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Leaving a Legacy that Lasts Forever - Teach Them to Work Unto the Lord, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2021 6:00 am

Leaving a Legacy that Lasts Forever - Teach Them to Work Unto the Lord, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 6, 2021 6:00 am

Chip wraps up this message by explaining how to teach children to work "unto the Lord." He challenges parents not to rob their children of the opportunities to grow, by constantly "doing" for them. The practicalities of being on time, starting with small chores and as they mature, gradually adding more and more responsibilities, and actually finishing a job, are all key to preparing them for being on their own.

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Are you in one of those can-do jobs? What I mean is you can do it, but down deep you don't really like it.

In fact, you might even despise it. Well, do you quit? Do you buck for a promotion?

Do you go back to school? Could it be that you have yet to discover the job that God has specifically made you to do? Stay with me and let's find out. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouin. And in just a minute, we'll continue our series, Leaving a Legacy that Lasts Forever. Today, Chip reveals how we can change our view of work from a chore to an act of worship. Whether you're just starting your first job or wrapping up 50 years of service, applying what you'll learn today will revolutionize how you look at your work tomorrow.

Now, if you miss any part of this message, remember you can always catch up via the Chip Ingram app. With that, let's join Chip for part two of his message, Teach Them to Work Unto the Lord. Second, feed them responsibility, responsibility, responsibility.

Maturity has very little to do with age and everything to do with responsibility. I can show you 35 year old guys living in the back bedroom paying $33 a month rent asking mommy what's for supper. And I can show you 17, 18 year olds or a couple guys at 23, 24 that were Stanford said, you want to try starting this little company? I don't know.

You think this Google thing will work? I don't know. So they're 29 and billionaires. Maturity is not about how old you are.

Maturity is the ability to handle more and more responsibility. And so you give your kids or your disciples. That's why even when you do small groups, when you do Bible studies, don't fix everything. Don't take care of everything. Ask people to bring stuff. Ask people to start leading. Ask people to share something. All the time, feed those people you love the most responsibility, responsibility, responsibility.

By the way, they won't do it as well as you. So perfectionistic fellow saints in the kingdom, lighten up. Be able to live with some messes because can I go back to like how did you learn to do stuff? That bricklayer, you know the greatest gift he gave to me? You know I came to Christ and then I went mostly to school to play basketball and baseball but I did get an education. And I think God put me with that bricklayer and we saw this ministry grow. And then I graduated from school and before I could find a coaching job, I worked with him. And then I was there like three months.

We're going to launch this new ministry. And he started working with some couples. He went a year earlier than me. And I'll never forget the day I came up to his house because we'd have a little Bible study Saturday morning.

And he goes, Chip, you know something? I'm getting too old for this student stuff. And I'm going to just focus on couples. The whole campus ministry, I mean we had like five people. The whole campus ministry is yours. So what do you mean? He said it's yours. Well, what's that mean?

It's yours. Lead it, direct it, come up with a strategy, make it happen. I said, Dave, I moved here to learn all this stuff. I mean I had a good teaching job and I came to learn from you and do all this stuff and I'm living in this tiny little apartment with the box and the campus is up there and we do it in your living room.

What do you mean? He said, look, just lead it. And I said, well, I don't know enough. He goes, well, there's my file cabinet. Everything I've learned, all the messages I've learned from other people, they're topical.

You can just open them up and get whatever you need. And I remember, because his house was up on this hill and mine was down at the bottom, and I remember trudging down. I said, man, I can't believe this. I can't believe this. I can't believe this.

I can't believe this. He just dumped this whole thing on me and by the time I got to the door, it was like, alright. Hey, I'm going to lead it.

I'm going to do it my way then. So I started these Gospel of John Bible studies in dorm rooms and guys are smoking dope and there's all these pictures on the wall and it's crazy and I'm getting in the Bible and all of a sudden they start coming to Christ and here's what he understood. He could have me help him for yet another season and I would be a little helper. Or he could dump the truck of responsibility on me and I'd have to figure it out. And you know how I learned how to lead? Leading. And you know how you learn how to lead when you don't know how to lead?

It's called overwhelming. And then guess what? I prayed a lot because I didn't know what I was doing. Now I'm sure he kind of was watching and he was not going to let me go over a cliff. But he let me get right to the edge.

Do what you want to do. Feed them responsibility. Give them jobs, feed them responsibility. Number three, require, I almost said demand because I really mean demand.

