Hope for the Busy (Psalm 127)

May 7, 2023 | Brandon Cooper


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning church. Go ahead, grab your Bibles open up to Psalm 127. We conclude our series this week, Psalm 127. As you’re turning, they’re just quick question. Are you busy? This week? Yes. We all know the answer right now could have a rhetorical question. We all know the answer all the time, it’s probably better to ask, how busy are you this week? Is it one of those insane ones? Or just the average? I’m far too busy? Do you have any time at all? These are the kinds of questions we ask each other when we’re trying to schedule a community group get together or have a family from church over for dinner, get lunch with someone on our oil cost list? And the answer is almost always well, there’s just not enough time. I got to get the kids to practice into their games and their music lessons. And then of course school, and we do have community group and journey group all well that’s about to end at least and it’s a really busy time at work, which is different from every other time at work when it’s really busy. And I got family visiting this week, and we got to get the stuff done in the lawn because it’s spring. And have you ever stopped to ask why? Why not a passing thought between activities? Yes, we’ve all had that multiple times every day, I’m sure. But I’m talking about slow sustained reflection. I like the way Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones put it he was talking about worry and our thoughts but I think applies were scheduled to he says the trouble with the person of little faith is that instead of controlling his own thought, his thought is being controlled by something else. And he goes round and round in circles. I think that’s us. Instead of controlling our own schedules, our schedules are being controlled by something else. And as a result, we’re going round and round in circles. We are hamsters, spiritually speaking, spinning endlessly on this wheel, and yet, it seems like going nowhere, all this time, all this energy producing nothing or close to it. I would suggest to you that there may be a deep spiritual reason for our busyness. And so our busyness is not something to dismiss, but dissect the question I want to have in your minds. As we go through this passage. You might even write it at the top of your bulletin so that it’s there in front of you is this, why do you do so much? Why do you do so much what causes us to fill up our schedules, especially when that crowds out what we know matters most? Why do we fail to uphold our values? Because we just got stuff going on? We seek to answer that question. We’re going to turn to Psalms once more. Not David this time, but David’s son, Solomon, as we look for the reason for our busyness, the remedy and the response once more, as Kyle just said, not just wishing that maybe next season will be a little less busy, but actually providing hope for the busy. Let’s start with the reason. Psalm 127. I’m gonna read verses one and two, as we see the reason for our busyness is vain toiling. Here it is. Psalm 127, verses one and two, a song of a sense of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city that guards stand, watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late toiling for food to eat, for He grants sleep to those he loves. This is a psalm about overwork. But it’s not just a psalm about your job. That is it touches on work, yes, but it also touches on family, your household security. I mean, these are three huge life issues that cause us to fill up our schedules. That is this is a psalm about what you’re trying to accomplish, why you’re trying to accomplish it, and how you’re going about accomplishing it. It begins with a really important word unless that is it introduces a condition into our whole conversation. God, but let’s strip that out. For now. Let’s assume the condition is not being met. We’re gonna go through these first few verses again in a moment in point two. So let’s let’s do it. Let’s take God out of the equation in our first pass. And by the way, when we do this, we’re not talking about atheists. We’re talking about Christians, this is Solomon, who is writing to Israel. This is the people of God. So they’re not atheists but they’re living like atheists. They are functional atheists there. Nine to five, Monday to Friday and then probably Saturday to atheists. That is, there are people who could read the Catechism question every week and go, “Yes, I agree.” But is it working through every aspect of their lives? So here’s the question, then what happens when we — even when we — who profess faith — what happens when we seek to build a life with self at the center? When I get to decide, oh, well, that means then that I have to achieve, like, the danger here is okay, you’re in control. And that’s fun. But that means it’s up to you. And that’s maybe not quite as much fun. So here’s our big question. Why do you do so much? The answer that this psalm gives us is that you’re trying to build your own house. I think that’s figurative, by the way, you’re trying to build your own house. That is you’re trying to create your perfect life. And we live in a largely secular culture, which means we breathe secular air all