In the Old Testament there is the Book of Haggai. The prophet Haggai brought a message to the people of Jerusalem after they had been set free from Babylonian captivity in the 6th century BC. They had been back in Jerusalem for more than 15 years and had not started rebuilding the Temple. It was God’s desire that the Temple be built, but they had found other priorities in their lives like building their homes and establishing their families. Haggai, speaking for God, said: “give careful thought to your ways.” Building our home and taking care of our family are not “bad” things to be doing, but if God is not at the top of our list of priorities maybe we should “give careful thought to our ways.”God has set us free. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have been set free! Sometimes we forget this simple truth and as the days and years go on we lose our passion for this joy of salvation that we have been given. Have you given thought to your ways? Sometimes we come to know the Lord Jesus and are full of zeal to serve him and share our new faith, but then, as life begins to get in the way, the zeal starts to wane. Have you given thought to your ways? We get busy with life and the demands of our families and careers and then church and bible study start playing second fiddle in our life. I understand that one doesn’t have to go to church to be a Christian and reading the bible does not bring about salvation, but all of us need the encouragement of fellow believers and understanding God’s call on our lives depends deeply on our reading of his Word.I heard a story once about a farmer who asked his neighbor if he might borrow a rope. “Sorry,” said the neighbor, “I’m using the rope to tie up my milk.” “Milk?” exclaimed the first farmer. “Rope can’t tie up milk.” “I know,” replied the neighbor, “But when a man doesn’t want to do something, one reason is as good as another.” Well that is true, one reason is as good as another, but forsaking our time with God and our fellowship with other believers can affect our relationship with God and our ability to glorify him in this world. It makes no difference on why we aren’t going to church or studying God’s word; we all know that it is God’s desire that we do gather in a fellowship regularly give a portion of our time, talents and treasures to build His kingdom.I encourage you this week to go to church. Go to whatever fellowship meeting that you call your church family and find ways you can become a part of the ministry there. Go volunteer to work with children or feed the hungry. Find a way to serve God in our community. If you don’t have a church family then find a church that is teaching from the bible, and welcomes you just as you are. Make that your church family, and find a way to glorify God and encourage others to do the same.• Lt. Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army in Carson City.
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