A show for marketplace Christians to energize and encourage you to live out your faith every day, right where you are. Begin your day with Christ-centered ideas to share your joy with those around you. Add in weekly interviews with other like-minded Christians so you can share in their joy and learn…
The passage for today is Proverbs 6:2-4. It says, "If you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth or caught by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself. Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, go humble yourself and be urgent with your neighbor to free yourself. You have no sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids." This passage is telling us that if we have said something that we regret, we should humble ourselves and apologize to the person we offended. We should do this quickly, before the situation gets worse. This is important because it shows that we are taking responsibility for our actions and that we are willing to make things right. It also helps to restore the relationship that was damaged by our words. When we humble ourselves and apologize, we are showing that we are more concerned about the other person's feelings than we are about our own pride. This is a Christ-like attitude, and it is one that we should all strive to have. If you have said something that you regret, don't wait to apologize. Humble yourself and make things right. It will be worth it in the end.
The passage for today is Proverbs 5:21. It says, "For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he watches all his paths." This means that God is always watching us and he knows everything we do. We should live our lives in a way that pleases God, knowing that he is always watching. We should not do anything that we would be ashamed of if God saw it. We should also be thankful for God's constant presence in our lives. He is always there to help us and guide us. We can trust him with our lives and know that he will never leave us or forsake us. Let us live our lives for God's glory, knowing that he is always watching and that he loves us very much.
What is different about people who follow Jesus? The passage for today is Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day." This verse tells us that the lives of those who follow Jesus should be getting brighter and brighter. This means that we should be growing in our faith and becoming more like Jesus every day. There are a few things that we can do to make sure that our lives are shining brighter and brighter. First, we need to spend time in the Word of God. The Bible is our source of spiritual nourishment, and it helps us to grow in our faith. Second, we need to pray regularly. Prayer is our way of communicating with God, and it helps us to stay connected to Him. Third, we need to be involved in a community of believers. The church is a great place to find support and encouragement from other Christians. When we do these things, we will be able to live lives that are shining brighter and brighter. We will be a light to the world around us, and we will help others to come to know Jesus.
Kindness and truth are key to being a good person and a good Christian. We should strive to be kind and truthful in all that we do, and to let these qualities shine through in our interactions with others. When we are kind and truthful, we are in a position to do what's best for the people around us and to help them move one notch closer to Jesus. We should also remember that kindness and truth are not always easy, but they are always worth it. When we live a life that is kind and truthful, we will find favor and a good reputation in the sight of God and man.
In Proverbs chapter 2, verses 1-5, we learn how to discover the knowledge of God. The author tells us that we must receive God's words and treasure his commandments within us. We must make our ear attentive to wisdom and incline our heart to understanding. If we do these things, we will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. The author reminds us that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord. When we receive God's words and treasure his commandments, we are putting ourselves in a position to understand the knowledge of God. We are also given the opportunity to be a blessing to the people we work with. Let's turn our lives to listening to and trusting God so that we can be his instrument in every interaction we have today.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. This verse from Proverbs 1:7 is the starting point for a series of podcasts on the book of Proverbs. The fear of the Lord is not about being afraid of God, but rather appreciating his power and strength. When we understand his power, we will be in awe of him. God is the origin and beginning of everything, and true knowledge begins with trusting him. The opposite of fearing the Lord is despising wisdom and instruction. This foolishness leads to a life separate from God and uninformed about the eternal. When we despise wisdom and instruction, we become fools. This knowledge of God gives us the freedom to make choices that are informed by the eternal. We can choose to spend our time, money, and energy in ways that matter forever. We can be involved in loving God and loving people, the two great commandments that Jesus gave us. Our actions, choices, and what we do matter forever. The challenge is to live in such a way that we make God visible. We can do this by doing something for someone we work with or go to school with, simply because we follow Jesus. This is our opportunity to make him visible in the world. Being a marketplace minister means considering how our faith can make an eternal difference. It all begins with the knowledge of God and the fear of God. Let's start there today and be a blessing to others.
The passage for today is Mark 4:40-41. It says, "And he said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?' And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?'" In this passage, Jesus is asleep in a boat with his disciples when a storm arises. The disciples are afraid and wake Jesus up, asking him to save them. Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith and then calms the storm. This passage teaches us that we should not be afraid when we face challenges in our lives. Instead, we should trust in Jesus and have faith that he will help us through them. When we have faith in Jesus, we can be confident that he will always be there for us, no matter what.
The passage for today is Mark 4:38. It says, "Jesus himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion and they woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?'" This passage shows us that Jesus is the one who gives us peace. Even in the midst of a storm, Jesus was able to sleep peacefully because he trusted in God. We can have the same peace if we trust in Jesus. When we are worried or anxious, we can remember that Jesus is always with us and he will never leave us or forsake us. We can also pray to God for peace and he will give it to us. Let's all strive to have the peace of Jesus in our lives. Let's trust in him and let him give us the peace that we need.
The passage for today is 2 Thessalonians 3:16. It says, "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." This verse tells us that God is the source of peace. He is the one who can give us peace in all circumstances. When we trust in Him, we can have peace no matter what is going on around us. We can be peacemakers by bringing peace into our relationships and into our workplaces. We can do this by being kind, compassionate, and forgiving. We can also be peacemakers by praying for peace and by working to resolve conflicts. Let us all strive to be peacemakers in our world today. Let us trust in God and let His peace reign in our hearts and minds.
In this devotional, we explore the universal commands in the Bible to give thanks in everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, "Give thanks in everything for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on God's goodness and provision. As we give thanks, we turn ourselves more to Him and step into the potential of the contentment He created us for. We also send a message to the people around us that we know who's in charge and that we trust His character. Let's take some time today to thank God for all He has done and for what we know He will do. Let's be thankful for the people in our lives and for the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Thank you for being a follower of Jesus Christ. Thank you for committing to make a difference in the lives of the people that you work with. Remember what we do because we follow Jesus Matters forever. And it starts with thanks.
Reflecting on Thanksgiving, consider the valuable connection between gratitude and contentment explored by Mike Henry Sr. in the latest Follower of One podcast. Drawing inspiration from 1 Timothy 6:6-7, he emphasizes the genuine nature of contentment, rooted in authentic thankfulness. Challenge yourself to set a goal for the holiday season—to embrace contentment by recognizing and appreciating the gifts life has bestowed upon you. To our amazing listeners, your support is the driving force behind this community. As we approach Thanksgiving, let's not just talk about gratitude but actively make a positive impact in our spheres of influence. Join us in spreading positivity and making a difference as followers of Jesus Christ. Grateful for each one of you. Stay tuned for more!
The passage for today is Matthew 17:20. It says, "He said to them, 'Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'" This verse tells us that even a small amount of faith can have a big impact. When we trust in God, He can do great things through us. We can see this in the story of the mustard seed. A mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds in the world. But when it is planted, it can grow into a large tree. This is because the mustard seed contains all of the information it needs to grow into a tree. In the same way, when we have faith in God, we have all of the resources we need to live a successful life. We may not be able to see the results of our faith right away, but if we keep trusting in God, He will eventually bring our plans to fruition. So don't let your faith be discouraged. Even if it is small, it is still powerful enough to move mountains. Just keep trusting in God and He will do great things through you.
In this episode of the Follower of One podcast, Mike Henry hosted Greg Frost, the driving force behind The Well Exchange. Their conversation unveiled the remarkable journey and mission of The Well Exchange, centered on fusing faith with organizational development. Greg Frost, in this compelling dialogue, shared the evolution of The Well Exchange, providing insights into the unique blend of faith and business strategies at the heart of their operations. Greg Frost is the founder and guiding visionary behind The Well Exchange. His journey into establishing the organization stemmed from personal experiences, including rapid life changes such as marriage, relocation, and a series of transitions within a short span of time. His resilience and reliance on the support of a nurturing community, particularly older women engaged in intercession at their church, laid the foundation for The Well Exchange's inception six years ago. It's not just about prayer – it's about investing time and unwavering commitment to foster a kingdom culture within businesses. Greg's narrative vividly showcased the pivotal role of intercession, coaching, inner healing, and prophetic revelation in transforming organizations. It's an approach that sparks curiosity and the desire to delve deeper into this captivating fusion of faith and business. In this Episode: Foundational Experiences: Rapid life changes led to the inception of The Well Exchange. Intercession and Business Fusion: The integration of faith into business strategies. Developing a Kingdom Culture: Nurturing an organizational environment centered on peace, joy, and righteousness. How to Get Connected: Visit The Well Exchange's Website: Explore their unique blend of services and free resources. Connect with Greg Frost: Engage with the visionary behind The Well Exchange. Podcast Resource: Access the episode to dive deeper into faith-centered business strategies.
