Author: Mark Roberts

A beautiful display of stars in the sky

Prayers for Workers: Regarding the Works of the Lord

According to Psalm 28, those who are “workers of evil . . . do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands.” By implication, if we want to be workers of good, then we will pay attention to God’s own works. The more we contemplate the work of God’s hands, the more we will be inspired to do work that honors God.

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The legs of someone sitting on top of a skyscraper

Following Jesus Today: Taking Risks

Following Jesus isn’t safe. If we’re going to follow Jesus today, we will inevitably take risks. We may put at risk our comfort, reputation, safety, or financial security. Yet, the more we trust Jesus and pay attention to him, the more we will be empowered to take risks for the sake of his kingdom and for the people he has entrusted to our care.

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A number of people joining hands in the middle of a circle

Following Jesus Today: Healing Beyond Healing

Healing was central to the ministry of Jesus. When he healed people, he demonstrated the reality of the kingdom of God. God’s power defeats disease. God’s love creates wholeness. So when God reigns, healing happens. Jesus offered physical healing, yes, but also healing beyond healing . . . relational healing, psychological healing, spiritual healing. Jesus seeks to make us whole in every way.

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An old car in a shed being worked on

Following Jesus Today: Must I Leave Everything Behind?

Sometimes Jesus calls people to follow him by leaving their current lives behind and starting over again in a brand new location. This happened to the first disciples of Jesus, for example. For most of us, however, following Jesus is something we do in our familiar cities, families, and workplaces. To be sure, following Jesus still requires plenty of leaving behind. Jesus will ask us to discard our worldly values, unjust practices, prejudicial biases, selfish materialism, and inborn “me first” attitude. We will come to see our whole life, including our daily work and everyday relationships, as contexts in which can follow Jesus faithfully.

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Three neon signs that say "Perfect"

Following Jesus Today: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Follow Jesus

In Luke 5, when Simon Peter observes Jesus doing an extraordinary miracle, he tells Jesus to go away because, as he says, “I am a sinful man.” But Jesus does not go away. Instead, he calls Simon to follow him and join his kingdom-centered mission. This is good news for us! It means we don’t have to try to be perfect in order to follow Jesus. Jesus calls sinners to follow him, people like Simon Peter, people like you and me.

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A sunrise over the water

Living as Citizens on Earth as in Heaven

According to Philippians 3:20, “our citizenship is in heaven.” This does not mean simply that we get to go to heaven after we die. Rather, it means that we are to live on this earth according to the values of heaven. We are committed to the agenda of the one who is sovereign in heaven, the King of kings and Lord of lords. In all we do, we are to seek God’s justice and mercy, for God’s purposes and glory.

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A number of national flags, including the U.S. flag, flying in the breeze

Living as Citizens of Heaven

As citizens of the United States celebrate Independence Day, we recognize that we have another, supreme citizenship. According to Philippians 3:20, “our citizenship is in heaven.” Thus, while offering thanks for the goodness of our nation, we are not caught in idolatrous nationalism. Rather, we affirm what is good and critique what is not, working as citizens of heaven and earth for God’s justice here and now, even as we long for the ultimate justice of God’s future.

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La Mancha. The Land of Don Quijote and Dulcinea. Photo credit: Bebe.

Prayers for Workers: How Can I Be Afraid?

In a time of global pandemic, economic upheaval, and social unrest, it is easy to be afraid. But when we remember who God is and what he has done for us, our trust in him will overcome our fears. As it says in Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?”

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A family in a fishing boat bringing in the nets

Following Jesus Today: Responding to His Call

In the biblical Gospels we see Jesus calling those who will be his disciples. They respond by following him, literally. Today, we also respond to the call of Jesus. We are disciples in response to his initiative. Jesus calls us into relationship with himself and into a life of service. Following Jesus changes the way we work and live each day.

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Resources Mentioned in Webinar with Tod Bolsinger

Here are some of the resources mentioned in our recent webinar with Tod Bolsinger: “Resilience in a (Permanent) Crisis – Practices for Christian Leaders.”…

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The face of a male lion

Following Jesus Today: Proclaiming the Kingdom of God

Jesus said that his purpose was to proclaim the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not a place, an inner state of spiritual awareness, or life after death. Rather, the kingdom of God in the preaching of Jesus is God’s reign, God’s rule, God’s sovereignty. When we allow God to reign over every part of our lives, over every action and every word, we begin in this age to experience the reign of God. We celebrate the good news that “Our God reigns!”

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A person in the middle of a field with her hands raised in prayer

Following Jesus Today: Prayer and Purpose

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus chose purpose over popularity. His clarity about his life’s purpose and his ability to choose this over other tempting options were supported by his practice of prayer. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds in order to engage in conversation with his Heavenly Father. This clarified his sense of purpose and strengthened his resolve to do what he had been called to do. Similarly, you and I need time alone with God if we’re to know and to fulfill our purpose in life. Prayer elucidates and energizes purpose.

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A crowd of people with their hands in the air

Following Jesus Today: Purpose Over Popularity

Early in his ministry, Jesus was extremely popular with the crowds. They marveled at his teachings and were astounded by his healings. They wanted Jesus to stay with them. Yet Jesus was not governed by the feelings of others. He chose purpose over popularity. His example challenges us to live our lives in fulfillment of our calling, not in order to get the most “likes” or win the most “friends.” When we are clear about our purpose, then we can devote our lives to what really matters.

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A partially completed puzzle

Prayers for Workers: Walking with Integrity

In the context of our daily work, we are sometimes tempted to do what we know to be wrong. Though we might never do things that are blatantly sinful, we may find it easy to rationalize certain “moral shortcuts.” Psalm 26 encourages us to walk with integrity in all we do. The more we put our trust in the Lord, the more we will be able to live so that all the pieces of our lives fit together perfectly.

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A man tightrope-walking over a chasm

Following Jesus Today: Honoring the Authority of Jesus – An Example

Honoring the authority of Jesus can be difficult when he asks to do what we’d rather avoid. Loving our enemies, for example, is not something we’re naturally inclined to do. Many of us also struggle with other things Jesus said, like going directly to someone who has wronged us in order to reconcile. Truly, following Jesus is not always easy, but he will help us through the power of his Spirit.

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