Focal passage: Haggai 1:2-13
There’s a popular saying that reminds us to “Put first things first.” It is a way of remembering that if we fail to keep the proper perspective on life, we can make the minor things major and the major things minor.
Throughout scripture, God is clear – He is to be our first priority. When anything else comes before God, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Haggai lived over 500 years before Christ. He spoke to exiles who had returned to Jerusalem years after the Babylonians had destroyed the city and temple. While these exiles were busy repatriating themselves in their homeland and building their homes and working their fields, God’s house remained in ruins.
Haggai pointed out to the people that if they wondered why their endeavors had been met with difficulty, the answer was that they had neglected to put God first. Haggai says that attempting to work and live our life without God is like a man putting his money in a bag with a hole in it – whatever you get won’t do you any good and it will quickly be lost (Haggai 1:6). The people of God planted their seed and worked in their fields but there was no rain and little yield. However, God told them that if they would prioritize worship by building a place to worship Him, He would bless them.
Today, we know that God “does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48), but we must prioritize God in all things. God is to be our “first love” and He is to have “pre-eminence” (first-place) in our life. We must prioritize our relationship with God above our relationship with our spouse, children or grandchildren and before our career, pleasure or hobbies. God is a jealous God, and there is no room for anything else before or above Him.
Are you finding your plans and labors are often frustrated? Do you feel that there is just not enough time in the day? If so, perhaps you need to put first things first. Do you prioritize time spent with God every day? Do you prioritize obedience over pleasure? Do you prioritize Kingdom work in your giving? Do you prioritize gathering with other believers above having “your weekend”?
Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33).