February 10, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 85:12 (NRSV)
The LORD will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
When our work produces good things, we can be proud of what our efforts have accomplished. But, like the farmer who enjoys a bountiful harvest, we recognize that the “produce” of our work is also a blessing from God. If God had not given us our abilities, if God had not enabled us to work, then there would be no produce for us to enjoy.
The NRSV of Psalm 85:12 translates the Hebrew word yebul as “increase.” Other translations prefer “harvest” (NIV, NLT) or “produce” (CEB). Yebul is produce that grows from the ground, in contrast with peri, which is produce that grows from trees.
Gracious God, I’m glad to share with you my delight in the results of my work. I have worked hard, as you know, with many long hours and much effort. Today I take pride in what I’ve accomplished.
Yet, I also recognize that none of this would be possible apart from you. You have given me the abilities that enable me to work. You have helped me develop the discipline needed to be productive. You have placed me in an environment where my labor can be fruitful.
So, even as I take delight in my work, I don’t claim its fruits as belonging only to me. On the contrary, dear Lord, you are the One who gives what is good. You are the ultimate source of my increase, my productivity.
You honor me, gracious God, by allowing me to partner with you in your work in the world. What a blessing it is to bear fruit from what you have given me. So even as I delight in my work, I offer you the glory. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
God is at work in you and through you, producing good for God’s glory.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 85.
For a related passage, see 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.
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. Commentary on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Economic Consequences of National Wrongdoings (Psalm 81, 85)
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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.