November 16, 2017 • Life for Leaders
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The word of God doesn’t just sit there like a museum of antique truth that you can visit if you wish, or otherwise avoid. God’s word is, as we read in Hebrews, “alive and active” (4:12). When God’s truth is read, spoken, studied, preached, reflected upon, and obeyed, it changes individual lives. It alters relationships. It renews families. The word of God transforms organizations: churches, businesses, even governments. It reforms and forms the systems of this world to reflect the peace and justice of God.
These Life for Leaders devotions are built upon the conviction that God’s word “buds and flourishes.” The more we let the word of God in Scripture fill our minds and hearts, the more we let it guide our daily living, the more we allow it to inform our work, the more we will prosper. This doesn’t mean that every time we read Scripture will be a watershed moment in our lives. For the most part, our daily meditation upon God’s word will have a modest, perhaps even an intangible, impact. We may wonder if it is actually active in our lives. But, over time, the more we reflect on the truth of God, the more we will be changed, becoming more like him.
Especially when we go through times of spiritual dryness, we wonder if God’s word is active in our lives. It’s easy to doubt when our souls are parched. But we can take encouragement from the promise of God in Isaiah: “[My word] will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (55:11). May this be true in your life today!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
How has the word of God made a difference in your life?
How is God’s word active in your life these days?
As you study the written word and listen for the word of God’s Spirit, what is God saying to you?
What helps you to hear God’s word to you? What helps you to obey?
Gracious God, thank you for your word today. Your word, revealed in the law and the prophets, captured in the whole of Scripture, incarnate in Jesus Christ, living through your Spirit, is powerful and transformative. Your word offers truth, guidance, hope, and vision. The more we reflect on your word, the more we are changed to be like you. What a wonder! What a joy!
May your word permeate our lives, dear Lord. May we think about it, meditate upon it, obey it, and share it with others. As your word transforms us, may we be a source of transformation in the world. Whether in our families or in our workplaces, whether at church or in the community, may your word lead us to be agents of your renewal, justice, and peace. Let your word produce in our lives an abundant harvest for you. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Life in the Wilderness: Journey to the New World (Hebrews 3:7–4:16)
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.