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Breakthrough - Absolutely Small - The Birthplace of Breakthrough, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2021 5:00 am

Breakthrough - Absolutely Small - The Birthplace of Breakthrough, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 12, 2021 5:00 am

Good things come in small packages. Do you believe that? Whether it’s a wedding ring, or a smart phone, or a nice wristwatch, we all know that a small package can contain some pretty interesting stuff. Interestingly, Jesus was a big proponent of small. Chip unleashes the secret of how to get the most from those small things in life.

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Did you ever notice that good things come in small packages? I mean, whether it's a wedding ring or a smartphone or a nice wristwatch, we all know that small packages can contain some pretty interesting, even expensive stuff. Interestingly enough, Jesus was a big proponent of small. If you long for a breakthrough in your life, here's what you need to know. Absolutely small is the birthplace of breakthrough. Stay with me.

And discover how to open it up. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

I'm Dave Drouin. And in this program, Chip continues his series, Breakthrough, unleashing God's power into impossible situations. He begins with a quick review and then opens the Bible to John, Chapter 4, to take a look at how Jesus modeled the start of Breakthrough. After the teaching, Chip will be with us here in studio to talk more about this journey of Breakthrough.

So be sure to stay with us for that. Okay, let's get going, shall we? Here's Chip with his message, Absolutely Small, the birthplace of Breakthrough. I spent about an hour in a car with a good friend and out of the blue, he turned to me and goes, you know, this Breakthrough stuff's messing with me, man. You hit me right between the eyes. I said, let's get this clear.

I just talk. If you get hit, it's God. He said, okay, well, God hit me between the eyes. I said, well, what do you mean? And for the next hour, he began to very candidly and honestly talk about some issues in his life that he knows this is right and this is wrong and right now, this is wrong.

I know what I need to do. And then he had that look on his face like I was not many brain cells working. Now, do you understand if I do what's right, the implications?

And he started going through relationships, finances, reputation. And I just said, man, you believe God is real or not? You believe he can take care of you?

You think this is any different than when he said to the disciples, feed the 5,000 or feed the 4,000? You just got to believe. He goes, I know. I got it. I got it.

And I had to believe that he's probably not the only one. Now, here's what I want you to get. You're on the verge of Breakthrough.

Absolutely small is the birthplace of Breakthrough. You can have catalyst. You can be moved. You can step out. You can start. But the birthing of Breakthrough happens in what I call absolutely small. Look on your notes.

Size absolutely matters only in reverse. To birth and sustain Breakthrough. A book I've been reading, great book. It's a little heady in the first part, but it will be an intellectual challenge, but super insightful.

It's by Andy Crouch. It's called Culture Making. He studied how cultures develop and how things happen in cultures and how they're shaped. He writes, every cultural good, whether a new word, a law, a recipe, a song, or a gadget, begins with a small group of people. And not just a relatively small group of people, but an absolutely small group. No matter how many people it goes out to or the mass effect, it always starts small. And this means that no matter how complex or extensive the cultural system you may consider, the only way it will be changed is by an absolutely small group of people who innovate and create a new cultural good.

In other words, rapid change, significant change, any change of any kind that is major always starts with a very, very small group. He goes on, the optimal size of this small group I suggest is three. Sometimes it's four or five or occasionally you can pull it off with two. But three people can fit into a Mini Cooper barely with room for luggage. Three people can talk on a conference call and convene around a table in a meeting or chat online without anyone getting bored or distracted or feeling superfluous.

Three people can sit in a booth in a restaurant and hatch an idea. But the surprising pattern that emerges when you study the propagation of new, dynamic, innovation, cultural goods is that these three concentric circles are never very large. They're almost always absolutely small.

The optimal size, as I've studied, is three and 12 and then 120. These circles are small enough so that people can know one another's faces. They can be intimately acquainted. They know one another's talents and limitations and they know how much to trust and how to verify. And then he goes on and whether it's the movie industry or the corporate world or even gets around and realizes that, you know, Jesus had of the 12 he had three and then there were the 12 and at Pentecost there was 120.

And he goes through ideas and whether it's the starting of MySpace or Facebook or Google or CEO, CFO, CIO, he just goes through and says it always starts small. And I want you to know that whether you're on the verge of potentiality and you're thinking and praying and dreaming and God's put it on your heart, what you need is an authentic, smaller group of people to get on board with you, to dream that dream, to pray with you and take some risk and say let's do this together. And if you're on the other side and you are pregnant but conflicted and you realize this would mean I would need to move out and I'm presently living with someone, this would mean I'd have to get my finances in order, this would mean I'd have to say I'm sorry and make restitution and forgive someone that I hate their guts.

