Jesus taught that if someone asks you to go one mile, go the 2nd mile as well. In the 2nd Mile Podcast, host Travis Agnew seeks to equip you to do more than the bare minimum in the areas of faith and family. Don't settle for an average life.
Imagine a time in which you were surrounded by danger. Forces were against you that literally threatened your very life. Someone comes up to you at the scariest moment and seeks to encourage you. Instead of providing personal counsel, this individual actually quotes a Bible verse to you. Recited from a beloved psalm, this verse reminds you that God will watch over you.
Does that sound comforting to you? It should until you realize who this mysterious Bible-quoter is. The psalm-toting individual is none other than the devil himself. This scenario isn’t imagination but history. Jesus was being tempted, and Satan tried to get him to bite on that temptation by taking a Bible verse out of context to fit his agenda.
The scary thing is that many of us are guilty of the same tactic. It’s time to go the second mile in prioritizing biblical context.
First-mile believers find a verse out of context to fit their agenda. Second-mile disciples study the Bible in context to align with God’s agenda.
When it comes to reading Scripture, context is key. Too much of our current biblical study focuses on isolated verses and neglects the context of which the verses were originally written.
Consider the Reader’s Context - Don’t seek to fit your expectations upon the biblical text.
Consider the Author’s Context - Evaluate the complexities that went into writing this section of Scripture.
As a young Christian, people always told me about the importance of having a quiet time without anyone ever showing me how to have one. I tend to be a rather loud person anyway, so setting apart time to quiet myself seemed odd in the first place. What exactly am I supposed to do during that quiet time?
All the godly people that I esteemed all talked about what God taught them during that time. I would often feel guilty for not being consistent in my own practice. Maybe you feel the same way. Have you always known you need to have a quiet time but unsure what others actually do? It’s time to go the second mile in having a quiet time.
First mile believers will read the Bible and pray when times get difficult. Second mile disciples are those who are seeking the Lord through daily spiritual habits.
3 Daily Practices
Pray a Psalm
Study a Chapter
Memorize a Verse
BONUS - Pray Through Schedule
We all know reading is supposed to help us, but many of us also feel as if we could be more dedicated readers. The reason many of us struggle is that we don't have a reading plan that has specific goals. If you ever wanted to become a more avid reader, it's time to go the second mile with our books.
How to Discipline Yourself to Love Reading
Commit to reading from 2 books every day.
Create a deadline for book completion.
Diversify the types of books you read.
Create a reading order.
Summarize and archive the most important points.
Our culture worships the Wiki God. We want ever so desperately to serve a deity whom we have the freedom and capability to edit. Many people are attempting to revise the Christian faith by cutting out what they don’t like, copying favorable ideas from other worldviews, and pasting them into some hopeless attempt at a hybrid faith. How do we reject our culture's desire to serve the Wiki God?
We all want change, but few of us were willing to do the work with one another to see that change happen. Discipleship happens within the context of intentional relationships. If you have gotten tired of spiritual stagnation, it’s time to go the 2nd mile with your small group.
6 Helpful Tips
Maybe you don’t consider yourself a theologian, but I would beg to differ. You have beliefs about God and you share them with others even if by default. You really are a theologian, the question is: are you a good one? It’s time to go the 2nd mile in our theology.
This episode explains the content of my new book, Wiki God, being released within a few days. I also read some sample content from it with the hope of inspiring you to develop your own theology from the Bible.
If you have ever desired to have meaningful Sunday worship experiences with your church, the process starts on Saturday. In fact, if you don't prepare well, your frantic pace on Sunday can rob you of meaningful interactions with God and with God's people.
In this episode of the 2nd mile podcast, I share 10 tips to ensure you have a great Sunday.
Prepare your stuff on Saturday afternoon.
Prepare your hearts on Saturday night.
Beware of Saturday night’s content.
Set an adequate alarm.
Drive past the best parking.
Get there 15 minutes early.
Look out for new faces.
Engage Jesus passionately.
Encourage others intentionally.
Hang out for 15 minutes afterward.
Biblical illiteracy is on the rise. Why are so many people without a thorough understanding of scriptural teaching? One of the main reasons is we are reading it in a different way from how it was written.
Don't attempt a marathon before you have completed a lap.
Don't get stagnate with your time if you don't have an adequate amount of time.
Don't read the Bible like a yearbook.
Don't read the Bible like a fortune cookie.
The best way to read the Bible is book by book.
Each book of the Bible has a beginning, middle, and end.
Bible intake is essential to Christian discipleship.
You can read 40 out of the 66 books of the Bible in less than 1 hour.
You can read the Bible if you want to read the Bible. You just have to make time.
