Daily Devotional

Haggai 1:3-5

Then the word of the LORD came through Haggai the prophet, saying: “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” Now this is what the LORD of Hosts says: “Consider carefully your ways.”

One of the books that is often neglected in the Old Testament is Haggai – named after the prophet who lived in the sixth century B.C. Haggai ministered in the period after the Babylonian exile, when the Jewish captives had returned to Jerusalem.  

In the year 536 B.C., the Jews laid the foundation for a new temple on their beloved Mt. Zion, but abandoned the work because of pressure from surrounding enemies.  

At that point the word of the Lord came to Haggai, and he said in essence: “Why are you spending all your time, effort and money building up your own houses, while the house of the Lord lies in ruins? Which house is important to you?”

Today I’d like to ask you the same question: “which house is more important to you…God’s house or your own house?”

Of course in the church age the old covenant temple has been replaced by the new covenant temple, made up of the bodies of all believers who are indwelt by the Spirit of God, fit together like living stones (1Cor 6:19-20; 1Pet 2:5).  

But the principle remains the same. Who occupies first place in your list of priorities? And who gets the firstfruits from your labor?  

In Haggai’s time it wasn’t God, and the people were suffering for it.

In verse 6, he explains: “You have planted much, but harvested little.You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

Do you ever feel that way? No matter how hard you work, or how much money you make, it never seems to be enough. Maybe your purse has a hole in it because you’re not giving your firstfruits to the Lord. You’re building up your own house rather than investing in God’s house.

If that’s the case, the response is clear. God calls us to trust him with our finances…even more than that – our very lives.  And he promises to bless us (Hag 2:15-19).  

So no matter how tight your finances are, or how fearful you may be to give up control of your checking account, will you give God your firstfruits?  

Remember the old saying. We can never out give God.  
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