“Consider your ways!”
“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”
God scolds His people for staying in the comfort of their homes and not caring for His temple that lies in ruins. The people give excuses, saying, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”
It reminds me of church expansion project. The church in Singapore had been in 2 locations for a long time, and then it became obvious that the churches are reaching the limit of the capacity and the 3rd location was finally created. Finally, after not a few years of struggle, we see the 3rd church on its own standing, holding its own spiritual meeting, and we have plans to build the 4th church. Do we all see this expansion as a necessary thing? Do we care about the church expansion in Singapore?
I remember my trip to Sabah churches and was shocked at the map where they were preaching everywhere and establishing churches everywhere, covering many areas while also identifying areas that are not covered.
Sometimes I look at the location maps of some businesses on their website and the strategic locations they have chosen to make their presence known and their service reachable throughout the whole of Singapore.
It is the command of God to preach to the ends of the world. But while going to the end of the world is not possible for many of us, we should look at how we can spread the gospel in our own country.
When we meet other Christian friends in our work or school, it is a common question to ask, “Which church are you from?” How many of them have heard of True Jesus Church? This was also what strikes me when I first went to houses to knock doors. People have heard of Christianity and gotten aware of some church names, but do they know of the name of our church even when we are in their neighborhood?
God clearly criticized the people for caring for their own affairs and neglecting His house, which was the temple in the past, and the Church in today’s context. Are we guilty of such behavior as well?
God also tells us the result of such behavior – we will sow much yet yield little, eat much yet remain hungry, drink much and yet remain thirsty, and our earnings seems to fall through holes in our pockets. In short, we will feel under-achieved in life.
Not that we expect God to fill us with riches when we put in effort to build the house of God, which some churches out there preach so that the members will contribute a lot of money. They have reduced God’s blessings to physical and perishable wealth.
I believe God will grant us a much more abundant life in significance rather than in perishable wealth. If we understand the Bible, our riches are in heaven, and we will feel it in our physical life as well, as we are rich spiritually and feel that our lives are worthwhile and satisfying.
And I also believe that caring for the house of God does not mean just contributing money, but also putting in our minds and hands. We need to work in the house of God with our own hands; we need to serve the Church.
Let us not cover our conscience or busy our hands with the secular world and make excuses for not participating in church activities in divine work. Let us obey the Word of God as the people with Zerubbabel did, and wait to see the glory of God.