Sunday, 4 July 2021

The House of the Lord

 Scripture: Haggai 1 v 4 - 7: "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?

 5  Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 
 6  Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 
 7  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways."

Many years ago the Lord gave me this portion of verse when I was praying with an African woman whose pastor husband had recently died.  He had had the oversight of 8 churches, which she had now inherited and was busy taking over.  There was one in an area she did not like and had neglected it.

The real reason we were praying though was for her home which needed the roof repaired and the builders were ignoring her and not coming to complete the work.  So the Lord gave me those verses for her, and I was led to say to her, when you stop neglecting that area of the Lord's House, and give it your love and attention, your house will be repaired too.  So she did exactly that and within days her own house was fixed.

In every part of our lives, when we put the needs of the Lord's House before our own needs, that which needs doing in our own lives will be realised.  If there is something which is amiss in our family seek the Lord to see if we have missed someone or something in His family with a need.  When we are obedient to His nudges, He will bring blessings to us too.

The level of our blessings can be compared to the scripture above.  When it seems that our wages look like they are put in a bag full of holes, it means that our earnings disappear at high speed and we struggle to make ends meet.  This could mean that we do not realise that the Lord gives us everything!  In turn He wants ten percent given into His storehouse, the tithe, so that those who feed you spiritually receive a blessing.

Deuteronomy 8 v 17 - 19:  "And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
18  But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
19  And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish."

Obeying the Lord and blessing those in His House brings rewards here and in Heaven.  Your Heavenly bank account is abundantly filled so that every need is met on Earth and the well never runs dry.  When you forget the Lord who gives you power to increase wealth, its like idolatry of self, and your pockets get empty month after month.

Matthew 16 v 24 - 25: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

The secret of living the Christian life abundantly is to deny ourselves some reward or blessing to do something for Jesus, to repair His House or His people, without thought of any compensation to ourselves.  Jesus says if we lose our life for His sake, we shall find His life.  

This does not mean dying for Him, but rather dying to self.  In the world life is a rat race where ruthlessly ambitious people claw their way to the top of the heap no matter who gets hurt or sacrificed for them to succeed.  It starts corrupt practices and these continue unabated.

Christianity is not of this world system so when we follow Jesus we take up the cross and do things His way.  This means self-sacrifice, letting another shine instead of ourselves, giving way to people less talented, being humble.  When we do this, Jesus tells Our Father and He pours out blessings upon us.

1 Corinthians 1 v 27 - 29: "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
 28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
 29  That no flesh should glory in his presence."

One of our biggest stumbling blocks is pride which is what caused Satan's fall from the Kingdom of Heaven.  It stops us from building the Lord's House in meekness, patience, love and humility.  Instead it gets built with money in mind, plus status, fame, ambition and materialism.  Big, better, best.

But our God chooses the base, foolish, weak and that which is despised and rejected to build His House to confound the wise and mighty to bring our flesh and its sins to nothing.  So never despise one of His seemingly flawed workers, but understand the true wisdom of our God.

Let us fill the Lord's House with love because He is love and He made us in love, and showed us that real love is unselfish, always bringing out the best in those around us.  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we very often get this wrong to our own shame and detriment.  Forgive us Lord for our lack of wisdom and help us to see through Your eyes so we may change our lofty ways and humble ourselves before You.  Let us not neglect Your House or Your people, but rather pray for guidance and be a blessing to them.  Let us not seek rewards but be thankful when You bless us.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.