You know, there's lots of causes and movements these days, and there is absolutely no shortage of agendas.
I mean, everyone's got an opinion, and there's experts everywhere. Here's the question. What's Jesus' opinion about what's happening in our world today, and what are His answers to solve it? Stay with me.
I think you're going to love this. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry helping Christians live like Christians.
I'm Dave Drouy, and in this program, Chip continues his new series called What the World Needs Now. As we get started, his question a second ago was a good one. What are Jesus' answers to solve what's happening? You know, if I were candid, I'd have to say I haven't really asked Jesus.
What do you think about this or that that's going on right now? Have you? I mean, if you can imagine, wouldn't it be great to literally hear Jesus say, Okay, people, here's what you do?
Well, the truth is, He did. Chip's in Matthew chapter 5, so let's listen in as he brings us part two of his message, What the World Needs Now is Authentic Difference Makers. Until you're poor in spirit, until you realize you don't bring anything, until you realize you don't bring anything to this party that can merit God's favor, until you get that to the point, when's the last time you felt crushed over your sin? Our tendency? Well, everyone does that. Everyone logs on now and then. Everyone has a little envy. Everyone's a little bit materialistic. Everyone's kind of lazy like me.
Everyone does it so it must be okay. Really? Maybe. Probably not to God. And we probably don't experience His power. Chapter 6, he's going to now shift gears because think of the question that it raises, okay? Get your mind back into my Jewish friends.
Okay, I don't measure up. I feel really bad about the things that I never even thought were sin. So how do you live this righteous life? I mean, if doing the stuff that we've been doing and following the Pharisees isn't the way, I mean, how in the world do you ever get right with God? And so notice what he does in chapter 6 and the beginning of 7. He gives them four what I call warnings that kill the movement of God in your soul. And they kill the movement of God in churches.
The first issue is the issue of motives. He talks about giving in verses 1 through 4, prayer in verses 5 through 8, and fasting in verses 16 through 18. And all you need to know is that in Jewish culture that the three primary disciplines, the way you earned your favor with God is how much you gave, how long you prayed, and how often you fasted. So if you want to get close to God, give a lot, pray a lot, and fast a lot. And so the Pharisees did. Notice, picking it up, you got your Bible open, follow along. Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them. For then you'll have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. This is radical, Abba.
He's introducing, well, it's about relationship. Thus, not if, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets, that they may be praised by others, truly I say to you, they've received their reward. But when you give to the needy, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Do you notice how often reward, reward, reward, Father? And when you pray, verse 5, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues at the street corners, so they can be seen by others. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Then he teaches the Lord's prayer. Verse 16, and when you fast, don't look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces, and their fasting may be seen by others. Truly I say to you, are you getting the idea? They've received their reward, but when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that you may be fasting not to be seen by others, but by your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The key issue is motives. He says, okay, the practice of giving, the practice of praying, and the practice of fasting is essential. We only break the lust of the eyes and wanting more by being generous and giving. The only way we break the hold of pride on our life, prayer, is the evidence of help me God dependency.
And the only way we break the desire for food that's unhealthy, or sex that's unhealthy, or shopping that's unhealthy, or whatever it is, is you fast from it. But they're just means of grace. But notice He says, you do it.
You do it to please your Father, not to earn brownie points. The diagnostic question then is who am I seeking to please? Who am I seeking to please? Do you know which of the Beatitudes He just taught them? Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. The word meekness are translated gentle or humble. It's the idea of, literally in the ancient Greek literature, it was a wild stallion that is tamed. It's power under control.
And the picture here, it's an idea of submission. It's the idea that I'm going to trust God. I accept my giving, my fasting, my praying. I can't earn my way, but I can please God. And so when I do the right things in the right way, the spiritual disciplines that renew my mind, and when I do it out of a love relationship, He said, wow, true spirituality occurs.
The next movement killer isn't just our motives, but it's materialism. Look at verse 19. He's now going to go to the other God. And the other God that tempts all of us is money. So he says in verse 19, don't lay up for yourselves treasure on earth. And then the reason is to protect them.
Because you're going to lose it. It's where moth and rust destroy and where thieves can break in and steal. But lay up for yourself. He's talking about the kingdom of God, the heaven that's real.
