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Unstoppable - The Birth of a Movement, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2021 6:00 am

Unstoppable - The Birth of a Movement, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 2, 2021 6:00 am

Do you ever wonder if God really hears you? You wouldn’t say it out loud, but at times do you question that He even exists? Well, you’re not alone. Chip sheds some light on dealing with these normal questions and discovering the truth about God, prayer, and your future.

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I hear all the time people say God has a plan for our lives.

Well, let me ask you, what's His plan for you? Do you know what it is? How do you discover it?

And once you know it, how do you do it? If that's your question, stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouie, and the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. Thanks for joining us as we continue our series, Unstoppable, God's Agenda for Planet Earth, Including You. As Chip picks up where he left off in the book of Acts, he reminds us that every follower of Christ has a purpose. No matter our past, our mistakes, or our shortcomings, God wants to use us for His glory. So in just a minute, Chip will describe the type of people God's looking for to help him fulfill his work here on earth. As you listen, someone may come to mind who could benefit from this message.

So after the teaching, I'll let you know how you can share it with them. Now here's Chip with his message, The Birth of a Movement, from Acts chapter 2. Do you realize that you're sitting in this seat today because approximately 2,000 years ago, there was a group of about 120 Christ followers who had just seen, literally, Jesus ascend into heaven. And the last thing they remember, he said, was, don't go do anything. Go to Jerusalem and wait.

120 mostly uneducated people. They'd followed Christ. For 40 days, they had had conversation.

Over 500 witnesses had seen the scars, the holes in his hands, the miracles. And he said, now, don't go do anything yet. What I want you to do is I want you to wait. And I don't know about you, but I kind of read between the lines. Peter seems like a go-getter, you know what I mean? And I'm thinking, like, day one, he's thinking, okay. Day two, it's still okay. Day four, like, I got a job. Like, how long are we going to be here?

And then outside those walls, I mean, Jesus was not a popular person and his followers weren't popular. So thinking, there's fear and anxiety out there and there's hope and expectation. And then I bet, like, day seven or eight, they're thinking, now, let me get this right.

There's 120 of us in downtown Jerusalem and we're going to take the world, right? And they're looking at each other going, and then day nine, still nothing's happening and then bang, something big happens. One of the most difficult things for me in my life and probably a lot of you is waiting. For some right now, it's like you're in a relationship and deep in your spirit, God says, no, wait. It's in the right time.

Don't move forward. For others, you know, you're scrambling, you need a job, you're thinking about a different job and you're not really sure and everything just impulsively wants to say, you know, I'm just going to make this happen. God says, no, wait. For some of you, you've prayed and you've said, oh, God, you know, this is the time, this is the season we kind of waited to have kids and now we're really ready. And apparently, God isn't because you don't have any yet, right?

It's been a year, maybe two, and you start thinking, what's the deal? Waiting is really, really hard. I've read this over and over. It's out of a book, The Knowledge of the Holy and he says, to believe, this is something to consider. This gives me perspective when I'm waiting. To believe actively that our Heavenly Father constantly spreads around us providential circumstances that work for our present good and our everlasting well-being brings to the soul a veritable benediction. Most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying position, hoping but never being quite certain of anything, always secretly afraid that we'll miss the way. This is a tragic waste of truth and never gives rest to the heart.

There's a better way and then he gives it. It's to repudiate our own wisdom and take instead the infinite wisdom of God. It's to come to the point where you say, I believe there's an all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, compassionate Creator who cares about me and here's what the wisdom of God is.

Here's classic definition. The wisdom of God is because He loves you and He's in control and has all power and knows all things actual and possible. He brings about the best possible results by the best possible means for the most possible people for the longest possible time. That's His plan for your life. God in your situation, in your relationships and in your work and in your ministry, in the dreams that He's put in your heart and your future, He desires for you to say, I want to do life your way and what He says is I will take responsibility to bring about the best possible results in the best possible way for the most possible people for the longest possible time but you need to trust me because sometimes it doesn't feel that way.

