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I Choose Love - Love Obeys, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2023 6:00 am

I Choose Love - Love Obeys, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 28, 2023 6:00 am

There's a huge tension between God's sovereignty and our free will. Join Chip as he wrestles with this tension and finds answers in Philippians, Chapter 2, to the question: How do we "work out" what God has already "worked in"?

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When's the last time when you were talking to God personally and intimately you thanked Him for the great progress you're making in your faith? I find people that no matter how much progress you make, you never feel like you measure up. And behind that is the sense that God is down on you.

How do we work out what God has already worked in and be thankful for? Stay with me. That's today. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry motivating Christians to live like Christians. Well, today Chip picks up where he left off last time in our series, I Choose Love, with the remainder of his talk, Love Obeys. But before we begin, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge and you want to know more about what we do, go to livingontheedge.org.

There you'll find tons of resources and countless programs to enjoy. Or if you prefer, the Chip Ingram app is also a great way to get plugged in with our ministry. Well, today Chip explains it's vital we thank God for the ways He's worked in us so He can continue working through us. For more on that, go in your Bibles to Philippians chapter 2 as we dive into Chip's message.

I came up around a group, you came up around a group, and these groups have thoughts about the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of men. And I will just say, you know, some of you struggle with guilt because no matter how much you do, it's never enough. Because you live with this, you know, there's never enough, God's down on you. Now that's extreme, that's not what should be taught.

Some of you are like laid back to the point of, you're not doing what you need to. But you have this subtle of, God's in control, He really is in control, but that doesn't excuse you. And so what you want to do is you want to say, I don't want what Calvin taught and I don't want what Jacob Arminius taught, I want what Jesus taught. I want what the New Testament says, I want what the word of God says.

And there's going to be certain times and certain passages, I've been doing this for quite a while, I don't fully understand, I don't think anyone fully understands. But I've got plenty of truth to know this, I will stand before God as a follower of Jesus and give an account for my time, my energy, my money, and my decisions. And I've been around long enough to know this, is that despite my mistakes, my difficulties, the times even that I've sinned, the times when I knew what was right and I didn't even do it, there's this patient, kind, loving, sovereign God that's working even those difficulties and things that people have done to me and circumstance I can't understand because He's such a, are you ready, good, good Father. And so becoming like Jesus and following Him is a cooperative effort. Your effort and discipline to mine, not earn, but to mine out the grace that God's given you. Well the question then becomes is, how do you work out what God worked in?

I mean it's nice to hear that, I kind of gave you the theory and the history, well it practically, how do you do it? Well Paul, this is a really amazing thing, after chapter two verse 12 and after verse 13, guess what comes? Verse 14 and 15 and 16 and 17, so guess what Paul's gonna do? He says I want you to obey to be the kind of follower of Jesus fully by His grace, even if I come or I don't come, but the goal is I want you to be under the hearing, so I'm gonna give you very specific things to obey so that you have unity and that God uses you in this perverse generation, so are you ready? Get your pen out, keep your Bible open, here's command number one, he says do everything without complaining or arguing. So the command is be a grateful servant, be a grateful servant, if, not to be overly technical, but if you had the Greek text in your hand, you would read it and you would go oh wait, the word order, it's completely out of order. They took the word everything and do everything and it belongs in the back of the sentence and they put it all the way in the front of the sentence for what?

Emphasis. Drive your car, pay your bills, live with your mate, respond to the government and pay your taxes. How? Do everything without complaining or arguing. Word for complaining here is basically grumbling, it's that infectious negative attitude. It's really about be a grateful servant in your speech and your attitude. Don't whine, don't complain, don't talk about your boss or your supervisor behind their back, don't be negative, don't be critical, don't be sarcastic, don't put people down.

This is getting pretty convicting, just me saying this to myself. But not only don't complain but don't argue, it's a legal term. It has to do with dissensions and disputing and taking sides. Can you imagine what would happen, just hypothetically, if every genuine follower of Jesus obeyed this with regard to their social media?