The passage for today is Mark 4:31-32. It says, "It's like a grain of mustard seed, which when sown on the ground is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." This passage is about the power of faith. Jesus is saying that even though faith may start out small, it can grow into something big. He compares faith to a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds. But when it is planted, it grows into a large plant that can provide shelter for birds. This is a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of our faith. No matter how small it may seem, it can grow into something great. We just need to plant it in the ground and water it with prayer and trust. If we do this, our faith will grow and we will be able to do great things for God. We will be able to help others and make a difference in the world. So let's not be afraid to share our faith with others. Let's plant the seeds of faith in their hearts and water them with prayer. We never know how big they might grow.
The passage for today is Mark 4:26-27. It says, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows. He knows not how." This passage is a parable about the kingdom of God. Jesus is saying that the kingdom of God is like a seed that is planted in the ground. The seed grows and sprouts, even though the farmer does not know how it happens. This parable teaches us that the kingdom of God is a mystery. We do not always understand how it works, but we can trust that God is at work in it. We can also trust that the kingdom of God will grow and spread, even when we do not see it happening. We can apply this parable to our own lives. We may not always see the results of our work, but we can trust that God is at work in us and through us. We can also trust that the kingdom of God will grow and spread, even when we do not see it happening. Let us not be discouraged if we do not see immediate results from our work. Let us continue to sow the seeds of the kingdom of God, and trust that God will bring about a harvest in his time.
The passage for today is Mark 2:17. It says, "And hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.'" This verse tells us that Jesus came to save sinners, not those who are already righteous. This means that we are all in need of Jesus, no matter how good we think we are. We can help others move one notch closer to Jesus by sharing our faith with them. We can do this by talking to them about Jesus, inviting them to church, or simply living our lives in a way that reflects His love. Let's all remember that we are all sinners and that we all need Jesus. Let's also remember that we have the opportunity to help others come to know Him. Let's not be afraid to share our faith with others and let's pray that they will be open to hearing what we have to say.
Do you ever think of yourself as belonging to Jesus? "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:24 NASB Often, when I memorize a passage of scripture, I often stop there in my study. I confess that until recently, I haven't thought much about this verse. Now, I'm working to memorize it. A friend once told me that to decide means to cut or cut away. She said "decide" is like "homocide. You kill all the other options." This verse says much the same thing. If I choose the Spirit I must crucify my flesh. I have such a hard time with this. I eat too many sweets and I can always come up with a better idea than working out. These are areas where my flesh and it's passions and desires aren't crucified. Does that mean I don't belong to Christ Jesus? I don't think so. I have in so many other areas. We're all works in progress. This side of heaven, there is always some degree of error. I'm grateful for that. Verses 25 and 26 seem to also be speaking to this same issue. Today, thank God for the victories you have already won. If you've been a Christian more than a day, there are areas of your life where you have crucified the flesh. Thank God for those. Focus on the gain. The gap will always be with us. Ask God to help you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Then, take part in a community where you can help and be helped. Check out https://community.followerofone.org. This is an online community where we concentrate on helping one another move one notch closer to Jesus. Community is the habit that can strengthen all of us. Why not join us there. Remember, what we do because we follow Jesus matters forever.
What does it mean to be really free, or to be free indeed? "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 ESV This means that we have the freedom to choose our own path and make our own decisions. We are not bound by the expectations of others or by the circumstances of our lives. We are free to live our lives for God and to make a difference in the world. We can exercise this freedom by taking every thought captive and choosing to obey God. We can also choose to serve others and to love our enemies. When we do these things, we are walking in the freedom that Jesus has given us. We are free indeed when we trust Jesus and follow him. We are no longer slaves to sin or to the world. We are free to live our lives for God and to make a difference in the world.
What would you do if you knew you couldn't lose? “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24 NASB I also talked about this in Episode 93: How to Live Your Eternal Life Now. Check it out.
Just where is the kingdom of God? Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!' or, ‘There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." Luke 17:20-21 NASB95 The kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom, but a spiritual one. It is present wherever Jesus is obeyed. We can live in the kingdom of God by following Jesus and doing what he says. When we forgive someone, when we love someone, or when we serve others so that they might know Jesus or know him better, we are helping others see the kingdom of God. We are living in that kingdom. Our job is to challenge life for ourselves and confront it with life for God, life obeying God. Today, let's live in such a way that we can glorify God because we obey him and we do what he says. Let's remember our job is to simply help others move one notch closer to Jesus. And then what we do because we follow Jesus matters forever.
In Mark 9:24, the father of a sick child cries out to Jesus, "I believe. Help my unbelief." This verse reminds us that even when we have faith, we can still struggle with unbelief. It's okay to admit that we don't have all the answers and that we need God's help to believe more fully. When we go into our workplaces, we should believe that the best things that we can imagine will happen for the people around us. We should believe that they will grow in their knowledge of Jesus, that they will be drawn closer to Him, and that they will experience more joy in this life. We should also believe that Jesus will use us to make a difference in the lives of others. We should pray for opportunities to share our faith and to serve those around us. When we believe in Jesus and do what He says, we can make an eternal difference in the lives of the people we meet every day.
In Mark 9:23, Jesus says, "If you can, all things are possible for one who believes." This is a powerful reminder that anything is possible if we have faith in God. When we believe in Jesus, we are able to tap into His power and accomplish great things. We should go into our workplaces, schools, and other environments with the belief that all things are possible. We should remember that we are called to be God's people in the world and that we have the opportunity to see His glory and accomplish the good things promised in Scripture. Let's go into our environments today and remember that everything is possible for one who believes. Let's believe in Christ and ask Him to inform us and correct our beliefs. Let's be people who believe in Jesus and who are following Jesus. Let's serve others and speak for ourselves in a way that blesses the people around us. We have a miraculous opportunity to live in this world as Christ followers on an eternal clock. All things are possible to the one who believes.
In this podcast, Mike Henry from Follower of One interviews Jason Davis @thefortifiedlife , the founder of Jericho Force Enterprises. Jason shares his journey of moving from a scarcity mindset to a mindset of stewardship and abundance, aligning his financial approach with God's principles. The conversation explores how faith can be integrated into the business world, the importance of taking the next step in sharing one's faith, and the impact of faith in various industries. Jason also discusses his upcoming projects and his podcast, "The Fortified Life," aimed at helping Christian professionals integrate their faith into their work. In this episode: (0:27)Starting Jericho Force Enterprises to provide financial coaching and assistance. (8:10) Writing the book "Fortify: Being Rooted in God's Plan for Work and Business." (12:51)The Profit Blueprint ebook (15:03)Upcoming projects, including a devotional book and speaking engagements. (17:00)Jason's podcast, "The Fortified Life," helping Christian professionals integrate faith into work. (22:01)The role of Follower of One marketplace mission trips in empowering individuals to engage with their faith in the workplace. Jericho Force Enterprises: https://www.jerichoforce.com/ The Fortified Life Podcast: https://www.jerichoforce.com/podcast Jericho Force Enterprises Blog: https://www.jerichoforce.com/blog Jason Davis Linktree: https://linktr.ee/mrfortify
Do you meet the requirement for entering the Kingdom of God? And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:24-25 NASB95 In the previous episode, I talked about how the Kingdom of God belongs to children. Today, we find that it is humanly impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Right after the scene in yesterday's episode, we find Jesus talking with the rich, young ruler.
How can you take possession of the kingdom of God? And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Luke 18:15-16 The Jews are coming to Jesus to be near him and to be blessed by him. The disciples told them not to bother the Teacher. But Jesus responded that the children should be allowed to come to him for the kingdom of God belongs to them. What does this mean? Most every modern translation uses the term "belongs." We have access to the Kingdom of God based on innocent trust. At least that's my understanding. In this passage, Jesus says the children have the kingdom of God in verse 16 and that others receive the kingdom like a child in order to enter it. Think about the Kingdom of God as being something a child can possess. Why do they "have it?" They "received [it] like a child [in order to] enter it."
