Let me ask you a question. How do you handle sudden change? I mean, when a giant wrench is thrown into your plan, how do you react?
Are you paralyzed by it or maybe distraught, frustrated? Well, today we're going to learn how we can anchor ourselves and our life when life gets really complicated. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouy, 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 in our series, Purposeful, taught by Chip's son, Ryan, lead pastor at Awakening Church in San Jose, California. The last few messages have been focused on how we can connect with God's divine calling for our lives. Now in this program, we'll turn a corner and learn how we can live a purpose-filled life even when our circumstances drastically change. It's easy to stay focused on our calling when life is good, but what happens when there's a job loss, an unexpected diagnosis, a failed relationship?
What then? Well, that's what Ryan will focus on as he dives back into Acts chapter 13. As a quick reminder before we get started, if you have to miss any part of this series, you can catch up anytime on the Chip Ingram app. But with that, let's join Ryan for his message titled, It's Complicated. How do you discover God's calling on your life? Like, how do you really understand His plan for who He's made and designed you to be? And when we're thinking about purpose, when we're thinking about calling, we're wrestling deeper, more along the lines here of how do you live a purposeful life in a post-pandemic world?
Is that even possible? All the chaos and heartache and injustices and the things that we're constantly reeling from and we're just trying to keep our heads above water and just get through. I want to give you three key thoughts for living a purpose-filled life. We left off Barnabas and Saul with their calling and their commissioning. Acts chapter 13, if you want to study the entire scripture that we're going to be in, it's Acts 13 through 15. They're called to go and share the gospel with the nations and then they are commissioned and sent out. And so I want to give you a map of what's known as their first missionary journey. And so here they are in Antioch.
This is where they're called and commissioned. And so then they go out, they go to the city or town of Seleucia, grab a boat, sail to this island of Cyprus. They land here in Psalmus. They preach the gospel there.
It's received and many people come to know Christ. Then they travel through the interior of the island sharing the gospel and they brought along, Barnabas brought along a relative named John Mark at the beginning of the journey with him. And so they're traveling, the three of them together, sharing the gospel in Paphos.
They experienced some opposition, a sorcerer who was opposing them fiercely. It's a kind of wild story in the presence of the pro council there. Paul actually declares in the name of Jesus, he's blinded for a season as he's tried to blind others.
He goes blind, the pro council and everyone sees this. They're amazed and they give their life to Christ. And so they spend some time there and then they catch a boat and they sail all the way up to Perga. Well in Perga, they preach the gospel.
It's well received. Then they travel up to the interior. This whole region is known as Galatia and they travel to Antioch, a different Antioch than here. This is Antioch, Syria. This is Antioch, Pisidia. Antioch here, Paul preaches his longest sermon. Lots and lots of people, specifically Gentile people come to know Jesus.
Well, this rubbed Jewish people very badly. And so as they travel to Iconium, some Jewish leaders come here and begin to incite and try to disrupt their teaching and people come to know Christ and Lystra. Paul actually gets stoned here because of the trouble that was a cause for them. He doesn't die.
He gets back up. He traveled, comes back into the city, dust himself off. Then they traveled to Derby, preach the gospel, and then they go back through all the cities they just went through and they appoint elders or leaders to guide the churches to Lystra, Iconium, Antioch, Perga. And from here they sail all the way back to Antioch and they spend time just sharing and celebrating all that God had done and how he's opened the doors now to the Gentile people. And here's where the plot thickens in such a way that it leads them all the way to Jerusalem. And so I want to catch you up to what led them to Jerusalem. It's where it gets complicated.
It's where it gets messy. It's where things actually forever change for the church in some of the most incredible ways possible. And it begins this way if you have your Bibles. Acts chapter 15, verse 1 says that certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers.
Well, what were they teaching? Unless you are circumcised according to the customs taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. And so what they're teaching is it's not just believing in Jesus, you have to become Jewish. If you're a man, you have to become circumcised.
