Fuller

Author: Mark Roberts

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.

A swimmer floating in water, viewed from underwater, with the sunlight above breaking through the water

Why Have Hope? Part 1

It can be hard to wait on the Lord. When God doesn’t act quickly, we can worry that God isn’t even there for us. So how can we wait with hope? Why have hope at all? One reason for hope is God’s faithfulness in the past. When we remember how God has rescued us, when we consider how God has cared for the people of God throughout history, we can be reassured. Hope is possible. We can wait with hope because of who God is and what God has done.

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A group of carolers in an outdoor Christmas scene, dressed in old-fashioned clothing

Waiting in Silence

Most of us have plenty of noise in our lives. In the weeks before Christmas, often starting in early November, we hear endless Christmas songs in our malls and markets, not to mention our personal streaming devices. Advent invites us into a different kind of pre-Christmas experience. In the words of Psalm 62, “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” Why not accept the Advent invitation to be quiet before the Lord, opening your heart more fully to the God who seeks relationship with you?

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The sign outside of Wrigley Field in Chicago, reading "Cubs Win!"

Waiting Hopefully in Advent

As we wait upon God, we wait with hope. Why? Because of who God is, how God has acted, and how God has spoken. Most of all, we wait hopefully because of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ.

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A pregnant woman standing in front of a door

Waiting Intensely in Advent

Sometimes our waiting isn’t particularly urgent or heartfelt. At other times, however, we wait intensely. It’s as if every fiber of our being is focused on what is coming. In Advent, as we wait for the coming of Christ our waiting becomes intense when we realize what Christ brings: the fullness of God’s kingdom, healing of all diseases, justice for the oppressed, mending of broken relationships, and the wiping away of every tear. Reflecting on the future coming of Christ increases the intensity of our Advent waiting. 

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An Advent wreath with one candle lit

Solving the Riddle of Bustling Christmastime

Christmastime is often so filled with activities that we hardly have a spare moment. We can easily miss the true meaning of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

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An ornament showing Mary and the baby Jesus in a soft purple light

Advent is Coming!

Advent is coming! In two days we enter the season of Advent, a time to prepare our hearts for a rich celebration of the birth of the Savior. In Advent we wait, wait for God to act. But we wait with hope, confident that at just the right time God will come among us once again.

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A handmade sign by the side of a road saying "Thank you"

Sharing Your Gratitude with Others

On Thanksgiving Day, we are encouraged to thank God for God’s many blessings. That’s wonderful! But this is also a great day to share your gratitude with others. Be sure to say “Thank you” today to the people who make a difference in your life.

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A photo by Mark Roberts of a cross on a windowsill with the Grand Tetons seen through the window

Don’t Forget the Big Things!

In this time of year set apart for thanksgiving, may you give thanks to God for the “big things” and the “little things.” As you do, may your heart be filled with the joy of the Lord!

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Giving Thanks When Life is Hard

It may be easy to feel grateful when life is good. But what about when life is hard, when we’re suffering or when we grieve over the injustice in our world? Can we be thankful then? Yes, Scripture encourages us to be thankful even in hard times. We don’t have to deny the pain or pretend that everything is great. But we can pay attention to God’s gifts to us. And we can get help from our sisters and brothers in Christ, whose care and prayers stir up thanksgiving in us. 

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A set of British road signs and barriers blocking access to a road because of construction

Barriers to Gratitude

Our lives would be better if they were filled with gratitude. They’d also be consistent with biblical teaching and example. But sometimes it’s hard to be grateful. Various barriers can get in the way: busyness, inattention, hesitation about depending on others, or a sense of entitlement. If, by God’s grace, we can address the barriers to gratitude in our lives, then we’ll find it easier to do and say everything with thanksgiving. 

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A man spreading out his arms towards a sunset

Cultivating a Posture of Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t something we feel or express once in a while. Rather, we should be thankful to God and others regularly. As we express our thanks consistently, we will nurture in ourselves a posture of gratitude. We will be people for whom gratitude comes consistently, even in difficult times. We will pay attention to God’s gifts and be thankful for God’s grace.

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The phrase "Thank you" in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch

Giving Thanks Consistently

The example of the Apostle Paul encourages us to give thanks to God, not just once in a while, but often, regularly, consistently. Even when we’re going through difficult times, we can pay attention to ways in which God is present and gracious.

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Gratitude: More Than a Feeling

Feeling truly grateful is a wonderful thing. But gratitude is more than a feeling. According to Scripture, it is a disposition, a way of thinking, feeling, and living. Moreover, gratitude is choosing to thank the Lord for all of his good gifts, no matter how we’re feeling at any given moment. Feelings of gratitude often follow from expressions of gratitude.

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A journal with a pencil and eyeglasses

Keep a Gratitude Journal

As we draw near to Thanksgiving Day, we are encouraged to keep a gratitude journal, a simple, daily record of things for which we are thankful. Such a journal strengthens our relationship with God even as it helps us to flourish.

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A football player kneeling by a bench and praying

Thanksgiving Preseason: An Invitation

In ten days, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. But, for many of us, that holiday is so full that we hardly have a moment to express thanks to God.

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