Often, it doesn't look that way. Those apostles, I'm thinking it didn't feel that way day number eight. I'm up in this room. I'm praying.

I'm supposed to wait. I want you to remember that God's plans are perfect. Just write that down. It'll do something for your soul just to remember. No matter where you're at, God's plans are perfect. Second, God's timing is perfect.

You may think it needs to happen now. Guess what? Often, He's preparing you for something better, something bigger, something that's really right instead of just close and third, can you guess what God's methods are? You got it.

They're perfect. Very interesting little passages tucked in Ephesians chapter three and it's one of those that candidly, you know, I just as I was studying for this, Paul writes in chapter three verse eight and it goes something like this. He says, this is a loose translation, I can't believe that God chose me. I'm the least deserving of all Christians to take this message of His love to all the world. But He chose me that I could share this great message in order that even the angelic principles and power when they see the birth of the church would see the manifold wisdom of God.

See, God has a wise plan for you. He's got a wise plan for the planet but the big thing on His agenda after Jesus died and was risen from the dead was this birthing of this thing called a supernatural community. I don't want to use the word church because buildings come into your mind and history comes to your mind and religious activity. I want to talk about a relationship of a dynamic group of people connected to God.

If you open your notes, what we're going to learn? We're going to see the wisdom of God as we watch. The apostle Paul says, part of the whole plan was to reveal this manifold wisdom of God by how Jesus births His church. He's sitting at the right hand of the Father and the very first thing Jesus does, He sent the Holy Spirit.

This is the game plan. The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is going to come. Come as prophesied. If you have your Bibles open to Acts, Acts chapter 2, are you ready? This is the story of the birth of the church. Chapter 2 verse 1, when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Spirit and they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now, they were staying in Jerusalem, God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. And when they heard the sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment because each of them were hearing them speaking in their own language or dialect. Utterly amazed, they asked, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hear them in our own language?

Parthians and Medes and Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontius, Asia, of Igeria, Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya near Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and converts or proselytes, Gentiles who became Jews, Cretans and Arabs. And then they declare, we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues. Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, what does this mean? Like, what's going on here? Now, there was a second group. Some, however, made fun of them and said they've had too much wine.

Now, you need to understand, this is a festival day. To get the picture, I put in your notes, when did this happen? How did this happen? Why did this happen? When did this happen?

Right now, it happened about 9 o'clock in the morning. Now, festival days, there were three major festivals. Think Woodstock that's holy, okay? I mean, thousands of people coming from everywhere, as you can see, from all those locations into Jerusalem.

It's packed. There's animals, there's sacrifices and there were three major festivals. There was Passover, there was this, Pentecost, and then later it was the Feast of Tabernacles. And so, it's packed, so God waits for the perfect time, Pentecost.

Penta, get it, 50? So, it's 50 days after the Feast of Weeks, which was that other one. They celebrated the harvest and so over time, Pentecost became the time where they celebrated the giving of the Ten Commandments. Out of Leviticus 19, they had determined that this was just about the time when Moses gave the Ten Commandments.

So, God's timing and His wisdom is, on the day when the city is filled with Jews and proselytes from all around the world, exactly on that day when they're celebrating what? The first covenant. And the first covenant, now we're to the how. Do you remember how it came?

The people were out of Egypt, they go to Mount Sinai, and then they're on Mount Sinai and Moses brings all the people together and they rope things off around. And then there's this blast, there's this sound. And the horn, it grows louder and louder and louder and things begin to shake and the people hear this sound and they're trembling. And then pretty soon there's smoke that comes out and fire, right?

Remember? From the mountain, Mount Sinai. And then there's an earthquake and then God speaks, you hear His voice.

And in the first covenant, He gives a nation His word, He gives them the Ten Commandments and Moses leads them and the goal for Israel is to be a blessing to all the nations as God works His will through this nation, Israel. On this day where they're celebrating and remembering that, did you notice what happens? It's not that a wind blew, what's it say? It's the sound.

