Don’t Labor in Vain Day

Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain (Ps. 127:1, HCSB).

Most of us have worked hard to get where we are today. If you’re like my wife and me, you periodically reflect back over your years of laboring. In our case, we can hardly believe it’s been 43 years. I was in my second year of seminary in Scotland.

We had just enough savings between us to squeak through the year. By the time we got back to the States, I had decided not to pursue ministry as a profession but was unclear about what I would do as an alternative. We borrowed money from my mother for the first month’s rent and security deposit on an apartment. No furniture, no job, no prospects, and practically no money — our future was uncertain, but that didn’t seem to matter.

We sat on the floor of the apartment the day we took possession, looked around, and couldn’t have been happier. We were fueled by love, hope, and faith. We knew we’d be fine.

I wonder, if we were faced with the same circumstances today, would we be as confident and hopeful? What might we be thinking, feeling, and saying to each other? Maybe I’d be ashamed that I’d put us in such a position. Perhaps I’d be fearful about how to navigate out of that rut at the age of 67. We wouldn’t want to impose on our children for help. Would the tenderness and partnership between us still be there — enough to see us through? Or would we turn on each other, cast blame, and make matters worse? I’d like to think that enough love, hope, and faith are still there so that we’d be able to face those circumstances together and find our way through it with the Lord.

Thankfully, that’s not our situation. However, this forces some questions: Who has been building the “house” of our lives over the years? Were we? Was the Lord? Did we build it and invite Him in, or did He build it and invite us in? These are tough questions. It’s easy to rationalize that we were trusting Him for direction and outcomes — diligently doing our part to bang the nails with the hammer He gave us. The honest answer for me (my wife was and is better at this) is that there were times, even long stretches, where I “hammered” first and consulted later. There were other times, usually when I hit rough patches, that I asked my Builder-Foreman for assistance. He was always quick to respond, performing for or with me what I couldn’t accomplish on my own.

I suspect that, if you were to take a spiritual photo of the “house” of your life, it would be apparent who was building what at various points in the construction process. The better, more finished looking parts were the Lord’s craftsmanship.

The obvious do-it-yourself parts were your handiwork. Is it perfect? No. Could it have been better? Of course. If we all could retrace our steps and do it over again, knowing what we now know about His faithfulness and effectiveness, would we give Him more control over the building? You bet we would … hindsight. But here’s the thing — the house of our lives is still being built. What about the sagging ceiling in our marriages? The leaking basement in some of our family relationships? The cracked wall in certain friendships? The weakening support beams of health and finances? The broken seals in the windows of our earlier hopes and dreams? None of those are beyond repair or remodeling.

Labor Day commemorates the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. We take a day off from our labors to give tribute to those who have labored before us. I’d like to propose a new holiday. We can celebrate it on the same first Monday in September. We’ll call it “Don’t Labor in Vain Day.” This is when we bring in the Inspector, take that spiritual photo, get the report, and call in the Contractor of Contractors to come in and take care of business. There’s no telling what He’ll be able to do that day. He works wonders.

You may be in a season of life where what you’re facing has required you to recalibrate your game plan, make adjustments, change your expectations, and realign your priorities. Whatever your circumstances, He who numbers every hair of your head is able to do exceedingly more with the rest of your life than what you’ve been able to do under your own labor up to this point. That’s not an idle pipe dream. It’s a promise – His promise. Let’s remember that on this Don’t Labor in Vain Day.

More

Finance and Career Articles

5 Important Attitudes to Embrace at Work

This article is courtesy of Mature Living.

Steve Silver is a retired business executive, the author of New Man Journey (newmanjourney.com) and the founder of Men’s Golf Fellowship.

New! Explore the Lineage of Christ with the Adam Family Tree

wells bible atlasToday I have 2 new releases to share with you, and they both come from the industrious hand of D. J. Wells. The Wells Bible Atlas is a helpful reference tool for your digital library. The Adam Family Tree is a limited edition lithographic print for your home or office. Click here for details on both.

The Wells Bible Atlas

The Wells Bible Atlas is not a collection of maps as the name might imply. It is an “atlas” of every person and place mentioned in the Bible. In 1915, D. J. Wells undertook the seemingly impossible task of cataloging all 3,132 people that he found in the Bible, plus the name of nearly every place and location. Sorted alphabetically, Wells offers a description of each name, along with the reference text of where they appear in Scripture. He also included timelines, fascinating details, and information about the Bible. The Wells Bible Atlas has long been out of print and is difficult to find. For a limited time, you can take the Wells Bible Atlas for the introductory price of $19.95. Click here to order.

The Adam Family Tree

One of most interesting features of the Wells Bible Atlas is a large fold-out section titled the Adam Family Tree. This chart illustrates the complete lineage from Adam to Jesus. Even if you found a rare copy of the Wells Bible Atlas it is unlikely this poster would still be in the book.

