Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
“But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.” (NLT)
Have you ever had trouble carrying out a project to completion? We start strong, but after we experience an obstacle or a setback, it can be tempting just to quit. We get distracted, and it becomes harder and harder to resume progress. We’ve all been there. What about your walk with God? We set goals to read our Bible, we join a Bible study, but one missed day turns into two. Maybe God is calling us to share the gospel with a friend, start a Bible study, or go on a mission trip. We liked the idea, but lack courage to take the final step. What do we do? A big message of motivation awaits us in the small book of Haggai. Nestled in its two tiny chapters, God tells His people: “be strong…and now get to work, for I am with you!”
The people of Judah had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, but soon progress was halted by their enemies. Maybe they intended to start again one day, but daily life resumed over the years and slowly picked up pace around the unfinished Temple. One day passed, then another. Unable to take the next step, God’s people poured their time and energy into their own lives and possessions until priority of God faded to the background. Can we relate? But that’s not where their story ends and it’s not where ours ends today either. Haggai 1:14 says that the LORD “sparked the enthusiasm,” or “stirred up the spirit (NIV),”of the governor of Judah, the high priest, and the entire remnant of God’s people after the prophet Haggai spoke to them.
When was the last time you prayed for enthusiasm? Motivation? This account tells us that the people of Judah got right to work. God had good things coming on his kingdom calendar. Little did they know that the very feet of Jesus would walk upon those floors five centuries later. How rich and relevant this scene is to our own lives. Baby steps of action can sometimes take the greatest leaps of faith, but our key verse reminds us not to give up when we are called to get out there, and do the work that God calls us to do. The Lord continues the work he began in us (Philippians 1:6). God has plans for our life and wants to bless them with peace and fruitfulness (Jeremiah 29:11).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, the Bible is so relevant and full of real life. Motivate me, show me how to complete the tasks you have called me to. I want to bring you glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.