For your personal time of study or for use in discussion with others.
- After 70 years, the Israelites exiled to Babylon were allowed to return home to Jerusalem. Haggai 1:1-6 shows me their priorities: 1) themselves and 2) God – in that order. As I reflect on the 24 hours that made up my day yesterday, my priorities were 1) ______________ and 2) ______________ . If Haggai was talking to me, would his words sound the same as they did to the Israelites?
- Even when people choose to ignore God, he will still welcome them if they later turn to him. Zechariah 1:1-6 records him saying that. As that nation’s history had stories of people who didn’t listen to God, my own family also has people who have turned away from him. Some of the names I can think of are ______________ . And Zechariah reminds me to ask myself, “Where are they now?”
My words and actions:
God offers renewal when I have run from him or ignored him. Like a good father, he longs to have me back. The Bible tells of people who should have learned but didn’t. Others made better choices. My life needs renewal in ways that only God can provide. I want to be the person in my family, and among my friends, that shows how wonderful God’s renewal is.
Almighty God, I have not put you first in every area of my life. I didn’t feel like I was neglecting you, but I now see that you didn’t get the priority you deserve. Thank you for allowing me to make a new start. As I’ve been influenced by those who have gone before me, may I be a good influence for those around me now. I’m so grateful for Jesus and all he’s done to make this prayer possible, Amen.