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry, Sr. Thanks so much for joining me today. I want to finish up this section of Galatians 6. We've been doing a series on this and today we want to do the last two verses of the section that I want to cover. And those are verses 9 and 10. I'm reading from the English Standard Version "And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." I love this section of Galatians because it's a great practical guide for how we can interact with the people that we come into contact with every day. And he's reminding us here not to grow weary. He just used this analogy, we talked about yesterday, or in the previous episode, he used this analogy of sewing, planting, and growing. And he's reminding us too, that it takes time. In due season, we will reap, if we do not give up. Many times, we do what the Spirit tells us to do, and we don't see any results, or we see results that appear to be negative. In my case, I struggled in my career. For many years, I would ask God to use me, to show me what to do, to get me out of the workplace that I was in and put me to work for him. And what he was doing was he was preparing me. I used to tell people that I was career challenged because I'd had so many jobs and I'd worked for so many different people. And I was almost never happy in my work. And the times when I was happy, those companies went out of business. I felt like I had the kiss of death from a career perspective. But this verse came back, “if we do not give up." Now after being a Christian for over 30 years, I'm experiencing great joy because I get to help you figure out how to integrate your faith into your daily life. That's my goal is to help believers integrate their faith, make their faith part of what they do every day. I begin that by praying. I punch in, I want to get on my eternal clock and say, "Here I am God." And then I want to do what I'm told. I don't need to grow weary in doing what I'm told by the Holy Spirit, because in due season, I will reap if I do not give up. Many days I reap right then. I experience the joy of walking with Jesus. I experience the satisfaction of knowing that, even what happened to me today does not end up resulting in negative things; that God uses it all and causes good to come from all of it. So then as we have opportunities, let's listen to the Holy Spirit and do what he says. We can do good to everyone, especially to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let's find a way today to share God's love with others through our actions. It begins with prayer. He will give you ideas. He will give you questions, and he will make suggestions that might sound a little crazy. But if you can do them, then he will give you more. Let's practice today following Jesus in our workplace. Because in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up. Look for a way to bless someone that you work with today, someone that you interact with today. Some little thing that pops into your head is an idea given to you by God, to bless someone else. Try it out and see what happens. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for investing your life in trying to find Jesus and trying to reap the eternal life that he talks about. You will experience joy doing good and if you don't, reach out to me, I'd love to communicate with you. You can shoot me a note at email@example.com. Or you can check us out in our online community, https://community.followerofone.org. You can find all of that on our website at https://followerofone.org. Thanks so much for being a marketplace minister. And thank you. In advance I want to thank you for the difference that you're going to make at work today.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry, Sr. Thanks for joining me today. I'd like to continue our conversation. in Galatians 6. Today I want to read verses 7 and 8 from the English Standard Version. "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." I titled this podcast "Begin With the End in Mind." And that's from Stephen Covey's book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. But the idea originates here in scripture, and I think it might even predate this. The apostle Paul though is reminding us that whatever we sow we also reap. This is a farming analogy. Our point is that if you put a seed in the ground, that's, what's going to grow whatever seed you put in there. That's what's going to grow. So, if you want a particular crop, you have to plant that crop. Well in our lives, we only have two choices. I don't know if you notice here, but this is very limiting. There are only two choices. Either we sow to the Spirit, or we sow to the flesh. Everything that's not us asking God for direction, everything that's not us looking to God for guidance, it's our flesh. It's what we want. There are only two gods on this planet, the God of the universe and me. And if I'm God, this whole thing doesn't work. But if he's God, then we get from the Spirit what we sow. We get eternal life. Also, the word's eternal life here in this translation and in others, remind me of a great book by John Ortberg Eternity Is Now In Session. We actually experience our eternal life. When we walk with Jesus when we go through our day with him. When we're sowing to the Spirit, we experience the eternal life now. Those of us who trust Jesus, we have the opportunity to live in our eternal life or to live in the temporal life. In 2 Corinthians 4:18, it says that the things that are unseen are eternal, but the things that are seen are temporal. That's not an exact quote, but my point is, if I can see it, if it's something that's going on, it's not eternal. If it's all the things that we can see and touch and feel they'll burn up. But all the things that we do because we listened to the Spirit, those things last forever. So, what's the application for us today? Today, I want to challenge you as you go to work, whoever you interact with today, remember to pray for them before you start. Remember to ask God to show you how he would have you interact with them. Ask him to give you ideas for questions to ask. The Lord will give us questions. He will guide us to ask things that will cause other people to share information with us so that we might appreciate them more and express that appreciation and help them feel appreciated. And we may also find ways to serve them. Those are our action items. And then, because we practiced being able to explain that Jesus is the motive behind everything that we do, we can also speak when someone asks. These are our daily activities that we talk about in Follower of One. It all begins with prayer. We can't sow to the Spirit unless we know the Spirit, unless we're chasing after Jesus and listening to God. Today, let's sow to the Spirit and watch him transform our lives. We will reap eternal life, not at some point in the future, but even today, you may experience some.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome to the Follower of One podcast. I'm Mike Henry, Sr. and our mission at Follower of One is to help every marketplace Christian see themselves as a full-time minister, as someone who's available to serve the people around them. We're currently going through Galatians 6 and we're on verses 5 and 6 today. I'm reading from the New American Standard. "For each one will bear his own load. The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him." I purposely put these two verses together. In your translation, I would be willing to bet there's a paragraph break in between verses 5 and 6, that 6 begins a new paragraph. But I'm not sure that it does. I wonder if Paul wasn't continuing his thought. The thought was, we begin 1 and 2 by bearing other's burdens. And then three, four, and five are about us not being prideful or arrogant about that, but being humble, not boasting in regard to anyone, but what we do ourselves. We can't compare ourselves to anyone else. And then five and six, I think tie together because Paul's reminding us that we are all taught. We are all students. We are all learning our faith and learning how to grow it and learning how to deliver it into the world. And then each one of us has to learn individually. This is not a contradiction about bearing one another's burdens in verse two. We bear our own load when it comes to how we learn the faith and how we live it out in the world. That's up to us. Much of what we learn though comes from others. And therefore, we should share all good things with the one who teaches us. Often, I learn some great lessons from people that I don't like or from people who are not believers. I've learned much about how to live my faith on a daily basis from challenging work environments. I was taught much by many people simply because I was looking and searching. I was also taught by pastors. I've sat at the feet of pastors. I've been in church for my entire career as a follower of Jesus. I'm regularly in a church on Sunday. And that's because we have to be taught the word of Christ. We don't get to learn this on our own. Our job is to be a learner, to follow Jesus, and to be open to input from other people. This is a command I believe to humility. To remembering that we didn't invent our faith and that we didn't just get it from God like Moses, we got it through the holy spirit, but through friends and people that were around or people that we're listening to. And so, the challenge for us today, I believe is to be humble. To remember that what we know about the faith and where we are in our spiritual walk, it all came to us from other people. Therefore, we should share all good things with the one who teaches us. Let's be humble today. Let's go into our workplace with an attitude of being a learner. God can teach us much through the people that we interact with, whether they're believers or not. And then we have a humble spirit, we will learn more and we will grow more. And Jesus will use us more. This humility, I think is part of us bearing our own load. You have a ministry in your workplace. Your ministry is how your faith becomes visible to every person that you interact with every day. We bear our own load and therefore we're in a position to share with others when we are taught. Let's be humble along those lines. Today, I want to challenge us. I can always hear another story or a lesson on humility. There's always more humility for me. And I expect there is for you. Let's ask God to show us where we can be humble, where we can be taught, what we can learn in our environments today. Let's be sharers, so that we make a difference, and our faith makes a difference in our daily life. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for remembering that every action you take because you follow Jesus Christ matters. And how we show up in the lives of the people that we interact with daily, that matters too. Thanks very much for being a minister and for making a difference in your workplace.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of one podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry. Thanks for joining us again today. We're in part two of Honest Self Evaluation from Galatians 6:3-5. And today I'd like to read that passage in the Christian Standard Bible. “For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load." Yesterday. I read this from the New American Standard, and you can tell there are differences in translation. We talked a little bit about not comparing ourselves to others or not thinking that we are something when we're nothing. So, we have to be careful what we compare ourselves to because in verse four, he says, we need to examine our own work. We need to be objective about how we live and then we can take pride in our self alone, but we can't compare ourselves to other people. Comparison is a trap. Comparison is what we use to make ourselves feel superior to others. Oftentimes I'll use comparison to make myself feel inferior to others. I feel like I don't measure up and I beat myself up about something. Then I always try and find someone who's better off than me to compare myself to. When I want to feel good about myself, then I try and find someone who's not as well off as me. In every case that's a lie. These feelings that we have when we compare ourselves to others, they're false. They're a lie. It's us and Jesus. There's no one else to compare ourselves to. We're each on our own plan. And that's one of the things that we'd like to talk about here at Follower of One. I want to encourage you: our first daily activity is to pray. We try and remind ourselves about five daily activities on a regular basis. 1) Pray, 2) Appreciate others, 3) Know what you believe, 4) Serve others, and 5) Speak for yourself. Those are the five daily activities. Prayer is first because this is between us and Jesus. How you show up is a mix of who you are, what Jesus has called you to, all of your experiences and all of your history, and the environment that you're in, and the people that you're around. You shouldn't do exactly the same thing as any other believer, most of the time. Most of our time, my prayers will look a little different than yours. My actions will look a little different than yours. My calling and my relationship with the people that I work with will look different than your calling and your relationship and the people that you work with. So, let's not compare ourselves to one another. Rather let's compare ourselves, let's evaluate our relationship to Jesus. Are we doing what he said? If we're doing what he said, then we're examining our own work. We can take pride in what we've done, because we did what Jesus told us to do. Each person will have to carry his own load. I'm not going to win any awards for something someone else did. My job is to listen to Jesus and do what he says. And I'm blessed when I do that, I experienced the peace and the joy of trusting Jesus and walking with him. There've been many years when I really thought I was out in left field. And I might've been. I didn't seem to fit in the church. We've actually talked in our community about how many of us feel underutilized in the church. And it's because our gifting doesn't line up with many of the jobs that the church has for us. And that's, what's so cool about Follower of One. We want to invite you to talk with Jesus and let Jesus put you to work. And this way we will examine our own work, and not compare ourselves with others for each person will carry his own load. Jesus one day will ask you, "what did you do with what I gave you"? Today let's follow Jesus. Today, let's ask him what he would have us do. And then as long as it lines up with scripture and it isn't illegal, then let's try and figure out how to do it. Let's solve for how. Our goal is to make Jesus visible in our world. When we obey him, we start that process. We begin to make that happen. Let's trust Jesus and live like we follow him, and he will put us to work. And I promise you won't feel underutilized. Jesus will put you to work in your workplace and in a big way. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. And thank you for making a difference with your faith. Everything you do because you follow Jesus matters. So today let Jesus invade your workplace and put you to work.
