Episode 213: Remembering God’s Presence and Power

January 18, 2022

Reason 2: Remembering God’s Presence and Power

We’re on week 2 of 3, walking through the reasons we’re focusing on hope throughout the year. Today, we want to talk about the second reason we’re focusing on hope throughout the year. It’s simple: we want to help you offer weekly reminders of God’s presence and power.

As Christ-centered leaders, sometimes the very thing we forget to do is focus on the one who called us, equips us, and walks with us. 

So, if we can be a reminder of God’s presence, in the form of a story, God sightings, asking questions, and encouraging you to pay attention to God, we will. 

The pattern of the devotional we’re putting together, Hope Throughout the Year, is intended to guide you through paying attention to God’s presence and power. At the very same time, we’re seeking to share hope. 

A Simple Pattern

Today, the podcast walks through a sample devotion to help you experience God’s presence and power for yourself by following a simple pattern: 

  • Read
  • Reflect
  • Respond
  • Return

We’re focusing on Matthew 16:13-17, specifically where Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”

Mentioned in this Episode

Episode 213: Remembering God's Presence and Power


[00:00:00] Sara: Welcome to LeaderCast episode 213

[00:00:04] You're listening to Leadercast, Transforming mission's podcast with Tim Bias and Sara Thomas. Providing you with resources to navigate the challenges and opportunities of courageous Christ-centered leaders

[00:00:20] Sara: so as we get started today, let me remind you that you can find show notes for this episode@transformingmission.org forward slash two one three.

[00:00:33] Tim: Sara we're on week two of three, walking through the reasons we're focusing on hope throughout the year. Today we want to talk about the second reason offering weekly reminders of God's presence and power in Jesus. And why would we do that? Well, it's Christ-centered leaders. Sometimes the very thing we forget to do is focus on the one who called us and equips us and walks with us.

[00:01:02] Sara: So if in some small way, we can be a reminder of God's presence in the form of story. God sightings asking you questions and encouraging you. There's that word again? Listen to last week's episode, if you're wondering what I mean. We're encouraging you to pay attention to God, we will.

[00:01:24] Tim: The pattern of the devotional we're putting together hope through the year. Is intended to guide you through paying attention to God's presence and power and all giving you hope. So today we want we thought we'd simply do that. Walkthrough a sample devotion to help you experience that presence and power for yourself and Sara.

[00:01:51] You really put this pattern together, didn't you and I, so I'm just going to let you tell us what the pattern is.

[00:02:00] Sara: Well, if you read. Your blogs throughout the month of December, Tim, you, you modeled this pattern. We've modeled it when we did the Galatians study, we modeled it when we did God is with us. We modeled it with the characters of Christmas. I think we, we modeled it.

[00:02:19] We've been using this for a while and it came from the work that I did around my doctor of ministry. And the last piece of it is probably what is, if I can call it unique. I don't know that it's necessarily unique, but unique in terms of the way that devotional material is prepared often. Yes. There's going to be scripture.

[00:02:43] There's going to be some sort of story. There's going to be a prayer, but part of what you'll see as included in this pattern of read, reflect, respond, return those last two pieces, responding and return. The response. Yes. Includes prayer, but it also includes a question for reflection that if you're doing this, let's say at the beginning of the day, the invitation then is to live that out throughout the day so that when you return to it in the evening, You're answering the question essentially of where'd you do this or where, where did you see this?

[00:03:21] So today we want to walk you through a sample devotion that I actually wrote for something that's connected to the dare, to lead curriculum, putting some scripture and , a devotional experience around the rumbling with vulnerability section of that for, for folks that are. In the church so that they can begin to make those connections.

[00:03:45] And so this one comes well, Tim, I'll let you start with, what is the read section..

[00:03:53] Tim: Well, it comes from the scripture, Matthew 16, 13 through 17. The part we're going to focus on. As Jesus' question. Who do you say that I am? Who do you say that I am?

[00:04:12] Sara: So here is what I wrote in response to that. Let's try and experiment in curiosity. If Jesus approached you and asked, who do you say that I am? How would you respond? Perhaps you'd say Jesus is a son of God, the Messiah, the chosen one. And then Jesus asks again. Who do you say that I am? You might respond the light of the world.

[00:04:39] My savior, my friend. Who do you say that I am? Jesus asked Emmanuel God with us. Who do you say that I am? The alpha and the omega? Who do you say that I am? Jesus asked. The bread of life, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth and the life, the true vine. Who do you say that I am? This time answer it in your own words, who is Jesus to you? It's about practicing curiosity. Be reminded today that curiosity is an act of vulnerability and courage. Today, you're invited to stay curious, not only today, but throughout this week. And remember, God is with you.

[00:05:39] Tim: So that's the read part and it leads us into reflection. So the questions to reflect upon as you've read the scripture and have considered, who do you say that I am? How would you respond if Jesus asks you?, "Who do you say that I am?" And as Sara has reminded us, stay curious and answer that as many times as you can.

[00:06:07] And then answer it again.

[00:06:12] Sara: So you see what in that piece, Tim is inviting you to do to stop and not just move through the devotion and move on, but to actually pause and reflect, okay. In this moment, who is Jesus to you?

