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February 26, 2021 5:00 am
If it's true that hope is oxygen for the soul. Joy is the spark of emotional connection.
Today I want to help you learn how not just to add but to multiply joy in your marriage is what sustains you stay with welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge Chip Ingram shippers are vital to this international discipleship program chips in a series called keeping the love alive is walking us through four biblical practices. The great marriages. Evan, we've already covered the first two practices that are available online. LivingontheEdge.org or on the chipping in this program.
He explains the third practice seems obvious, but as you listen to learn a very practical tool to keep it central in your relationship plus join Chip out for his message connecting how to multiply your joy from John chapter 15 you get out your notes were in session 3 and I don't know the me give you two quick pictures I'm driving in the car with my wife. I've been in my case I travel quite a bit. So this last year I think in about 14 months of than China three times in the Middle East and then some domestic travel and you will probably understand this more than others and I and I come home and she's had a busy life and I've had a busy life, and I've really missed her and she's missed me and I come home and it's weird okay I don't house it is just is just weird. I love her.
She loves me.
We told each other for like two weeks how much we miss each other and then I come home and it's like so how to go in. How you tell someone you know what happened over the last two weeks and where you were in. And then you know you trying to catch up and she starts telling about you know which grandkids came over and what they didn't something in and you know you sort of try but it's just the word I use it, you just don't connect anybody get that and and you not mad at each other, but you so want to be connected, but you not and and so you try to have a conversation in any obligor like deep fast. Let's get connected now and this will be a shock but it doesn't work and so we had to learn different ways to sorta ease into when one of us has been away and reconnect another little moment is I've had times where they really really small. She's not done anything wrong but a little something irritated me that insane thing about where I did to her. And then there was another little something and then it wasn't big enough to bring up and there's been times where I have been driving the car, and she's been sitting right there were kind of talking, but I feel disconnected like and I and I feel like I don't really want to talk which which scares me because I know that's not those are beginning signs of not good things right when you're doing this instead of when you're doing that and so the question is how do you get connected and how do you stay connected because were talking about four biblical practices.
The great marriages have in common biblical practice. Number one is you with full-court press serve your mate John 13 you humble yourself. Find your security in Christ and you serve your mate. The second biblical practice.
It is about hope and you plan you plan little times during the week little cons for the month. Figure 5. Continue you plan God can change your plans but you there's hope there is. This is where were headed. This is what were going to do this is what we feel called by God. Here's how were going to build our relationship and the third thing that you see is connecting great marriages connect and it's interesting to me that when Jesus with his bride. He serves John 13 then he gives them the plan of heaven. And then what's going to happen until he comes back for us, or until we go to be with him and then in John chapter 15 he asked and answers this question, I'm leaving and you're not going to see me. How we stay connected how we stay connected how we keep our love flowing back and forth.
How do you hear my voice when I'm not here physically anymore. How do you get direction for me when I'm not here physically anymore how you can feel my love and experience Myla because I'm not here physically anymore.
And the answer to that is in John chapter 15.
So open your Bible if you will. The supper is over, they sung a hymn and as they've gone out, they are passing through a garden and in John 15, he takes the opportunity to give them a very clear picture from their day about a vine in a branch and he gives them this metaphor in the entire purpose is to teach them. This is how our hearts are going to stay connected even though quote geographically, God the son in his resurrected body will be at the right hand of the father and all these disciples and all those who come after him including us in the body of Christ will be here on earth. And so this is what he says to them what he says to us. I am the true vine, and my father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away literally as he lifts up, and every branch that bears fruit he prunes it suited bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I've spoken you command abide in me, it means continue in stay connected to me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine stays connected, so neither can you unless you abide in me repetition. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him notice to a street.
He bears much fruit Y for a part from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide me.
He's thrown away as a branch and dries up and they gather them casting with fire and their burned, by contrast, if you abide in me and my words abide in you, you can ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Verse eight. My father is glorified by this, that you bear not just fruit much fruit and so prove or demonstrate that you are my disciples.
Just as the father has loved me. I have also loved you abide in my love will have with you, keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I kept my father's commandments and abide in his love purpose clause. Why are you telling this whole story about vines and branches and abiding answer these things I've spoken to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full. This is my commandment that you love one another. How just as I love you. Greater love has no one than this, the one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. And then this is an amazing amazing passage. No longer do I call you slaves for a slave does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends for all things I've heard from my father. I made known to you, you did not choose me, but I chose you and I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit in your fruit should remain.
