Today’s Reading: Haggai 1:1-2:23 (additional reading: Psalm 139:1-24 & Proverbs 30:15-16)
During this Christmas time everyone in our society is faced with hundreds of choices and options. We live in a consumer-driven culture where you can have your choice of anything and everything you desire. Unfortunately that concept has crept into the culture of church life and our choices concerning church. We pick and choose church life almost the way we choose products in a store. In the Leadership Journal, Marshall Shelley says, “Churchgoers may seek a ‘life-changing experience’ but only if it doesn’t affect their lifestyle.”
We want life to be comfortable. We want to meet our needs and our desires with little consequence. We like to talk about the blessings of God but all too often we are afraid to deal with the requirements of following God. What we must understand is that one feeds into the other.
We can so easily get caught up in our own life circumstances that we miss out on what is most important. At Christmas was can be so crazy running around that we lose sight of the concept that we were created to bring God glory, that Christmas is all about Him. Life runs at a fast pace and if we aren’t intentional about focusing our lives on the glory of God, we can easily lose our direction.
The people in Jerusalem had stopped focusing on the importance of building the temple. The temple was significant not because it was merely a building, it was significant because it was where you met God.
What Haggai was telling the people was that the way they were to honour God was to obey what he had called them to and to build the temple so that they can worship properly. God is not calling us to crazy things that we could never be expected to follow. God calls us to do more than simply blindly follow. God calls us to reason and to examine why we do the things we do. One of the dangerous misconceptions of Christians is that because we live by faith we don’t have to think. Haggai reminds the people of Jerusalem over and over again that they must think about the actions of their lives. “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5. “Now give careful thought to this from this day on–consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple.” Haggai 2:15. ’From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid. Give careful thought.” Haggai 2:18 (NIV).
So this week, even being the final week before Christmas, with all the rushing that come with it, let’s not forget to give careful thought of how we can honour and praise God.