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 sad young woman lying on a bed

Confronting an Epidemic of Loneliness

There is an epidemic of loneliness in the United States. Older adults are lonely. Millennials are lonely. Young people are lonely. Yet, God once said that it is not good for people to be alone. Not only will God help us to experience the warmth of human community, but also God will use us to reach out with love and grace to those who are struggling with loneliness.

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People picking crops in a rainy field

Fruitful in Relationship

You can do good through your individual efforts, to be sure. But you will only experience full and true fruitfulness in relationship with others. If you want to make a difference that matters in this world, you can’t do it alone. Community is essential for fruitful living.

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A number of young people sitting looking out at a lake with their arms linked

Can’t Do It Alone

If you want to flourish in life, you can’t do it alone. God created you to live, work, and love in community with others. Relationships are essential for human flourishing in every season of life. No matter who you are or what you’re facing in life, remember: Can’t Do It Alone. 

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A man kneeling in prayer before a sunrise

Words of Spirit and Life

Jesus said that his words are spirit and life. Life for Leaders, the daily, digital devotional of the De Pree Center, exists to help you experience the abundant, eternal life of God all that you do, especially in your work and leadership.

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A mother feeding a child in a highchair

The Value of Ordinary Work

The example of Mary and Joseph reminds us of how much God values what we do. So, as you teach a class or lead a meeting or make a cabinet or write a song or design a new product, do your work in honor of God. As you make lunches for your children or drive them to school or help them with their biology homework or teach them to make good choices in their lives, know that God is with you and is pleased as you do your ordinary work for God’s purposes and glory. 

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People watching floats pass by in the Rose Parade in Pasadena

Walking in the Parade of Christ

On the day in which Pasadena, California hosts the Rose Parade, we are inspired by a passage in the Bible that draws upon parade imagery. We are honored to walk in the parade of Christ, celebrating his victory over sin and death. Moreover, we are the “aroma” of Christ, representing his love and grace in the world through what we do and say.

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The word "NEW" stenciled onto a brick wall

God is Making All Things New

On this day in which we celebrate a new year, may we even more celebrate the One who will make all things new. May we rejoice in the fact that we get to experience a foretaste of this renewal in our lives today. And, in 2023, may we be available to God who wishes to use us as agents of renewal in this world.

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A woman walking on a gigantic bingo or hopscotch board

Teach Us to Count Our Days

As we get ready to say goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023, Psalm 90 reminds us of the brevity of our lives. But this truth doesn’t have to be discouraging. Rather, when we “count our days” we are able to “gain a wise heart.” Thus, as the year changes from 2022 to 2023, and as we remember the shortness of our lives, we do not despair. Rather, when we count our days, we renew our trust in our timeless God and we ask for God’s favor so that we might make a difference through our work in the brief time allotted to us.

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Long rows of people sitting at computers

Returning to Work in Light of Christmas

As we head back to work after the holidays, will the reality of Christmas make a difference? What if we did our work with a new awareness of God’s presence? What if we set apart a few moments in our day to offer thanks to God and commit our work to God? The celebration of Christmas may be over, but the reality of Christmas continues, touching everything in life, including our work.

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A bunch of angel ornaments hanging on a rack

Your Work and Peace on Earth

We love the good news shared with the shepherds by the angels: “Peace on Earth.” Yes, this peace includes the absence of conflict and inner tranquility. But God’s peace entails so much more. It is life as God intended it to be, life infused by harmony, justice, fruitfulness, and love. We have the opportunity to bring this peace to every sector of life, including our workplaces.

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Linda Roberts' nativity scene

Don’t Let Your Achievement in Work Define Your Identity

The Christmas story underscores the fact that God values those who respond to God’s grace with faith and obedience. God is looking, not for those who are great in achievement, but for those who are great in openness to God and God’s will. Thus, we would do well to define our identity, not in terms of professional success, but rather in terms of faithfulness to God.

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A shepherd on a hillside with a flock of sheep

God Interrupts Our Work Once Again

In Luke’s Christmas story God interrupts people as they work. God interrupted Zechariah while he was working in the temple and the shepherds as they were working in the fields. We need to be ready for God to interrupt us as we work, leading us into some unexpected opportunity for serving others. Yet, at the same time, we need to be attentive to God’s presence as we work, offering our work as worship to God. 

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A mother and father leading a toddler along a beach

Work and Children

Women work hard in Luke’s Christmas narrative. Both Elizabeth and Mary carry their babies and give birth to them. But birth is just the beginning of the work of raising children, work that belongs to both women and men. The Christmas story reminds us of how central this work is to our lives, not only with our own children, but also with the children in our neighborhoods, schools, and churches.

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A person serving a tray of food

From Salvation to Service

In Luke’s Christmas story, Zechariah celebrates the birth of his son by extolling God’s work of salvation. But salvation isn’t an end in and of itself. Rather, God saves people in order that they might serve God in holiness and righteousness. We respond to God’s gracious salvation by serving God, not just in our religious activities, but in every part of life, including our daily work. We have been saved to serve.

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charcuterie board

Celebrating God’s Amazing Work

In the first chapter of Luke, Mary celebrates the amazing work of God, including her own experience of God’s miraculous power. Her example encourages us to recognize and celebrate God the worker. 

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