That whatever you ask the father in my name he may give to you and just in case you missed the core of this this I command you, that you love one another. Now we could spend an awful lot of time on this passage and I have in the past and we have a series talking about Jesus unfiltered where we go through every chapter of John. But let me just give the highlights of what this passage teaches number one Jesus is the true vine and we are the branches. Okay that's for. First of all number was on the true vine. I am the source of life. I give life. My father is sovereignly orchestrating the vine dresser. The father positions and prunes us for fruitfulness. That little word take away if you know anything and not but have a lot of lines when I studied this I did a lot of research about how they do it and if the if the buying gets on the ground and is not producing the fruit what they do is they they have a little pitchfork I thing they lifted up, and they reposition it so it can bear fruit. Other times it you get too much growth and end energy doesn't go into the fruit, and so they prune it in and it looks pretty painful but produces a lot of grapefruit. Jesus is the vine, but God the father is sovereignly orchestrating positioning and sometimes repositioning our life. Sometimes it feels kind of painful but the whole goal is to produce fruit in the fruit. I think he's talking about here is primarily first and foremost character. You know how many times did the word love come here right you abide you bear much fruit, keep my commandments abide in my love. As I kept my father's commands abide in his love is talking about the very life of Christ being formed in you. You do understand. That's the agenda. Jesus didn't come and die upon the cross and raised from the dead to make you a little bit better moral person who goes to religious services and hear someone talk once a week and sing a few songs that is not the agenda. Okay there is a role for that Jesus came because you were lost and far from God, in and of yourself, and he paid the price for your sin and then he rose from the dead, and he offers is a free gift. He paid for the sins of the whole world and whosoever would repent and turn from your sin and receive that gift.
He takes up residence in you takes you out of the kingdom of darkness places you in the kingdom of light. His Holy Spirit comes in and it seals you he deposits spiritual gifts inside of you. He gives you an inheritance he has a purpose for your life and his whole goal is to make you more and more like himself, so that you are the salt of the earth and the light of the earth, so there's little Jesus or Christlike once everywhere the word Christian was a negative connotation and it started in Antioch. It was when the Gentiles came to faith and they live such a radical lives. The only explanation.
There is where it is there founder. They greet one another with or with all the kiss that they they take worthless kids off the ash heap and the rescue them. They share their property with one another.
They forgive their enemies.
I mean we we trying to kill them off and they go arm in arm and sing praises to their God, their idiots and mother their cannibals as well. They talk about someone's blood drink blood and their atheist they don't worship the emperor. There little Christ ones and that was the go and the means by which you become more like Christ are certainly the raw material of God's word, but the only one that can live the Christian life.
Are you ready is Jesus. But if you have trusted Christ Jesus lives in you.
How by the person of the Holy Spirit. So really, are you ready the Christian life gets super simple. Your only real job is to figure out how you can stay connected to Jesus.
So his full access can have control in ways we can produce his life through you through your personality, your uniqueness just the way he made you and Jesus is explaining by where the metaphor of this fine how that works.
Our sole responsibility is simply to abide, stay connected, how you stay connected to a best friend. Let's get this off the theological realm and what you think of maybe a buddy, girlfriend, or if you're a guy, a guy someone that you're really close to that no matter what you have you stayed in touch. I mean, maybe even when you're far apart. It's like three minutes and you reconnect how you stay connected like that we do. Why is it if the common heart of common values stay in touch. You communicate, you share your heart, there's that there's that there's a person that you can share what's really going on where your freight where you blew it may be a big mistake.
What what God is saying is what I really that's what I want with you. I want you to stay connected to me.
I want you over here thinking that I need to do certain things to try to earn God's favor. I want you to understand that if you would allow your heart and my word to reconnect and if you would keep your mind renewed so that you begin to take in your mind and your heart exactly what the truth is that that truth as you ponder it and think about it and put into practice would actually do what it would set you free, free to be who I made you to be free from addictions free from pleasing people, free from codependency, free from getting your identity and worker looks for money or accomplishments free to be my son or my daughter. See, that's the agenda and says I want you to stay connected the consequences of the results are being connected our access with vivid answers to prayer. Did you notice that when you're connected to him. He's connected to you. Your desire start aligning to his desires and you can ask whatever you want is what you gonna want is what he wants. The second thing is fruitfulness and extraordinary life of the extraordinary impact you just become one of those people don't we all have people like that.
