Summary: Many people needlessly spend too much effort worrying, working and wrestling with things without the blessings of God. In nine points Haggai’s message to the people taught them how to get their priorities straight. He gave them a word from God that rever
Many people needlessly spend too much effort worrying, working and wrestling with things without the blessings of God. Haggai’s message to the people taught them how to get their priorities straight. He gave them a word from God that reversed their demorilizing ways and motivated them to engage in God’s work. Like these people we often place too much emphasis on our own concerns forgetting to put God’s work, will and worship first. When God is pleased with our priorities He promises to empower, guide and enable us to enjoy His supernatural blessings. Let us learn key principles of participating in God’s bountiful blessings.
Illustration: As a minister was addressing a group of men, he took a large piece of paper and made a black dot in the center of it with a marking pen. Then he held the paper up before the group and asked them what they saw. One person quickly replied, “I see a black mark.” “Right,” the preacher replied. “What else do you see?” Complete silence prevailed. “Don’t you see anything other than the dot?” he asked. A chorus of noes came from the audience. “I’m really surprised,” the speaker commented. “You have completely overlooked the most important thing of all—the sheet of paper.” Then he made the application. He said that in life we are often distracted by small, dot-like disappointments or painful experiences, and we are prone to forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the hand of the Lord. But like the sheet of paper, the good things are far more important than the adversities that monopolize our attention.
This reminds me of a bit of verse which, though I admit is somewhat trite, does express good practical advice. Someone has written: “As you travel down life’s pathway, may this ever be your goal:/ Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole!”
Yes, rather than concentrating on the trials of life, we should fix our attention upon is blessings. Let us say with the psalmist, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits” (Psalm 68:19 (quickview) ). - R. W. D.
Our Daily Bread, March 10
1. Blessings are missed because we fail to put God’s purpose, priorities and plans first. Haggai spoke to the people calling them back to God’s values. "Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?" (Hag. 1:4) Many people fail to realize they are living displeasing lives and so fail to repent of their sins of omission. Whatever is not done out of faith is sin. James writes, "If anyone knows the right thing to do but fails to do it for him it is sin." (James 4:7 (quickview) )
Illustration: Be Encouraged
The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk.
Abraham was too old.
Isaac was a daydreamer.
Jacob was a liar.
Leah was ugly.
Joseph was abused.
Moses had a stuttering problem.
Gideon was afraid.
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.
David had an affair and was a murderer.
Elijah was suicidal.