The Best Reason Why You Should Pray

The Best Reason Why You Should Pray

August 20, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Most Christians I know struggle with prayer. Oh, to be sure, among my friends are those who faithfully pray each day. Some even spend an hour or more in intercession for others. But these folk are the exceptions to the rule. The rule, it seems to me, is that we don’t find it easy to pray.

The Urgency of the Kingdom of God

The Urgency of the Kingdom of God

August 19, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

The NIV translation of Mark 1:23 begins with the phrase “Just then.” This phrase translates the Greek adverb euthus. If you were to look up euthus in a Greek-English lexicon, you’d find meanings such as “immediately” and “suddenly.” “Just then” doesn’t quite get the sense of the original, I’m afraid. It misses the feeling of urgency, the feeling that things are moving at a quick and exciting pace.

Anchored

Anchored

August 18, 2019By Ines McBryde

“People are not afraid of change, they are afraid of loss.” There was a slow hum of agreement that reverberated in the room. This concept resonated deeply with my soul because it touched a nerve. I have always bemoaned that I do not like change. Yet, as I heard the chaplain speak it was then that I realized: Oh no, it is not change, but the loss that comes with change, that I fear.

From Failure to Fortitude

From Failure to Fortitude

August 17, 2019By Ines McBryde

This is how the gospel writer chooses to end the last chapter of John. Most of us would cringe if our failures committed in our workplaces or homes ended up in the company’s handbook. Yet God utilizes those temporal places of failure to transform them into eternal spaces of fortitude. As we stand rooted in the soil of God’s love, we do not have to fear failure nor does it have to destroy us. If we allow failure in the hands of a loving Savior to do its work in us, it could become our moment of greatest growth. We can grow into humility, maturity, wisdom and fortitude.

The Amazing Teaching of Jesus

The Amazing Teaching of Jesus

August 16, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

In the time of Jesus, Jewish teachers often focused on the fine details of legal interpretation. They wanted people to understand, for example, exactly how they must wash their hands in order to follow the Jewish law. Moreover, these teachers would support their conclusions by quoting from other, earlier teachers. Even their verbal teaching included the sort of material we would find in academic footnotes. (I took today’s photo while visiting Capernaum several years ago. Most of what you see in this photo is from a fourth-century AD synagogue. But the dark stone lower foundation is from the synagogue that Jesus visited in the first century.)

How Jesus Reframes Your Career

How Jesus Reframes Your Career

August 15, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

Last week, we considered the question: If I follow Jesus should I quit my job? The answer I suggested was: Perhaps, but not usually. Yes, there are times when the Lord calls us to leave one job for another. But, for the most part, the call of Jesus doesn’t require us to leave our jobs. Rather, it does encourage us to see them in a new light. In fact, following Jesus reframes our careers in light of our fundamental vocation. Let me explain what I mean.

If I Follow Jesus Should I Quit My Job? Part 2

If I Follow Jesus Should I Quit My Job? Part 2

August 14, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we began to consider the question: If I follow Jesus should I quit my job? I noted that many Christian testimonies seem to imply that real discipleship means leaving behind “secular” employment in order to go into “full-time ministry.” These stories appear to be consistent with what we see in Mark 1. When Jesus calls his first disciples, Simon and Andrew, then James and John, he calls them away from their work (fishing for fish) and into a new line of work (fishing for people). If we are going to follow Jesus faithfully, should we leave our jobs and take on new employment?

If I Follow Jesus Should I Quit My Job? Part 1

If I Follow Jesus Should I Quit My Job? Part 1

August 13, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

It’s a wonderful thing when someone truly hears God’s call to leave “secular” employment and get more directly involved in some kind of explicitly Christian organization. I have the greatest respect for those who follow Jesus on a disruptive and personally costly path. There is no question in my mind that sometimes God calls people away from one line of work (fishing for fish, for example) and into another line of work (fishing for people). Those who say “Yes” to Jesus are to be affirmed and supported.

But, I am concerned about the underlying message that is often communicated by those who leave their jobs to “follow Jesus.”

Come, Follow Me! Part 2

Come, Follow Me! Part 2

August 12, 2019By Mark D. Roberts

When Jesus came upon Simon (whom we know better as Peter) and Andrew, his brother, he called to them, “Come, follow me.” Notice that Jesus did not say, “Come, believe in me.” Of course Simon and Andrew wouldn’t have followed Jesus unless they believed that he was worthy of following. But, we must note carefully that Jesus invited Simon and Andrew to take action, to do something in response to his invitation, and not merely to believe and go back to fishing.

Transformational Leadership Starts with Self Transformation

Transformational Leadership Starts with Self Transformation

August 11, 2019By Breon Wells

Regeneration—a word we don’t use often enough. It describes salvation and the realities of our new lives in Christ. This word suggests that salvation necessarily comes with changes in the way we act, speak, and think. In other words, regeneration speaks of being transformed. Although this may feel like a farfetched notion to some people, even to believers, it is a Biblical guarantee. 2 Corinthians 5:17 assures us that for those of us in Christ, “the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”

What Makes a Good Leader?

What Makes a Good Leader?

August 10, 2019By Uli Chi

Each of us has a history – personal, familial, organizational. Psalm 78 tells Israel’s history with stark honesty. No attempt is made to “spin” its story to make God’s people look good. The bulk of the psalm is a long litany of Israel’s failures despite God’s mercy and continued faithfulness. If for no other reason, I like this psalm because it reminds me that all my history can be faced. In a contemporary leadership culture that tends to hide its failures and weaknesses, this is refreshingly good news.