Haggai 1:5 says, “Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.” Haggai was addressing the Jews who had returned from Babylonian captivity, and were more concerned with building their own houses, than with building The Lord’s House. Because of this, the prophet said they were putting their money into a bag with holes. That they sow much and reap little. In other words, they were not being blessed, because they were not putting God first. This Biblical principle stands true today. We are to put God first in all things, in order to receive and walk in all of the blessings we have in Christ Jesus. All the blessings of God have been given in Christ, but faith and obedience is the key that unlocks them.
Matt 6:33 says that we are to seek first the kingdom of God, and all these (material) things will be added unto us. Proverbs 3:9-10 says that when we honor God with our first fruits, our storehouses will be full. In Gen. 4:4, Abel’s offering was accepted, for he brought God his first fruits. Hezekiah was blessed, because he put God first (2Ch 31:20-21). Solomon was blessed because he put God first in asking for wisdom to govern God’s people, so God gave him riches and long life (1Kings 3:11-13). All the first born, whether animals or people, were God’s (Num 18:15, Ex 13:2).
We are to have our offerings ready to give to God on the first day of the week (1Cor 16:2). We come together on the first day of the week to break bread (communion) and hear the preaching of God’s Word (Act 20:7). We are to seek God the first part of the day (Psa 63:1, Prv 8:17). In 1Kings 17:11-15, we see the widow woman put God first by obeying Elijah’s request to make him something to eat first. She was blessed through her obedience, and was provided for through the famine. Consider your ways. Do you put God first?
I believe we are in the last of days. I believe that soon the world will enter into that time of trouble called the great tribulation. However, even if you don’t believe that, we can all agree on this: this is our last days. Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is our time. This is our chance. We don’t get a do over. Are you living for Jesus? Is service to Him and His church your number one priority? Be honest with yourself. We are to do all things as unto Him, including serving His church (Col 3:17, 23). Everything else will perish. Everything else is temporary. Only what we do as unto the Lord will last forever.
Perhaps you don’t see the point in church. Perhaps you don’t believe in organized religion. Well then, you don’t believe The Bible. The Bible teaches order. God is a God of order. He is a God of government. “Let all things be done decently and in order”, the apostle said. Jesus established the church - not man. Jesus ordained the five fold ministry to do the work of the ministry and perfect the saints - not man. Jesus brought correction through Paul to a disorderly church (1Corinthians) - not man. Jesus ordained repentance, salvation, baptism, communion - not man. Biblical Christianity is organized religion – organized by Jesus. Jesus builds His church, and has laid out specific ways He wants it run. I call that organized.
Aren’t we all ministers? Yes. Are we all called and anointed by God to be in the five fold ministry? No. The church, the family, business, school, military, society – they all must have order. They must be structured. There must be leadership, and those willing to follow that leadership. The pastor is head of the church (under Christ, of course). The father is head of the family. The boss is head of the business. The superintendent is head of the school. The coach is head of the team, etc., etc.
Will some leaders abuse their power? Yes – and it should be corrected. However, just because some leaders abuse their authority, doesn’t mean there should be no authority at all. Putting God first means putting His ways first. Putting His Words first. Putting His structure first. Anything less is rebellion against God. You may not like a person in authority, but don’t despise the authority. This is a very Biblical precedent. Anything with two heads is a monster. Anything with no head is dead. Creation shows this to be true.
You have a ministry. Serve your church, and thereby serve Jesus. Be committed. Be faithful. Put at least as much effort (preferably more) into serving Christ as you would serving your employer. Do your research. Prepare. Organize. What has God put on your heart? What do you have a passion for? No matter how big or small, do it faithfully as unto The Lord.
God put us first when Jesus died for us. What are you doing for Jesus? What are you doing for His church? His people? Ask yourself that question this week, and answer it honestly. Be still and listen to God’s voice. He will speak to you. He will tell you what you can do. Then do it. Consider your ways. Until next time, rejoice in the Lord.