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March 26, 2021 6:00 am
God is good, but life is hard. Let's be honest here. Sometimes life is just plain difficult. It isn't fair that certainly is a fun and short order. You can find yourself in a world of hurt and then how do you rise above the circumstances tell you how it takes a thing called encouragement today were going to discover together how to bring encouragement into one another's lives and bring hope to those welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram Living on the Edges of international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of this series called love will in this program. He reminds us that sometimes the responsibilities of the busyness of life. Forget that we have the power to give others a much-needed shot of encouragement for some encouragement of our own strong Chip for his message how to lift up those were down from Hebrews chapter 10 what did Jesus say I went out to Jesus that we know that the number one thing he said the very last night on the earth was love one another.
How the way I loved you so love one another.
He said when we love one another. When we sacrificially unconditionally love each other the way he loved us.
He said the whole world. The whole world will know the worst followers how you specifically do that this wasn't some you know, milky, sort of, you know, yeah, you know, syrupy love each other. This this is in the rural fabric of life he wants us to love each other in concrete, tangible clear ways from the heart.
This was an mushy sentimentalism. This wasn't a romantic notion of love. This was love. When you accept people that are hard to accept. We encourage one another.
Honor one another. Forgive one another, talk about the power of encouraging one another how that when we encourage each other. These one another phrases throughout the New Testament. That's how God wants us to love each other.
I put a little teaching handout. You can pull it out if you like. I like to begin with a reality that you already know about, but I'll remind you simply this is that life is hard through hard and other seasons were just seems good but there's other seasons where it's just hard. I looked into the eyes of a man godly man been married to a woman for 59 years and I buried his wife this Thursday and he turned to me said I just cry and cry and cry and cry and he said I while I cry so much that I know she's in a better place for physical condition. I would want to be at all. The way she was just a severe stroke unit after living with the person for 59 years and she finished well godly woman great marriage and I'm thinking myself 59 years you not just must be like someone stepping up and just chopping off both arms and both legs how life must be after 59 years of deep that's hard when life is hard.
God is good and God is good. He's doing great things in his answering prayer, and he is also the knees powerfully blesses but in the midst of his goodness. Life is really hard to get harder and harder and harder and harder. And if it's not going that way for you. Just think, and then set your calendar because it's a fallen world and bad things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people, and God is for you and he loves you, but that is not any protective veil over deep, deep pain. Whatever lies in the midst of those two things I am weak, I can just take so much. I don't know about you every step two point we just get right up to hear and you just you think I keep thinking more like the NFL running back to just one more guy continue to swap out the field to take the ball to give it to the code you take off your helmet is thrown on the ground and walking locker rooms. I run Bonnie more it hurts every time I run it you Billy all that yardage is good to me anymore, don't be concerned.
I had a great support system not ready to lose my mind my job. You don't need to write me letters I don't need any sympathy I get more than most of you ever can imagine, but what you need to hear it honestly is I get to where I just can't.
I can't take it you get to where you want to throw it in and I know if I am in the people I'm close to our what I know from Scripture's will. The dynamic is always happening Evan flow. Life is hard. God is good. We are weak. Sometimes sometimes the only difference between success and failure is a simple word of encouragement. Sometimes, you're right on the edge and you're ready to give up on a marriage or give up on a child or or just give up on your faith, your right on the edge and you think you can't take anymore and the difference between success. Moving on staying in God's will and during getting perspective hanging in there getting up and doing it one more time.
The difference is simply a simple word of encouragement. Encouragement can come from a friend.
It can come by put in her hand someone's hand on your shoulder and praying for to come from a note can come from a phone call I can come over a couple coffee can come over meal or God can give it directly to your right through his word open my Bible and I read Psalm nine the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed stronghold in times of trouble. The those who know your name will trust in you for you Lord have never forsaken those who seek and read that and I thought, he's a refuge he's a stronghold Ingram you just think you can't take in. The difference between just feel like I didn't want to go on with the day and saying okay Lord I'm gonna trust in your word. Even though my emotions are on the map today.
The difference can be a simple word of encouragement. What I like to do this morning is from the Scripture teach you, Lord willing. What is encouragement. Why are we to encourage one another and then how how do you do it what's actually look like in relationship.