List of Average Reading Time for Each Book of the Bible
The reason we want to go the 2nd mile in our lives is because Jesus went the 2nd mile in his death. It’s time to consider how Jesus went the 2nd mile to secure our forgiveness.
7 Quotes from the Cross
"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
"This day you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43).
"Woman, behold your son" (John 19:26-27).
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34; Matt. 27:46).
"I thirst" (John 19:28).
"It is finished" (John 19:30).
"Into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46).
Why are those who have been changed by the gospel so timid to bring Jesus up in conversations? How does fear paralyze us so when the opportunity comes to declare our allegiance? Why does it almost seem that when we ask someone to come with us to church, we peg it as a negative thing?
It's time to go the second mile in inviting someone to church (without scaring them off).
5 Steps for Evangelism
Identify - Luke 19:10
Intercede - Eph. 1:18; Col. 4:3
Initiate - 1 Thess. 2:8
Individualize - 1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Cor. 9:22
Invite - Rom. 1:16; 2 Cor. 5:20
Have you wondered about the legacy you are going to leave? It’s time to go the second mile in your discipleship legacy.
WORK WITH THE PROVEN METHODS
1. Chronologically Teach the Bible
Teaching children isolated stories can teach moral lessons but possibly neglect God’s truth.
Prioritize a method of teaching your children the big picture of the Bible.
2. Highlight Teachable Moments
Embrace the scheduled and spontaneous moments of family discipleship.
The most memorable lessons are often associated with a pivotal experience.
3. Initiate Open-Ended Questions
Refrain from using leading or closed questions to ascertain a child’s real comprehension of spiritual matters.
Always display motivation and excitement when a child shows interest in spiritual matters.
4. Live an Authentic Example
Children are able to ascertain the difference between a parent’s desire and a parent’s obligation.
If you wouldn’t be satisfied if your child imitated your example in a particular area, you need to make changes now.
5. Decipher a Child’s Readiness
Beware of the danger of a child desiring spiritual growth due to peer or parental pressure.
Parents should continue to monitor progress over the years to reaffirm decision and discipleship.
For all the role models I want my children to have, the role model whom they desperately need is me. Children need intentional parents if they are to develop in the most critical areas of life. Are you wanting to make an impact in your children? It’s time to go the second mile in your parenting.
Prioritize placing your children in the most spiritually-nurturing environments as are available.
The most critical spiritual environment is the one in which you live.
Parents are called to be the primary evangelists and disciple-makers of their children.
“Do as I say and not as I do” will not work in discipleship.
It’s difficult for a hour-long service to combat a week-long environment.
The Progression (Deut. 6:4-9)
The unrivaled God deserves an unrivaled devotion (6:4-5).
God’s Word must be the essential guide for every aspect of our lives (6:6).
Parents must take diligent responsibility for the spiritual formation of their children (6:7).
We must view discipleship as a process rather than a program (6:7).
Allow God’s Word to permeate our lives, to fill our homes, and to invade our communities (6:8-9).
What if I don’t present the information correctly?
Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know."
Be committed enough to say “I’ll find out."
Allow this to encourage your own growth (2 Tim. 2:15).
Wouldn’t a trained professional be more trustworthy?
A pastor might know the material better, but he will not know your child better.
You should be the most constant figure in your child’s life.
Your involvement will endure even when other role models change.
What if I turn them off to Christianity?
Children aren’t turned off to Christianity if their parents are devoted disciples but if they are fake followers.
Let your love for Jesus be contagious.
Your job is to point to a relationship of grace rather than a religion of works.
Are you working towards marriage? Don’t ruin the gift of marriage while you endure through the time of engagement. It’s time to go the second mile in your engagement.
The 1st mile of engagement is working towards marriage while avoiding physical temptations.
The 2nd mile of engagement is working towards marriage while addressing spiritual connections.
As I think through components that helped new marriages thrive, many of them worked on four key relationships during the engagement.
Romance, nurture, and communication takes time. Setting an appointment to spend together is going the first mile, but that isn’t enough to have a thriving marriage. Do you want your relationship to feel vibrant again? It’s time to go the second mile by making time for your marriage.
The tragedy of how we spend our time is that it is often our marriages that suffer the most.
The one who deserves your best often gets your worst.
If you allot your time wisely, you will make time for your marriage.
Ignore the lie that once you get through a particular season of life, you will have time to spend together.
If you don't schedule your priorities, someone or something will schedule them for you.
3 Important Time Commitments
Many marriages I know struggle greatly with the smallest of discrepancies. The issue seems rather small but if the couple fails to address it, it will create a great mess. It’s time to go the second mile in addressing the small issues that bring potential big impact.
1. IDENTIFY: Sometimes the smallest things in marriage can become the most dangerous.
What are the obvious marriage separators endangering couples?
