So often what we do with our Christian walk is that we scratch the surface when it comes to knowing God and his church – we get dirt and grit under our finger nails – and we stop. We don’t want to be satisfied with scratch marks, we want to go deeper.
We want to discover more of what God has for us. We want to have an attitude of curiosity, and risk, and perseverance and determination. We don’t want to stay at the surface – we want to go deep, we want to be taken further and further in to what it is God as for us. To uncover the riches of what he has for us – to find the treasure
This is what had happened to the people here. They had been given a task to do. They were initially really enthusiastic, they had the best of intentions. But life got in the way – they became distracted. They had other things that they had to attend to, they had to focus on their own families, they had to build up their own careers, they had to consolidate and build up their retirement funds, they had their own houses that they needed to put in order. They had taken their eyes of the temple. Life happened and they got used to it without the temple.
Does that sound familiar? It does to me. You’ve had a life changing encounter with Jesus. You’re full of enthusiasm and passion. You’re reading the Bible daily, you want to know more and more about this Jesus. Your prayer life is alive and exciting. Your generous with your time and your money with church – you want to serve, you want to be involved you want to see things happen, you want others to know about this Jesus.
But life happens. Maybe the prayer life isn’t as exciting as it used to be. Times get tough and you wonder where Jesus is. You become disillusioned. Jobs come alone, children come along, mortgages and debt. You just don’t have the time anymore – and you’re busy attending to your own house and neglect God’s. Oh there are good reasons for it – it’s not that we want to ignore God, but you know, we don’t have time.
Into this context the Prophet Haggai steps and he says, you’ve got to get your priorities right. (Haggai 1 ) You’ve got put the first things first. He isn’t speaking about what is going to happen in the future, he isn’t saying this is what you you need to do later, he says right now, you’ve got to put God first.
Consider your ways (vvs 5,7) the prophet says. Think about what you are saying, but not doing. Jesus in Matthew 15:8 quoted the prophet Isaiah, ‘these people honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.’
When you hear those words, do you also hear the cry of a parent wanting their children to love them not with words but with action. Instead the actions show that their love isn’t deep. It’s just scratching the surface.
This year are going to go deeper. We are going to spend time understanding the amazing love of God for his church, his people, us. We are wanting to be a radical people. Radical because we know Jesus. and we want to see that knowledge of Jesus transform us, equip us, empower us – and to do that, we have to put Jesus first. Not having head knowledge, not having and intellectual approval of Jesus but a heart transformed, mind renewed relationship with him.
Let’s focus on God and his house and get our priorities right.
Are you excited about the journey? I am