June 20, 2016 • Life for Leaders
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.
Today, we begin a new Life for Leaders series based on the Gospel of Mark. For the next several months, we will walk slowly through this Gospel, allowing it to deepen our faith and enlarge our vision of what it means to follow Jesus in every part of life.
The Gospel of Mark helps us, in the words of Richard of Chichester, to see Jesus more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly. I hope you’ll join me in our devotional study of this Gospel.
You may wonder why I’ve chosen to focus on Mark’s Gospel. Let me briefly explain my rationale.
As you know, Life for Leaders regularly addresses the themes of work and leadership. This is part of what makes this devotional distinctive. I expect it’s one of the major reasons you are a subscriber. But, if you’ve been receiving Life for Leaders for a while, you know that sometimes I write about other themes besides work and leadership. I do this, in part, because I try to be faithful to the meaning of the text before us. But I do this also because I am concerned about you whole life, not just your work and leadership. I want you to have a rich, growing relationship with God that touches every aspect of your life.
As we’ll see in the weeks ahead, the Gospel of Mark has much to say about work and leadership, though these are not its main themes. This Gospel focuses on the actions of Jesus from the time of his baptism through his crucifixion. It reveals how, through Jesus, the kingdom of God is at hand. It calls us through narrative to be followers of Jesus. And, as we’ll see tomorrow, the Gospel of Mark contains marvelous good news.
So, a devotional study in Mark is surely worth doing. But you may wonder why I’ve chosen to focus on Mark at this particular time. As you may recall, I began Life for Leaders with an extended series on Genesis. Then I spent a couple of months digging in to Revelation 21-22. In recent devotions, I explained how Genesis and Revelation provide a frame that allows us to understand all of Scripture more deeply and truly. In particular, that frame enables us to see Jesus with new eyes. He stands in the center of the picture framed by the beginning and end of the Bible. He is the one who helps us grasp the rich meaning of God’s biblical story. He is the one who enables us to make sense of our lives, including our work. He is the one who calls us to follow him into the life of the kingdom of God. The Gospel of Mark helps us, in the words of Richard of Chichester, to see Jesus more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly. I hope you’ll join me in the devotional study of this Gospel.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
In what ways does the life of Jesus shape how you live? In what ways does it shape how you work?
As you anticipate focusing on the Gospel of Mark during the next few months, what questions or concerns do you bring to this devotional investigation?
What is the good news in the Gospel of Mark? How does it make a difference in how you live each day?
Gracious God, as we begin our study of the Gospel of Mark, we ask you to teach us. Help us to see Jesus more clearly and truly. Help us to love him more dearly and deeply. Help us to follow him more nearly and faithfully.
O Lord, may we come to see our whole lives, including our daily work, as part of what it means to follow Jesus. Amen.
Explore online Bible commentary: Introduction to Mark 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.