This week I was reading chapter 19 of The Story (don't forget to read chapter 19 before Sunday). And, I didn't get far! Why...Because I cam across a section of scripture that gabbed my heart and mind. In The Story it's found on page 266, in the Bible it is found in Haggai 1:4-6.
First some quick context. King Cyrus has declared that the Jewish people may return home and begin rebuilding their temple. It doesn't take long for opposition so the rebuilding stops...For 16 years! But during the 16 years the people stay in their homeland and, since it's too difficult to build the temple, they choose to build their own homes and gardens. During this time, God says...
"Is it right of you to live in richly paneled houses while my temple is in ruins? Here then is what they Lord who rules over all says; 'Think carefully about what you are doing. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but are never filled. You drink, but are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but are not warm. Those who earn wages end up with holes in their money bags...'Why?' asks the Lord who rules over all. 'Because my temple remains in ruins, thanks to each of you favoring your own house!'" Haggai 1:4-6, 9 (NET)
Keep in mind. There is no more temple. The Jewish Synagogue is not the Temple. New City Church is not the Temple. However, we can still look for transferable principles from this historical account.
It's a simple question, but a hard answer. In what ways are you choosing not to give so that you can have?
Look at the above scripture. Focus on a few statements:
"Think carefully about what you are doing."
"holes in their money bags"
If you read Haggai 1:4-6,9 and thought, "That's how I feel about my life." Then pause and ask "Why?" Then, choose to trust the Lord with your time, talents and treasure.
I urge you to take a step towards financial peace. How much longer will you work only to have nothing to show for it. Follow God's financial principals and watch what He does for you.