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April 19, 2021 6:00 am
You know, once a person makes a commitment to follow Christ coming radical all the decision. There is a process God uses to transform well today I'm going to address what I believe is one most neglected areas of spiritual growth because once were aware and willing to engage results in life-changing statement that's today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with shipping Living on the Edges and international discipleship ministry during the daily Bible teaching were nearing the end of chip series. Yes, you really can change to chart behind each of these messages remind us that genuine life change is possible, will be joining us in studio for replication stick around for that. If you missed any of these messages are available online at http://livingontheedge.org chips got a lot to share what's drawing to go over his message, the power of spiritual training in the transformation process.
Listen carefully. Only God can transform a life only by God's super natural grace can a life be authentically changed from the inside out, but he chooses to never do it alone is a joint effort transformation. The miracle of life changed everything we talked about is a joint effort. It's completely and fully by grace but we have a part. Notice that even in nature, God points out, it came across an article talks about a man who found a cocoon of a butterfly in one day he saw small opening appear.
He sat and he watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body to that small little hole menacing to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it gotten as far as it could get no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and he snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon and in the butterfly easily emerged but had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment.
It's wings would expand and it would fly off, but it didn't happen. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly what the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly through that tiny little opening was God's way of forcing the fluid from the body down into the butterfly's wings so that it would be ready for flight. Once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon see God made the caterpillar that green worm if you will, that green worm had exactly the same DNA as the butterfly that DNA told that caterpillar when and what season to go to on that milkweed went to form a cocoon and it's all the DNA inside of that they created from this caterpillar into a butterfly, but there came a time of struggle and responsibility for metamorphosis to occur for that butterfly had to make every effort and struggle to cooperate with its design in order to fulfill its purpose in the exact same thing is true of us.
Open your Bibles if you will do a quick review before we jump into Ephesians chapter 4 let's go all the way back to beginning of the series. Chapters 1 to 3 is the DNA that God has put us all that he has done for us in Christ.
Chapter 4 opens up where he begins to talk about our responsibility he says is a prisoner of the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling that you received and he begins to describe what it looks like in relationships, be completely humble and gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and the notice make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit to the bond of peace and we talked about what Christ is accomplished. We talked about the role of the church.
We talked about that sort of threefold process where we put off.
Have your mind renewed and put on and then pick it up with me in verse 25. As the apostle Paul goes through five specific training stations. Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor for all members of one body we talked about be honest going to train for integrity in your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil a foothold in the goes on he who had been stealing the steel no longer, but must work with your hands, doing something useful that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouse, but only what's help for the building up of others according to their needs that may benefit those who listen and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness and rage and anger in brawling and slander, along with every form of malice and be kind and compassionate one another, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Now I want you to see this combination Psalm 7714 says you are the God who performs miracles you display your power among the people. God does miracles he's done them in the past. He doesn't today that's God's part. The supernatural does miracles among us look at the next passage in Romans eight, he does miracles in us the spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead. Amazingly, lives in you.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters. You have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. God does miracles in the world. He parts red seas.
He's raised people from the dead, but he doesn't just do miracles among us. He does miracles in us the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead.
When you put your faith in him dwells inside of you. We don't have to sin anymore.
We will we will have struggles but you've been forgiven. The penalty of sin's been paid. The power of sin has been broken and now the spirit of the living God that created all that there is if you're a follower of Jesus lives inside of you. That's God's part. None.
As the apostle Paul says that that's not how it all works flip in chapter 4, he says I can do that something he does. I can do all things. But how, through Christ who gives me strength.
In fact, the next passage in Philippians 2 he kind of puts the whole package together.
There's God's part. There's are part there's dependency is all of grace.
And yet, we have to make every effort and so he commands us work out your salvation with fear and trembling the notice. The second half, for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Be diligent, be diligent, work hard, refused to take shortcuts since he who steals my steel no longer, but rather must humus labor performing with his own hands, what is good and knows the purpose because so they may have something to share with the one who has need training objectivist financial stewardship and rooted in. This is a work ethic. The training command is steel no longer grammatically he saying people in this particular church were stealing grammatically.
