Time to build the Temple

Haggai 1The Message (MSG)

A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: “The people procrastinate. They say this isn’t the right time to rebuild my Temple, the Temple of God.”

3-4 Shortly after that, God said more and Haggai spoke it: “How is it that it’s the ‘right time’ for you to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God’s Temple, is in ruins?”

5-6 And then a little later, God-of-the-Angel-Armies spoke out again:

“Take a good, hard look at your life.

Think it over.

You have spent a lot of money,

but you haven’t much to show for it.

You keep filling your plates,

but you never get filled up.

You keep drinking and drinking and drinking,

but you’re always thirsty.

You put on layer after layer of clothes,

but you can’t get warm.

And the people who work for you,

what are they getting out of it?

Not much—

a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what.

That’s why God-of-the-Angel-Armies said:

“Take a good, hard look at your life.

Think it over.”

8-9 Then God said:

“Here’s what I want you to do:

Climb into the hills and cut some timber.

Bring it down and rebuild the Temple.

Do it just for me. Honor me.

You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves,

but nothing has come of it.

The little you have brought to my Temple

I’ve blown away—there was nothing to it.


The message in this chapter hit me like a ton of bricks. The people have made time to work on everything for themselves but left the things of God in ruins. It wasn’t time for that yet, they said. It wasn’t time to make God’s temple beautiful. Instead, by their deeds, they declared it was time for them to get their own homes, and businesses, and personal lives all perfect. Their investments of energy, money, and time were spent completely on themselves. When God spoke to Haggai, He asked how it could be that it’s the ‘right time’ for you (God’s people) to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God’s Temple, is in ruins.


Then He asks the people to do something… Before He commissions them to begin working on the Temple, He asks them to really think about the outcomes of their choices. To really look at their priorities and their efforts compared to the rewards. They didn’t add up. They were working hard for little harvest. They were spending a lot with little to show for it. They were eating and drinking but never full. They were bundling up but never warm. Where was everything going? Why was the effort so much greater than the return? Has it not crossed your mind yet that this isn’t working out well? Yes you’re living in your nice home that you’ve built… but nothing is blessed.

Then God states the reason…


9-11 “And why?” (This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) “Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. That’s why. Because of your stinginess. (The Message Bible)


The NASB puts it this way…

Thus says the Lord of hosts, “[e]Consider your ways! Go up to the [f]mountains, bring wood and rebuild the [g]temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld [h]its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of [i]your hands.”


God gives us two purposes for the temple in this verse. To please Him and to glorify Him. It wasn’t right for the people to care first about supplying for themselves and making themselves comfortable. If it’s not time to make God’s temple beautiful now, then when will it be time? The answer is NEVER, IF you keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll always need more. You’ll never be satisfied. You’ll never be warm. You’re money will always be in a bag with holes. You’re time will always be spend trying to make things work for yourself.

God knew that the only way to stop this madness was to get them to take a hard long look at their lives. Look at the lack. Look at how the ground isn’t giving up a big harvest. Look at how the sky has withheld the rains. Look at the drought on everything. All the things you rely on require things that God controls. He controls the rain. He controls the increase. Without Him in the picture, would be like trying to type a paper without the computer plugged in. It’s toil in vain. Then He told them to get to work on the temple. Make it the priority. When they obeyed, the word says that God stirred up the spirit in them.


Many things have changed since the Old Testament. The temple is no longer a building, but a body. You’re body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and God is still calling us to work on the temple. It should still be the priority. And yet, just like the people in the days of Haggai the prophet, we make time for everything else. People say it’s not time for the things of God. We work hard to live in nice houses and to be successful. We make sure we’re at work everyday but can’t make it to church. We get all wound up if we are late to lunch and yet our souls are starving for spiritual food. The temple lies in ruins. We bring everything into it that pleases us, and yet what about what pleases HIM? We drink from all types of places and things to satisfy our thirst. We add layer over layer of things to make us comfortable and warm inside but still feel the chill. We can name the starting line up for our favorite sports team and yet can’t memorize a few scriptures. We spend and spend but what do we really have to show for it at the end of the day? We’ve left something out. Something has got to change.


God desires for your temple to do the same two things He desired in the old testament… To bring Him pleasure and to glorify Him.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB)

19 Or do you not know that your body is a [a]temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from [b]God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.


