Come, Follow Me! Part 2

Come, Follow Me! Part 2

July 12, 2016By 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.

Come, Follow Me! Part 1

Come, Follow Me! Part 1

July 11, 2016By Mark D. Roberts

Those of us who are familiar with the ministry of Jesus can take for granted the fact that he called his disciples. But Jesus’ initiative would have surprised people in his culture, and not just those whom he called to follow him. Religious teachers in the time of Jesus didn’t recruit their own students. Rather, they received those who sought them out and asked to become followers. Jesus, by contrast, chose the ones whom he wanted to be his disciples.

I Am the True Vine: Part 2

I Am the True Vine: Part 2

July 10, 2016By Tim Yee

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:8 (ESV)   In yesterday’s devotion, we considered how leaders in the church and marketplace are facing incredible challenges in leading others. Jesus’ final “I am” statement emphasizes that we can do nothing of lasting significance … Read More

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.