We face a great danger when we show up at church wanted to be entertained. I’m sure you’ve heard it before; from a spouse, a friend, a fellow church member, or maybe you’ve said it. “I didn’t get anything out of it today” or “it wasn’t enough to keep my attention” or “it wasn’t really fun.” What you are really saying is this: “God’s Word isn’t enough for me.” The only time you shouldn’t “get anything out of the sermon” is if the Word of God is not preached. And if it’s not preached then you’ve got a major problem with the preacher. The Bible clearly places the responsibility of preaching the Word of God squarely upon the shoulders of the pastor. Do we show up to church in order to be entertained, or do we hope to see lives changed? Entertainment has never saved one soul from hell. Only the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God has that power.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” If you notice, Jesus is speaking about priorities; about what matters most. He tells His disciples not even to worry about the essentials of life, but to focus on one main priority—the eternal purpose of God.
Every generation of believers needs to hear this message. Jesus was simply restating a truth that is seen throughout the entire Old Testament. And is seen clearly here in the Old Testament prophecy of Haggai as well. God must be first in your life!
The prophet condemns God’s people for paying attention to their affairs while ignoring the house of God. Haggai 1:4-5 says, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.”
Haggai’s message is certainly a message that the church of God needs to hear today. In many ways, the church today mirrors the situation of the people of God then. They had great abundance, but they kept it for themselves, displaying great apathy for the things of God. And they displayed a lack of passion for the things of God.
Ask yourself, “Is my comfort more important to me than God’s work? Am I working hard to get ahead financially while finding earthly success empty? Do I focus more on my wants and wishes or God’s will for my life?” If so, it’s time to rearrange your priorities.
Be honest with yourself and think about what your priorities have been. Now, in light of Scripture, determine what they should be. What are you going to do about it?