March 1, 2018 • Life for Leaders
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
In yesterday’s devotion, we focused on the truth of the Gospel. Jesus of Nazareth really did live, die, and rise again. Through his life, death, and resurrection, God’s grace is truly offered to us. We can be truly forgiven, truly renewed, truly restored to relationship with God, and truly called into God’s work in the world.
As Christians, we are to share the truth of the Gospel with others. Yes, this means using our words. But words are not enough, especially in today’s world. In general, people in American culture who are not Christians tend to be “spiritual” but not “religious.” Moreover, they can have a fairly negative picture of Christianity, given what they see on cable news and social media. It’s not just that Christians are sometimes portrayed unfairly by the media. Rather, it’s that we ourselves often speak and act in public in ways that contradict the very Gospel we are called to proclaim and live. Thus, those who need to hear the good news from us may very well look upon us with suspicion and skepticism.
How can we communicate the truth of the Gospel in a day like ours? Ephesians 1:11-14 offers a clue, one that is confirmed later in the letter and through the New Testament. As you recall, this passage reveals that we exist for the praise of God’s glory. We praise God not only through our words but also through our lives. We communicate the Gospel not only through what we say but also through what we do. Or at least that’s the way it should be.
When we get to Ephesians 4-6, we’ll see in detail how we can be “worthy of the calling we have received.” For now, let me suggest that if you want to share the Gospel with people who don’t know the Lord, start by living the Gospel each day, in all that you do.
Consider the example of my friend Christeen, who works in a major tech company in Silicon Valley. Christeen does excellent work, which explains why she has advanced to a position of considerable authority well before her thirtieth birthday. But Christeen’s excellent work is shaped by the Gospel. An article in a recent edition of FULLER Magazine provides salient examples from her work life: “She avoids scheduling evening meetings with team members if she knows they have families that crave their time over the supper table. She checks her inclination to correct a team member in a large meeting and instead will talk to them separately. She tries to model humility in a culture that values self-promotion, and knows she must be willing to apologize when it’s called for” (FULLER #10, p. 21). Christeen isn’t just speaking the good news to her colleagues. Rather, she is living it each day. By her actions, she shows that the Gospel is true.
Something to Think About:
Do you know people whose lives reflect the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Does your life reflect the Gospel? If so, in what way?
Where do you find it difficult to live the Gospel?
Something to Do:
Think about your work and how you might live the Gospel in a way that is appropriate, humble, and compelling. Then, live out in your workplace what you have envisioned.
Gracious God, thank you for the truth of the Gospel. Thank you for the privilege we have of sharing this good news with others.
Help us, Lord, to live in such a way that people see the Gospel through us. May this be true in every facet of our lives, especially our workplaces. May we embody your love and grace in all that we do. To you be the glory! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Jesus’ 10 Principles for Working – an Overview on Faith and Work (Video)
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.