300 episodes

Have you ever felt like your spiritual life is lukewarm and lacking?

If so, this podcast is for you. In Leaving Laodicea, we will explore truths that will allow us to embrace the Higher Christian Life or experience the "abundant life" (John 10:10) as Jesus called it. You'll find practical tips and tools on how to live a more victorious life in Christ.

Leaving Laodicea is a podcast by Steve McCranie for those who are dissatisfied with the lukewarmness of their own spiritual lives and desire to grow spiritually by walking through Scripture with fresh eyes and discovering new insights into God's Word.

So what do we do? We change, we commit, we refocus, we refuse to allow yesterday's failures to define our relationship with Christ today. So join us as we strive for the Higher Christian Life while we learn how to Leave Laodicea behind.

Leaving Laodicea Steve McCranie

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Have you ever felt like your spiritual life is lukewarm and lacking?

If so, this podcast is for you. In Leaving Laodicea, we will explore truths that will allow us to embrace the Higher Christian Life or experience the "abundant life" (John 10:10) as Jesus called it. You'll find practical tips and tools on how to live a more victorious life in Christ.

Leaving Laodicea is a podcast by Steve McCranie for those who are dissatisfied with the lukewarmness of their own spiritual lives and desire to grow spiritually by walking through Scripture with fresh eyes and discovering new insights into God's Word.

So what do we do? We change, we commit, we refocus, we refuse to allow yesterday's failures to define our relationship with Christ today. So join us as we strive for the Higher Christian Life while we learn how to Leave Laodicea behind.

    595 - The Dependent Relationship of Jesus With His Father

    595 - The Dependent Relationship of Jesus With His Father

    Imitation is the Highest Form of FlatteryJesus did something that seems so out of place for us today, living in a culture that exalts pride, ambition, and independence— He voluntarily lived in a dependent relationship with His Father and deferred all glory to Him. But He didn’t have to live this way. This was His voluntary choice between equals. And remember, Jesus is God Himself, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. He is the Second Person in the Trinity, and not some innately subservient, second-class God.
    To set the scene, Jesus is in the midst of a brutal attack by the Jewish religious elites because He said, “My Father,” showing a family relationship with God Himself. And the Jews responded with rage and death threats. His statement about being God’s Son seriously enraged them.
    So Jesus clarified His statement and His relationship with God the Father by stating this about His dependence on the Father. You would do well to note the implications of what He is saying.
    Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly (truly, truly), I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, (why) but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He (the Father) does, the Son also does in like manner” – John 5:19.
    It appears the Son has chosen to live in a dependent relationship with His Father, much like a slave (doúlos) does to their Master. Yet, being fully God, Jesus chose this posture to ensure, as an example to each of us, the importance of seeking the will of the Father and not our own will. And if it was good enough for the Son of God to live that way, surely it is good enough for us.
    Jesus Speaks His Father’s WordsNext, Jesus reveals the importance of seeking only the will of the Father and not His own will. And again, you would do well to note the implications of this subservient posture of our Lord.
    “I can (dúnamai – to be able, to have power by virtue of one’s own ability and resources) of Myself do (to carry out or perform an action or course of action) nothing (no one, none at all, not even one, not in the least).  As I hear (from the Father who sent Him), I judge; and My judgment is righteous (just, correct, right), (why) because I do not (the voluntary choice of Jesus) seek (to strive for, wish, require, demand) My own will (desire, inclination, plan of action, purpose) but (in contrast) the will (desire, inclination, plan of action, purpose) of the Father who sent Me” – John 5:30.
    This passage does not say Jesus was something less than the Father or had to appeal to a power or authority greater than Himself to perform miracles. Quite the opposite. Jesus states He is choosing, as an equal with God, to put aside His personal desire and agenda and give glory to His Father by living in a dependent relationship with Him. And His judgment is righteous because it came directly from the Father. So, to His Jewish detractors, Jesus was saying, “If you’ve got a problem with Me or with what I am saying, take it up with the Father. For I am only doing what the Father commands me to say and do.”
    But it continues.
    His Purpose Was to Do His Father’s WillIn the next chapter, Jesus teaches the troubled masses that He is the bread of life the Father sent from heaven for them, using the imagery of Moses and manna in the...

    • 35 min
    594 - How Should We Live in the Face of Persecution?

    594 - How Should We Live in the Face of Persecution?