You need to live by the ceremonial law and all the food rights and all these other areas. Unless you do this, you can't be saved or part of the fellowship of believers. Well, you can imagine what happens. This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute. This is an intense debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas, notice what happens next, were appointed along with some other believers to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and the elders about this question. And so there's an argument in Antioch. You have what would later be known as Judaizers, those who wanted to make Christian Gentiles become Jewish in order to be saved. This is the reason Paul wrote his letter to those churches in Galatia against other Judaizers of this same reason here or what they're teaching. And so the church in Antioch says, hey, okay, this is important.
This is a big deal. These are places that we haven't, you know, necessarily defined yet. Instead of the two of you arguing, go to Jerusalem, go to the apostles, go to the elders and let's figure out once and for all, what is reality? How, what does it mean to be saved? Well, when they get to Jerusalem, they gather together and there's a large group of the church leaders all together. And it says this, that then some of the believers who belong to the party of Pharisees stood up and said, the Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.
Now you got to imagine what's happening in the ancient world has never happened before. Jews and Gentiles now becoming one family, the family of God. And now they're trying to figure out what does that look like?
What does that mean? I mean, prior to this point, a strict Jew would not interact with a Gentile, would not eat with a Gentile, would not enter the house of a Gentile and afraid of being defiled. And so they're trying to figure out, okay, how do we now act as one family? And their reasoning was make them Jewish. Well, it says the apostles and the elders met to consider this question, does someone have to become Jewish to be saved? Now notice this, after much discussion, this wasn't flippant, this wasn't quick, this wasn't, you know, for some of us, we feel like, oh, this is so clear cut.
After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them. Brothers, you know that some time ago, God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips that some time ago was 10 years ago when Cornelius first heard, hear from my lips, the message of the gospel and believe. God knows the hearts showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he did to us. There was no restriction of the Spirit of God based on circumcision or any outward behavior. You cannot earn your way to God is what he's saying.
Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No, we believe it is through grace our Lord Jesus that we are saved just as they are. That they're saved, not by any outward acts or performance, but simply by their faith in Jesus. Well, then Paul and Barnabas get up and they begin to share all that God had done. Now, you got to think about the shift because as they began to spread the gospel, and this was Jesus' vision all the way at the beginning that you'd be my witnesses in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, now the church is less a Jewish movement, it still is, and now it is a worldwide movement and there's more Gentile believers than there are Jewish believers, and they're sharing how God was working in their midst. And then James, the brother of Jesus, known as James the Just, known for his following the strict letter of the law of the Hebrew Scriptures.
So when he spoke into this matter, he spoke authoritatively, and everybody listened up. And he said this, it's my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for Gentiles who are turning to God. How do you make it difficult? Well, if you're going to enter the family of God first, get circumcised, church, follow the ceremonial laws and dietary restrictions. He says, let's not make it difficult.
Isn't that amazing? And that a word for us. Let's not make it difficult for people who are turning to God. Instead, we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted to idols, from sexual immorality, from meat strangled from animals and from blood. For the law of Moses had been preached in every city from the earliest times. And his point here is, instead of becoming Jewish, the moral law of God of the universe applies to all of humanity across all cultures.
This is incredible. In this moment, instead of having every other culture step into Jewish culture, it says, no, no, no. It's Jesus and faith in him that transcends every cultures and meets every culture. And it says, there are things that you have to say no to, like the worshiping of your idols.
That's what was the part of what he was saying no to and living a life of integrity here. And here we see, and they send out a letter to the churches with other, you know, people in authority with them to go out and share this news. This brought incredible joy back to Antioch and to all the other Gentile believers that all they had to do was believe in the Lord Jesus and they were saved. And this transformed the entire church as we know it and expanded the scope from a Jewish movement to a Jesus movement for the entire world.
Now you're thinking, okay, what in the world? How do I live a purposeful life in a post-pandemic world? Throughout the text that we just read, I want to just draw your attention to three observations. Three key observations in how we live a purpose filled life and we live in a world that scarred and scared us recently. In a world of defined by the religion of me, would you anchor yourself in the house and family of Jesus?
In a world defined by the religion of me, would you anchor yourself in the house and family of Jesus? I want you to know this first thing, Paul and Barnabas, and they have this sharp dispute, right? And the first thing as they're discussing it wasn't like, hey, we're doing our own thing. You know what? We know we're right.
We know you're wrong. You can go do whatever. We're doing our own thing, whatever.