Demand excellence and develop a work ethic. We have just got into this, our little kid's psyche. We don't want him to feel bad. My kids will tell you and maybe I was a little over the top. I had one son that had a struggle in school and he had the gift of sloppiness. And he would do his homework and I couldn't even read it and it was half baked and so every night, I mean for like almost two years, every night. I'm not exaggerating so maybe I missed a night, you know, sort of.

Not many. And I would look at it and I said, well Eric, I can't read this. He said, well Dad, it's the best I can do. I said, well, the best you can do, I guess, is not quite good enough because that's, and I would give him, you know, the little Dad sermon and I really love you son and I'll do it again. Hey Eric, you can cry as long as you want but when you start writing it again, it'll get quicker, okay. So I'll be out here when you get it done, bring it out to me. And that's how you learn to clean out the garage.

That's not bad, now try it again. You know, the reason, the vacuum cleaner, you pick up the rug and you actually vacuum under the rug, okay. Now I'm not talking about being perfectionistic, over the top wacko, although my kids at times would say I had small moments of that. It was, if they don't learn to work well and work with excellence and work to an audience of one, where do you think they're going to pick that up? One of the greatest gifts I think I saw my wife and I give our children is they know how to think and they know how to work and they've all been very successful in jobs because right now, how many of you are like either a business owner, supervisor, employer, manager in any way? What's your number one problem? You can't find people who can work, right?

You can't find people that can come on time, do what they're told, fulfill a job and do it well. You give that to those you love and they'll be successful in whatever they do. And so you have to demand that. By the way, the reason for those of you that still have some small kids, or by the way it gets harder when they're older, well I'm 18 years old, I can do anything I want, that's right.

You can also pay your own rent, you can buy your own food, give them responsibility. Your goal is not to make them dependent and like you and have warm, fuzzy feelings all the time. You want to launch them, they're an arrow of God out of your quiver and you want to launch them into the world with a trajectory of impact. So they need to understand, I'm called to do this, God made me to do this, I do it for an audience of one.

You know what, I can lay brick or be a nuclear physicist and you know what, they're equal in God's eyes. I just need to figure out what that is. And the final thing I would say is teach them, and I allude to this, to work for an audience of one. And when they're young, like I told them, I understand no one can see behind here that's really dirty and all the cobwebs and you know the spiders that are coming out of the corner and stuff. It's upsetting your mother. But the reason you clean here is because we're not doing this for me or for your mom. You do your best because work is an offering to God.

Do you see it? This was really one of the core reformation principles. The priesthood of the believer was one. This other was living life before the face of God. All that we do, all that we are is an offering. And so those are four little things. Jobs, responsibility, excellence, audience of one. Now let's get real practical.

Help them discover God's calling for their life. And to do this, you need to ask the following questions. And by the way, this isn't original. What is your shape? Actually there was a pastor I think from Saddleback who wrote a book that has this word shape. But it was such a good acronym, I stole it. And so I don't want any credit for it but I think all truth is God's truth.

If you give credit, if people have done better stuff than you, you just grab it, modify it, give credit and use it. So this acronym of a shape I think is very, very helpful. And here's your role with your disciples, with the people that you love, with your kids, with your grandkids, with the people in your Bible study.

You want to be a student of them. See your role, you've got 365 days to live. If you're going to die 365 days from now and at the end of that 365 days, let's say they live another 20 or 30 years.

Let's just round it. 70% of their waking hours, they're going to work. How valuable would it be if you could help them discover what they were made by God to do and spend 70% of their waking hours doing what God made them to do with joy and fruit and impact. And they woke up and said, thank God it's Monday.

Can you imagine the gift that would be? Not only to them but to the kingdom. And my suggestion is you'll have to become a student, your role changes. We have unconsciously bought how do I help the people I love be successful and how I help them be happy. That takes you down probably very negative paths. What I can tell you is if you help them discover who God made them to be and fulfill their calling, this sort of side thing will happen. They'll probably be pretty successful and they'll probably be very happy. But that's a side benefit, that's not the goal.

So what is your shape? So number one, ask them what are their spiritual gifts. Help them discover their spiritual gifts. You have the core passages in the New Testament, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Ephesians 4.

And I went over those quickly. But there's lots of excellent resources to help people discover their spiritual gifts. So we put together a thing called Your Divine Design. It's an audio series and a DVD series that walks people through a process of discovering their primary spiritual gift. What did God make them? What is their passion spiritually?

What did he create them to do in terms of spiritual gifts? My son Ryan, I'll give a number of real practical illustrations, was not a student. I mean he would have six weeks where he'd get like A's and B's and he was a smart kid but very lazy.

