Saturday, July 5, 2008

First Priority

Priorities. We each have 24 hours in a day. Most of us have limited resources. The way we use our time and our resources is a reflection of our values, our priorities – what is really important to us.

The struggle with priorities is not new. In 520 B.C., God spoke to His people through the prophet Haggai and urged them to “consider your ways.”

The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 536 B.C. In 538 B.C. King Cyrus allowed the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem and begin re-building the temple. But 15 years later, the work had not been completed. The people got their priorities out of whack.

God spoke to the people through Haggai and asked: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house [the temple] remains in ruin?” Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (1:4-5). The people were more concerned with their own homes and their own personal comfort than they were with doing the will of God. As a result, they suffered. The more they worked for themselves, the less they had.

There is great futility in putting ourselves before God. Only by putting God first will all our needs be met. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33). God must be given first priority.

2500 years later, we still struggle with priorities. Our jobs, our families, and our hobbies all compete for first place in our lives. But we must make a decision to put God first.

Ultimately, the people responded to Haggai’s message with repentance and obedience. By 516 B.C. the temple was completed. As we examine our priorities, will we respond in the same way? Will we respond by changing our priorities and obey God by putting Him first? Will we make Him our first priority?

1 comment:

Ricky Family Blessings said...

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