Thursday, August 25, 2022

         Have you ever had a gnawing sense that God had something important and special for you to do?  The prophet Haggai certainly did.  He is regarded as “the prophet of the temple.”  His mission was to motivate people to finish rebuilding the temple and to return to the worship that God expected of His people.  A dedicated temple and holy worship were critical to Judah’s restoration after the exile.  Indeed, God judged Judah through the exile, at least in part, because their manner of worship had become sinful and idolatrous to Him.  The nation’s worship had become much more human-centered and human-advantaged than it ever should have been.  We are to take worship seriously because God surely does.  He sets the standards by which we approach Him and worship Him.  Haggai said as much in 1:5 and 7 when he wrote, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’”  Remember, our ways are not His ways.  Our thoughts are not His thoughts.  So, we are to evaluate our ways and thoughts by His. One of Haggai’s themes is for God’s people to give sober and careful thought to their ways—in any season or circumstance.
            Haggai made it clear that the time had come for the people to rebuild the temple.  They were to cease their delays and procrastinations.  They were to put an end to the excuses.  God was demanding a change in tone and behavior.  The time was at hand to do the work He had plainly commanded them to do.  Haggai wrote, “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?’” (Haggai 1:2-4).  God was tired of the people’s slowness and even laziness.  He spoke through Haggai and demanded a change.
            If we delay our obedience to God, then we have only further entrenched our disobedience to Him.  Delayed obedience is really immediate disobedience.  Deferred obedience is really unending disobedience.  We might make ourselves feel better by promising to get around to something one day, a soon to come day or some other time.  But, all the while, we are persisting in doing things our way rather than being useful servants of the Kingdom.  Imagine standing before the Lord one day giving an account of your life when all you can say is what you intended to do or planned to do or put off doing.  My guess is you will be profoundly grieved by the Lord’s reaction to your excuses and explanations.  The right time for obedience is now.  The season for obedience is always at hand. 
            Some of the most essential ways we can grow in our faith are often the very things we neglect or postpone doing.  Those ways include Bible reading, prayer, tithing, worship, serving, church attendance and sharing our faith with others.  Perhaps today, you would adopt an excuse-free life and begin to do the things you know God has for you to do and to live in the ways that He has for you.  Just imagine the kind of influence you would have in your home, workplace, school and the church if you made a decision to do these essential things that God has for you to do.  Frankly, God may not give us big things to do until we are faithful in the small and essential ways that He has for us.  When you begin to do what God has for you to do, you develop a life of “saying yes to Him” and living for Him.  So, as we began, do you have a sense that God has something for you to do?  Your answer should be a resounding “yes.”  Because He surely does.  Stay on task with the basic spiritual steps and disciplines that God has placed before you.  And then look for new things and new ways that God may bring to you.  Have a great Thursday!  Remember you can worship with us anytime and all the time at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  

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