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You or God first?

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
(Hag 1:2-4)

For many people, the time to serve the Lord is when things are better in their life. This is a very short sighted perspective. If your life got better so that your dream life became a reality, whatever that might be, we need to know that it is only temporary. Not temporary in the sense that the job you have or life you have will end in ten years with an economic downturn (though that can happen), but temporary in the sense that in 100 years, you will not be there to enjoy it. For some of us, that number is 50 years. When God cannot get his people to pay attention to his priorities, you can be sure, He is not going to pay attention to theirs.

It is always time to work to rebuild the house of the Lord. While the house in Haggai’s time was a temple where people would go to worship, we know from Jesus’ own words (John 4:21) that the worship of God is not confined to one location, it is something that his people do on an ongoing basis and they make up the temple of God.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1Co 3:16)

(sidenote: 1 Cor 6:19 which says almost the same thing is a verse of the individual Christian, but the above first fits more as the congregation that Paul is writing to, a group of Christians)

The sad thing is, that just like a house that is not constantly being mending and tended to, it will begin to deteriorate and that, whether fast or slow, is a type of destruction we should not be part of:

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1Co 3:17)

Sure, I think most people would tend to think of rampant active destruction, but we should also consider the destruction that comes about due to inactivity and neglect.

Look at your checkbook. It has been said that a person can be known by the items his money is spent on. For me, you would see a number of Sonic Happy Hour drinks (For those not in Texas, Sonic is a fast food establishment and “happy hour’ is 1/2 priced soda drinks from 2-4pm), you would find Netflix charges, Half priced book charges among the various bills for rent, gas, lights, regular weekly contributions to the congregation, etc. In other words, you might be able to deduce that I like specialty sodas and watching movies along with other things but you would also see a desire to help the congregation meet its task to spread the Gospel.

Look at your life for the last week. If you were to look back at the last 168 hours, and look for things that built the house of the Lord, what you find? 3 hours at worship services (4 if you went to midweek study) and then what? Prayer, reading, calling a sick brother, visitation, talking to someone about God? Talking about God’s laws to your kids when they get up or sit down or go to bed? Memorizing scripture?  What do you do to build up the house of God?

It is true you are one brick in that house, so be sure to build yourself up but it is often better to be built up with others, be in a group study, be in contact with other Christians.  It is also true that God builds us up. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up. Spend time in prayer and study of His  word, grow in the knowledge of Christ, let the Scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation and adequately equip you for His service live inside of you.

Put God first and HE will take care of you. Easy to say, hard to do…unless you live by faith.


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