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September 20 Today’s Reading: Zephaniah 1-Haggai 1
“Consider Your Ways!”
“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages [to put it] into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”
The Lord Jesus has saved us by His amazing grace that we might be His witnesses unto all men. He has redeemed us with His precious blood that we might proclaim redemption everywhere. He has sent us forth into this world for the building of His house (the Church), the ingathering of His sheep, to build His kingdom. He has provided us with everything needful for the work. And we take what He puts in our hands (time, talent, money, and life) and devote it to our own pleasure! We are alive to everything else, excited about everything else, and devote ourselves to everything else, except the cause of Christ in our day! — “Consider your ways!”
“Consider your ways!” — What do we get for our love of the world, for our devotion to it? We eat like kings, and never have enough. We drink and gorge ourselves, and remain hungry and thirsty. We buy the finest clothes money can buy, and want more. We save our money and can never save enough, putting it “into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6). We run every man after his own things, looking for much, and it comes to little, because God blows it away. Why? Because God’s house, God’s cause, God’s worship is despised and neglected (Haggai 1:7). We crave satisfaction, but seeking it in the things of the world, we find nothing but drought in our souls (Haggai 1:10-11).
“Consider your ways!”— The Lord God, our heavenly Father dampens our enjoyments and tinges them with sorrow to expose our evil, to get our attention, to draw our hearts away from the world and remind us of the bounteous blessings of His grace upon us, to bring our hearts home to Christ. — “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world!” (Hebrews 12:5-13; Colossians 3:1-3).
O my brother, my sister, we are pilgrims here! We should use worldly things as wise pilgrims like staves to help us make our journey through this world. So long as they help us forward in our way, we should make use of them and value them accordingly. But when they become troublesome hindrances and cumbersome burdens, we would be wise to throw them away. Samuel Rutherford warned, “Do not build your nest in any of the trees of this forest. They are all marked to be burned.”
We will have that upon which we set our hearts; but there is something better to set your heart on than this world. — Christ is better! — “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” O Holy Spirit, set our hearts upon Christ (Colossians 3:1-3. Teach us to live for eternity!