What are the dangerous nuisances in your marriage?
2. CATCH: Relentlessly catch the small “foxes” that seek to ruin your marriage.
Song of Solomon 2:15 – Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.
The most dangerous nuisances in your marriage may not be the ones that are so glaringly obvious.
3. RESIST: Resist the perspective that causes you to go to battle against your spouse when you should be going to battle with your spouse.
Your marriage has an enemy, and it isn’t your spouse.
Your marriage should be progressing towards greater intimacy and not drifting towards relational complacency.
Our church is hosting a marriage conference, and I would love for you to attend as we seek God's help in strengthening our marriages. You can get more info here.
I wrote a book on marriage. If you would like a small book with some practical help to help your marriage, you can check out What God Has Joined Together here.
Have you ever felt like you were wasting time because you simply didn't have the right tools in your hands? It's time to go the second mile in selecting the right productivity tools for the job.
Why Is This Important?
To whom much is given, much is required(Luke 12:41-48). Jesus taught a parable that highlighted the need to be faithful as stewards of the time God has given us. If you have been given much from God, are you being faithful with those opportunities?
To whom has invested much, more will be given(Matt. 25:14-30). Jesus taught another parable of a man who trusted stewards with different amounts of investments. For the one who failed to do anything with the little amount, the master took it away and gave it to the one who had more.
If you want to be faithful with the time and opportunities you have been given, decide what will be your go-to tool in these 4 areas:
Coordinate your entire schedule through a calendar system that works with your pace and your personality.
Current Tool: Google Calendar + YouCanBook.Me
Organize your needed content into a system that allows you to collect, archive, and access information easily.
Current Tool: Evernote
Ensure that your contacts are easily accessible and updateable.
Current Tool: Google Contacts
Commit to a trackable system of collecting and completing your tasks.
Current Tool: Todoist
Do More Betterby Tim Challies
What's Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Doneby Matt Perman
Crazy Busy!by Kevin DeYoung
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
For many of us in life trying to go all in and all out, we get frustrated because we lose time and effort in wasted pursuits. We might find ourselves going the 2nd mile, but we travel it in the wrong direction. If you have ever felt like you are wasting opportunities, it's time to go the 2nd mile in prioritizing your purposes.
How do we ensure that we go the 2nd mile in the right direction?
Identify Your Primary Purposes
The Spirit gifts every believer for the glory of God and for the good of others (1 Cor. 12:4-7, 11).
We are saved for good works that God has prepared for us (Eph. 2:10).
Identify what your primary purposes are and refuse to allow anything to get in your way of accomplishing them.
Address Your Secondary Issues
Don't miss out on the great opportunities for which you were primarily called because you neglect the secondary issues for which you are still responsible.
Being zealous for good works means caring for all different types of good works (Titus 2:14).
The early church leaders made sure they addressed the secondary issues so they could continue to prioritize the primary purposes (Acts 6:1-7).
Eliminate Your Tertiary Distractions
You only have enough time to do God's will (Acts 20:24).
Our lives are fleeting so don't waste them on meaningless pursuits (Ps. 39:4).
Acknowledge what your greatest time-wasters are and relentlessly combat them.
The iPhone recently celebrated its 10th birthday. Let's just imagine that your usage was on the lower end of what some of the reports are giving us. Let's say that you are on your phone "only" 90 minutes a day. You know what that would equal to over the last 10 years?
228 days (62% of 1 year)
Over the last 10 years, you would have spent 228 days with your eyes on a smartphone. And those are days you can never get back.
Are you missing out on opportunities to travel the 2nd mile because your gaze is on your smartphone?
Of what is your smartphone robbing you? Here is a list to consider:
We lose time to spend with God.
We miss opportunities to engage with our loved ones.
We settle for pseudo-community.
We are training ourselves for constant distractions.
We become addicted to social media affirmation.
We are bombarded with too much information.
We reduce our chance of going deep in anything.
Set a goal for the time you will spend on your smartphone.
Plug up your phone once you get home.
Resist the urge to check your phone while in conversation with others.
Install apps for limiting your time on certain apps.
Reduce the notifications that clamor for your attention.
Resist the urge to engage in every social media platform.
Outsmart your smartphone by making it help you focus on worthwhile pursuits.
People often cannot start the second mile because they can barely finish the first. Are you missing opportunities to be used by God due to laziness?
STOP MAKING EXCUSES
If you are going to fight procrastination, you are going to have to address the procrastinator.
Stop disguising laziness by claiming that you aren’t the organized type.
Don’t blame God for your laziness.
You don’t need more hours in the day; you need more discipline in your day.
