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.

    598 - The Gospel in One Verse, Actually One Word

    598 - The Gospel in One Verse, Actually One Word

    The Trinity… Right Before Our EyesIn Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
    according to the riches of His grace.
    Ephesians 1:7
    Critics often point out that the word “Trinity” isn’t found in the Bible, and they’re right. But the truth of the Trinity is revealed throughout both the Old and New Testaments, and we can see it clearly in the first 14 verses of Ephesians. Consider the following:
    In the original Greek, Ephesians 1:3-14 is actually one long, complex sentence consisting of 202 words. In our English translations, this single Greek sentence is broken up into several sentences for better readability and understanding. And depending on the translation, it’s divided into anywhere from 3 to 7 sentences. When taken as a whole, these verses paint for us an incredible picture of the totality of God, in which each Person of the Godhead is active in our salvation.
    For example, the work of God the Father is primarily described in verses 3 through 6, where He planned our salvation even before time began. In Ephesians 1:7-10, we see the work of the Son who achieves salvation for us by His redemptive death on the cross, or “through His blood” (Eph. 1:7). And the final few verses, Ephesians 1:11-14, highlight the role the Holy Spirit plays in applying salvation to our lives. It couldn’t be more clear. But it was all “in Him” or “in Christ” that we were granted redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus is the One responsible for all of this.
    Note: I have already discussed the “in Him” or “in Christ” aspect of this verse in an earlier post. So, let me encourage you to go back and look again at that to gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ impact on all aspects of our Christian life, not just our salvation.
    And then, we move on to the incredible word, redemption.
    RedemptionRedemption is an essential core theme of Christianity. In fact, this one verse, Ephesians 1:7, summarizes the entire gospel, where it says, “In Him (Jesus, the Son) we have redemption (how) through His blood, (described as) the forgiveness of sins, (on what basis) according to the riches of His grace.” If John 3:16 is the first and most important verse kids learn in Vacation Bible School, then Ephesians 1:7 runs a close second.
    But how important is the idea of redemption to Christianity? It’s indispensable.
    B.B. Warfield (1851-1921), a prominent American theologian and professor at Princeton Theologica, emphasized the significance of Christ’s role as Redeemer when he said:
    “There is no one of the titles of Christ which is more precious to Christian hearts than ‘Redeemer.’ Whenever we pronounce it, the cross is placarded before our eyes and our hearts are filled with loving remembrance not only that Christ has given us salvation, but that He paid a mighty price for it.”
    That’s right. When we think of Christ as our Redeemer, we always picture Him as the Christ of the cross, whose blood provided for our redemption.
    Understanding RedemptionBut what exactly does “redemption” mean? In his book “Systematic Theology,” Wayne Grudem defines redemption as “Christ’s saving work viewed as an act of ‘buying back’ sinners out of their bondage to sin and to Satan through the payment of a ransom.” Okay, that makes sense. But is there more?
    The New Testament primarily uses two Greek words for redemption (and their derivatives). The first is agorazō and comes from the noun meaning marketplace, or agora. It means “to buy” or “to buy in a marketplace.” This word emphasizes the price Jesus paid for our salvation. In essence, He purchased or bought us back in the...

    • 41 min
    597 - The Implications of Being “Accepted in the Beloved”

    597 - The Implications of Being “Accepted in the Beloved”

