy presence of the Lord. Instead, we should seek holiness in our lives. (Hebrews 12: 1, 2) Throw off the hindrances and the sin that entangles us; fix our eyes on Jesus as He perfects our life in whatever condition it may be. (Levit. 20: 26) Be holy as the Lord is Holy; as God’s people we are His sheep, His joy and His hope.