Tag Archive | God

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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Don’t Try This at Home!

Deuteronomy 9:24 -You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you. (NIV)

 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)

danger-sign-1381198-mI am drinking my coffee this morning that I made in my new coffee maker.  I’m looking over the instruction booklet while I sip, and some of the comments make me laugh. I am instructed to use a cup to catch the hot liquid and not to try to catch it in my hands. Come on, really?  I have heard it said that if the company warns against doing it, that someone has done it. You really should not have to tell someone that hands aren’t the best containers for hot liquids.  The other day I saw a sign at a railroad crossing that said cars need to yield to oncoming trains.  Again………really?  Someone needed to be told that in a confrontation between a car and a train, the train will win and the car will definitely lose.  Why do people have to be told these things?  Why did You have to tell us not to murder other people?  Why did You need to tell us not to cheat on the spouse we vowed to stick with through good times and bad?  Why did You have to tell us not to take things that don’t belong to us and not to lie about people?  Why did You have to tell us to honor our parents, to worship and to rest?  Why did You have to preface the ten commandments with reminding people of Your holiness and Your power and protection (Exodus 20)?  Why are we still dealing with murder, sexual sin, and fear of our fellow man?  Why are we still dealing with parental abuse, churches that are dying from lack of interest, and families being destroyed because of workaholic parents?  Once again………REALLY?  Oh, Lord, we are sinful people living in a sinful world.  In Deuteronomy 9:24 Moses tells the people that they have been rebelling against You since he has known them.  Nehemiah 9:16-17 tells about the people becoming arrogant.  They not only refused to listen to You but also refused to remember Your wondrous care of them.  But verse 19 says it all — because of Your great compassion, You did not abandon them.  Lord, I feel that we are living in the Nehemiah 9:16-17 world, but I pray for Your compassion.  2 Chronicles 7:14 tells Your people to humble themselves (not be arrogant), to pray (listen), to turn from evil.  Thank You, Lord that You are willing to forgive our sinful ways.