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.

Third Third Flourishing . . . Can’t Do It Alone!

If you want to live long and well in the third third of your life, and if you smoke cigarettes, it would be a…

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A mosaic of the Annunciation

Be Like Mary in Your Work

Today, no matter what you do for your work, no matter whether you are being paid or not, no matter whether you have chosen your work or had it assigned to you, may God give you the grace to imitate Mary. May you say, “I am your servant, Lord. Let my work honor you and contribute to your sovereign purposes today. I offer to you all that I am.”

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A row of roasted coffee beans, with one surprising unroasted coffee bean in the middle

Sometimes God Interrupts Our Work

Scripture teaches us to value our work because it matters to God. In fact, we can truly worship God through offering our daily work to God. But sometimes God interrupts our work. That happened to a priest named Zechariah. While he was engaging in his priestly duty in the temple, an angel from God interrupted him with incredible news. His story encourages us to be open to ways God might interrupt us as we work. 

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A Review of EMERGING! Boomers Speak Out About Life in and Beyond the Pandemic

I recently read a new book by Richard and Leona Bergstrom. EMERGING! Boomers Speak Out About Life in and Beyond the Pandemic gives voice…

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Kara Roberts and her friend Emily as children, dressed up as Christmas sheep

What Does Christmas Have to Do with Work?

For many of us – but not all of us – Christmas is a time to get a break from work. Yet there is much in the biblical narrative of the birth of Jesus that makes connections between work and Christmas. For example, were it not for Luke’s hard work, we wouldn’t have the beloved Christmas story found in the Gospel that bears Luke’s name. 

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A woman carrying her child on her back

Hope Continually

“For you, O Lord, are my hope . . . . But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more” (Psalm 71:5, 14). “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

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Sunset over a tossing sea

The Hope of All Creation

Psalm 65 proclaims that God is “the hope of all the ends of the earth.” Even “the farthest seas” hope in God. God’s power and goodness, revealed through the natural world God created, inspire us to hope. In this season of Advent, we look forward to joining with all creation in celebrating the fact that our Lord has come and will come again.

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Your Hope Pleases the Lord

In this season of Advent, as you nurture your hope in God, hold on to this amazing truth: Hoping in God not only blesses you, but it blesses God as well. When you hope in God, God is truly pleased. Wow! 

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A beautiful purple sunset or sunrise

Hoping for God’s Salvation and the Difference It Makes

In the season of Advent we hope for God’s salvation. Though we have already begun to experience this salvation through Christ, we recognize that there is much more salvation yet to come. This salvation is deeply personal and broadly expansive. The God who saves is in the process of making all things new. Our hope for this salvation inspires us to live today in light of the future. Everything we do should reflect the salvation of God.

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A barn full of live Christmas trees

Hoping in God’s Word

When we know God as our hiding place, it makes sense for us to put our hope in God’s word. We long for God’s vision of a world restored, a world filled with peace, justice, and righteousness. We hope for God to act in light of God’s promises in Scripture. 

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An older man holding a toddler boy in his arms

Teaching the Next Generation to Hope

These days, people of all ages struggle to have hope. A recent study from the CDC showed that young people, in particular, are plagued with hopelessness. Psalm 78 encourages those of us who are older to help the next generations develop hope in God. We do this by reminding them of God’s works and by living in community with them, thus sharing our lives as well as our convictions. 

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Someone who has just jumped into the ocean splashing wildly in the water

Waiting in Agony

Sometimes we wait for God in quiet, peaceful patience. But at other times our waiting comes with agony as we cry out to God for help that seems never to come. When our waiting is hard, we are encouraged by the fact that we are not alone. God’s people have for centuries struggled with waiting. More importantly, we know that Jesus is with us in our struggle and that makes all the difference in the world. 

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Two donkeys beside a stream on a foggy morning

Be Honest About Hope

Psalm 42 gives us permission to be honest about our hope in God . . . or lack thereof. This psalm would say to us in the season of Advent: Yes, hope in God! But don’t pretend as if this is easy. Be honest with God. Express your doubts and fears. God can handle them. After all, God is _your_ help. God is _your_ God. 

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Better Than a Hope Chest

In the season of Advent, we rekindle our hope in God. This happens as we experience God’s love for us in the present time. Hope points to the future and requires waiting. But God loves us right now. The more we experience God’s love, the more our hope for God’s future will grow with confidence and joy. 

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candle lit in dim lighting

Advent and Intergenerational Hope

Recently, I was working my way through the Psalms, looking for passages that address the Advent themes of hoping and waiting. I came upon a fascinating passage in Psalm 78. It’s one I’d read many times before, but never from the perspective of Advent. Moreover, with my deep interest in things related to the third third of life, I saw truths in this passage I had never seen before.

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