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The Real God - The Love Of God, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2021 6:00 am

The Real God - The Love Of God, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 8, 2021 6:00 am

People play all kinds of games when it comes to love. Our minds can get wrapped up in ego and selfishness that hinder love at it's best. God demonstrates His love in ways that are so different from ours. Join Chip as he explores God's love and what could happen if we stop looking for love and start giving it away instead.

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When I counsel with people, I often hear them say something like this, You know, Chip, I know God loves me, but I just don't feel it. He feels so far away, even though intellectually I know He loves me. How do I get that sense of God's love?

Well, if that's you, stick around. We're going to learn how to experience God's love today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher on this international discipleship program, and I'm Dave Drouy. We're studying several key attributes of God's character, learning how He longs for us to see Him through Chip's series, The Real God. In this program, Chip finishes his message on God's love. He established some important groundwork in our previous broadcast, so if you missed it, a great way to catch up later is with the Chip Ingram app.

Now let's join him for part two of his message, The Love of God. I majored in psychology in graduate school and an undergraduate along with education, and I had to write a research paper for a thesis that I did. And one of the thesis that I did is I looked up all the things in terms of the effective role and responsibility of a father in the family. And so I did all the sociological and psychological study about what a dad brings. And in my study, you know, you got to do all this empirical research and all these control studies and read all these papers. And it was really interesting the number of studies that have been done on juvenile delinquents. And they do an interviewing process and they find out what made you feel loved growing up.

You know what number one or two was in a number of the studies? I knew my parents loved me when they disciplined me. You see, when you have a mom or dad who says, hey, what time do I need to be in? I don't care.

Just lock the door when you get in. I don't care. When you talk back to a parent and you do things that are disrespectful and they just yell back at you and now you have two kids acting like fools toward one another, they don't care. It's just unbelievable, the families. Here's how they parent. All they do is they just, here's 20 bucks, here's 100 bucks, here's 200 bucks.

Tell you what, go to the mall, do whatever you want to do, just get the heck out of my hair. And when they do things that are wrong, you know what, there's no consequences. And you know what kids know? If you don't care enough to confront me, if you don't care enough to do, give me what I need instead of what I want, you don't love me. And you know, God shows his love for you is he will selectively correct you.

And I don't like it and you don't like it. But it's an evidence of his love. The fifth way he reveals his love is by the Holy Spirit. He supernaturally pours his love into our hearts. Romans 5, 5 says, and hope doesn't disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.

This is that spirit. The moment you come to Christ, you do understand what happens. You know, you are an unbeliever like I was an unbeliever. You understand the gospel. You realize Christ died in your place for your sin.

You repent. That means you have a change of mind and you recognize what's true about you and you say with empty hands, I want to receive the free gift by faith of grace. The moment I receive Jesus Christ, put my trust in his work and his resurrection, the spirit of God enters my life.

Ephesians 1, I've sealed with the spirit. I'm adopted into God's family. I'm baptized into this thing called the church. Spiritual gifts are deposited in me.

I have an inheritance that will never change. And I'm now a part of God's family. And the Holy Spirit takes up residence in me. That's why I'm his temple. And then what he will do, the spirit of God, remember he says to the disciples, you can't take in everything, but the spirit when he comes will lead you into all truth. That's the last night. You remember the very last night he said, I am with you now, but it's better that I go because I won't just be with you. I will be in you and the father will come and I will come and as just as I am in the father and the father is in me, so we will come and we will be in you.

How? By the Holy Spirit. And so the spirit of God dwelling in us will take the word and you've had it happen.

He pours out the love of God. I remember late one night I was dating a girl that I was sure I was going to marry and her life was going this way and she was a believer and my life was going this way. And it just, it was a Lordship issue and it wasn't some big breakup.

I just knew that she was convinced that we were supposed to after college get married and she was the only child and live in this little town outside of West Virginia on the higher river and then live right next to her parents. And I felt the call of God in my life. But I'm telling you, I loved her. I mean I was heartbroken. And so we, you know, I said, you know, Lordship, I mean Lordship is doing what's right whether you feel like it or not. I mean it doesn't have a whole lot to do with how you feel. Most of the best obedience in my life I'm telling you I didn't want to do.

But I don't feel bad about it. Jesus didn't want to do his either. In the garden, I don't hear Jesus saying, Father, thank you. This is the hour which we planned on for the foundations of the earth.

I'm really excited about this one. High five the Holy Spirit for me. Hey, let's go. What I hear is, Father, if there's any other way, if there's a plan B in the mind of the Godhead, let's go with it now. Nevertheless, you demonstrate your love for God.

