A Surprising Way to Talk About Peace

A Surprising Way to Talk About Peace

July 2, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

What does it mean for Christ to be our peace? When we hear this, we may be inclined to think of “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, [guarding] your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:7). But, in fact, the peace of Ephesians 2:14 is not this kind of inner peace. When we read this verse in context, we see that peace has to do with ending the hostility between Jews and Gentiles and forging a new relationship of unity in Christ.

In Plain Sight: Part 2

In Plain Sight: Part 2

July 1, 2018By Breon Wells

Too many leaders who are struggling in plain sight have never taken the time to assess their personal status. Some of our most powerful leaders delay this very important evaluation because they feel they don’t have the time, or that the movement or ministry will suffer. So they don their leadership hats, dig deeper, and neglect their personal health and wellness. Some even live in an Elijah-style time loop where they dwell in the depressed proverbial cave as they carry out great feats of miracles, signs, and wonders.

Leadership Vows: Love

Leadership Vows: Love

June 30, 2018By Uli Chi

Who we become as leaders is every bit as important as what we do. In the language of one tradition, we are called to promise that we will serve the people we lead with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. It is the last of these four promises that concerns us today. For those familiar with the Christian tradition, ending our vows with the promise to serve with love should come as no surprise. After all, love is the greatest of all Christian virtues. Love is the fulfillment of God’s vocation for us as human beings.

God Can Turn Your Rocky Heart into Springs of Water

God Can Turn Your Rocky Heart into Springs of Water

June 29, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Do you ever feel spiritually dry? Does your soul ever seem to be hard as a rock? Do you ever worry about whether you will ever again be tender and open toward the Lord? … Most Christians do experience times in which our souls are so dry that they seem hard as a rock. We know we should spend devotional time with God, but the fact is we don’t want to… We still believe all the things we used to believe about God. But our desire for him has disappeared, and we’re left with stony souls.

Jesus… Not Quite a Superhero

Jesus… Not Quite a Superhero

June 28, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

When I was young, I loved superheroes… Most superhero movies have more or less the same storyline: something really bad happens; things are desperately wrong and hopeless; then, a superhero shows up to save the day. A similar narrative appears in Ephesians 2, twice, in fact. In the first half of the chapter, we are dead in our sins, in bondage to sinful desires and the devil, and deserving God’s judgment. But God intervenes…

Where Can You Find Atheists in the Bible?

Where Can You Find Atheists in the Bible?

June 27, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

In the last fifteen years, we witnessed the rise of the so-called “new atheists.” Led by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, atheism received considerable attention in the media. The number of people in the U.S. identifying themselves as atheists rose slightly… Our word “atheist” comes directly from the Greek atheos (a-theos, not-god). In the whole Bible, including the Greek translation of the Old Testament, this word shows up only once. It’s in Ephesians 2:12.

Knowing God – Don’t Do It Alone!

Knowing God – Don’t Do It Alone!

June 26, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Paul assumes that God’s life is to be experienced in and through the community of God’s people. Though we can know God personally as individuals, this knowledge is mediated and nurtured through shared experience of God. God did not reveal himself independently to a dispersed group of individual Jews. Rather, God made himself known to the people of Israel, to whom he revealed his “covenants of promise” and sent his Messiah.

It Stinks to Be Left Out

It Stinks to Be Left Out

June 25, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Have you ever been left out? If so, you know it stinks… In the second half of Ephesians 2, Paul reveals that the recipients of his letter were once left out in a major way. Their exclusion did more than just hurt their feelings, however. As Gentiles, referred to by Jews with the derogatory title, “uncircumcised” (2:11), they were once “separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of promise” (2:12). Cut off from the people of God, they were “without hope and without God in the world” (2:12).

Discovering God With Us

Discovering God With Us

June 24, 2018By Deidra Riggs

As God is prone to do, God was teaching me something in the midst of an ordinary, human moment… When we grieve the news of war and famine, of families being torn apart, of people losing their lives, of injustice, poverty, sickness, and death, God grieves with us. God enters into the weight of darkness with us. God does not shy away, or point a finger, or scold, or blame. God comes near to us, presses in with us, bears the weight of sadness with us. Thanks be to God.