START MAKING SOLUTIONS
Even if you are not naturally organized, you can train yourself to be disciplined.
Acknowledge your weaknesses and find ways to bypass them.
Stop prioritizing your schedule and start scheduling your priorities.
Be relentlessly zealous with your time to create margin for worthwhile works.
If we truly desire godliness, Scripture memory must be prioritized in our lives. While the task can seem daunting, we have to start somewhere. In this episode, discover some practical steps to go the 2nd mile in Scripture memory.
The Purpose of Scripture Memory
We must discipline our minds to have the words of the Bible accessible even when a copy of the Bible is not available.
Something happens when the Word becomes portable with you. Your spiritual growth is exponential. The discipline of mediating and memorizing Scripture turns God’s Word Bible from a book on a shelf to words on a heart.
Meditating on it day and night (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2), we lay these words on our hearts (Deut. 11:18) and they become the joy and delight of our hearts (Jer. 15:16). We store it in our hearts so that can stop sinning (Ps. 119:11). We are to have it dwell so richly within us that it comes out in what we teach to others (Col. 3:16).
The Power of Scripture Memory
Joshua 1:8 - From Joshua’s example, we see that Scripture memory:
Calms – Memorizing Scripture stills our heart when we are fearful regarding our circumstances.
Reminds – Memorizing Scripture is a tangible expression of the presence of God in our lives.
Equips – Memorizing Scripture allows us to speak God’s Word rather than our opinions.
Focuses – Memorizing Scripture gives us truth to meditate upon throughout the day and night.
Directs – Memorizing Scripture gives us clear applications of obedience in our lives.
Benefits – Memorizing Scripture provides beneficial success in our lives.
The Path of Scripture Memory
RESEARCH which important verses you need to memorize first.
REWRITE the verse into some type of collection tool.
READ the verse out loud numerous times.
RECITE out loud by sections until you can say the complete verse.
REFER to the book, chapter, and verse before and after reciting it.
REPEAT the verse until you have mastered it.
REVIEW the verse through intentional accountability systems.
Many disciples of Jesus struggle with distracted, neglected, and boring prayer lives. The problem of prayer is not the content or the recipient – it's the method. In this episode, discover some tips to stop boring prayer times.
Lack of Faith - Relying on a God we cannot see with requests we cannot handle requires faith.
Lack of Familiarity - We talk awkwardly if we don't know the person to whom we are talking.
Lack of Focus - Conflicts, concerns, and chores fill our minds and hinder our prayers.
Lack of Form - The problem of prayer is not the content or the recipient – it's the method.
Pray Out Loud
Pray on Your Knees
Pray with a Guide
Pray with Variations
Prayer Weekly Calendar
As believers, we should be in a state of spiritual growth, but too often, we seem to be stuck in the same place. If there is a true profession of faith, there should be a true progression of faith. In this episode, we discuss the importance of selecting that next spiritual discipline to make intentional progress in following Jesus.
Getting Honest (You're Not There Yet)
If there is a true profession of faith, there should be a true progression of faith.
Spiritual disciplines are not meant to make you more liked by Jesus but to make you more like Jesus.
The Path of Holiness:
Justification – the declaration of holiness
Sanctification – the process of holiness
Glorification – the completion of holiness
The proof that we are neglecting sanctification is the lack of holiness present in our lives.
Making Progress (But You Should Be Getting There)
If your goal is anything other than godliness, then your spiritual disciplines will be more like drudgery than delight.
1 Tim. 4:6-10
No discipline is more important than regular Bible study because it encourages every other worthwhile spiritual pursuit.
Getting Specific (By Taking the Next Step)
True disciples discipline themselves.
Imagine the health of one’s soul if he or she spent as much time developing it as he or she spent on the body.
Can you think of one spiritual hero that doesn’t prioritize at least one spiritual discipline?
If you have been reading the Bible lately, can you think of what you read? What has impacted you? Where did you find it? Here's my realization regarding many people's dilemma: If you find time to read, you rarely remember what you read.
Why is that? Because we settled for reading the pages of the Bible instead of meditating on the truths of the Bible. The difference has paramount implications.
If you always forget what you read in the Bible, maybe it is time for you to discover the lost art of scriptural meditation.
The definition of meditation is to think deeply or carefully about something.
How to Meditate on Scripture
Commit to a reading plan.
Create enough time for meditation margin.
Pray for God's insight into the text.
Remember that less may be more.
Summarize what you read.
Seek a way to apply the truth.
Share with someone regarding what you've learned.
The people who make the greatest impact are never those who do the bare minimum. So why is it that we are often inclined to do "just enough" and not give our absolute best? What would our lives be like if we tried to go the 2nd mile in every worthwhile endeavor? That's what this podcast is about.