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Momentum - Learning to Experience Authentic Community, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2021 6:00 am

Momentum - Learning to Experience Authentic Community, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 20, 2021 6:00 am

Want to have great relationships? Chip gives you a 3-step process for building the kind of relationships that carry you through the hard times and celebrate life’s best moments with you.

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Would you like to take your relationships to the next level?

I mean deeper, more meaningful, someone that would be with you through the hardest of times, someone that you learn to celebrate at new levels with when life is great. Today on Living on the Edge, we're going to talk about how to build deep, meaningful friendships that really last. Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

I'm Dave Drouin. We're in Chip's series, Momentum, How to Ignite Your Faith. And in this program, Chip looks at building authentic community through the lives of two guys, David and Jonathan, in the midst of the worst life could throw at them. We're going to learn several keys to developing the kind of relationships that last a lifetime, regardless of our circumstance. After the message, Chip will join us with some additional ways you can begin doing that today.

So let's get going. Here's Chip with part two of his message, Learning How to Experience Authentic Community. I remember it was a real intense time in my life, schedule and travel. My dad was very, very sick. He didn't have much time to live.

I had a friend who, because of his business, owned a plane that he flew to different places. And I'll never forget, he said, when your dad gets near the end, you call me. I don't care where you're at. I'll come pick you up and I'll take you. You need to see your dad. You've had a long up and down journey with him. You need to see him before he dies. And I'll never forget getting one of those calls that says, if you want to see your dad before he dies, you need to get here as soon as possible.

I mean, he's not going to last probably more than another 24 or 48 hours. And I remember sitting down. This is really interesting. I remember sitting down thinking what Gary said and then thoughts like, I don't want to put him out.

I mean, like how much gas would it cost? And I mean, I know he but, I know he but. And I just thought, you know, he said he wanted to do it.

I just can't imagine anybody doing that for me. And I just realized, you know something? I guess I just need to humble myself and receive. And I got, I just called him on my cell.

I was working out downstairs. I said, Gary, I just got a call. You know, it took me 10 minutes to work it through. And he said, get over to the little airport. It'll be 30 minutes.

I'll have you there in Durham in a couple hours. And I got in his plane 30 minutes later. And we flew in the middle of the night and he and his son. And he said, he dropped me off in front. He says, I'll come back and get you. He said, we'll take care of the hotel.

He had rented a car, took care of everything. And I had a window of opportunity that I'll share a little bit later with my dad. Because someone, boy, you talk about a friend, he's available.

Are you available? See, we got convenient friends and we got real friends. Real friends are available. Next is loyalty. Don't shrink back when things heat up. Well, the story continues and David replies to him, okay? David's thinking, this is getting scary. He says, tomorrow we celebrate. I'm in verse 5 of chapter 20, the New Moon Festival. I've always eaten with your father on this occasion, but tomorrow I'm going to hide in the field and I'll stay there until the evening of the third day. If your father asks where I am, tell him I've asked permission to go home to Bethlehem for an annual family sacrifice.

If he says fine, then you'll know all is well. But if he's angry and loses his temper, then you'll know he's planning to kill me. Listen to this. Show me this kindness as my sworn friend, for we made a covenant together before the Lord. Or kill me yourself if I've sinned against your father. But please don't betray me to him. Listen to Jonathan. Never, Jonathan exclaimed, you know that if I had the slightest notion my father was planning to kill you, I would tell you.

Well, they figure out a plan to figure out whether it's going to happen or not. And if you skip down to verse 16, it says so Jonathan made a covenant with David saying, may the Lord destroy all your enemies. Think of what he's saying. Who's one of his enemies? You know that old blood is thicker than water?

Ain't true. May the Lord destroy all your enemies and Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. The reason we don't have really great friends is the price of loyalty is very, very high.

You don't betray your friend. And most all of us will get in a situation, I've had a handful in my life, where life heats up. I mean it really heats up. And being around you during that time when it heats up, a lot of the dirt and the yik-yik that comes with your life heating up, people don't really want to get around you because it kind of comes off on them. Your reputation may be being attacked and you know like hanging out with you right now, it's not true, but you just find a lot of people start not returning your calls and can't figure out why.

Because some things are being said about you that aren't true. You might be in a horrendous relational situation. You know what, it might even be you really blew it and you sinned.

I mean, big time. And people are judging you and just telling you, you know what, man, you blew it, I'll tell you what, God is going to do this. And you know, you broke your marriage vow or you stole money from that company.

You know what, real friends never ever tell you that the sin's okay. But what they tell you is, and I got to tell you, you really did screw up, but I'm here for you. How are we going to get through this? What's the game plan going to be? You got to get right with God.

