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The Real God - The Love Of God, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 7, 2021 6:00 am

The Real God - The Love Of God, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 7, 2021 6:00 am

Could there ever be too much kindness, too much forgiveness, too much love? When was the last time you heard someone say, "Love? I'm good. I really don't need any more"? God's love is infinite. God's love is matchless. God's love is perfect. Join Chip as he defines God's love and what it means.

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After food and water, the greatest need in every human heart is to be loved, to be deeply loved and valued and accepted just here's the question how to get there, that's what we explore today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with children Living on the Edges of international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram through friendship series the real God studying seven key characteristics that describe who God really is first five characteristics we studied were God's goodness, his sovereignty, holiness, wisdom, and his justice to those messages, you can catch up any time with the chipping remap in this program we dig into the attribute of God's character that we tend to focus on most is low.

God's love is amazing, but it's not anything like the love we understand among ourselves as were about to see God's love is in a completely different category. After the teaching triple share a handful of important takeaways to be sure to stay with us for those now let's get started.

Can you imagine what would happen, hypothetically, what if you loved 50% more beginning tomorrow for the rest of your life just percent more. You loved your friends 50% more. You loved your coworkers 50% more. What if the people sitting down at the United Nations would just love one another 50% more than they do now.

But people would start forgiving and listening. Instead of battling and positioning what would happen if, in the middle east people from diverse backgrounds. Would love one another, just 50% more.

What would happen if, in the inner city and in the suburbs. People would love one another just just 50% more. Can you imagine the difference it would make in the world seek that there's an amazing thing going on. I don't think I can make the statement what the world needs now is love sweet love.

It's what everyone needs what everyone wants.

I don't think I can get hardly a person in the world to raise her hands. Excuse me. I disagree with donating more love people, mankind one another, forgiving one another, taking care of each other family staying together people being sensitive with what we got enough of that is there is not now think this through the if universally we agree that the world needs love and we all need to be loved. Why is there such little Scott amazing is I put a little statement of three facts about love. Fact number one it's a universal need. We are all looking for love.

I've never met a person is not looking for love from the moment you came out of the womb you are looking for someone to hold you can feed you, protect you. Love you when you got older. You are looking for someone to look in your eye and say you matter your secure your significant when you blew it or your failed you wanted someone to say you know what I forgive you. I'm still for you. Everybody is desperately looking and wanting to be loved. Fact number one. Fact number two is there's a universal solution to the universal need. God loves all people everywhere and longs to meet the deepest needs of their heart for love. God loves everyone. He's demonstrated his love, his heart breaks when he sees what happens to people he wants to heal. He wants to forgive. He wants to encourage he wants to affirm he wants to support he wants to redirect. He wants to guide he wants to hold he wants to heal. You have a universal need over here of people desperately wanting to be loved and you have over here a omnipresent all wise, all-knowing creator who wants to live in is already love the world back number three we have a universal disconnect is a tragic disconnection you have this unbelievable need in the supernatural, unlimited, boundless availability and nevertheless most people remain starved for love their starved for love. Imagine if you can give your word picture. Imagine all the people of the world on every continent, South America, North America, Australia, Europe, China, Asia, every continent, all the people all 6+ billion some people and imagine them all standing shoulder to shoulder with this universal need to be loved and then imagine that there in some continent in the center.

We pack them all together and every ocean is instead of water every like every stream is turned into liquid love, imagine that word picture is liquid love and there's three reasons all the 6 billion people starving for love and there's all this love, but some of those people have never seen the ocean. Some of those people were brought up or lived in a desert.

They aren't love because they're not aware that there's an ocean of love available.

Some people have no idea that God cares for them and loves them some of those people have tasted and they know about God's love, but they'd not received that they were stacked all together. All these people in the world and someone took them over to the ocean or to a stream or two alike and is just flowing with liquid love, and you can dive in. You think take a bottle you can drink if you can take a bath and if you can get in the barrels you can get the jobs you can take home with you and it's a sense of well-being and purpose and significance in an overwhelming sense of your importance and security unconditional given by God but there's countless numbers of people to get to the edge of the edge of the ocean and the intellectually agree there's an ocean full of love and for whatever reason I'm not worthy of that love.

I'm afraid if I would receive that love what the demands might be on me, but there are some people that aren't love because they don't know their loved. There's a lot of people who are aware that they are loved, but they're standing on the shore and it never received it. And then there's a whole another set of people that at least once or twice they they have jumped into the lake and they've taken maybe a water bottle full of love and they've tasted and they've experienced it is change their life and it got back out on the shore and was overwhelming but it was so good and so amazing they start to confuse it with other kinds of love like how their dad or their mom or an ex-mate or a boss and there's so afraid that I don't want to get to radically involved in this kind of love, and they had this experience and for the life of them. They don't know how to touch it or taste it again and it just comes in little windows and they can't quite figure it out but often comes when they're so desperate and so thirsty and there's no place else to go.

