A Psalm for Pollyanna?

A Psalm for Pollyanna?

June 15, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Psalm 112 is not meant to be the last and only word on the earthly rewards for those who fear the Lord. It is one word among many in the Psalms. And it is a word we do need to hear. This psalm reminds us that earthly rewards often follow from right living. When we seek to do God’s will, when we live according to his commands, we will experience goodness in this life, even as we look forward to the life of the future. Yes, we will also know sorrow. But the joys and rewards of seeking the Lord and his ways will sustain us.

Not the Great Commission, But the Great Omission

Not the Great Commission, But the Great Omission

June 14, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do…” Even though this verse is obviously connected to the preceding verses, it has often been neglected by Christians, especially those of us who swim in the Protestant stream. We have been so excited (rightly) by the truth of salvation by grace through faith that we have failed (wrongly) to follow Paul’s thought to the end.

Here’s Another Good Reason to Boast

Here’s Another Good Reason to Boast

June 13, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Paul’s example reminds us that there are times when it’s appropriate to boast about people other than yourself, to speak positively about them to others. If you’re a boss, for example, you may find it right on some occasions to brag about members of your team… a boss who gives heartfelt and legitimate credit to her team can be a real encouragement to them. Similarly, there may be times when you should tell others about the excellent work of a colleague.

Is Boasting Always Wrong?

Is Boasting Always Wrong?

June 12, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Is boasting always wrong? Are there times when boasting may be okay? Ephesians 2:9 frowns on boasting about our salvation. Because we are saved by God’s grace and not by our works, we cannot boast about salvation. It’s nothing that we have earned or for which we can take credit. But this doesn’t mean all boasting is always wrong… salvation by grace leads us to praise God and to boast of God’s wonders. Boasting, in this case, is simply a matter of telling others how great God is.

Your Works Will Not Save You

Your Works Will Not Save You

June 11, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

Today, we get into one of the most significant debates among Christians: the debate over faith and works. This issue has perplexed followers of Jesus for centuries, since the very first decades of the church’s existence (see Galatians and James, for example). Disagreements about faith and works contributed to the division of the church during the Protestant Reformation. And, to this day, you’ll still find lots of confusion about how faith is related to works and how both are related to salvation.

Asking Good Questions and Living a Compelling Life

Asking Good Questions and Living a Compelling Life

June 10, 2018By Tim Yee

Jesus had a way of using questions to help people see better… Leaders become good at asking questions that help others see barriers in their lives and in their world. But leaders more importantly need to live a compelling life that forces people to ask the right kinds of questions, challenging assumptions and leading people to make choices for a better life revolving around Christ.

Revolutionary Communicator: Asking Questions

Revolutionary Communicator: Asking Questions

June 9, 2018By Tim Yee

When a blind beggar cries out to Jesus for mercy, Jesus decides to ask the man what he wants. Isn’t it obvious? A blind beggar obviously needs to be healed! But Jesus respects the man by not assuming, but instead asking an empowering question that allows for the one in need to express his desire. Just this one observation of Jesus’s leadership speaks volumes to how we should engage with those we serve.

Study This If You Want Good Work

Study This If You Want Good Work

June 8, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

“GOD’s works are so great, worth a lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!” God’s works are indeed worth a lifetime of study. This endeavor will certainly enrich our understanding of God and add to our joy. But it will also help us know how we can work better, how we can work with more meaning. If you want good work, why not study the work of the greatest Worker of all? You don’t even have to apply for admission to God’s school. His work is before you each day.

What If You’re Struggling to Have Faith in God and His Grace?

What If You’re Struggling to Have Faith in God and His Grace?

June 7, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

When I was a pastor, I often listened to people’s struggles to have faith in God. Some had a hard time believing in the existence of God. Others couldn’t believe that God’s grace was really offered to them through Christ. Still others had put their trust in God’s grace, but struggled nevertheless to trust God on a regular basis. As I listened to people sharing how they struggled to trust God, I was reminded of the fact that even our ability to put our faith in God is, in some sense, a gift of God’s grace.