the time. And so this is really important. That means it’s filling our lungs to. Okay, so you got like all sorts of secular ideas in your life, I think a lot of us are seeking secular salvation. That as we all know, we need to be saved. Everybody knows they need to be saved. That’s not a controversial statement at all. The question is, how do you go about getting that salvation? Well, secular salvation is found in what Philip Cushman calls a lifestyle solution, a lifestyle solution, you gotta get your life to bring about this salvation, that’s going to answer the problem of the empty self. So if you can fill yourself up full of whatever, then then you’ll be saved. And we’re made to love God and be loved by Him. But if you strip that away, there’s that unless again, right. If you strip that away, we’re left with an inner emptiness. That’s the problem. That’s why we need salvation. Blaise Pascal, the great mathematician, I mean, he wrote few centuries ago, he really described this perfectly, he says, what else does this craving than this helplessness proclaim, but that there was once in man a true happiness of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace this he tries in vain. I like that, by the way, because in vain shows up quite a bit in our passage, right? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him seeking and things that are not there, the help he cannot find, and those that are as brilliant too, right? He’s kind of you got all these things in your life, and you’re going well, this didn’t do it. So I gotta get these things in my little that didn’t do it. So let’s try these things. That’s what he’s saying. So trying to get the help seeking and things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are though none can help since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object, in other words, by God himself. So there’s the lifestyle solution, that’s what it’s getting it right, we got to find that missing element that’s going to fill this infinite abyss Good luck to you, by the way, does not matter how many finite things you stuffed into an infinite abyss is not going to fill it. That’s what infinite means. But we’re all looking for this missing element, maybe it’s a soulmate. Maybe it’s a career, maybe it’s pleasure, maybe it’s a new hobby, whatever it might be stuff, whatever it is, to fill our lives to fill ourself with meaning again. But because each element fails, we keep trying the next thing, and then the next thing and then the next thing, and now we’re hamstring again, right? That’s what’s happening there. So you get to a new relationship, because the last one was not so good. But this one for sure, or you switch careers, because that last one felt like a grind. But this one or you get the promotion, or at least you know, if you did get that promotion that would do it, or it’s a different hobby, or I can devote more time to the hobby, at least, or buy the newest thing, or improve yourself just that little more like if I could just get the diet, the exercise thing down. I’d have it my life would be full. And of course, our culture relentlessly encourages this. We have a consumer culture driven by advertising. What does advertising tells you your perfect life really is right around the next bend? It’s right there. All you got to do is buy this product. Subscribe to my podcast, check out the new book. Your perfect life is right there. You can you can as culture tell us you can build your perfect life. You’re in control. But the flip side of course, is you have to build you have to build your perfect life. It’s up to you. It’s up to you. So if your life isn’t perfect, whose fault is that? It’s yours. Oh, who’s in charge of rectifying the issue who is the complaint department? You are so you got to deal with this. What happens when we live with that mindset? My life isn’t perfect, and it’s up to me to fix it. You’re going to toil, toil, verse to a toil. And you’re in a toil in vain three times in this passage in vain builders labored man, guard stand watch and vain in vain, you rise early and stay up late toiling for food to eat. In other words, what happens when you have this mindset is you get really, really busy. That’s what happens when you have this mindset. You have to rise early. That’s the only time you’ll be able to exercise by the way, so you better be up at the crack of dawn, hopefully got a lot of time for some private worship then too. But I understand you’re busy. If you don’t have time for it, then you gotta grind all day, because that’s your career. That’s where a huge chunk of your identity comes from. You get home and of course, you’re not resting at all, you got to make dinner you got to show for the kids, because being a perfect parent is a huge part of this also, and then you got to stay up late. Of course you do. Because who else is going to clean the house? You’re going to have to? And what are you going to do that? What do you have at the end of it? A clean house, at least I suppose. But it’s a house of cards. blown over by the first stiff breeze, it is a façade that’s part of it. You ever seen a musical or a play or something? They got the house on stage. And you know, you open the store, there’s nothing in there. Like the electrical, the plumbing, it’s not