KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chapters: Haggai 1-2
Message: Giving God Priority
Hello My Friend,
The Book of Haggai contains two chapters, the author is Haggai and it was written to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon after being in captivity for seventy years, the timeline is approximately 520 BC. The purpose of the book was to inspire Israel to have a new zeal for God and make the leaders aware of their responsibility to rebuild the temple of worship. What we are to learn from the book is that God demands first place in our lives. “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.” – Haggai 1:8.
This has been a strange month, one that seems to be the longest month of the year, from a newborn in the family struggling to breathe to a hurricane that tried to wipe out Florida, church has been on the back burner the last couple of weeks and I can really feel it spiritually. While I have been keeping up with my devotions, my pray time has been quick and somewhat distracting. During circumstances in life we can (without realizing) push God in the back rather than give Him first priority, which often bring more challenges. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem to start rebuilding the temple they were so excited to get the foundation laid, but after some opposition from the people they were forced go beyond that, and for fourteen years they rebuilt their own homes, but pushed God to the side. As we read in Ezra we learned that Haggai was one of the men God used to convince Zerubbabel to get back to rebuilding the temple. These are the words Haggai spoke to Zerubbabel.
“Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built. Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.” – Haggai 1:2-8.
“Ye have sown much, and bring in little;” Do you ever have times when you work so hard, but the paycheck is so little? I am going through that now, struggling to fit in work hours between babies, moving, and a storm that shut everything down for a few days. I am tired, worn out, and have no idea how I am going to replenish the hours I lost to pay the rent and bills that are due in less that two weeks. Am I complaining? No. I know that God will provide. But I also know that if I do not keep Him first, do His work first, that I will be suffering. We we start to see little reaping from lots of sowing that is when we need to check and see if we are giving God’s work first place. After Haggai spoke, Zerubbabel and the rest of the elders knew they needed to get back to rebuilding God’s house, but this time was different, they knew God was on their side.
“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,” – Haggai 1:12-14.
“I am with you, saith the LORD.” One thing we can be sure of is that when we put God’s work first He will be there for us and see us through every step of the way. The work we do for God is not necessarily in the church, but wherever He takes us we must realize we are the church. God will use us in whatever place He needs us, whether it be an office, a store, or a parking garage, if we take no care in the work of God we cannot expect God to take care of our interests, but if we keep Him first we will reap the benefits, if not in this life, in the one that is everlasting with Christ. Through Haggai, God reminds them that He never forgot the covenant He made with them since they left Egypt, and the blessings they will be receiving will be nothing compared to what they will see when all nations come to Him.
“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:3-9.
“and the desire of all nations shall come:” Christ is the desire of all nations, for in Him shall the families of the earth be blessed with the best of blessings upon making Him their Saviour. The shaking of nations will take place during the Tribulation, which will be followed by Christ’s return in all His glory. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – IThessalonians 4:16,17.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:9.
Today’s Prayer: God, Thank You for the reminder of Your amazing promise to always be with us You have purposed every one of Your people to work for You in some way so that we can bring others to Your Son. As life starts to overwhelm us it is easy to set You aside in order to try to overcome them, and of course, that brings more problems instead of solutions. Lord, Help us to make and keep Your work first place in our lives so that we can find the solutions to our problems and not become so overwhelmed that we lose sight of You. Give us Your power, strength, wisdom, mercy, grace, and guidance to do the work You called us to do, and open our hearts so that we can do it with all our heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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