This would mean and you're just thinking I just can't do it, I know I should, I know I want to, I can't, you need to be in a small group of safe, loving, caring people that say regardless of the implications whatever happens will be there with you. And what I want to tell you is that's the pattern of Scripture. Everyone here believes that God wants to change the city, right? I mean all through Scripture isn't that what he does? I mean have you ever kind of done a little look at this Bible and realized like the names of these books? When God wanted to change the world he wrote a book to the Corinthians in the city of and the Ephesians in the city of and the Thessalonikians in the city of and to the Romans in the city of.

What are those? Those are the most influential cities in the world. But it always started what? Jesus, a small group of people, the 12, the 120 and then that got multiplied and birthed here, there and everywhere. Well did you ever wonder how Jesus reached the city and how he taught his disciples to reach the city?

Well if you didn't you should and here's your lucky days that's what we're going to look at. Open your notes if you will and let's look very specifically at how Jesus reached the city. And today he's doing it in London and Paris and Hong Kong. John chapter 4.

Very, very interesting. I think the goal here is so the disciples learn later when he leaves and gives them the mission how to pull this off. If you open your Bibles, John chapter 4, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, it's the gospel. The story opens as the Pharisees hear that Jesus is gaining and baptizing more disciples than John and it's actually not Jesus baptizing but his disciples. And so he chooses to leave Judea and he goes to Galilee.

He's going to go on the non-Jewish side of the lake. And he says verse 4, now we need to go through Samaria so he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. And Joseph's well was there and Jesus was tired from the journey.

And he sat down by the well and it was about the sixth hour or it's noon and it's very, very hot. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water Jesus said to her, will you give me a drink? Sidebar, the disciples all had left to go get food in town. And she's shocked because Samaritans are a half-breed. The cultural division, I mean, is absolute. Jews hate Samaritans.

Samaritans hate Jews. A. B. Men don't initiate conversations with women. Women were sub-human in that day. And so she's wondering, one, you're a Jew, I'm a woman, it's an odd time of day and the reason she's out at this time of day is because there's a little colorful past and she's rejected in her community. And so when all the other women go out and draw water, she doesn't want to be there because she's not accepted.

So she's out here by herself. You, a Jew, ask me for a drink? For Jews don't associate with Samaritans. Jesus responds. If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asked for a drink, you would have asked him. And he would have given you living water.

Sir, the woman replied, you have nothing to draw with and the well is very deep. Where will you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself and also his sons and his flocks and his herd? And Jesus said, everyone who drinks this physical water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Here's the woman's response.

I love this. Sir, give me this water so I won't get thirsty and I have to keep coming back to draw water. Boy, if you've got this, it sounds great. And so he throws out a little test, like many of you are in right now, like my friend is in right now. He says, oh, you want water? You're thirsty? You want me to meet your need? You want to spring up in you eternal life? Why don't you go get your husband?

We'll talk about it further. Her reply, I have no husband. Jesus said, you're right.

When you say you have no husband, the fact is you've had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband. What you have said is quite true. And contrary to how I think most of us would read this text, I think he was affirming her honesty and vulnerability, not condemning her, as we will see. Sir, she said, I can see that you're a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim the place we worship is in Jerusalem. So I guess, man, anybody that knows this, you're reading my mail.

There's no way you could know this. You must be a prophet. I guess we're going to talk religion. Let's change the subject. You say this mountain, you know, and Jesus says, sweetheart, that's sort of my reading into the text.

It's way bigger than what mountain or where. Jesus, verse 21, says, believe me, woman, the time is coming when you will worship the Father, neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know, but we Jews worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet, new dispensation, new truth, a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For they're the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth. You might in your Bible circle or highlight in your mobile device, seeks.

Literally, it's pursues. The Father is pursuing and seeking and running after people that don't know him. That they might turn and worship him, not in some external form, but in spirit and in truth.

The woman said, I know, okay, we're getting down to pay dirt. Well, I know that the Messiah, that the Christ is coming, and when he comes, he'll explain everything. Now, this next line is absolutely amazing because the Pharisees can't figure out who he is. The disciples have been foggy on who he is, and after he heals people, he says, don't tell anyone because of all the mushrooming of crowds. But here is an immoral woman who's a half-breed, who's despised, who's rejected, and she gets honest, and here's the truth she gets. Then Jesus declared, I who speak to you am he. I'm the Messiah. Just then his disciples returned and were surprised finding him talking to a woman.

That is an understatement. But no one asked, what do you want or why are you talking with her? Then leaving her water jar, here's her response, she leaves her jars there. The woman went back into the town and said to the people, come and see a man who told me everything I ever did.

Could he be the Christ? And they came out of the town and they made their way toward him. Meanwhile, the camera lens, as the people were starting, hub bub, they're coming out of the town, camera lens goes back, it's Jesus and the disciples. Meanwhile, the disciples urged Jesus to get something to eat. By the way, that's why we went to town, it was a to-go order, we got it, we brought it back, you got to be hungry.

