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.

    597 - Salvation and the Deception of Non-Saving Faith

    597 - Salvation and the Deception of Non-Saving Faith

    “Faith or No Faith, That is the Question”All throughout Scripture, we see examples of people who have faith, but it’s non-saving faith. After all, every one of us has some type of faith, and we exercise faith every day. We have faith a car will stop while we cross the street, we have faith our prescriptions will do what our doctor told us they would do, we have faith a chair will hold us up when we sit down in a crowded restaurant, and we have faith the sun will come up in the morning as we prepare to go to the job we have faith we still have. We all have faith— but we have faith at different levels and in different things. And not all faith is the same.
    For example, we have a certain type of faith in our government, our economic system, or the media. But that faith is not as strong, nor of the same substance, as the faith we have in the sanctity of our marriage, or the trustworthiness of our best friend, or in our ability to keep a promise to those we love. Each of these kinds of faith is as varied as the objects of that faith. And none of these reach the level of faith or trust or dependence we would expect to have in Christ. Hence, we would call these examples non-saving faith.
    But what happens when a seeking person, just like you or me, comes to Jesus for salvation with nothing more than non-saving faith? Would that person be saved? Or would they be deceived into thinking what faith they had, bordering on intellectual curiosity, was sufficient for salvation?
    The Deception of Non-Saving FaithThe Scriptures repeatedly warn about the deception of non-saving faith. In the Parable of the Sower, seventy-five percent of the seeds sown did not lead to salvation (Matt. 13:3-9). Those who sowed in the shallow and thorny soil were deceived into thinking that mere growth, without corresponding fruit, equates to salvation. Or, to put it another way, faith, without corresponding fruit, leads to salvation. And the Scriptures clearly state they don’t.
    The Scriptures also talk about having a “form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:5). We see people like Hymenaeus and Alexander, both lost, serving as prominent members of the church (1 Tim. 1:20). There are those who come to the wedding feast dressed in clothes of their own righteousness. The result? They were bound, hand and foot, and “cast into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13). We have the warning from the Lord about the wide road that leads to destruction and the narrow gate that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14). And, in the book of Hebrews, some were “once enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gift” but never fully drank of the living waters of salvation (Heb. 6:4).
    Remember, Jesus said He “did not come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34) and “a man’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:36). How? Because our commitment to Christ must be greater than our love and devotion for those we hold most dear, even our own family. When asked, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”— Jesus said of His own family, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matt. 12:48-50).
    The sad truth is many people come to Christ but never fully partake, or drink, of Him (John 7:37) and are deceived into believing they are truly saved. Many people, most in fact, go part of the way towards Christ and end up short of true salvation. They feel and recognize their need for Christ and acknowledge He is the only One that can satisfy their deepest longings, yet they fail to appropriate Him into their lives on His terms. They thirst, they

    • 20 min
    596 - The Dependent Relationship of Jesus With His Father

    596 - 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
    595 - D.L. Moody and the Higher Christian Life

    595 - D.L. Moody and the Higher Christian Life

    “What Am I Missing?”As believers living in the Laodicean church age (Rev. 3:14-22), we often look back and marvel at the extraordinary lives of our Biblical heroes and spiritual giants who have gone before us. We see them in Scripture, read their biographies, watch movies about their lives, study their teachings, and aspire to experience the intimacy and devotion they had with God that allowed them to do great things. Yet, for many of us, there seems to be a sad disconnect between the vibrant, Spirit-filled experiences we admire in these heroes of the faith and the comparatively subdued, lackluster, and lukewarm reality of our own spiritual lives. And try as we may, we can’t seem to put our finger on why.
    We find ourselves wondering, “Why does my spiritual life feel so different from theirs? Where is the promised power they exhibited that is so lacking in my own life?” Or, in essence, “Is this what Jesus meant when He talked about the abundant life in Him? I sure hope not. And if so, is there something I’m missing?” These questions are not uncommon, and they point to a deeper longing within our hearts— a desire to experience the fullness of life in Christ we see so graphically portrayed in the lives of these spiritual giants that is clearly missing in most of the church today.
    This brings us to the encouraging part of our dilemma, which is finally recognizing this longing comes from Him. It is a God-given desire to know Him more and to experience the closeness and intimacy with God that is our promised birthright as one of His children. This unfilled longing is your invitation to pursue what has been referred to as the “Higher Christian life”— a life characterized by a profound, transformative relationship with Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. And the door to this “abundant life” (John 10:10) Jesus promised is opened by your surrender to Him. It is really that simple.
    Time For Self-ReflectionAs you begin this journey of embracing the Higher Christian life, take a moment to ask yourself a few questions about your own spiritual experience:
    •  Have you ever felt a deep desire for more of God’s presence in your life?
    •  Do you long to experience the joy, peace, and power that seem to characterize the lives of the spiritual heroes you admire?
    •  And have you ever wondered what it would be like to live a life fully surrendered to and empowered by the Holy Spirit?
    If you can relate to these questions, great— you’re in good company. The desire for a deeper, more intimate relationship with God is a common thread woven throughout the lives of countless believers throughout the ages.
    Glimpses of the Higher Christian LifeTo better understand what the Higher Christian life entails, over the next few days, we will look at the lives of a few well-known spiritual giants who exemplified this way of living and their personal experiences with surrendering to the Holy Spirit that marked a dramatic change in their lives. I think these should prove to be not only instructive, but also encouraging.
    We shall begin with Dwight L. Moody, more commonly known as D.L. Moody.
    D.L. Moody (1837-1899)For those of you who may not be familiar with D.L. Moody, he was an American evangelist who founded the Moody Church in Chicago, the Moody Bible Institute (which still functions today), and the Pacific Garden Mission (I listen to their radio broadcasts weekly, and have for over thirty years). It is estimated that over a million people came to Christ under his powerful and passionate preaching in both the United Kingdom and across America. And, on a personal note, he is also one of my spiritual...

    • 11 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

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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.

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