You got to make it right with His people. You can make it through this. I'll be here for you. That is a friend. That's authentic community. And everyone goes through hard times.

But the temptation is when things really heat up and get really difficult, the temptation is for people to kind of back away. And I'm going to play it safe. I have a very good friend with a flat top that is super goofy. And he can listen to this. But I don't know that I've ever had a friend as loyal in the most difficult times I've ever had in my life. He has called, flown to my house, done whatever it's taken. And then I had a season where I was flying all around the world and I was worn out and some of the places were just downright scary and dangerous. And I remember looking over my shoulder and I thought, let's see, it's been five years and I've been flying all over the world.

Huh. AC, at his own expense, was on every trip and flew with me just to be there in all but one. And he was on the ramp to go with me and his mother fell, who was 90 something, broke her hip in the hospital and he apologetically said, I won't be able to go to India with you. Tell you what, that's loyalty. Are you that kind of friend? You want to become that kind of friend? Tell you what, those kind of people have lots of people that want to be their friend. David and Jonathan tell us, if you're aware, intentional, honest, available, loyal, and then here you've got to be vulnerable.

Refuse to let fear or pride limit your relationship. We're still in chapter 20, skip over, all the way down. It gets bad and Saul is not a nice guy. And Jonathan and David realize that he's going to have to run for his life. And they figure out that Saul is really going to try and kill him. And so we pick up the story in verse 41 where they had this little situation where David is hiding in the brush behind a big rock and Jonathan shoots this arrow and the boy runs and they've got this code worked out. So the boy says, I can't find it. And he says, oh, it's farther, keep running. They get the kid out of the way and that's code four. It's not good. Dad's trying to kill you.

Let's talk. And so he comes out from behind the rock and we get the picture. As soon as the boy was gone, David came out from where he had been hiding near the stone pile. Then David, notice this, he bowed to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them were in tears as they embraced each other and said goodbye, especially David. At last Jonathan said to David, go in peace for we've made a pact in the Lord's name. We've entrusted each other and each other's children into the Lord's hands forever.

Then David left and Jonathan returned to the city. They cried, they embraced, they verbalized how much they cared and they allowed their emotions to be expressed. Now you girls do this a little bit better than us guys. I have the chairman of our board Living on the Edge is a pastor and he's kind of like my pastor. And he never hangs up the phone and it's not with a trite word. In fact, I was uncomfortable early but after I really got to know him, Chip, yeah, I love you. Man to man, Chip, I love you. I'm for you. You need anything?

Give me a call. That's how he ends our phone conversations. He verbally expresses his love for me. From my background with my dad, that still doesn't feel, there's part of it that feels really good and there's part of it that feels weird. The few people that I've cried with, shared with, vulnerability is the price tag and the risk. See, vulnerability is basically just taking off a layer appropriately, wisely with safe people at the right time and in the right way.

Not with everyone, not all the time but it's the key to deep authentic community. And finally, we learn to be spiritual. Skip all the way over if you will. David's running for his life and he spends about a decade dodging spears and hiding in caves and living on this promise. God said I was going to be the king. God said I was going to be on the king. I don't feel like a king. I don't feel like a king.

It's like man, this is crazy. And so during one of his down times, we pick it up in chapter 23 verse 15. One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziphth to search for him and to kill him. Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith to God.

He went out to find him. Don't be afraid, Jonathan reassured him, my father will never find you. You're going to be the king of Israel and I will be next to you as my father is well aware. Talk about loyalty. You can have, humanly it's my job to be the king next but God's made it clear you're the man and I'm behind you.

So the two of them renewed their covenant of friendship before the Lord and then Jonathan returned home while David stayed at Horesh. Don't be afraid to be spiritual. Proverbs 27, 17 says as iron sharpens iron so one man or one woman sharpens another. Sometimes we get in these relationships and we're going through stuff and when we're in Bible study we can talk about God. You know what, you need to have times where you have a friend and someone's talking and you say let's pray right now.

What do you mean around these, come on right now let's just pray. Or you need to say to someone when you know what's going on, by the way this verse came to my mind, I've had someone recently just text me a verse, by the way I'm thinking about you, be spiritual. Your number one goal in your friendship is to help this person become an R12 Christian every day in every way. Basically it's help him trust God, help him obey his word, help him do the right thing, help him realize he's in control, help him realize he's going to come through. That's the goal of your friendship.

And by the way when that's the goal of your friendship all these other things come together. Seven essentials they model of having great deep authentic community. Now you'll notice David and Jonathan's, let's do a little analysis here, it was their covenant with God was the basis for their devotion to one another. Here's the real key, it's their covenant with God.

