This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:7
As a person thinks about building something new, he takes time to carefully plan it out. He determines how he will build it, what materials he may need, the cost, the time and many other factors in doing it.
Some people are great at thinking these things out, while most do not plan very well. Many just jump into something, thinking that they know what is best and that they can do it. They never count the cost or realize the intricacy of what is needed to be done. They only see the final picture and not the small details that brought about the final result.
After the Israelites had returned from exile they had chosen to build their own homes first and not build God’s house. God tells them to think about their ways.
Most people have some type of plan in their life, some are extremely detailed, while most are very vague, but are still plans. However, most of these plans are built upon man’s wisdom and understanding and are with a temporary and earthly mindset. People do not do most things with eternity and God in mind.
Jesus came with eternity on His mind. He wanted to seek and save all who were lost. Anything less than that goal would leave one without a true purpose in life.
While many people focus on building their earthly kingdom, the believer must be focused upon God’s kingdom. This is building one’s own self up in Christ Jesus and building others up in Jesus.
When the focus is upon self and this world, it will fall apart and decay. When it is focused upon God and His kingdom, it will last for eternity.
As you walk through this life, you must ask yourself what you are focused upon. Give thought to what and ways of what you are doing. It is easy to get distracted with the things and ways of this world.
Turn your eyes and thoughts upon God and His ways. Focus on building His temple–your heart and life, and building His kingdom–seeking the lost and bringing them to God.
As you do these two things you will be doing things that will last for eternity. They will not wear out, fall apart or fade away. Take time today to think about your ways.
I pray today that you will have God’s eternity upon your mind; that you will work at building God’s temple first in your life; that God will guide you in building His kingdom; and that your thoughts will be on the ways of God.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:7
Changing personal ways is something most people do not ever want to do. It is something that is difficult and can often be somewhat painful.
Most people like the way they are and don’t see a reason to change. This can even be true when the change is for the better in the long wrong. Humans want the benefit immediately, not after a long time and lots of work. They want the benefits now without the hard work.
Through Isaiah, God calls those who are wicked to change their ways and thoughts and turn to Him. God is willing to have mercy upon them and free them from all guilt.
There are people every where who claim to follow Jesus, yet their lifestyle and thoughts do not show it. In fact, many will just claim that is who they are and they cannot nor will change. They stay living in a sinful way or keep on with the sinful thoughts in their hearts.
Churches are filled with people claiming to be believers, but are not willing to change. God has set a standard of living that is above the ways and thoughts of mankind. It is a holy and righteous standard of living.
One cannot earn his salvation by living a righteous life and turning away from sin, because that price was paid for by Jesus. However, turning from sin and changing the thoughts is a love response for what Jesus has done. It is showing that one is truly grateful for the salvation that Jesus has provided. It shows a change to a new creation in Christ Jesus.
As a believer, you have been forgiven and saved by Jesus. Your sins have been removed. Now it is time to change your ways and not go back to those sins or sinful thoughts. He will pardon you from your sinful ways when you turn from them.
Allow God to change you into the new image of Jesus. Be willing to forsake and turn away from old sinful habits and thoughts. Allow the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out. Do not stay the same in the old sinful ways.
God is ready to have mercy upon you and freely pardon you. Let Him do so.
I pray today that you will know the forgiveness of Jesus; that you will allow Jesus to be your Savior; that you will turn from all sin towards God; that you will live your life as an image of Jesus; and that you will not abuse the mercy of God.