NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week's Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passages: Haggai 1:1-11; 2:1-5

Discussion Questions: Can our priorities be good priorities but still not please God? Why do you think we need to evaluate our priorities on a regular basis?

Food for Thought:

The golden years of life can be a time of growing closer to Christ, life's greatest joy. While it is important to put our own house in order, we must not forget to make the things of God the center of our thinking and doing. This was certainly the state of mind for the prophet Haggai, who wrote the second shortest book in the Old Testament at the approximate age of 70. Haggai was stirred up by the Lord to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity. In turn he stirred up God's people by rebuking them for allowing the house of God to remain in ruins in their homeland: "Think carefully about your ways. ... You expected much, but then it amounted to little. ... Why? ... Because My house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house (Hag. 1:7,9, HCSB).

Along with rebuke, Haggai offered encouragement. The prophet mobilized God's people by giving them hope, encouraging them to take care of God's business and build up His house: "Be strong. ... For I am with you" (Hag. 2:4, HCSB).

We may be successful in putting our personal affairs in place; but if overlook spiritual affairs in the meantime, we miss the joy and purpose of life. The Bible says, "A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge than one of strength" (Prov. 24:5, HCSB). Strength is found in the wisdom of God, at our disposal whether we are young or old.

Are you concerned only about taking care of business in a world that holds you captive? Or are you setting Christ at the center of your life, with the assurance that you will abide with Him in eternity where hope is realized? Your strength may fade, but He is the One who will lift you up and help you stand strong in your weakness. When your faith begins to fade, stir it up by considering all He has done for you and be strong, for "My Spirit is present among you; don't be afraid." (Hag. 2:5, HCSB).

MasterWork

MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at LifeWay.com/MasterWork.

Other ongoing Bible study options offered by LifeWay for all ages can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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