Consider Your Ways
For most people, the end of a year is December 31st and the New Year starts on January 1st. In fact, a good majority of the world recognizes this as the beginning of a new cycle of time. For a teacher, though, the cycle is a little different. We often measure our beginnings and ends by the school year. Although we may do some evaluations and reevaluations in our personal lives at the official start of the year just like the rest of the world, in terms of our job, most of our reflecting happens throughout the summer. We consider where we have failed and where we rose above the challenges, where we can improve and where we can rest comfortably in our efforts.
But, for all of us, considering our ways is important—whether we are taking into account our job, our personal growth, our family and friends, or our walk with the Lord. No matter what time of year we happen to do this, considering our ways is necessary, and the Lord often uses our contemplations and reflections about our life as a catalyst for change, repentance, and growth… If we do not do this on our own…the Lord will bring about this process for us. Take a look at this passage in Haggai 1:2-11:
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘These people say, “The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.”’ Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’ Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.’ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,’ says the Lord. ‘You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.’”
As we ponder this passage, let’s reflect. Lately, in terms of our relationship with the Lord, is there anything we have left undone? What have we put aside in our walk with God while we have instead focused on our…..house, job, finances, relationships, worries, doubts, fears, etc? Have we been putting certain things before God while we have left the work of His House—aka His Kingdom—unfinished?
Today, let’s consider our ways and make some changes. Let’s put the Lord and the work of His Kingdom ahead of everything else. His Promise is that if we put HIM first, the rest of these things will fall into place: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
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