January 15, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Psalm 52:7-8 (NRSV)
“See the one who would not take
refuge in God,
but trusted in abundant riches,
and sought refuge in wealth!”
But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
Psalm 52:7-8 offers a stark contrast of trusts. One person puts trust in riches rather than taking refuge in God. The other is planted in God’s own presence, thus being fresh and fertile. O God, help me to put my trust in you, always and forever.
Gracious God, I know it’s right to take refuge in you. You alone are my solid rock, my trustworthy fortress. You protect me, deliver me, and uphold me. You are utterly reliable, utterly strong.
I know all of this and I believe it. But there are times, Lord, when I seek refuge in something other than you. I believe I can outsmart the challenges that face me. I can do battle with my wits or my words. Or I put my trust in riches. If I am only paid enough, if my department only has the funds it needs, then all will be well. Or so I seem to think. Forgive me, Lord, for the times when I fail to take refuge in you.
Help me, I pray, to be like a fertile olive tree planted in the courts of the temple. May my roots grow down deeply into the soil of grace. May I be watered by your living water. As this happens, may I be fresh and strong, bearing much fruit in my work.
O Lord, may I put my trust in you and your steadfast love for me. No matter the challenge I face or the fear I feel, may my soul be planted securely in your steadfast love. And may this be true forever! Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
No matter what you face today, put your trust in God.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 52, reflecting on how God is speaking to you through this psalm.
You may also choose to read Psalm 1 and John 15:1-11, which includes this passage:
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:4-5
Sign up to receive a Life for Leaders devotional each day in your inbox. It’s free to subscribe and you can unsubscribe at any time.
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: Anxiety When Unscrupulous People Succeed (Psalms 49, 50, 52, 62)
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.