Sunday, May 29, 2011

These Feet Were Made for Giving

Haggai 1:1-11(ESV)

1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 2"Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD." 3Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
7"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. 8Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors."

I know I included the link to this Scripture and printed it out as well; I know it seems redundant.  That's because I am awed by just how important this is.  Both the Old and New Testaments talk about the firstfruits, the "tenth," God's portion and provision, but read this Scripture again.  If this passage doesn't make it clear that God deserves, demands, needs to get His first, no passage does.  God is so worthy.  God gives us whatever it is we have, and yet we will never know blessing if we do not put Him first.  Do you see -- "How can you spend so much money on home improvements or the latest home theater, and deny God His due?"  "How can you go to Shady Maple, or Texas Roadhouse, or Moshulu, or buy the finest steak when that money first belongs to God?"  "What is your clothing budget?  15%?  20%?  What is your tithe?"

I don't believe God begrudges us fun, or lavish gifts, or indulgences.  Pedicures make me very happy.  But if my pedicures are at God's expense, i.e. money that should have been placed in the offering on Sunday, there will be consequences.  Is God waiting to run me over with a bus the second I step out in my pink polish and flip-flops?  I don't think so, but what about the homeless mother that breaks my heart?  My eyes go right down to my pampered feet and I realize just how selfish I've been.  Or the unexpected bill that arrives in the mail?  My mind goes right to the portion I denied God.  Or the blessing I don't receive?  Yep, first thought?  My tiny little toes.

God is worthy. 

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