And he doesn't mind me saying this because it's very true. And so from sixth grade to twelfth grade he didn't put two six weeks together, ever. And I mean like his joke is, I was grounded I think from seventh grade on, you know. It's not really true but I mean he made me nuts.

He just wouldn't do his work. But so I started, I said okay, I'm responsible for his education. Here's a book by C.S. Lewis. I want you to write me a book report. And he did.

And then here's the major Bible themes by Chafer and Wahlberg. I mean it's like this. And this is during the summer. You're not going to work at school? That's okay. I'm going to be responsible. You're going to learn to read, write and think. And so you read a chapter and there's 20 questions at the end. You have to go into the Bible and answer all of them. Well he did. Here's what I learned about my son. He led four of the six volleyball players in high school to Christ. He had a Bible study in our home. When he was supposed to be studying he went and learned how to play the guitar very well. And when he got bored playing the guitar he went out and played the drums. He loved God. He had a passion for God's word and he hated school. Now part of the discipline was I just was on him, on him, on him, on him, on him.

And then when he got done with school he said well you know I think I'd like to go to college. I said well I've got a stewardship issue here. Because you know we're going to you know I don't have a lot of money and so we're going to have to both pay as much as we can. But you need to work for a year and save eight to ten thousand dollars because you've never put two, six weeks together. Why should I put ten thousand of God's money down and you go off to college and blow ten thousand dollars? So you need to work for a year and then you pay for your first year. And if you're consistent and do it well then by then I think I'll be able to handle the next three years.

I'll pay at least your tuition and you can work. And he looked at me like dad? He said yes son. Now do you understand now some of you are looking at me like you must be the harshest, meanest, baddest father I've ever heard.

Now think about this. Again am I not being consistent? It's not my money it's God's money. He's blown the last. Why would his behavior change because he goes off to college and has more freedom and can do more?

Well I will tell you what. He did a couple jobs that he thought I don't think I want to do this the rest of my life. He saved about seven or eight thousand dollars. I charged him rent in his bedroom from day one.

The goal is to what? Help him to become responsible. Now we had fun, we played hoop, I loved him, we had a great relationship. But what I saw was his motivation and spiritual gifts were in this area of teaching and discipling. And I praise God for Joe Stull who was the president of Moody Bible. He and I were on the phone, I described my son. He said I knew a guy just like him once. I said I'll tell you what I'll let him in Moody Bible.

I'd rather have a guy who's not as studious, who loves God and has a proven track record. And I said well who's this person you know that was like this? He said it was me. He said I hated high school. He said I never started studying so I started Greek and the Bible and all the rest. I said Joe you got a doctorate. He goes man Chip it's not about brains, it's about calling and motivation.

Well my son ended up at Moody, he graduated from Moody, he clept out of courses, he got through, he loved Greek. He's a pastor and he's in a ministry that's God's blessing. But part of it was what's his spiritual gift? That's going to be a big part of what God. When you come to Christ, God's going to give a primary I believe motivation and a ministry cluster for you to fulfill.

In other words if this is your good work year to walk in, doesn't it make sense? He's going to put something in you, a power supernaturally for you to do it. The second is what's their heart? Where's their passion? Ask them what's your desire? What do you dream about?

What would you love to see happen? I mean that question, if you couldn't fail what would you like to do? I mistakenly asked one of my sons that once and he says I want to be a musician. I thought oh my gosh, tell me you're joking son.

No dad I think God's put this music in my heart and I'm thinking there's a zillion musicians, bands everywhere. You got to get a real job, there's no security in this. I mean I'm preaching on the weekends of this but now this is my kid who's not going to get a real job, right? And so he goes to a little community college, dad I'm bored with this, I want to go full time in music and I'm gone.

And so I can still tell you where I was, I was here in the kitchen, the table's here, Jason was right there. And I'm giving him the logical parental well after you get done with school and you need to have enough security. And I'm giving him all this basically money, you got to take care of yourself over here.

And the fear of a dad thinking you'll never be happy because you're going to end up a has-been little musician that's traveled around and wasted your early years. So I'm in my flesh, I'm worried about his happiness and money. And so he's in the kitchen and I'm giving him the opposite of what I'm preaching which is not good as a pastor or a father. And he looked at me and goes, hey dad, who's that guy who said dream great dreams and follow the passions of your heart, think outside the box and make a difference for Jesus? I said give me a minute, let me see if I can remember who that guy was. And we had this exchange and I had to say, son, I'm sorry, I give, you're right, give me a day to process it and then just tell me how can I help you.

