Keeping priorities straight isn't always easy, but is so important.

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'This people says, 'The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.' ' Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 'Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?' Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Consider your ways!' " (Haggai 1.2-5)

The people of Israel returned from exile and made it a priority to rebuild their houses. There is nothing wrong with that. But, they never made it a priority to rebuild God's temple. Personal priorities took precedent over spiritual ones, and therein lies a lesson and application.

We have a responsibility to provide for our families and households (1 Timothy 5.8), but we also have a great responsibility to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (Matthew 6.33). To borrow Jesus' words, "these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others." (Matthew 23.23)

The older I get, the more I see the priority of balance. I've known individuals so zealous for the Lord's work that they neglected their families to their detriment. And, I've known those who professed faith, but were so worldly minded and focused that they offered little time and money to the Lord's work. Both extremes are dangerous.

Hopefully each of us truly have our priorities straight. Whether we do or not, the challenge from Yahweh God through Haggai is important and urgent: "thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Consider your ways!' "

©Steve Taylor, 2017 --Used by permission

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