Today’s reading is Haggai 1
Haggai was a prophet that God used to remind the people of their priorities. A long time ago the Babylonians had destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem which was a symbol of his God’s presence. Then years later King Cyrus said that the Jews could return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. They started to rebuild but after awhile they lost their motivation and they stopped. I think over time the people became complacent and forgot their purpose. Instead they focused on building up things for themselves. Haggai received a message from the Lord to get the people going again and give them a much needed boost.
Haggai 1:3-6 So the Lord sent his message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! (New Living Translation)
Basically he told them that they had everything they needed but were still unsatisfied. Haggai got the people back to rebuilding the temple – eternal work. Sometimes we need someone in our lives that speaks truth and encourages us like Haggai. Are you living in luxury and working hard to keep it that way instead of building up the kingdom of God? Are you successful but still not satisfied?
Last December I stepped down from teaching in the 2’s and 3’s department at church. My reasoning was that I had given it a good go for almost 10 years and it was time to move on to something different. The first month after quitting I will admit I enjoyed the freedom of no Sunday commitments, no lesson to prepare, no 2 service Sundays, and I could come and go with barely having to talk to anyone! And then, before I knew it, that became my routine. My intentions were always to find another area to serve, but guess what? I forgot to look for something else and now I’m not serving at all. Looks like I stopped building the temple. I forgot the importance of serving and how God uses that to draw me closer to Him. The Good news is that we are His temple through Jesus Christ and we can rebuild anytime with a repentant heart. It is a conscious change of priorities. And with obedience to building Gods kingdom and making that a priority, God is with us.
Haggai 2:13 – Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you, says the Lord!” (New Living Translation)
Romans 9:31 – What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (New Living Translation)