He said lay up for yourselves. Treasure is where moth can't get and rust can't destroy and thieves can't break in. And then he talks about the lamp of the body, which is really the essence of where's your passion, where's your focus, what really matters.
And then look at verse 24. He wants to protect them. He says, no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will love the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. And so the next key issue of this new revolution is materialism.
You can jot that in there. He talks about their money. Now did you notice, remember, who were the people that were materialistic? Pharisees. The Pharisees had worked a religious system where they actually became very, very rich. In fact, then they taught, this might sound a little familiar, then they taught the evidence of true spirituality and God's blessing is how much money you have. So the more money we have, we must be really spiritual. It's called prosperity gospel today. We plant a seed, send money to our ministry, and the fact that I have two jets and three mansions and all this stuff is evidence that God's blessing me. And it's from the pit of hell.
It's from the pit of hell. See, ask yourself, what's the agenda? See, here's the real question. The diagnostic question is whose agenda or kingdom am I seeking to accomplish? Mine, success, fame, wealth, my happiness, or Jesus? The thing to ask yourself is do I use people to get money and things, or do I use my money and my things to love people? And if you back it away, I mean, this is us, just us here, right? We're the serious Christians.
We came to church. Jesus is saying, this will kill your soul. There's some things in life that aren't both and.
This is one of them. It's either or. Jesus or money. And if you look at your time and your energy and your passions and the demand and the pressure of work or education, et cetera, if it drives everything, or if you look at your giving, your prayer, and your fasting, and the meter's really pretty low, then you have your answer. But this is a revolution of love. This is the kind anointed king and savior saying, you may end up being very successful in accomplishing your goals.
Here's the scariest thing that can ever happen in any person's life, is to be absolutely successful at the exactly wrong thing. You know, it's kind of like all of life is against this wall, and when you get to the top, and you have a ladder that goes to another wall that promised life was there, and you get to the top, and it's empty. And Jesus is saying, I'll take care of you. In fact, look at your Bible, because I don't have time to read it all. You'll notice after this, right?
I put it in your notes. But after this, he says to them, so why are you so uptight about what are we going to eat? Well, we're uptight about what we're going to eat, because you're talking about living this radical life of faith.
Or what are you uptight about what you're going to wear? Or why do you worry so much? See, what he's saying is, do you trust me? This new revolution is about a love and entrusting of me as the savior. Look down at verse 33. He gets to the end of this whole section.
He basically promises that, you know, I'm going to take care of you, but notice what he says, but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Don't worry about tomorrow. Don't be uptight about the stock market. Don't be uptight about what school your kids get in, or if you're going to get married or not get married. Today's got enough problems of its own. Just trust me today. I've got you in the palm of my hand, and I love you.
Are you ready? Did you see the beatitude he just taught them? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
You know what that means? This passion to be holy. This passion to be right with God. This passion in your whole life to want to please God and love God and be used by God. Blessed are those who hunger. That's what drives you, your motivation. You hunger and thirst, not for riches, not for success, not for fame, not for a better body, not for more likes, not for more followers. God, this is a revolution.
Do you understand how this revolutionized the world? Well, he gets from chapter 6 as he continues to flesh out his agenda, and the third big movement killer is the issue is misapplication. They've heard a lot of truth, and he says the problem is sometimes we take truth and we apply it to other people instead of ourselves.
The beginning of chapter 7 will probably sound very familiar. He says, Judge not lest you be judged, for with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged, and with the measure that you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you seek the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log that's in your own? Or how do you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye when there's a log in your own?
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. And then I think in a reference here to the Pharisees and people who are hard-hearted and aren't open to God, he says, Don't give to the dogs what is holy. Don't throw your pearls before swine.
They trample them underfoot, and they'll turn and attack you. And then he goes into, if you have real needs, instead of asking the government or demanding it from them, instead of asking education or asking technology, in and of themselves, no problem, when you have great need, ask, seek, knock your father really wants to provide. Verse 12 actually goes with what's above. So whatever you wish that others would do for you, do for them. This will fulfill the law and the prophets.