    Persecution: An Inconvenient TruthAs followers of Jesus, we are promised that trials, tribulations, and persecution will come to all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:12). It simply comes with the territory. After all, Jesus warned, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). And so, what they did to Jesus, they will do to those who call Him Lord (Matt. 15:18-20). But don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself.
    So rather than responding with fear, doubt, blame-shifting, or finger-pointing (which is often our natural reaction to mistreatment and persecution), we can look to the example of the early church in Acts 4 to see how they faced opposition with faith, prayer, unity, and incredible boldness. Their response holds valuable lessons for the church today as we try to navigate our increasingly hostile culture while being the light in this present darkness Jesus ordained us to be.
    The First Wave of Persecution (Acts 3-4)Acts 4 opens with Peter and John boldly proclaiming the Gospel and performing the miraculous healing of a lame man at the temple gate (Acts 3:2). This act of faith, however, attracts the attention of the religious authorities, who arrest and interrogate the apostles, even while the crowds are filled with “wonder and amazement” at what they had just witnessed (Acts 3:10). Plus, Peter preached a rather pointed sermon to the people, clearly exalting the crucified and risen Jesus as the Messiah which, no doubt, had the Jewish religious establishment filled with rage and indignation. It was a rather amazing day for the infant church.
    So, threatened by their bold message, the religious leaders arrested them and commanded them to stop speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). This is a pivotal moment for the church, revealing not only the apostles’ unwavering faith and commitment, but also setting the stage for the church’s response to future governmental intrusions, demands, and subsequent persecutions.
    Civil Disobedience: A Bold ResponseBut rather than cower in fear and scurry away with their tail tucked between their legs, Peter and John responded with firm, but respectful defiance, appealing to a higher authority than the Jewish politburo: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (4:19-20). In essence, “We say ‘No’ to you and ‘Yes’ to God.” For, despite further threats and a future of beatings, imprisonments, cancellations, removal of tax-exempt status, lockdowns, and death— the church will not be silenced.
    As Christians, we are called to stand firm in our faith, regardless of the circumstances we face. We must remember that our ultimate loyalty is to God and His Word, and not to the pressures or expectations of this world which is soon to pass away (1 John 2:17).
    Unified in “One Accord” in PrayerAfter their release, Peter and John returned to the church to report all that had happened, including the severe threats from the authorities and their response (Acts 4:23).  But instead of panicking or becoming divided (which is a common church response today), they came together in unity, what the Scriptures call “one accord,” and raised their voices to God in prayer.
    This “one accord” type of unity is vital when facing persecution. As Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). Likewise, a church united in faith, purpose, and prayer, under His Lordship, will not be shaken by opposition, no matter how severe. But a church splintered by divisions, factions, and discord will struggle to stand, even on a good day.
    When faced with challenges, we must...

    • 57 min
    593 - How to Hear God’s Voice When He Speaks

    593 - How to Hear God’s Voice When He Speaks

    “Follow Me, and I Will Make You… Whatever I Want”In the Gospels, we encounter a radical figure who issues a bold invitation to those He calls unto Himself: “Follow Me.” These words, spoken by Jesus, are not merely a suggestion but a summons, a mandate to leave life as we have always known it and embark on a journey that has no end— at least on this side of heaven. His invitation is to die to self, to follow Him wholeheartedly, and to imitate Him in all aspects of life.
    Or, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him to come and die.” But what does it really mean to follow Jesus, especially in the context of the 21st-century woke Christian culture we find ourselves in? How can we be faithful disciples of our Lord?
    What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus?The essence of Jesus’ call to “Follow Me” is about more than just physically moving from where you are to where He is. It’s an invitation to a new way of life. It’s about leaving behind old priorities and identities (like nets or tax booths in the Gospels) and embracing a new identity rooted in faith and obedience to Christ. And this call is marked by a willingness to let go of personal ambitions and possessions, or to take up one’s cross (Matt. 16:24), and to enter a life of service and mission with Him, by following Him. It’s about embracing all that Christ offers: His teachings, His lifestyle, His ambition, His mission, His sacrifice, and the purpose of His life.
    Ok, got that.
    I’ve heard sermons about giving all to Christ for as long as I can remember. But ‌every time I try to truly follow Him wholeheartedly, I seem to fail. Sometimes miserably. There has to be something I’m missing— maybe some key ingredient I have somehow overlooked.
    And, to be honest, there is.
    The Importance of Hearing His Voice When He SpeaksBut there is also one vital aspect of following Jesus that is often neglected in our preaching and church practices— and that is being able, or acquiring the ability, to hear His voice when He speaks to you. Otherwise, how can you follow Him? For without His direction, you’re basically flying blind. I mean, how can you know what He wants you to do? How can He encourage you, instruct you, or even rebuke you? And how can you have fellowship with Him or grow in the likeness of Him if you can’t hear Him when He speaks?
    Remember, one vital and essential key to following Jesus is to speak to Him and have Him speak back to you. This is the essence of a relationship with the Lord. All relationships, with God or with someone else, are built on two-way communication and not a single monologue from only one partner. And without a relationship… well, we’re just talking about religion. And nobody wants religion.
    Some FAQs About Hearing His VoiceSo let me ask you, are you a follower of Jesus? Do you hear His voice when He speaks to you? And if you’re not sure, let me answer just a few questions you may have.
    Q: How do I know if it’s God speaking to me?
    A: God’s voice will never contradict Scripture. Never. And His voice brings peace and clarity in confusing situations, often challenges us to grow spiritually, and is always consistent with His character of love. Plus, and I know this may sound mystical, but when God speaks, you will recognize His voice like His sheep do their Shepherd (John 10:3-4). Or, to put it another way, there is no way you cannot hear His voice if you belong to Him as one of His sheep. Read the chapter yourself.
    Q: What if I don’t hear anything?
    A: God can even speak in silence. These times of silence may be...

