Where Have You Fixed Your Attention?

September 27, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Psalm 16 begins with a cry for divine help: “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge” (16:1). Yet the bulk of the psalm does not focus on that from which the psalmist needs refuge. Rather, Psalm 16 celebrates God’s help in difficult times, his presence that keeps us safe and gladdens our hearts.

When Fear Takes Over

September 26, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

One of the things I love about the Bible is its realistic portrayal of its heroes. We see them in their glory and in their shortcomings. They both inspire us and model for us behavior that we ought to avoid. The realism of Scripture underscores its trustworthiness even as it teaches how we ought and ought not to live.

Where Is Your Altar?

September 25, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

When God told Abram to leave Haran and go “to the land that I will show you” (12:1), Abram went in obedience and faith (12:4). Finally, after a journey of about 400 miles, Abram and his entourage arrived at Shechem in the land of Canaan (12:6). When the Lord told Abram that he would give this land to Abram’s offspring, Abram “built there an altar to the LORD” (12:7).

It’s Never Too Late

September 24, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Without fanfare, Genesis 12:4 announces that “Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.” At 75, Abram began the greatest adventure of his life. At 75, he left all that was familiar to explore the utterly unfamiliar world beyond Haran. At the ripe age of 75, Abram started a new life.

The Obedient Leader

September 23, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

When we think of leadership, we picture someone who is in charge, someone with authority, someone who influences others and perhaps even tells them what to do. Indeed, leaders are often (though not always) given authority over others. A general in the army, for example, exercises leadership partly through giving orders, orders that are to be followed exactly as given.

Yet, leaders also know when to obey.

Everyday Worship

September 20, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Psalm 15 begins with the question of who may “abide” in God’s tent. To put it more prosaically, “Who can worship in God’s sanctuary?” The answer: “Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right” (15:2). Then the psalm lists examples of the kind of righteous living that should characterize those who worship God, beginning with “speak the truth from their heart.”

Do We Have to Go to Be Truly Faithful to God? Part 2

September 10, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s edition of Life for Leaders, I talked about growing up in a church that lauded those who heard God’s command to “Go” and went. These heroes of the faith were the missionaries who went to a foreign land or the future pastors who went off to seminary in order to serve the Lord “in full-time Christian work.” The implications of this way of thinking were clear. The rest of us were not serving Christ full-time, or at least not in a fully committed manner. We were in some sense second-class Christians. God could be glorified in our lives, to be sure, but not quite as much as if we heard him say “Go” and literally went.

Do We Have to Go to Be Truly Faithful to God? Part 1

September 9, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

During most of my young life as a Christian, it seemed like the really faithful disciples always had to go away. They were the missionaries who left the comforts of the United States for the hardships of life on the other side of the world. Or they were the businessmen who heard God’s call to go into the ministry, leaving behind a world of abundance for the austerity of pastoral existence. The best Christians were just like Abram because God told them to go and they went.