This is Rodney from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we explored manhood within Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Sit back, enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network.
This is the Truth Network. How is your personal relationship with Jesus Christ? How important is that question? When's the last time someone looked you in the eye like they really cared and asked you that question? I'm here with a pastor who's asking a lot of people that question. He's preaching that question from the pulpit as he's taking people in his congregation through the Word of God, and I just thought it'd be good.
We're sitting here at this Mexican restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina on Spring Garden Street. Pastor Allen Holmes, he wrote this awesome book, Redefined. We talked about that book.
More and more people are reading about that, but your preaching and your message is really honing in on relationship with Jesus. Something we talk about a lot. We say, well, we're not religious. We believe in a relationship with Jesus, but you're really pressing people on that, including this crazy talk show host today, which has been super convicting.
Talk about why that's so important. Well, you know, for most people when they think about a relationship with Jesus, the thing that comes to mind is, I prayed a prayer and I'm going to heaven, but then the truth is they live their life pretty independently of God. I mean, when you think about your just daily life, how often do I connect with God and have I learned to live in His presence at work and at home and in my neighborhood and everywhere recognizing God is with me and how do I join Him in whatever He is doing in that moment? How do I learn to hear His voice?
How do I allow Him to transform me from the inside out? It's all of that. For most people, I think their approach to faith, one of three things.
One, they kind of take the Nike approach, just do it. And they think a relationship with God is just about discipline, willpower, accountability. And there's a place for that as long as it serves the relationship and doesn't replace it. So a lot of times we're disciplined and we've got accountability, but the truth is we don't have any sensitivity to the Spirit. We can become a little bit legalistic and judgmental. For some people, they think the idea is just, think it. And for them, it's all about having the right theology, knowing the right thing, knowing about God. But again, they really can't describe a friendship with Him.
So it's all analytical. It's all in their head. And then the third group is kind of just experience it. And they think being a Christian is all about a miracle and a mountaintop experience.
And they have idolized the experience and never learned to enjoy. I mean, when I think about my marriage, I've been married 25 years. And in our 25 years, we've had lots of mountaintop experiences. But the truth is that's not our relationship. The honeymoon's not our relationship. The vacation's not our relationship. Our relationship is learning to enjoy each other's presence in every setting, in every season, really drawing near, really connecting with each other.
In fact, you might even say that a lot of it looks boring from the outside, but is very rich and refreshing and intimate for us after 25 years. So relationship with God, I think we have to define what we mean. I think it's learning to live in the presence of God and to love God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture and allowing ourselves to be transformed from the inside out by His presence, by His truth, by grace over a long period of time.
And I think most people haven't really learned to do that. I was preaching recently and I tried to describe to my congregation what does it look like for me on a daily basis to begin my day in God's presence and then live that day in God's presence. I said this is basically what my routine looks like. I wake up in the morning and first thing I do is I roll over on my knees and I just take two or three minutes and I just celebrate King Jesus. I just surrender. I bow before Him. I say my life is yours. I invite the Spirit of God to fill me. I give Him that day.
I give Him my relationship, all of that. And I said and then I roll back over and spend 10 or 15 minutes just in prayer. And I'm praying for myself in that day and I'm praying over my wife who's laying next to me.
I'm praying for my three kids. Then I get up. I go fix my, start my coffee. And while I'm starting my coffee, I listen to daily defining moments which is kind of funny because it's a podcast that I created.
And then by the time it's finished, my coffee's done. So I pour me a cup of coffee and I go sit in my chair and I open the one-year Bible and I spend 30 or 45 minutes reading through and praying through that day's reading which allows me to read through and pray through the Bible every single year. Well then I get up and it's time to go run or do some kind of exercise and while I do, I use that exercise time to either listen to God in silence, to listen to worship and just bless the Lord or to listen to podcasts and let somebody teach me.
Well I do that for 30 minutes or so. Then it's time to get ready. And so while I'm eating breakfast, while I'm taking a shower, while I'm getting dressed, while I'm doing all of that, again I've got worship playing or a podcast, something that feeds my soul. Then I jump in the car.
I'm driving 30 minutes. Once again I'm using that drive time to feed my soul. And so by the time I start my day around nine, I've spent the first three hours of the day feeding my soul and preparing me then to live the rest of my day very in touch with what God's doing in me and around me and how He's working in this meeting or this conversation.