In this podcast, Steve Irby from Stillwater Designs shares his journey from starting a speaker company to integrating his faith into his business. He talks about how his faith influenced his decisions, particularly in how he treated people, even in a competitive business environment. Steve emphasizes the importance of trusting God in business decisions rather than relying solely on quick, profit-driven choices. He also highlights the significance of seeking God's guidance and finding peace in decision-making. Steve's story showcases the intersection of faith and work, demonstrating that following Jesus can have a positive impact on how we conduct ourselves in the business world. It's a testament to how faith can shape one's values and decisions in both personal and professional life. Follow Steve Irby Connect on LinkedIn Connect With Kicker Website: www.kicker.com Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ph/kickeraudio/ X/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KICKERaudio LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/kicker-audio/about/ Connect With Follower Of One Join us over in our Online Community, get social with us; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Listen to our podcast on your way to work and subscribe using your favorite podcast app! https://www.facebook.com/followerofone https://instagram.com/followerofone1 https://twitter.com/followerofone1 https://www.linkedin.com/company/follower-of-one https://plinkhq.com/i/1482955686
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry Sr. I'm grateful to have you here today. We've been talking a little bit through Galatians 6, and today we're on verses 3-5: "For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself, but each one must examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load." That's from the New American Standard Bible. I could probably talk about verse three for the entire time today. "If anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." This is a definition of me. I feel like I'm often wrong, but seldom in doubt. I often think I'm something, but I have to be reminded regularly by God that I'm nothing. I'm not nothing because he died on the cross for me. But I believe that Paul is making a comparison here. When it comes to saving ourselves - and he will talk about this and the next two verses, and this is how I believe he completes this meaning of this word, "nothing" here. We deceive ourselves when we believe that something we do matters for our own salvation. There's nothing about us that's a good. We do good things because God calls us to, and we make those choices and those are great things. But overall, when it comes to saving ourselves, we're nothing. We're destined to destruction. "If we think ourselves something, when we're not, we deceive ourselves." And the different translations also talk about this. I noticed in the CSB, it says. "If anyone considers himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." In the New Living Translation. It says, "If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You're not that important." The Message says, "If you think you're too good for that, you're badly deceived." And the message is a little more discussional, but the point here is our job is to bear one another's burdens. We're not above bearing other people's burdens. And if we think we are above that, we deceive ourselves. "Each one must examine his own work," it says in verse four, "and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone and not in regard to another." Again, the New American Standard is a little forced in the translation here because it tries to get a very accurate translation of each word. I believe what we're being told is we're not better off than the people we need to bear burdens for. Our job is to bear the burdens of others. And we're not better off. Today, let's not think better of ourselves than we ought to. Let's not deceive ourselves. I want to stop right here because there's much to be talked about with regard to this word boasting and how each one of us will bear our own load. So, we'll pick that up in the next episode. Today, let's remember, what we think of ourselves doesn't matter necessarily. We don't want to deceive ourselves. We want to think accurately and examine our own work objectively, not compare ourselves to others. Our job is to look out for the people around us, to look for opportunities to bear other people's burdens and not think of ourselves as above or better than that situation. Today in your workplace, I'm praying that you find an opportunity where you can bear someone else's burdens, where you can learn more about them and be in a position to help them. Let's pay attention to the people around us so that we can make a difference in their life. We can have the opportunity to bear their burdens today. Let's not think ourselves something when we are nothing. Today let's trust Jesus and do what he says. Thanks for being a marketplace minister. And thank you for listening to this podcast. Please share this with one friend today, or if you didn't think this was that great of an episode, let us know what you think. Tell us what you would like us to talk about. I'll be going through Galatians 6 for a few more days. Thanks very much for your ministry.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry Sr. And today's podcast is a part two. It's a continuation of the passage from yesterday. I want to reread the whole passage from yesterday. We're reading Galatians 6:1-2. And I'm reading from the English Standard Version. "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." We pretty well covered verse one yesterday or in the previous episode. Today, though, I want to talk about this challenge to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. What does it mean to bear someone else's burdens? Does it mean to be aware of them? You'll notice in scripture, there are a number of places where we're told to do different things for one another. The apostle Paul is challenging us here to bear one another's burdens. What might that mean? In our workplaces I think it requires us that we know that we get to know the people around us, not in a prying way, but in a transparent way. We need to know enough about the people around us through genuine interest. This is not through prying. I'm not trying to find out things about my coworkers so that I might be able to use that against them or use that to judge them or to classify them. I want to know about my coworkers because I'm genuinely interested in them. I think we do our world a disservice, if all of our first-tier friends are people that live in some other part of town, and we see them on the weekends at church. If we don't have friends in our workplaces, I believe we're not well equipped to bear their burdens. We need to have good friends in our workplaces. And the way that happens is by expressing a genuine interest in other people. This genuine interest is magnetic. In some regards, it's not always the case, but we tend to reciprocate. I don't know if you've ever noticed. I often say this. We tend to like the people who like us, not always because there are sometimes when things just get a little strange. But genuinely, if you have a genuine interest in someone else, they will have a genuine interest in you or vice versa. And I don't even know which one comes first. But I believe as Christians, it's our job to have a genuine interest in others so that we can become aware of what's going on in their lives. In the United States, especially, but in the west, we have enough money to keep the world from knowing much about what's going on in our lives. We can hire people to fix things and we can manage our own troubles. And our coworkers may not even know what's going on. But I'm challenging us as believers in Christ to be people who are in a position to bear another person's burdens. I also don't think this is a command only to Christians. In other words, I need to bear the burdens of people who are around me, if they're agnostic or atheist or if they belong to another religion. My goal is to be someone who's ready to bear the burdens of another person. And therefore, I will fulfill the law of Christ. I will be living in a way that Jesus did. Jesus didn't ask us if we wanted to be saved. He came and saved us. And I believe we need to be in a position to serve the people around us. "Bear one another's burdens" is my version of serving people, knowing enough about them to find ways to be a blessing to them. Today, I want to challenge us as believers. Let's look around us. Are we as good a friend as we can be? Are we interested genuinely in the people around us? Are we in a position to be able to bear their burdens? And if the answers to those questions are no, then let's ask the Holy Spirit to help us change. That's our job as marketplace ministers. Thank you for being a minister in the marketplace. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of the people around you. It all matters. If you'd like to hear more podcasts like this and join a community of people who are actively involved, trying to integrate their faith more into their daily lives, check us out at https://followerofone.org. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry senior. And today I want to talk about Galatians 6:1-2. I'm reading from the English Standard Version. "Brothers. If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself. Lest you are too. Be tempted, bear one another's burdens. And so, fulfill the law of Christ." This book and this verse, this passage, verses one and two of chapter six are aimed at believers. The "brothers" comment there translated in the CSB as "brothers and sisters,” in the New American Standard, it's translated as "brethren." It's basically saying "you who are believers in Jesus, you're our brothers and sisters. And then it says, "if anyone is caught in any transgression." When I was first taught this verse, my initial understanding, I'm not sure it was even the fault of the teachers, but my initial understanding was "if anyone" referred to those brothers, in other words, this passage applied to Christians interacting between Christians. Now studying the verse, a little more and praying about this, and I still may be wrong. I believe that "anyone" here, "brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression," I believe that anyone means anyone. I believe it's very general and it's not limited to just other believers. In other words, "brothers, if any brother is caught in any transgression," would be different than "brothers if anyone is caught in any transgression." I believe this is a command to us as believers to be peacemakers in the world, to be those who build one another up and who bear one another's burdens. We're challenged in this passage that for anyone who falls short, who has an error, "who's caught in any trespass," one translation says. Another one says, "is caught in any sin" or "is overtaken in any wrongdoing." Anybody screws up, we who are spiritual should restore that person in a spirit of gentleness. What does that mean? Well, it doesn't mean that we hold a grudge. Often in our workplaces, we keep score. We keep track of how other people have dropped the ball or how someone failed in the past. Here I believe he's challenging us to create restoration, to help put things back. To help things get back to being right. Not just being to where the damage is controlled but being as right as it can be. And we want to restore that person in a spirit of gentleness, which means that we don't do this complaining or sighing, which I'm famous for having done. I would make faces or go, "Oh, whatever!" I don't think that was biblical. I don't think that was in accordance with this passage. I need to have a spirit of gentleness. I want to bring a spirit of gentleness to the situation because I might be tempted. Now, I don't know exactly what temptation he's talking about here, but some of the temptations that I faced where I would be tempted to think better of myself than the other person, or I would be tempted to think that I was immune from the kind of mistake that they made. I want to challenge us. If anyone drops the ball, comes up short, fails in their work, let's be the people who restore that person with a spirit of gentleness. Let's keep watch over the others around us and ourselves so that we're not tempted to think better of ourselves. Today our challenge: watch for people around you. When people fumble or drop the ball, don't let them beat themselves up. Help restore them in a spirit of gentleness. This is what we try and do. We encourage one another through our online community, at Follower of One. And I want to encourage you with this podcast. These commands that were given all throughout scripture to be difference makers in our workplaces, these commands apply to every one of us. This is not just for the super spiritual. This is a choice that we can all make every day in our job to bring a spirit of gentleness and to look for people to restore. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of the people around you. Join us as we work to get better at this in the online community, https://community.followerofone.org. You can join us there and take part in the next Marketplace Mission Trip, where we practice these things on a daily basis. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry. And I'm grateful that you've joined me. This is a challenging verse to explain for me, because I fail so badly in this area. James 5:9, "Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door." I don't see any way around this command to not complain. And yet I complain a lot. Literally the word is groan. In, the English Standard Version. It says, "do not grumble against one another brothers." I do believe that he's speaking to believers, but I'm not too sure it's constructive to complain about anything ever. When I look at my own life, I can't see anything constructive that came from a simple complaint. Often it was from a request to do something differently. Often, I would need to ask someone else, "Hey, could we do this differently?" You can get into a situation where you're not comfortable or something doesn't seem right. But asking to make something better is not complaining. I think this word "complain" and more accurately "grumble" here in the English Standard means whining, complaining about what's going on without being able to offer a suggestion or a way to make things better. We all know there's a right way to request something be changed. And there are several bad ways. Much of what happens in our world today, I think is people just complaining. They feel powerless to make a difference. And so, they just want to create some grief, or they just want to get applause from someone else who's complaining. Look at what you talk about in social media. Look at the way we interact with one another in our world. Look at the way that different things happen. I want to do a better job of identifying what it is that I'd like to be improved and then request that something be changed. "Could we do this a different way?" is much different than just whining about the way it's being done. Today, I want to challenge myself and I hope I challenge you. If you hear this, when it airs we're in the holiday season. It's easy to get tired and angry and frustrated with traffic and the things that are going on around us. I want to complain less. If you interact with me, ask me how I'm doing. Challenge me to complain less. Challenge me to have constructive, positive things to say, not to grumble so that I'll be judged, but rather to lift others up. To share and to offer a blessing and an encouragement, something that might motivate someone else. There's so many opportunities that we have to be a blessing to the people around us and in my mind, many of those opportunities begin by simply not complaining. So today I want to listen to James. I want to not complain. What about you? Are you willing to pray and ask God to help you not complain as well? Let's try it today and see how God makes a difference in our day. Thank you so much for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for helping other people move one notch closer to Jesus. I pray that you're actively considering following and practicing our five daily activities. I also would ask that you consider joining the Follower of One online community? It's at https://community.followerofone.org. And you can join for no cost. You can take part in our next Marketplace Mission Trip. We have a Marketplace Mission Trip coming up in about six weeks, and you can learn more about how to live your faith every day, integrate your faith into your daily life and experience the joy of following Jesus every day of the week. Check it out at https://community.followerofone.org. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry Sr. I'm grateful that you're joining us today. So today I want to talk about Hebrews 10:14 "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." That was from the English Standard Version. Do you ever think about the word sanctification or what sanctification means? In a way, it just means to be set apart for something special. We dedicate certain things may have good dishes, maybe putting out your Christmas dishes right now, as you hear this. In this chapter, the author is talking about the Jewish sacrifices, and it begins in Hebrews 10:1. He points out that the sacrifice has never finished the job. They had to sacrifice over and over and over again for thousands of years. But the sacrifices never made them right with God, for the long haul. To be holy or to be sanctified, that means to be totally dedicated for a special use. Sacrifice is only substituted for the payment for our failure. God allowed the Jewish people to make a sacrifice to pay for their failures. The next failure had the same problem though. They had to sacrifice again. The sacrificial system was only designed to point people to Jesus. This passage states that Jesus completed or that he perfected for all time, the sacrificial system. He ended it. I often, when I mess up, when I spend time not thinking about God, when I overeat or when I behave in some way, that's just not God honoring, sometimes I feel like I have to give penance, or I have to make some penalty. And I think that goes back to, what's built into us around these sacrifices. This passage is telling us that Jesus finished this job. Now I confess, I don't understand God. He went to a tremendous amount of trouble to save us. I can't fathom the extent of the trouble and I can't even imagine the expense and the difficulty. But Jesus has made it all seem so easy for us. Our salvation is complete. We experienced this one offering that completed for all time those who are sanctified. And yet there's still a job for us. There's a calling for us to continue to grow in our relationship with Jesus too. I would like to concentrate on the piece of this that Jesus has finished. I've been set apart for God. Now there's still growth that needs to happen in my life. And that growth is sometimes called sanctification as well. But I have been set apart. I have been completed; my sacrifices have been completed through Christ. I've been freed so that I can join Jesus in his work in our world. My seat with Jesus is reserved and therefore I'm free to take part in Jesus's work in our world. Today, let's enjoy being completed. Let's enjoy being God's perfected people. No, we're not perfect. We don't live out the perfection, but the credit for that perfection, as far as it stands in our relationship with God is credited to our account. We're free to help others move closer to Jesus today because of what he's done for us. How might that affect your plans for today? Might that change the way that you interact with the people that you come in contact with today? I hope it does. I hope today that we can focus our energy and our faith on how we live because of what Jesus has done for us. We're free to now take part in helping others move one notch closer to Jesus. And that's what ministry is. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others. Let's remember today that Jesus has completed the payment for us. And it's our job to simply live as his friends and his children and invite other people to move one notch closer with Jesus. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Hey, it's Mike Henry Sr. with Follower of One. Welcome back to our podcast and today's devotional. I want to dig back into the Old Testament again. This has to do with my daily reading, and I was reading in 2 Chronicles 25:9. I'll read you the whole verse, but we're going to just focus on the very end. "And Amaziah said to the man of God, "But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?" The man of God answered, "The Lord is able to give you much more than this." The kingdom of Israel was split. You remember there were 12 tribes, 10 went to the Northern kingdom after Solomon passed away. Ten went to the Northern kingdom and were called Israel. And the two remained in the Southern kingdom, Judah and Benjamin, and they were called the kingdom of Judah. It also happens that all the Kings of the Northern kingdom were not God-followers and some of the Kings of the Southern kingdom were good guys. They were trying to follow God. And this fellow who was the king was named Amaziah. And Amaziah was planning to go to war with another kingdom, but he was afraid he didn't have enough of an army. And back then you needed a lot of people to win a battle. You needed God to be on your side too. Amaziah paid a chunk of change to the king of Israel to get an extra a hundred thousand men to fight with him. And this man of God came to him in verse seven, it says, and he says, "Do not let the army of Israel go with you for the Lord is not with Israel, nor is he with any of the sons of Ephraim." That's anyone in the Northern kingdom. "But if you do go do it, be strong for the battle and God will bring you before the enemy." He says he will bring you down before the enemy because God has the power to help. And he has the power to bring down. And Amaziah, said, "But what shall we do? We've invested a hundred talents." This is a hundred year wages. I've got this sunk cost. My challenge for us today is to not sell God short. Let's not take the things that we've done and stick with them when we believe we're convicted by God to trust him. Here, the man of God is challenging this king. "Trust God. And he will give you this win." Now, Amaziah let go of the troops of Israel and, and they even created some more trouble for him. But Amaziah trusted God in this particular case and was victorious in this battle. Where are we not trusting God today? That's my challenge for us. Where am I not trusting him? I can think of one place in particular. And so as I record this, I'm challenging myself to follow through on this need to trust God. I want to trust God. I don't want to worry about the money that's already been invested or any sunk costs or any sunk effort. "The Lord has much more to give you than this." It says New American Standard and in the English Standard, it says, "The Lord is able to give you much more than this." God has everything and he owns everything. When we listen to him, and when we trust him and obey him, that's when we get to see him work. We get to see him make a difference in the world, through us or near us. We get to take part in it. I want to challenge us today. Trust God, ask him, "Where am I not trusting you?" Should I trust you to go into battle with what I have or should I, bend my commitments? Should I cut corners, or should I take shortcuts?" I believe that if we can trust God and do what he calls us to do, that he will become visible and he will work great miracles in our presence if we will trust him. Today in your workplace. Let's challenge ourselves, ask God where he would have us trust him, and then do it. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for investing some of your energy and your time and your effort to making a difference for the kingdom of God in your daily job. It matters. Practice the five daily activities. Check our online community out at https://community.followerofone.org, where you can join us for free and take part in the next Marketplace Mission Trip. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Hey, welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry. And I'm looking forward to today's message. Today. I want to talk about 2 Corinthians 5:14 "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died." And that's from the English Standard Version of the Bible. I'm tempted to bring in the next verse two. And I may stumble over into that. This is a favorite passage of mine, as many of these are. So, I apologize about that, but I hope you hear the excitement. I want the love of Christ to control me. The love of Christ controls us. That could either be Christ's love for us or our love for him. It doesn't really say. Can you agree? It's just you talking to you now, does the love of Christ control you? Does it control me? I work often to be more controlled by the love of Jesus. I read my Bible and I work on these podcasts. I go back to first Corinthians 9:27, even "to discipline my body and make it my slave." Maybe if I do that for long enough, I can say that the love of Christ controls me. Sometimes. I honestly don't believe the love of Christ controls me, but I would like his love to capture more my attention to be a bigger part of my daily life. I can give Jesus the ability to control me and step one of that is step one of our daily activities. It's to pray. "Jesus, here I am. Would you put me to work for you today? I want to ask you to take over my life, to let me be so absorbed with the love of Christ that I'm controlled." And I want to let go of the other things that might be controlling me. I want to achieve a goal, so I take an action and I believe that my actions contribute more to that goal than the love of Christ. But today I want Jesus to show me an action that I can sacrifice. This is not a job activity. I'm not talking about you sacrificing part of your job responsibilities. We still need to do what our managers and our leaders expect. We still need to do excellent work all the time. But what's something that we cannot do and trust Jesus? One of those things is worry. Another one of those things might be working extra to make something happen. It's late in the year as I record this. Have you taken all of your vacation time, or do you need to take some vacation time and spend it with your family? I can pray and read my Bible instead of doing something else, instead of watching TV or playing a video game. I can trust a coworker rather than checking up on them or following up on them and nagging them. And for those of you that I've nagged, I apologize. I want the love of Christ to control me. So today, at least on this podcast, I choose to be controlled by the love of Christ. Then let's ask him, Jesus, control me today. Let's keep asking. "Please, may I, so concentrate on your love for me that I enjoy my relationship with you and trust you more than ever. What would you have me to do? Jesus, take my life over and do what you want with it. I want to listen to you today. Use me as a minister in this workplace to be a blessing to others for you." That's the way that I want the love of Christ to control my life. What about you? Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Thank you if you have the courage to pray that prayer. Let's let God direct us on how we impact the lives of the people that we work with every day. The natural result is that we would no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died and rose again for us. Let's live for Christ because his love for us and our love for him controls us today. If you think about it, join the community, https://community.followerofone.org. Let's put people into our lives that are helping us be controlled by the love of Christ on a daily basis so that we can serve the people that we interact with every day. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Hey, it's Mike Henry with the Follower of One podcast. Welcome back. Thanks for joining us. Today, let's talk about Galatians 5:1 (ESV) "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to yoke of slavery." I think it's interesting because I believe Jesus came to set us free. Sometimes I think we take that freedom for granted. We're created with the freedom to choose. God created us with this ability to choose. And all of the effort that I believe that Jesus has gone through to save us is designed to protect our freedom of choice. We choose wrongly before we even know, and we suffer the consequences of being separated from God. All of us choose some way of life other than Jesus. But then Jesus paid for our poor choices so that we could still have another chance. In our previous episode, I asked you to consider the question, "God, what do you want me to change today?" Jesus set us free to hear God's answer and then to choose to do it. Galatians 5:1 says it was for freedom, that Christ set us free. He got us back out of our yoke of slavery, our bondage to slavery. We go back into that mode when we choose to obey our own flesh. But we have the freedom to step out of that mode because Christ died on the cross for us and he gave us the opportunity to step out of this yoke, this chain, this slavery model. And we can stand firm, therefore, as it talks about here today, Jesus set us free to hear God's answer to that question and then choose to do it. We were set free for that very freedom. What was your choice? Jesus paid for your freedom. Did you take advantage of that payment by Jesus yesterday? Or will you today? If we want to be active with our faith every day, we begin by saying yes to God. We listen to the Holy Spirit, and we do what he says. This verse goes on to say that we can stand firm in our new life and not be a slave to sin any longer. Let's ask God the question again today. God, what would you have me change today? Then let's do what he says. Let's choose today to do whatever he challenges us to do. This is convicting to me, because there are things going on in my life, I know I ought to be doing. And so, I have to confront those as I speak to you about this, on this podcast. It's a challenging place to be, but let's be there. Let's challenge ourselves to follow Jesus, to step into the freedom that he paid for and not submit again to this yoke of slavery. Our habits and our environment are powerful things. If we can start the habit of saying yes to God, we strengthen our muscle. We may need to hang out with some other believers who have the guts to ask God this question over and over and over again, and then step into the answer. Don't underestimate the pull of our enemy, our flesh, and our habits. Let's get the help we need. You can join the online community of Follower of One. That's what it's designed to do. It's designed to create an opportunity for us to be able to connect with other believers who intentionally try and live their faith every day. Check it out at https://followerofone.org. You can take part in the Marketplace Mission Trips for free as well. We simply ask you if it's beneficial to you to pay it forward. Thanks for being a marketplace minister. And thank you for making a difference in the lives of the people that you're around every day. Let's ask God the question, "God, what would you have me change today?" And then do what he says. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm your host, Mike Henry Sr. Today. I want to talk about James 2:26, "For as the body, apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." That's from the English Standard Version. We talk about work regularly here, but we're not talking about your job today. We're talking about actions that we take because we follow Jesus. James is explaining how we can claim to believe. But if that belief never changes our lives in any way, we're just fooling ourselves or we're trying to. If we claim to believe in Jesus, but we do not change as a result, we don't know him very well. We're not really following him. And I think this sometimes gets mistaken in the tug of war that kind of goes on about trusting God with my salvation. If I trust God with my salvation, then I should live differently. I shouldn't just trust him and relax and not do anything different. By trusting him it means that I now live differently because I believe that what he says matters. One of those great examples is with the tithe. Do you give some of your money to support the church; to support the work of God? We give a 10th of our income or more. We give whatever we give, because we trust God to do more with the remainder of what we keep than what he would do if we kept it all. It's the same concept behind being closed on Sunday or taking a Sabbath rest day or going to church. If you spend a couple of hours every week going to a local church or being a part of a body of believers so that your relationship with God can grow, God has the ability to use the rest of your time to bless you more than you might possibly be blessed by using all of your own time. God challenges us to give away things from time to time because we trust him. We trust him to do more with what we hang on to. That's the way I think we're called to be at work. We get a challenge to live our life differently in the workplace. We can give away more than is expected of us. We can do more than our job might demand. We can give to our coworkers and bless our customers or our vendors more. We're free to do that. Today, I want to challenge us. Let's use our true faith and let's ask God to make it cause a change in our lives. If we claim to be Jesus' followers, let's ask God one quick question right now. "God, what do I need to change today?" Can you ask God that question? The things that come to your mind are from him. You can tell him "No." You can think, " God, I can't really do that." Or "God, you really don't want me to do that today, do you?" This is very convicting to me, because I've been struggling with myself in a particular area as well. And now I need to take action on what I just told you. So, let's ask ourselves one more question. "What happens if I don't listen to God?" I want to follow Jesus more and more every day. Do you? Today let's turn to him and follow him. What he puts on your mind today to do, figure out a way to get it done. Do things that glorify him. Do things that you know that he would have you do in your workplace simply because you trust him. Let's follow him. This is between us and Jesus. My prayer is that today we are each courageous enough to ask this prayer and then act on the answer we hear. You'll be blown away by what happens next. If you want to be a part of a community of people who are trying to grow in their faith and trying to make a difference in the world that they live in every day, then check us out over at https://followerofone.org. We'd love for you to join our community and join us on the next Marketplace Mission Trip. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Hey, welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm Mike Henry Sr. Today, I want to talk about 2 Chronicles 15:1-2. We don't often do a lot from the Old Testament, but this is a challenging passage that I happened to read the other day and I wanted to pass it along. The verse reads like this, "Now the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, Listen to me Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you're with him. And if you seek him, he will let you find him. But if you forsake him, he will forsake you." Now I read that from the New American Standard. That word "forsake," that's like "abandon." If we abandon God, he will abandon us. This is a challenging word from the Lord. This prophet has been challenged to go talk to the king and to remind him that if you we are with God, if we seek him, if we pursue God, then he will let us find him. But if we abandon him, he will abandon us. Let's remember who we seek. Let's remember where we want to point our heart and our desires and our ambitions. For me, it's so easy to get wrapped up in the things of work, to try and get the next promotion to try and pursue the next shiny object or the next thing we want to buy. It's so hard to follow after God. But if we can follow after God and remind ourselves to seek him, then we have this promise and many more that God will be with us when we are with him. And if we seek him, he will let us find him. Our relationship with God is so far outside of our control, it's hard to fathom. And yet God has given us this ability that if we truly turn toward him, he will let us find him. But if we're joking with ourselves or if we're lying to ourselves or if we just choose not to have anything to do with God, he'll let us go that way too. The key to our life is learning to live it pointed towards God. In the Follower of One community, we try to encourage each other to be intentional in the way that we live our daily life. Today. I want to challenge you. Let's ask ourselves, are we seeking God? Or are we seeking something else? And what has to change? We can change with a prayer. We can punch in and tell God, "Here I am." And then we can also pray and ask him to bless the people around us. We can get on this eternal clock by punching-in with God and letting him use our life to matter forever. That's our job. We can follow Jesus and stick with him like we're following the bumper of a friend in a town where we're lost, where we don't know where we are. Let's stay close to Jesus and not let the shiny objects of career and material possessions take us off track. When we focus on God, he will challenge us to pay attention to the people around us, and the people that we work with. Let's follow hard after him today and let him direct our actions and use us for his glory. You never know, your life may change so much that someone will come up to you today and go, why are you different? Or why did you just do this for me? Why did you go outside of your way to help me when you didn't have to? And that gives you an opportunity to share how Jesus transformed your life. That's part of the excitement that we get by following Jesus every day. If you want to take part more in this type of a spiritual life and this life with Jesus, where our life matters as we interact with others, it matters for eternity. If you'd like to take part in that life, join us at https://followerofone.org. You can check out our online community there. You can see our videos and different things that we offer. And by joining the online community, you can also take part in our next Marketplace Mission Trip, which is a two-week exercise to help us learn how to practice following Jesus carefully at work. Thanks for being a marketplace minister. Thank you for wanting to integrate your faith into your daily life. Ask God to help you, and he will make it happen. I promise. Thanks very much.