It's stop stealing not cut off stealing was rampant in the ancient world. Now I think it's same today but when people would go to the Roman baths and they would leave their closer valuables or when they went to the market. So Christians that came to Christ in the city but it was a habitual pattern and I would steel so he stopped stealing the training action is you to put off stealing. Then there's a renewal of your mind recognize the value and the purpose of work recognize the value and the purpose of work in them over to see in just a minute he's gonna say stop stealing recognize the value of work in the purpose of work and then he says now I want you to put on. I want you learn to work or to labor and is talking about real physical labor here, but unto the Lord, I want you to work as though you're working for an audience of one. So let's back up and think through just a little bit. The issue behind stealing. Obviously, I'm guessing that there's not a lot of you that I got all my lands you know Friday night I held up that guy at the ATM I just got a knock that off, you know I didn't use a knife or anything of the plastic gun, but I just gotta quit doing that you know or were you not I might, hopefully there's not like just a handful of you that are saying you know it's tax time and I've embezzled a few thousand dollars are a few hundred thousand dollars, and I'm glad I came today because I need to repent of that. By the way, if you're stealing in those ways for sure you need.
Repent from that.
But we stealing lots of ways, see behind stealing is the real thing that needs to be addressed.
For most of us is the shortcut mentality see at the end of the day if you went to work for two weeks and I put X numbers of dollars out of your paycheck in a bank account and then you want to go to dinner or go shopping and go to an ATM and you pull out $100 because that represents what you work as you take that hundred dollars out. Someone stops you need to put the gun or knife to your throat, and says give me your money. Number one.
Give it to them. Heroes end up dead. But you did the work. They took your money at the heart of stealing is we want the product without process we want the product without the price, and for many of you, the stealing is not about money in the stealing isn't in your vocational work.
A lot of us want a really great marriage but we don't want to put in the work. A lot of us want kids really love God and turn out well and tell the truth and have great relationships but we don't spend any time with them around the table.
We don't tuck him in bed.
We don't teach them a lot of us really want our bodies to be low in cholesterol and low in fat, we want to be healthy and live long lives. We just don't want to do the hard work of working out or watching what we eat. You get the idea. A lot of has overwhelming jobs with demand demand demand demand, and we steel from relationships, and we steal from other areas to fulfill responsibilities and jobs to either please people or be addicted to the income that it brings. See now stealing has a lot to do with all this doesn't now here's what you need understand you need understand the value of work, the value of diligence before sin entered the world, we were told to work so work has value. It's not like TGIF. It's not like the mentality we've been inundated with our culture is is that the mentality that what most of our culture tells us is do as little as possible to get as much as possible for the greatest income as possible unless you own the business and see we we then we do the same thing in his other relationship like I shared we want the results, but the diligence the line upon line, the precept upon precept, the getting up putting 1 foot after another. It's very difficult to learn to work hard on the things that are hard for us to work on insulated unit yet understand the value of work Jesus for the first 30 years work with his hands he learned that things don't happen overnight. Jesus though he was fully God and fully man as a little boy sat with the rabbis and he memorized the passages Kenny asked questions and he didn't work to learn to grow. He grew in stature before God and before man so there's a great value in work but notice also in this passage. The purpose of work. The purpose of work just isn't up upward economic mobility. He says you steel steel no longer stopped taking shortcuts but work with your hands. What's the last phrase so that you may be able to share interesting little Greek word, the idea of sharing with those in need has the idea of doing it. Personally this is sharing as in I get some money I give it to an agency or an organization, or even to the church. This is working with your hands and as you work with your hands you meet people that have actual needs and part of the reason that you work before God is you want to have some extra help other people personally see it goes from staying. I'm not going to steal to want to be generous.
Gonna be like God, I want to be like Christ member as a prisoner of the Lord. I said you no longer live in this way, that walk in a manner worthy. That means you get a look.
Think and talk and share the way Jesus does the training apparatus. It's been most helpful to me as I'm getting encourage you to write out a to B list, not about you, but I've learned to work best because of mentors. My first mentor was my father say no more mentor. Some of us.