Rabbi. But he said, I have food to eat that you know nothing of. Then his disciples said to one another, could someone have brought him food? Come on guys.

I mean, think about where this is at. My food, Jesus said, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say there are four months and yet then comes the harvest?

You think that the work of God or when things are going to really happen and break through and things like you've never seen, you guys say it's in the future, some day, some way when God intervenes. But I say to you, lift up your eyes and I imagine there's some people coming out of that town, led by an immoral woman who was disrespected and despised, who thought she was unworthy. See, the fields are white for harvest. And then notice his explanation, even now the reaper draws his wages, even now the harvest crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. One sows, another reaps. It's true. I sent you to reap where you haven't worked.

Others have done the hard work and you have reaped the benefits for their labor. And in just a few moments, we're going to learn that they come, they believe based on her testimony and they're Samaritans and he's a Jew and they say, do you think you could stick around for another couple of days? So he does a two-day seminar and then they turn to the woman and they say, we have come and believed based on your word and your testimony, but after two days of hearing his word, look in your text, what's it say? Now we believe and know that you are the savior of the world. Now I want to have you look at your notes if you would, and I want to show you something about how Jesus very intentionally reached a city and I'm going to suggest that he didn't just reach a city, but he's wanting to teach his disciples about how to reach cities and then we're going to learn from the disciples how to reach a city.

Where did the breakthrough begin? Answer with Jesus. Jesus cared. Jesus had compassion on that city and he had very specific compassion on that woman. Whom did Jesus choose? This is always a stumper for us religious people. He chose an immoral, socially rejected woman in a culturally despised town.

That's just for all of us that think we're not qualified. Third, how did she make room for breakthrough? She recognized that she had thirst. A lot of us do a lot of stuff, a lot of us eat, sex addictions, shop, work.

We have thirst for fulfillment and meaning. She recognized she had thirst and she was open to realize maybe there's a different way to quench your thirst. Second, when confronted with the truth, she was just honest. I don't have it all together.

I have a checkered past. But she had the guts enough to say, yep, that's me. And then she made room. When she heard about the truth, she left her jar, step of faith, and she said, I've got to share this with someone else.

It's a pattern. What courageous step did she take? Can you imagine her reputation and the fear of rejection of going to a whole town that thinks you're like the most immoral person in the whole town? And you say, I believe that I may have just met the Messiah. You should come and see.

What do you think was going on in her heart when she was walking from where her jar and the well was to the town? No one's ever going to believe me. I've got to tell them. No one's ever going to believe me. I've got to tell them. I've got to tell them.

Anybody here in the labor pains of potentiality but your fear of being rejected is keeping you from launching? What did Jesus want His disciples to learn about Himself? His love and compassion is for all people regardless of where they've been, what they look like, or what they've done, or what they're presently doing. He wanted them to understand that His personal satisfaction is rooted not in what you can achieve, not in how you look, not in what you own.

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work. I saw in 60 minutes a brief little interview with a man in New York City. And his name is Tudor Jones II, Paul Tudor Jones II. He's a hedge fund guy. I have no idea his spiritual background other than he mentioned his mom wanted him to be a preacher. He started 80 charter schools in New York City. And in the interview, this one line captured me.

He turned to the interview. He says, Well, you need to understand that the only real purpose and significance in life is making sacrifices to meet the needs of other people. That's what life's all about. The rest of the world's trying to make a lot less than $3.6 billion, but someone with $3.6 million understands there's not enough steak, there's not enough jets, there's not enough houses, there's not enough vacations.

What life is about is sacrificially giving up time and energy and money to meet the needs of other people. That's where fulfillment is. I think he got that from somewhere.

I wonder if we do. And finally, what about breakthrough? I think Jesus wanted them to learn that breakthroughs start small.

A man and a woman having a conversation. It's like a mustard seed. It starts small. And then a few people come out.

And then it multiplies. The other thing he wanted them to learn about breakthroughs is they're not something that are going to happen someday some way out there. You say, disciples, your mindset, your paradigm is in four months, then comes the harvest. In other words, someday, some way, God's going to do something. You know, there's been things in the Old Testament from their world. For us, it was, yes, there was a great, the first awakening, the second awakening, and there's the layman's prayer revival, and the Wesleys did things.

We've heard about things in Korea and these movements in Africa and breakouts in, you know, Latin America. I bet just mystically, somehow, some way God does that. And Jesus would say, no, God is already working. Breakthroughs are not about someday, some way, if we do X, Y, Z, F, G, M, and God mystically blows on it. God is already working. He's looking for regular, ordinary people to just believe. In fact, notice the timeless axiom I put on the bottom of your notes. Unlikely supernatural breakthroughs are not dependent on a future work of God, but a present work of one.