Have you ever been when wind's blowing? I've been in Texas with, you know, tornadoes and stuff outside the door, you know, funnel cloud and you just hear, whoosh. It was the sound and the sound, it says, and they heard, it's in a tense in the Greek that has to do with it. They started hearing it and it escalated louder and louder. I think what happens then they got out of the upper room and they heard this sound and pretty soon they're looking at each other and there's flames above them. The sound, the fire and then pretty soon what's happening? Out of their mouth, they're speaking in languages they've never learned and 15 sided different countries are there going, we're hearing the praises of God in our own language. So notice what God's doing, He's connecting.

This is the why. He's connecting the first covenant with the second covenant. In the first covenant the sound displayed God's power. The fire represented His presence and the voice was His revelation.

Using exactly the same things now, what? It's not a nation, where's the fire? It's not on a mountain. It's in every individual. Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 37 both promise that when the Holy Spirit comes, He would live inside of people, take up residence in them and the new covenant would start. God's perfect plan, His perfect timing and His perfect manner. Here's the lesson, God's timing and methods are wrought in perfect wisdom both then and now. A passage I memorized a number of years ago when I struggle with God what are you doing? I just don't get it. I just don't get it.

I mean as far as I know I'm doing exactly what you told me to do and it is not going well. And then I remember Romans 11 33, oh the depths of the knowledge and the wisdom of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways. I'm reminded that a lot of life is like looking at the back of a tapestry with all the threads and knots and God in His perfect timing, His orchestrating people and sometimes I wasn't ready. And then you turn that tapestry over and you see something very beautiful that He's making. God's wisdom, His timing, His plan is perfect for you. But He wants you to trust Him. If any man asks for wisdom, God says I'll give it to it generously. But here's the condition, you have to come asking for wisdom like this. If you'll show me what to do in this relationship, if you'll show me what to do in this decision, if you'll show me what to do with my future, if you'll show me what to do in this financial issue, if you'll show me I'm signing up in advance to do whatever you say. God says a hundred percent of the time He'll show you. With most of us, you know what the struggle is? I kind of want God's wisdom to decide whether I like it or not.

Right? Hey God, do you really want me to date this girl? And if you say no I'm going to do it anyway. Hey God, do you really want to get my priorities in order and get out of debt?

Well, if that's your will, I'm going to go with plan B still. God says when you come like that, you don't get His wisdom. But who could know better for you than someone who's all knowing, all powerful, sent His son to die in your place, has a great plan for your life and mine. What we learn first is He sends His spirit and He sends His spirit to display His wisdom. So my question for you is in what situation do you need to trust God's wisdom?

I mean just right now, if you jotted underneath there, right in the notes, would it be a relationship, a job, your future, timing, a big decision, healing, you know a loss that you got to work through? What is it that you need to say part of today, God's will is you say God I need your wisdom and if you'll show me, I'll do it. Second thing He does is the Holy Spirit spoke through an uneducated failure the message of life.

Now this is amazing. Now remember God's manner, His ways are perfect. I don't know about you but I think if I was going to launch this tsunami wave of grace to reach the whole world, I'd find the best communicator, the most educated person.

I'd do it at just the right time and you know maybe have big jumbo screens and everything. Instead God chooses Peter. Peter betrayed him.

Peter failed and what we know later from this book is he was very uneducated. But God's ways are perfect, right? He knew we would come later and He knew that He would put His message inside our hearts and He would want us in every walk of life to share with people and really love them and care for them and He knew we would say things like this. Well I'd really like to you know, I'd really like to share the love of Christ with some people but I mean if they ever found out, I mean all the stuff I've done and how I failed, I mean God could never use me. And God says no, no, no, no.

My first message came through a guy who blew it as bad as you can blow it. And then the other one we say is well I'd really like to share and help some people but I'm just, I'm not very educated biblically. Haven't been to Bible school, haven't been to seminary.

