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. It is so important to stay focused on spiritual truths, to take in His Word on a regular basis and to seek to obey all that He shows you.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8.5-6).
Those Who Blaspheme God
The seven bowl judgments are about to be poured out on Satan and his followers, but even as they see the wrath of God, they will refuse to repent and, instead, will continue to blaspheme Him.
We sometimes see that on a much smaller scale in the lives of those around us. Sometimes you watch people struggling with the consequences of sin and wonder what it will take for them to wake up and turn to God.
Need help with your priorities and managing your time? I’d love to recommend a book that I read last January about priorities, time management and much more:
No matter how hard we work or how much we accomplish in a day, there’s often lingering anxiety and guilt over what we didn’t do. We just wish the world would stop for a day so we could catch up.
Glynnis Whitwer has identified what makes us feel so overburdened–and it’s probably not what you think. Taming the To-Do List exposes a seismic shift in our society: from one in which most of us were proactive toward one where we now carry the burden of having to respond–to every email, text, tweet, and message we receive. This major shift creates a cycle where everyone else sets the priorities for our days, rather than us designing our own lives.
Taming the To-Do List addresses this significant change in how we manage our time and the issue of procrastination. While it’s written from a woman’s perspective, the principles will benefit men and women.
It addresses the common things we put off and moves on to the larger, more life-impacting delays of dreams and goals. Combining practical, easy-to-apply advice with solid research and biblical truth, this book is a compassionate yet challenging message of hope for those struggling to choose their best work over busy work.
I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays Making Your Home Sing Musing Mondays Darling Downs Diaries The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking
Tuesdays Testimony Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays Messy Marriage Christian Blogger Linkup A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Seeking God in All I Do Coffee for Your Heart Women of Intention
Thursdays Frog’s Lily Pad Booknificent Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends
Saturdays Word of God Speak
Sundays Spiritual Sundays
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“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.