A Prayer for the Pulpit . . . and the Workplace

October 25, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Growing up, one of my heroes was a Presbyterian pastor named Ben Patterson. He was the speaker at many of the Christian conferences I attended as a teenager. I was gripped by his theological insight and poetic skill. When I began work as a young pastor, I listened to dozens of Ben’s tapes, seeking to learn from him how to be an effective communicator of the Gospel.

Is God a Dragon?

October 18, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Psalm 18 celebrates God’s deliverance of David from danger and distress. “The cords of death encompassed me,” he writes, “The cords of death encompassed me” (18:4). Yet, as David cried out to the Lord, God heard him and came to deliver him.

Keeping Faith

October 11, 2015By Uli Chi

Hypocrisy is high on the list of critiques about religious people. As leaders who claim to follow Jesus, we are susceptible to being criticized for not “walking the talk.” And, rightly so.

God and Goggles

October 4, 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.

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.

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.”

No One Does Good! Really?

September 6, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

I remember when I first resolved to read through the whole Bible. I was in high school and it seemed like the godly thing to do. But, as I began making my way through Scripture, I kept stumbling upon verses that were unsettling to me. Sometimes what a verse described seemed abhorrent to me (Should I be happy when babies have their heads dashed on the rocks?). Other verses just seemed wrong (Should I always give to those who ask?). I believed that the Bible was God’s Word and was always true. But what was I to do with verses that seemed to be, well, false?

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.

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.

What to Do When Things Keep on Getting Worse

August 9, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Psalm 12 begins with a dire description of a culture on the road to ruin: “[T]here is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind” (12:1). As he continues, the psalmist sees neighbors lying to each other and violence done to the helpless (12:2, 5). “On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind” (12:8). The bonds that hold society together are being severed as people lose the ability to determine right from wrong.

Sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself checking CNN online and thinking that the godly are disappearing and the faithful have vanished from the earth?