I grew up with. I learned how to work. He passed it on about the wagon other some things about my dad were real helpful. This was very helpful so and that's okay and I'll try to get the right way and you may remember that when I taught my kids early on it wasn't just about cleaning this are doing the garage are doing their rumor making their bed. It was they needed to learn that the diligence not taking shortcuts is a discipline and is difficult but as you go into training. You can learn how to do it soprano that one of the best histories.
I gave her kisses, teaching them to work in early on the menu was terribly they would vacuum and you say you know what you have to move these things and vacuum not just go around them or you know they need to clean the room when you open the closet you realize it look clean when you walked in to look like a mess. There and so you teach him you know you look at a homework paper and go all my lands that x-ray vision to figure out what this says, you know, rewrite it, do it right. It takes time and when I say it to be list, here's here's one of my biggest mentors other than my father and a few other people I shared with you up. Prof. Howard Hendricks was a great mentor in my life in my third year. School was about 10 or 12 of us. We met with them for lunch in a brown bag lunch we were talking and I was a working full time, go to school full time had three kids and had just started out pastoring a church and so I mean, my life was crazy I meant was up for in the morning and you study here, then you do this with the church and then you drive in him and you go to school and you know then try be a good dad and I mean it was nuts, never forget him talking about men. The problem with a lot of your lies because we do asking questions for an hour every Wednesday afternoon over lunch.
He says you need to create a to B list instead of just a to do list for me not to do list for this long.
I could never get them all done and I'll never forget. I might be thinking what you mean by a to be list. He said you will never be more love than your loved right now you'll never get all your to do's done in your life is based on your performance.
So what you need to do is get very very clear about who do you want to be Hootie want to become an and I don't how this works but I'm praying I prayed for you all today that this will happen in your life. I don't know how it is when certain truths. It's not like I never heard it before but you know how the ignite inside your mind, and then somehow they get down to your heart and you feel compelled. I have to act on this and I member driving away from that little seminarian stopping at a Dairy Queen in a little town called Crandall and on the back of an African said I'm either going to make it to be list and follow it.
Trying to keep living this crazy life where I'm not quite the husband need to be in. I'm not get enough sleep and I'm not working out anymore and I get school over here in life is crazy and in the back little napkin. I said I want to be a man of God. I want to be a great husband.
I want to be a great dad.
I want to be a great friend.
I want to be a great pastor and I want to be someone who takes care of my body and then what prof Hendrick said was you take those and you stick them in your schedule before you do anything else. Sure, you'll still have a lot of dues to do but when you stick those in if you will be diligent the person you are. Year three years five years 10 years. That was 30 years ago, literally to the year and I decided I'm to be a man of God and get to meet with God at least an hour every morning before anybody else.
If I'm gonna be a great husband want my white skin. I know that every Friday for three hours.
Were you have a date uninterrupted that she has in the with my undivided attention and every night every night after meal might be 10 minutes might be 30 minutes to talk and connect from the heart. I went through and I put my kids names in my schedule on the same calendar and to be then I said we can eat together him to meet with my kids individually and then there's 23 guys I really like I said I want to be a great friend and I want to work out and I love being with you guys. I need to process some stuff with you that I don't need to talk about with my wife and I built that in my schedule and then I change my calendar. I said you know what there's two or three things is the senior pastor that only I can do and all of Wednesday was good to be sermon preparation can have my deadline and I mean it was so hard and was three steps forward and two steps backwards, but I was more concerned about like to be list than my to do list. Be diligent work hard. Don't take shortcuts to see. Here's what happens.
I can't tell you that everything overnight at all. Way better. It's a lot like this exercise right here.you know when you go everyone wants to pump a lot iron you know right you do the curls and you know you get that well looking to do that could be embarrassing, but you get the big guns are big tax right. How many people go okay because of back muscles, man, she's got an awesome back.
