A Distinctive Contract with God

August 31, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Contracts. We all have them, by the dozens. In business, government, and in our personal lives, contracts provide structure and order for relationships that are essential to all of life. Contracts tell us what is expected of us and what we can expect from others. Without contracts, both explicit and implicit, our lives and our work would quickly unravel.

Trusting God in Spite of Your Circumstances

August 30, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

There are times when it’s fairly easy to trust in God’s love, to rejoice in his salvation, and to sing because he has been good to us. I think of times in my life when I was overwhelmed by God’s blessings, when I could hardly believe how good my life was. My heart was filled with thanks and praise.

Yet, there are other times, aren’t there? Times when life is hard, when sorrow fills our hearts, when we wonder if God is even there for us.

A Pointer to Christ

August 29, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

In many and varied ways the Old Testament points to the new, especially to God’s work in Jesus Christ. We think, for example of prophetic texts that promise salvation through God’s special ruler (Isaiah 9:1-7). Yet, beyond specific prophecies, Christian readers of the Old Testament see other kinds of pointers to Christ. One of these is found in Genesis 8:20-21.

Do Our Actions Affect God’s Actions?

August 28, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

The sovereignty of God is one of the great mysteries of Christian faith. I’m certainly not going to sort it all out in one edition of Life for Leaders. I couldn’t do so definitively in a thousand! Today, my purpose is fairly modest. I want to help us pay close attention to one surprising verse in Genesis 8 so that we might see how this verse helps us answer the question: Do our actions affect God’s actions?

How Do You Worship God?

August 27, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s devotion, I reflected on how the very first thing Noah did after leaving the ark was to build an altar in order to offer sacrifices to God. He made worship a priority.

I believe this and I believe it’s important. But I also believe that how we talk about Noah’s worship of God can limit our understanding and practice of worship. Allow me to explain.

Do You Pause For Worship?

August 26, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

The story of Noah and the flood raises all sorts of fascinating questions. We might wonder if the flood account is history, theological fiction, or a combination of both? We might be distressed by God’s decision to wipe out all creatures on earth, with the exception of Noah and those who joined him in the ark. And so forth and so on.

As worthy as those questions are of consideration, I’m going to focus our attention on the end of the flood story as told in Genesis 8.

Can We Know the World and Still Love It?

August 25, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

In the Life for Leaders edition “Don’t Miss the Beauty,” we were encouraged not to miss the beauty of this world that God built in from the beginning. As you read that devotion, you may have felt a bit uncomfortable. A nagging question may have troubled your soul: How can we delight in the beauty of creation when the world is so filled with injustice, suffering, and brokenness?

The Striking Priority of Beauty

August 24, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

I’ve been reading the Bible for fifty years. I’ve read and studied Genesis 2 at least thirty times: in my personal devotions, while preparing for preaching, and in my grad school Hebrew class. I have poured over every word of this chapter time and again.

Today, I saw something new in this text. I’d never seen it before. Once again, I’ve experienced the fathomless depth of Scripture. I’m eager to share with you what I’ve learned. I will do so beginning in today’s devotion.

Submission Is Essential for Leadership

August 23, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

As we read Psalm 2 today, our context is quite different. We no longer have human kings ruling over us. Moreover, we have come to understand that Psalm 2 points ahead to the one who was fully the Son of God. Thus, when we read verse 12, we hear a call to kiss, that is, to submit to Jesus, the Son of God.