They dive back into the ocean to the lake with a stream of love. They tasted and their mom was lowest times in darkest moments, and then somehow when they get filled just enough would love to get on their own, they start living their own way again. I would say that's the least a decent picture of a universal need a universal solution and a very tragic disconnect among both believers and unbelievers of Brennan Manning in his little book called this child quotes Henry now and and talks about what's the root cause behind Christians not experiencing the love of God.

I think his words are instructive now in rights over the years I've come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self rejection follow his logic closely success, popularity and power can indeed present the great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are a part of a much larger temptation to self rejection when we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless, unlovable, when we have voices that you are not worthy.

You don't measure up. Is the idea we carry in our hearts. Shame and guilt in a sense that we are unlovable. Then he goes on to say, success, popularity and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self rejection. Self rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that God calls us the beloved, we are beloved in Christ we are in Christ being the beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence. I have the been on a very interesting journey. Like many of you, and in the first decade I learned many of the disciplines of the Christian life and learn to read my Bible study and prayer and share my faith in then in the next decade probably learn a little bit more about ministry and and and probably the last 12 to 15 years begin to learn more about the disciplines of the Christian life and have read very widely from a lot of different backgrounds and I'm convinced that if you put a gun to my head and said what's maybe the biggest discovery about what it means to have a relationship with Christ. I would say it's coming to believe and accept the God really loves me completely apart from my performance and separating that love from the love that I received from people separating that love from the kind of love that you get if you can do this or because you can do that, separating it from things that feel so close to love like being admired things that feel so close to being loved like being affirmed or encouraged or valued because you can do this or you own that working give this or can empower others in a certain way and I think at the core of the existence of God's heart, at least in what I'm learning is I've read many of the people that have walked much deeply much deeper in the Christian life than me. It comes to the sense that believing just as you are not. If not, if this gets cleaned up not because you do this or do that but just as you are because of who God is, that you are the object of his affection and that all these things about purity in all these things about caring for others and all these things about life transformation really start if they're genuine. At the very very core of our existence. When we begin to see ourselves as God sees us as precious as valuable as unconditionally loved as the object of his affection and concern as the one who thinks about us because he is in the eternal, and he can think about all of us simultaneously and know all of our thoughts.

All of our issues. All of our concerns and if I can learn that then it begins to remove me from trying to perform to earn his favor or trying to impress you to make you somehow think I'm either better or more spiritual or more kind or whatever because if I can't experience God's love. Human love is a good second best. But then what you all keep doing to me as you keep letting me down and every time I try and find that unquenchable love in another human being, and whether it's in my wife or whether it's in a close friend or whether it's in being a dad or whether it's in them with the ministry partner.

These human frail pieces of dust just keep letting me down and somewhere along the line I feel manipulated and I feel used and I feel abused and then that's very painful except it gets worse, because then I look in the mirror and I find that I am using and manipulating and abusing others, so that I can feel better about myself and I would say at the core of our heart in our lives is beginning to grasp the love of God and so I think now and has a point. It's very well taken and so I would like to spend the remainder remainder of our time seeing if we can take a crack a journey of understanding what it would be like in increasing progressive measures maybe won't we won't dive into the ocean of God's liquid love, but I'd like to at least all of us get a little water bottle. You don't want a regular basis and and and maybe some of us could get some gallon containers and and long term. My dream is that I like the kind of get one of those big tankers, like the habit the gasoline in the truck in and I like to get that thing back in and get a hose that comes out of it and have it pour through the ocean in that tanker so I could go out and I could pour out that liquid loved other people with the belief that the more I given the more I spread unconditionally, of who God has given to me is that there is a dynamic principle of the universe of our Lord Jesus, that as I give it will be given good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and I'll never run out because what I think we taste of God's love is normally about a thimbleful in an ocean and the love that is available to us 24 seven. Totally apart from our performance are background how intelligent we are, our personality, what we've done what we haven't done what we've read, what we haven't read is not just all the oceans, but all the oceans on all the planets all the world of all the time.

