January 2, 2018 • Life for Leaders
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
According to the TED website, Simon Sinek’s TED talk is the third most popular of all time. “How great leaders inspire action” has been viewed 36,124,655 times since it was recorded in September 2009. The main point of Sinek’s talk is simple. Great leaders inspire action by focusing on the why. They put the why before the how and the what. As Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Now, whether you are convinced by Sinek or not, I think it is valuable to understand the why of things. In particular, I’d like you to grasp the why of Life for Leaders. If you get our why, you’ll be more apt to benefit from the use of this daily devotional.
In truth, we are motivated by a series of whys. Why do we produce Life for Leaders? Because we want to help you to grow in your faith, to be formed in Christ. Because we want to help you discover how much your work matters to God and how much God matters to your work. Because we want to give you biblically-based inspiration each day. Because we want to help you live your faith wisely through your daily work. Because we want your leadership, whether at work, at home, or in your community, to be shaped by God’s truth.
All of these whys are valid. But beneath them is a deeper conviction, a deeper why, if you will. It is based on what Jesus says in John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus came to bring life, not just life after death, but life both now and in the future. Jesus came to bring life “to the full,” or as the NRSV puts it, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” We believe that Jesus wants you to have this quality of life—abundant life, life to the fullest—in all that you do, especially in the context of your daily work.
The abundant life Jesus offers comes to us in various ways, but centrally through Scripture. As Jesus says in John 6:63, “The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” The words of Jesus, as well as the words found throughout the Bible, are full of the Spirit and life. Yes, they are challenging at times, even unsettling. But as we read, study, meditate upon, pray, and put into practice the words God has given us in Scripture, we will experience more of the Spirit and more of the full, abundant life found in Jesus.
So, why do we do this? Why do we produce Life for Leaders each day? Because we want you to share in the abundant life of Jesus, and to live in his fullness in every part of your life, including your daily work.
Something to Think About:
Would you say that you experience abundant life in the context of your work? If so, when does this happen? If not, why not?
What aspects of your work give you life? Why?
How might the life offered by Jesus change the way you work?
Something to Do:
Consider making a commitment to spending time each day of this year in biblical reflection and prayer.
Gracious God, thank you for the gift of life. Yes, we thank you for physical life. And we thank you for life beyond the grave. But we also thank you for the fullness of life offered to us now, the abundant life of Jesus.
Help us, Lord, to receive this gift of life. May we discover how to live more fully as we are taught and encouraged by Scripture. May we open our hearts to receive your grace afresh each day. May we learn now to live in Christ everywhere, including our places of work.
To you be all the glory, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Life, and Looming Death (John 10-12)
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.