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Unstoppable - Two Things that Destroy God's Work in Our Lives, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2021 6:00 am

Unstoppable - Two Things that Destroy God's Work in Our Lives, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 10, 2021 6:00 am

When you think about your faith journey, has it become routine, dull, kind of like you’re living in a spiritual rut? Chip looks at what destroys God’s work in our lives, and how we can prevent that from happening in the future.

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Did you realize that the Christian life is grace from beginning to end, we come to Christ by faith through grace we live by faith.

Grace.

But there are race stoppers. There are two things that will destroy grace in your life that's today welcome to this edition of living will be Chip Ingram chip survival to this daily discipleship program, leaving Christians to live like Christian were nearing the end of our series, unstoppable agenda for planet Earth. You message her about the here touches on a very sensitive lesson.

21st century church desperately needs.

So get your notes ready around after the message to hear some more practical insight from chip that hears chip with his message race stoppers as we get started on ask a question if you ever had one of those like what happened moments know I mean I number of years ago I visited where our family lived about 15 years earlier and had not been there in ages.

And so I was near that town and you know loves myself that while I'll just drive by the old neighborhood ever done this and if you drove by the old neighborhood. It was in a 10, 15 years later in and I'm sure part of it was my perception, but it seemed like a nice neighborhood when I lived there and I drove back in there like weeds over here in a car like this and some mouse like this in the house of the play was. I mean, the place was just like a dump and a member driving through and second like 10 years ago this was, in a not fancy but was a nice clean little Street and I just like what happened me what what happens. Like in 10 years that this thing just went completely south or you maybe had this experience at a reunion or maybe you grew up someplace else and there's that family or that couple that just had a huge impact in your life and they were, like the kind of marriage you want to have some days and you met their kids and someday you want your kids to turn out like their kids and go to a reunion or some event and get back. Maybe the old home church were there for that is. And yes I hate Bob and Mary are on the no no Bob, Mary, and here in her heard what they got a divorce. What then Mary likes 33 knows 35 years and then they just after all, they and what you say right if you had some of those what what happened here. What happened when I study with you. Acts chapters 1 to 3, four, five, there some things that I see just a casual observer.

What I learn is the church in acts as powerful the church in acts is bold the church in acts is ridiculously generous with one another. The church in acts is loving the church in acts heal the broken hearted, the outcast, the poor and the rejected the church in acts they just grew literally not weekly, daily.

The church in acts expected and saw the miraculous. And when I see the church in acts and I travel quite a bit, and I've been to churches here and all over the world and I look at the anemic selfish inwardly focused non-dynamic basic church today.

I look at this church a look at the church of accessing what happened non-there's wonderful exceptions. Obviously, but the research is overwhelming. Most Christians quote not live like Christians. Most churches have very little impact. Most churches are filled with very religious people, but not people that make much of a difference in their communities.

So what happened, how could that be what I want to suggest is, the answer is in acts chapter 5. Here's what I want you to see the early church was birthed.

Let's let's remember what happened asked Juan.

He ascended the call to all acts to the Holy Spirit came up. A movement was birthed. Acts chapter 3.

They started taking baby steps toward what the way God changes the world. Acts chapter 4. After those baby steps or some persecution and were gonna find them praying and God does amazing things and acts chapter 5. These normal regular human beings just like us who Jesus is now living inside of in the person of the Holy Spirit expressing his words, and expressing his love and caring for people and now there's thousands of people that are living the way Jesus lived caring, the way Jesus lived, sacrificing the way Jesus did. And I mean there's a revolution occurring thousands and thousands of people. Now the church that Jesus gave birth to gets attacked in the first 16 verses a gets attacked from within in that verse 17 to the end the chapter, it gets attacked from without and what you see is there are two things to things that are grace stoppers. There's two things, and I happen to good people like you and good people like me literally to specific things that will destroy God's work in your life.

These two things.

The power out of you. Your small group this church and every church you ready let's look attacked number one to pick up the story.

We need to back up just a little bit because you get a sense of what's going on at the end of acts chapter 4 member, we had the persecution they were warned and they were released and then I started back gathered all the people together and had a prayer meeting and off they prayed look at chapter 4 up in verse 31 after they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God boldly.

