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Consider your ways and remember to put God first
Minister Riley Nelson

The prophet Haggai proclaimed God’s message to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high priest. He spoke to them about the Lord’s house that they were supposed to have built.

The reason he had to address this matter was that they were taking care of their needs and putting off doing what God had told them to do.

“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 ceiled 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. ‘Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it.’ Why?’ saith the Lord of hosts. ‘Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore, the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands’” (Haggai 1:2-11). God was not pleased with his people.

Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:33-34). The people to whom Haggai was talking had not sought to take care of the thing of God before they took care of themselves.

Do we find that our desires seem to push to the side what God wants? God has given us many blessings, families, jobs, health, etc., but we must always remember from whom the blessing comes and not put them before God. Consider your ways.

Are we concerned about those around us who are lost? In our world, there are more than 7 billion souls, and about 2 billion of them are Christians. How many people do each of us come in contact with every day, and how many of them are not Christians? Are we seeking ways that we can influence them to seek God? Do our lives shine as lights to show them the way? “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Here is another reason we must “seek the kingdom first”: If we do not live as Christians before the world, they may never even be interested in obeying the gospel. Consider your ways.

Those to whom Haggai wrote had failed to receive all the blessings that God had in store for them. Is it possible our lives are not what they could be because we also have failed in putting God first? How many worries would be gone? How many nights of sleeplessness could be avoided? How many strong, courageous Christians would be able to go into the world and bring the lost to God?

Consider your ways.

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