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August 13, 2020 6:00 am
When you think about doing good. What comes to your mind feeding the hungry building homes for the homeless. Sponsoring a child. Have you ever wondered or ever defined what is good. How would God define what is good. That's today stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge Chip Ingram, Living on the Edge features the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram on this daily discipleship program.
This program Chip continues a series doing good. What happens when Christians live like Christians by helping us draw the important distinction between doing nice things and doing good.
Good Scripture talks about kind of good actually changes things in life. For those around us have a Bible open it to Titus chapter 1. Let's join Chip for his message. Doing good where it all began.
Scripture says the Lord executes righteousness and justice for all the oppressed, the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne, lovingkindness and truth go before you, because the way God executes justice and brings about righteousness and an evil world is. He has a group of people in whom Christ lives by his spirit, and they see the way he sees and they care the way he cares and they do what Jesus did when he walked upon the earth and were in a series called doing good. It's what happens when Christians live like Christians and I put some study notes there. You want to go ahead and pull those out because the apostle Paul when he was describing what it looks like for Christians who would like Christians. At the end of Romans chapter 12 he said do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
He basically says in response to all the evil in the world. You can whine.
You can complain. You can call talk radio. You can have coffee with your friends. You can criticize and blame all the people of why this is happened, or you can do good you can be a change agent.
You can be light that pushes back the darkness and when you do it.
Powerful things happen. I listed for on the topic is doing good member.
It's more powerful than evil for things happen. We do good. Number one, it pushes back the darkness number two it rescues people from destruction. Number three.
It connects our hearts to others.
I don't know why I don't how it works.
But when you help people we help people in your home. We help people that work we help someone is really hurting.
Something happened your hearts connect.
And finally, it provides un-explainable joy. The Bible talks about the orphan, the widow, the poor, the abandoned woman single dad, the person is lost her job. The person is lost their home. It's powerful when you do good were going to the book of Titus and it's an entire book in the Bible, written for one purpose to help you understand why do good. What good really is and how to do it. Why does it matter so much.
First doing good reveals God's passion for people. Jesus said to his followers. Let your light so shine before men, that they would see your good works and glorify your father was in heaven. People understand God loves them because we do good to them. The second reason doing good reveals God's presence in our lives. Jesus said good trees produce good fruit. When Christ lives in you and it's legit and it's real, it will always produce doing good doing good doesn't make you right with God. But when you're right with God. You can't help doing good. Third, doing good reveals the priority in our lives. Jesus in Matthew 25 talk about his return and he talked about be ready and he said that when we focus on things that last forever, and her focus is on other people rather than just ourselves. We begin to understand there's more than just right now we begin to live for. What really matters for what counts for all eternity and then finally doing good reveals God's purpose for life. Jesus said his desire for his disciples then and now is that normal regular ordinary people like us, you would bear much fruit, and he said before the foundations of the earth. Think of this before there was time before there were galaxies before he said, let there be light. He said he prepared a good work for you to walk in that there's a person that has your eye color and only your DNA and adjust your background and your gifts and your struggles and all that you've been through and as you align your life and let the spirit of God have his way, and you there is a good work deal what God is like the other people's love and his kindness is power, his gentleness is justice in this truth.
Now here's the question it raises for me if doing good is something that helps people if it honors God. If it candidly transforms us when we do it, where does it begin mean how do you learn how to do good, not sort of like for a week or two or three, and we make little lists we try and be good little two shoes and I'll do this and I'll do this and I'll do this two weeks now that will last.
How is that I have this picture of you know when you go to the doctor and you get your yearly physical. And then you sit on the little table and they've done all the tests and urine. The funky little down and always holding the back and then he comes he has little, hocking a little square thing it says dangle your leg over like this member. This what to do. He takes it and I was tighten up it is would you please relax your leg okay I'm sorry Doc and then he goes right. He just hits you and what he's doing is he's checking out your reflexes. You don't respond, you don't think about moving your legs but your body operates in a certain way so that when something happens. The reflex is that response and what were talking about is walking with God and being united with Christ along the spirit of God to so flow through your life that when a need comes up and when you see certain things at home or at work or in that third place you reflexively respond by doing good because the living Christ is living through you. That's what were talking about this is it about just trying to do a few good deeds are trying to feel better about yourself or try to make people think that your nice person. This is about doing good, that flows out of God living inside of you is so open your notes and let's ask and answer the question in our time together. Where does it all begin with. Where do you start to have that kind of a life coming to suggested doing good begins by recognizing who defines what is good. I mean, the word good is gotten really over the centuries, and even our day. Some people think this means good in other people think. This means good.
