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Haggai 1:2–6 ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’ (v4)

There is a church in Newport, Isle of Wight which was built by the direction of a man who read these verses and took them to heart.

He had just finished work on his own home and came across these verses in Haggai and realised his church needed updating.

In fact, the church ended up with a new building in a different location in town. The message of this prophecy is about priorities.

It was given when the people of God had returned to the land of Judah but not given sufficient attention to rebuilding the temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians who sent the bulk of the people into exile.

There is a clear application to local church communities who have premises, but if your church chooses to use a local school or community hall, the application works.

The two primary places we discover our priorities are the diary and the bank balance: how you spend your time and your treasure. God asks that you dedicate both fully to Him.

Now some get confused: this won’t mean that all your time and treasure will go on ‘church stuff’. That would be to fall for the myth of the sacred- secular divide.

It is all to be for God, but does your treasure have you or do you have treasure? Whether we use the Old Testament practise of 10% or select a regular amount from our giving from our income is a matter for each of us to discern.

These verses encourage us to make sure that we get our priorities right, like an Isle of Wight elder many years ago!


A Prayer To Make:
‘Teach me, Lord, how to leave everything with you and
enjoy the peace that comes from a life lived for your glory. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Have a look at your bank balance and diary and imagine you were trying to assess whether your faith matters. What would you conclude?

Scripture To Consider:
2 Sam. 23:13–17; Mal. 3:8–12; 1 Cor. 16:1–4; 2 Cor. 8:1–14

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.