in place, you have a façade, you built an empty house, because you’re trying to fill an infinite abyss with finite things. And it ain’t working. And the proof is in your continuing toil. Because if you ever feel that you would go, good, I’m done. And that didn’t happen. So you keep working. So not only is it a façade, it is a threatened façade. That’s the “house of cards” idea. Because you can’t provide security for this house. And what does someone say the guards stand watch in vain. You can have this façade looking really, really good. And all it takes is a reduction in force at your workplace. Because your industry is struggling. And there it goes. All it takes is an injury to keep you from exercise, and all of a sudden, you’re not the athletic outdoorsy person anymore and your perfect figure starting to fade a little bit as well. The stock market can wipe out your savings a relationship ends you see it can just poof, it’s gone. So culture keeps telling us you can have it all. And reality keeps reminding us no you cannot. Not a chance. Why do you do so much? It’s because you’re depending on yourself, to define yourself to build that house, even if you’re doing it by the way for others. You’re like, no, no, I’m not about me. Everything I do I do for my kids great. So that you can show the world what a great parent you are still doing it for your self that is a bankrupt approach that leads only to vain toiling. So what is the remedy? The remedy to vain toiling is gracious love. And it’s there in verses one and two. I told you  — second pass through. Let’s do it again. I’m gonna read it again. I already read it. Can you read the Word of God too much? No. Let’s do it again. Unless the Lord builds the house the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guard stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late toiling for food to eat, for He grants sleep to those he loves. So the reason for our busyness is stripping God out of the equation? Well, it means the remedy is fairly simple. Let’s reinsert him into the equation. Here’s the way Eugene Peterson put it in his words about this form. He says the main difference between Christians and others is that we take God seriously. And they do not. Here’s what he means by it. He says we really do believe that he is the central reality of all existence, we really do order our lives in response to that reality. And not just some other. And since he’s talking about this Psalm, and particularly adds this last word, he says paying attention to God involves a realization that he works. God is working. So in verses one and two, Solomon recognizes the danger of self reliance, that vein toiling, but he acknowledges the remedy to he saying you have a solution already. I mean, if God doesn’t build the house, you’re in big trouble. But if he does, well, it’s a totally different story than so that unless I said this already, it introduces a conditional clause. And here’s the thing. I think we all already knew that effective work comes with a condition. I just think we have the wrong condition in our head. Most of us think effective work is conditional upon my performance. If I work hard enough, if I work smart enough, then my work will be effective. So Why do you do so much? Have you considered the possibility that you’re busy? Because you’ve taken on God’s responsibilities? That’s going to make you busy. For sure. The Lord is exceedingly gracious. may look at everything he does even in just these two verses, he builds he watches He guards He grants like we can trust Him, we can depend on him. Now, I gotta be careful here because this certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t work. We are made to work. Adam and Eve worked in Eden, even before sin came into the world were to hit this later this summer, the whole idea that we are made to work. So yes, there is hard work. Absolutely. But it’s not pointless work. And maybe more to the point for our sermon today. It’s not endless work. And that’s what happens at the end of verse two. We can go to sleep, we can go to sleep. We can go to sleep with a checklist undone. That’s great news. Why? Because we know that God keeps working. Solomon is writing in an agrarian culture. You know anything about farmers, you know, they work hard, and they rise early. They go to bed late. Absolutely. So they’ve tilled the soil, they planted the seed, they’ve watered, they fertilize, they’ve done all of this, and then they go to bed and they have to trust that God will cause the growth because they know they can’t do that part. That’s us. That’s all of us. Really, at the end of the day, we will only sleep and sleep well. If we realize it doesn’t depend on us. Restlessness is a sign of self idolatry of self reliance. But what happens when we turn from self? We receive His love. What does it say? It says he grants asleep to His Beloved to those he loves. This is interesting, by the way, because Solomon is is his throne name. His like household nickname was actually Jetta Daya. You know what Jedediah means in Hebrew. Beloved, the one Yahweh loves. So Solomon is talking to himself. He grants sleep to to me, because he loves me. And of course, if you’re in Christ, you are also beloved of God, you are also Jedediah, he grants sleep. That’s