June 13, 2016 • Life for Leaders
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Three times in Revelation 22 the Lord says, “I am coming soon” (22:7, 12, 20). This repeated promise points to the future, when Christ will come in victory, establishing his justice and peace on earth. Thus, we look forward to the coming of Christ with joyful expectation, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).
As we await his future coming, we are not without the Lord’s presence in our lives. Yes, he is not with us in the way he will be one day. But Jesus nevertheless comes to us in various ways, fulfilling his promise in Matthew 28:20, “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
Jesus said, “I am with you always.” I’m learning to live this truth throughout the day.
How is Christ with us even now? We might think of his presence with us when we gather with other believers in worship. Christ makes himself known in the community of his people as we sing, pray, and sit in silence. He reveals himself to us as his Word is preached and as his sacraments are celebrated.
Christians often experience Christ’s presence as they serve others in his name. We remember the parable of Jesus in which the King said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40). Thus, we meet Christ when we feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, invite a stranger into our homes, clothe the naked, care for the sick, or visit those in prison.
Yet, Christ is not with us only in contexts of worship and service. Through the Spirit, he is present with us at all times, whether we sense him or not. This means that Christ comes to us when we’re sitting in meetings, waiting on customers, or studying spreadsheets. He is there when we have to let one of our employees go or when we are interviewing for a new job. The living Christ seeks to guide us, teach us, and use us for his purposes in the midst of what we might experience as the daily grind.
I fully believe what I just wrote, though I fully admit that I am not always attentive to Christ’s presence at work. I can easily see what I do throughout the day from a purely human perspective, thus missing the reality of Christ at work in and around me. Yet, I am learning to pay attention to his presence, to seek his ways, and to be guided by his Spirit even in tasks that I would previously have labeled as “unspiritual.” Jesus said, “I am with you always.” I’m learning to live this truth throughout the day.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
As you think about your relationship with the Lord, in what ways does he come to you?
Do you tend to think of Christ as being with you at work? Why or why not?
What helps you to attend to the presence of Christ when you are at work?
Come, Lord Jesus!
Lord Jesus, as we pray for you to come in the future, we also thank you for coming to us in the present moment. Thank you for being with us when we gather for worship, when we serve others, or when we quiet our hearts in prayer.
We also thank you for being with us, not just when we are conscious of your presence, but at all times. How grateful we are that you are with us always! Help us, Lord, to become more aware of your presence in places we least expect it. Help us to be attentive to you in our daily work, in all of our tasks, projects, and relationships. May we be open to your guidance as we work. May we seek to honor you in all we do. Amen.
Explore online Bible commentary: The Meaning of Revelation for Our Work at the Theology of Work Project.
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.