I pray that you are enjoying a wonderful day rejoicing in the birth of our Savior (or looking forward to it if you’re reading this early like I do)!
I look forward to another year of growing in the grace and knowledge of our great God along with each of you in 2017!
This is the time of year for evaluating priorities and setting goals for the coming year. Don’t forget to consider God’s priorities as you do. God had something to say to the people in Haggai’s day on that very subject.
Haggai 1 & 2
Your Priorities or His?
Consider Your Ways
The blessings of the Lord were missing from the people’s lives because their priorities were all wrong.
6 “ 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.”
They were more concerned about their own homes and personal comfort than they were with the work of God. And it wasn’t working out so well for them!
As we approach the New Year, how are “your ways”—your priorities? Are you interested in what God is interested? Are you giving into the work of God? Do you tithe or just give God what is left over, if anything? What if you decided to take God at His Word this coming year and give Him the firstfruits?
Those of us who have decided to trust God with our finances, can tell you that when you give Him the first 10% God will cause the 90% to go so much further than you could possibly stretch it. Pray and ask Him to help you take that step of faith, if you have not already.
And what about your time priorities? Do you make time for church each week? Do you take time to pray and read God’s Word? Do you have a plan to grow in your relationship with Him?
We can have all the good intentions in the world, but those things don’t just happen. We need to plan for them. We don’t have to get legalistic about it. There are times when we are providentially hindered from keeping our commitments: sick kids, travel, and other things.
But, why not make an appointment to meet with God on a regular basis? Even a few minutes of prayer, Bible reading, journaling, etc. can make a big impact on our lives and relationships with God.
Today’s Other Readings:
Those Who Fear Him
“The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.”
Do you “fear the Lord”—that is do you take Him at His Word and have more concern about what He thinks rather than anything or anyone else? In what are you placing your hope? Is it your abilities? Your job? Your spouse? Or anything else, rather than the Lord?
An Adulterous Woman
“This is the way of an adulterous woman. She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wickedness.’”
Just as a woman can be seduced by an unscrupulous man, many a man has fallen into the trap of an adulterous, carnal woman.
Proverbs 7 says:
21 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,
23 Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it would cost his life.
Ladies, we must be on our guard all the time and purpose to stay pure, in our thoughts and attitudes, and to stay focused on God and His will for our lives.
Galatians 5.16-17 says, “… Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
There is a battle going on. It’s waged first and foremost in the spiritual realm. Continue reading