He's got a great back if you ever heard that. See, this is diligence. These are the kind exercises. Personally I hate right you do these and is like a mommy. No one sees these things course, these are the balancing muscles to these and you can't just do one side you do both sides and what happens is for those who do the actual, personal training what they tell us is is that every muscle we have to work the other side. And as people get older, have you know some people when they get older they walk like this because I don't have the strong muscles diligence you going to training you get diligent about going to make my marriage priority.
I'm gonna make my personal time with God a priority but is not about the activity. Each who do you want to become.
You are currently becoming someone and who are you becoming your becoming, where your time and energy and focus. You are in training right now.
You just don't know what is. You may be training to become a workaholic you may be in training for your marriage to drift. You may be in training for your kids to be disengaged. 20 years from now see the problem is is I can do this three times a week and you can see the back muscles you will see the results. Most of everything I said about the to be.
I saw no difference for year two or three or five. But here's an Italian I can member tenures in my marriage thinking wow instead of being in marriage counseling. I do believe it's good.
I member 20 years into my relationship my kids and thinking why said noted this and noted that it was a hassle and but we ate together. I talked and then not got grown kids by the grace of God in their individual choices who love God and have a relationship there's no guarantees, but there is a guarantee if you are diligent, see sowing and reaping right we all believe that you always reap what you sow. But here's the catch.
You never reap in the same season. You never reap in the same season that he so so let me encourage you be diligent going to training station number four is be positive.
Don't woman with your words don't wound with your words be positive. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification. According to the need of the moment noticed the purpose clause so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Here we have the training objective is positive speech positive speech. The training command, say only that which helps stop saying unwholesome words. The word here is the idea of rotten putrid corrupt. It's like milk that is spoiled or fruit that's gone bad or or meeting that is been corrupted. Don't let anything come out of your mouth that's corrupt or putrid. Instead say words that build up the help that edified encourage and the idea this phrase is been encourage specifically at specific times.
According to the needs as your engaging with people that training action is put off negative speech renewal recognize the power and the consequences of your speech. So first forgot put off negative speech, and some of you may be thinking, you know, I'm glad this one doesn't apply much to me while I listed in my notes about 12 or 13 little negative speech is that at some point in my life I've either heard or practiced. Unfortunately, and will share this in just a minute but I want you to get within a put off negative speech and and then we can start thinking instead of not thinking much about my words. I'm gonna renew my mind and I'm gonna realize the power and the consequences of what comes out of my mouth and know what I'm get put on his own input on positive, encouraging speech here some examples of negative speech sarcasm, putdowns, innuendos, general negativity, outbursts of anger, criticism, labeling, abusive speech, cussing, swearing, taking the Lord's name in vain, slander, gossip course jokes.
Should I go on net, here's the deal. You need to understand the power in your words. Proverbs 1821, very powerful tells us there is life and death in the power of our words and those who love it will eat its fruit. I mean if I could pass a microphone around and some of you could tell me a moment with one your parents or with the teacher or with the coach who said something to you and it brought death to you. You're a loser. I wish we never had you, you'll never amount to anything to this house, you're too short you're too fat. You'll never make it. I don't love you.
Member member that words are not unit sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. Liar liar liar pants on fire. You can absorb a lot more sticks and stones, he can never power there's life and death in the power of words.
What comes out of your mouth brings life to the people around you or kills them.
We could get another microphone we could talk about the teacher or the coach with the friend or the person who said no you want to go out for the team.
I think you be good. You know it's amazing how you think a different being an engineer. Oh no, no, you should apply to college, you can make it and I get your PhD or you know something you pick up the songs pretty quickly once you try playing this instrument, your great with people of you ever thought about being a counselor hey we need you, and you know what someone believes in you before you believe in yourself and they give you words of life and words of hope, be positive.
Don't wound with your words. Why is the part one of Jeff's message the power virtual training in the transformation process will be right back with his application on the stitching series.
Yes, you really can train the point of the series is not only to say the genuine life change is possible, but to help us reflect on areas where we struggle. Maybe you need to break an addiction repair a broken relationship or correct the behavior. Whatever the issue is you can make the change and would love to help you with that process.
