Today you get to hear from Randy. It’s always a special treat when he writes a devotion. I know you will be blessed!
Do you sometimes feel like you’re on a treadmill? An unwilling participant in the rat race? Spinning your wheels and getting nowhere? On a hamster wheel, running as fast as you can? Putting in long hours and seeing little benefit? Do you lose yourself in hours of watching TV or cruising social media? Need I go on?
I’ve tried over the last few years to read through the entire Bible in a year. I like to read it in chronological order using this plan because it gives me a sense of how God works through history. This year, I was making my way through Lamentations just as our church was presenting a 5-week series on the same book. Lamentations was written after Jerusalem had been destroyed and the Jewish people had been scattered. It was the culmination of centuries of God’s people turning their backs toward God.
Then we get to the book of Haggai. You know, that little tiny book in the Old Testament that nobody reads. A remnant had returned to Jerusalem. There was discussion about rebuilding the Temple. They said, “The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”
God speaks through the prophet Haggai:
“Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house [my temple] lies in ruins? Think carefully about your ways:
You have planted much but harvested little.
You eat but never have enough to be satisfied.
You drink but never have enough to be happy.
You put on clothes but never have enough to get warm.
The wage earner puts his wages into a bag with a hole in it.”
“Think carefully about your ways. Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house; and I will be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but then it amounted to little. When you brought the harvest to your house, I ruined it. Why? Because my house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.”
Ouch. That hit me between the eyes. Are we so busy trying to maintain and “get ahead” or keep our head above water that we lose sight of our true calling: To worship God. Where are our priorities? Are we so focused on our work, or school, or getting our kids to every sports activity, or just trying to get by that we lose focus of the God who made us and deserves our worship…our time…our devotion?
What if you were to dedicate some of your time to ministering to others? Or giving a percentage of your income to your local church? Or leading a small group Bible study? Whatever it is, God wants to bless us but He can’t until we dedicate our hearts, minds, and time to him.
The temple was rebuilt.
Then God said, “From this day on I will bless you.”
Is there a lesson here for all of us? I think so.