So God is affirming what they're doing and minutes though there was like a a lens of the camera and it backs off and it kinda gives you this general picture of what's it like to be in the early church met in big groups. They met in homes but what was the spirit like what was it like, and so the spirit of God gives us a snapshot of that verse 32. All the believers had were one in heart and mind. No one claim that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything that they had with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was upon them. There was no needy person among them for from time to time. Those who owned lands or houses sold them and brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet and it was distributed to anyone, as he might have need, and then that big lens, zeros, and like the one about what that would look like in an individual's life. Verse 36.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus who the apostles called Barnabas, which means son of encouragement sold a field that he owned and he brought the money and he put it at the apostles feet. Now in your Bibles. There's a chapter break with probably would be nice to not have that there because the story begins where I read it and that we further Barnabas an hour to get another example, a negative example. Now man named Ananias, together with his wife.

Safar also sold a piece of property with his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest of it and put it at the apostles feet. Then Peter said to him, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you lied to the Holy Spirit and you've kept back for yourself some of the money received from the land didn't belong to you before it was sold and after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal. What made you think of doing such a thing. You have not lied to men but to God. When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died in great fear seized all who heard it at what happened than the young men came forward and they wrapped his body to carry them out. They buried him. About three hours later his wife came in not knowing what it happened and Peter asked her to tell me is this the price that you and Ananias got for the land and she replied oh yes brother Peter yes we did. It was a big sacrifice and but we saw the needs of all the people in Ananias after hearing about Barnabas and his generosity.

We just felt like that's something God wanted us to do were actually pretty wonderful. Partly I'm reading into the text just a bit, but I do that because that's what's behind all this, Peter said to her, how could you agree to test the spirit of the Lord look the men his feet buried your husband are at the door and they will carry you out as well. At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and finding her dead, carried her out, buried her beside her husband, and great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events, I guess so now I didn't grow up as a Christian I never open the Bible till I was 18. In fact, my view of Christianity was very very poor but at 18 I went away to school and there was a bricklayer there that was a Christian and help me begin to grow spiritually and I soon learned that I really liked reading to the New Testament, and when I got to this part. It was like spooky and scary as I was thinking now. I mean, lying I know is bad death is like is that kinda harsh or worse. I was thinking okay enough I'm a Christian a fine line start pretending little bit like to get zapped with another was what what's gone on this passage what's really going on here.

What's the attack. What was the sin why did God judge it severely and then maybe more importantly, what in the world got to say to you, to me today we've we've given you the story to make a few observations in a minute and then within a look at temptation relook at the judgment. Verses five and 10 you have a man die, and in three hours later, a woman dies then will look at the reason the result is very interesting. The external attack follows exactly the same line and I want you to catch that.

So the story a few observations is this is the first sin in the church.

This is the first time Satan is introduced. We never hear his name. First, how we see his name. This is a not this wasn't a hoops I messed up. They talked about it.

They came up with a plan.

It was willful deception.

This isn't that I was seeking to live the life and I blew it today. This is to people that came together and decided how do we get people to think that were way better and way more spiritual than we are fourth observation. That's a very interesting theological passage you notice in verse two he says you lied to the Holy Spirit you drop down to verse four minutes. As you lied to God, so this is a very important passage on that the deity of the Holy Spirit that God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit are coequal.

One essence three persons, and then you get this amazingly powerful harsh judgment. So what's going on here, let me suggest that the temptation is to pose to pretend failure to reach our deals is not hypocrisy. We all fall short. Hypocrisy is deliberate deception trying to make people think we are more spiritual, more loving, more kind. It went something like this. They were in one of their home groups because they met the big temples and they want their home group. Some reading into the text just a little bit and people there was a buzz.

Hey did you hear about Barnabas.

Yeah, yeah. It's like downtown Manhattan Island. That's what Cyprus was like I missed was a very choice piece of property. He he said you know what I've got a lot these people don't have much, you know, I'm looking at. Keep score and look at my gross or net worth, I'm gonna take that ominous skeleton. I'm gonna give it help these people because all the slaves are coming to Christ and there's all this need in the prison people talking while in that Barnabas is a generous guy mean to me really loves people and I think Ananias and Sapphire were hearing that in what they wanted as they wanted the applause of people.