No complaining, no arguing, no dissensions, no name calling, no attacking other people. See, this was happening in the Philippian church and is this happening in anybody else's home? Is this happening at work? Anybody else's small group?

This is happening everywhere, isn't it? See, what he's going to say is you want to work out your salvation, you want to go into training and practice? Begin with your speech because Jesus said the good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good. The evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil, for the mouth speaks by that which fills the heart. The two most vivid ways to know where you're at in your journey with the Lord Jesus is ask, what does my money say about my values and what does my speech say about my heart?

And those two things are just pretty black and white. If it's negative, if it's complaining, if it's putting people down, see, if you change your speech, your heart has to change. Our kids, we've had some that were less negative and some more negative.

I had one that was extraordinarily negative. She came out of the womb. Well, I said she.

I guess we know who it is. I mean, she was. I mean, the glass never got half full. And so we got a jar and we wrote missions on it and Annie's speech and all my kids memorized Ephesians 4, 29.

Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment that it might give grace to those who hear. And so we started out with every time a negative comment came out, she put a dime in the jar. Then we went to quarters. Then we went to 50 Cent speech. She was a very generous to missions at the church.

But here's the thing. She went into training. She went into training and we talked about it. And then she began to memorize some verses.

Now, you know what? Part of that was a leadership gift that she has that when she looked at life, she saw what was wrong. And then when she thought it, it came out of her mouth at the same time.

She did not get that from her mother. So we went into training together to get a hold of our speech. You might evaluate things and see something that, oh, that should be over here instead of like that, or that's not the right attitude, or we need to fix that at work.

That might be a real giftedness you have. But when it comes out of your mouth in the wrong context and not in the right way with the right tone of voice, it's disunifying. Second, he says, this is for a purpose. The purpose of being grateful is so that you can be a godly servant. God wants us to be godly. Godly publicly, godly privately, and godly personally. Circle the word blameless, circle the word pure, and circle the word without fault. The word blameless is relationship to the outside world. It means the people at work, your neighbors, people at the coffee shop, the dry cleaners, the team one of your kids plays on. He says be blameless. Be the kind of Christian that they're not going, oh my gosh, that person says they're a Christian, but listen to their language, listen to the put downs, look at their morality. He says no, no, no, no, you got to be blameless, not perfect, blameless. When God shows you that your life is ungodly and it would reflect negatively on Jesus and his church, you say I can't live that way. Second, it's privately. It says blameless and pure.

The word pure here means like undiluted wine or it was used of metal that didn't have a mixture of both like iron and something else in it. This is pure. This is about your motives. This is about when no one is around, who are you really?

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll get back to our series, I Choose Love, in just a minute. But first, if this teaching has ministered to you, consider becoming a monthly partner. Your regular financial support goes a long way to help us encourage pastors, create resources, and share Jesus with today's youth.

Visit livingontheedge.org to learn how to support us today. Well, with that, here again is Chip. And then finally he says not only blameless and pure, but he goes on to say without fault, and again here it doesn't mean in terms of perfect, but without fault is relationship to those in the church and especially your relationship to God. The word was used for like an animal without blemish in your offering and your sacrifice. And so in essence what he's really saying is I want you to obey. I want you to be the kind of Christians in a really tough world that you're positive, thankful people.

Not positive thinking, you're genuinely thankful and your speech and your actions reflect it. Second, I want you to be godly. I want you to be godly toward the outside world. I want you to be godly and have personal integrity within. And I want you to be godly in terms of your relationship with God. I love the next line where he says so that you can do something in a very crooked and perverse generation. I mean, we all here, we want to see the world change, right? We all believe the world is, I mean, it's crazy right now.

And people ask me all the time, well, what can I do? This is what we can do. Be grateful people, be godly people. And notice the result is to be a bold servant in action and words. He says when you're godly in the midst of a crooked and perverse, literally it's a twisted generation.

And I think it's even more twisted now than it was then. But in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out or literally hold forth the word of God. And so he says to them, this is the kind of Christian I want you to be. And when you do that, you're demonstrating something.