So let's first define what is encouragement, Webster says it's instant to inspire with courage is to help someone continue on when they're afraid or when they're discouraged when they want to give up the meaning of the word in the New Testament is pop hello I only give it to you because you can see Paro we get the idea alongside lotto to call. It's the idea to encourage is someone called alongside us to give aid help or support back. I gave it to you because those of you who study the Bible quite a bit. You know what's the Holy Spirit called the book of John, the Paraclete same word on the very last night when Jesus was it with his disciples. He wanted to encouragement. They were afraid he said don't worry I'm going to send another counselor. Like I then, your counselor, I'm gonna send another counselor and he will be with you. He will be the Paraclete see the Holy Spirit is referred to as your helper, your counselor, your encourager, that's what this word has. That's what God wants us to do for one another in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word literally means to strengthen, sustain, harden to fortify the hold up and first Samuel 2316 it says Jonathan in a very vulnerable time in David's life strengthened him and God, to get the picture of how it works in a literal way this word is used. Isaiah 54, four, and its use for the strengthening of the pegs pounding the pegs deeper in for your tent to get the idea.
When when would you strengthen your pegs will if the wind starts blowing in your friend attends and lower what you do you get out there and you strengthen the pegs again down deeper. When your life starts falling apart. When you start to feel weak when you feel like you can't go on you will. God wants. He wants someone to come into your life and strengthen your paintings help you make it through where you couldn't on your own.
That's what encouragement is in the New Testament the word there's one primary word and then a couple closely related words but they all surround the basic meaning of inspiring hope it's it's it's it's a picture of someone someone their life is just ready to stagnate and eat some wind in their sails and you give them some wind given perspective to give them some truth to sides of this in the New Testament. It's encouragement with a view to comfort as in second Corinthians 1, three and four. God promises that he will comfort us so that we can comfort others with the same comfort he gave us.
So part of encouraging people is when they're down there afflicted. They're going through it and you step in and you comfort. But the word is also used to encourage with a view to exhort or to motivate to righteousness or holy living.
See sometimes people get complacent, they lose perspective. Hebrews 313 says encourage one another house day after day as long as it still called today which is how how often everyday. Lest anyone of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
I need you to spur me on. I need you to get my perspective back up.
I need you to help me look up and go after it and we need that from one another.
That's what it means to encourage effect encouragement get this encouragement is not sympathy sympathies greatness on encouragement simply means I feel bad for you. Encouragement has two major characteristics I took every word in the New Testament where encouragement showed up in my study to putting categories.
The source of encouragement. About 90% of the time. You know what is New Testament the source truth is nonemotional. It's not something we do a feeling someone gives you.
It's truth. It's the word of God is when you come into a person's life and there discouraged and there afflicted an array to give up and you say when second truth isn't there a heaven on you. Truth sowing and reaping doesn't happen at different times.
Oh yeah truth. Are we living in a hostile environment. Why did you expect everything to be easy to go well see the source of encouragement is in the context of many meaningful relationships. We restore people's perspective by giving them truth. Guess what, guess who the agent of encouragement is in the New Testament. Now it now then it's an angel, but 95% of time. Guess who the agents are. It's us regular people. If you want to do some at all if we could say this, we are to aid help support and interceding for each other by means of comforting infliction, strengthening and faith and motivating toward righteousness. In short, encouragement. For this idea of building up others is taking the truth of Scripture by life and word in the context of meaningful caring relationships to restore perspective and thereby provide hope, which carries us through affliction and above complacency. That's when encouragement means no limit give you four quick reasons why we need to encourage one another and then what I want to do is due today little bit differently only give you an example. I think will learn more by just having example than learning. This is what it means here and this is what it means there. Let me give you reasons why encouragement is absolutely critical. The first one is it's commanded, and I really, that's enough. First Thessalonians 511 says encourage one another and build each other up. However, God has designed this life that were to go through in Christ, he never designed it for you to make a long word encourage one another. The second reason is because sin is deceitful already quoted Hebrews 313 lest your hearts be hardened. The fact is left to yourself. I'm left to myself I will start to go into denial. I will start to compromise.
I will start to move south member that owed him prone to wander, Lord, I is true. It's old and it's true, and left to yourself and me left me. I get on the context of meaningful relationships. All I'll give you Bible verses to support why I said I've seen see we need one another to keep us focused. Third, because spiritual growth requires first Thessalonians 3 to the apostle Paul sends Timothy to this brand-new group of believers in Thessalonica. What to strengthen and encourage them in their faith. You can't grow to be all God want you to be without the ministry of other people to comfort and to inspire and motivate literally to ignite you to go on the floor. Fourth reason is because we lose perspective so easily. The whole book of second Corinthians is a study in this Paul talks about his ministry, but in second Corinthians 7 verses 3 to 7, yet the apostle Paul, the apostle Paul is a man of awesome gift powerful intellect, amazing spiritual giftedness right in second Corinthians.
He is ready to throw in the towel he is ready to quit. He is I mean when you read the passage carefully. He's clinically impressed, but then he says but God refreshed me through the coming of Titus, even the apostasy is not well. If you have enough gift of your spiritual enough to build me a time in your life and probably already come that you desperately need someone to come and strengthen you, or you'll fall flat on your face so that's why encouragement but what's it look like house and actually function in real-life relationships.