What, what, how? Obedience. John 14, 21. He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me and he that loves me will love my father. And then what happens?

And we will come and we will reveal or manifest ourself to him. And so we go our separate ways and one night, you know, we've, we've broken up, but I mean like I'm used to for like a couple three years home basketball game, hair's wet, come up the stairs and she's always there right on the rail. She grabs my arm. I feel like a special guy.

Go over to the student union, get a Coke, da da da. Just great relationship. Well, we break up for three or four or five months and I'm praying. I'm going, Oh God, change your heart.

Help her to see a vision for the world. And you know, I'm crying and I don't want to see anybody. And I'm in my pity party and Oh God, it's so hard to follow you. There'll never be anybody like this.

Good ever, ever. You know, I'm not kidding. I was a whiny wimpy. And, and I mean, I was, I mean, I was depressed.

I, you know, you're a guy like me loses weight. You got problems, you know? And so, and so, you know, I'm praying and I'm believing God's going to do something. He's going to bring her back to me. So I come out of the locker room, hair's wet, you know, we lost another game.

That wasn't good. And I come up the stairs and there she is. I'm thinking, yes, God, thank you so much. So I come up the stairs and then she's got that look like there's something wrong about this. And I said, hi. And I said her name, hi, how you doing? And there was a sort of this little standoffish. And then a guy came up the stairs. It was another guard on the team.

Ladies, you don't know, but guys, you know how you talk in the locker room and you kind of know the score, where guys are at, what they do, why they do it, all that jazz. And this dude's a snake. Okay. I mean, he's a snake.

And he walks right by me and he goes out the door and they go out arm in arm. And I remember walking across campus being as mad at God as ever. I mean, I was mad. I was so mad. I told God, either you speak to me, you speak to me. I cannot believe you would do this to me. And I went over and I went over and I said, okay, I'm going to, okay, I'm going to read where I'm reading and you better speak to me. I'm serious. I mean, I mean, literally the words came to me.

I feel like a beast inside. I just, I mean, it was so angry and so disappointed. And so I read Psalm 71. He didn't speak. Okay. Psalm 72.

He didn't speak. I mean, I just, I figure you ought to keep reading where you are. You know, you start jumping around and you'll try and make God speak to you. I opened Psalm 73. I'm telling you, I read Psalm 73 and I have never audibly heard the voice of God that could not have been the Holy Spirit pouring out his love more clearly, more powerfully in all my life. It was scary.

The very thoughts that I had, the very phrases out of my mind, the things that I said, the very core issues. I read Psalm 73 and I wept like a baby in my room. God understood. And he had a plan. You see, one of the ways God will love you is the Holy Spirit will be poured out.

And the way he'll do it is that sometimes it'll do it through his word. Sometimes I was in India shortly and I mean, it was such a dark time in the middle of the night and spiritual opposition and all this tsunami and I couldn't sleep and there's all the spiritual warfare going on in the middle of the night. I just started, I put on my tape player and I just started to sing. God, I just, I feel so alone and so far away and this is so scary. And I just began to sing and the Spirit of God just came into the room and poured the love of God and I just felt like he put his arms around me. I've been in an ICU before where I thought, oh, one of my boys is going to die. And I begged God and I pleaded with God and the Spirit, you've been there.

You've had these, haven't you? The final way is through his son. Jesus reveals the nature of God's love for us through his son. Jesus modeled compassion, grace, and truth, right? Just the life of Jesus. He shows us the Father's love by how he responds to children, by how he feeds people, by how he has compassion on Jairus' daughter, how he stops with the widow and it's her only son and he raises him from the dead, by how he forgives.

He reveals his love by his teaching and he explains, I mean, if you want to know how Jesus feels about people, Luke 15. Why are you hanging out with those sinners and those bad people? And so he tells them a parable and he tells them the three familiar stories, lost sheep, lost coin, lost son. You know the story. And the picture is the father waiting for the son to return.

To do what? He goes out every day. Is he here yet? Is he here yet?

Is he okay? It's the picture of someone pursuing and seeking and searching and the sheep comes back on the shoulders and the coin is found and there's a party and the son returns and there's life. His teaching told us about the love of God and his death demonstrated the extent of God's love. This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. But God demonstrated his own love for us, Romans 5 8, that why we were yet sinners.

There is no performance. We're his enemies then, right? Why we're yet sinners.

Christ died for us. Do you sense the need to kind of just get some of these truths soaking? You know, my mom used to, she was a school teacher and so she had trouble trying to get dinner on the table and when those crock pots were invented like my mom went nuts.

