It was Sunday morning and the Neri family checked in on Facebook at Rolling Hills Community Church. “God 1st” read the comment. That afternoon, they checked in again, this time at AT&T Park in San Francisco; “Giants 2nd.” I liked that, and they got it right. Said Jesus, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Judah had returned from exile in Babylon, commissioned by the Persian king Cyrus to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its Temple. They half completed the project before they became half-hearted and the work stopped. For almost two decades the work was ignored when Haggai stood before the people and berated, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4). It wasn’t that Judah did not have the means to finish the Temple, because they had the means to finish their homes. It was a choice, and it was me first, which is always what we choose when it’s not God.
The irony is, me first serves me least, “Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:5-6). God saves the best for last, and those who put him first feast at his table. This time, the people listened to their God and obeyed, “and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God” (Haggai 1:14). They got it right.
My God, I love You with heart, soul, mind, and strength. My life is committed fully to You. May the life I live reflect my devotion to You. Where I work, may I serve You by serving others. In my home, may I build my house on the solid foundation of Your Word. In my neighborhood, may I love my neighbor as myself.
May the things I do bring You praise and glory.