The Journey Thoughts

October 31, 2016

When Cyrus defeated Babylon around 540 BC, he issued a decree that allowed
the exiled nations in Babylon to return to their homeland. Ezra tells that
over 40,000 Jewish pilgrims traveled back to Judah to rebuild the temple in
Jerusalem. Well, they built an altar, and a foundation, but then the work
was stalled by Samaria, and after a while, the Jews became discouraged and
the temple was not rebuilt, even though the people were still under Persian
control. After the death of Cyrus, and then his son, Cambysis, Darius took
control. It was during this time that God directed Haggai to encourage the
leaders to rebuild the temple. Darius would prove beneficial in helping to
rebuild the temple.  But while Haggai was encouraging the leaders, who
seemed apathetic to the idea, here is what the Lord told Haggai: " The word
of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet: Is it a time for you yourselves
to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, the
Lord of Hosts says this: 'Think carefully about your ways: You have planted
much but harvested little. You eat but never have enough to be satisfied.
You drink but never have enough to become drunk. You put on clothes but
never have enough to get warm. The wage earner put his wages into a bag with
a hole in it. The Lord of Hosts says this: 'Think carefully about your
ways.' Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house. Then I
will be pleased with it and be glorified, says the Lord." Haggai 1:3-8  The
longer they went without building the temple, the more they lost the energy
to do so, and the Lord reminded them that they were paying more attention to
self-centered matters, instead of what the Lord wants.  And it seems like so
little has changed over the many years.  I am concerned that the temple, the
one that exists within each of us, has become a sports arena, a place where
we can play instead of worship. Perhaps it's because we now have it so good,
that we no longer are concerned about the future, because the present is
taking care of us just fine.  We don't get ourselves involved in spiritual
things, because we just don't have the time any longer, or is it because we
don't have the energy, or the desire?  Are the things that we enjoy, the
tickling of the flesh becoming more important than having an honored temple
of the Lord among us?  I'm not talking about building a new building, but
honoring the one that our Lord made, the body that has become the temple of
the Holy Spirit.  We too often act  like the Holy Spirit is a border, who we
don't bother getting to know, but just rent out space to Him.  But isn't our
life about worshipping the Lord? Isn't it about serving God, through being
an example of Christ to others around us,  to the saved and the unsaved?
Perhaps that's why there seems to be a judgment coming.  I am not a prophet,
but can read the writing on the wall.  We have become complacent with
honoring the Lord.  We honor our lifestyle and the things we like to do, and
have forgotten the Lord.  Oh, by the way. The Lord of Host tells Haggai,
that because the house is still in ruins: "So on your account, the skies
have withheld the dew and the land its crops. I have summoned a drought on
the fields and the hills, on the grain, new wine, olive oil, and whatever
the ground yields, on man and beast, and on all that your hands produce."
vv10-11 The Lord God is still God, and wants to be honored first, for He is
the One who saves. He is worthy of honor, and we give Him our left overs.
Maybe that's why we are seeing a change in America, because we have
forgotten who to worship the Lord. Let's think carefully about our ways.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father,  Forgive us Lord, for our complacency, and renew a right
Spirit within us. Lord, instill in us a desire for You first in our lives,
and help us to make this temple a place where You feel honored to reside.  I
pray Lord, that You will forgive, and that my prayers will not be hindered.
So, again, I will lift up my prayer for those who need a clean heart, who
need You so much. May our hearts truly believe that. Please touch us today,
starting with: Mike and his sisters, Don, Dwight, Jim, Vanessa, Becky, the
Markle family, Travis, Virginia, Eric, Eva, Max, Rita, Pastor Berkey, Nancy,
June, JT, Candace, Meredith, Carolyn, Mike S., Ramona, Loren, Judy, Ben, the
Young family, Robby, Kathy, Terri, Becky, Montella, Charlie, Kim, Nada,
Angie, Isabel, Terry and his dad, Tim and his mom, Shelly and her mom, Pam
and her son, Kelly and her son, Richard and his father, Julissa and her
friend, Ellen's friend, Kristena, Abby, Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia,
Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy, Ruth, Ada, JV, BJ, Ida, Betty H., Briggs
church, Jackie Ann, Tonia, Todd, Liam, Aiden, Alan, Fisher, Tuly, Betsy,
Michelle, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, Andrea, Shannon,
Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Joyce, Betty, Gus, Lisa, Alice, David,
Phyllis, Devon, Cindy, Marliana, Cynthia, Berry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary,
Gavin, Shawn, Laurie, Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike,
Austin, Harriet, Fred, Dotty, James, Scott, April, Craig, Hunter, Betty,
Asher, Lynette, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben,
Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jade, Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Matt,
Liz, Matt, Bethany, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tim,
Michelle. I pray for my family, that all of us, return to the joy of our
Salvation and have a renewed heart, to put and keep You first in our lives.
So once again, I petition You on behalf of all of us, who have become
complacent in our need of You, and I pray that You will heal in Jesus name.

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