I Am the True Vine: Part 1

I Am the True Vine: Part 1

July 9, 2016By Tim Yee

Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus has been using important symbols from Israel’s history and Scriptures (shepherd, bread, water, light). Jesus now uses some of the most powerful images in Jewish culture to talk about himself: “I am the true vine….” The vineyard was one of Israel’s most prized historic symbols of its nationhood and inheritance.

Waiting Patiently for the Lord?

Waiting Patiently for the Lord?

July 8, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

When I read Psalm 40:1, I am immediately reminded of how hard it is for me to wait patiently for anything, including the Lord. I confess that I find waiting to be frustrating if not excruciating. I’m one of those people who, when approaching the checkout lines in the grocery story, carefully calculates the wait times in the various lines so that I don’t have to waste one second of my busy life standing around. Inevitably, of course, I get in the line behind the person who needs a “Price check on 6.” As I wait, I can feel my stomach churning with anxious impatience.

How Should We Respond to the Good News of the Kingdom?

How Should We Respond to the Good News of the Kingdom?

July 7, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

In Mark 1:15 we read a summary of the good news preached by Jesus: “The time has come. . . . The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

How did Jesus encourage people in his day to respond to this good news? How should we respond to it today?

Can I Live in God’s Kingdom Now, Or Do I Have to Wait? (Part 2)

Can I Live in God’s Kingdom Now, Or Do I Have to Wait? (Part 2)

July 6, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we began to consider the question: Can I live in God’s kingdom now, or do I have to wait for the kingdom to come in the future? We discovered that the answer of Jesus to this question is nuanced. Yes, the kingdom has come near, and thus is present. Yet, the kingdom is not completely here, and so we continue to hope for its coming.

Can I Live in God’s Kingdom Now, Or Do I Have to Wait? (Part 1)

Can I Live in God’s Kingdom Now, Or Do I Have to Wait? (Part 1)

July 5, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

Can I live in the God’s kingdom now, or do I have to wait until the kingdom comes in the future? Christians have answered this question differently throughout the years. Some have emphasized the contemporary presence of the kingdom of God. They point to things Jesus said, such as, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21, KJV). Others emphasize the future coming of the kingdom. They underscore other sayings of Jesus, like: “For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18). Often, the debate among Christians about the timing of the coming of the kingdom leaves us confused. Which is it? Now? Or sometime in the future?

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

July 4, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

Today is Independence Day in the United States, a day of patriotic celebrations for citizens in my country. I thought it would be appropriate for me to offer a reflection that is suitable for this day, even though quite a few readers of Life for Leaders do not live in the United States. If you’re from another country, what I write will be relevant to you, though the date won’t have the same significance as it does for my American readers.

Making Leadership Great Again

Making Leadership Great Again

July 3, 2016By Breon Wells

It’s election season in the United States again, and the country is about to choose its next President. As with many other election cycles, political consultants are in full-swing shaping the narratives and the images of their candidates. A typical day on the campaign trail includes high-level strategy meetings and debate-prep sessions centered around making the candidates look like strong leaders. A leader must be confident, a real know it all, and above all well liked. Let’s not forget error-free. At least that is what leadership has come to be defined as.

Are You Living Like a Mere Phantom?

Are You Living Like a Mere Phantom?

July 1, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

In Psalm 39, David ponders the meaning of life in light of his suffering. He considers how short life can be (39:5) and how readily we fill it with emptiness. We go around “like a mere phantom” as we “rush about, heaping up wealth” (39:6). This verse is reminiscent of Ecclesiastes, which reflects upon the vanity of life. In fact, the word hebel, translated as “vanity” or “meaningless” in the NIV, and used thirty-eight times in Ecclesiastes, is the word behind “in vain” in Psalm 39:6.

The Kingdom of God Has Come Near!

The Kingdom of God Has Come Near!

June 30, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

After announcing that God’s time had finally come, Jesus focused the “good news of God” in a few words: “The kingdom of God has come near” (1:15). What did this mean? How can this be good news for us today?