[00:06:30] Tim: So after reflection, there's a time to respond, and this is really how you'll live the day based upon what you've read and reflected upon. So throughout the day, as you've answered the question, who do you say that I am practice? Curiosity, ask questions with love, explore the unknown and get curious about your impulses. Actually in every relationship think about who do you say that Jesus is? Part of the response then is prayer. We don't always pray in the midst of our podcasts, but Sara, may I pray for us? And part of this, a response.

[00:07:15] Sara: You don't need to ask to pray. Of course, pray.

[00:07:19] Tim: Jesus. You're the light of the world, the alpha and omega the great I am. And when I consider all the ways you meet me, where I am and love me for who I am. I'm humbled. Thank you for the wonder, awe and simplicity of your abiding presence. Especially when I'm rumbling with vulnerability, with you and with others.

[00:07:48] Amen.

[00:07:49] Sara: Amen.

[00:07:50] Tim: And then Sara, there's a, this is the part that I like. I like it all, but this is the part that I've been doing for years. And it's just, you return and you think back upon the day, so consider your thoughts, feelings and actions from the day. And together, what do your thoughts, feelings and actions tell you about who Jesus is to you?

[00:08:15] Sara: Ooh, that is calling it. Integrity. Sometimes I go back and I read what I wrote and went, Ooh, that's what just happened in that moment, folks.

[00:08:24] you see how a simple pattern, and this is a, this is a written pattern that we're talking about, but you can do this in your own devotional practice that as you read the scripture, Ask yourself, you know, pause and reflect on what you have just read and then identify some way that you're going to respond to that throughout the day.

[00:08:51] Take a moment to pray. And then at the end of the day, come back to it. That simple pattern, I I'm going to sound dramatic when I say this, but it changes people's lives because you're being intentioned. And I say I'm being, it sounds dramatic. It's really not dramatic. It is dramatic in that people's lives are changed, but I've seen it happen in, in as little as six weeks, time of practicing this, how people have, how paying attention to where God is showing up in their life and naming that and practicing.

[00:09:35] It makes all the world of difference in terms of how they are, how people are leading, how they're interacting with the people around them and the decisions that they're making.

[00:09:45] Tim: We have this, we have this pattern of read, reflect, respond, and return. Hope throughout the year and we're inviting people into it to offer their stories.

[00:10:00] Sara: Yeah. So what we just modeled for you today is the pattern of hope throughout the year, the devotional that we're putting together. So if you'd like to contribute to that, there's instructions on the show notes page for you to do that. And you notice it. Wasn't what I read. It's not that long. I think it's less than 250.

[00:10:21] You can do it. You write emails longer than that, and you know, I'm joking around, but in all seriousness, we would love for you to contribute to it. So Tim, we've developed a little pattern here, these first three episodes. Okay. It's only been two. This is the third. One of you sharing something about hope at the end of our episodes.

[00:10:48] Since we've started this pattern of storytelling this month, I'm wondering where you have offered or received hope.

[00:10:57] Tim: Well, you're giving me a chance to talk about two things. Let me let me, let me go with receiving hope because it's in response to receiving hope that I can offer hope.

[00:11:09] I look for Jesus in the lives of the people who are around me every day. And occasionally somebody will send a card or an email. And we've, we've talked about that before on an episode. But one of the things that really gave me hope, and it was, it was just a gesture of kindness. I was in meetings this week, all of them about zoom and found a gift at my door left by somebody who was just thinking of me to let me know that, that I was important.

[00:11:44] And that was uh, that was a gesture of hope unexpected. But I was received. I received hope at that point was. You know, I'm not sitting alone and just working for the sake of working, they're actually maybe making a difference somehow. So got a little gift of hope. At the same time, I had a friend who he and I grew up together.

[00:12:09] We didn't go to the same high schools. We played football against each other in high school, 50 years ago. But we both entered the ministry. He went to one seminary. We went to college together. He went to one seminary. I went to another, he was married one year. I was married the next year. All that to say after 45, 46 years of marriage his, his wife died.

[00:12:34] I didn't have any way to call him. I didn't have his cell number. I didn't have an email address, but he did have a Facebook. And so I messaged him, just letting him know that I was praying for him and that he could contact me if he wanted to. I'd be glad to talk with him. And he responded and he thanked me.

[00:12:58] But in the midst of him thinking, thanking me, he said, your words offered me hope. I think the thing that I've said this before, and I think this is the thing that is so important to me, that if we're in a pattern of, of developing who God would have us be and in a pattern, a pattern of learning hope of just offering hope it becomes something that we do and we don't even realize we're doing it.

[00:13:32] And I, there was no word in that at all that had hoped to it. It's just that I'm thinking of you and praying for you. And I'm, I'm here for you, if you, if you want me. And he thanked me for hope. I just want to encourage people, Sara, to step into a pattern if it's not this pattern, another pattern, but we're sure that this pattern where.

[00:13:58] I've read, reflect, respond, and return, and just try it for a while. And then you can tell your own story of hope and transformation because of the practice.

[00:14:13] Sara: That is a good word, Tim bias. It's a word of hope. Imagine that. So it seems really anti-climatic for me to say, you can find the show notes@transformingmission.org org slash 2 1 3. And remember who you are is how you lead bye for now.