July 31, 2019 • Life for Leaders
And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
By the time Jesus came to the Jordan River in order to be baptized by John, the Baptist had already baptized hundreds if not thousands of people. Yet after Jesus emerged from the water, something unique happened. A voice from heaven called out to Jesus, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (1:11).
I can only begin to imagine how this voice impacted Jesus. To know that he was not just the Son of God in a royal sense, but also the Son whom God loves in a special way must have been a great encouragement. Plus, which of us wouldn’t be thrilled to learn that God is “well pleased” with us?
Moreover, the voice from heaven made clear who Jesus was and why he was on earth. At the core of his identity was his relationship with God the Father. Yet the fact that Jesus was the Son of God also meant that he was God’s choice for king. Jesus would fill the role of Israel’s Messiah, though, as we’ll learn later, in a most unexpected way.
You and I will probably never hear a voice like Jesus on that momentous day. But we too can know who we are in a way that encourages us and clarifies our calling. Romans 8 affirms that we are “the children of God” (8:14). 1 John 3:1 adds, “See what love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Confident in the love of our Heavenly Father, we can live boldly for his purposes, serving him in every facet of our lives. In this way we, like Jesus, can bring great joy to our Father.
The fact that we are God’s beloved children can make a difference in our work. In times of discouragement, we can be reassured by the fact that God cares for us. When we face opposition or injustice, we can be strengthened by the knowledge of who we are. When we feel lonely or isolated, we can remember that God is with us and will never let us go. In everything we do, we can seek to give joy to our Heavenly Father, knowing that he delights in us.
P.S. If you’ve been receiving Life for Leaders for a while, you know that I take a Sabbath from devotion writing for about five weeks each summer. So, the weekday devotions from July 29 through September 2 will be drawn from a series I did in 2016 on the Gospel of Mark. It’s always good to reflect on the life, work, and preaching of Jesus, making connections to our daily work. We’ll get back to Ephesians in September as we move toward finishing the book by the end of the year. Blessings to you! – Mark
Something to Think About:
What helps you to know who you are?
What helps you to know that God loves you?
How does the fact that you are a beloved child of God make a difference in your life?
Gracious God, what an honor and privilege to be one of your children! Because of what Jesus did as the unique Son of God, we too can know you as our Heavenly Father. We can be assured of your love for us. And in that assurance, we can serve you with all that we are.
Help me, Father, to know who I am as your beloved child. Help me to live each day in this reality, trusting in your love and serving you with freedom and joy. Amen.
Explore the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary: The Beginning of the Gospel: Mark 1:1-13.
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.