The printed Adam Family Tree is so large, it was impossible to reproduce in WORDsearch to be used like the printed chart. So, we reproduced the Adam Family Tree in this large, limited edition lithograph suitable for framing.

adam family tree

Share with your family and friends. Trace the lineage from Adam to Jesus Christ, showing how the birth line goes through both Joseph and Mary. A red line helps you follow the ancestors of Jesus. D. J. Wells meticulously assembled this family tree, noting the Scripture reference where each character appears. WORDsearch has carefully reproduced this chart and is offering this limited edition lithograph, recreated in the beautiful 19th century style as it originally appeared.

When you receive this chart in its protective tube, you will want to take it to a frame shop and create a one-of-a-kind display for your home or office (the frame shown in the photo above is not included). The Adam Family Tree is timeless lesson that is easy to demonstrate to curious people of any age. It also makes a wonderful gift that will be treasured by any believer. For a limited time, it’s available at the introductory price of just $24.95. Order quantities of 5 or 10 and save even more. Click here for details or call 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8363.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

Free Friday! 4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible

4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible, wordsearch bibleHappy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $7.95, is 4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible by A. Dana Adams.

download_button

  • Quick guide to learning about the people and stories of the Bible
  • Explanations of the Bible as the cornerstone of Christianity
  • Descriptions on how the Bible was written and compiled
  • Detailed listings of verses that contain the essence of God’s message and a helpful summary of each Bible book

4000 Questions and Answers on the Bible has led generations of Christians into a deeper knowledge of the Bible with an easy-to-use question-and-answer format. In addition to 4000 questions and answers, you’ll find sections on how to study the Bible, the Bible as a basis of religious belief, a short history of the Bible, and a new practical course in Bible reading. This book is educational, fun, easy-to-use, and a great reference for anyone seeking answers to their Bible questions!

After you have read the book, we would love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!

How to Enjoy Even Deeper Discounts for Bible Tools Already On Sale

gift card, wordsearch bibleOver the next several weeks, WORDsearch will be releasing some outstanding new content for your digital library. Like we often do, these new resources will be offered at reduced prices for a short period of time. Today I’ll share a way you can enjoy an additional 17% off anything you purchase. You can do this by purchasing WORDsearch Bible Gift Cards. These are electronic gift cards for your WORDsearch account. For the next 14 days, we are offering our $120 gift cards for $100. Click here for complete details.

These Gift Cards put credit in your account for future purchases. These credits never expire, and this positive balance stays on your account until you’re ready to use it on any WORDsearch products. And, of course you can use these digital cards as gifts by emailing them to anyone, just like you would with an electronic gift certificate from other online services like Amazon.

Using a Gift Card on Any Purchase Saves You an Additional 17%
Through September 8, we’ve put our $120 gift cards on sale for just $100. That’s right. Spend $100 on a gift card (for yourself or anyone else), and what you’ve purchased will be $120 you can spend in the future. For example, let’s say you spend $100 for this $120 gift card. A month from now you might find a $200 commentary on sale for $120. Simply apply your gift card credit and it will be like you got your new commentary for half-off!

New Releases Coming That You’ll Want to Purchase with Gift Cards:
Because you subscribe to my weekly emails, I can give you advanced notices and ways of saving money like this. In the coming weeks, we are scheduled to release some highly-requested resources such as:

  • The WORD Biblical Commentary
  • Expositions on Prayer
  • Adrian Rogers Preaching Videos
  • The Ancient Christian Commentary On Scriptures
  • John Butler’s Sermon Starters
  • Pulpit Pages
  • And More!

Email a Gift Card and Bless Someone Today
When you purchase WORDsearch Bible Gift Cards, you’ll notice that within your shopping cart you’ll have the option to email your gift (with a personal note) immediately. Perhaps you know someone who uses WORDsearch or would like to start building an electronic library. Imagine his or her surprise to receive this unexpected gesture of your generosity. Just click here to get started. If you prefer to order by phone, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8367. We’ll be happy to set it up for you. But hurry. This sale on $120 gift cards is only good through September 8.

expositor's bible commentary, commentary, wordsearch bibleSale Ends Sunday on The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – 65% Off
There’s still time to save 65% off The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. The EBC is one of the most respected and consulted modern commentaries in print, with the 12-volume set retailing for $364.95. Through August 31, you can add it to your digital library for only $129.95. Contributors to this commentary on the entire Bible read like a Who’s Who of Bible scholars, with names like: Carl F.H. Henry, F.F. Bruce, Walter C. Kaiser, Bruce M. Metzger, Gleason L. Archer Jr., Gordon D. Fee, and many others. Just click here. Or, call us at 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8367.

