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.

That Doggone Trust Walk

September 8, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Years ago when I was a junior high intern at my church, the leader decided that the group was going to experience a trust walk. The idea is simple. Half the people put on blindfolds and are guided around by the other half of the people. Then, after a few minutes, everybody switches. This means that every person gets to experience what it’s like to trust someone else. It’s not hard to see how this provides an apt illustration of our relationship with God.

I was enthusiastic about the trust walk until I got paired up with Toby.

Go!

September 7, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

“Go!” With one word, God changes the life of one man and his family, and through them the whole world.

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?

Are You a Nimrod?

September 3, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

When I was a boy, I did not want to be a nimrod. In the community of my upbringing, the word “nimrod” was equivalent to “idiot” or “stupidhead.” If a friend said to me, “You nimrod!” that meant I had done or said something especially foolish.

Interestingly enough, the word “nimrod” did not originally have such a connotation.

Where Do You Belong?

September 2, 2015By Mark D. Roberts

Where do you belong?

As you read this question, what first came to mind for you? Did you think of your family? Or did you envision you friends? Maybe your community? Where do you fit? In what relationships do you find love, meaning, and security?