Isn't it interesting? We're going to hear Peter's message and his message is going to be about what? The resurrection. He's going to tell them first of all, this thing that just occurred where your eyes are open and your jaw is dropping and you're hearing these wonderful works of God in your own language. First let me tell you why that's happening.

I'm going to explain that. Second, after you understand this phenomena that's happening in verses 14 to 21, starting in verse 22, he has a message. And as you can see in your notes, his message is about the proof of the resurrection and he's going to give four specific proofs that Jesus actually has come back to. Back from the dead and therefore what he said really is true.

Let's pick up his explanation. Verse 14, then Peter stood up, right? People are going, what's going on?

And others are going, they're drunk. He stood up with the 11. He raised his voice.

This is the guy that was afraid of the servant girl. Spirit of God makes a difference apparently. And he addressed the crowd, fellow Jews and all of you here in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you. Listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk as you suppose.

It's only nine in the morning. No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel. Now he quotes Joel chapter two, verses 28 and following. In the last days, this was a promise God gave Joel. I will pour out my spirit on who?

All people. In the Old Testament, this Holy Spirit was given to certain people at certain time for certain jobs. That's why when David, remember when he sinned with Bathsheba? In Psalm 51 and he's confessing his sin, one of his requests are please don't take your Holy Spirit from me.

The Spirit of God did not live inside of every believer in the Old Testament. But he says now, all the people will be filled. Your sons, your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions.

Your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servant, both men and women, I will pour out my spirit in those days and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below. Blood and fire and billows of smoke. Then the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Peter says two major things. He says number one, this thing that you see, those tongues of fire, that noise, hearing in different languages, this is exactly what Joel said. The last days have begun. The moment the Spirit comes, we are living in the last days. And then he talks about that's what you see right now.

But Joel's prophecy has sort of a near fulfillment and a longer fulfillment. He starts and says in the last days, but at the very end, did you notice, it says in the glorious day of the Lord. That phrase, day of the Lord, all throughout the Old Testament, later we'll pick it up in the book of Revelation, that's the final judgment of God when Christ returns.

And that's when some of these things about the sun being dark and the moon, they will happen then. And so first and foremost he says, guys, all I want you to hear is God said this would happen. Now he starts his sermon beginning in verse 22. Here's proof number one, the historical reality of Jesus. He's just gonna start out and say, this phenomena, this event that we've had, I want you to know it's rooted in that person that about 40, 45 days ago or so, remember?

So he picks it up, he says, men of Israel, listen to this. Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles and wonders and signs which God did among you through him as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge and with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Point number one, everything we're talking about is rooted in this historical person Jesus that you knew and there were eye witnesses and everyone knew he did all those miracles. Point number two, they're gonna say, look, this was prophesied. The Old Testament predicted that this would happen to the Messiah. And so what they're gonna do, they're gonna say, look, here's the Old Testament teaching about the Messiah. Over here is all the experience we've had about Jesus and they're gonna take this like a film and lay it over the prophecy and their experience and they're gonna say, Old Testament truth, Jesus, one in the same. So notice they're gonna give the Old Testament prophecy from David.

You know everyone is a Jew, David was a great hero. And so quoting Psalm 16, David said about him, speaking of the Messiah, I saw the Lord always before me. Because he's at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. My body also will live in hope because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your holy one see decay. You've made known to me the past of life.

You will fill me with joy in your presence. Brothers, Peter says, he quotes that. He goes, brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and he knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, in other words, David, seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of this fact. And so he makes the point. It was prophesied in the Old Testament and then his third point is there's eyewitnesses.

This wasn't done in a vacuum. He's saying there were 500 of us over the last 40 days. I mean in any court of law, two eyewitnesses declared it's true.

There were 500 of us. In fact, see these 120 people with the fire on top of their head, speaking the languages they've never learned. Every one of them is an eyewitness. In fact, I can just tell you 10 days ago, we were outside and wow, we watched him go up. And so he's making a very, very strong case in this first sermon about why you can actually believe that Jesus in fact is the Messiah, that he died and that he rose from the grave.