    • 36 min
    592 - Embracing the Call to Radical Christianity

    592 - Embracing the Call to Radical Christianity

    Challenging the Status QuoWe live in a world where the term “radical” often evokes images of extremism and division and has developed a rather nasty reputation in our culture since the ’60s. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that at the very heart of Christian discipleship lies a call to a radically different way of life. This radical lifestyle is not about taking up arms or shouting louder than the voices of opposition. Instead, it’s about embracing a radical love, a radical commitment, radical obedience and sacrifice, and a radical transformation that only comes from fully embracing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ himself— who was the greatest radical who ever lived.
    That’s right. Let that thought sink in for a moment.
    What is a Radical, and Why Should I Care?But first, to set the stage, let’s define what the word “radical” means. According to Webster, “radical” is ‌defined as “something (or someone) new and different in contrast to what is traditional or ordinary.” In other words, being “radical” is a relative term based on a comparison with what society deems common or ordinary or what we refer to as the “status quo.” This means it is the ordinary and traditional aspects of a society that determine, right or wrong, if something (teachings or ideas) or someone (individual or actions) is radical or revolutionary. Consider that last statement carefully. Note where the power to make the determination lies (mainstream opinion and not actual truth). Do you see the problem?
    When a culture refers to individuals or their beliefs and practices as radical, it means they are considered extreme, controversial, and even dangerous to the mainstream. And since they could harm the status quo by threatening change or something even more frightening, accountability— those accused of being radical are often marginalized, excluded, punished, canceled, and eventually eliminated for the good of the whole, or at least for the good of the power elites who govern the whole.
    But What About Jesus?This compels us to address the question nobody wants to ask. Namely, is it OK, maybe even expected, for the Christian life to be viewed as radical by our lost and dying culture that rejects the claims and teachings of Christ? And if so, are our Christian ideas and actions supposed to challenge the status quo of our society (both secular and sacred) at this point in history? Or do we just blend into the woodwork and hope the culture will leave us alone to do the religious things we want? Which is it? You can’t have it both ways. But we all know that.
    To answer this question, we need only look at Jesus’ teachings and how the mainstream reacted to His life. Were He and His message considered radical and revolutionary by the Jewish establishment of His time? Was He viewed as a threat, a danger to the profitable inner workings of their religious complex? How did they view, for example, His cleaning out the corruption in the Temple by overturning the tables of the money changers (Matt. 21:12-13)? How did they respond when He called them out as hypocrites and encouraged the people to follow God and not man-made traditions (Matt. 23)? And what did they finally do to silence His voice? Exactly.
    It would appear, from any honest assessment, that the powers-to-be viewed Jesus as a radical and revolutionary and, as such, had Him put to death. And we are called to follow in His footsteps, to be the light of the world (which exposes darkness, John 3:19) and the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). Remember?
    We Follow a Risen Savior (Who Was a Radical)Consider a brief overview of the radical life and teachings of our Lord. Let’s begin with some of His radical...

