October 13, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 107:35-38
[The LORD] turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry live,
and they establish a town to live in;
they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their cattle decrease.
We work in response to God’s blessing. Our successes depend to an extent on our own effort, of course. But they are also a result of God’s grace at work in and around us. Thus, we are right to thank the Lord for the good things in our work and to acknowledge how much we are blessed.
Psalm 107:35-38 begins by celebrating God’s good and gracious works in nature. The Lord “turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water” (v. 35). There, God “lets the hungry live” (v. 36). But notice that God does not continue to provide for those who live in his special land such that they are merely recipients of the land’s goodness. Rather, once the hungry are at home in God’s land, they “establish a town to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield” (vv. 36-37). In other words, in response to and on the basis of God’s blessing, they work. They contribute to the fruitfulness of the land through their labors. But, while their work truly matters, their success is a result of God’s blessing: “By his blessing they multiply greatly” (v. 38).
Psalm 107 reminds us that one way we respond to God’s grace is by our work. And when we are productive, that’s a result of our hard work and God’s overall blessing. Thus, we thank the Lord for the good things we experience in our work, including our successes.
Gracious God, thank you for all that ways you bless me in the context of my work.
Thank you for the gifts, talents, education, training, and opportunities that enable me to work well.
Thank you for the opportunity to use all that you have given me to make a difference in this world.
Thank you for the gladness I feel when stewarding well your many gifts.
Thank you for wonderful colleagues, people of talent, integrity, and kindness.
Thank you for those in authority over me, for their wisdom, grace, and vision.
Thank you for what my work produces, for what Psalm 107 calls “a fruitful yield.”
Thank you for the times I am successful. I know, Lord, that this would not be possible without your provision and blessing.
Thank you for the opportunity to offer my work to you as worship. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
As you work today, God is at work in you, around you, and through you.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 107.
Read Colossians 3:12-17, paying special attention to verse 17.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project’s online commentary. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: God Undergirds All Work and Productivity (Psalm 107).
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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.