And it's a long story and he's writing music and doing what God made him to do. And anybody here in this room have that struggle with those you really care about? You know, sort of the practical versus what God might really want him to do? A is for aptitude, what are you good at? The fourth is personality, you need to look at how your kids are wired. And you know, whether that's the aptitude, whether it's the strength finder test that you can get at any bookstore and go online in 30 minutes and kind of see what people's strengths are.

Or the personality test, there's lots of them, the MMPI or sort of the easiest one is that disk test, you know, high D, I. But my point is, it doesn't take long to give someone that you're discipling or one of your kids or grandkids a little test and begin to talk about, you know, you're high dominant and high I, you're a leader. Or you like details. But dad, I want to be a ballerina. I know, but sort of a nice way, you're awkward, honey, and you fall down a lot, you know?

And we'll get you one of those little tutus for Halloween and you can run around the neighborhood, you know, you're only seven. But my point is, you want to direct them toward what they're good at, what they have, that's how God made them. And then here, you want to encourage them to get honest, wise counsel about who they are and where they fit and how to move. Because you may have an influence on them, especially if they're children or grandchildren.

But you want them to get wise counsel from people you really trust and they trust to give some outside objective view of where are they at, where are they coming from, what are they good at, how do they come off. You want to just create these mirrors of objectivity to help this person understand what has God made you to do, what is your Ephesians 2 10 good work to walk in, what are you called to do. When you do it, you come alive and God blesses it and you're fulfilled. By the way, when you are doing what God made you to do and when the people that you are helping are doing what God made them to do, they often miss it because it doesn't seem like work. You understand, we all have glasses.

If you had glasses and there was a blue tint so that everything you saw was blue, you would think everyone sees blue. I meet people who see a situation and organizing it, well that can't be God's call. I mean it's so easy to organize stuff. All you do is this, this, this, this, this, this, this goes over here, this goes over here. I mean it only took me five minutes and I'm thinking, how did you do that? Or I watched my son at nine years old read the Bible and ask questions about it and teach his friends at nine. I'm thinking, he thinks everyone does that. Or I've seen people who look at something technical and they click, click, click, click, click, click here, this is over here, well this thing here, these are cookies over here. I don't even know what cookies are. You could give me that computer until Jesus comes.

Send. So what you have to help people is that when they seem like it's not work because it comes so easy, now you have to develop the gift and you have to cultivate it. But often that's their sweet spot.

That's what they're great at. I remember when I first started teaching, I thought, well no one can do this for a living. I mean you get to study, you get up in front of people, then you get to apply it, you get to see what happens. I mean is this for real, like this is a real job? Now I spent hours and hours and hours intensely working, but I'd say about 95% of it I think.

Are you kidding me? I mean, someone actually gets to do this because when I open the text and when I study, it breaks apart for me. I sense what God wants to say. It's hard in terms of intense and time and energy, but it's not hard as in, oh brother, I've got one more sermon to write. Or, oh boy, I've got to get together in a group and we've got to dream what we're going to do with this church and we've got all these problems and boy what a bummer. I love it.

I just love it. I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. I have to kind of hold myself down, you know, like quit trying to do too much. Encourage them after the honest, wise feedback. Help them be willing to move out of their comfort zone to fulfill their divine purpose. You need to understand that the people that you love the most, the people that you want to help, the most common command in all of scripture is a very short sentence. Do not be afraid. That's the most repeated command in all of the Bible. Joshua, don't be afraid. Moses, don't be afraid. Disciples, don't be afraid. Why? As one ancient Greek philosopher said, safety is the greatest hindrance to all human endeavor. All of us tend to want to be safe and secure. I had to literally say to one of my sons, son, you're in this community college and, I mean, you can't go back there next year.

We'll look at different schools but you have this dream. But he just didn't want to get away from home. This is the same son. I put roller skates on him and I said, you can't come back inside until noon. I don't want to learn. It's hard.

I know it's hard. And I pushed him and did all this stuff when he got his first bike. It was like, I don't want to learn to ride. I mean, he just could never get him out of his comfort zone. But man, every step of the way has been pushing him where he didn't think he could go. Lovingly, gently. But you have to help people understand.

A lot of people, that's why you're where you're at. It's called coaching. Most of us can never fulfill what God made us to fulfill unless there's someone who does two things. There's an arm around us that says, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, and there's a foot that I love you so much that I'm not going to let you stay in this little spiritual, emotional, geographical cul-de-sac of safety. Okay? And so, the life message is, you were created to work.