Now he's gonna go on. Look at verse 33. Exalted to the right hand of God, he was received from the Father and the promised Holy Spirit has been poured out and that is what you see and hear. For David didn't ascend to heaven and yet he said, the Lord Yahweh said to my Lord Adonai, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. He's basically saying, this event that you're seeing, it's the fourth proof.

And then notice what he calls for decision. Therefore let all Israel be assured of this. God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ. And the word Lord there you might circle in your Bible. It's a word used for God. It's in the phrase earlier, it talks, it's references to Yahweh. And so they're making this point that Jesus was in fact fully human but fully God. The Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, they're making this point that he is in fact God and he is the weighted Messiah.

He was the hope of Israel. And so he speaks to them and says, guys, you got a big issue on your hands. What are you gonna do with this truth? This spirit coming is evidence of all that Jesus taught. The lesson here is that the power is in the message not the messenger.

You know sometimes we feel like if I could just speak better or if I just knew more. The apostle Paul would say in Romans 1 16, for I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it. The gospel, the message is the power of God to salvation, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. What he's saying is that, you know what, there's a reason in God's wisdom that he picked an uneducated blue collar worker who really failed to be the hero of the first message of the early church because he knew a lot of us were gonna follow. And he wanted us to know, it's not how well you articulate things. It's not about your gifts or your ability. The power is in the message not the messenger. And the reason a lot of us aren't sharing what we know and loving people and telling them the truth is we feel like, well, I don't measure up. I'm not a good messenger.

The power is not in the messenger, it's in the message. My biggest aha moment. I knew that intellectually but I got to experience it in ways I never dreamed. Shortly after college, the first couple summers after college, I played on Christian basketball teams, players from all over the U.S. And we traveled throughout every country in South America and then at halftime we shared our faith and then afterwards people would come down and we shared our faith and talked to them and partnered with missionaries and all kind of great experience. And the first two or three weeks was super fun because you do a game in the morning with a not very good team compared to us. I mean, we were, you know, a guy from USC, a guy from New Mexico, a guy from Oregon. Our front line was seven foot six, eleven, six, ten. Our point guard was six, six. I mean, it was like, and that was back many years ago.

Let's not go there. But it's, I mean, we played all their national teams and beat all of it, a couple of them. And so, but into week four, when you play three games a day and, you know, you go out to dinner with these guys in South America, you eat dinner like at eleven thirty at night and then you talk with the players and then they go to bed and they get up late and they have a siesta. We got on a bus or on a train or on a plane and went to the next country. And so we're into like week number four and I'm fried.

And so this, this game where we've gone all down through Chile and we fly to the southernmost city, Punta Arenas. And so, you know, it's really big, these Americans, we had red, white and blue uniforms and the TV cameras were there when we got to the airport and it was like, I'm done. You ever, do you ever just get like, I'm done. I mean, stick a fork in me. That's how done I am. And so I remember we got there and I was usually pretty verbal. I'm sure you can't imagine that, but, but I really wanted to share my faith and it was just like, I remember I literally went over and all the players were there and TV cameras and I put my feet up and leaned against this couch or something. And I said, God, if you want me to talk to someone, you bring him to me.

Cause I, it ain't in me. I just, you know, I just, and you know, I'm feeling sorry for myself and I'm tired and hadn't had much sleep. And, and so this little kid comes over, you know, he, I don't know, maybe he's 11, 12 years old. And I had memorized my, my testimony in Spanish. I knew the four laws in Spanish and I had a couple of years of Spanish and after four weeks, I mean, even I can start picking up something. So this little kid, hey señora, I love you. So, okay, look kid in Spanish, God really loves you, has a great plan for your life. You've sinned, you're separated from God. He rose from the dead. He loves you.