This is an Encore episode of the Follower of One podcast from our archives. We are on a short break. Hey, it's Mike Henry with Follower of One. Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. Today, I want to talk about God being at work. If you hear this on the day that it airs, it's actually the Monday after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and we're back at work. And so, I wanted to check out and just think a little bit about how God is always at work. In John 5:17 it says, "But Jesus answered them, 'My father is working until now and I am working.'" And that's from the English Standard Version. Where are you today? What's your situation? Are you at work or going to work? Are you working from home? Maybe you're retired or maybe your day is trying to get healthy from an illness or caring for someone else who's not healthy. You may be on vacation. Wherever you are, we are workers. God created us to work. The original mandate in the original story in Genesis, you will find that we were challenged to subdue the earth and be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth. We have a working God who calls us to work. So even if we're on vacation, even if we're outside of the normal work world or we're in some situation as a volunteer, our job is to work, to make the earth better for everyone on it. Now, if God created us to work, who do we work for? Do we work for God? Or do we see ourselves as the boss? Or do we see someone else as our boss? What's our goal in our job? Do we work for a purpose? Do we work simply so we can spend time not working? Do we work only to get through Friday? If God has created us to work and God is always at work, what's he challenging us to do? The entire Trinity is working. Can we see our work as something that God has assigned to us? And since our original mandate is to work, do you think of yourself as an employee of God's? That was a big transition that I had to make many years ago. I had to realize that the people that I reported to at work, the people who signed my paycheck, they really weren't my boss. They were in charge of me. I was assigned there, but I was working for God. If God's working and Jesus is working, I want to work for them. Today at work, I want to focus my perspective. I want to point my brain to working for God. Colossians 3 23 and 24. We're challenged to do our work heartily as if we work for the Lord. As we get back into it and we get on our tasks at work, let's remember that we do them for God. That our job is to do excellent work and to do our work with quality and with energy and with passion so that we can glorify God. We can show other people that we worked for him. Today, if we focus our perspective on work, as if we work for God, how will that make us behave? Would we work differently? Will we take our assignments from him and do our work like we report to him? And if so, how will that change how we work today? That's my challenge to us. Today let's work as if we work for God. If that's something you normally do, go ahead and ask him for one additional assignment today. Ask him to give you something else that you can do today, just because you work for him. He will answer and he will call us out and he will challenge us if we let him. Today, let's remember we're marketplace ministers. We have an opportunity to make a difference in the world, right where we are, because we follow Jesus. Let's pray for the people around us and look for opportunities to follow Jesus with our whole life. If you want to practice this more, you can join the next Marketplace Mission Trip. There's not one coming up for another month or so, but you can find out more about that mission trip by joining our online community at https://community.followerofone.org. Thank you for being a marketplace minister and thank you for making a difference with your faith. What we do matters and your actions on behalf of Jesus, your actions as a Christ follower matter forever. Thank you very much.
Do you ever get surprised by the things other people do? Remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed my word, they will obey yours too. John 15:20 NET In this verse and this section of John 15, Jesus is very black and white. He can be. He's God. Fortunately for us, we're not God. We can't handle our own job, much less God's job. Jesus is giving us a statement about the people who don't follow and obey Jesus. Unfortunately, I still fall short enough that I might even be mistaken as someone who doesn't follow Jesus either. I don't think we need to act like we know. I want to be humble and open to the evidence I see in someone's life. At the same time, I want to listen to the Holy Spirit. But fortunately, since I consider the definition of "ministry" to be "helping everyone move one notch closer to Jesus;" I don't have to act differently around anyone. Jesus calls us to love others, even those who don't love us back. He asks us to represent him in the world. The people who persecute us, or who take issue with us or with our faith are also the kinds of people who took issue with Jesus. I read this more as an encouragement. Whatever we go through while we're loving people is something Jesus experienced and he knows what we feel. Today, even if people let you down, love them. Even if they don't like Jesus love them. You don't have to force your methods on them. Find a way to love them asking God and trust ing him, too. Remember, what we do because we follow Jesus matters forever. Also, please remember we have three weeks left in our matching gift. At the time of this recording we still have over $18000 that will be matched dollar for dollar. Would you help us reach that goal? Please head over to www.FollowerOfOne.org and click the donate button to help us make it. Thanks very much.
Can you love people who don't love you back? "If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you do not belong to the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you." John 15:19 NET When we start following Christ, we begin to leave "the world." Jesus doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room in this process. So what are we to do? Love people. That's about the only thing we can control. We can't save them? We can't help them see Jesus any way other than simply living our life following Jesus. We can't fix the broken in people, we can simply love them. It seems that Jesus is saying, anyone not following him hates him. He's not wrong. When we follow him, we're called to love people, knowing they won't love us back. How can that challenge you today? Pray for the people you will meet and ask God to show you how to love them. And remember, what we do because we follow Jesus matters, forever.
Are you an optimist or a realist? "This I command you—to love one another. If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first." John 15:17-18 NET Bible I'm pretty optimistic. I generally expect the best. I think Jesus is speaking a bit to me here. First he sums up what he has been saying. It's important that we realize that verse 17 is a repeat of verse 12. Repetition is for emphasis. We're commanded to love one another. And while the context of this passage is to love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, this next verse also exposes another idea. Often when Jesus says one another, he's talking about our fellow humans, period. We can't just love the people we want to love. God is sovereign, which means he doesn't answer to anyone. He can do whatever he wants. And he's also omnipotent. That means he has the power to do anything he wants. Based on those two ideas, the people you're around aren't an accident. God wanted you to be his witness with the people you're around today. Today, don't expect everything to be fun and joyful. Sometimes we will not be received well. Jesus has enemies. Everyone won't agree. That's all the more reason we need to practice our 5 Daily Habits. We can pray, appreciate others, know what we believe, serve others and speak for ourselves. Some won't agree. Some may even get hostile. Let's trust God and do what he says. Please also consider joining a community where we try to do all these things. You may be the only person you know trying to obey Jesus where you work. Why not connect with some others in our online community. Check it out at https://community.followerofone.org.
Do our actions as a Christ-follower really matter? "You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you." John 15:16 CSB Notice a few things in this passage. First Jesus chose them. Jesus is choosing the people and assigning the work. He chooses which branches bear fruit. Notice second that the fruit we bear will remain. This means that what we do matters. We get to take part in Jesus' strategy for saving the world. Our actions matter and if our actions matter, our inaction matters too. This is why I think complacency and lack of urgency is a problem for us. We can get occupied with so many useless things. But we can do things that will last forever. As a result, when we ask God for something according to his will, he will do it. The reference to the ask being according to God's will comes from the phrase "in my name." So you can pray for every person you meet. Your prayers will be answered when they line up with the will of Jesus and you will experience joy. What you do matters. If you never pray, God still accomplishes his work. He still saves people. He will still be glorified. But you will miss out. If we all celebrate the victory, but you know you didn't have much to do with it, you are less joyful than if you scored the winning run or if you made a key play. Today, we can remember that we can bear fruit and that fruit can remain. What we do matters. Even if you have a meaningless job you hate, you can still say or do something that can matter forever. So stand up straight. Take your position and do your job like you're doing it for God. You are. Any moment you can interact with someone and impact their eternity. Please also remember we're a donor supported ministry. If these podcasts, or our Marketplace Mission Trips are beneficial to you, please consider paying it forward. We want to help every Christ-follower integrate their faith into their daily life. Find out more and join us at https://FollowerOfOne.org.
