Posts tagged with: Christmas

A bible with a baby cloth and candle in a crown

Be it Unto Us

Lord, we are waiting.

We need a savior.

We pray for a king.

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A manger scene set in the word Love

Never an Inconvenience

The bible tells us Christ willingly moved into the neighborhood, leaving heaven for earth to be with us, in human form. Compelled by an inexplicable love for his creation, God somehow took on the form of a baby and came to be with us.

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Decorations of Fasnacht in Switzerland

We Are the Fools

If you have a sense of déjà vu when reading Psalm 53, it’s because this psalm is virtually identical to Psalm 14. Lining up these two psalms in parallel columns, you’ll find that they differ only in a few minor details. How curious! It’s as if those who collected the psalms must have believed that the message contained in this particular poem was so important that it was worth repeating twice, almost verbatim.

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Black and white photo of a man's face looking intensely, half covered in shadow

What Would You Ask Jesus To Do For You?

Much to everyone’s surprise, Jesus called for Bartimaeus to be brought before him. Excited, Bartimaeus “jumped to his feet and came to Jesus” (10:50). But then Jesus asked a curious question, “What do you want me to do for you?” (10:51). Wasn’t it obvious? Couldn’t Jesus have figured out pretty quickly that Bartimaeus was blind and wanted to see? Why did Jesus want Bartimaeus to state his desire so obviously?

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A rosary with an image of Jesus giving mercy

A Prayer for All Occasions

This simple cry for mercy has inspired countless prayers during the last two millennia. In particular, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, one of the most common and influential prayers is: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This so-called “Jesus Prayer,” which appears in a variety of forms, is spoken millions of times each day by believers throughout the world.

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A man sadly sitting by the waterfront

Do You Pray with Boldness?

Do you ever speak to Jesus as Bartimaeus did? Are there times in your life when you cry out with boldness to the Lord, even desperation?

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A nail on a wooden cross.

The Shocking, Serving Son of Man

The one who seeks to be a great leader must become great in serving others.

Jesus offered an unexpected and potentially perplexing rationale for his vision of servant leadership.

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Da Vinci’s Last Supper

Vocational Gratitude: Redemption

As we celebrate this Advent Season, reminded again of Jesus’ coming into the world, I want to reflect on the distinctive vision and driving force behind God’s incarnation in Jesus Christ. What was the mindset that Jesus brought to his work in the world? And, what might that say to us about our work as leaders?

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Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Photo used by permission from Mark D. Roberts.

How to Flourish in Your Life and Leadership

Psalm 52 begins with criticism of a “mighty hero,” whom the heading of the Psalm identifies as “Doeg the Edomite” (see 1 Sam. 21-22). This warrior uses his tongue to boast of his crimes and to lie in order to destroy others. But, in time, God will “uproot” him from the land of the living.

In contrast to this uprooted tree, the psalmist is “like an olive tree, flourishing in the house of God” (52:8).

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A waiter serving diners.

Servant Leadership Once Again

Three weeks ago, we encountered Jesus’s call to servanthood. As you may remember, in Mark 9 the disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. In response, Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (9:35). In chapter 10, the disciples are once again seeking their own exaltation and Jesus is once again emphasizing the call to servanthood.

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Hands held together in prayer over a Bible.

Audacious Prayer

We live in a curious tension when it comes to the Lord. On the one hand, we rightly bow before him, offering ourselves in humble worship. On the other hand, we experience friendship with God that invites us to be completely honest with him.

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Close up of instruments used in investments.

The Perplexing ROI for the Follower of Jesus

In Mark 10:25, Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. This distressed his disciples, who wondered who could be saved. When Jesus said that everything is possible with God, Peter wanted to make sure his place in the kingdom was secure. So he said, “We have left everything to follow you!” (10:28). Peter was probably hoping for a word of reassurance, something like, “Don’t worry, Peter, you’re in. You’ve earned your spot by your sacrifice.” But what he heard from Jesus must have been both comforting and perplexing.

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People helping others.

Hearing the Hard Word of Jesus

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and…

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Clay being shaped on a potter's wheel.

Ready for a Change

In yesterday’s devotion I suggested that in our world of instant-gratification, we need a season like Advent to teach us how to wait. Advent is a season of longing for a Savior to touch our lives and heal our hurting world. Today, on this first Sunday of Advent, the prophet speaks of a longing for change — the desire for God to shape our lives amidst a world that often seems like it’s out to crush and derail us from following the One who came in the flesh to show us the way home.

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A child wearing a Santa Hat staring out the window waiting in anticipation.

Preparing for Advent: Learning to Wait

With tomorrow being the first Sunday of Advent, I want to suggest this season of intentional waiting is a perfect context for leaders to grow in this discipline.

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