You're making a difference. It's like there's this black backdrop and you're shining in this corrupt world like shining stars. And people take notice. I have a very good friend who decided to leave a very powerful, lucrative job. Had a great position, extremely well paid. And there came a time where the company and those in power were asking him to make some decisions that lacked integrity. And he had worked with all the other people in the company and sort of set a standard that no matter what we won't compromise. And people knew he was a follower of Christ and integrity really mattered. Came to the point where he crossroads and out of integrity let that go.

And he told me a little bit about the last day with all the employees. And these are, you know, these are high tech grown men and women in a fast paced world. Overwhelmed with emotion. Like a bright shining star in the midst of a cut throat, make money, fudge the facts.

How do we make it look faster and better that we can go public or whatever the goals are. And someone steps and says there's something that matters more than money. I'm a follower of Christ. It's the truth that sets you free. And I'm going to stand on my convictions regardless of the consequences. And there was an entire company that saw a star shining brightly.

Notice you shine like stars and you're bold. You hold forth God's word. You're not ashamed to be a Christian in your neighborhood. You're not ashamed of the Bible at work. Do I understand you're going to get some flak?

Of course. Did the early disciples get some flak? Did Jesus get some flak?

Did the reformers get some flak? At some point in time we have to realize it's coming. So let's respond in a loving way. Let's shine like stars. Let's be the church that, oh my lands, they remodeled another school. Oh my lands, they're taking in the refugees.

We just had a team come back from India. They did all that dental work and medical work. Oh my lands. Who says oh my lands anyway?

That must be from my mother or my childhood. You want to know how to work out what God worked in? Be a grateful servant. Be a godly servant. Be a bold servant. And finally his whole motive was, I'm not down on you Philippians. This isn't a list to do all the stuff of some religion.

Be a joyful Christian. Here's my motive. My motive is that I'm going to stand before God, and I don't know if I'm executed or not executed, but I'm going to stand before God and boast in the day of Christ that I didn't run in vain or lay in vain, but I poured out my life like a drink offering on the sacrifice and the service of your faith. And what he's picturing here is that that's a picture of getting executed. He's taking this Old Testament picture of when you would offer a sacrifice, and then they would take maybe wine and pour it on the altar as it's going up. It's a drink offering. He says if my blood, if my life, if I'm a drink offering, here's the deal. I'm going to be glad and I'm going to rejoice in dying, so you too be glad and rejoice with me.

Is that amazing? As you look at the back page, the first couple of questions are ones you can just do by yourself, but grab a cup of tea, coffee, coke, diet coke, and put your feet up somewhere in the next 24 or 48 hours and say, hmm, you know, what expectations do I have in terms of what I think God's going to do for me and are they accurate? And down deep, what do I think God expects of me? For some of you, you need a big dose of grace. Here's what, he expects that you receive his love. And for others, he expects you get off your derriere and quit expecting that Bible to read itself and to discipline yourself to godliness so he can let you experience what you already possess.

Where do you see growth and progress in the working out of what God has worked in? You know, some of you, you just go so negative. Oh, I ought to be more of this. I ought to do more of this. I ought to more doing this. How about writing down, you know, I've become more patient. I've become more generous. You know what?

I'm a better dad than I used to be. I clean up in my, you know, with my roommates. Write down where God and it'll encourage you. And then, where do you need to focus effort and energy to allow Jesus' life to be manifested in you and through you? And, you know, these words, right, they come right out of the text. You know, and just don't check them all. You'll go nuts if you already haven't. But just ask yourself, you know, Lord, whisper this prayer. Lord, Holy Spirit, would you show me which one or at the most two, is it my attitude, speech, boldness, authenticity, godliness? Just and check one of those and then just say, Lord, I can't do this. I can't do this.

But you can. So, I'm telling you, I'm an adequate and your power will be my adequacy. So, would you help me?

Would you help me do that? You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, Love Obeys, is from our series, I Choose Love. Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. You know, one of the greatest delights of God's heart is to witness his children, those of us who call him Lord, loving one another.

