Joshua Swanson: Mac Powell is a man of God, a father, a Worship Pastor, the front man of Third Day, and now a solo artist touring the country with his family. On today’s episode of The Walk, Mac shares about the daily medicine that he takes to remain physically, mentally, and spiritually strong. Here we go.
Mac Powell: So hey everybody, this is Mac. So glad to be with you guys. Uh, we’re going to speak for a few minutes on this scripture that has, uh, really opened up my eyes in the past couple of years, um, really within the past year. For a couple of years, about three years now, I came up with this thing and this thought of what do I need in my life?
What is it that’s my daily medicine that I need to take for physically, mentally, and spiritually to be strong and to continue to grow? One of those things that I thought about was I know for me, every single day I need, uh, God’s word. I need the Bible. I have no doubt in my mind, uh, I believe 100 percent in the scriptures.
I think it’s the way for us as Believers to not only learn about God, but learn about life in general. And, uh, it has so many answers for us. It has so much direction for us. In fact, for me, a little bit of personal testimony. When I was a senior in high school, I was really struggling. I wasn’t living for the Lord.
I was kind of doing my own thing and I was about to graduate. A month before I graduated, I just was lost and I needed direction and guidance. And I remember someone at church had said, “You should read the book of Romans.” And I grew up in church. I sang in choir. Went to church every Sunday. Sang solos in church.
Uh, you know, learned all the verses in Sunday school class and for vacation Bible school, but my life as a Christian was basically, you know, segmented. I was a good Christian boy when I was at church and when I wasn’t there, then I just did my own thing. And so when this person had said, when I was a senior in high school about to graduate, when they had said, you should turn to the book of Romans and the Bible and read that, I think that would really help you.
I went, okay, great, I’ll do that, and didn’t think much about it. And then all of a sudden, I needed that guidance. I needed some answers. And I was like, Oh, where is the book of Romans? So I turned to the table of contents of my Bible. I went, “Oh, it’s in the New Testament. That’s interesting. I don’t, I didn’t remember that.”
You know, I turned to it and I started reading the book of Romans and God’s Holy Spirit fell on me and reminded me of these times when I was a child and I had surrendered to Jesus, whether it was a church camp or one Sunday morning at church and walking that aisle and praying that prayer, all those things I meant in life.
And yet I remained a baby Christian for a long time. So here I am as a senior in high school, reading the book of Romans and that to me was evidence that God’s Word is real. And so from that day on forward, I surrendered completely to God and I knew for me. And for anyone who says they’re a Christian, you have to be in God’s Word every single day.
Now, do I read a whole chapter or a whole book of the Bible every day? No, there are times where I just simply read a few verses or a couple of verses. But the more that we spend time in God’s word, the stronger we’re going to be in our faith and the closer to God we’re going to be. So the second thing I call my three testimonies, that was the first, the Word of God.
The second thing is the Spirit of God. I know I need God’s Holy spirit to lead me and to guide me. To bring me his comfort, to bring me his counsel. And how do we, how do we receive God’s Spirit? And that’s through prayer. And so every day I need to pray and, uh, my life has been changed by prayer, especially since COVID. When I got the time that I needed, I think that all of us got a lot more time when COVID approached and hit us, I started getting up actually, instead of being one of those guys that sleeps late every day because I didn’t have to go on the road or go to work, I actually started getting up early in the morning. I started getting up at five o’clock in the morning, which if you had told me five years ago that you’re going to start getting up early in the morning and spending an hour in prayer, I would have said, uh, yeah, you got the wrong Mac here.
So I started doing that because I needed answers. I needed guidance, just like I did when I was a senior in high school, reading God’s word. I knew I needed that through God’s Holy Spirit. And I received that through prayer. And so that’s the second testimony, as I call it, the Word of God and the testimony of the Holy Spirit in my life.
And so the third thing that I realized that I needed every day was fellowship, was, was being with the body of Christ, with God’s children, with God’s people. And so I know for me, what’s going to continue to help me stay grounded in my faith and stay accountable in my faith is spending time with other Believers.
The Word of God is amazing. We need that in our lives. God’s Holy Spirit absolutely can’t live as a Christian without it. But if we don’t have other believers around us, we don’t know all the time what truth is. And I think God speaks to us through His Word, through His Spirit and prayer, and also through God’s people, through the body of Christ.
Joshua Swanson: We’ll be right back with more from Mac Powell.
