I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Genesis 12:2-3

 

Photograph of someone writing

Last week, we began focusing on the leadership implications of Genesis 12:2-3. Even as God blessed Abram so that he might be a blessing to others, so God has blessed us in our leadership so that we might bless others. In last week’s Life for Leaders devotions, we considered various implications of this truth for our work.

Today, I want to share a personal example with you of how a greatly blessed leader can richly bless others. I happen to be the recipient of this chain of blessing. The leader who blessed me was Lloyd Ogilvie.

You may very well be familiar with Lloyd from a variety of sources. He is a best-selling author, an internationally renowned preacher, a wonderful pastor, and a former chaplain of the U.S. Senate. For twenty years, Lloyd was my pastor, since I was a member of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, where Lloyd served, as well as a member of his staff for seven years. No other person outside of my family has had a greater impact on my life than Lloyd Ogilvie. Let me cite a couple of examples.

God has amply blessed Lloyd with biblical insight and wisdom. His preaching over the years profoundly shaped my theology as well as my lifestyle. Lloyd was the first person to help me see in Scripture what we used to call “the ministry of the laity.” My work at the De Pree Center is an obvious living out of what I learned from Lloyd when I was a young man.

Lloyd was also blessed with outstanding writing abilities. His books have touched millions of lives. When I was working with Lloyd, he invited me into participation in the publishing world, ultimately helping me to write my first book, a commentary on Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, for a series of which Lloyd was the chief editor. The fact that I am flourishing as a writer today is a clear reflection of Lloyd’s sharing of his blessings with me.

I could go on an on with more examples like this, but I expect you get the point. I am who I am as a leader today because I have been greatly blessed. A substantial part of that blessing came via Lloyd Ogilvie, who stewarded his blessings so as to bless me. For his impact on my life I am deeply grateful. And I am also inspired to do as he did, so that others might be blessed through what God has given me.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Who in your life has been a major source of divine blessing?

With whom are you sharing the blessings God is giving you?

Are there others with whom you should be sharing these blessings?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, again I thank you for blessing us in so many ways, including our leadership. I thank you, in particular, for how you have blessed Lloyd Ogilvie so that he might bless others. And I thank you that I am numbered among the many others who received your blessings through Lloyd.

Help me, Lord, to be faithful in stewarding all that you have given me. Help all of us, who have been given gifts for leadership, to use these well for the sake of others. Amen.

 

Photo Credit: Writing by Jonathan Kim CC BY-NC 2.0 .

 

This post originally published on September 21, 2015.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentaryBlessing for All Peoples (Jeremiah 29)