You got to receive him personally. Get out of here. Would you? I mean, it wasn't much better than that. I mean, it was just like, you look, I'm obligated.

I said, if someone came now, I'm not proud of that, but I mean, it was the worst, most dispassionately I've ever shared. The gospel was like, just get out of here. Well then we play that night and it's so cold. You know, our summer is their winter.

This is the farthest city. The next stop is whatever. And so, you know, we warmed up with gloves on. That's how bad it was. And then I played poorly.

So you fellow jocks know what a good mood you're in when you play poorly. And so we get done and I'm still having my pity party. So I usually got out and talked to people and instead I just stopped and sat down and I just, again, I sat on the bench. I said, God, if you want someone, you bring them to me.

I'm just tired. I had a lot of turnovers. I don't feel like talking about you to anybody. Well, one person came and another person came. Another person came.

Pretty soon I got six or eight people around me. And you know how the Spirit of God sort of rebukes you like, well, you asked for it, right? I said, okay, okay. You know, I repent.

I'm really sorry. I'm going to get with, you know. So I get up and I'm energized and pretty soon there's 20, 30, 40, 50 people and I share the gospel the best I can and they're real responsive. And I get to the end and I say, has anyone ever taken God up on this amazing offer to have eternal life that Christ paid for your sin and rose from the dead?

And in the back I couldn't see it. You hear this little voice going, aqui, senor, aqui. You know, here, here, here. And so the people kind of parted and this little 11 year old came up and I said, hey, how you doing? You know, and we're talking a little bit in Spanish. He goes, I said, donde, when did you receive Christ? I said, día, senor.

Remember over at the airport? You mean when I just butchered the gospel and didn't want you to be around and said beat it? Yeah. And you know what I learned? Power's not in the messenger. Power's in the message. It's not how cool you are. It's not how hip you are. It's not how much you know.

It's not your personality. The power isn't the gospel. If you share it, people trust Christ because the Holy Spirit prepares them and the Holy Spirit is speaking to them and God loves them. He wants your mouth. He wants your heart. He wants your hands. He wants your eyes. He just wants you and me to love people and then to have the courage to say, has anyone ever explained to you how to have a personal relationship with the God of heaven?

Has anyone ever shared with you how you can have eternal life that is actually a gift, that's not about religiosity, it's not about a moral code, it's not about philosophy, that God actually loves you and He made you? You know what you'll find? People will look at you and go, no, no one ever has. Would you? And then you'll think, well, I'm a failure and I don't, I can't say it very well and you'll think, great, that's you and Peter. You ready to roll?

Question. What's keeping you from sharing His message? Kip will join us here in studio with his application in just a minute. You've been listening to the first part of his message, The Birth of a Movement, from his series Unstoppable, God's Agenda for Planet Earth, Including You. That title comes from Kip's comparison of God's grace to a tsunami.

It's unavoidable, inescapable, unstoppable. Now, that's not meant to sound scary or intimidating, but it really is a perfect picture of God's mission to cover this lost world with His love and grace. And as we're learning through Kip's teaching in the book of Acts, Kip desires us, his church, to be a part of that plan. I hope you'll join us for each message in this series to discover your role in God's unstoppable wave of grace. Visit livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003 for information about our resources for this series.

App listeners simply tap Special Offers. Well now, here's Kip. I'm sure most of you realize that we are living in a unique moment in human history. I mean, I hope you can sort of get the lens pulled back just a bit beyond the virus, the vaccines, the economy, the politics, the division, the challenges for church, the world, and pause and realize you are living in a time of world history. This will be one of those where we look back like the Reformation. Every four to five hundred years, I mean, the world completely changes. And what I can tell you is every time that happens, there's a movement of God because people are open. Things are changing. There's a movement of God and there's an opportunity. We've seen this happen at Living on the Edge. I've talked with pastors and Christian organizations.

They tell me the same thing. God is moving. Now is the time to act. You know, it happened in Jesus' day and it was at a city that the disciples thought there's no one there that could ever care about God. And a woman came out to get some water and Jesus led her to the Lord.

