Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to supervise the work of the house of the Lord. (Ezra 3:8 ESV)
I can hear some of you groaning already—just from reading the title of this message. Here we go again! Someone else is pushing me to make a New Year’s resolution.
With everything you hear on TV this time of year, there is no wonder you would suspect nothing less.
When spending the day home alone, I kept the TV on for some company. In the background, I heard others promoting their strategies for losing weight, reducing stress, and becoming financially successful. I even heard one speaker lay out her blueprint for optimum health—a daily dose of Aloe Vera.
If we’re not careful, we can allow these voices to infiltrate our thoughts and lead us on a path to self-destructive thinking. We may feel guilty because we don’t have it all together already or overwhelmed because of all the changes we need to make to live up to these standards, to aright our lives. We may resent having to give up things we enjoy.
I heard REVIVE Youth Pastor Dallas Cogle reference our quest to live a righteous life in a recent sermon at our church. He quoted a tweet by well-known author Mark Batterson, “Righteousness is not just doing NOTHING WRONG. Righteousness is doing SOMETHING RIGHT.”
Righteousness is not about not overeating, not overspending, or not overindulging in other would-be-taboo activities. Righteousness is about doing something right.
So, where do we start?
The Bible says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV).
When we seek a deeper relationship with Him, daily spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word, we will find that, over time, we will become more like Him. When we put Him first, the rest of our lives will aright.
Seventy years after the Babylonian destruction of Solomon’s temple, a number of Jews made a beginning (Ezra 3:8 ESV) to rebuild the house of God. Many gave generously and sacrificially to the rebuilding efforts.
Today, we are the temple of the Lord, the house in which His spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19). Let us “make a beginning” to build up His house. Sure, we will have to give of our time, maybe even sacrifice a little sleep in order to start our day with Him, but let us “not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)
If we persist in following His blueprint, we will reap a harvest of optimum health in every area of our life.
Dear Lord, help me to put You first in my life. When I do, I know You will handle all the rest.
Desiree’s blog can be accessed at http://www.desireeglass.blogspot.com
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Desiree has attended Calvary Grace for 20 years. She is in her 12th year as a Career & Technology Education Teacher at Chopticon High School in St. Mary’s County. Her blogging career began in 2009, and she has written for numerous publications and Web sites such as Guideposts, Christiandevotions.us, Pen In Hand (Maryland Writers Association publication), Connections (College of Southern Maryland literary magazine), First Place 4 Health’s national newsletter, Dragonfly magazine and The Times-Crescent newspaper in Charles County.