Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”
Our Bible verse for today: “Now, the Lord of Armies says this: ‘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 whole in it.” Haggai 1:5-6 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Spiritual growth and being obedient to God is the main thing.”
The Old Testament prophet Haggai wrote his short little two-chapter book to a group of approximately 50,000 Jews who were in Jerusalem working to rebuild the temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. In the process of rebuilding the temple, they were to also establish their own lives there. They were there to repopulate the city and therefore they also needed to be building homes, planting crops, tending animals, and establishing businesses.
The problem was, as God tells them in verse nine of chapter one, that they were spending much more time and effort tending to their own business than they were in tending to God’s business. And as a result, God was not blessing them. Instead, they were spinning their wheels, working hard but reaping little. Here’s verse 9: “You expected much, but then it amounted to little. When you brought the harvest to your house, I ruined it. Why? This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies. ‘Because my house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.”
They planted but harvested little; they ate but were never really satisfied; they drank but were still thirsty. No matter how hard they worked taking care of their own business, it was as if they were putting their wages into pockets with holes in them – it was gone before they knew it and they were left wondering why they weren’t doing better. The answer was that their priorities were misplaced. They were much more concerned with their own business than with God’s business, and therefore God wasn’t blessing their business.
Please remember my word of caution to you regarding your priorities when making New Year’s resolutions. Your spiritual growth is more important than anything else you have going on in your life. Spiritual growth is more important than losing weight and improving your physical fitness. It is more important than paying off your car and increasing the size of your savings account. It is more important than any other resolution you might be thinking about making about any other issue. Therefore, I encourage you to focus first and foremost on establishing new practices and habits that will help to accelerate your spiritual growth in 2020. Then you can think about that 20 pounds you want to lose or the bills you want to pay off.
Take care of God’s business first. Spiritual growth and obedience to God is the main thing and it is the most important thing.