I mean it was like whoa. And she could put a piece of meat and potatoes and carrots and just like anything in the refrigerator and put it in this crock pot and then she would turn it on and it would simmer and simmer and simmer all day, sometime 10 or 12 hours and then it was great. And you know what will take these truths from the 18 inches from here to here? You need to take these truths and these notes and some of these word pictures and you need to put it in the spiritual crock pot. And rather than trying hard to force it in, God help me believe that you love me, please please please.

Just put them in the spiritual crock pot. In fact, for me I put them on three by five cards and you know I'll read them and read a verse and then thank God that this is, you know, and so much of it, please don't get hung up on your emotions. We are so emotionally bound. Well I don't feel like he loves me, well okay get over it. I mean, you know what, I don't either. But what I, the people that love me, I don't want one guy to say oh I really feel good about you Chip but I can't help you.

I'd rather the other guy say I don't feel so good about you but here's a hundred bucks to solve your problem or I'll pull your car out of the ditch. You see, we need to begin to understand it's not an ooey gooey emotional love, it's a objective reality of how God actually thinks and feels that you actually possess and when you get your mind renewed and you begin to respond in worship I will tell you that then you will emotively begin to experience more and more the love of God as the spirit of God pours it into your heart but it's a journey and it's a process. An object's value is always determined by the price paid for it. To God you are worth the price of his son's death in your place. You know some of you are musicians and you know you can get a cheap violin and then you can get those kind that are made in Germany. You pay about $6,000 for a violin, it's very valuable. You pay about $400, it's okay. Value is always determined by price.

And if you ever wonder, does God really love me? This is as objective as it gets. If you were a slave in a slave market and they put you up on those round little stools and they said, how much for this one? $200. How much for this one? $500. How much for this one? Really big and strong, $800. How much for this one?

Nah, old, weak, can't do anything. $50. And then it came your turn. God would make the bid and he would say, I want that one. How much? The death of my son. That's what I'll pay for that one.

And you're the one. See the word redemption is a picture of a slave being bought out of slavery and the price of purchase is the blood of Jesus for you. God loves you. How do you receive it? You must respond to God's love in three specific ways. One, you receive it by faith in your heart. John 3 16, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever, you need to be a whosoever.

You need to be one of those people who receive it. John 1 12 says, yet to all who receive him Jesus, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. If there's anybody that has never received and jumped into the liquid ocean of love of the God I've described, just receive him. Just say, Lord Jesus, I want you.

I get it. Come into my life. The second thing to experience God love is we must believe it by faith in our minds. You receive him by faith in your heart and then we must go through the journey that I've been talking about of believing it by faith in our minds. 1 John 4 13 through 16 says, we know that we live in him and he in us because he's given us of his spirit and we have seen and testified that the father has sent his son to be the savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is a son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love that God has for us.

Did you hear that? We know objectively and we rely on God's love. How do you know and rely?

How does it work? Let me give you three real specific ways. The way you begin to get this process operating where it moves from here in your head to your heart is you saturate your mind in the truth of God's love for you. I've put a very, very important passage, Romans 8 28 through about 39. You know, it's the passage about neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present or things to come. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ.

Nothing. So you saturate your mind with God's truth about this. And that's why I talked about whether it's three by five cards or being in the scriptures or praying these back to the Lord. Second, ask God to help you grasp his love for you. I don't know what you pray or who you pray for, but the apostle Paul in Ephesians three gives us a great example. When he's praying for a group of people, what's he pray? He says, God, I pray for this group of people right here. What do I pray? I pray that you will strengthen them in their inner man so that they could by faith grasp the extent of your love for them.

What's he praying? God, I want you to do something to take it from here down to here. Ask God, pray for yourself. Lord, help me grasp that you love me. Lord, I want to even feel it. Lord, help me to take all those messages and false kinds of loves and all the baggage that I have and wipe it away.

Please help me experience and know your love. Do you think he'll answer that prayer? You know for sure it's his will. So you saturate your mind with truth, you ask him, and then third, refuse to seek love and cheap substitutes.

This is the woman at the well, and it's all of us in here to some degree or another. In 1 John 2, 15 and 16 says, notice the word, do not love the world or the things that are in the world. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life. It's not from the Father, it's from the world.

But he who does, the will of God abides forever. And those are the three things that trip everybody up all the time. There is a sensual lust, there's a desire for more stuff, and there's a desire for ego to be a somebody.

But you know, what's behind those? What's behind those is this desire to be loved, to be significant, secure, to matter, and they're just cheap substitutes. It's the world promising you, you'll get loved if you do this. You'll get loved if you act like this. You'll get loved if you have this much money. You'll get loved if your body looks like this. You'll get loved if you can just get, you know, serve everybody all the time, be super, super Christian who never says no to anybody and has absolutely whacked out life and they'll give you all these strokes and it'll feel like love.

