Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Priorities (Get the Big Rocks in First) - Haggai 1:1-15 - Part 3 of 5: The Worship of God

by Doug Smith Yesterday, we considered the big rock of the Word of God. Today, we look at: Big Rock #2:– The Worship of God (The Motive for Our Priorities) –- v. 8 We ought to consider why we do what we do. We often do things out of duty. We do things sometimes to please others. We do things because we like to do them. It may be that we are seeking recognition. But what motivation does God give for rebuilding? God says, "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified" (v. 8). We ought to do things to please God and to glorify Him. His worship should be our priority. One's own private pleasure and recognition are not the highest reasons to do something. But to live for God's pleasure and to make Him known are the best and only pure motives from which we should do what we do. Jesus died for people "that they which lives should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again" (2 Cor. 5:15). We are not to put God first in order that we might gain recognition, but in order to spread abroad His fame. That's the purpose of evangelism and the goal of missions. As John Piper has said, "Missions exists because worship does not." To use a book title from John MacArthur, worship is The Ultimate Priority. This is what we were made for! "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11). Are you taking time daily to worship God in private? Besides hearing His Word, are you praying that He would be pleased with your life? Are you singing praises to Him? Is family worship a priority? Fathers, this is your responsibility. If you are a single mother, you ought to consider this as well. It doesn't have to be lengthy or complicated. Read Scripture, pray, and sing a song to the Lord. How important is corporate worship to you? Are you having trouble getting all you could from corporate worship and putting all you could put into it because you stay up late on Saturday nights? Do you miss services because of things that are more important to you? Do you need to change jobs or work fewer hours to worship God corporately on a more frequent basis? The temple testified to God's glory and salvation, and the corporate gatherings of the church are a public testimony of the same today, particularly to God's redeeming work in Christ. If you are a college student, please be sure you are in contact with a healthy local church where you may worship God and hear His Word faithfully proclaimed. If you are in a spiritually damaging environment, consider transferring. Parents and high school students, please take into consideration the proximity of a good local church when looking at options for further schooling. Pastors, consider the reason for your ministry. It is not to please yourself or to make you look good. It is not to win a popularity contest. It is to please God and make Him known. Preach and shepherd the flock as acts of worship to God. And throughout each day we should all consider whether the pleasure and glory of God at the heart of our concern in what we do and how we do what we do. The worship of God should be the motivation for our priorities. Tomorrow we will consider the third big rock: the work of God.

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