It is boundless and limitless. And there's nothing that brings greater honor to God. If we can learn to receive it. How great a love the father has on us has lavished upon us that we should be called the children of God. So let's talk about what love is. Let's see if we can move it from that concept intellectual in our head down to our hearts. For me it's God's love is his holy disposition toward all that he's created that compels him to express unconditional affection and selective correction to provide the highest and best quality of existence both now and forever, for the objects of his life. Let me unpack that just a little because the words were actually chosen fairly carefully. God's love is holy. In other words, we learned that word right, it means separate Mark off. It's totally other. I want you know it's not like the love of the human being. It's a different kind of love. It's a different category and it's a holy disposition. It's just the way he feels the way he thinks all the time about you and it's that he's created he has this holy disposition that compels him to do two things.

He's just compelled not because of something in you but because of something in him to express unconditional affection. I mean, I don't want to get like you we go here, but he just he just wants to hug you all the time and he wants to express hugs and smiles and affirmation your you know some of you here parents. You know how you feel about your kids, you know what, how it is to hold them close to what it's like to talk a man. It is unconditional affection. But notice God's love isn't just this illegally goodness of well-being, but it's a holy disposition that compels them toward unconditional affection and selective correction. See, God loves me so much that any time my life my thought my relationship, my finances, my priorities are moving, moving me toward unhealthy things that will do damage to me and damage to others. His love does what he brings about correction. That's what God's love is he's compelled to do it, but why in order to provide the highest and best quality of existence. You have the abundant life.

Jesus talked about this just another way of saying it.

The highest best of what's it mean life.

This really life living to the brim living fulfilled living not dependent on people's response, but something that wells up inside where the deepest longings and thirsts of your soul are satisfied. That's what God wants for you and you what that is.

That is experiencing the love of God and so that's the goal. And so he's compelled by a holy disposition to constantly give unconditional not based on your performance affection and selective correction it's selective I use that word because there's a lot of times I'm veering off on veering off on veering off and his mercy and his long-suffering says you know Chip could use a little spanking right now but I'm just hoping to catch a little bit later on can keep it selective correction he just any time he can withhold what's justly due.

It's called mercy. He does because I'm the object of his affection and by the way, this is after you become a Christian does a Scripture say God so loved the believers that he gave his only son God so loved the world he feels a ready. This is how he feels about Saddam Hussein. This is how he feels about Hitler. This is how he feels about the two little 10-year-old boys that raped a seven-year-old girl. This is how he feels about people that in a moment of uncontrolled rage abuse. One of their kids physically or sexually God's love is other and so absolutely beyond what we can grasp. And so that's that's kind of my definition. The characteristics of this love, and I call it agape love the New Testament writers actually made up that word, they just didn't have a good word to the inordinate winner take this word agape them. Let's let's let's, sanctify, put it in the New Testament so it doesn't get confused with store Geyer Eros or some of these other kind of loves it. The Greek language was familiar with in the characteristics interesting. It's a giving love.

It's a sacrificial love. It's an unconditional love is boundless love. God's loving's is expressed primarily through his goodness and mercy, long-suffering, and grace and I have a quote here from one of my professors are really like what Dr. Riley says here he says the love of God is like, he says, is like a tree. And then there are branches of its expression and they are primarily his goodness and mercy, long-suffering, and grace.

And he says although there are distinctions as you study these words they're really not exact God's goodness may be defined as his benevolent concern for his creatures did is think of God as the today this moment he's concerned about you. You know how some of you moms are, they call me when you get there, you will know you made it okay.

The God of the universe sorta has that attitude. Hey, I'm just checking on you will make sure everything's okay. Is that how you think of him or do you think of them as far away hard to get to wish you could get his attention.

The love of God as expressed in his goodness. It's also defined as a benevolent concern for his creatures as well as mercy is aspect of his goodness that causes him to show pity and compassion.

I gave her just really blown it and just felt so shameful and so bad.

And just like you not, you're not even lovable. Fleming forget by God by anybody the love of God that is expressed in his mercy and he just looks down and says this didn't surprise me at all. I'm not even shocked.

In fact, before the foundations of the earth when the God has when determining what the price tag of man's freedom would be.

Jesus knew that he would come and he would hang on a cross for that very shameful sin is that it goes on to say that his long-suffering speaks of his self-restraint in the face of provocation, your thought of God, exercising self-restraint can like you really need a spanking and he just wait a couple more days you just got a really rotten attitude you're involved in some blatant sin you know and and and the consequences should be swift, but he just loves you so much God is practicing self-restraint in his relationship with you why because he loves you and the final word.

There is grace is unmerited favor shown primarily through Christ which makes possible a relationship with him. I've taken all that I've learned about God's love and I thought if I could if I could put it in a few statements, a few simple statements to get it from this God loves me and I have these feelings now and then. And okay, it's goodness and it's mercy and is long-suffering and you know I get a little flash of it, but I wanted to give you maybe a little summary of what it would look like if you could see specifically what it feels like and how God thinks about you so you can start to move it from up here intellectual to down here to spiritual and emotional and and as I read these.

