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Labor in Vain

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep." Psalm 127:1‭-‬2 ESV

There is a great song called American Dream by the contemporary gospel group Casting Crowns. The song tells the story of a young man driven by worldly success until one day, the earthly kingdom he was building begins to crumble.

All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy

But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul

But he's moving on full steam

He's chasing the American dream

And he's gonna give his family finer things

Cause he works all day and tries to sleep at night

He says things will get better;

Better in time


So he works and he builds with his own two hands

And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand

But the wind and the rain are comin' crashing in

Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands

His kingdom stands

The passage for today reminds us this story is nothing new. Every day we are faced with the constant struggle with priorities. We often become so stressed by things of this world that we lose track of what's truly important. In our busyness, we trivialize and minimize the importance of the only person in control, God! We need to break the mindset of our own significance and humbly recognize that God created us and takes care of us. In Him, there is no reason to be anxious. All those things we try to control and keep us up at night, become less critical in the face of the knowledge that there is someone far greater than us shouldering the burden. We are assured that when we place our trust in God and build our house on Him, we find peace and rest, "for he gives to his beloved sleep."

God, we acknowledge that it is only you that is in control. We seek forgiveness when we allow our focus to slip from you to the things of the world. We know we can trust in you, but we often forget; instead, we try to do things on our own. God, we relinquish our anxieties, all those things that keep us up at night to you. In all we do today, help us to allow you to work through us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

Here’s a link to the video for American Dream.

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