August 15, 2017 • Life for Leaders
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
In the last few days, we’ve been looking at God’s covenant with Abram, focusing on how Abram was “blessed to be a blessing.” In yesterday’s edition of Life for Leaders, we considered how leaders might be a source of blessing for their customers. Today, I’d like to consider how our leadership might bless an even larger constituency.
The final phrase of God’s covenant with Abram reads, “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (12:3). God has chosen to bless Abram and to establish a covenant with him not just for Abram’s benefit, not just for the good of his family, his tribe, or even his nation. Rather, God intends to bless “all the families of the earth” through Abram. Now that’s a broader constituency of blessing, isn’t it?
Genesis 12 does not explain how this kind of worldwide blessing will occur. By implication, we understand that, somehow, the “great nation” God will make from Abram will end up benefiting all people throughout the world, not just the citizens of the nation. Later in the biblical story, we’ll see that this benefit comes through Jesus, the King and Savior, not only of Abram’s nation, but, indeed, of the whole world.
We who belong to God through Jesus Christ participate in this global blessing. Even though most of us are not literal descendants of Abram, we have been blessed through the work God began in Abram. Through Christ, we are part of God’s family, God’s nation, God’s people. We ought to be deeply grateful as we see our own lives foreshadowed in Genesis 12.
At the same time, we who belong to God through Christ are also participants in his work of reaching, redeeming, and restoring the world. We have been blessed through the good news of the gospel so that we might proclaim it, reflect it, and live it. This happens, not just in our private lives, but also in our leadership. Whether the obvious impact of our leadership is local or whether it spans the globe, God is blessing us so that, through us, all the families of the earth might be blessed. Our lives and leadership will be most fruitful when we keep this global perspective before us, even as we focus on the work at hand. You and I are part of God’s mission to transform the world.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Do you ever think of your leadership as having global implications?
How does your work as a leader make a difference in the world?
What might help you to remember the global scope of God’s mission while focusing on your particular work?
Gracious God, thank you for your “world vision,” for determining to bless all the families of the earth through Abram. Thank you that, in the outworking of our plan, I am a member of one of those families. Thank you for blessing me through your work that began in Abram.
Lord, even as Abram was blessed to bless others, even the whole world, may my life be part of this global mission. Use me locally, Lord, as you work globally. Help me to see myself in light of what you are doing throughout the world, to join in your effort to transform the world through Christ.
All praise, glory, and honor be to you! Amen.
PhotoCredit: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Loozrboy from Toronto, Canada, via Wikimedia Commons.
This post originally published on September 19, 2015.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: The needs of the world
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.