I also want to thank Planning Center for supporting this episode. As a part of that partnership, we spent some time with Aaron Stewart, the Co-founder, and we asked him questions about leadership, since so many of our listeners are leaders. Today’s question for Aaron is, how do you motivate and inspire your team?
Aaron Stewart: This is a great question. It’s almost unfair for me to answer this because I think, as I’ve been working with more product managers, we have, I don’t know, eight, nine, or ten of them now. We’ve sort of learned that everyone has like different skills and one of my, I am just, I’m an excited person. Like I, I am excited about the next thing and I think excitement is infectious.
And so for me, this has just been something that I have not had to think about very much because when I know what the next thing we’re going to do, I’m just excited to do it. And so when I talk to my team about it, I can’t help but communicate that excitement to people.
And so I do think being motivated and figuring out how to express your internal motivation for people and like, connect them with the why, like, and connect them with those stories. I think that is really important. Now, part of being a leader is figuring out how you do it and the way you do it is not going to be the same as me, but I think figuring out who your team members are and like, so one of the questions we get at planning, so I’m going to pivot just a little bit, is how do you get people to respond to their scheduling requests?
Why can my people just not click that accept and decline button? Well, there’s a lot of reasons, but I think so much of this goes down to have you had a simple conversation with your people that is explaining to them how clicking accept and decline contributes to the greater mission of the church, contributing to individual lives changed.
Connect, like this, that’s not easy to do. People are not going to connect clicking accept with someone becoming a Christian. That is part of your job as the Worship Leader. When you click accept, that helps me have more time in my job to actually focus on thinking about how I’m going to pick songs that do this and contribute in other ministries.
But if I’m spending all my time calling people on the phone and not knowing who’s actually going to be available to serve, then I don’t have time to focus on changing lives and reaching people for Christ because I’m doing so much administrative work.
Joshua Swanson: Planning Center is a set of software tools to help you organize information, coordinate events, communicate with your team, and connect with your congregation.
You can find out more about Planning Center at planningcenter. com.
Okay, back to Mac to close us out.
Mac Powell: And so as I’ve been thinking about those three things, those, that those three witnesses, as I call it, those three testimonies in my life, knowing that I need that medicine every day, I found this amazing scripture and it’s in, um, it’s in Acts chapter 2:42.
Now to set up, uh, Set up that scripture. I’ll have to put you in the place of what’s happening. Can you imagine you’re a follower of Jesus. He’s walking on this earth. You’re following him. You know that he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You believe that. You believe that he’s gonna politically come and change not only Israel, not only our part of the world, but or the whole world. And so you’ve seen him do miracles you’ve seen and you’ve heard the things that he’s taught. You know that he is now your Lord, you’re following him.
And then all of a sudden he dies. He dies on a cross. And then you, when you think everything’s over with all of a sudden, three days later, you hear these rumors and these thoughts that, “Oh, wow, he’s back to life.” And you know, okay, I’ll believe it when I see it. And then you do. And you hear not only see him, but you hear all these testimonies and all these things, like what you thought was in life that was going to be the greatest thing ever, now it’s gone. And now it’s back again. What a miracle.
And so if you thought you were a follower of Jesus before, even more so now that you’ve seen him rise from, from the dead, what an amazing, life changing, literally experience. And then once again, Boom, all of a sudden, 40 days later, he’s gone, ascends into heaven as he said he was going to, but, but we didn’t understand that at the time, what was, what he meant.
So he ascends to heaven. He says to wait for the Holy Spirit and we go, “Oh man, what’s that going to be?” So this is where we are in Acts chapter two. Paul, uh, I’m sorry, Peter and John are out speaking. They share with the crowd what the, what Jesus has done. The Holy Spirit falls on them. So all these miracles are happening.
People are wondering what’s going on. So what is Acts chapter two, verse 42 say that they did? It says they devoted themselves to the apostles teachings, which is the Word of God. They devoted themselves to the fellowship and to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And so when I read that verse in Acts 2, uh, 42, which I’d read many, many times through the years, I was thinking about those three witnesses, those three things that I’d needed in my life.
I needed God’s word. I needed prayer and God’s Holy Spirit receiving that through prayer and the fellowship with other Believers. And so when I, when I saw that in Acts chapter two, verse 42, it was confirmation and what I believe the Spirit had been working in my mind and in my heart for a couple of years was, I was witness to that in Acts chapter 2:42.