And God gives me creativity and ideas and just opens doors and kind of makes things happen throughout the day. Then at the end of the day I'm riding home once again. I'm going to use that time to feed my soul so that when I get home I can represent Jesus with my family. Then about nine, nine thirty I'm gonna get in the bed and I'm gonna spend 30 minutes, 45 minutes reading to feed my soul. Then I'm gonna put my book down. I'm gonna roll over to go to sleep and I'm gonna pray myself to sleep. And what I've done is no matter what else I do during my day, whether it's work stuff or family stuff or recreation, I'm just growing in my capacity to recognize God is always with me.
I'm living in His presence. Here's what Jesus said in John 10 27, my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. And that's not true for the average Christian.
And so we've got to grow in our capacity to do that. You know we love the verse in John 10 10 that said I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly. But that abundant life that we're created for and we long for only comes if we've learned to follow the shepherd. Only comes if we know his voice and if we live our life independently of Jesus without the shepherd hanging on for heaven. That's fine.
We just miss all the benefit of the abundant life that we can experience right here on earth. And I think that's probably the biggest problem in American church culture. That's Pastor Alan Holmes. He's the pastor of Definition Church in Greensboro, North Carolina.
And I am sponging all this in. I hope you are being encouraged by hearing him. Wrote a great book called Redefined, taking the Beatitudes and what it means to truly be blessed and connecting that to Jesus. Are you connected to Christ? Are you connected to the vine?
Are you walking with Him? How is your personal relationship with Christ? Pastor Alan, he came to bring us into relationship, to deal with our sin.
It's ugly. Our pain, our emptiness, our shame, all the guilt we have. He died on that cross. That is the gospel. God coming to us because we couldn't get to him in relationship. But now aren't we in a sense dispatched by Him, sent by Him to invite others into relationship with Christ?
Is that what he means? And what Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 5, where we're ambassadors calling people to be reconciled to Him? It is as long as we get that first part right. So again, for most of us, we pray to prayer to go to heaven and we know how to tell people to get to heaven. But the truth is our world's not real concerned about heaven. What our world is interested in is can I actually know God?
Can you talk to me about your experience with God and what God did in your marriage or what God does in your life or what God does in your career or what God does with your kids? They would love to know that. And unfortunately, sometimes I think we struggle to answer those questions. So we have to make sure that we're learning to walk with God so that what we're offering our world is much more appealing than just, well, you can go to heaven one day.
I mean, again, that's important, obviously. But I think our world is hungry for something supernatural. I think our world's hungry for God.
So how do we lead them into that kind of relationship? And you're challenged to pastors out there who are leading and shepherding their flocks, teaching them the Word and all that. But how important is it for a pastor to stay connected to Jesus in that personal relationship, to be feeding on that daily walk with the Lord so they can take their people there? Yeah, well, of course.
I mean, there's nothing more important than that. And, you know, we can only lead out of where we've been. Our church becomes a reflection of who we are, not what we know, not what we believe, not what we hope, but they're going to become a reflection of who we are. So we obviously we have to go first and continue to grow in our faith. One of the things that's true for the average pastor is we get out of seminary and we kind of stop reading, stop learning, stop growing. We feel like I'm a pastor and I'm kind of there now.
And instead, we need to spend the rest of our life learning and growing so that we can lead and teach out of our own walk with God. Pastor Alan Holmes, thanks for blessing us today. What is the website for your book, Redefined for the Church, Definition Church?
What's the best way for folks to connect with you and even listen to your podcast? You can find the church online, Definition Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. You can download our app. You can look up the book, Redefined. It's available everywhere that, you know, basically you can buy books.
All that's real easy to Google and to find. My challenge to everyone out there, and I hope, I know pastor will bless this, is ask someone today, how is your relationship with Christ? How can I pray for you and how can I ask it but be willing to walk along with them? That's called discipleship. That's what Jesus did.
So we don't need this quick drive-by stuff. We need to really engage people and help them connect, disciple and be disciple by others, right? Yeah, and I would even back up and say I want to ask myself before I ask anybody else, how's my relationship with Jesus?
How's my daily connection? What can I do to strengthen that connection so that then I can encourage people out of my own experience? As you grow in Jesus, the light of Christ will shine through your life to others and it becomes infectious in a good way, eternally infectious, and that is the spread of the gospel. So live the gospel, receive the gospel, live the gospel, be the gospel, and share the gospel everywhere you go. Thank you pastor Allen, you're a blessing man. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 20:45:51 / 2023-01-06 20:51:08 / 5