And then notice this. Be careful. Enter by the narrow gate. The gate is wide and easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many. But the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life. And those who find it are few. Notice he'll go on and say, beware the false prophets. He said, here's what you know. It's not what people say.
It's not their emotional experience. Good trees produce good fruit. Bad trees produce bad fruit. Anyone who hears my words and actually puts them into practice is like a man who builds his house on the rock. Anyone who hears my words and intellectually even agrees with them and doesn't put them into practice is a fool. And he'll say, I never knew you. So what you see he does is he fleshes out the rest of these Beatitudes. Under judging you might write merciful. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are the merciful.
Why? For they'll be shown mercy. We've got a whole generation of people that we judge everyone. We want people that don't know Christ to live like Christians.
We call them in our culture. They don't have the power. Neither do we apart from Jesus. Where he talks about the preaching. Don't throw your sacred teaching before the dogs or the swine.
People that are adamant and ask. He's talking about blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are people that instead of trying to convince people that don't want to be convinced are bridge builders instead of people that are antagonists. That they make the Christian life and what it means to be a follower of Christ winsome and loving and kind and you agree to disagree and we have clear standards of truth but we apply them. We ask, what's this got to do with me? Instead of why is everyone else wrong? If you listen to radio talk show, blame, blame, blame, blame, blame, blame.
Go on 90% of Christian's Facebook and we're passing on all this stuff. They did that, they did that, they did that. I'm with this party, I'm against that party.
That person did that, that person did this, this person did that and Jesus is saying, guess what? That's fruitless. What about you?
What do you need to own? How could you be a peacemaker? How could you love people that you totally disagree with and treat them with dignity and with kindness?
Not approving of what they do or what they say. You understand that lost people, evil people love to hang out with Jesus, why? It's not like he caved into their lifestyle. Let me ask you, how many lost evil people in alternative everything are your friends and that would like to hang out with you?
The Christianity today has basically become moralism. We're on this side and we think people that don't know Jesus are the enemy. Reminder, he came to die for them. Like he came to die for us. The agenda is to love them.
You don't have to agree but to love them. It's the kindness of God that led us to repentance. It's the kindness of God through us that will lead people to him. It's just truth, it's just Jesus teaching. The final movement that will squash our souls is what I just call misperception. I read it, he says there's a narrow gate. We're living in a day even in the church that says, oh, you know what, as long as you're sincere, we're going to kind of change the rules and what the Bible says about holiness, what the Bible says about marriage, what the Bible says about sex, what the Bible says about eternity, what the Bible says about a real heaven and a real hell.
You know, you guys are really pretty narrow. Here's the deal. You choose to be a loving, winsome, non-judgmental person who in your heart of heart realizes, man, I'm poor in spirit, I need God. And I take my sins seriously. Oh, God, I need your forgiveness and your comfort.
And you become that kind of believer that says, you know something, I don't have the power apart from you. I'm going to be meek. But my passion, my life, my time, I'm hungering and thirsting for righteousness. And I'm going to have motives. I'm going to be pure in heart as best I know. And Lord, I'm not going to judge people. I'm going to show them the kind of mercy.
I'm not going to have those critical thoughts in my mind. I catch myself often because I do this a lot. Oh, why is he doing that? Why is she doing that? And God is just, I've memorized the passage.
Every time that's happening now, I start praying. I wonder what your plan is for him. I wonder what it is for them.
I wonder how they got to where they got. Oh, Lord, would you help him? Would you love him?
Would you encourage him? And then is there anything you would want me to do right now to express your love? And I'm on a journey, and I've got a long way to go. But if you would be a bold person to say, the way is narrow.
Jesus said, I'm the way, the truth, and the life. You will be persecuted. Do it winsomely.
Do it lovingly. And he started with the kingdom of heaven. He ends with the kingdom of heaven. And you should ask yourself, and I'll ask myself, where's my fruit? Not religious fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. That's the Christ-like life. Are you ready to recharge, engage in a revolution of love? Ask yourself, which of these one beatitude, which one of these do I need to say, oh, God, forgive me, for I have sinned.