And for me, if that was good enough for the early church, when they first started living on this earth together, with the Spirit of God, with Jesus ascended into heaven, what did they do? They, they followed the teaching of the apostles, not only enlisting to the apostles and spending time with them, those teachers, uh, spending time with the ones who had spent time with Jesus, but reading the scripture.
And then at the same time, scripture is starting, the New Testament is starting to be written. They’re spending time with those people who are writing the New Testament. And so we have to do that. It was good enough for the early church, of course, it’s good enough for us. Now, we, as the Church today, as the Body of Christ, we have to be committed, uh, to the same thing that the early church was in Acts chapter 2:42.
We have to be devoted to the study of the teaching of the apostles. And that’s the Word of God. We have spent time in God’s Word every single day. Now, do we beat ourselves up if we miss a day? Life gets hectic. We, we have, you know, there’s ball games for the kids and there’s homework and there’s all, there’s going to be times where we miss it.
We don’t need to feel guilty for missing something every once in a while. But if we want to continue to grow in our faith, if we want to continue to know God more and to know each other more as believers, we’ve got to spend time in God’s Word. We’ve got to spend time being devoted to each other, to breaking of bread and the fellowship.
That’s what they did together. They brothers and sisters got together. They talked about God’s word. They talked about the things that Jesus taught. They encouraged one another. So we have to do that as well.
And the third thing is prayer. We spend time in prayer every single day. You know, the Word says to pray without ceasing and we have to make not only be committed and intentional in our time of prayer, whether it’s we’re getting up in the morning or whether we’re spending time during lunch hour to pray and read God’s Word. Uh, whether we get together with, with prayer or Bible studies with each other. Those are three things that we have to absolutely do. It’s what the early Church did. It’s how the Church exploded.
And I’ve no doubt in my mind, you know, there’s so much things, so many things that have happened. So many people leaving the church since COVID. So many people have become comfortable, uh, not spending time together as Believers. And so we’ve got to get back to that spending time, uh, in God’s word, uh, the teaching of the apostles with each other and fellowship and the breaking of bread together, having meals together.
How important is it? How I’m, I’m finding the older that I get, the more that I’m finding how important and how great a great meal is to sit down, to enjoy. food and drink together and enjoy that conversation and to love each other through that. To serve one another through that. And then to spend time in prayer, there’s nothing greater than to be able to connect with God’s Holy Spirit, connect to Jesus, connect with the Father through that time in prayer.
So in closing, I’d like to read this scripture to you. Acts chapter two, verse 42. So important in my life. I think so important for us as the Church, as Believers, “They joined with the other Believers and devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship. Sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer.” And my encouragement to you is to not miss out on what God has for you through doing those things.
Let me pray.
Lord, thank you so much for your love for us, for your kindness, for your goodness. Lord, you have proven yourself time and time again through these three witnesses, through these things that we have, through the teaching of the apostles, the Bible, through your Word.
Thank you that your Word is true and that your Word has proven you time and time again.
Lord, thank you for fellowship that we can have together as believers. I pray for the Church. Lord, for your children, Lord, that you would help draw us closer to you, that you would help us lift you up. And the Word says that when you are lifted up, you will draw us closer to you. And as we draw closer to you, Lord, let it be that we grow closer to each other.
My brothers and sisters that are here, uh, listening to this right now, uh, Lord, I pray unity in Jesus name, uh, for your children, for your church and Lord, thank you for prayer. Thank you that you give us this awesome gift of being able to speak to you, even right now as we’re praying Lord. I have no doubt, there is no doubt in my mind, in my heart, you hear us.
When your children seek you and come to you, you hear our prayers Lord. So thank you for not only hearing our prayers, but for answering our prayers. Help us to be faithful and patient in hearing those answers. Help us to be true to you, to your word and Lord to each other as, uh, as the body of Christ, as Believers.
Lord, we love you. We thank you for this scripture, for this word, for this time together in Jesus name. Amen.
Joshua Swanson: Thank you, Mac, for sharing your practical and inspired devotional with us. We’re going to play out this episode with one of Mac’s new songs. It’s called River of Life. Special thanks to Jacob Fairclough who produced our theme song. The Walk is brought to you by Worship Leader. Find out more about [email protected].
I also want to thank the team at Life Audio for their partnership. If you go to life audio.com, you’ll find a collection of faith centered podcasts about health and wellness, parenting current cultural events, Bible teachings, and more. So check ’em out at lifeaudio.com. I’m Joshua Swanson. Here’s River of Life.