They want people to think really well of them in the sin, here's they pretend the sin is the pose. We've all done it right that we we will all pose. We all project, all I would've called you back. I just missed you so much. When the fact the matter is it was on your answering machine or you sought on your phone and you and oh man I'm so glad I did pick up on that one right. Oh, could you help us out. All I really wanted to come. I really, really did. When you're thinking. I'm so glad I was out of town.

I hate going to that stuff. Just the other day I was texting a friend in and I learned in the in the last 24, 36 hours. I had to change my schedule and I met to text him to let them know I did change my schedule and I procrastinated and then last night and I'm thinking always tomorrow. I'm not giving any notice and saw just before the service I Texans that hate you I really need to change our time to meet and then I added this line. I just found out about it. I'm really sorry but and not preaching this passage right and I'm thinking why just found out about it 24 hours ago which I could've told you but I was posing. I didn't want to think that he was unimportant.

I doing to think that I would just not give them more notice. If I could. I want him to think better me and if you will do that, we all do that and and you said you supple wolf we all do that.

Why does God judge it so harshly because at the core of posing is hypocrisy at the core of posing is I will tell you this. This story tells us that Ananias and Sophia reveal how seriously God regards his church as an authentic manifestation of his character. This is a brand-new baby and if he lets him off the to city and an hypocrisy in and people begin to play games and use the church as a political place and to get the applause of people and if it's not for real. If the people aren't for real. If they don't live it out and like cancer. The thing would been gone in the first few years God emphatically serious when he says the world should be able to look at the lives of his fellow servants who walk with Jesus and see something different significant.

Perfect. No progressively Christlike and honest and real and when they blow it think they say things like I blew it. I'm sorry they own their stuff since the sin of pretending to be more devoted to God than we really are. It's a sinner for trying outward actions. The don't correspond in reality at the the essence it's playing games with God in order to gain the.

The applause and the approval of people and at the core. According to this text and the Holy Spirit. It's lying to God. It's lying to others and it's lying to yourself. And here's the danger of posing once you start getting the applause of people for misrepresenting where you're really out with God. I will tell you what, you'll start believing your own stuff and you'll start thinking you're really kind and you're really loving, and pretty soon there's this image this almost spiritual hologram that you portray and the reality is back here you it's Sapphire's name means beautiful. This is her name means beautiful and her behavior is ugly. You know what Ananias's name means God is gracious God is generous and he's one greedy dude in his heart but he wanted to come off as gracious and generous.

And when I do this and when you do this and it starts I mentioned the text think it starts in little things all really pray for you that's bigger and it is like oh yeah, I really want to follow you, God, whatever you want to do, but I'm not consulting your word.

I'm not talking to you I'm not reading. I'm not do anything that I just expect you to bless me and then the retention in the posing and pretty soon who you are and what you purport to be tells two different stories and when unbelievers get up close and they smell us and see us and and you what they see that difference by saying what I don't believe in your message.

I don't believe in your Savior. That's why the judgment was so harsh. God was protecting his church done this passage once with the group of pastors and I said, guys.

You do understand that if God was acting like this that most of us would have to change jobs and sending Pastor to have the undertakers we just have to bury all these people in our church and I said no, no, not really.

Probably there wouldn't be any undertakers because pastors pose as much or more than anybody else. So wind anybody around the very people but when God wanted to make the point and he wanted to stop the attack, and this is satanic. Okay, this is serious in some sense once I get going. Here's the problem.

Since we know everybody else kinda poses. Since we know that everyone else has levels of hypocrisy we say stuff like, while no one's perfect God not asking to be perfect. He's asking and demanding the UB authentic listen carefully purity is a prerequisite for power you want to know what the church today with the small groups today are like small groups in the church in acts posing like a purity think it's also interesting as you look at this passage that it has to do with finances when Jesus talk more about finances than heaven and hell combines they will want to see Jesus said in Matthew, you might shut this down. Matthew six verses 19 to 22, according to Jesus wherever your treasure is, there is a chain connected to it and that chain is connected to your heart, so wherever your treasure is, that's the revealer that's the MRI the x-ray machine of the Holy Spirit of God. If you ever want to know where you're at spiritually.

Just look at your money where your money flows. It tells you where your loyalty is.

This is where your priorities are.

It's is what really matters.

