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Tuesday, July 16, 2019 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Rebuilding The Temple

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This is what the Lord Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built.'" The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have 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" (Haggai 1:2-6).

The people to whom this passage was referring had been directed to rebuild God's temple. But through the course of time they had become sidetracked by many things: the cares of this earth, making a living, and building for themselves a nice comfortable house. Where they had once purposed to give of what they had so that God's house might be established, they had instead used there resources to gather what was pleasing to themselves. They were given a responsibility to care for the temple--the house of God--and so are we.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul asks, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" In that we are the dwelling place of God we are the temple of His Spirit. Even as the temple was to be consecrated and kept holy--divided unto God for His purpose--so we are to be kept holy and divided from the godless for the purpose and will of our righteous Father.
And yet, what would God say to us through Haggai today? Would He not say much the same as He did in Haggai's time? For we have been given charge over the temple of God even as we are His Holy Temple. And we (as a people) also have grown slack in our responsibilities to the temple's upkeep. For though we should be making ourselves a Holy dwelling place for the Lord, we are more concerned with filling ourselves with that which pleases us. The temple of the Lord receives a portion of our time, our attention and our wages, when indeed much more is needed to restore it to its proper place. We take what should be used to build God's house and we panel the walls of our lives with comfort and pleasantry.
And to what end? What shall we show for our days when our days come to a close? We will see our days gone by, spent in countless hours of working to provide even more and more comfort to pacify us in this life. We eat, drink, work and spend and are never satisfied. For the labor of our hands seem unable to keep up with what our desires would consume.
Meanwhile, the house of God in each of us goes unattended. We become more and more weakened within our spirits and question God when life gets too difficult. We soon wonder why we cannot seem to stop doing what is wrong and do more of what is right. We wonder why it is so difficult to live as God wants us to. And we feel defeated and unable to stand as a child of God.
We have given much time, energy, attention and thought to pleasing ourselves, having fun and being comfortable. "What do you do for fun?" seems to be one of the primary questions in getting to know someone. Perhaps it is time we begin to turn the tide, and start placing our resources toward the best good. Perhaps it is time we put aside our wants and desires and comforts, and take up the work of rebuilding the temple once more.

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