Haggai 1:7-9 – This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured," says the Lord. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house." (NIV)
I now attend a stately old church made out of stone that came from a quarry nearby. Built in the year 1880, it has come to the time to be pointed. Yes, I, too, wondered what it meant to be pointed! Over the years, due to age and some settling, the cement between the stones has begun to fall away. All this cement needs to be carefully removed and replaced.
The need was brought before the church membership, with some (as always) wondering if it needed to be done now, or if it could wait for another time when we had more financing.
With a leap of faith, it was decided to do it now, before there was real trouble. It was a good thing, for as the work proceeded, it was discovered that the foundation on one side of the building was beginning to crumble away.
How often do we neglect stewardship of the things we inherit, not wishing to give of our money at the time? I have witnessed other things in our churches that go to ruin simply because of a lack of good stewardship.
Thinking back to the time when many of our church buildings were built — many debt-free when the doors opened — it seems a shame that we just use the facility with no thought of keeping it in good repair and up-to-date.
The heritage has come down to us to look after, so that we may come to worship God in His church. The building is the gathering place for us in the body of Christ. It is therefore our responsibility to care for and keep in good repair His house of worship.
God has provided and will continue to provide us with the funds. In the faith of our fathers, let us pray that we will honour God, and not ourselves, with good stewardship.
Prayer: Dear Lord, there comes a time in our lives when we as believers must give of our money in order to keep Your house of worship in good order — not only for ourselves, but also for others — that we may come together to worship You in spirit and in truth. God, enable us to give back to You that which is Yours. In Jesus' name we pray and give thanks. Amen.