What I like you to do is think about just this question, lean back. Is this how I see God is this how I see God and if sorta that quick gut reaction is I might intellectually believe God is.

That way, but that is not how I see God or think of how he sees me then what you know is you have some renewal of the mind to do statement number one God loves for you means his thoughts, intentions, desires and plans for you are always for your good and never for your harm. We looked at, you know, Jeremiah 2911 and James one. The think of that you, in your heart of hearts think that his desires intense his plans.

There always for your good. He's just a very safe safe person to be with and the plans for the future that he has for you is desires for you.

It's always for your welfare.

See if you understand the love of God. That's what you'll think God's love for you means that he is kind he's open.

He's approachable.

He's Frank and is eager to be your friend. Do you seem that member.

I don't call you slaves as a slave doesn't know what is masters that I called you my friends for all things. The father has made known to have revealed to you, do you seem as open and friendly urgency, distant and unapproachable and you know you gotta be good to be on good terms and when you're good. He'll listen to you, but if you struggled, he probably doesn't. God's love means that 24 seven. He's open. It's kind he's approachable God's love for you means he emotionally identifies with your pain, your joy, your hopes and dreams and is chosen to allow your happiness to affect his own. Have you thought of that, you know, when you're in pain. And when you're hurt is he on the other side of the fence and she's maybe kind of cause and it or see on the side of the fence behind you with his arm around you and your joys bring actually happiness to the heart of God and your hurts and your struggles bring tears to give thought of that era thought. But when Jesus friend Lazarus died in John 11 that he lacked that he hurt that he felt from Mary and he felt for Martha and it it it broke his heart when he saw what a fallen world, and death did is that how you see God that when you're really struggling instead of being down on you. He weeps with you.

God's love for you means fourth that he takes pleasure in you just for who you are totally apart from your performance or your accomplishments. He's the God of Zephaniah 3.

He's the God that is mighty. He is the God who is with you.

He is the God that when there's confusion all around says just let me quiet you with my love and let me sing over you and rejoice. Is that how you seem that you know who I'm describing. I'm distraught, the God of the Bible.

This is the God of the Bible. Finally, God's love for you means he's actively and creatively orchestrating people's circumstances and events to express his affection and selective correction to provide for your highest good. Did you think of this God who is not only loving, but he's actively orchestrating and allowing relationships and events and circumstances so that he could express affection through a person affection through a job promotion affection to a discovery of a spiritual gift affection through a new friend that really understand you affection through a relationship that you never thought you would have affection because your body wasn't working and for reasons that none of us understand why or when or how.

But rather than through medicine, he decided just to touch your body or does he also in his love. Just so care that selectively brings circumstances and people to bring about selective correction bring some pain and discouragement and some depression and made you lose a job if you lose a friend because he wants to get your attention. Maybe your 401(k) went bloop and maybe your business is going south because just little by little, you didn't mean to but your drifting, drifting, and he's so jealous and he so loves you and he sees where that skin ahead but he does some things that make you mad at first but like watching the little kid run out into the street. He runs out after you grabs you by the neck jerked you back, so the car doesn't hit you. And then out of love gives you little whack on the rear end and says to you, honey, don't go there anymore. You're too precious. You know some of you may say to yourself like I have struggled with you know of all the ones. This is kind of a neat if this were true, usually meet you like. I hear that one on justice was kind of hard to take. The holiness was little overwhelming wisdom. I kinda liked but boy this would feed my soul is to change my life.

Is it really true. And so what I like to do is I like to demonstrate from Scripture that this is the God that loves you and loves me.

I like to walk through how God reveals his love to us through about 123-4506 different things. God reveals his love to us, first through creation. I ready for this. He made you for himself.

Everything about this silly unit Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 and 27 then God said, let us make man in our own image, in our own likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and the livestock and over the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them he created you in is only an image you're like him and he creates this paradise and he wants to have a relationship with you and then in Colossians 116 you learned for by him Jesus. All things were created things in heaven things on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities all things were created by him and I love this for him. You know it's easy to think of the earth was created for him. Angels were created for him. Everything was created for.

Watch this you you were created for him.

He made you so he could be with you. I remember when I was a little boy. And if it's so in our DNA because were in God's image. I remember going to the beach as a little boy. And you know when you play in the sand and was at, what kind of sandwich could build stuff. I took about three hours.