See the difference? I believe he's working in the Muslim community in our area, in the Chinese community, in the Korean community. I think the Spirit of God is working everywhere. He's looking for an unlikely person, like you or me, who's ordinary, who feels unworthy, like this woman, to say, I'm going to just go tell him I'm going to take a step and I might get rejected. But what I'll probably find is he's already been working and he has hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of people who are struggling in their marriage and hurting and have health issues and unresolved issues with their parents and kids and they're confused and the work and the money and all that stuff really isn't delivering.

And God just is looking for a messenger, a man, a woman, or a student, who would just do what an immoral woman did to a faraway group of people from God and he'll break through. You've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Absolutely Small, The Birthplace of Breakthrough, from his series, Breakthrough, unleashing God's power into impossible situations. When you need a supernatural intervention, this series is a powerful resource that will help you find the direction you're looking for. From the first step to a new normal, Breakthrough is a life-changing series not to be missed. Now to get all the messages and really dig in, there are both audio and video options for you, including online streaming with a study guide.

For previews and ordering details, check out Breakthrough at, special offers on the Chip Ingram app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003. Just before I come back and talk about some application for you in today's program, I just want to pause and thank those of you who are our monthly partners. You know, there's a significant group of people that each and every month, all various sizes, give monthly to Living on the Edge, and it is such a joy to know that there's stability and income that we know that's coming in that allows us to plan in really significant ways. And I just want to thank you, and I know in the last week or few days, a number of new partners have come online, and if you're one of those, I just want to say praise God and thank you very much.

It's an indication of your heart. It means that you're aligning with our mission, and I pray that God richly blesses you. And I want you to know we're going to keep you informed about where we're headed and what we're going to do and the plans that God is unfolding and actually have some special things that we want to share with you that will help you walk with God and help you grow in your relationship with others.

So stay tuned. Just a final thought as we close today's program. I love this part of the series because we all get this. Big things don't just happen. They're a culmination of a lot of little things, and we can get our mind around little things. You know, I think so often when we think about breakthrough, we think of these huge things that occur and people that are smarter than us and holier than us and historic characters are out of the pages of the Bible. And sometimes we get lost thinking, I guess those things are reserved for, you know, people that are so far above us. And yet the Bible goes out of its way to remind us that the biggest breakthroughs have come through the most ordinary people. You think about Rahab, a breakthrough that changes the course of a nation that is a part of the lineage of the Messiah because there's a little thing.

She's heard some stories about this God and she lowers a red rope down and she trusts him in the midst of it. Or you think of disciples who, I mean, the people that Jesus chooses in Scripture, in church history, the closer we get to them, we realize how regular, how ordinary, how much they're just like us. And in the teaching today, the important point I want you to get is that supernatural breakthroughs are not dependent on a future work of God, but on a present work of one, and that's you.

In other words, there's not some big thing that someone out there is going to do. Your breakthrough is going to come and it starts very, very small. And as I wrap this up, I'll just share, there was a season that I found myself drifting in my marriage. Just a little mindset was emerging where I was very busy and I found myself being critical of my wife, but inside my head, not even in my words, but if you're critical of your mate, you know, why doesn't she do this and why didn't she catch that and what about this and what about that? And, you know, I have my issues. She has her issues and it formed a little bit of a habit and I could feel emotional distance. And I knew in my heart, God, I want a close marriage and I got concerned like, boy, this is not a good way to go.

And I began to pray for a breakthrough, pray for a breakthrough and I needed to try harder and try harder and nothing was working. And I kind of had this private world that I was living in, like I'm a pastor and I love my wife. And I'm absolutely committed to her, but I didn't realize I was feeding my mind a lot of negative thoughts about my wife that produced negative emotions. And, you know, then I would get from her like, hey, what's wrong? Or, you know, are you okay?

Or are we okay? And here was my breakthrough. Talk about something very, very, very small. The Holy Spirit whispered, Chip, I want you to focus on what you do have in your wife, not what you don't have. I want you to focus on how faithful she is, what an amazing mother she is.

I want you to every single day start listing in your mind all the things she does, all of her qualities, all the positive things. And I began to do that. And as I began to do that, guess what? The breakthrough started to come and I was more and more attracted to her.

And all of a sudden that 10 percent of the things that bothered me were just overwhelmed by the 90 percent of the things that I was renewing my mind and thanking God for her. What do you need to do? What small next step do you need to take to get a breakthrough in a relationship or with a supervisor or with yourself and how you see yourself?

It starts absolutely small. So start small and do it today. You know, an easy way to share Chip's messages is with the Chip Ingram app. With just a couple of taps, any message you choose is on its way to your friend, someone in your family, or a friend. To help others who could benefit from the truth of Scripture and its encouragement. And don't forget to include a quick note how it made a difference in your life. Well, for Chip and all of us here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-16 15:08:24 / 2023-12-16 15:20:05 / 12

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