“1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch 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. 3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” - Psalm 127 NIV
Have you ever felt the pain of wasted time. Involving yourself in projects, companies, relationships that when looking back felt like a waste of time? Do you desire to live a truly joyful and meaningful life that God would be proud of? Psalm 127 is a prayer for those in the pilgrimage that long to finish the race, participate in meaningful kingdom centered work, and produce and live with real God-endorsed wealth. It’s for those that want to expose the lie that happiness is defined by what the world deems as successful, instead they want to live and build on what God deems successful. It’s for those that want to live in and for the Kingdom of God. Are you ready to pray?
Let’s prayerfully read these passages below from Scripture while holding in hand Psalm 127.
- “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, 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.” (See, 1 Corinthians 15:58)
- “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” - Proverbs 23:4-5
- 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” - Matthew 6:19-24
Selah. Let’s pray.
Lord, I sometimes feel like I’m running 100 miles an hour but getting no where fast. i don’t want to waste your time, I don’t want to waste my life, I want to build what you’re building, care about what you’re caring about, tend the garden that I’ve been assigned to with joy. Be with me Lord, and let me be with you during the week in all that I do. I’m reminded of what the Philosopher, Mencius, once said, “Before a man can do things there must be things he will not do.” Give me the courage to say “no” to things that clutter my life and distract me from my purpose in you. May I be wise enough to invest my energy and time in what will last in your kingdom come.
- Lord, where are you at work in my workplace?
- Lord, where are you at work in my family?
- Lord, where are you at work in me?
- What do you need to say “no” to? What do you need to say “yes” to?
I recently heard Dave Evans, author of Designing Your Life, say in an interview, and I paraphrase; that you are not responsible for all of God’s Work but you are and should long to be responsible for all of God’s Will revealed to you.
5. What has God revealed to you, what’s His will for you and around you right now?
“…for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
Sleep is an act of trust.
Sleep is accepting our humanity.
Sleep is choosing to receive His love.
Sleep is refusing to worry.
Sleep is rehearsing resurrection.
Pastor Tim Keller, of Redeemer Church in NYC, prays this before he sleeps,
“And as I lay down in sleep to safely wake again only by Your grace, keep me in a joyful, lively remembrance that whatever happens, I will someday know my final rising– the resurrection– because Jesus Christ lay down in death for me, and rose for my justification.”
Sleep is faith in the resurrection, the final rising.
And it is because He rose again and that I will have a final rising, that I can rest and accept the gift of sleep, knowing that whatever is left undone, unfixed, all of this is headed towards the resurrection, when God will make things right, fix what was unfixable. We can sleep because we know that God will renew all things and we will enter His rest.
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
Instead of building in vain, building our riches, fortifying our castles, may we spend our time and our energy making children. Think about it, instead of anxious toil, instead of empires built on ambition, the best things in life come from abiding in the Lord and abiding with those we love. Even at work, the best kinds of work, or even one of the purposes of work, is to lovingly connect with our co-workers, showing them the love of Christ. The Psalmist gives us a contrasting image, strenuous work that’s in vain vs the fruit of having made love to our covenant partner. Fruit comes from abiding and intimacy and relationships. Empires come from force and fear. Let everything you do lead to giving life to others. May you have disciples that love and follow Jesus. May you have children that love and follow Jesus. May the fruit of your labor outlast you. May your work be meaningful in and for Christ. May God find pleasure in how you work, that you would abide in the Lord while you work. May you produce offsprings not just houses and cities.
- Who are you suppose to love on this week?
+ Co-workers, friends, family, who can you invest in and love on with God’s love?
+ Pray daily for how you are showing up in your workplace and for your work colleagues. - Center for Faith and Work
- Are you abiding with your loved ones or just working for their security and future?
- Are you abiding with your church or just serving in it?
The ESV version of this Psalm says it like this; “5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Having children may feel effortless, may not feel like work, but it is not unintentional. Your quiver doesn’t accidentally get filled with them, you must be intentional about abiding, intimacy, relationships that produce good fruits. Fill your quiver, don’t have it stuffed with things for you by the values of this world, instead fill it with godly relationships, disciples, co-workers who you love and who love you, a spouse that respects and cares for you, fill it by being intentional about abiding and pouring into them. Amen? Amen.
It is in connectedness that this church will thrive.