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2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.' " 3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" 5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
When Israel returned from exile and captivity, their first priority seems to have been to rebuild their own homes and lives. Evidently, they got very use to thinking about rebuilding the Temple as something they would get around to someday. Haggai confronted them with their self-centered procrastination. He warned them that it was time to put God first. They could no longer put their own comfort and gain before worship and reverence for God, and expect God to bless them.
Response and Action:
I need to put first things first. I need to be sure worship and service for God are a higher priority to me than personal gain and comfort. What am I not giving to God because I am spending it on myself? What am I not able to do for God because I am too busy doing things for me? How can I expect to be blessed by God if I put worship and service for him behind what I do for myself?
O God, help me to seek you and serve you with true reverence and devotion. Forgive me for the times I am guided by my own selfish ambition rather than selfless worship for you. Help me to seek your kingdom and your righteousness above all else. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Matthew 6:31-34
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent
by Charles E. Hummel