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January 7, 2022

Give Careful Thought to Your Ways

“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:5)

Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament—just two chapters. It was written by the prophet Haggai in 520 B.C. and while its message was specifically for the Israelites who had returned from a long exile in Babylon, God chose it to be part of His inspired Scripture because its general message applies to all generations of God’s followers. Here’s the message and its application.

Today’s focal verse from Haggai 1:5 is also repeated word for word in verse seven. It was written and repeated as a serious warning to the returned exiles because they had set aside God’s priority for them, which was to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Instead, the peoples’ priority was to build homes for themselves. They had become casual, even indifferent to the things of God. They were not putting God first in their lives.

Haggai records the peoples’ response to God’s warning in verse 12: “…the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.”

Haggai reports that God was pleased with the peoples’ response and gave them an awesome promise of His blessing. “I am with you,” declares the Lord” (vs. 13). This promise is repeated in Haggai 2:4, to encourage the people to be diligent in following and obeying the Lord as their top priority.

And as we begin another new year, I encourage you to give careful thought to your ways. If you find that you are out of step with God’s commands and His priorities, repent and turn to God in obedience, knowing that He will be gracious to you and He will be with you.

Question: Are God’s priorities your priorities?

Challenge: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your promise to be with us as we seek you first.

Dan Kinnaman -- Coordinator, MLB Draft League

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