Tag Archive | Corinthians

The Main Thing

Haggai 1:2-7 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but 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.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. (NIV)

How many of our fellow church members would say they believe God should be first priority in our lives? How many people in churches across our country? Around the world? The book of Haggai is written to people like many of us – people with busy schedules, people just trying to “make ends meet”, people who say “God needs to be first”, people whose actions did not match their words. Haggai 1:2 quotes the people as saying “the time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house”, but they were actually saying it wasn’t important enough to be considered a priority. The same people who claimed to put God first were living in luxury while the temple was in ruins. They probably had a running list of excuses (too busy, too tired, no time, needed the money for other things), but all of their excuses were proof that God was not a high priority. God’s answer was to tell them twice (verse 5 and verse 7), “Take a good, hard look at your life and think about it.” The people were eating but were always hungry. They were drinking but nothing could quench their thirst. Their clothes no longer kept them comfortable. They worked hard but could not budget or save enough to pay their bills. Their work was not productive and their possessions did not satisfy because their priorities were their own and not God’s. Haggai draws attention to common problems we face today – we are so busy juggling the immediate, the urgent, the right now that we have neither time nor energy for what is really important, for what should be the main thing. We get confused with our priorities, but as Stephen Covey puts it, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”  Haggai 2:12 tells us the people took God’s advice, gave careful thought to their ways, and realigned their priorities. Haggai told the people to rebuild the temple. In 1 Corinthians Paul tells Christians to build our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ (3:10-17) and that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (6:19). As you go about your day, ask yourself these questions:

  1. “Am I building a life that reflects my status as a temple of the Holy Spirit?”
  2. “Are my actions matching my words?”
  3. “Are my priorities bringing glory to God?”

It is so easy to allow our focus to drift.  Lord, I seek Your wisdom is setting my priorities. I pray that my main thing will be to acknowledge You as the main thing and keep You as the main thing.

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Church Eye Candy

Ephesians 6:6 – Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. (HCSB)

 

1 John 2:16 – For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. (HCSB)

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial: (HCSB)

 

 

 

Eye CandyAs I was finishing my coffee this morning, I started pondering some things said by speaker I recently heard.  She was saying that finding the work that God has for you involves some action on your part.   I don’t remember the exact wording but it was along the lines of people sit back and wait for a visit from a couple of angels and a prophet or two before they do any work at all.  The suggestion was that as Your servant, I need to step out and start trying different jobs, and if I discover it isn’t the job for me, I should not be afraid to step away.  The speaker also hit on the idea of not doing something just because someone else says you should be doing it.  I thought that idea needed more time because I feel that’s the one mountain that causes struggle in most women!  I was recently talking to some other pastors’ wives and telling about how when our family went to the first church my husband pastored, one woman kept telling me all the things the last pastor’s wife had done and how I bought into it.  I was a full time classroom teacher, had a child under a year old, my husband was in seminary all week, we had moved into a new area, and here I was — thinking if I could just do a little more, just do a little better, just take on one more church project, just lead one more committee, just teach one more class, then everyone would be happy.  A young friend of mine calls it “being church eye candy” – each person wants you to be seen doing what that person wants you to do.  Colossians 3:23 tells us to work to please God and not just to please other people.  Ephesians 6:6 says to work hard, but not just to please the people who are watching.  We are to work to do the will of God.  Is it God’s will that I work in the church’s preschool department?  Maybe that’s just the job God created me to do.  Maybe I’m NOT the person for the job, and when I refuse to acknowledge that, I’m taking someone else’s blessing.  Is it God’s will that I teach a class or work in the kitchen or sing in the choir?  Is it God’s will that I step away from some of the things I’m doing?  As church members, I think we sometimes get so busy doing “the work of the Lord” that we aren’t able to do the work that God has for us.  1 John 2:4 says that if we claim to know God and don’t obey Him, we are lying.  What if people get upset with me?  What if I look silly stepping away from a job?  1 John 2:16 says that our foolish pride and our selfish desires come from the world and NOT from the Father.  Lord, I know that You haven’t called me to be eye candy or a slave to desires, neither mine nor the ones others have for me, but You have called me to follow Your plans.  1 Corinthians 12 tells us about different people being called in different ways to serve You, but verses 6 and 7 sum it up for me: There are all kinds of wonderful activities, but You give each of us a specific gift to produce the work that is needed for Your glory at that point in time.  Lord, help me to use the gifts that You have given to me.  Help me to keep my eyes focused on the ways that You tell me to serve and not on the ways that people tell me to serve.  Help me to work to do Your will.