Do You Forget to Ask God for Help?

Do You Forget to Ask God for Help?

December 29, 2017By Mark D. Roberts

Isaiah 65 begins with a tragic thought. God stood ready to help his people, but they didn’t bother to call upon him. He was ready to be found by those he had chosen, but they were not looking for him… As I read this sad comment made by the Lord, I have to wonder how many times what was once true of Israel has been true of me. How many times has God been ready to help me, while I failed to turn to him?

Father and Potter, Child and Clay

Father and Potter, Child and Clay

December 28, 2017By Mark D. Roberts

Isaiah 64 is a prayer in which the prophet acknowledges God’s greatness and Israel’s great sinfulness. Then Isaiah turns to ask God to forgive and help his devastated people. The beginning of this supplication acknowledges two crucial images of God: Father and potter.

Why Does God Let Us Mess Things Up So Badly?

Why Does God Let Us Mess Things Up So Badly?

December 27, 2017By Mark D. Roberts

As the prophet looks upon the mess Israel made of its life, his thoughts turn to the mystery of God’s inaction, or even God’s participation in the rebellion of Israel: “Why, LORD, do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you?” (63:17). If you’ve walked with the Lord for a while, I expect you’ve had questions like these.

Devotions for Christmas, Part 8: Be Bold Like the Magi

Devotions for Christmas, Part 8: Be Bold Like the Magi

December 26, 2017By Mark D. Roberts

As you reflect on the Magi in the Christmas story, as you are impressed by their boldness, don’t just admire them. Imitate them. Approach God’s throne boldly. Know that, because of Jesus Christ, God is ready to shower you with mercy and grace in your time of need.

Christmas Hope

Christmas Hope

December 24, 2017By Tim Yee

The pain and trauma of this world are not unfamiliar to the Christmas story… Baby Jesus was entering a battle zone full of oppression, sickness, and death—not a world filled with mistletoe, gingerbread houses, and holiday parties. Jesus came, in the midst of all this, to eradicate death, free the oppressed, and fill us with unspeakable joy. This is the fullness of what it means to “save his people from their sins.”

Leaders Come Near the Pain of Others

Leaders Come Near the Pain of Others

December 23, 2017By Tim Yee

The Christmas story we know from popular culture can be so sanitized that perhaps the ideas of sickness, isolation, and hopelessness sound foreign to you—perhaps even sacrilegious for the Advent season. But Jesus chose to be born into a broken world and to take on our pain in order to make us whole. Leaders who come near to the pain of those they lead will find they are emulating Jesus.

Devotions for Christmas, Part 6: Jesus is Able to Help You

Devotions for Christmas, Part 6: Jesus is Able to Help You

December 22, 2017By Mark D. Roberts

At Christmas, we focus on the wonder of the birth of Jesus. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Christmas sermon on dealing with temptation. But, from the perspective of Hebrews 2, one of the life-changing implications of Christmas—the celebration of the incarnation of God in human flesh—is that Jesus will help us when we’re tempted. This is such good news.

Devotions for Christmas, Part 5: Why the Humanity of Jesus Matters So Much

Devotions for Christmas, Part 5: Why the Humanity of Jesus Matters So Much

December 21, 2017By Mark D. Roberts

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the one who was truly God and truly human. Yet the birth of Jesus did not save us. Rather, his birth and his nature made possible the salvation that was yet to come, when Jesus died in our place on the cross and was raised triumphant on Easter. Christmas is, in this sense, a prelude to what comes later.