the key that unlocks rest. What I most need, I already have a loving God, who cares for me. What we most desire, we cannot accomplish, achieve or earn. They have to be gifts from a gracious God. Love, joy, peace, rest. That’s what makes overwork and sleepless nights so foolish. They’re an implicit admission that you’ve forgotten who God is, and what he’s done, and frankly, what he is still doing in your life. Here’s a preview of our next series Kyle already mentioned. We’re doing the I Am statements of John, next. Jesus, in his own words. Here’s the last one, John 15, verse five, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” You can do nothing. There’s such freedom in remembering how helpless we are apart from Christ. You know, I mean, the branch if it’s not connected to the vine, it withers and dies. That’s us. Can’t save myself. I can’t give myself or my kids peace, or joy, or meaning. I can’t do work that lasts ultimately, but in Christ, drawing on his life, like a branch drawing life from the vine. We can do all of that, and help others to do it to. To this, it’s a little bit like Paul in Philippians 3. Paul, he says at one point, “you know, you think you’ve got reasons to put confidence in the flash. I’ve got more.” He’s like, go ahead. Let’s let’s talk performance. But let’s see who could build a better house. Nobody built a better house than Paul. He’s got and he goes through his his CV is his resume and it’s really good. And then he has this turning point where he goes, Yeah, but you know what? “Count all that loss. I consider it garbage. You can take it all compared to the surpassing worth knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. That is lost, but Christ is gain because of what I
get in him – guaranteed in him – what gain? What gain? Let’s just again, we’re only talking busyness right now but look what’s off your checklist. When you rest in Gospel love, then you can go to sleep even though they are not done. Here’s the first one, create and maintain a perfect identity and make sure everyone can see it all the time. Not done. Going to bed to provide my own daily bread. And let’s be honest, we don’t want daily bread in this culture, do we? So I’m going to provide significant reserves for myself as well, because I need to provide my own security. Good luck, I’m done. Going to bed. Third, give my kids happiness – that’s making sure they have and do exactly what everyone in the culture around them has, and does. And I’m going to bed before I solve every problem that comes my way at work, at home, everywhere in between, because I cannot allow a single dent in my shiny façade. Go into bed. In Christ’s finished work, we have all that we need. If we believe the message of the gospel, we move from do to done. And that’s the freedom we need to then do from there, which we’ll talk about in a moment. But the meaning is there. My life is established. A house is buil. My security is fine, because my future is in God’s hands. And I have been granted purpose as well. And let’s talk about that purpose. Let’s talk about what we do in this last section, then the response to gracious love, which is restful activity. Restful activity. This is from verses three to five. Let me read the rest of the poem for us. Children are a heritage from the Lord offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior or children born in one’s youth. Blessed it is the man whose quiver is full of them, they will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. Did that feel like an abrupt shift to you? Right, it’s like whiplash. In fact, it’s such whiplash. There are people who think these are two separate poems that got squished together at some point not at all. Okay, not at all. There is intentional movement here, even if it’s hard to discern. Because it would be easy to conclude if all we had was verses one and two, it’d be easy to conclude that we should simply “let go and let God.” Maybe you’ve heard that phrase before. That assumes what we’re striving for is rest. Right? That’s that’s what we’re talking about. So that would assume that the opposite of rest is work. So if we want to experience rest, you got to stop working. biblically speaking, that’s not true in the slightest. The opposite of rest is restlessness. And that’s something else entirely. What that means is that we can labor from a place of rest. Rest in the deepest part of ourselves, Illinois, J. I. Packer says – J. I. packer, probably greatest theologian last century, no fan of the phrase, “let go and let God” and he said, “Here’s what it is biblically, it’s not let go and let God It’s trust God and get moving. That’s the difference, right? And so to illustrate this whole idea of laboring from rest, Solomon turns to look at kids. We got some kids in the congregation this morning. So I’m gonna speak euphemistically here, y’all contract with mom and dad are intimately involved in procreation. They have a really necessary part to play they are a necessary condition for conception. But read the Bible, and it’s very clear. It is God who gives kids and God alone who gives kids he is the sufficient condition. In fact, if we understand anything from Christ’s virgin birth, it’s that God could actually on very rare occasions, skip the necessary condition and