I think the best picture that I know of. There may be better. The best picture for me is in Hebrews chapter 10 verses 19 to 26. Put it in the notes up with the text. There know what I like to do is you need understand the background of this book is. Here's a group of people that are falling away from the living God there early Jewish Christians and when you came to Christ as a Jew, not only in that day, but in this day, but especially in that day you were totally ostracized if you had a job and you became a Christian. Your job is likely gone. If you are part of the extended family and you became a Christian she said, Jesus of the Messiah. They had not only that, the Roman Empire, I was having his struggles and they found there was a good scapegoat. Let's blame the Christians and so I mean to be a believer in the first century was like not only a salmon swimming upstream. But where the stream is really uphill. I mean the stuff and after while some of these early Jewish Christians. Many were getting such flack, you know they're looking each other's immuno 11 we just we know what we know. But why don't we just cook to go back to the synagogue and finally let's just cut it with this Jesus stuff the price tags to high and they needed encouraged they needed to remember what was really true. And so the writer of Hebrews. Throughout the book, but especially chapter 10 is going encourage them and he does it. Just like I was talked about in verses 19 to 21 he gives them to major facts. He says this is true, and then in verses 22 to 26.
He's going to say. Therefore, here's three actions and as we did this together think you'll see some practical ways to encourage the people in your life and your network. Follow along as I read he says.
Since therefore, brother, and we have confidence to enter the holy place literally is the holy of holies member he speaking to Jews using all Jewish terminology by the blood of Jesus by a new and a living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh now.
I'm a Jew and I'm thinking. See holy of holies the only way to get the holy of holies will help high priest once a year, but we have a new way, not the old way, nothing will come in a new and a living wage and the veil.
What happened when Jesus died on the cross the veil of the temple was what ran into and so there was now access immediate personal access for every believer, believer, nothing the blood of an animal, but through the blood of the son of God. Every believer he's wanting to remind them. This is a fact.
This is a truth. Don't give up what you have. You have 100% available access to the living holy God in the holy of holies 100% of the time because of what Jesus did on the cross fact number one.
Fact number two and since we have a great high priest over the house of God that is to make an application. Now they know all the high priests may know all about the need to have a priest to be an intercessor.
Take represent you before God and represent God before you cases.
Now you have a high priest is not like the old way your high priestess sitting at the right hand of the father, you have a high priest who is praying for you as Jesus is praying for us when you go into the presence of God directly and not through anyone, not through the law but directly on the basis of faith through the blood of Christ and his resurrection. You have a high priest, and no matter where you're at in your life. You have two things going for you. Number one, you have 100% access to God 100% of the time and when you get there, you'll never be alone when you come before God as a believer he saying to these Jewish Christians there will be a high priest at the right hand of God and he's called an advocate, a counselor, first John, our attorney and he will plead your case and so he gives on these two awesome facts that for us should blow our mind, but especially for those using wow and so notice the structure.
This passages starts out with sense since focuses on two facts now. Notice how the structure three keywords SSS there's three expectations. Since those two things are true not remember these people were drifting away from God. What's the expectations exultation number one verse 22. Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having her literally having had our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water in the perfect tense of the participle he saying this already encourage you. Those who really believe he said let's draw near to God.
Your drifting away from God. She says draw near to God. How sincerely from the heart.
Why, because your hearts have been sprinkled you all been forgiven Christ's blood and work is applied to you. You can come with confidence. He's changed second verse 23. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful interesting little thought. Here the word hold fast means someone who takes control of something someone who will hold something down for someone who is mastering something he thinks hold onto. Don't let go of what the confession of your faith. Remember that time when you came to Christ. When you said, I believe in him as the Messiah. Remember in your own life.
When you ask Christ to come in your life. He says hold fast to that. Not wavering the word literally means to lean away from not leaning away from God.
Leaning into him. Why because he's faithful see he's given truth to fax fact number one access to the very presence of God is available. 100% of the time for a believer in Christ. Fact number two regardless of where you're at in your life in your experience when you go into his presence and prayer. You will never go alone. You will always meet a friend and advocate an attorney who's there to plead your case, therefore, do what draw near to him how sincerely why because he's already forgiven you. Step to hold fast.
Don't let go of what what you profess to live out how you believe, why because God's faithful inventory. He's faithful. Three and let us consider literally give attention to ponder examined with regard to the spiritual where welfare one another in the body. Let us consider how to stimulate or provoke one another to love and good deeds. Get your focus outward have relationships in the body of Christ when we motivate one another to look outwards. That inward is when you're discouraged where you look. And we do that analysis of the naval oh my poor me. It really is hard. It's harder than anybody else get spiritual in my spiritual naval you know it's terrible pieces provoke one another. It's a strong work only here used in the New Testament in a positive way literally means to ignite what we could night one another to love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves. The idea of close relationship but being motivated.
