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LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT- Put God FIRST

Dear Friends,

I have been studying the Book of Haggai. I asked myself, what have I learned from reading this?

We need to put God FIRST!

The people of God had started to rebuild God's Temple in 537 B.C., but it remained uncompleted in 520 B.C.. The people said it was not God's Timing to rebuild the Temple. This was untrue.

"This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the Lord. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord." (Hag. 1:7-12 NIV).

There was a direct correlation between LACK in the people's lives and the neglect of God's House. God said that they had "planted much", but had "harvested little". (Hag. 1:6a NIV). They never had enough to meet their needs.

We need to make God's Priorities, our priorities. When we please God, He is happy to bless us.

The people were busy with rebuilding their own homes, and their material advancement. They were self-focussed . We need to be God-focussed. We need to put God's Will and desires before our own. It is so very easy to get too busy for God in our lives - no time to pray, no time to read His Word, rush to and from Church Service on Sunday... We just squeeze a little bit of God in our daily lives.
How much do we really want to BE with God? How much are we willing to give Him of our lives? We say we want more of Him, but do we really? Are we willing to pay the price for MORE OF HIM?
The question of holiness arises when God says that "whatever (the people) do and whatever (the people) offer is defiled" (Hag. 2:14b NIV). We cannot fool God. We can fool man when we make a show in Church of being pious, praying eloquently, and of making large gifts for all to see. However, God knows the condition of our heart, and if we have been living holy before Him. As we honour Him daily, He will bless our lives.

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you." (Matt. 6:33 NIV). What things? Everything we need to live a wholesome life, totally pleasing to Him.

There is such a peace and contentment that comes into your heart when your desire is just to live for Him. There is nothing else like it in the whole world!

Friends, keep pressing on... and pressing in... God loves you and has the very best in store for you!

 

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