Thursday, December 14, 2017

God with us

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Haggai 1:1-15

TO CHEW ON: “Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, ‘I am with you, says the LORD.’” Haggai 1:13

Haggai had a short active ministry—only four months in the year 520 B.C. But its impact reaches to us today.

According to the "Introduction to Haggai" in my Bible, Haggai was one of the exiles who had returned to Israel 16 years earlier (in 536 B.C.). These returned exiles started to rebuild the country and especially re-establish worship of the LORD (Yahweh). Though they started well, they had become distracted and were now focusing on themselves: their crops, houses and wealth (Haggai 1:2-6).

But it wasn’t working out that well for them. Haggai’s words rub it in:
You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes” Haggai 1:6.

It’s easy for us to become like the people of Haggai’s time and get consumed with bettering ourselves. Our society drums into us that a newer car, a bigger house, flashier wardrobe, faster and more technology are what we need. And so, like these people we take our welfare on our own shoulders and work harder, longer, and yet find less satisfaction. We leave God out of our lives and then wonder why it all ends up being laborious and unsatisfying.

Haggai’s words to the leaders when they again decide to resist the prevailing wisdom to focus on themselves and instead focus on God, jump out at me: “I am with you, says the LORD.”

If we see ourselves in these people, let’s do what they did and again put God first—His concerns, His values, His kingdom way of doing things. and listen for His reassuring words to us: “I am with you, says the LORD.”

PRAYER: Dear Father, it’s easy to get caught up in the world’s self-made-man way of doing things. Help me to invite You into all aspects of my life. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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