And then she brought the whole city out and the disciples come and they watched this phenomena, this city, I mean, people coming out and wanting to know about Jesus. And he turned to the disciples and he says to them, you say there's four months and yet comes the harvest. In other words, hey, yeah, it's down the road, but I say to you, the harvest is white or literally the harvest is ripe. The time is now. God is moving. God is working.

I don't know what's going on in your life, but I can tell you this. The time to act is now. And so I'm asking you, will you pray like never before for your church, of course, for your family, of course, but also for Living on the Edge. And second, now is the time to give, to step out and say, Lord, I'm going to trust you.

We are taking steps like never before in resources, technology and broadcast, but we can't do it alone. Would you stand with us? Would you take all those thoughts, all those intentions of, hey, this sounds pretty good.

I think I'll do that later. Would you say today I'm going to act on my good intention? And I'm going to tell you, God's going to bless that because God's at us.

If you believe God is calling you to join that future with us, we'd be honored to have you on our team. And while we're in our mid-year match, every gift we receive will be doubled thanks to some very generous friends of the ministry. So now is a great time to become a financial partner. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, just give us a call at 888-333-6003. Or if you prefer to donate online, go to livingontheedge.org.

App listeners just tap donate. For all of us here, thank you in advance for your support. Well, now here's Chip with a final thought about today's message. As we close today's program, this is one of those that has a lot of theology in it. We talked about wisdom, and we really addressed the issue of how did Jesus birth his new spiritual body or the church. And we said, well, first he sent the Holy Spirit, and we gave a lot of information on that. And then second, we said the Holy Spirit spoke through an uneducated failure.

Now, there's a lot of content there, but let's just stop for a second. The all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth decided in perfect wisdom how that he wanted to birth this entity that is us followers of Christ to take a message by not just what we say but how we live all around the world. And just a couple observations here that might really encourage you that you might miss.

They're so obvious. One is he didn't send us on an errand or a job to do for him while he stayed in heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. You actually have, if you're a Christ follower, if you've put your faith in Christ, you have a more intimate relationship right now than Peter or John or James or Bartholomew did walking around with Jesus.

You have access 24-7. It's the most intimate possibility. You're a new covenant Christian. The actual personality, the presence, and the power of the living God, the living Christ lives inside of you. He didn't want to just send us somewhere.

He wanted to live in us and live through us. The second thing about his wisdom is that, I don't know about you, but I always feel like I never measure up. No matter what, no matter how hard I try, I never quite feel like I measure up. I mean, this is the most precious message in the world.

How could I ever measure up? Isn't it ironic? I mean, isn't it kind of weird that the very first sermon ever given would be given by the guy that betrayed him who was an absolute failure, who's impulsive, who we read and think, you know, he's the big mouth who says, I'll never desert you, and Jesus said, yeah?

Well, three times tonight before the cock crows. God uses ordinary people. God uses people like you and me so that the surpassing greatness of the power can be in who He is, not in us. One of the things that disturbs me and I have concern about and I understand is that I think we've got a celebrity mentality that's grown where the pastor of this church or you hear this person or this person writes a book or this person is this awesome Bible study leader and we start having the celebrity mentality. My premise is there are no celebrities other than Christ in the church. And the power is in the message, not in the messengers. And you are qualified if you're an ordinary, regular person who loves Jesus, you can fulfill the highest purposes of the Creator of the universe. And I don't know about you, but that's pretty darn encouraging.

Just before we close, our mission at Living on the Edge is to help Christians live like Christians. One of the ways we do that is by giving away free resources. So when you hear a message that's especially helpful, we hope you'll pass it on to others. They're easily shared from the Chip Ingram app or by forwarding the free MP3s from our website, LivingOnTheEdge.org. And don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life. For Chip and the entire team, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-11 06:51:32 / 2023-11-11 07:07:23 / 16

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