So the question is, by what authority or by what standard or for what purpose, and who gets to say this is good and this is bad. This is good and this is evil. This is acceptable. This is kind and this is not the apostle Paul once this group of Christians on this island that has moral laxity in immorality and brutish harshness and and and their stingy and its little churches have been planted. He's writing this letter to a young pastor and so listen to the first four verses of Titus chapter 1 Paul listen for the words like where's the authority come from what's the standard who says so Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
Why for the faith of God's elect were chosen in the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness. It's a faith and a knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time and his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching Paul says entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior and then he says will lose the letter to Titus this young pastor Mike true son in our common faith in any opens it with grace and peace from God the father and Jesus Christ our Savior. By what authority it's from God. He says I'm a apostle from God I'm a servant of God. I have taken the revelation from God entrusted to make any commitment. So God defines by revelation, what is good. The standard notice the words were faith, faith, faith, knowledge was used. He says truth there certain things are true, there certain things that aren't true.
So God defines what is true and for what purpose godliness moral goodness that which helps people that which restores that which heals out for many of us, we have grown up with a pretty significant history of the Judeo-Christian ethic of what's good and what's not. But the world was not always like this. For example, in Rome at the time Mercy was not a virtue. Humility was not a virtue but these were introduced by Christ, I mean when you were ruthless and powerful and gave no mercy that was viewed as good women were viewed as a piece of property to be used in any way. There was there was no sense of being good to a woman in the time that this was written there is no sense of respect for a woman. In fact will find when he talks about being good as a leader is a person for the early things is how you treat women and how you treat children power brute force, intimidation.
When this is written.
That's what's good and so Paul is saying, I've got a whole new definition of good and Titus. These people come to Christ. I want them to understand this is what God says is good and I want them to know that I wrote this to you and you have my authority so laid out for it was prophesied by Isaiah that one day in our world that which was good, would be called evil and things that are evil would actually be called good and that was true at this time and about you but I think I can think of a handful of examples today. Can you do some things that you scratch your head you think are you kidding me. So first and foremost, where does doing good begin against. Let's define God defines what good is second we want to bring about transformation when you want to do good, doing good in any organization always begins with the leadership but it's the leadership in a home leadership with a bunch of housemates leadership in a small group leadership in a company leadership in the church leadership in a multinational corporation leadership on NFL team. If you want to bring about change. You always start with the leadership and so what the apostle Paul does in verses five through the end of this chapter. He's gonna say this is what good leadership looks like. And this is what bad leadership looks like. And as I read it when I want you to see his how few skills and gifts and techniques are mentioned as often we talk about leadership.
A person can do this in their gifted at that and the condition cast in the can problem solve. The apostle Paul focuses first and foremost on character. Follow along as I read he says the reason I left you in Crete speaking to Titus. Was it you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders.
The word just means a shepherd or overseers in the church in every town as I directed you, and then gives a definition, an elder must be blameless will learn it means above reproach.
Have a good reputation and then he is now going to describe so what's it mean for a leader in the church to be blameless. Well it's the husband of but one wife managed children believe they are not open to the charge being wild and disobedient white because a overseer different word for the same thing and overseer of shepherd elder overseer or Episcopal loss of someone who looks in and cares for people to understand what's going on.
He said so an elder overseers entrusted with God's work so needs to be blameless since and overseers to be blameless here.
Some of the characteristics of a blameless or person above reproach is not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to much wine, not violent and not pursuing unjust gain. Those with all the negative things that they're not notice the positive, but he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good to self-controlled up right, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trust for the message it's been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. And now he says you know you not only have to define what a good leader is you can recognize what bad leaders are in deal with it. He goes on to say percent for their many religious people near talkers, deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced.
Why because they are ruining whole household by their teaching things that they ought not to teach in, and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
There actually preaching religious messages for money.
Imagine that even one of their profits of secretions are always liars, evil brutes and lazy gluttons, and this testimony is true. This was just kind of a bad place and so is therefore rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in the truth, and will pay no attention to Jewish myths and command those who reject this truth because to the pure all things are pure, but those who defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure and back, but their mind and their conscience are corrupted and then the acid test they claim to know God, but by their deeds, their actions, they deny being detestable worthless unfit for anything good and so when we think about leadership in an unknown word and talk about the church, don't you think about who would see you as a leader.