    The Antidote for Self-DoubtTo the praise of the glory of His grace,
    by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
    Ephesians 1:6
    As believers, one of the most incredible truths we can embrace is that God has made us, even with all our failures and shortcomings, “accepted in the Beloved” or “accepted in His Son” (Eph. 1:6). This short phrase reveals the depths of God’s love and the privileged position we now enjoy in Christ. And when we grasp the full implications of these few words, they will revolutionize the way we view ourselves and how we live out our faith on a daily basis. That’s not hyperbole, just the facts.
    Let’s look at what it means to be truly “accepted in the Beloved.”
    God’s Gracious ChoiceAs we begin to unpack the richness of this verse, we must start with the declaration that God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). Let that sink in— before God spoke creation into existence, and before He formed the galaxies or breathed life into Adam, He had already selected you to be “holy and without blame” in His sight. And He chose you for no other reason than the “good pleasure of His will” or, more precisely, because He wanted to (Eph. 1:5).
    Just think, you didn’t earn His sovereign choice of you, and you certainly don’t deserve it— none of us do. But that’s what makes His grace so amazing. God set His affection on you, not because of your merits, but simply because it delighted Him to do so. He predestined you to be adopted as His very own son or daughter (Eph. 1:5). The King of Kings wanted you in His family.
    But, and I know it may be hard to believe, it gets even better.
    Accepted and Highly FavoredNow, because of His loving choice and predetermined plan, you are “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). The word “accepted” means much more than we assume when we use it today. We speak of inclusion, such as, “I just got accepted into college” or “I feel accepted by my co-workers.” But in Greek, “accepted” (charitóō) means being “highly honored” and “greatly favored.” In fact, it is the same word used of Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to her saying, “Rejoice, highly favored one (charitóō), the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). And this is the only other place in Scripture this particular word is used.
    Just as Mary found grace and favor in God’s sight to be chosen as the mother of the Messiah, you also have found grace and favor to be chosen and accepted by Him as His beloved child. Jesus took on the punishment your sins deserved, paying their penalty of death on the cross and, by doing so, made you righteous and reconciled to the Father. So when God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sins, failures, and shame, but the perfect righteousness of His Son imputed to you (2 Cor. 5:21)— His now adopted son (Eph. 1:5).
    In Christ, you are now (and I know this may be hard to believe) highly honored and esteemed, deeply loved, and greatly blessed in Him. And God doesn’t begrudgingly accept you because He spoke too soon, maybe before He knew what you were really like, and has to fulfill a promise He’d rather not. No, He now joyfully allows His grace to “abound” toward you in all His wisdom and prudence because of the “riches of His grace” He was pleased to lavish upon you (Eph. 1:7-8). How does that make you feel? And where is the place in your life for insecurity when God has already highly honored you to the degree He has? Read the verse again, if need be.
    No More Insecurity… Ever!Think about what this means for your identity and sense of self-worth. You no longer have to be crippled by feelings of insecurity or inadequacy, constantly...

    • 45 min
    596 - Obtaining an Inheritance or Becoming an Inheritance

    596 - Obtaining an Inheritance or Becoming an Inheritance

    “In Him”… and it Only Gets BetterIn Him also we have obtained an inheritance…
    Ephesians 1:11a
    In this passage, we see more of the blessings that are ours because we are “in Him” or “in Christ.” Again, I suggest you spend a little time with Blue Letter Bible or another Bible software program of your choice and search the phrases “in Him” and “in Christ” for yourself. After all, we all learn better by doing rather than just watching someone else do it. So jump on in and get your feet wet. And when you do, begin with “in Christ” and scan the verses to see how the theology of these two words permeates almost all of Paul’s writings. He obviously understood the significance of being “in Him,” and it would do each of us good if we understood it as well.
    What it SaysWe have been studying the first chapter of Ephesians and are focusing on verse 11, where it says:
    In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
    So let’s look at each word and phrase in the first part of this verse to see exactly what God is saying so we can determine exactly what He means by what He says (we are only going to look at the first eight words today; we’ll cover more next time).
    In Him – We have discussed this at length in a prior post. Basically, this phrase reveals to us that, apart from Christ, the only thing we can expect from God is condemnation for our sins. But, because of Christ and because we are now found “in Him” (which is all a gift from God lavished upon us), we can rejoice in all circumstances for:
    There is therefore now (present tense) no condemnation to those (put your name here to make it personal) who are (what) in Christ Jesus, (described as those) who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit – Romans 8:1.
    We Have Obtained an Inheritance – This phrase is a translation of a single compound Greek word, eklērōthēmen, which has two renderings. In other words, this word can be translated in two different ways. And each of these translations, even though they mean something entirely different in English, are correct both grammatically and theologically. Plus, this word is in the aorist active indicative tense, which means it is so certain to happen, that it can be spoken of as having already taken place. We see this also in Ephesians 2:6, where the same tense is used when it states God, “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The certainty of this is so secure that the Holy Spirit speaks of it as having already happened. And the same applies to our obtaining an inheritance in Him.
    But there are two correct renderings of the Greek word in question. The first, and the one that seems to fit the context best, means “we have obtained an inheritance” in Him. Or, we have received an inheritance from God as adopted sons whom He predestined or predetermined from eternity past (Eph. 1:4-5). And the inheritance we have received in Him is just part of how God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). This is why Romans 8:15-17 makes the point of revealing we are not only “children of God,” but “heirs”— those who receive an inheritance. But it continues, we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” So, it would appear the first rendering of this passage, of our receiving or obtaining an inheritance from God, is accurate and supported by Scripture.
    But what about the...

    • 43 min
    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

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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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