If you have some time and want to get the full story and read this later, it's chapter 18 through about chapter 23 of 1 Samuel, it's a great read. But as you read it over and over and over, covenant, the pact, the vow, it's their vertical relationship with God that was the basis of the level of devotion because that's the trust was built on. They made a vow to God.

They said we're going to do our relationship according to God's word. We're going to do it God's way. We're going to be loyal. We're going to be honest. We're going to be true. We're going to be vulnerable.

We're going to be committed. You don't have the power to do that in a relationship apart from Christ in you. In fact, Jesus models this in John 15, 9 through 13, the very last time he's with his disciples on the earth. He says, notice he starts his relationship with the father. As the father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain or abide in my love.

And then he tells them, well, how do you do that? If you obey my commands, you'll remain in my love just as I've obeyed my father's commands and remain in his love. I've told you this, notice why, so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this, love each other as I have loved you.

Do you get it? You can't love one another apart from experiencing it with your heavenly father. Our covenant with God will determine the love of our devotion with people. Your walk with God will determine your depth with people. It's just the way it is. People with shallow relationship with God have shallow relationships with people.

Why? They don't have the capacity to trust, to give, to be vulnerable. You can be vulnerable if you're secure in Christ. You can be honest and face rejection until the last 10% if you know God's got you covered.

If you don't, you've got to manipulate, politic, and play games. He finally says, greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. The litmus test is commitment and sacrifice for one another.

So how does it work? Jonathan and David's relationship reveal that authentic community occurs when the real you meets real needs for the right reason in the right way. The real you, let love be without hypocrisy, right? Meet real needs, be devoted to one another.

What? In the right way, not, it's serving the Lord, not lacking, right? Fervent in spirit, not lacking in diligence, serving the Lord, and doing it in the right way, not on your strength, but his. Finally, I just, authentic community is the core of Christianity.

I originally had in the notes, is a core. And then I read John 17, and this is the last prayer of Jesus. And in the last prayer of Jesus, he's praying to the Father, and here's what I want you to see. He begins to pray about his, before he took on flesh, before the incarnation. He begins to pray and talk about the unity and the community and the fellowship of the triune God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and specifically his relationship with the Father.

It's community. God doesn't need us to experience and give love. He is one essence, but he's three persons. And so he says what?

He prays that all of them may be one Father, just as you are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us so that the world may believe that you've sent me. Now from our very human perspective, we can talk about authentic community and deep relationships because loneliness is solved and we'll walk with God better and we'll be happier and it fills our emotional tank and life is just a lot more fun to do it with people and where you're connected and where you're loved and all that is wonderful for us, but it's not the most important reason. The most important reason is the gospel's credibility and legitimacy according to Jesus is based on how well we love one another and the world has every right to say, I don't believe that Jesus is God, that he came to forgive sins if his followers don't love each other the way he loved them. Jesus never came to start a religious institution, to have buildings built all over the globe.

There's nothing wrong with those things, but he said, and it's been true of every age and every generation, forget whether they had buildings or not buildings, whether they used stained glass or electric guitars, whether they did it in robes or whether they hid in caves. When people radically, sacrificially loved and have loved one another with vulnerability and honesty and loyalty and commitment as unto the Lord, literally giving their life for one another, the world stepped back and says the gospel's true. That's how I came to Christ. I was the most skeptic. I had a bad church experience. I'd never been exposed to the Bible. I was in a place that after about a week, I saw people love each other that I admired and I came to this great apologetic conclusion.

I don't know what they have, but I want what they have. I wasn't arguing with the content. I would do that later. But what I realized was the power was the reality of their love for one another. So let me give you some quick, very practical steps as though we haven't gone over a few already in terms of going to the next level in authentic community. How can you experience authentic community? One, get connected in a spiritually positive relational atmosphere. And I put the two ways, be aware, be intentional. Number two, go deeper with one or two people in your group.

And the way that you do that, what? Be honest, be available, be loyal. But take someone to coffee or go afterwards or go earlier, catch dinner and just someone that you feel like you got some chemistry with. And by the way, you'll get closest to them, go and ask a lot of questions. And then let them ask you questions. Third, share and pray about a significant struggle or fear in your life with a safe person. This is the vulnerability and to be spiritual.

I mean, just find one person that, you know, test it, but you think it's going to be safe and just say, you know what, thanks for taking 45 minutes for coffee. Here's the struggle I'm having and I'd just like to get your thoughts. And I will tell you, God will begin to work in very powerful ways. I want to close with a story that actually Teresa reminded me of that's tremendous impact and I alluded to. It says, the voice on the other end of the phone was serious and solemn. If you want to see your father before he dies, you need to get here as quickly as possible. Those are the words that I heard as my father, 85, was close to death. Found myself on a plane within the next two hours in a rent car with two close friends pulling up to Raleigh Durham Hospital in North Carolina.