Digging deeper into the series would be a great way to start. Take a look at the study guide stream. The small group video or download the free MP3s to listen anytime the place your order or for more details on yes, you really can change go to LivingontheEdge.org call AAA 83336003 or Special offers on the chip and remap chip in the series. You've been pretty direct about some of the struggles people deal with on a day-to-day basis is true is that is not everyone's facing major crises, but they're kind of coasting along in quiet desperation.
They might even be reading the Bible and going to church every once in a while, but they just aren't experiencing the kind of power and joy you're talking about. What would you say the will, Dave. That's an insightful question because I think you're right.
There certainly people that are going through really deep addictions and in this series is gonna be super helpful for them. But what I can tell you is, there are a multitude of Christians who are involved in any quote blatant sin, but are not experiencing this supernatural life were talking about and I think for many, the believed unconsciously that certain religious activity will bring about change. We all can have idols in our life roadblocks in our life that were completely oblivious to it. So that's why the apostle Paul is so clear in Ephesians chapter 4 of this taking off this renewing of our mind and this putting on, and that's why these last messages are so important. I've seen people begin to specifically go into training and I've outlined that in this teaching series, but I put it in the book in such a way where there is a roadmap of very specific way for them to learn to go into training to renew their mind in a way that allows them to experience that joy and that peace and that power that God longs for them to experience because he would say I'm your father, you're my daughter you're my son. As I would encourage people, especially if what you're listening to is resonating. Get the book, do it with someone and see if as you dig in. Personally God won't speak to you in a powerful way.
That's a great suggestion effects what were pretty excited about the release of the new revised edition of Chip's book. Yes, you really can change.
Let me encourage you go to your website. LivingontheEdge.org to pick up your copy of yes, you really can change.
Pick one up for yourself. Maybe get one for a friend and spend some time over coffee, encouraging one another on your new journey of life change will now here's chip with a final thought as we close today's program talked about being diligent in the apostle Paul always takes the negative and replaces it with the positive in and basically told us you don't be lazy, but work hard, stop stealing, which is basically a shortcut and he says work hard in order that you might have something to give to those that are need in the overarching principle. There is nothing shortcut and is not just stealing money in. We steal time. We steal relationships we just think there is little shortcuts we can take and what we know down deep as it never works that way at diligence is a tough one to develop.
In fact, one of the fruits of the spirit is self discipline. You know doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done and I don't know about you but I have met very few people in my life where that comes easily and I get so bombarded by all the stuff to do, at least in my life and with the people I'm around that I unconsciously feel like it's impossible and I shared something today that I think might be a great exercise for you the first time I did it. It took me less than a half-hour, but it changed the entire course of my life. I was 28 years old thinking deeply about the kind of things we talked about today and I still remember pulling over that Dairy Queen and Crandall Texas and I got a nap again and I made a to B list, not a to do list a to B list and let me encourage you, what would happen if you did that me not all that you have to do, but if you just I mean put a line down the middle of the paper and on the left. He put to do it on the right you put to be and just use that. I want to be a man or woman of God you know I want to be a great dad or a great mom and I want to be a great friend of one of mine. This was 30 some years ago.
I want to be in great shape and I just cut us all.
You seem like people's lives, went downhill on their energy in their life and I just I want to be in great shape but I want to be a person who is generous, as I wrote those things down and the key areas of my life and then I begin to plug-in what would it take to be a man of God, what would it take to be a good a really great husband and and I put those in my schedule and did I keep him hundred percent of time. Are you kidding me no way that I Am a lot more and then that's where my small group kicked in his instead of just saying how you doing I got 133 things to do it.
I did hundred 20 yesterday and I got hundred and 50 day. I mean, isn't that how life works. It rearrange my whole life around who I wanted to become. Can I encourage you take 30 minutes and make it to be list it all. Great way to stay engaged and connected to chip and Living on the Edge is with the chip and remap. You'll get free access to all of Chip's recent messages is message notes and much more. Not only that, but it couldn't be easier to call or email directly from the F will be with us again next time when chip continues a series. Yes, you really can change. Until then, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge