Consider your ways!

Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”

Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts:

“Consider your ways!

“You have sown much, and bring in little;

You eat, but do not have enough;

You drink, but you are not filled with drink;

You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;

And he who earns wages,

Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.

“You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.

Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

Haggai 1:3-11

Today, God’s Spirit dwells in Christ loving hearts beyond the confines of His temple. He says it twice in this brief passage, “Consider your ways!”. Both times with the explanation mark!

There is an important lesson to heed here. A primary purpose of our creation have a relationship, to live a life in which God takes pleasure in while being glorified.

When we allow that supernatural process to occur, His nature is to bless that for He is good.

If we ignore Him, if we shun Him, if we are unrepentant, if we live in gross filth, debauchery, lewdness and immorality the consequence is depravity and emptiness as clearly explained in the vernacular of those ancient days.

Times have changed but God’s perfect core shall never change.

Therefore, God calls us to love Him with ALL of heart, soul, mind and strength as commandment #1 and then love others as #2. Loving ourselves is expected and natural. When we get the first two right, the third will be healthy.

I am third for givers gain.

So reader of this – Consider your ways!

Parable of the cracked pot

Comparison to others can steal our joy.


While reading “Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning, I was introduced to the parable of the Cracked Pot and it spoke into my heart. Manning says, “Any attempt to measure the value of our lives by comparison and contrast to others belittles our gifts and dishonors God by our ungratefulness.” – Ned Campbell

The Parable of the Cracked Pot


A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you”. The bearer asked, “Why? What are you ashamed of?” The Pot replied, “For these past two years I am able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you don’t get full value for your efforts”.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Holy Spirit Intercessory

Spirit Intercessor

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 NKJV

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

Job 37:19
Teach us what we should say to Him; we cannot draw up our case when our faces are in darkness.

Matthew 20:22
“You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus replied. “Are you able to drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We are able,” the brothers answered.

John 14:16
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever–

Romans 8:15
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry Commentary
8:26,27 Though the infirmities of Christians are many and great, so that they would be overpowered if left to themselves, yet the Holy Spirit supports them. The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for; as a sanctifying Spirit, works and stirs up praying graces; as a comforting Spirit, silences our fears, and helps us over all discouragements. The Holy Spirit is the spring of all desires toward God, which are often more than words can utter. The Spirit who searches the hearts, can perceive the mind and will of the spirit, the renewed mind, and advocates his cause. The Spirit makes intercession to God, and the enemy prevails not.

Pulpit Commentary
Verses 26, 27. – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for what we should pray for as we ought we know not: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because (or, that) he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Here, then, is a further source of help and comfort to Christians under present trials. Of themselves they know not what relief to crave. St. Paul himself knew not what to pray for as he ought, when he asked for removal of his thorn in the flesh; if left to themselves, their long waiting and their manifold perplexities might damp their hope; but a Helper beyond themselves comes in to succour them, viz. the Holy Spirit himself, who intercedes (ὑπερεντυγχάνει) for them. But how? Not as the Son intercedes for them, apart from themselves, at the mercy-seat; but within themselves, by inspiring them with these unutterable (or, unuttered) groanings; and they are conscious that such deep and intense yearnings are from the Divine Spirit moving them, and teaching them to pray. They may not still be able to put their requests of God into definite form, or even express them in words; but they know that God knows the meaning of what his own Spirit has inspired. This is a deep and pregnant thought. Even apart from the peculiar faith and inspiration of the gospel, the internal consciousness of the human soul, with its yearnings after something as yet unrealized, affords one of the most cogent evidences of a life to come to those who feel such yearnings. For ideals seem to postulate corresponding realities; instinctive longings seem to postulate fulfilment. Else were human nature a strange riddle indeed. But Christian faith vivifies the ideal, and intensifies the longing; and thus the prophecy of internal consciousness acquires a new force to the Christian believer; and this all the more from his being convinced that the quickening of spiritual life of which he is conscious is Divine. The psalmist of old, when he sang, “As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God,” felt in these ardent though inarticulate pantings a presage of fulfilment of his “hope in God.” So the devout Christian; and all the more in proportion to the intenseness and definiteness of his yearnings, and his conviction that they are from God.

From Gill
The children of God are not ignorant of the object of prayer, that it is God, and not a creature, God, as the God of nature, providence, and grace, God in the persons of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit, and with a view to his glorious perfections: nor of the way of coming to God in prayer, through Christ; nor of the manner of performing it in faith, with:

fervency
sincerity
reverence
humility
submission

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

It is reassuring the Spirit of God knows our weaknesses and intercedes on our behalf or we most surely would lost. It is mind blowing to think of how this happens. God knows we are each trapped in our infirmed flesh. He also knows our heart’s desire. He mercifully intercedes for us by standing in the gap in our most desperate hour.

KIRK’S PRAYER

Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me.
Keep me, feel me and help me.

Overwork / Mis-Understand

We should always seek balance though we will never find it perfectly. Just like over exercising, over eating, sleeping too much and even over working can be a problem.

If we think we are too busy to pray and seek God’s council, we are foolish. Sometimes we need to slow down, reflect and relax so that we can get further, not just by our understanding but by tapping into and trusting God. This definently has been an issue for me. God can do more for us in one second than we can for ourselves in a lifetime but God normally wants to work through people for whatever reason He deems so.

Are we not wise to take time to align our thoughts and abide in His power verse trying to do everything in our own limited power?

The Bible and nature can teach us everthing we need to know. Everything else worthy is a supplement and much else is a distraction.

We are recommended to:
Pray
Praise
Seek
Plan
Serve
Give
Love
Trust
and work but not overwork.

What’s your share your experience or take on this?