They're all cheap substitutes. God says refuse them. And what seals the deal is after you receive it and believe it, we must bestow it by faith through our wills. See, the way you really get is to give. And there's a command.

I mean, this isn't one of the options. John 13, remember last night with the disciples? A new commandment I've given to you that you love one another. Well, just as I've loved you.

How's that? Sacrificial, unconditional, by giving. And then there's a calling. Jesus laid down his life for us. We should what? Lay down our lives for one another. And then there's a promise. I do not understand this, people.

I don't understand it at all. But when I willfully choose, whether I feel like it or not, to give my time and give my money and give my gifts and give my attention and give my care after I have taken a drink or taken my water bottle or backed up my truck into the ocean of God's liquid love and I begin to just spray it out radically to other people, all I can tell you is it creates a spiritual vacuum and the more I give it out, the more God gives to me and the more I give it out, the more I get it back. And many of us are spending our lives seeking to experience God's love and the catalyst or the action point will be when you stop asking, who loves me? Who didn't say hi to me?

Am I okay? And you start asking, who needs a friend? Who needs some help? Who needs some love? Who needs a listening ear? Who needs a phone call?

Who needs a little money that will never know where it came from? And I'm just telling you, give and it'll be given unto you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running back into your lap. So if you love with a teaspoon, you get a teaspoon of love back. You love with a tablespoon, you get a tablespoon back. You love with a gallon jug, you get a gallon jug back.

Stick that tanker into the ocean and start going whoosh, and your life might get downright scary. When I taught this message, I literally stopped and gave people time to think. And I want to stop for you. Wouldn't it be a tragedy to fill our hearts and minds with all this information about God and know that He loves us intellectually and not take the time at this moment in your history and stop and respond to the love of God? What is God doing in your heart? If you are outside of Christ, if you've heard about His love and you've learned about the cross, you've heard about the payment for sin, you've heard about the resurrection, you've heard that you are the object of His love, are you willing today to receive it? That's the first step.

Are you willing to admit that you fall short? Turn from your sin and right now, in this moment, lift up the empty hands of faith and cry out and say, Lord Jesus, save me, forgive me, cleanse me. I believe you died for me.

Do it right now. In your own words, talk with God and then tell someone today, I prayed to receive Christ. I received God's love. If you're a believer, are you going to start believing that God really loves you? Are you going to get rid of some of that baggage and go into, I mean, a study and a commitment to believe in your mind, saturating your mind with the truth, getting involved in community, refusing to believe all those lies, get counseling, do whatever you need to do to begin to bank your life on the reality that God loves you?

And by way of application, I would say I can't think of a better series that we offer to get a group of people together and meet in a coffee shop or a living room with a group of men, a group of women, or maybe as couples and say, you know what? Unless we get clear on who God really is, we're never going to get right with him or anybody else. And then do a little Bible study, hold one another accountable and say, we're going to get to know you, God. Finally, you've got to bestow God's love.

You may have a pretty accurate picture of him. And my challenge to you, especially mature believers, is let's get outside of ourselves and let the world know there's happy news. There's forgiveness. There's restoration.

There's power. Believers, let's lift our heads and get involved with people that maybe we're uncomfortable with and let's love them. They're not going to know God is love unless we, his children, model it.

Are you willing to do something radical? I mean, love them the way Jesus loved them. Father, thank you for this great study of who you are. May we grasp it with clarity. May we receive your forgiveness. May we believe on a daily basis accurately who you are. And then will you use us as instruments and conduits of the supernatural love of God Almighty through our Lord Jesus Christ. It's in His name we pray.

Amen. If you prayed with Chip, I hope you'll take a minute and call us at 888-333-6003. We'd love to hear your story and get a free resource in your hands that'll help you understand the significance of your decision to follow Jesus and then give you a couple of next steps on your journey. That same resource is available if you tap special offers on the app or go to the New Believers tab on our website, LivingOnTheEdge.org. We just want to help you get started and say welcome to the family. Here at Living on the Edge, our mission is to help Christians live like Christians. One of the ways we do that is by providing free resources to as many people as possible. So all of Chip's MP3 messages are free. There are hundreds of free resources at LivingOnTheEdge.org and the Chip Ingram app is a great way to listen and stay connected, getting the latest from Living on the Edge. Well, that wraps up this program. For Chip and everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-02 13:21:38 / 2023-09-02 13:32:13 / 11

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