Time To Rebuild The Lord’s House Financially
Have you ever been in this place before? You’re working hard to provide for your family and you think you’re doing all of the right things. You have a budget. You save. You have a good income and yet you’re never able to get ahead. Financial mishaps seem to follow you. It’s like your pockets have holes in them.
In my reading time today, I was reading the book of Haggai. The book of Haggai could be easily missed as it’s a one page book in the Bible just before Zechariah. Ever since I started studying the teachings of the Bible a little more than 10 years ago, I became convinced that in order for me to have a “blessed” life, I needed to follow what the Bible says. I’m not talking a prosperity gospel, but I do think God gives us instructions in His Word and if we follow those instructions, we will have a more fulfilled life.
In this example, I’d like to point to Haggai chapter 1.
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?” Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
I think much of the time in our lives we are so overly wrapped up in the affairs of our own house that we often times neglect the house of God. For me, it’s no secret that my church has gone through some tremendous difficulties this year. But, what am I doing to help my church? I’m so worried about building my business and taking care of my family, that I haven’t considered how I should be helping God build His church right now.
In the verses above, we are told to give careful thought to our ways twice! It must be pretty important. The first time the prophet says the phrase “give thought…”, he references the past. The second time he references the phrase, he begins to talk about the future and what must be done. We should always take some time to consider our past ways. How have we partnered with God? How have we ran from Him? What was our focus? What were the results? If we haven’t put God first, it sounds like it’s in our best interests to do so.
When you give careful thought to your ways, are you proud of what you’ve recently done or do you feel like you’ve slacked a bit? Do you feel God pointing you in a direction and you’re ignoring the call? You have the opportunity each and every day to make a change and to take seriously the call that God has given you. If you feel like these verses describe a situation in your life, you should absolutely take heed to the message you read. I trust if you do, things will start to go better for you. If you are already whole-heartedly doing everything you can to build God’s church, then thank you! And, many kudos to you! As for me, I know I need to do better.
We all have a choice of whether or not we are going to follow the promises of God. None of us are perfect and there is always more we can do. This brief passage we read in Haggai seems to be repeated in many other places throughout the Bible. Maybe it’s not said word for word, but the message appears over and over again. It’s clear to me that God wants us to partner with Him in His work. I think if we do so, there is abundant blessing waiting for us. In the next chapter of Haggai, the glory of the New House of the Lord is mentioned and then blessings for a people that don’t deserve them. This is another pattern in the Bible illustrating that when we do what God asks of us, there are blessings waiting on the other side. We should take the time to consider our ways, because if we do, who knows what kind of blessings we’ll walk into.