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Focus Verses: Psalm 127:1-2
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
As the Israelites climbed the road to Jerusalem for feast days and sang these songs, they remembered what it must have been like for the first generation who returned to Jerusalem after the exile (Ps. 126). They thought of how joyous and unbelievable it must have been for the children of those who had seen Jerusalem destroyed to one day return and rebuild it.
The returning exiles knew the consequences of turning away from God. They had seen their houses destroyed, and understood the futility of the things accomplished in their own strength. Psalm 127 was perfect song to sing after Psalm 126. Those who know the futility and destruction of turning away from God can wisely declare: "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain."
Response and Action:
I want to begin today with a Psalm 126 perspective--to look back at the foolish ambitions and efforts of my past, and to rejoice in the ways God faithfully continues to lead me out of those failures into a joyful and hopeful future.
I will give careful consideration to the things I work on today. Am I building something that honors God? Am I giving myself to the work and purpose and direction God is leading me to do? Am I depending upon his guidance, strength, and provision, or am I wearing myself out by doing things for my own reasons, in my own way, and in my own strength?
I want my life to be a house that God is building. I want to find rest and peace and satisfaction in God's will and purpose. God is the builder of the life I want to live.
O God, help me to live for you and through you in thought, word, and deed. Help me to turn away from what is wrong, and to do what is right. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, build, provide, and sustain my life. Help me to delight in your will, and to walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Through Christ, Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Luke 14:28-30
28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
by Eugene Peterson