WORDsearch Lesson Sale Ends Monday
This Monday is your last chance to take advantage of the WORDsearch Lesson Sale. We’ve selected 16 of our best Bible Lesson packages and put them on sale to supply you with resources for your small group studies and Sunday school. You’ll also find these packages ideal for your own personal studies of the Bible and biblical topics. Click here to browse the Lesson Sale Collection. Or, call us at 1-800-888-9898 and mention special offer 8367.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

Take the Expositor’s Bible Commentary at 65% Off – Sale Ends Aug. 31

expositor's bible commentary, commentary, wordsearch bibleToday I’m announcing a 14-day sale on the highly valued The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. The EBC is one of the most respected and consulted modern commentaries in print, with the 12-volume set retailing for $364.95. I checked eBay and most used single volumes sell for about $30, and, last week, a used set sold for $199.95. Through the end of this month, you can take it in WORDsearch for only $129.95. Just click here. Or, if you’d like to speak to a friendly Customer Service Rep, call us at 1-800-888-9898. Mention special offer 8345.

A Virtual Who’s Who of Bible Scholars

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is known for its accurate and outstanding scholarship. Volume 1 is a 734-page book titled Introductory Articles. You’ll recognize authors, like: Carl F.H. Henry, F.F. Bruce, Walter C. Kaiser, Bruce M. Metzger, Gleason L. Archer Jr., Gordon D. Fee, and many others. These theologians introduce you to important undercurrents of the Bible, including: Authority, Inspiration & Interpretation of Scripture, Geography, Eschatology, and Language & Textual Criticism of the Bible. Plus, Volume 1 includes introductory articles on Theology, Archeology, Chronology, and many other topics. You’ll find this first volume a gold mine of background information.

Enjoy Precise, Verse-By-Verse Commentary

Each commentary section, titled “Exposition,” takes a careful look at the language behind the text. The text is examined in verse segments based on contextual ties. Each section of text has a short title describing the theme, a brief discussion of the overall context, and a thorough study on the key lexical and literary aspects.

A Treasury of Scholarly Notes

Following each commentary section is a section titled “Notes” that take you deeper into the author’s research and study. Here, the author can discuss alternative readings, variants in the text, and further comments on specific Greek and Hebrew words. I really appreciate the way each biblical word is displayed in Greek or Hebrew, how it is then tranliterated, and then accurately translated into English. This makes all words accessible to those who have little or no language training. Still, the concepts discussed are deep enough to benefit scholars and exegetical preachers.

Many WORDsearch users have made The Expositor’s Bible Commentary their go-to resource for study and sermon and lesson preparation. Thanks to a special agreement with the publisher, I’m happy to offer it for your digital library at such a low price for a short time. Click here or call us at 1-800-888-9898. Just mention special offer 8345.

In His Service,

Jim Baird

Free Friday! The Ministry of Intercession

andrew murray, prayer, wordsearch bibleHappy Friday everyone! Today’s featured free download is The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray. Click here to download.

A  fresh sight of what prayer is according to the will of God, of what our prayers can be, through the grace of God, will free us from those feeble defective views, in regard to the absolute necessity of continual prayer, which lie at the root of our failure. As we get an insight into the reasonableness and rightness of this divine appointment, and come under the full conviction of how wonderfully it fits in with God’s love and our own happiness, we shall be freed from the false impression of its being an arbitrary demand. We shall with our whole heart and soul consent to it and rejoice in it, as the one only possible way for the blessing of heaven to come to earth. All thought of task and burden, of self-effort and strain, will pass away in the blessed faith that as simple as breathing is in the healthy natural life, will praying be in the Christian life that is led and filled by the Spirit of God.

Andrew Murray longed for every Christian to understand the reality and glory of the privilege given to God’s children — the privilege of praying and receiving answers. In this unique and practical book, he motivates and instructs believers in the discipline of intercession. He then invites those who want to participate more effectively in the “great work of intercession” to devote ten minutes a day to this discipline for a month.

Andrew Murray, Jr. was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1828. He was the second child of Andrew Murray, Sr., a Scottish Presbyterian serving the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa as a missionary. Andrew was sent to Aberdeen in Scotland for his initial education together with his elder brother, John. Both remained there until they obtained their M.A in 1845. From there they both went to the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands where they studied theology. Both brothers were ordained by the Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church on May 9, 1848 and returned to the Cape.

Andrew pastored churches in Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town and Wellington, all in South Africa. He was an amazingly prolific Christian author. All of his publications were originally written in Dutch and then translated into English. As his popularity grew, Murray’s books found their way into more than twelve foreign languages during his lifetime alone. Murray is best known for his devotional writings, which place great emphasis on the need for a rich, personal devotional life. Several of his books have become classics, including: Abide in Christ, Absolute Surrender and Waiting on God.

After you have read the book, we’d love to hear what you thought in the Customer Reviews box on the bottom of the book’s page. Have you read anything that has inspired you lately? Let us know!