Why so much the more as we see the day approaching the reference there is to return of Christ and the judgment. This can come.
So you see the structure as you examine the structure. There's two facts out of those two words sense since, in the two facts are very very simple one.
We have access into God's presence because of the unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance provided by Christ back to since we never go to God's presence alone. We never have to be for listening to part one lift up those who are down from his series of what you it's easy to hear truth, believe it even be moved by it, and then drift along to whatever comes next. If you've been moved today to love the people around you a little better than you have been the series love one another provides biblical direction to help you pursue that goal.
Love one another will give you insight into issues like how to love difficult people how to restore someone who's fallen into sin and how to lovingly hold one another accountable it's filled with practical truth to help you deepen relationships on every level to take a look at our resource options for love one another. Check it out online at http://livingontheedge.org or tap special offers only a for more information just give us a call a 8883336003 will chip you got a powerful application to assure today. But before we get there. It's been a while since you've explained why you ask listeners to support Living on the Edge financially will first of all, ministry is always issue of the heart. And Jesus says that wherever our treasure is. That is where Hart will be the Bible also commands us to be generous and open and free and everything that I have everyone listening to my voice right now everything they have, God is entrusted that to them. The second is the Bible's really clear.
Not only that we should be generous but aware, we should be generous. I personally believe that your first commitment at your local church, but then there's that opportunity to give over and above that first portion and to express love because God says were ever you're spiritually ministered unto, that the apostle Paul would say to a group of Christians. I ministered spiritually to you and he actually went so far to say is you have a financial obligation to minister back to me in his situation. It wasn't like for airtime I guess was maybe a donkey time or or you know I need some new parchments or I need your financial resources to get on that ship to go from Corinth to Ephesus, and is just the same. Here you know if you get ministered unto one of the ways that you not only say thank you but then you generously pass it on to others is to support that ministry that's that's ministering to you. So that's kind of what biblically why we do it and you know there's just the. The reality of need and it's a partnership than a team and so MP4 generous. I mean, I'm thrilled I'm very excited about how they do give and so I want to say.
If you haven't, you can get in on this and if you have thank you very much. If you're benefiting from chips teaching now would be a great time to join the team. You could minister with us to help others receive the same blessing you're enjoying to send a gift or become a monthly partner donate online at http://livingontheedge.org Donate on the up or give us a call a triple late.
333-6003. Your partnership is greatly appreciated will now here's chip with his application. As you listen to today's program. There's part of it that probably felt very much like an in-depth Bible study.
As I looked at the Old Testament word for encouragement in the New Testament word and give you a fairly academic explanation, but that's very important that we understand that encouragement is not simply an illegally feeling that it's not just putting your arm around and feeling empathy for one another. It's taking the truth in the context of a caring relationship and then putting the truth in front of people's eyes and in their heart so that when they want to throw in the towel. That truth becomes the writer of their ship, it becomes the foundation of their home and they refused to quit people email me and it's very exciting to hear emails and letters and I got to within the same week. Both were women who were struggling deeply in their marriage. A one is someone who made a lot of very huge mistakes. Another was a woman involved in a lot of ministry and really was struggling with her, her husband and really struggling with the whole relationship and she knew in her heart, the truth what she needed to do and stay in the relationship and love them etc. etc. etc. but I mean feeling why she just didn't feel like doing it, and she talked about hearing the truth on a program about marriage and God's word about marriage and she said you know something I realized I spent all my energy pointing out in my heart.
What's wrong with my husband and I heard the truth and it encouraged me to look at me and she said you know something I started doing that and I asked God for help and I don't know if my husband's changed at all, but our marriage is gotten a lot better. Another woman wrote along the same lines, during the series about marriage and she said we you please tell people that what you said is true. She said you know I had an affair. I abandoned my marriage. I left God and I've experienced unbelievable pain because I didn't listen to the truth and I want people to know now, years later, I've come back. It still haunts me. But it is the truth of his forgiveness. The bedrock truth in the matter how far you fall. Jesus died for me he loves me. He's forgiven me that has encouraged me now to walk with him and little by little, despite the pain and the consequences he's restored my life. Next broadcast were to take this concept of encouragement and help you learn to take the truth in the context of your relationships and give hope and healing in a way that you may have never known God could use you. So be with us all. Great way to get more out of every message is to use chips message notes while you listen you get is outline all of the Scripture references and lots of feelings to help you remember what you're learning.
Use them personally, or even with your small group chips, message notes or a quick email@example.com under the broadcast stab at blisters Fill in notes in your set will be sure to join us next time. Until then, this is thanks for listening to this edition of living will be a