Like she's like the most loving person in the world.
He's like, I mean someday, somehow, someway I would want to be a dad like him or friend like him.
We'll have some people like that. That's just the life of Christ it's been manifested.
The third thing is that love can result in heart obedience when you're connected to know about you, there's a little verse in verse John and first John says in his commandments aren't previous unto us, as anyone ever read that one. I read that for years I thought it meant they may not be previous to you with their very greatest me. I'm just being honest. It's like me know at the time I was single, no sex before marriage that's previous I'm supposed to be in your word that's previous on the very discipline I mean it wasn't until I experience the heart of God and understood the goodness of God and really grass the grace of God that I realize that every single command in Scripture is designed to keep me on the path so that I get the very best. The very best decision. The very best friends. The very best make the very best job the very best future. All the sudden I got this word picture of imagine you know like there's this kind of sort of beautiful house up on this high mountain, and there's all these wind erodes right and on the road. You know there's drop-offs of the thousand feet but there's guardrails and and you're in this car in this car is your life and there's a lot of twists and turns and you know what, if you go over the side, you're in trouble.
You know what the guardrails are God's commandments said in a previous it's like you know what it's like I don't want you to get eggs like I don't want you to have the memories of seven or eight other partners to take intermarriage. It's like I don't want you to experience the loneliness and the emptiness of greed dominating your life and accumulating things, only to find out what you've done is alienated people that really matter. I don't want you to be old and lonely and have mortgage relationships and have kids that are grown that don't even like you and so I have commands and if you obey the commands. See, they're not previous because what they do is they allow you, don't you do this with your kids when you give them all, greediest commands like don't touch the stove don't run into the street. Why are you so restrictive right. How come I can't play with the gun that you just what kind of parent are you and why you want the very best for your kids. Sometimes the commands are hard to swallow, and so we by faith have to say, you know, Lord of the whole world is telling me that this is really good thing you say it's not so on can trust you and what you will find as time goes on, is that God's ways are not our ways, but their way way better final thing he says that is the result of this abiding is intimacy and it results in supernatural joy is an interesting that in John 13. He serves them to demonstrate and experience love in John 14. He he gives them the long-term plan and the intermediate plan and what to do next and planning produces hope they know you know what were not left alone and now. The reason he wants them connected. Is he wants them to experience not just joy. What what to say.
Verse 11 these things I've written to you that my joy might be in you and that your joy might be made full to the joy of the Lord is your strength. But that comes when you're connected and abiding in him and in this passage he's going to tell us exactly how to do that. So with that, let's go from sort of the teaching to the principles principle number one is you can impart what you do not possess. We must abide in him to have his love to give to her mate right I mean I don't get up and read a couple chapters or three chapters are a small book or little paragraph of the Bible morning to go while men to chapters a day keeps the devil. I thought I got that done. Okay let me think set my watch. I prayed for seven minutes yesterday am going to go for nine today some down and pray for 23 is you sit with a best friend. I want to open the Bible because God wants me to see myself. He wants to feed my soul. He wants to renew my mind and are you ready what conversation is about two things right. Listening and talking. This is God speaking to you and to me this is our lips speaking to him and sitting quietly, very, very often the Holy Spirit will take his word for something he wants to say to you if you're open and strongly impress upon you, so you can stay connected him and can be sometimes it's just a little thing like a little prompting him what you give so-and-so call out of the blue in your column you find out the really struggling or you know, in my case. Sometimes it's a little prompting that member yesterday when you guys were doing this and doing that.
Did you realize you hurt Teresa's feelings. You need to apologize or are you sure can write it and you know and it's it's amazing when God ask you to do something that you're kinda uncomfortable that's very helpful to another person that will embarrass you, there's a good chance is the Holy Spirit is not you write and so my point is, as you stay connected as your in his word as you. You talk to him from the heart as you have some guy friends.