The first thing that they do is then they return to the source, go to the apostles, go to the elders and say, hey, we're submitting unto your authority and your leadership. You tell us. You tell us. Because we're part of the family altogether. We're part of this house and community. You know, in a post-pandemic world, the predominant religion is the religion of me. Well, what do I mean by that? Mark Sayers in his book, Reappearing Church, great book, by the way, I encourage you to pick it up. The only authority is found with the individual, he writes.
Thus there is no possibility of sacred order. See, it's easy to say, I'm just going to do me. But it comes at a cost.
Rising anxiety, rising depression, sense of instability. See, in a world defined by the religion of me, you are rudderless, you are anchorless, you are adrift. And it says, anchor yourself in the house and family of Jesus. What does it mean to be in the house? I would say most of us feel like, hey, I'm a part of the family of God. I'm a part of the family of God.
But are you a part of the house of God? There's a big difference between being a house, like being part of the household or a guest, right? When you're part of the household, like you have deep responsibility in that household. Like my kids hanging out together, you know, there's chores that we have to do in there, you know, whether it's cleaning or cooking or some of these sort of things, there's responsibility.
But there's a deep level of relationship, isn't there? There's a family sense that we're together, traveling. There's different roles that each of us fill. And that sense of autonomy struggles against that sense of wanting to be a part of the house.
And some of you experienced that. Remember that first time that you came home from college after extended time away and your parents are like going, you know, I know you've had a lot of fun, but in our house, this is kind of how we need to do things here. And if you want to go off to live on your own, that's okay. But in our house, why? Because there's a way of going about things in our house, in God's house, in the house of Jesus. And we can struggle with some of those things until we have the roommates that is so constantly messy and disorganized that all of a sudden we become the one going like, no, there's got to be some rules to our house.
See, there's a difference of being a guest. And I would say most of us, most of us believe and feel like we're in the family of God, but we're more guests in the houses of Jesus or in the houses of worship. We show up and we kind of partake and it's like, hey, nice, I got this meal. But some of the accessibility, some of the responsibility, some of the just going like we're Paul and Barnabas going like, we're not doing our own thing. We're a part of a greater thing.
And so we're going to bring this before you and whatever you say we're going to do. See, it anchors us. It anchors us into community. It anchors us into the ways of Jesus.
Join the family and then get engaged in the house of Jesus. Like I'm coming into this community. I'm going to be responsible for certain things. I'm a participant. I'm not just showing up and taking. I'm someone who's bringing to the table.
I'm coming recognizing, okay, I'm a learner as well. In a world defined by religion of me, anchor yourself in the house and family of God. You may be part of the family, but are you a part of the house? Many of us have operated simply as guests. You've been listening to the first part of Ryan Ingram's message, It's Complicated, from his series Purposeful.
He and Chip will join us here in the studio with some additional thoughts and application in just a minute. But what does it really mean to be full of purpose? Is it just being successful at your job, making lots of money, being a good parent or spouse? Maybe you're completely lost when it comes to your purpose and you're really struggling to find any kind of meaning to your life right now. No matter where you're at, finding purpose is one of the toughest challenges we face. In this series, Ryan Ingram shares what it means to live a meaningful life and unpack God's true calling. Stay with us to learn how you can live out your God-given purpose even when difficulty, hardship and conflict come. You're not going to want to miss a single message. For more information about this series, Purposeful, Discovering God's Calling on Your Life, just go to LivingOnTheEdge.org.
And if you happen to miss a message along the way, you can always catch up on the Chip Ingram app. Chip, at Living on the Edge, we say all the time, we exist to help Christians live like Christians. That's a great line and all, but let me ask you, what does that look like in real life? Well, Dave, I can tell you in a sentence, it looks like a Romans 12 Christian. If you study Romans 12 or what we call true spirituality, there's five relationships, five biblical expectations, and it answers the five biggest questions in a person's life. How do you give God what he wants the most? How to get the very best from God? How to come to grips with the real you?
How to get connected and authentic community? And how to overcome evil with good? The new daily discipleship with Chip, true spirituality, will walk people through becoming a Christian who lives like a Christian. It's not a Bible study. It's not a teaching time. It's me mentoring individuals who say, I want to be an authentic follower of Christ.