But as we all know, that's easier said than done and doesn't always come naturally to us. In this short study, Chip walks through four characteristics of love laid out for us in Philippians chapter 2. Discover how to apply these truths to your relationships with others and God so you can love more and love better. To listen to this entire series, visit livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. Well, Chip's here with me in studio now and Chip, you know, many of our listeners may not know this, but every week, the Living on the Edge staff prays over the requests we receive. And every week, we get dozens of emails and calls asking us to pray for a fractured family or maybe a broken relationship. Chip, talk to those experiencing that right now and share a resource we've created that can help.

Well, Dave, thank you. As I read through all those prayer requests, what I see over and over and over is there was an argument, there was hostility, there's disagreement about politics or Black Lives Matter, what it means, what it doesn't mean, or about masks or about church or about truth. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people right now listening to my voice, living with a breakdown in their family, with a teen or young adult where you don't talk, you don't connect, you care about them deeply, you have deep convictions about God, the truth, the gospel, and you have a barrier instead of a bridge. And what I would say is you have to address this. First, humble yourself. Ask God, is there anything you need to address?

And then let me tell you, you don't have to give up the truth, but you have to have a different method of connecting. And this brand new book called Not Beyond Reach by Aaron Pierce will give you a game plan and a blueprint to break down the walls, understand where your teen or young adult's coming from, and show you specifically how to rebuild that relationship that will lead to the gospel. Let me encourage you, get the book, but more importantly, put into practice. To order this new book by Aaron Pierce, Not Beyond Reach, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app. Learn what you can do to skillfully and intentionally share the truth of the gospel in this post-Christian culture. Again, to get your copy of Not Beyond Reach, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app.

Well, with that, here again is Chip to share some application for us to think about. As we wrap up today's program, I would remind you that the title of this message is Love Obeys. In other words, when God is working out through his Spirit and we're responding by faith and obedience, it ends up we obey. We are obeying what he says in his word. Jesus would say to his disciples on the very last night on the earth, he said, He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me. And he that loves me will be loved of my Father, and we will come and disclose ourselves to him. Enmity with Jesus at the heart of it is by faith we obey. In other words, we work out what God has worked in, the work of Christ in our place. And as I taught through this and you heard a little bit earlier in the broadcast, we talked about being grateful and godly and bold and joyful. And, you know, we walk through this passage in Philippians chapter 2, and then I ask you to do a little analysis, some reflection. And at the first part, what I want you to do honestly is say, where have I made progress? In fact, this is one of those where you really need to download the notes.

It's livingontheedge.org and get the notes because all of these questions are here. And then I listed attitude, authenticity, speech, boldness, godliness. And then in the notes, I give a definition. But what I want you to do is say, where am I making progress in my attitudes? Where am I making progress in my boldness? Where am I making progress in my speech?

And then I want you to sit quietly before the Lord and maybe have the notes out in front of you and say, Lord, where do you want your spirit to take more control? Is it my speech? Is it my attitude? Is there ungratefulness in my heart? Is there unforgiveness in my heart? Is it a lack of boldness?

Is it that everyone knows I'm a great guy or a wonderful gal, but they don't know why? Lord, I pray right now for my brothers and sisters as we are together saying, Lord, we want to obey. We know that love obeys. We long for you to show us where we're making progress that we might rejoice and thank you. And we long for you to show us that one thing or that one or two things that are very specific that we could bring to you and ask that by your spirit and the power of your word through community, you could transform us more into the likeness of your Son. Lord, that's our prayer.

We know you'll answer it. And so we thank you in advance for what you're going to do. Amen. Great encouragement, Chip. And as we close, I want you to know that as a staff, we ask the Lord to help you take whatever your next faith step is. And we'd love to hear how it's going. Would you take a minute to send us a note or give us a call?

Either one is easy. Just email chip at livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. Again, that's 888-333-6003 or email chip at livingontheedge.org. Well, until next time, this is Dave Drouy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-28 05:49:27 / 2023-09-28 05:59:02 / 10

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