just put a baby in a womb no problem. Only one time, but he did do it. But you see what that means. Then this whole idea, mom and dad intimately involved in procreation, it’s an illustration of acting in here’s Alec materials, words restful reliance on the Lord, an expectation of a his effective working. That’s what procreation is. In fact, it’s really interesting is one more reason why I think these are all meant to go together. This whole Psalm is basically a reflection on Genesis 11. It’s a shift from the first part of Genesis 11 to the second part of Genesis. Love what happens in the first part of Genesis 11? I know you just read it this week, so you’re fine. But first part of Genesis 11, a group of humans get together and go, “What if we built ourselves a house? What if we provided for ourselves all that meaning and significance and security that we’re seeking, we’ll call it the Tower of Babel.” You remember how that went? It ended in fiasco because it turns out humans are not supposed to do that. What’s the second half of Genesis 11? This is the part you skip in your yearly Bible reading. It’s the genealogy. It’s the genealogy when God grants obscure Tara, a son named Abraham, through whom the whole world would be blessed. The lesson is clear, I have a part to play in God’s redemptive purposes. But I am not sufficient in myself to accomplish them. God is going to have to bring it about. It’s like evangelism. And that’s another clear example. God has chosen in his providence, that we have an effective part to play in evangelism. Not gonna believe unless they hear. They’re not going to hear unless we preach – we gotta preach. And yet we all know, only God can turn a heart. That’s the image exactly. But that leads that understanding leads to restful activity, by which I mean, doing what I’m called to do, without the burden of determination, doing what I’m called to do without the burden of thinking, it depends on me. God gives God give children are What does Solomon say here and inheritance, a reward. They are not a wage, paid. At the end of my successful work, they’re an inheritance. They’re a reward. And interestingly, by the way, they provide that security that we seek seek, it’s one of the ways that God watches over us. That’s the end of verse five. It’s kind of weird, right? They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. The guy who’s got a lot of kids doing well here, okay, this is like my passage. Why is it that they’re not put to shame, it’s because when you reach that point where you’re too old, to go defend yourself at the city gate where all this is happening, your kids will get up and go there for you. In contrast to some of the vulnerable populations that we’ve talked about in this series, like the widow and the orphan, there’s no one to contend for them. Not so this man, by the way, that’s really helpful for us, because we saw two weeks ago, we need to expand our vision of family. The truest family is the church, the truest family, the primary family is the church who would contend for the widow and the orphan? We would, that’s what the church does, because they’re our family. But that expands our vision of verses three to five. Also, some of you may be hearing this going, this is a hard passage. What does this passage have to say to our singles? What are those who didn’t or can’t have kids, you just on your own in your old age, know, the Bible, especially the New Testament, but you can see the Old Testament to speaks regularly of spiritual children. I think a Paul and Timothy, or even in Isaiah, I think it’s 56 When God says to eunuchs, who are not going to be able to have kids, right? That he will grant them a name and a legacy better than sons and daughters. Don’t even just think of the Bible. I think of my own story. The man who discipled me invested so much of his life in me, he’s single. And in one sense, he doesn’t have kids and other sons. He’s got a whole lot more kids than I do, which is an impressive feat. When we evangelize, and disciple, and teach and train and lift the poor and work for justice, we are investing in eternity. And that, by the way, is another reason for the shift from verses one and two to verses three to five, we are still talking about work, actually, we’re just talking about work that lasts. If you are an architect, I got bad news for you. The buildings you designed will eventually fall or be knocked down. If you built yourself a company, it will eventually be sold. If you wrote a book, it’s going to go out of print. If you’re working in tech industry, you’ve already seen most of what you’ve done become obsolete, and the rest of it will as well. You want to build a forever house. You want to do work that lasts, invest spiritually. You want true security store your treasure in heaven, where moth and rust and thieves got no chance. Eugene Peterson I quoted him already. But he kind of he pulls these two strands together so well and really paved the way for our response to this he says this relentless compulsive work habits which our society rewards and admirers make no difference and are seen by the psalmist as a sign of weak faith and assertive pride, as if God could not be trusted to accomplish His will. As if we could rearrange the universe by our own effort.