If you're a guy and some girlfriends. If you're a gal and Some couples at your couple that you built into one another's life, so the Jesus living in them right. Faith is as much caught is taught and as you abide. Then you have this capacity because you're receiving his love to give it away listening department chips message connecting how to multiply your joy from his series keeping love alive for biblical practices.
Great marriages have in common. For each of these four practices gives you a couple of principles that explain why it's true practical implications of what those principles look like in the day-to-day and then very specific tools to get this practice into action and classic chip fashion. He unfolds the roadmap to give you clear directions each step of the way you want to hear how to deepen your love strengthen your hope multiply your joy and restore your piece you over to yourself and your spouse to dig into the series and integrate what you learn for the long haul. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more practical resource for the health of your marriage for limited time resources for keeping love alive are discounted and the MP3s are always free to order your copy or to send it to a friend visit us online at http://livingontheedge.org or tap special offers on the app for additional information. Just give us a call at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 will chip I just want take a second here and thank you, really on behalf of our listeners. Thank you for being so open and sharing some of those struggles you and Teresa have had and how you work them through health.
There was a resource from all that you've learned.
I mean for people want to go deeper.
They want to finish well in their marriage. What would you say one day you know I never dreamed I would write a book on marriage, but after about 35 or 40 years of marriage I was asked to write a book on marriage as we see it crumbling in so many aspects in the Christian community. So what I did is I took what I learned from Scripture about man's role. The woman's role what God says about it and then I took the lies that I think trip us up in her marriage and then some of the practical tools that have been so helpful for me and Teresa and I put them together. It's in a book called marriage that works and then marriage that works true cards and we put those together as a resource because one a lot of couples don't have is a game plan. They don't have structure. They don't have. This is what will do. Maybe just once a week or will do this with a couple other couples, but something simple that they can do and work through and then the cards to reinforce it so they renew their mind change their behavior and grow deeper and deeper in their relationship. I'm so excited to get this into the hands of people who really want their marriage to be all that God wants it to be, well, we certainly hope you'll take advantage of the discounts on this resource bundle. Whether it's for you or someone you know, let me give you those details again with bundled chips book marriage that works with a companion resource called marriage that works true cards. Knowing the book represents the biblical design for marriage what God intended it to look like, what is the unique roles of men and women and how they play out in things like finances and parenting and then in the cards. He spotlights relational lies that tend to derail marriage providing biblical truth to get us back on track. This is a powerful combination of resources that will give you the tools you need to strengthen your marriage or help you build a solid foundation before you even start to check out the discounts on this marriage that works bundle go to LivingontheEdge.org Special offers on the app or give us a call at AAA 83336003 that's AAA 83336003 as we closed today's program were launching into the third practice. The Jesus did with his disciples that cause love to be fresh and alive, and he's modeling for us what he does with his bride is what we need to do for one another in our marriages.
First he served then he planned and third.
Now he says I want you to be connected and he gives this very classic passage in John 15 about the vine and abiding in connecting. I want you to know is that you cannot impart to your mate. What you don't possess the most important thing that I have done in my marriage that Teresa has done in our marriage is spending time with God and being connected to him so that we can give the kind of love that we don't have to get to one another it supernatural. It's a love that is patient and kind and understanding and is not perfect. I have my ups. I have my downs. But what I want you to know is that connecting is what brings joy we've been bombarded by the idea that happiness and self-fulfillment is what makes life wonderful in the fact of the matter.
It's in great deep relationships where happiness is not the goal but there's a byproduct. The byproduct is joy. It's a sense of connection what he wanted to say to his disciples was.
Here's how you stay connected by giving you only the first principle here today that you can't impart. We don't possess. But next time I'll share the principle of connection that connection is built on communication then I'm going to help you understand the joy overflows as you learn to connect and I will share with you a tool. I mean a tool the trees and I've used for over 35 years that literally rescued our marriage and that no matter where were at. We know we can do this tool and we get reconnected. I'll see you next time.
As we wrap up I want to say thanks to those who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs purchase airtime and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians you've been blessed by the ministry of Living on the Edge. Would you consider sending a gift today. You can call us at AAA 83336003. Tap the donate button or donate online at http://livingontheedge.org. Your support is greatly appreciated will be sure to join us next time when chip continues a series keeping the love alive. Until then, this is Dave really saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge