Words from Pastor Ken

Fired with Enthusiasm

Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD.   (HAGGAI 1:8 )

Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, once told his players, “If you are not fired up with enthusiasm, you will be fired — with enthusiasm!” Nothing of substance can be accomplished without enthusiasm.

After seventy years of exile in Babylon, the people of Judah returned to their homeland, led by Zerubbabel the governor and Jeshua the high priest. As soon as the people had settled in, they immediately set about rebuilding the temple (Ezra 3:1-7) —with enthusiasm! They believed they were called to do something significant, and with great energy they set to work. But the initial enthusiasm for the rebuilding program slowly drained away. The people had volunteered for a project that was as demanding as it was worthwhile. As time went by, discouragements came, and sacrifice began to be less appealing than self-interest. Why, they may have pondered, should we expend so much effort on building a place of worship when we don’t have adequate living accommodations for ourselves? So they stopped building the temple and started building their own fine abodes (Hag. 1:2-4).

Many of us would have to confess that we know little about the prophet Haggai or what he shared in his prophecy. Some might even have to admit to stumbling over how to pronounce his name. But, when we read the above paragraph we can relate. We know what it is like to have an enthusiasm about the Lord and then to wane in our enthusiasm over time. It is always for the same reason — our enthusiasm goes down as something else takes it’s place. In most cases the thing that takes the place of God in our life is self. Something else has caught our eye — won our heart — at least for the moment. I am wondering if that is true for you or me right now? Another thing I am wondering about is — is it worth it to grieve Holy Spirit who lives within us if we are a child of God?

The people during the time of Haggai had grieved Him by getting off course. No doubt they had numerous excuses and reasons for their detour. No doubt many of those reasons were valid and even justified. But, once again, is it worth it?

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