Closing the Gap 9.7.18

By September 7, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 35 “Labor in the Lord” Day 5

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Ps. 127:1  Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

Reflect:

All of your work matters.  None of your work matters. Which is true?  It depends on how and why the work was done.  The Psalmist said that unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Isn’t this a nonsensical saying? Is the Lord building the house or are the builders building the house?  This is a picture of the balance or lack of balance that is evident in every human life. Every human being endeavors to “build a life.”   Some do so by entirely relying on their own ideas of what is real and valuable to build a life with. They labor in vain because, in the end, all they built in their life has no final value.  When they die, what they gave their lives for is gone and their labor was in vain. Others build their lives based on what God has revealed as being finally real and valuable. Their labor is not vain, because in reality it was the Lord who built the life.  The balanced approach to “life building” is to labor in the Lord. This may sound mystical and even hard to know how to apply in real life, but it really means to live life the Lord’s way. His way is to believe what he says is real and ultimately valuable and then choose to build those values and behaviors into your life.   “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). The imbalanced approach to “life building” is to give your life (time, talents, and treasures) for things that ultimately do not matter in the end.  Does your current “labor” feel full of meaning to you? Perhaps your vocational and relational efforts are “paying off” nicely right now. That could be very good or it could be deceiving you. Your current “success” could be hiding a potentially disastrous crack in your life foundation. Many people have seen all they built in the lives crumble in a terrible crash as the foundation gave way because it could not hold.  You need not live in fear, but you must live in wisdom. Examine your life now. If you are not living in line with God’s will and ways, then you are building on a fault line. In that case, it is not a matter of if but, rather, when the foundation will fail.  Reflect today on whether it is truly the Lord who is building your life.  Your life is not something on which you want to labor in vain. You are literally betting your life on this.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

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