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Seeds need three conditions to grow: light, nutrients and water. In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, there are plenty of seeds and more than enough sunlight. In today’s text, the question is whether there is sufficient soil and adequate moisture for the seed to flourish. And, soil and moisture seem to be interrelated.
Yesterday, we began to consider how we can love God with all of our strength in our daily work. We were reminded that God created our bodies – gave us strength – so that we might work. When we offer our bodies to God through our work, he is worshiped and loved.
In my last few Life for Leaders devotions, I’ve been working with you on how we can love God at work with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Today, we get to the last of the four aspects of love for God. According to Jesus, who quotes from Deuteronomy 6:5, we are to love God with all of our “strength.” We are to do this in every part of life, including our daily work.
In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we began considering the call of Jesus to love God “with all our mind.” We love God, not only through our choices, actions, and feelings, but also through our thoughts. We do this, in part, by thinking about God, considering his excellence, meditating upon his beauty, considering his justice, and concentrating on his truth. In light of this truth, we learn to think in ways that honor God wherever we are, including our workplace.
It’s not hard for us to relate to loving God with all our heart, even in the biblical sense of thoughtful choices as we exercise our will to do what honors the Lord. And it’s not hard for us to conceive of loving God with all our soul, with all of our inner being, including our emotions. But loving God with all our mind may, at first, seem odd. We wonder what it means to love God with our mind.
In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we began to consider how we can love the Lord with all our soul in and through our work. We focused mainly on the biblical meaning of “soul” (psyche in Greek; nefesh in Hebrew), which can refer to a living being, the life force that animates us, or the emotions at the core of our inner life.
So, then, how can we love God with all our soul at work?
In the last two Life for Leaders devotions, we were reflecting on how we can love God with all of our heart, that is, with our thoughtful choices, our decisions, and our will. Today, we move on to consider how we might love God with all our soul in and through our daily work.
How can we love God with all of our heart through our work? Yesterday, I began to answer to this question by focusing on what it means to love God with our heart. As you may recall, in the biblical understanding of persons, the heart was the center of the will rather than the emotions. Loving God with all our heart means choosing to obey and honor God above all else.
Last week, we began an in-depth examination of Mark 12:29-31. As you may recall, this passage records the response of Jesus to a question from a Jewish legal scholar. He asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (12:28). Jesus responded by quoting Scripture, beginning with Deuteronomy 6:4-5. This momentous Old Testament passage begins with the affirmation of God’s unique identity. Then it calls us to respond to God by loving God with all that we are. According to Jesus, we are to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength.
In this week’s devotions, I want to consider with you how we might love God this way at work.
We have been looking at Jesus’ seminal Parable of the Sower in the context of our work as leaders. In my last reflection, I noted that a Christian vision of human leadership is one where that leadership originates as a gift from outside us. More particularly, truly human leadership is a vocation. Someone else – God – calls us to our work and provides us the necessary gifting to carry out that work. In the language of Jesus’ parable, there is “a sower (who) went out to sow (seed).” (Mark 4:3)
Today’s text explores our response.
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