12-27-14: Priorities and New Horizons
At the end of every year, I sit and take inventory of my life. Did last year turn out as I expected? How have I changed, grown, and progressed? Is anything significantly different because I touched it? Did my life make a meaningful difference in anyone else’s? Did anything or anyone have a memorable impact on my life? What did I learn from the Lord? Did I do anything that was Kingdom worthy?
Both great and disappointing things happened in my life last year. A passage in the book of Haggai really made me start thinking about my answers to the questions above and why my year unfolded as it did. Haggai 1:6-11 and 13; and 2:4-5 and 9 are poignant.
- “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! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your”
- Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, 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 feared the presence of the Lord… Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the Lord…”
- Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’… ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Perhaps last year did not produce all we had hoped it would yield. It could have been because we were more about our own business than God’s. Like Jesus when He was found in the temple at twelve years of age, let us desire to be about our Father’s business. Let us build His house first, for don’t we know that our bodies are His temple? (See I Corinthians 6:19-20.) With our whole body, mind, and spirit, we must seek after Him and obey His voice. The great news is that regardless of what didn’t happen last year, or how we may have blown opportunities, God still says to us as He said through Haggai, “I am with you.” But He doesn’t stop there. God goes on to say that as I just keep working and obeying Him, I can be assured that “the glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, and in this place [He] will give peace.” Only greater things are ahead! “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” First Corinthians 2:9 (NLT).
That’s good news! So my verse for the new year is Haggai 2:4 which says, “‘Yet now be strong… and work, for I am with you’ says the Lord of hosts”, making my word for the year “work.” Worship God today for being the Revealer of New Horizons.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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