    • 52 min
    591 - How to Prepare Yourself to Meet With God

    591 - How to Prepare Yourself to Meet With God

    Disclaimer: Let’s Define Some TermsAs we discovered in Part One of How to Experience God When You Pray— when we talk about experiencing God in prayer, we are specifically defining prayer as more than a monologue, but something even deeper. It is a true, two-way conversation with God, where you speak, and He listens, and He speaks, and you hear His voice. Then, as the abundant life revealed (John 10:10), we rinse and repeat, as often as we like, and grow in our relationship with Him through a true conversation in prayer. Nothing is greater than having God personally speak into your life. And your prayer life and intimacy with God will be completely revolutionized when you experience His presence when you pray.
    In this post, we will examine some ways to prepare ourselves to experience God when we pray.
    Our Preparation for PrayerWhen you went on your first date with the person who later became your spouse, do you remember the preparation you made to meet with the person you wanted to build a relationship with? I do. I remember it was very important for me to make a good first impression. Why? Well, to do otherwise was failure— and nobody wants to fail on a first date.
    So I dressed in some reasonably nice clothes, or at least what was clean and didn’t smell too bad. Granted, it was not my Sunday Best, but it was the best I had for a first date. I made sure I brushed my teeth, ran a comb through my hair, forcefully tamed any unruly eyebrow hairs, and tried to bring out the best of me when I was meeting Karen. And why wouldn’t I? After all, I was enamored with this woman, totally smitten, or as the owl said in Bambi, twitterpated. I wanted to build a long-term relationship with her and hopefully, someday, maybe, if I got really lucky and won the lottery, make her my wife.
    So preparation was important— really important. Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
    Preparing to Enter His PresenceAnd if this is true about a first date, how much more is it true about entering into the presence of God in prayer? This means that when we pray, when we desire to have a direct, personal conversation with the Creator of the Universe— when we speak to the Almighty and expect to be heard and then expect Him to stoop to our level and respond, there must be some prior preparation that takes place. After all, we take the time to update our resume and try to look our best and learn about the company before we sit down for a job interview, don’t we? And we would never go to our childhood friend’s wedding in the same clothes we wore while mowing the yard, would we? And most certainly, we brush our teeth, sometimes twice, before sitting in the dentist’s chair. So if we make preparations before these events, how much more before we bow our heads in prayer?
    Let me list three steps we need to do before boldly entering into His presence in prayer. But be warned, each of these is vital for experiencing Him when you pray.
    First, We Must Prepare Our Hearts to Meet With HimJesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, (why) for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8), which is exactly what we are hoping to accomplish through prayer. We want to experience His presence— and that begins with preparing our hearts before Him. Since God is holy, we must make ourselves as holy as we can by confessing our sins and asking for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). This way, we can come to Him as He requires, with “clean...

    • 47 min
    590 - How to Experience God When You Pray

    590 - How to Experience God When You Pray

    The Joy of PrayerWhat if your times of prayer could become so much more than reciting words or listing random requests? What if your prayers could transport you into a holy place to experience God’s presence in a very real and tangible way? What if you began having personal, life-changing encounters with the Creator of the universe every time you prayed? And what if you had the confidence to know, to truly know— that God hears your prayers and delights in answering them? How would this change your prayer life?
    All of this is not only possible, but readily available and expected every time we pray. The problem for most, however, is that we either devalue what prayer truly is or do not fully understand who we are praying to. And if we did, how the floodgates of heaven would open and pour on us an experience with God that would rock our world and change us forever.
    Let’s explore prayer a little deeper.
    What is Prayer?— In Just a Few WordsSimply put, prayer is talking with God. Or, as the theologians would say, “Prayer is personal communication with God.”¹ Ok, got that. But what does “communication with God” really mean? In essence, “communication” is the exchange of information between two entities or individuals, both the giving and receiving of the same. And “with God” means He, the Sovereign Creator of All, the One that transcends all human thought, the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Immutable One, is on the other end of our two-way conversation.
    Let that sink in for a moment.
    When we pray, and as often as we pray, we are in the process of not only talking with God but having Him also talk with us. Prayer, just like all communication between two individuals, is not saying what you want to say and then hanging up the phone. It was never intended to be a monologue. No, prayer is a two-way conversation, both giving and receiving, between you (ultimately dust and ashes) and God (revealed in resplendent glory), whereby information (praise, requests, supplication, petitions— and His answers, instructions, commands, and encouragement ) are mutually shared. And the highest glory you can ever experience is to have the only Person worthy of praise actually speak to you personally, in direct conversation. It is a life-altering and faith-building encounter that will change everything about you in an instant.
    And this is available to each of us whenever we pray. But we have to pray, and we have to understand exactly who we are in conversation with in order to have confidence when we pray.
    Let me explain.
    Sovereign, Ruler, King… and FatherIn the Old Testament, God was often presented as unapproachable. He only met with His people once a year, nestled between the outstretched wings of the Cherubim above the Bema seat of the Ark of the Covenant, hidden behind a thick veil. Or when He revealed Himself to the masses, it was usually with fire and smoke and lightning, like on Mt. Sinai, which only reinforced His unapproachableness (Ex. 19). And when Moses asked to see His glory and His face, God said, “No.” His actual words were, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Ex. 33:20). And regarding seeing His glory, God also said, “No.” But He did allow Moses to look at His receding glory as He passed by (Ex. 33:23). Something like, “Not My face, Moses, but you can see My back as I walk away.”
    So much for an intimate relationship with our Creator.
    But in the New Testament (and hints in the Old), Jesus reveals another aspect of God’s nature and His relationship with us. He is not a despot— a frightening, powerful King ready to abuse and punish His lowly servants for any slight infraction. No, God is our Father, with all the implications that word conveys...

    • 49 min

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Word Of God

Thank you Steve for your Podcast. It’s help me in my Christian walk with God. When your soul is open to God’s word then you see things, hear things, and know things that only God can show, tell, and let you know about. His word never returns void.
Thanks Steve and may God keep Blessing you in all of His wonderful ways.

Robert Ferguson.

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