I mean, I dug the hole and got it I thought was real deep, but it seemed kinda deep. And then I built this wall and I was making this castle and it was like on a cartoon some big kid.

I did note 3 hours you feel bad for me already notion to life ladies in the front row here to be permanent prayer partner Goldman is probably psychologically but seriously, this big kid comes in the kicks it all down.

I'm five years old and I can still remember it and I created sand castle from a little water, and this is how it made me feel why because what I make for me matters and what God makes for him matters to him and he made you he made you. That's how much you matter listening to the first part of chips message the love of God is series the real God will be back with his application, but before he is. Let me give you a quick sketch of the series overall in the real God chip looks at seven key attributes of God's character and explains that none of them is ever diminished or overshadowed by the others which means that God is 100% love 100% just and 100% merciful kinda mindbending when you think about it that way and why it becomes a lifelong adventure to get to know him for who he really is a great way to learn how these attributes of God work together is to do this study with a small group of friends. So for a limited time, small group resources for the real God are discounted because we want to do everything we can to help you get a clear accurate view of God to place your order or get more information on the real God. Go to LivingontheEdge.org Special offers on the chipping roadmap or give us a call a 8883336003 chip your teaching today really brings home how important it is to get into God's word. But how do we turn that had knowledge into life change.

I mean how do I get it to really sink in and then stick will Dave.

I'll tell you, you have to study and unit doing the daily discipleship and some other things we've offered when people were stuck at home is absolutely critical. But what we know from all the research is that people have been isolated and isolation causes anxiety and isolation causes you to doubt yourself. There's a huge need right now to get back into community to develop relationships and for some people yes maybe still zooming is the only way you can do it, but what I would say to people is what ever you have to do in the season, I mean whatever priority change. You need to make find a way to get in a room together face-to-face and get into God's word and share your life.

Boy, a video screen is never gonna hug you a video screen is never to cry with you a video screen is never to be able to say let's stop right now and let's pray for so-and-so because that's a big issue.

You can read people's body language a bit through a screen, but there's nothing like sitting around in a circle with God's word at the center and having authentic deep relationships is fuel for your soul and because of that and the huge need that we see.

We discounted all of our small group resources we want to help you get into community. Get connected. Get loved and give it to other people help you do that we've temporarily discounted all of our small group resources. There are so many available on relationships, marriage, parroting doctrine, Christian living, doing a small group Bible study that meets the need will help you and everyone in your group.

Take the next step, whatever that means to each of you included in each discounted workbook is a unique code to unlock the online videos get the workbooks use your codes and your set to take advantage of this limited time offer. Just go to LivingontheEdge.org or tap special offers on the chipping roadmap for more information. Give us a call at AAA 333-6003 will now here's chip in today's program. I tried to do something that I know is impossible.

I tried to describe the love of God and we did go over a definition and it's a good place to start. Let me read it for you one more time, God's love is his holy disposition toward all that is created that compels him to express unconditional affection and selective correction to provide the highest and best quality of existence both now and forever, for the object of his love, and you that's a good definition I think is pretty accurate in biblical but it doesn't get down to the emotional level. I want you to hear. Today I want to sink in. How God really feels about you totally apart from your performance and so listen where you we lean back if possible right now. This is the God of the universe.

His thoughts, his intentions, his desires and his plans for you are always for your good and never for your let that sink in. Everything he has lined up for your life is to bring something good and wonderful to you because he loves you. Second, he's kind he's open. He's approachable. He's Frank and is eager to be your friend. He's not hard to get to know he's not demanding is not unreasonable. Third, he emotionally identifies with your pain, your joy, your hopes, your dreams and he's actually allowed your happiness to impact him is like a parent I mean when your kids are doing well. There is joy in your heart and when they're hurting and pain their sorrow in your heart, could you crass today that the God who created all that there is. That's how he feels about you in your present situation and forth. He takes pleasure in you just for who you are. I mean if you don't do anything today if you don't do any good works. Although there are valuable and important, and all the rest. It doesn't affect his love is not based on and finally, I want to remind you today and take this with you all throughout the day that he is actively and creatively orchestrating people and circumstances and events this day for you to express his affection and occasionally some selective correction because you're his child and you matter like the little song says Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so and you the object of that love today bask in it what you enjoy it. As we wrap up I want to say thanks to those who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs. Purchaser time and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. If you've been blessed by the ministry of Living on the Edge and you'd like to bless others. In return, would you consider sending a gift today. You can call us at AAA 333-6003 Donate on the app or donate online at http://livingontheedge.org. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Let's offer this program until next time. This thing thanks for listing this Edition of Living on the Edge


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