What does make a difference is the personal relationships that we create and develop. That’s the changed attitude that we need living in light of God’s reality and God’s rest. That change attitude leads to change. priorities, looking at what work will last. And that will then lead to changed activities. We sum it up kind of our main idea, pull all this together, it’s really simple. Do in light of what he has done, do in light of what he has done and frankly, is still doing. Again, it is finished. It’s done. That should lead us to act restfully in light of gracious love. So how do we work that out practically just a couple of words here as we close. The first and most obvious one is this means we get to leave the performance trap behind the whole building our own house approach the lifestyle solution, we’re going to need to let God do what only He can do. We do the part he’s called us to do yes, absolutely. But let God do what only He can do. I don’t think we’re good at this. So it’s a little bit like, you know, you’re you’re a parent, and you hear the crash outside. And you know, it was a bad one. And so you kind of walk around out back and you see the baseball. And then you see the shattered window. And then you see your seven year old son on his hands and knees, trying to put the pieces back together again with scotch tape. I think that’s how God sees us a lot of the time. And hands probably bleeding as a result, like not good for us to be doing this. What would you say as a father in that situation, he would say, looks on like, I appreciate it, you’re gonna have to let me repair this. This is not something you’re gonna be able to handle. That’s what the Lord is saying to us as well. There are things you’re gonna have to let me do. I say this, especially if you’re here this morning, and you’re still questioning Christianity. Like this is the word for you in particular, this might be for the first time you realize I’m going to need to let God do this. Mean, today’s the first day maybe, where you decide to take God seriously. And live in light of his reality. Surrender yourself to him and go, I’m going to trust what you’ve done. And I’m going to do only in light of that. If you’re in Christ, though, what’s your response? I think the primary one is just to take a step back and evaluate. That’s what you need to do first, at least, what does your schedule tell you about your heart? We read your schedule doesn’t lie. Whereas you might lie to yourself. You might say, these are my priorities. And your calendar says Not a chance. Not a chance. Look at your calendar, look at your schedule. What does it tell you about your heart? Are you more like babble? Or more like Tara? Are you laboring from rest? Where are you living as a functional atheist? And maybe I’ll ask it like this? Are you sleeping well, most nights? Or is your brain going all the time? Because you think it’s up to you? You’re not depending on God. And if you’re in Christ, another piece is to make sure that your restful activity focuses on what will actually last. People matter most again, we have work to do. And we’ll talk more about this this summer. I don’t want you to come away from this going so I should quit my job. No, we were called to work. But people matter most, that we have to be focused on. Discipleship, good news. There’s a workshop coming up so you can focus on it this week. Except you’re too busy to come I’m sure. Discipleship, evangelism community like these are the things that matter. Most Can I say it like this, I think we need to move from frenzied to friendship. Like, I’m hoping you have something on your calendar every night this week. I’m just hoping it’s people that you’re having over to your home. Because you know, that’s what matters. Most people in this church that you want experienced community with people in your life that you want to share Christ with. There is just a final word of warning though to the church. Let’s not kid ourselves. We can use ministry as a part of our lifestyle solution also. That is we could be building our own house the fact that it’s got the Hobby Lobby Bible verses hanging on every wall doesn’t make it Christian. Like it could still be part of the you know, Christian façade that we are creating here. Are you doing this to save yourself? If I’m such a good Christian, then everybody will accept me and then God will accept me or are you actually doing ministry from a place of rest in light of what he has done? Some decades ago, a pastor and his wife were on vacation in an island in the Caribbean and they had dinner with one of the wealthiest men alive — a billionaire who owned a good chunk of the island. And he said to them over dinner, “I am the most miserable man in the world. Look out, there’s my yacht. You know, there’s my helicopter. Look, I own this. All kinds of thing. I can go anywhere I want. I have everything I want to make my life happy yet I am as miserable as hell.” I’m not just cussing to shock you guys either. Partly it’s a quote and then partly he was speaking better than he knew. It was precisely the misery of hell. What did the pastor and his wife do? Of course, they shared Christ with him. They shared with them how he could become one of those in verse two that God loves the rest that we can know. The next dinner this pastor and his wife he said, “The next night I had dinner with a 75-year-old Baptist pastor on the island. This billionaire was also 75. So same age, Baptist pastor still ministering regularly and running this little church and also caring for his two invalid sisters — like, he was a busy, busy man. And he said, “I don’t have $2 to my name, but I’m the happiest man on this island. This pastor, by the way, was Billy Graham, and he asked his wife as they were leaving dinner that night, “Who do you think was the richer man?” Really easy question to answer, frankly. But here’s the point. They both worked. Both those men worked, they both worked hard. But one toiled in vain. The other labored from love, and found rest, even in his activity. Let’s do whatever we do, whatever God calls us to do, let’s do it in light of what he’s already done. That’s hope for the busy, let’s pray. Father, we know whether we acknowledge it or not, that our lives have a giant unless written across them. Unless we acknowledge you, unless we live in light of the reality that you exist, that you made us and that you made us for yourself. We will be restless. And as a result, we will be busy. So help us Lord to reinsert you the reality of who you are and what you’ve done into the equation of our lives. Help us to live in light of what you have done. Help us to act to do in light of Christ’s finished work. Help us to find rest and peace and meaning and security and purpose in the Gospel. In Christ’s love for us in remembering that we are those that we can be those that you love. And only then stepping out, to act in faith, committing ourselves to work that lasts committing ourselves to people knowing that we are sent to serve them to love them well, and to lead them into the same rest we pray in Christ’s name


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