Where does someone see you as someone of influence, maybe it's someone in your housemates or maybe you're a parent and kids would see was a leader. Maybe it's in the church. Or maybe it's in a small group or maybe your supervisor of a team at work.
Or maybe your manager maybe your CEO may be the owner the company but who would see you as a leader and then for those of you who lead let me give you three very specific suggestions there to the church, but these are critical for all of us number one appoint good leaders appoint good leaders and notice by good I mean people with character. We fall in love with talent we fall in love with gift and we give this kind of people a pass so appoint good leaders.
Second, remove bad leaders and this is hard especially if their gifted, especially in a business where they're making you a lot of money, but short-term putting up with bad character and places there's always long-term ruin and then the final admonition. Here's refused to compromise, refused to compromise those of you that are in positions of putting people in places I had a very good friend and this is you know, a decade or so ago and without mentioning and on any names I can tell, is a multi-multi billion dollar company. He was in the upper upper upper level of management. Only above him with the board and maybe one other person. He was tens of thousands of employees could been on a journey to become a very committed follower of Christ, and he wanted to be a Christian. No matter the cost that live like a apparently some of the very very top executives after some business meetings that were off-site. I spent a weekend doing some things that in their policy manual. It was absolutely immediate termination for that kind of behavior it came to his attention. He was morally responsible and so he executed that and told those people that they were terminated.
Some of the most gifted, most powerful, important people in this multi-multibillion-dollar company and then he was called in by powers above him, and there were very few and they said you can't do that because what you mean I can do that is what you can't do that. You do realize, I mean that team those people. I mean the giftedness the strength the knowledge the you understand how many billions of dollars that team is created make you can't fire them. He said we have in our policy manual. This isn't gray.
This is blatant. This is black and white and he was overruled and he chose to make a very positive transition. He let those above him know that I can't work in an organization because if this was anyone else in our company to be terminated immediately and is only because of their giftedness and the talent that you're changing the rules.
I can't work in a company like that. I resigned.
He refused to compromise very very interesting that the decline of that organization over the next 8 to 10 years and the interesting how God orchestrates things that you know you need to be vested when you leave a company and although certain things and you know how the market things go up and down and up and down the he just felt like an integrity.
If that's the way the ring operate once he left he sold all of his stock a lot and it happened to be sold at the peak and a few months later, the peak went to the pit and say I think God wanted to say to him and wanted to remind us you know you can bank on gift and on talent and you can fudge or you can make sure you have good people in responsible situations and you can be bold and courageous in remove bad people in the right way and the right attitude. And then you refused to compromise and there will be some short-term pain but it produces great long-term gain. So if you want to do good. Where does it really begin to begins with realizing God defines what's good not the culture that the culture of Crete got the culture of Greece, not the culture of Rome and not the culture of 21st century America were Hollywood Washington DC with silken dolly God defines what is good and what is bad. Second, is it starts with leaders, whether you like it or not, whether I like it or not I often don't like it you are the greatest Christian someone's ever to meet their whole life is scary isn't I'm either three or four layers away and you don't even know it and you therefore cubicles down are there on the job site, and they've heard about you and they know you're Christian and you're the greatest Christian so you're a leader and so what I want and they'll talk about is how do we develop the kind of heart. The kind of relationship and the kind of character so that when the difficulty comes so when opportunity comes when the need comes our reflex response flows out of who we are not just actions that we take.
Point number three doing good personally begins with who you are not what you do begins with who you are not what you do when seeking to do good, does not flow from who you are, the results are disastrous when there's something it's like an old car with rust and you can take it into a body shop and I can spray nice paint and what you know and for five months. All the rest is gonna come through but looks pretty on the outside but it's not. And now is going to do is he's going to talk about leadership in the church who you need to be in and I'm going to walk through it because this is very clearly addressed to elders or church leadership elders and pastors, but I want you to listen.
