From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 16, 2019
Subject: It's September 16; Good Morning Union

“Give careful thought to your ways….” Haggai 1:5

The little book of Haggai reminded me this morning of the importance of priorities. He wrote while the children of Israel were starting to reestablish themselves as a nation after spending 70 years in Babylonian captivity (because of their poor priorities!) Now they are home again and the land, their beautiful city of Jerusalem, and their nation were all in a deplorable condition. Some consider this VERY minor prophet one of the most successful prophets because it appears the people actually listened to him!! Imagine that? God sent a message and the people listened!

It’s only two chapters long and my ah-ha as I was reviewing it this morning was the warning, “Give careful thought to your ways.” (1:5) And the reason he gave this counsel from God is as follows, “Because My house remains in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.” Apparently, when they came back to their homeland they focused FIRST on themselves, THEN on their God.

I don’t think it’s wrong to “focus on myself,” but who or what gets my primary focus? Do I first feast on God, or does He only get my leftovers? Israel always seemed to struggle with priorities; in that way I can still be so much like them. Who gets first billing in my life? With what do I start my day? I want to “give careful thought to that.” When Israel got it right, God was able to bless them abundantly. I continue to see evidence in my life that the same prioritization brings the same blessings (and then some!) today.

Have a great day focusing your priorities,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day: “Stars can’t shine without darkness.”


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