July 5, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 144:13-15 (NRSV)
May our barns be filled
with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields,
and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,
and no cry of distress in our streets.
Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the LORD.
The example of Psalm 144 encourages us to pray for our work, asking God to bless our efforts. This psalm also reminds us that when our work is going well, we aren’t achieving this on our own. Rather, we are recipients of God’s grace as God is at work in and through us.
Psalm 144 boldly asks God for the blessing of daily work. For example, when the psalm writer asks, “May our barns be filled with produce of every kind,” he is not imagining some magic delivery of fruits, vegetables, and grain. Rather, he is asking God to bless the people’s work.
The closing verse of Psalm 144 proclaims, “Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall.” When God blesses our work, we are indeed happy. Our happiness comes, not only from what our work has produced, but also mainly from the fact of God’s gracious provision. We rejoice because God is our Lord.
Gracious God, today I ask you to fill my barns with produce of every kind. Of course, I don’t have a physical barn and I won’t be growing produce to fill it. But, inspired by the writer of Psalm 144, I ask you to bless my work. May it bear abundant fruit, fruit that serves others and adds to the goodness of this world. Please be at work in and through me as I work. May you provide all that is needed so I can work faithfully and productively.
Thank you, dear Lord, for times when my work is going well. Thank you for seasons of blessing. Thank you for using my efforts and adding to them your grace. Thank you for the joy of sharing your blessing with my colleagues and customers. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
Ask the Lord to bless your work today.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 144.
You may enjoy listening to the song “Establish the Work of Our Hands.”
Banner image by Alexandr Podvalny 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: What Makes Us Truly Happy?
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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.