According to Jesus, he ready for this, according to Jesus, the two gods are not God and Satan. Since Satan is not God's attempt is a beautiful, powerful created Angel you know what Jesus says you read that passage, Matthew six, Jesus says there's me, God or Mammon. Those of the two things that are vying for your heart and my heart money materialism now interestingly get your Bibles open skip backup verse 31 and after God is affirming them right. Chapter 4 verse 31 it says they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. That word literally means to be controlled by an notice in verse 31 there.

Chapter 4 there controlled. Are there filters, one baptism you trust Christ and you put in the body of Christ.

There's many fillings. So what happens to their behavior when Jesus is controlling their behavior. Look at verse 32, 33, 34, they have one heart and one mind unity. Everyone says they don't claim anything as their own. This is in socialism. They were in a commune.

They didn't have to give anything, but it was since Jesus is living in them and controlling them and their values. It's like what all that I have comes from God. So I have a lot in you have a little.

Of course I would share this with the Holy Spirit would do and I and I know that he'll meet my needs, so there's generosity and then there's boldness and there's power when you're filled with the spirit now skip down to about verse three or four of chapter 5 and Peter says Ananias, how is Satan filled your heart.

You ready for this same word exact same word he was being controlled by he was being influenced by but where did you come from. It came from NV it came from jealousy. It came from. I want people think of me the way they think of Barnabas but I don't trust God. I don't believe if I sold a piece of property that God will meet my needs, so I'm to keep control.

It's not about money it's about control and it's about undercontrol a lack of faith. So what I'm going to do something oppose to sell this. Keep this for me is sin. Was he said he paid this for the land before he'd have to sell the land and after he sold the land he said Peter today.

What my wife and I really been praying were convinced that 4.7% of this I go to church and Peter would set thank you very much appreciate the cassette 72% of it.

You could set 5% of what he said was we paid. This was what we got for the land and were giving it all because were so generous hypocrite. See money is one of the things it is like real objective, Noni. I can say I get this girly great feeling and we were sure I get this great feeling, or I feel close to God when I did this or listen to the song or Prater.

I and all that's kinda subjective and I'm all for all the subjective things but let me tell you where there is no power in the church. The average believer in America gives 2.8% of their money to the church of Jesus Christ in America across-the-board of all the millions of people go to church. Over half the people in any church, give absolutely nothing there.

There's this lack of connection between all my mouth that this is what Isaiah said when he was bringing down the judgment of God upon people.

He says Israel you honor me with your lips but your deeds and your ways are far from me. And so when I say I love God do the most important person in my life I have these needs. I'm really praying I really need your help and my money says what I love is me and I have all this debt and have all this stuff. See, it's not about the money it's about who's controlling my heart which desires are getting fed and at the end of the day it's really about faith will I would like to be generous and help people, but in the but is you just list. Why is it that over half of all the marriages that fail around financial issues. Money is never a problem in marriage money just reveals values and when there's lots of debt. Lots of stuff you can afford lots of credit cards that you pay part-time on what you're saying is I don't tremble at God's word basic biblical stewardship would just have certain things like God says give the very first off the top so you remember that I own it and so that my mission gets done and then he says things like, don't spend more than comes in that's a radical idea.

You know and and by the way, I own it all and so what I want you to do is it's not just about getting I actually want you to say, even if it's just a little. I want you to actually invest even if it's just a little and then what comes in each month.

I want you to keep the number the comes in bigger than the number the goes out you do that for three years and then five years and in seven years and 20 years. In 30 years. I will take you will end up with surplus and greatly blessed you understand why. See, it's just to reveal her. If you happen to be brand-new. By the way are your brand-new in Christ.

This is a journey know this isn't this isn't some big message on finances. You know why were talking about finances because were in chapter 5 okay chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4.

This is what happened and it is the greatest clearest revealer of where your heart is part message race numbers will be right back with his application of this teaching from a series of unstoppable God's agenda for planet Earth, including you. That title comes from chips comparison of God's grace to tsunami. It's unavoidable, inescapable, unstoppable. 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 are learning to chips teaching of the book of acts. Chip 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 AAA 333-6003 for information about our resources for this series.

Apple is never simply tap special offers chip were living in a day and this always happens in crises where you hear stories of Christian organizations that are using the funds that people give in a way that wasn't intended.

