John 1:35-51; 1 Chronicles 9; Haggai 1:1-2:23
You probably hear people complain about this often. “I can’t seem to save any money. Everything I make seems to disappear.” At times, there seems to be a futility in life that we can’t understand because no matter what we do, it’s not enough. Haggai, one of those prophets that we remember when people mention the name, dealt with this problem. “’You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!’” (Haggai 1:6-7) Haggai was dealing with the Jews who had come back from the exile who were now living in relative comfort while the Temple of God had not been rebuilt. Even in their comfort, there wasn’t enough. Nothing satisfied. Haggai’s solution was that they needed to put God first in their lives and show that by rebuilding the Temple. As followers of Christ we don’t focus on the outward buildings, but too often we see ourselves and other followers who just can’t get no satisfaction in life no matter what they do. The question that Haggai would ask us is, “Where are your priorities?” Putting God first in life will not solve all of our problems. Remember that. Putting God first in life means that we are trusting God in the midst of our problems. Putting God first in our lives means that we are more likely to find satisfaction in life because things become less important and our restored relationship with God becomes our source of satisfaction. In a consumer driven world where the number one goal is to make sure that we have at least the same amount of stuff as our neighbors, dare I say “keeping up with the Joneses,” our call is not to accumulate wealth and things but to find our rest, our hope, our peace in God. The Joneses may have all of the material stuff, but we should live such a life of satisfaction in God that the Joneses want to keep up with us.
Lord, it’s so simple to say that I put You first. Words are cheap. How often do I show that by my actions? Today, let me not be envious or covetous about the material things my neighbor has. Instead, Lord, let me be so focused on You that others would see my joy in following You. Let my attitudes and my actions show the world that You are first in my life and that mere stuff doesn’t really matter.