Oh, God, will you help me? When we confess our sins, he's faithful, and he's righteous or just. To not just forgive, but to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What would it look like for us to walk out of here to hunger and thirst, to be the men and women in our little sphere of influence, starting in our homes, apartments, or with roommates, passing out of where we drive, where we get our coffee or tea, where we work out, where we do our dry cleaning, where we go to work?
What would it look like for seeds to be planted and grow right where you are? Chip's going to be back in a minute with his application, but just a quick reminder, this message, Authentic Difference Makers, is from Chip's series, What the World Needs Now. He's in Matthew, chapter 5, reminding us of Jesus' specific instructions during a time of deep hurt, turmoil, and political strife, a time all too familiar for us today. But what better comfort and encouragement than to hear from our Lord the priorities and counsel uppermost on his mind, for the people hearing him firsthand then and now for us? It's our sincere hope that you'll share this message with a friend, a family member, on social media, anywhere you can communicate with others who need wisdom and the Lord's guidance during these distressing days. Now, to access free MP3s and series discounts, go to livingontheedge.org.
App listeners, just tap Share. Well, Chip, with shutdowns and fires and all of the upheaval going on, a lot of people are wondering, how's the ministry being affected these days? Or what limitations have you had during this season at Living on the Edge? Dave, thankfully, I have an office and a video and audio studio that I can keep doing work, and I don't think I've ever been busier in my life, and it's happened in ways that we never dreamed. One, we've been able to do things very specifically to help people one-on-one through something called the Daily Discipleship with Chip, where I've literally got to one-on-one coaching with people of how to meet with God and how to mentor people and literally how to experience who you are in Christ. So that's been a lot of energy, and the impact has literally been probably greater than any single thing we've done as we read the emails and talk to people.
And then to our delight, we have seen our friends in China take the resources that I'm not at liberty to tell a lot about, but True Spirituality, how to become a Romans 12 Christian, in numbers that would just absolutely shock you in the midst of all of this doing training in 18 different cities. And so we are so grateful for those who have given faithfully through this time that have allowed us to do what we're doing, and now the demands are even greater. So if you have never given to Living on the Edge, now is a really great time, and if you have, thank you so much. You have allowed us to do some things globally and nationally that we never dreamed could happen.
Thank you very much. 1-888-333-6003 And let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do. As we wrap up today's program, I want to ask you the question that I ask at the end of the teaching. Are you ready to recharge and re-engage in a revolution of love?
And then, what do you need to do? I mean, just between you and God. In fact, the title of this message is What the World Needs Now is Authentic Difference Makers. And as we walk through the teaching today, not only am I praying that we would have courage and that God would help you trust Him and that you would believe and He would free our hearts, but I think one of the fundamental questions that we addressed was, whose agenda or whose kingdom are you seeking to accomplish? Now, I want to probe here a little bit.
I'm probably going to make you a little upset, or maybe everybody upset. But is it the Republican agenda or God's agenda? Is it the Democratic agenda or is it God's agenda? Is it your movement's agenda, your church's agenda, the millennial agenda, the baby boomer agenda? Is it the economy coming out right agenda? Is it your view of the virus agenda? I mean, whose agenda are you championing?
And I hear you. There are legitimate, important issues that need to be addressed that are right and true. But what Jesus was saying now, even as it was saying then, the number one agenda has to begin with Him. What are you doing that reflects the love of Christ, the compassion of Christ, treating everyone with dignity, especially those you disagree with, speaking the truth in love, treating people posting in social media in such a way that even those that you violently disagree with, those that make you crazy, that your blood boils and you feel like that is so wrong, regardless of what side these issues you are on, first and foremost, you are called to be an authentic difference maker who in humility treats everyone as made in the image of God and loves them, cares for them. You can agree to disagree, but you need to be one who brings healing to our world. The number one agenda is not any other agenda than the kingdom agenda, following Christ. Could I ask you to just have a private conversation with God and do your words, your emotions, your attitudes, your actions, and what you post on social media to reflect first and foremost, this is pleasing to God.
And if not, would you change that? Let's bring healing, not hurt, to a very needy world. Just before we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. And if you're praying for the ministry, thanks for that as well. God is doing amazing things, and you're a part of that. Well, until next time, and for all of us here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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