I'm not sure how. Chip, will you meet with me? And my answer is, yes, I will.
I'll never talk more than 10 minutes. You're going to learn to study the Bible in Romans 12. You'll learn to hear God's voice.
You'll develop the habit of meeting with him regularly and you can learn for yourself from God what it means to be a Christian who actually lives like a Christian. Perfect? No. Authentic?
Yes. I hope you join me. Thanks, Chip. Well, we're so excited to share with you this new daily discipleship with Chip, true spirituality, based in Romans chapter 12. Our heart behind this video series is to really help you dive into God's word and discover how to more intentionally live out your faith. For 17 days, you and Chip will walk through what true spirituality looks like and how you can put these truths into practice. If you're looking for the next step along your faith journey, let me encourage you to be a part of daily discipleship with Chip, true spirituality. Pre-register for this study today and we'll send you our friend Lance Witt's devotional based on Romans 12 called Leave Ordinary Behind at no cost. Sign up now while this offer lasts by going to livingontheedge.org or by calling 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners, just tap discipleship.
Now let's hear today's application from Ryan and Chip. Ryan, as I was listening to how you wrapped up this message and I could feel a little bit of tension actually in the room because you're beginning to call people to a challenge. You're beginning to say, hey, you know, you can't be just a guest in God's house. If you're not committed, if you're not a part, if you don't take this sense of responsibility, if you just sort of take the advantages of being a part of the community of God's people and not really step in, you really can't discover your purpose. And right now I think people are struggling with that. What do you say to those people that feel like they're drifting or they want to find their purpose and yet, you know, there's certain things they may need to do in order to get anchored in that purpose? Just coach that person who's saying, that's me.
Yeah. If you're drifting right now, I want you just to stop and maybe if you're driving, if you can, pull over or if you're busy doing laundry, just stop for a second and listen. Because what I'm about to say is incredibly important and yet it's going to sound difficult in the season and where you're at.
If you're drifting, if you're struggling right now and you're feeling isolated and alone, feeling like, okay, I don't know if I can quite get there. Here's what I want to say. The first thing you need to do is get your focus off of yourself and onto who you can serve.
Let me say it again. Get your focus off of yourself and onto who you can serve. Hebrews 10 24 says, and let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. One of the most powerful and profound things you will do if you are drifting is to shift your focus off of yourself and begin to go, okay, who can I spur on towards love and good deeds today? And then that verse goes on to say this, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another all the more as you see the day approaching. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to get my focus off of myself and I'm going to look out to see who I can serve.
I'm going to be asking who can I encourage today? And the second thing is then I'm going to make a commitment to a church home. So many of us are drifting and we're church shopping, but we don't have a church home where you'd say, this is my church. Not that church I go to, but this is my church.
I'm anchored and I'm rooted there. Listen, there are no perfect churches. There are good churches out there, but there are no perfect churches. There is a perfect Savior. And, you know, I remember early on in ministry when we first started doing youth ministry, my wife and I, you know, years and years and years ago, I remember her saying this, ministry was easy until we really got to know people.
Isn't that true? Ministry is easy. And then all of a sudden, a year in, we got to know people, got to know their problems, got to know what's going on. And then it got messy. And here's what we do is we go to a church and we love it right at the beginning.
And then all of a sudden we get to know people or somebody hurt our feelings and then we retreat and we pull out. So would you commit to a church home instead of church being an option in your life? Something I'm going to do, I'm going to opt into that. Would you make it a priority? Like this is a time where I have the opportunity to gather with the people of God in the house of God and reorient my life towards my Savior, where I'd approach it differently from a consumer to a contributor, from a spectator to a participant. Remember not giving up meeting together as some in the habit are doing, but encouraging one another. What if you said this is my church home and I'm going to engage fully in this season? How can I serve? Who can I encourage? How can I be a part of what God is doing here? See here's what I want to ask you to do. If you're drifting, get your focus off yourself and onto who you can serve. And then would you commit to a church home? And maybe you said I've been doing this online thing and I love listening to so-and-so and I love listening to Chip Ingram and that is wonderful and good and you need it in your life and and you need it in your life. you
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