WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T NEGLECT THE HOUSE OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?’” (Haggai 1:3-4 New King James Version).
When the Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, they met the Temple of the LORD in ruins. They started rebuilding it but only built an altar on the original site of the Temple and laid the foundation for the new Temple. They could not progress further because of opposition. Work on the project stopped for more than ten years. The Temple was in ruins while the Jews were living in paneled, fancy, or luxurious houses. The Temple project was no longer their priority. They became indifferent to it.
The LORD was not pleased with the neglect of His house. He noted that the people were saying that the time had not yet come to rebuild His house while they were building beautiful houses for themselves. That was selfish. “Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?’” (Verses 3-4 New King James Version).
The LORD told the people that their neglect of His house was responsible for their misfortune. Because they put themselves first, instead of the LORD, they didn’t prosper. Things were not going on well for them. They planted much but harvested little. They ate but were not satisfied. They drank but they were still thirsty. They clothed themselves but were not warm. And they earned money but lost it as if they had put it in a bag with holes (Haggai 1:6).
God said in verses 9-11, “‘You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore, the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands’” (New King James Version).
God continued in Haggai 2:16-17, “Since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty. I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me” (New King James Version).
However, through the ministry of Haggai and Zachariah, the people resumed work on the Temple. Ezra 5:1-2 says, “Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them” (New King James Version).
In the book of Haggai, after the Prophet Haggai had delivered the LORD’s message and the Jews laid the foundation of the Temple, He promised to bless them. “Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid — consider it: Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you” (Haggai 2:18-19 New King James Version). The people laid the Temple foundation afresh. Despite renewed opposition, they eventually completed rebuilding the Temple.
Don’t neglect the house of God. Support the building of God’s house. It is true that in the New Testament, believers are the Temple of the living God. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”(1 Corinthians 3:16 New King James Version). 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (New King James Version).
Also, 2 Corinthians 6:16 states this truth thus: “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (New King James Version). Indeed, the believers are the church, not the building. Nevertheless, God also encourages believers to fellowship together.
The Bible says believers should not neglect their meeting together, as is the manner of some (Hebrews 10:25). Therefore, believers need a convenient place to meet, which the house of God provides. Thus, you should support the building of God’s house. But the church must never let building projects become more important than souls!
Don’t neglect the house of God and say you can fellowship with God at home. Your closet life or private fellowship is not a substitute for corporate fellowship. Some things happen when we fellowship with other believers that don’t happen in our private fellowships and vice versa. That’s why you should support the building of worship centres.
2 Samuel 7:1-2 says about King David, “Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains’” (New King James Version). His predecessor, Saul, never thought of building a house for God.
David also said in Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD’” (New King James Version). He didn’t neglect the house of God. The writer of Psalm 84 says he would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of his God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness (verse 10). Don’t neglect the house of God. Pray at home, but come to pray with other believers in his house. Isaiah 56:7 says God’s Temple shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. Jesus referred to this scripture in Matthew 21:13 and Mark 11:17.
Don’t neglect the house of God. Give generously to it and towards the welfare of God’s servants. In the days of Nehemiah, the Jews neglected the house of God. Consequently, the servants of God abandoned His house. They became farmers! Apparently to meet their needs!
Nehemiah said, “I also learned that the Levites had not been given what was due them, so they and the choir singers who were supposed to conduct the worship services had returned to their farms” (Nehemiah 13:10 The Living Bible). Nehemiah confronted the leaders on this. He called the Levites back and restored them to their proper duties. Then the people of Judah began bringing their tithes of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the Temple storerooms.
Don’t neglect the house of God. Support the vision, mission, goals, programmes, and projects of your church. Neglecting the house of God denies believers His blessing. David said the zeal for God’s house had consumed him (Psalm 69:9). The Bible in Basic English renders Psalm 69:9 thus: “I am on fire with passion for your house; and the hard things which are said about you have come on me.” Be on fire with passion for God and His house.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I will not neglect Your house. I receive God’s provision to support the building of His house. I will not forsake meeting together with other believers, as some are in the habit of doing, Holy Spirit, let the zeal for God and His work burn hot in me. I pray that all those who have neglected God’s house will return.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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