Is that a picture of your life? Is that a description of your temple? Are you glorifying God with your body and your life? Are you pleasing Him? Have you made time for everything else? It’s time! He’s asking you today to take a long and hard look at your life… have your personal interest taken precedence over the things of God? He’s asking you today to make Him number 1. His temple, where He dwells and moves and speaks, should be one of the most splendid things in your life. Consider it well and watch God stir up the spirit within you as you begin honoring Him with the temple.

Clean Slate

Isaiah 43:25

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a clean slate? A fresh start? Ever wondered what it would be like to have a do-over? What if the way you lived today determined the kind of person you are? Not last year, not last week, not even yesterday, but today.

So many of us carry the weight of past failures and mistakes that a clean slate just seems too good to be true. We can’t forget. We feel the need to remember. We feel the need to punish ourselves. We don’t deserve to move forward.

This mentality is not a heavenly one. God desires to forgive and to remember it no more. How much more could he prove it than by sending his own son, Jesus, to die so that you can obtain this kind of forgiveness? What a high cost He paid so that we can be forgiven and move forward with newness. So with that in mind… confess and let go of those things that are holding you back. Live today as if this is the day that defines the person you are! Every word, every choice, every thought… let them declare loudly the goodness of God in your life.

Traveling Light

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith


A couple of weeks ago I went on a cruise with several of my friends. 7 days and 7 nights of fun, food, friendship, beautiful destinations, and memory making. My friends and I decided to carpool from Paris, TX to Galveston. We loaded up the cars with our luggage and the last to arrive was my friend Stormie. She’d never been on a cruise before, so when she showed up with only one suitcase, I wondered how in the world she was gonna make it all week.

So we arrive and it’s time to get from the car to the boat. Stormie rolls her bag to the luggage check-in with no problem. Then I realize as I begin unloading my bags from the car, that there’s no way I can pull all of my luggage alone! I was gonna need an army. I had multiple pieces of luggage. Large and bulky luggage. All of the sudden, it clicks…. I may not have needed everything I packed for this journey. I was overloaded. I hadn’t even left room for anything I might buy on the trip. The crazy thing was that as the week went on, I found I hadn’t packed enough of the essentials. I had 8 pairs of shoes but not enough underwear!

Sometimes in life we think we need to bring along things that really aren’t necessary. We load ourselves down, which slows us down, and cause others to pick up our excess that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Then we add all these “extras” such as being on the praise team, community service, group bible study, baseball, social media, etc… these things are great unless we end up leaving out essentials such as personal prayer and devotion time or family.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12 to throw aside not only the sin that ensnares us, but also every un-necessary weight. We do this so we can run to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. It’s hard to move fast with a bunch of baggage. It becomes a struggle to even get from one place to the next.

So what do we do? We focus on the essentials. Spend time prioritizing and getting back to the basics. What’s slowing you down? Is there really room and time for all the things you’re trying to pack in? Is there room for all the things God’s gonna give you on the journey?

Do you love Me? Follow Me….

John 21:18-19New International Version (NIV)

18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”


Wow, what a statement. What a hard truth to swallow. Just after confessing his love for Christ and receiving his mission of feeding the sheep…this independent and vocal disciple hears from the mouth of Jesus that his life isn’t going to be the life he was used to. Things he did his own way will no longer be done the same. He no longer has a say in everything. He no longer calls the shots. There’s going to be some persecution. There are going to be battles. There’s a worldly end that may not be pleasant, but a heavenly beginning that will never end. Without this love for Christ, he couldn’t have accepted this mission. This is the same man who denied the one he loves 3 times…Yet, without his failures and repentance, and the gracious forgiveness of God, he wouldn’t have been as prepared for this high calling. But because of his deep love for Christ, he accepted and was extraordinarily used for the kingdom.


Jesus is asking you today… “Do you love me?” We are in times of great persecution and the attacks on the church are everywhere. From the courthouse, to the schoolhouse, to the home. Other religious groups are murdering believers, but as believers, we can hold fast to a great ending and beginning all rolled into one. It’s our faith in and love for Christ, along with the power of the Holy Spirit, that compels us to follow him. Will you follow him today?