Mark 13:2 “And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another which will not be torn down.’”

Observation: A student of Jesus had just remarked on the beauty and magnificence of the surrounding buildings as they came out of the temple. As delighted by the works of men’s hands as the student was, Jesus struck to the heart of pride. He pierced through any satisfaction in temporal accomplishment by saying that it all had to come down.

Application: Was there anywhere a construction project more magnificent than the Jerusalem temple? Had not Solomon brought together the finest artisans and carpenters, and gathered the most precious building materials, to make this house for God? Hadn’t God’s own presence been manifest there?

We do the same thing today, spending months with architects and boards of directors, lining up lenders and meeting with governing authorities seeking permits for various aspects of our construction projects. We raise up mighty corporations and spend the bulk of our lives primarily in relationship with colleagues, not with family. We push to pay off the mortgage between the time the kids are out of college and the date of our retirement, working feverishly at the same time to build up an impressive 401(k). How much like my own heart are those buildings that looked so good to the outward observer. But Jesus said that all stones must fall.

He knows that my heart can be hard and cold as stones at times, prideful over accomplishments or possessions.  But His purpose is to break my heart, to utterly defeat pride of accomplishment, to tear down every high thing I have lifted up in my own strength and in my own eyes.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are teaching me to cooperate with the work You want to do in and through me. I’m sorry for being such a slow learner, and I repent and ask Your forgiveness for every instance of stubbornness or rebellion against the correcting things You have wanted to do in my life. I want my life, my family, to be something You have built, Lord—something that will stand for all eternity. Show me day by day what my part is in the work You are doing in my own heart. Thank You, Lord.