The Conviction of a Leader

The Conviction of a Leader

October 27, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

We often think of leaders as those who take charge, who set the course, who boldly establish direction and call others to follow. Yet, research on leadership has found that effective leaders are also good listeners, people who solicit and receive input from others, who are willing to change course on the basis of new evidence or wisdom. We who lead, therefore, must determine what kind of leadership is required at any given moment.

Blessed in All Things

Blessed in All Things

October 26, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

If someone were to sum up your life when you’re in your final days on Earth, wouldn’t you like it to sound something like Genesis 24:1? Someday, I hope it might be said of me, “Now Mark was old, well advanced in years; and the LORD had blessed Mark in all things.” Blessed in all things! Now that’s the kind of life I want to experience. In fact, I’d be happy with “Blessed in all things” as the epitaph on my gravestone.

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.

Owning a Bit of the Future

Owning a Bit of the Future

October 24, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Genesis 23 begins with the sad news of Sarah’s death and Abraham’s mourning for her. Yet most of the chapter is taken up with the story of Abraham’s securing a place to bury Sarah. As a resident alien in Canaan, he did not own property and, therefore, lacked a suitable burial site for his wife.

When God Tested Me, Part 4

When God Tested Me, Part 4

October 23, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’” Genesis … Read More

When God Tested Me, Part 3

When God Tested Me, Part 3

October 22, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

This week, my devotions are based on the story in Genesis 22 of God testing Abraham. Today’s devotion is really a continuation of yesterday’s devotion. For the full story, you should read it first. But today’s devotion stands on its own.

When God Tested Me, Part 2

When God Tested Me, Part 2

October 21, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

This week, my devotions are based on Genesis 22, the story of God testing Abraham. Yesterday, I shared my belief that, during my years as the preacher for Irvine Presbyterian Church, God would often test me by presenting me with unusual and unexpected opportunities to do what I was going to preach about. The following story offers an unusually dramatic example.

When God Tested Me, Part 1

When God Tested Me, Part 1

October 20, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

As you probably know, one of the distinctives of the Life for Leaders devotions is that they are biblically based. Most of the time, this means that each daily devotion includes explicit exposition of the biblical text. Every now and then, however, it seems to me that some additional narrative might help you connect scriptural truth to your own life. So, the rest of the devotions of this week will tell some of my own stories of being tested by God. I hope these will help you see in a fresh way how God is at work in your life as well.

Why Does God Test Us?

Why Does God Test Us?

October 19, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

I spent much of my life as a student. During those many years, I took hundreds of tests. All in all, I did just fine on them. But the thought of taking a test still makes my stomach churn. Truthfully, I still have nightmares about having to take a test for a class that I forgot to attend.