I learned that my father had been unconscious for some time because the pain medication, he was delirious much of the day. After comforting my stepmother, I entered the room, sat next to his bed, knowing this would be the last time I would get to see him this side of heaven. My dad was a good man, but deeply wounded. Although he'd been a Christian since his mid-50s, he'd had a difficult time communicating his feelings or ever verbalizing his love. I knew he cared for me deeply and that he was proud of me, but I longed to hear that from his lips.

Every boy, no matter what age, yearns for the approval of their father. And I wanted to have that deep, meaningful conversation from the heart with him before he died. It was about 8 p.m. and my dad's wife Evelyn, he'd remarried after my mom died, was heading home after a long day at the hospital. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and a hug as she walked out and her eyes were sad as she knew these were my dad's last days. Then something strange happened.

I'd heard and read about it in books and doctors tell me it's not highly unusual, but my dad awakened and was completely lucid. For the next hour and a half, he was all there and we had the talk that we both desired for so many years. Dad asked about my wife and about each of my kids and their kids. He asked me how I was feeling about the big transitions in my life and what I was concerned about and what made me happy the most. We relived a lot of years and some of our best times together, from Little League ball games to some of the most difficult and painful events of our past. We shared hearts man to man. In those last hours, my father clearly and powerfully communicated things that were most important to him. He held nothing back. He knew he was going to die.

He was ready to die and he wanted to communicate what mattered most. Don't wait until you are ready to die to begin to share what matters most with a handful of people. Don't let busyness, don't let job demand, don't let fear of rejection, don't let past hurts, don't let anything keep you from allowing the real you to meet real needs for the right reason in the right way.

You will never regret it. In Momentum, Chip develops his outline for Romans chapter 12 and shows you how to live out a life of real faith, no matter what's going on. Learning how to overcome the evil aimed at you and understanding how to give God what he wants the most is guaranteed to make a difference in your life, starting today. Access Chip's entire series, Momentum, How to Ignite Your Faith, with the Chip Ingram app or download the free MP3s from our website, Well Chip, we have thousands of people who email, write, or talk to our team, and often what we hear is, I really want my life to make a difference, but I don't feel like I'm doing that right now, and I don't know how.

What would you say to that person? Well, what I'd say is, way to go. I mean, that's the kind of heart that God is looking for. And we have a brand new resource that I think will help people go from, I'm walking with God, and I think I'm where God wants me to be, but I'm just not making a difference.

It's by a friend of mine named Lance Witt. It's called Leaving Ordinary Behind, 25 Days to an Extraordinary Faith. And by extraordinary faith, it doesn't mean that you're bigger or greater or more wonderful. It just means that when you study the lives of people with an extraordinary faith, you know, the Abrahams, the Daniels, the Josephs, the Moses, the regular people in Scripture, what was it? How did they see God?

How did they catch the kind of faith that allowed those ordinary people to do extraordinary things? That's this devotional. If you want to make a difference, you really just long to say, God, use me. Use me in ways greater than right now. This devotional will take you 25 days to an extraordinary faith.

Check it out. As I close today's program, I gave you three very specific ways to go deeper in your relationships, to develop authentic community. The first one was get connected in a spiritually positive relational environment. And so, I mean, you've got to get tight in some small group somewhere where you're not just superficial. The second is go deeper with one or two people in that group.

I mean, you can be in a group of seven or eight people, and they still don't know much about you. You go deeper with one or two that you feel that are safe, and there's a connection. And then third, I said share and pray about a significant struggle or fear in your life with a safe person. If you'll open up and begin to share, hey, here's an area that I'm struggling with, and be wise about how much you share. But as you do that, your level of vulnerability will allow the other person to feel safe and do the same.

There's this sort of shocking reality of how much of our life and energy is around getting stuff, maintaining stuff, paying for stuff, being busy with stuff. And really, the thing that really matters is relationships. And I would just ask you today, wherever you're at, who's the person that you would miss the most if they died tomorrow?

Who's the person that you would have regrets that you didn't spend more time with, that you didn't go deeper with, that you didn't share life in a better and richer way with? Then let me encourage you, don't let this day end without taking one step toward deepening the relationship with that person. Jonathan and David are a great picture of what it means of the richness of authentic community, deep friends, loving one another from the heart. It's the greatest gift you'll ever give, and it's the greatest gift you'll ever receive. Just before we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. One hundred percent of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. Now, if you found CHIP's teaching helpful but you're not yet on the team, would you consider doing that today? To donate, just go to, tap Donate on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003. And let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well until next time, for everyone here, this is Dave Drouy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-21 07:14:37 / 2023-09-21 07:25:25 / 11

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