There's just some abuse and lack of integrity out there. Now how do we communicate with our listeners about what we do and where their gifts go one day. Unfortunately, that is a reality. I mean from New Testament times for the last 2000 years. There's always been people in the name of Jesus that basically use and abuse. People touch on their heartstrings and the money doesn't go where they say it's going to go so we want to be transparent.

We don't do an annual report we actually do two reports a year and we ask people for very specific things and then we give a very specific report about this is what you gave.

This is what we did. These were the results and what I want to remind you as many of you read that report and that you gave to Living on the Edge, especially in the last six months you can us see numbers that are astounding. I mean they are humbling and astounding to us, but it's not what I did. It is not what Living on the Edge did.

It's what we did together. I me.

We responded globally and we responded directly in American you can see these astronomical responses in the midst of the covert, 19, and that is what we got to do together. That's how the body works and so right now if you have any one of those people thinking you know this teaching seems to be helpful and I had no idea about what they're doing globally and resources they make.

I'd really like to check Living on the Edge out before I make a decision to give. Let me encourage you to go to LivingontheEdge.org one long word LivingontheEdge.org/ministry update and I think you'll see exactly what we do what our goals were the numbers are there. We want you to know what we do and why we do it and then I would ask you to pray and I don't know what God wants you to do, but I would ask you to read that and then say Lord, do you want me to be a part of this ministry and then sit quietly and listen for his voice and then whatever he tells you to do you do that and if you do that. What I know will have all that we need to do all God wants us to do. Thanks for taking that kind of time and being wise about the money that God is entrusted to you. That's called being a good steward.

Well, if you're already praying and supporting the ministry of Living on the Edge. Thank you.

We couldn't do it. We do without you.

And if you're ready to step up and join us or increase your commitment today would be a great day to do it. Thanks to a small group of financial partners. Every gift we received between now and July 6 will be doubled. If you've been looking for a way to make a difference. This is your opportunity right now. Your gift will have twice the impact to send a donation.

Give us a call at 8883336003, or if you prefer, donate online at http://livingontheedge.org app listeners just Donate on behalf of chip and the team. Thank you in advance for your generosity will now here's chip as we close today's program.

You cannot listen to the story of Ananias and Sapphire are this internal attack on God's grace in this harsh harsh judgment were both are killed not because I didn't give, not because they didn't give enough, but because they pretended to be something that they were not the sin was hypocrisy in the Senate by the way, do not get confused. Hypocrisy is not the same as not measuring up to what you want to be. Every single one of us were all going to fall short. But when you own up to falling short. That's one thing but when you begin to project something that's entirely untrue of you to win the favor of people and to project an image that lack of authenticity. God cuts to the quick and does this harsh judgment to tell his church.

We can't live that way it destroys the complete credibility of the message that here's the hard question you need to hear and I had to process when I was preparing this where in your life are you tempted to be a hypocrite or where in your life right now. Is it just not true. You say one thing you project one thing but honestly your life and how you really live doesn't correspond and you're willing to let other people believe that you love God that you're more generous. You're more caring than you really are and so obviously you have the first application. Here's our finances unit to say that I really love God but don't give the first portion of my finances, then I'm saying one thing with my mouth and my behavior saying something else.

If I say I love people and yet I'm critical and selfish and make no time for them in my schedule then then something's wrong here.

Grace stoppers occur in our own heart of hearts when we begin to project something that we want others to think about us that simply isn't true.

Grace flows. In fact, the core word grace generosity goodness. They all have a common theme. It's when you understand there is an abundance that God has much that he loves you that he cares that he wants to give in and trust things that you can Karen and trust others.

But the motive is not to impress people.

The motive is to love people and so I want to leave you today with just this opportunity to say God we search my heart. We all struggle with hypocrisy. Would you show me anything specific in my heart or life that I need to address and then let me encourage you to a very close trusted friend, own up to it, confess it. Come clean.

Let God forgive you and then take the opposite step if it's in your finances than be generous. It's with your time, then do some act of kindness, not for how you appear, but because you actually want to express your concern for another person that will release the grace of God afresh in your life again.

God bless you and go for just before we close our mission, 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 there easily shared from the chipping roadmap or by forwarding the free MP3s from our website. LivingontheEdge.org. Don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life will be sure to be with us again next time when we continue our current series chip and the entire team here, this is Dave thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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