March 27, 2016 • Life for Leaders
[May you know] what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.
At first glance, the answer to the question, “Does Easter have anything to do with my work?” seems to be “No.” Unless you work for a church, Easter appears to have little to do with ordinary employment. It is a holiday, after all, a day for worship, gathering with family and friends, feasting, and other kinds of holiday fun. Not much work here.
If the resurrection was a world-transforming demonstration of God’s redeeming power, then it must have something to say to our work.
But, if we think beyond the Easter celebrations to the reality being celebrated, Easter may turn out to be more relevant to work than we first think. If the resurrection of Jesus was the culmination of God’s plan to redeem all things, then surely it has some relevance to work. If the resurrection was a world-transforming demonstration of God’s redeeming power, then it must have something to say to what we do with the majority of our time.
Consider, for example, Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1. There, he prays that the readers of his letter might know “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe” (1:19). This power was seen, above all, when God “raised [Christ] from the dead and seated him at his right hand” (1:20). The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates and illustrates the power of God, not just in general, but “for us who believe.”
How do we experience this resurrection power? We might think first of our experience of salvation. Or perhaps we remember some amazing experience on a mission trip or as we prayed for someone to be healed. We readily and rightly associate God’s power with events that are saturated with Christian meaning. But, if we take Scripture seriously, we must also recognize that God cares about all of life, including our work. In fact, God created us with work as our primary purpose (see Genesis 1-2). Thus, we have every reason to believe that God will make his power known to us and through us in the context of our daily work.
I have seen evidence of this truth time and again through the experience of those for whom I have been a pastor. They have shared with me how God made a difference in seemingly impossible situations. As they have prayed for colleagues, bosses, subordinates, customers, and others, they have sometimes been astounded by what God has done. Of course God’s power is still God’s power, and God doesn’t always do what we wish. But if we are open, aware, and seeking, God will make his power known in every part of life, including our work.
So, does Easter have anything to do with your work? Yes, it does. Thanks be to God!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Can you think of a time when you experienced God’s power in the context of your work?
Do you pray for things associated with your work? Would you be willing to ask God to make his resurrection power known in the context of your work?
Can you think of other ways that Easter matters for your work?
Gracious God, on this Easter Sunday we celebrate your victory of sin and death. We recognize that you alone have the power to conquer death. You made this power known in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. You are the victor. All praise be to you!
How amazing to think that this same power is “for us who believe.” You make this power known in our lives, not only in delivering us from sin and death, but also through your gracious participation in every part of life, including our work.
Lord, we ask you to exercise your power in our work. We pray for supernatural guidance. We ask for the grace to be servants to our colleagues. We pray for your blessing, so that our work might bless you and others.
To you be all the glory, gracious God! Amen.
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.