Realize the very qualities in character. This can be developed is basically what it looks like when Christ is living his life through ordinary regular people like you and me, just the standards are to be absolutely clear, you have to come to this level of maturity to lead God's church what to tell you is good good friend who worked in a very, very, very large church I think was the largest in America at the time and he ended up working with the pastors and leaders all across America and around the world and you begin to see that although we have the greatest opportunity ever in all of history with technology and resources to help people really communicate not just the words with the life of Christ is that we have a crisis and he did research and he now spends his life helping leaders live out there calling with a healthy soul. He says the epidemic of leadership struggles comes at a time of amazing opportunity for the church potential to reach you and fulfill the great commission is unprecedented in our day. However, the church will never be able to leverage this amazing moment of opportunity. Without strong leadership today's troubling statistics on pastors paint a bleak picture in my premises. This this is not a boy I'm a pastor I'm not down on the church but here's what I know six shepherds produce anemic sheep 1500 pastors leave the ministry permanently every month in America 80% of pastors and 85%. Otherwise feel discouraged in their roles. 50% of pastors wives feel their husbands entering the ministry was the worst and most destructive thing that ever happened to their families in marriage. 30% of pastor say they either have been in or are in an ongoing affair or one time sexual encounter with a parishioner 71 of pastor stated they were burned out the battle depression and fatigue.
Weekly if not daily and only one out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister, but that's not happy news.
The pastors greatest leadership tool is not techniques, not speaking ability not being a great CEO is leading from a healthy soul listening to Chip's message where it all begins his series doing good. What happens when Christians live like Christian will be right back with his application before is. I hope you'll take a second to go online or Share and encourage others to join us for the series to Chip's teaching through the book of Titus and he explains why doing good is so much more than just a nice idea. The active doing good is a catalyst that transforms both you and the world around you for the better Jesus did good by breaking down barriers, healing hurts and reviving hope is our example is simple, but it's not easy for limited time all the doing good resources are discounted, including the small group video study that order your copy or to send it to a friend. Just visit us online at http://livingontheedge.org Special offers or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003. I'll be right back in just a minute to wrap up with some specific application to today's message but as I think of what we've been teaching about one of the things I'm seeing and hearing from God's people is I feel overwhelmed and confused. The world is so complex right now.
The division is so deep in so many areas.
As I watch the news and see what's happening. I just wonder what can I do and what I want you to know is that this has happened before it happened in the first century and God gave us a very clear command that has the promise to make a difference.
He says were to love God with all of her heart or soul or mind our strength and sometimes we forget and love our neighbor as ourselves. The way you love your neighbor is by acts of kindness.
It's by doing good if you would like to get un-paralyzed but all that's happening around you. Let me encourage you get to three or five people were some people in the living room together and study this series doing good, take action, get on the offense realize God will empower you.
Love never fails. If you keep taking in media and hearing how bad everything is.
You will get deeply deeply discouraged. You are the light of the world you the salt of the earth, but you need the encouragement of others and then let's start doing good to help you get started. Our small group resources for doing good are currently discounted and shipping is free.
Not only that, but were so committed to helping you connect with others for limited time we've discounted all of our small group resources to preview the videos or check out the study guides. Just go to LivingontheEdge.org you're sure to find one you think would be helpful. Gather your family are a few friends and see what God will do in you and then through you to do good as we close today's program. Maybe some of you thought yourself okay. You asked that question. How can we learn to actually do good and you know in the teaching we said one you have to define what is good and God defines that and then we talked a little bit about leaders and you maybe thought yourself.
This is interesting. I I hope the people that lead our church or the you know my boss at work. I wish he could hear that the fact the matter is, is that leadership is fundamentally influence, and so were all leaders moms are leaders. Dads are leaders you know if you're on a team of any kind. People look to you. Anybody who knows that your Christian your leader to your neighbors, and here's what I want you to understand. We don't think of ourselves this way, but you are the object of people's observations. Whether you like it or whether you don't and you're doing of good and I don't mean in some artificial way, but proactively asking God what would it look like for me to be kind, what would look like for me to be caring. How can I drive in a way that demonstrates the love of Christ to meet some of your laughing when I say that, but there's a lot of Christians that you know what the sticker on the back of your car says one thing and how you drive says something really really different is the same sort of how I deal with, you know, my anger in meetings. Here's what I want you to get you are a leader. I like your application today just sit quietly for maybe 30, 45 seconds and just say Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, if there's any way that I am acting in ways that are influencing others in a way that is not good and I'm not aware of it which you just bring that to my mind right now and he will. It won't be a shaming won't be your bad person you maybe point something out and then here's the deal just takes some small step to be kind to do good just to one person today and see what it does in them and see what it does for you will just before we close. I want to say thanks to those of you who are giving regularly to the ministry of Living on the Edge you're making a huge difference helping other Christians live like Christians you're enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge, but aren't yet on the team.
Would you join up today.
You can set up a recurring donation by calling us at 1-888-333-6003 or visiting us online at http://livingontheedge.org. Thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do: selects time. This is Dave really saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge