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Psalm 128

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways.  Good things will come to those who respect God and follow His direction.

You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house, your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.

So is the man blessed who hears and respects the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life, may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem and may you live to see your grandchildren.

Peace be upon Israel.

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Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Whatever you build, it must be God’s plan.

Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.  Unless the Lord protects it, you won’t be able to prevent anything.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for the Lord grants sleep to those He loves.  No matter how hard you work, if God is not working with you, there’ll be no rest.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. The world can be conquered by a family working together.

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

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Whatever we have in life, whatever we set our hand to do, if God is not the foundation, if God is not an integral part, it’s pointless.  God does most of the work.  We actually do very little.

Father, the verses about children are very difficult for the childless.

Psalm 126

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men restored to health.

We laughed, we sang for joy.  Everyone said, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the desert.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. The task starts tearfully, but the completion will have much joy.

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Remember, there is a long time (5-6 months) between seedtime and harvest.  We must be patient and not lose hope.

Psalm 119 – Tsadhe

(Tsadhe is the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet)

God is righteous – perfect. God’s word is right.
God’s word is perfect and fully trustworthy – constant, changeless, perfectly fair.
My zeal wears me out for my enemies ignore Your word.
Your word has been thoroughly tested – tried out in every situation – and Your servant loves them.
Though I’m not much, I don’t forget Your word.
Your righteousness is everlasting and Your word is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but Your word is my delight. I can have pleasure and happiness even in trouble and distress if I am centered in Your word.
Your word is forever right – give me understanding that I may live. If I understand Your word, I understand You, and that is the key to life.

Failure to Complete Conquests

From Judges 1:21-36 (also Joshua 13:13; 16:10; 17:11-13; 15:63)

Twelve tribes. Ten of them are on the failure list. Only Simeon and Gad aren’t mentioned. The Israelites were to either completely destroy or completely drive out the long list of Canaanites and then occupy the Promised Land enemy-free. They failed and the “-ites” became thorns in their sides.

As believers in Christ, we are called to drive out the “-ites” from our lives in order to live in our Promised Land of abundant life. We must drive out every sin, every attitude, every thought, every feeling, every word, every action that displeases God and hinders our fellowship with Him.

Complaining, coveting, selfishness and dwelling in the past must go. So must focusing on hurts, habits, and hang-ups. We must deliberately drive them out of our minds, hearts, spirits and lives or they will become thorns in our sides and lead us into self-focus and self-worship.

Drive them out! Every last one!

Fight for It

“God has never said that the land will simply be handed over to the Israelites without a struggle. On the contrary, God has told the Israelites that they will have to fight for the land.” The Daily Bible, p 158

Just as the Israelites had to fight for the Promised Land, so the believer has to fight for the blessings and fruit of the Christian life. The Israelites had to fight Canaanites. We have to fight Satan and his minions, and our own selfish, lazy natures. Peter warned of our enemy who prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). Paul gave us the armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-17).

Want to be closer to God? Fight for it.
Want to have a better prayer life? Fight for it.
Want to memorize more Scripture? Fight for it.
Want to be more like Jesus? Fight for it.
Want to be led by the Spirit? Fight for it.
Want to have more love? Fight for it.
Joy? Fight for it.
Peace? Fight for it.
Patience? Fight for it.
Kindness? Fight for it.
Goodness? Fight for it.
Generosity? Fight for it.
Faithfulness? Fight for it.
Meekness? Fight for it.
Gentleness? Fight for it.
Humility? Fight for it.
Discipline? Fight for it.
Self-control? Fight for it.

Want the world to be a better place? Fight for it!

As Max Lucado tells us in Glory Days, we don’t fight for victory, we fight from it, and God fights for us. So let’s get out there and fight! And remember, we are more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37)

Psalm 119 – Lamedh

(Lamedh is the twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet)

Your word, O Lord, is eternal – it lasts forever.
It stands firm in the heavens, which have nothing firm about them at all.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations – for every age of people, You are consistently there for them.
You established the earth, and it endures.
Your word endures to this day,
For all things serve You. Everything has a part in Your plan and will.
If Your word had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget Your word,
For by Your word, You have preserved and saved my life.
Save me, for I am Yours,
I have sought out Your word.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
But I will ponder Your word.
To all perfection, I see a limit,
But Your word is boundless.