Do you have a lot of secrets? "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you." John 15:15 NASB Notice how Jesus explains further the idea of us being friends. Since we're friends he's showing us the difference between being a friend and being a slave or an employee. We're part of the family, not hired help. One of the benefits of being family is that we're "in" on what Jesus is doing. He's saving the world. He's using us. We're friends. We not just given a task, but we know the plan. We're part of the strategy. Today, what are we doing with the knowledge we have? Do we keep our faith to ourselves? Or does our faith inform the way we live? We can live so differently, and still be great employees and friends. When we do, others will ask us what we're doing, or why are we different. And when they do, we can tell them our relationship with Jesus is what causes the difference. We speak for ourselves, which is our 5th daily habit. When we state our faith as being a normal part of how we live, it makes a difference and it causes others to have to think differently. Why not try to live differently. Be a blessing to others. Practice our 5 daily habits and watch Jesus put you to work. Learn more and join us at https://community.followerofone.org.
Are we friends of Jesus? "You are My friends if you do what I command you." John 15:14 Jesus is speaking and he's calling the disciples his friends. He's telling all of us that if we obey his commands, we are his friends. What command is he talking about? Probably the one he talked about 2 verses before, that we love one another just as he loved us. Are we friends of Jesus? If so, we do what he says? Can you ask yourself today where you can be more loving? Maybe a better question is, "How can I love this person I'm talking to or thinking about or working besides?" What is Jesus saying? Also, listen for something that sounds like Jesus. I don't think he's going to tell you to fix the people you're praying for. He may tell you to pay for their mistake without judgment. He may tell you to find a way to give them a break. Can you give people the benefit of the doubt even if you don't agree with them? Today, ask Jesus to to show you who he would have you befriend and love. We have a great blessing as the friends of Jesus. We also have a great opportunity. Thank you for being a marketplace minister. Remember, everything you do because you follow Jesus matters forever. Please consider making a gift to Follower of One. We're donor supported. We have a matching gift that will expire in just a couple of weeks. Everything you give before the end of October, 2023 will be doubled. Your gift will make a huge difference helping us with this podcast and helping us mobilize Christ-followers. Thanks for considering an investment in Follower of One so we can help more grow as friends of Jesus.
What does it mean to lay down our life? Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 ESV The words are very clear, but if you're like me, I start looking for loopholes. The translation of the Greek to English is pretty plain. Most every translation has the same words. But what do they mean? Laying down our life is a challenging idea. It's not every day that I get to put my life on the line for someone else. In Romans 12:1 Paul reminds us that this illustration includes everything up to dying for someone else. We're challenged to consider ourselves as living sacrifices. Have you ever realized that you live according to your identity? We don't do things that contradict how we really see ourselves. We may say we're one thing, but our identity, or our true picture of ourselves takes over. I say I want to be healthy, but I often find excuses to exercise. We may want to get out of debt, but we keep spending. Or we say we want to memorize scripture, but we end up watching YouTube videos or listening to our favorite playlist instead. Jesus is calling us to be the people who lay down their lives for their friends. If we love someone the way Jesus did, that's our job. The day-in-day-out hardest thing to do is serve others instead of our own agenda. Can you go out of your way for someone else? Can you change your plans? Can you give up time or money? Will you ask the Holy Spirit today to show you how you can lay down your life in our daily situation. Maybe you're a student. What can you do for a fellow student or for a teacher simply because you follow Jesus? Or maybe you're an employee? What can you do over and above what is expected that might demonstrate your love for someone at work? I have found that if we genuinely ask God and expect him to answer we will get an idea. Don't tell yourself (or God) "No, that's silly." It may be the very thing God wants. He's working in the life of everyone you interact with today. Your silly idea may be his strategy for including you. Don't pass up the opportunity to join God and then experience his joy. Remember, what we do because we follow Jesus matters, forever.
In this episode of the Follower of One podcast, Mike Henry Sr. interviews Sondra Calhoun, a leadership consultant from Strata Consulting. Sondra shares her journey into the consulting world, the role of her faith, and how she helps leaders grow and develop. Today's Guest... Sondra Calhoun is a certified executive coach and organizational development consultant. In her 25 years of professional experience, she has led organizations through growth cycles, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, implementing new processes, and engaging employees. Sondra is the founder of Strada Consulting, an organization that helps leaders and organizations unlock, execute, and deliver on behaviors that lead to success. In this Episode How Sondra Got Started(1:05) Sondra's career began in training and development within large organizations, offering valuable learning experiences and mentorship. Sondra pursued coaching training to address the challenge of workshop participants not translating knowledge into practical growth, eventually creating a coaching role within T-Mobile. Faith Journey(4:45): Sondra's faith journey began in childhood, witnessing her parents' transformative experience with faith, which strengthened their family. Coaching and Consulting(5:54): Sondra provides one-on-one and team coaching, helping leaders align their values with their leadership approach, emphasizing holistic integration of faith. Challenges in Leadership(7:54): Mike and Sondra acknowledge that leadership can be difficult, particularly in environments that downplay faith. Prayer in Leadership(14:12): Sondra starts her day with prayer, seeking wisdom, guidance, insights during conversations with others. Marketplace Mission Trip Experience(14:48): Sondra participated in a marketplace mission trip with Follower of One, appreciating its practical, engaging content and the importance of community and prayer support for believers in the workplace. Resources & People Mentioned www.strada-consulting.com Follow Sondra Calhoun Connect on LinkedIn Connect With Follower Of One Join us over in our Online Community, get social with us; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Listen to our podcast on your way to work and subscribe using your favorite podcast app!
How do we love one another? This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. John 15:12 NASB Can we really love someone we don't know? We can love a certain place or a certain kind of food. The Greeks had at least 4 words that are often translated with the word "love" in the English. This is the grandest of those words, and it means unconditional love. It means we actively choose to do what's best for the other person. It doesn't have as much to do with affection, or emotion as much as it is an active choice. We do what's best for them. Jesus makes a point that this is a command. We don't have to guess. And he gives it to them on the last night he is a free man with his closest friends. Judas isn't around. We must perform this "others-first" love. But how? He will repeat this command in 5 verses. In between, we have some conditional phrases that help us understand what he meant. The first is, "just as I have loved you." So, how did Jesus love these guys. He spent a great amount of time with them. He taught them. He's going to die for them. Jesus has the greatest others-first love for us. He is the standard. Here he commands us to pass that standard along "just as" he has loved those disciples and all the disciples after them. He chose them. He invested in them. He gave his life for them. In Romans 12, Paul challenges us to be a living sacrifice. We don't have to give up our lives, we give our time and energy away. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to love someone extra today. If we increase just a bit every week for the rest of our lives, we still won't get close to where Jesus is, but we will experience his joy, purpose and presence filling our lives. Ask God to expand your love for the people you interact with today. It's harder to love people you're not around. The people that you interact with are the first people we get to love. What ideas come to mind? Make a note and do them. Don't let anything stop you. Then, do it again tomorrow. Love "just" as Christ loved us. Build the habit. Either Jesus is King and we do what he says, or he's not.
Do you consider yourself a joyful person? "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:11 NASB95 Joy is pretty cool. The more I experience it, the more I appreciate it, and the more I realize that you can't substitute anything for it. Happiness seems to be based more on what happens. Joy transcends my circumstances. Joy just seems more valuable, too. It can be addictive. It changes those things I do because I should, and turns them into what I do because I want to. When I do what Jesus wants, and I see him working in and through me, I experience a joy that I can't replicate. Others may have another method, but I don't believe that method produces this joy that Jesus is talking about here. Jesus is speaking and said he was talking about "his" joy. This joy comes from Jesus. it's his. He wants us to have it and for it to be complete, full, to the brim. This isn't green, unripe joy. This is the full-blown, 5-alarm joy. He wants us to have all of it. So how do we get it? By listening to "these things." Basically, what he said in John 15:1-10 is the key. When we abide in Jesus and obey his commandments our joy becomes full. Today, take a few minutes right where you are unless you're flying or driving and ask Jesus to give you an idea for how you can abide in Jesus today. Celebrate the joy you've received. Or wait quietly on a word from him. It may seem like forever, but wait a minute or two and let him speak. He wants to be glorified through you and he will give you his joy when he does. Give him a moment or two today and then do what he says.