Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 53
Passage of the Day: Haggai 1: 4 [In the context of verses 2-4] [NLT] …
2 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: The people are saying, ‘the time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house — the Temple.’” … 3 So the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Haggai, Chapter 1 [NLT] … Go to this link …
Reference Passage #1: Matthew 5: 13 : [NLT] …
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless….”
Reference Passage #2: Matthew 21: 12-13 : [NLT] …
12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves. 13 He said, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a place of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” [see also Is. 56: 7 and Jer. 7: 11]
Reference Passage #3: Romans 12: 1-2 : [NLT] …
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Reference Passage #4: 1st Corinthians 6: 19-20 : [NLT] …
19 Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
My Journal for Today: Today Os Hillman, in his devotional entry, takes us back to the time [in about 520 BC] when a remnant of the Jews had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem; and Haggai was one of the designated Prophets to God’s remnant. And God, through Haggai, charged the people to get their spiritual house in order by rebuilding God’s Temple, … putting God’s will and the worship of God ahead of their desire to establish property and to build their own, secured homes.
And today the remnant of believers – i.e., the Church – is much like those people, slowly succumbing to the ways of the world rather than doing life God’s way (i.e., building His Spirit-willed temple in our hearts). When Jesus entered HIS TEMPLE on Palm Sunday on His way to the cross, He saw and grieved over the status of His Father’s House; and as we read above in the passage from Matthew 21, God, the Son, knowing what God had said (in Is. 56: 7 and Jer. 7: 11), the Lord let His grief and righteous anger loose and turned over the tables and cleansed the Temple.
Letting God’s Temple (see 2nd Cor. 6: 19-20 copied above) be turned over to the ways of the world is a bad place to be; and Haggai called out the people of God to get God’s House in order. Jesus called out to God’s children in His Sermon on the Mount (see Matt. 5: 13 above), calling for the people to be the salt of the earth, keeping their hearts pure (and salty) so that they could be strong witnesses in the world. And when the Lord witnessed God’s Temple being desecrated – for worldly good – when He was headed to the cross, He reacted to cleanse His Father’s House and make it right.
What about us, fellow believer? Have we let God’s Temple, i.e., the heart in which His Spirit resides, become a den of thieves? Have we let His salt in us become polluted and weakened by worldly pursuits? Have we fallen prey to what the Apostle Paul warned about in Romans 12: 1-2, … i.e., weakening our worship with worldly ways?
If so, we need to become salty witnesses. We need let God’s Spirit cleanse our Temple. And we need to rebuild His Temple as our priority in life so that He will be glorified by our worship rather than letting it become polluted and desecrated by worldliness.
I don’t know about you; but like Jesus, I’m in a house cleaning mood today. [Go to this link to be inspired by Jesus cleaning His Father’s house,]
My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me clean out Your Temple, ... my heart, ... today. … Amen