Faith Reflections

Rusted Out Buckets

old_rusted_bucket-1Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure things out.  To do what I know.  To follow where I’m led.  To surrender to what is right.  To let go of what is wrong.
I chase after vanishing winds. I harness nothing which powers nothing.
I put my energies into bags with holes and rusted-out buckets.

“Take a good, hard look at your life.  Think it over.
You have spent a lot of money, but you haven’t much to show for it.
You keep filling your plates, but you never get filled up.
You keep drinking and drinking and drinking, but you’re always thirsty.
You put on layer after layer of clothes, but you can’t get warm.
And the people who work for you [or minister to], what are they getting out of it?  Not much – a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what.
That’s why God-of-the-Angel Armies said:
‘Take a good, hard look at your life.  Think it over.’
Then God said:
‘Here’s what I want you to do:
Climb into the hills and cut some timber.  Bring it down and rebuild the Temple.
Do it just for me.  Honor me.
You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves, but nothing has come of it.
The little you have brought to my Temple I’ve blown away – there was nothing to it.
And why?  Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins.  That’s why.  Because of your stinginess.’”
(Haggai 1:5-10)

If there ever were a family resemblence . . .
__ caught up with taking care of my own house?  CHECK
__ stingy?  CHECK
__ great ambitions for myself?  CHECK
__ put energy and time and love into rusted-out buckets?  CHECK
__ not warm enough; fed enough; content enough?  CHECK
__ brought my leftovers to God and hope God will work them? CHECK
Climb into the hills.  Rebuild the temple.
Do it just for God. Honor God.
My primary purpose is my relationship with God.  Ministry is an overflow.

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