January 2, 2024 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 119:93; John 6:66-68; 10:10 (NRSV)
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life (Psalm 119:93).
Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:66-68).
“The thief comes only to steal and to destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
The De Pree Center produces Life for Leaders because we want you to experience the life of God both now and in the future. We’re motivated by what Jesus once said, “The thief comes only to steal and to destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). We want to you grow in your relationship with God through Christ so that you experience abundance in every part of life, including your leadership. Whether you lead in business or education, in arts or government, in profit or non-profit contexts, in church or family, in the studio or the athletic field, we want you to experience God’s life so that your leadership might reflect the values, truths, and love of God.
The De Pree Center sent out our first Life for Leaders devotion over eight and a half years ago, on April 1, 2015. If my calculations are correct, today’s devotion is number 3,152 in the Life for Leaders collection.
If you’ve been reading Life for Leaders for several years, you may recall that near the first of the year I usually share a devotion focused on the mission of Life for Leaders and how you can join us in this work as both a beneficiary and a partner in this work.
The biblical passages quoted above bring into focus the central mission of Life for Leaders. Both of these texts show that God’s Word leads to life . . . full life, fruitful life, eternal life. In the Gospel of John, when Jesus’s teachings are so unsettling that many of his followers turn away, Jesus asks his remaining disciples, “Do you also wish to go away?” Peter answers, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:66-68). Eternal life, as you may know, isn’t just what we sometimes refer to as going to heaven. The Greek phrase translated as “eternal life” is zōē aiōnios, which literally means “the life of the age to come.” Yet this life isn’t only for the future, however. We can begin to experience eternal life now through faith in Christ.
It is this sort of life that defines the purpose of Life for Leaders. The De Pree Center produces this devotion because we want you to experience eternal life both now and in the future. We’re motivated by what Jesus once said, “The thief comes only to steal and to destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). We want to you grow in your relationship with God through Christ so that you experience abundance in every part of life, including your leadership. Whether you lead in business or education, in arts or government, in profit or non-profit contexts, in church or family, in the studio or the athletic field, we want you to experience God’s life so that your leadership might reflect the values, truths, and love of God.
As you know, occasionally Life for Leaders will address various functions of leadership when they are present in a Scripture passage. But, for the most part, we focus not so much on what leaders do as on who leaders are on the inside. We’re committed to helping you do what is sometimes called the “inner work” of leadership. It’s about the forming of your heart and the developing of your mind. (I’ll have more to say about inner work soon. It’s central to all we do at the De Pree Center and it’s also our quarterly theme for Winter 2024.)
Let me offer a few thoughts about how you can join us in the work of Life for Leaders.
Most obviously, you can use Life for Leaders in your own daily devotions as you grow in your relationship with God. Some folks read Life for Leaders at breakfast. Others do so first thing after getting to their office or workstation. Some read the daily devotion in the evening. Others save up two or three to read all at once. There is no “one right way” to use this devotional tool. But we hope that one way or another, you will use it on a fairly regular basis. (Before my mom died, she used to apologize to me for not reading Life for Leaders every day. I kept telling her that wasn’t a problem, but I’m not sure she ever really believed me. She was my mom, after all.)
A second way you can join in our work is by communicating with us. Let us know if something is particularly meaningful to you, or if you have any additional thoughts about a biblical text, or if you have a question you’d like us to address. Since I’ve been writing Life for Leaders, I estimate that I’ve received well over 2,000 emails from readers. They have meant a lot to me. I try to respond to each one, though sometimes I’m just too busy to do so. Nevertheless, I do read everything people send to me and the same is true of the other Life for Leaders writers.
A third way you can join in our work is by telling your friends about Life for Leaders. In eight and a half years we’ve grown from 0 subscribers to over 11,000. Some of these subscribers have come via Google or social media. But many – perhaps the majority – have come via a recommendation from a friend, colleague, relative, or ministry partner. If you find Life for Leaders helpful, I’d encourage you to tell the people in your network about us. Think about your colleagues, small group members, Sunday school class members, congregants at church, neighbors, and so on.
A fourth way you can join in our work is by supporting the De Pree Center financially. You’ll recall that on Giving Tuesday in early December we asked folks to consider helping to fund our work. We had a strong response from Life for Leaders readers. If you contributed, thank you! Your gift allows us to continue to make Life for Leaders available without a subscription charge. Moreover, your generosity is a great encouragement to those of us who work to produce Life for Leaders each week.
Finally, a fifth way you can join in our work is by praying for us. Pray for our writing team that we will rightly understand and communicate God’s truth. Pray for our attentiveness to the Spirit as we seek to serve you. Please pray also for the De Pree Center, for our leadership, our staff, our content creators, our financial sustainability, our ministry partners, and for the people we serve. As you pray for us, you might also ask for God’s blessing on Fuller Seminary, of which we are a part.
In closing, thank you for being a member of the Life for Leaders family. Thanks for allowing us to serve you and for the many ways you join us in the work of helping leaders flourish by experiencing the life that God gives us through Jesus Christ.
How has Life for Leaders been helpful to you in your faith and leadership?
Are you satisfied with the way you use this devotional tool? If not, how might you do things differently in 2024?
Can you think of a way that your exercise of leadership has been affected by the inner work of faith development?
If you find Life for Leaders helpful, are there people you could tell about this devotional resource? If so, tell them! Forward a devotion. Or mention Life for Leaders in your small group. Or put a notice in your church newsletter. Or. . .
Gracious God, thank you for the gift of eternal life. Thank you for the promise of the fullness of life in the future. Thank you for the chance we have today to begin to experience that life, however incompletely in this age. Thank you for giving us abundant life through Christ.
As I receive your gift of life, Lord, help me to be shaped by this in every way. In particular, I ask that my leadership reflect your life: your values, your truth, your love. As you are forming me on the inside, may I live as a transformed person through my leadership. Amen.
Banner image by Khyta on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Word Gives Life.
Subscribe to Life for Leaders
Sign up to receive a Life for Leaders devotional each day in your inbox. It’s free to subscribe and you can unsubscribe at any time.
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.