Would that change a person's life? I was made for this. The lie is that you are what you do.

You've been fatted on. You are a housewife, you are a doctor, you are a scientist, you are a builder, you are a bricklader, you are a plumber. That's a lie from the pit of hell. The truth is, do what you are. You are not what you do. Do what you are. You are created in the image of God with the spiritual gift, with the personality, with the passion, with aptitude, with skills, with experience to do this designed Ephesians 2 10 good work.

Discover it, and then help others discover theirs. And when you do, work becomes a gift from God, instead of drudgery to get out of, so you can go play on the weekends. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, Teach Them to Work Unto the Lord. You're listening to Living on the Edge, and we're in the middle of Chip's series, leaving a legacy that lasts forever. The concept of passing on your faith that we're talking about in this series isn't new. Parents from the very beginning were instructed to teach their children about God and His faithfulness, and were expected to build that same Godly legacy from generation to generation. The five biblical habits Chip's been teaching are key to living a more Christ-centered, joy-filled life. So whether you're a parent, grandparent, or a mentor, this series will help you connect in meaningful ways with the young people you love.

To check out the resource options for leaving a legacy that lasts forever, go to livingontheedge.org, call 888-333-6003, or click on Special Offers on the Chip Ingram app. I'll be right back in just a minute with some final thoughts about today's message. But you know, in light of the things that we talked about today, I just want to acknowledge that some of the most painful conflicts and difficult relationship experiences we have is with our adult children. No matter how much you love God, no matter how good your family is, when our children become adults, things change.

Yes, they're to honor us, but they don't obey us anymore. And we go from, you know, when they're small to telling them what to do, to negotiating when they're teens, and then we launch them, and then a lot of things change. Of all the things we've heard at Living on the Edge, in terms of where are the needs, we've heard over and over, will you help us with our adult children?

Such conflicts, such changes in values, such problems that people don't have answers to. That's why I teamed up with parenting expert Jim Burns to create a resource called How to Navigate Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and I discuss principles that will empower and equip you as a parent when you struggle with those delicate relationships when your kids are now adults. We're going to talk about control issues. We'll talk about when to speak and when to keep your mouth shut.

This is a resource I think that's really going to help you. Thanks Chip. Well, one of the most fulfilling gifts we can enjoy as parents is a great relationship with our adult children, where we respect and enjoy each other so much that we actually look forward to spending time together.

So the whole aim of this online video course called How to Navigate Life with Your Adult Children is to give you the practical tools you need to successfully build those kinds of relationships with your kids. It's absolutely free. It's six sessions with Chip and Jim Burns and you can do them at your own pace whenever you want. So I hope you'll tap special offers on the app or go to livingontheedge.org and take advantage of this great resource.

You're going to be glad you did. Now here's Chip with some final thoughts from today's message. As we close today's program, I want to give you a little assignment. I mean, we've talked a lot about who am I really and what did God make me and what's my shape and how do I discover my spiritual gift and aptitudes. And, you know, Lord willing, a number of you will really sit down and seriously go through that process. But the reality is a lot of you have a couple ideas in your mind and I want to just help you get started. So here's the question I want you to ask to a friend or if you're a parent, sit around, maybe have supper sometime this week together. And here's the question I want you to ask one another. If money and opportunity were no limitation, what would you really like to do with your life?

If you could do anything in the world and it wasn't about how much education or how much money or opportunity, if you could be anything in the whole world, what would you really like to do and why? Just start that question and you might do it with a bunch of guys, you might do it with a ladies group or a parent. This is a great question and be prepared for, oh, I don't know, and they roll their eyes and, you know, and just press them and say, I'm not going to hold you to it, but create this environment where we start to think outside the box about your design, about the grace of God, about some dreams that God has put in your kid's heart or a friend's heart, instead of how much does it pay, what do I got to do, how much education does it take, and this grind it out mentality that will lead people in places that they don't want to be and God doesn't want for them. So are you ready?

Take that challenge, ask that question, and let's see what God does. You know, a great way to stay engaged and connected to Chip and Living on the Edge is with the Chip Ingram app. You'll get free access to all of Chip's recent messages, his message notes, and much more. Not only that, but it couldn't be easier to call or email directly from the app. We'll be with us again next time when Chip continues his series, leaving a legacy that lasts forever. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-21 13:25:11 / 2023-11-21 13:37:39 / 12

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