Word for Today – Haggai 1:1-6

Priorities

The Times

The Jewish remnant that returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple and reestablish life in Jerusalem was not accomplishing God’s objective.

The Atmosphere

The people turned their energies toward building their own homes, meeting their own needs, and establishing their new lives. God’s work was put on the back burner, and the stove was off!

Current Application

Christians carry a responsibility that non-believers never will: we are living examples of the one true God. A similar responsibility rested on the Jewish remnant, but they chose to represent themselves and prioritize their needs over God’s goal of rebuilding the temple.

In Haggai 1:1, the prophet addressed the Jewish leaders and shined the spiritual spot light on the complacent attitude resting on the community like a soft, comfortable blanket. Gone was the enthusiasm that accompanied the former captives from Babylon. Their focus shifted from God to themselves. Haggai points out that their meager existence was a direct result of their disobedience.

Even though many of us are not “official” community leaders, we are kingdom leaders. Are we effective Christian leaders or do we look like the world? Our homes, churches, schools, and neighborhoods are not beyond our realm of influence. Our priority is to present an effective kingdom witness in everything we do no matter how big or small.

Focusing on God is not easy. In order to keep enthusiasm abounding in our lives we must establish the right priorities, or we risk becoming as complacent as the Jewish remnant.

Inspiration

Olympic athletes know how to establish priorities, and they focus on the task set before them. Many of these athletes sacrifice normal lives to train for their events. I remember the 2008 Summer Olympics when Misty May-Traynor and Kerry Walsh prioritized their sport and became the only womens beach volleyball team to win back-to-back gold medals in consecutive summer games. These amazing women prioritized their goals and experienced great success.

Christians may not win gold medals, but we can earn the following crowns awarded in God’s kingdom:

  • Crown of Life (Revelation 2:10)
  • Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1-4)
  • Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
  • Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
  • Crown of Incorruptibly (1 Corinthians 9:25)

Hallelujah, we have kingdom reasons to go for the gold!

Key Verse

“Now therefore thus says the Lord of Hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but on one is warm; and you that earn wages earn wages to pour them into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:5.6 NRSV).

Think About It

Ponder the key verse and its implications in your life. What priorities have you established? Just like the Jewish remnant, it is not unusual for Christians today to prioritize material wealth and comfortable living. Although it is not bad to want improved lifestyles, we need to make sure we don’t throw God out in the process. Otherwise, like the complacent Jews, we will never have enough, never have our fill, never be warm, or never accumulate our treasures in bags without holes.

Is there a place in your life where an attitude, activity, or thing is becoming a dangerous priority? When things come between us and God we risk becoming complacent. Pray for inspiration so you can recapture the enthusiasm that keeps you focused on God.

Word for Today: Establish the right priorities!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 at 9:27 pm and is filed under Haggai, Word for the Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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