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True Spirituality - How to Give God What He Wants the Most, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2021 6:00 am

True Spirituality - How to Give God What He Wants the Most, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 29, 2021 6:00 am

What causes God’s blessings to flow to you and me? Is it following a list of rules or religious practices? Or maybe just a random choice made by Him alone? Chip looks at how God chooses on whom He will pour out His blessings …and how you can begin receiving those blessings starting today.

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What you give the person that has everything every time that comes up on my Christmas list or birthday list. I get stumped. But here's a bigger one.

How do you give God what he wants them. Have you ever thought of that. You can learn exactly what he wants and how to get that's today welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Living on the Edge features the Bible to promise daily discipleship. Thanks for joining us as we continue serious spirituality coming to Romans 12 as were learning. It takes effort to be a real hope is that you've been challenged more intentionally. So if you learn something. Take a moment after this message insured with a friend tripping remap by downloading the free MP3s of Living on the Edge of your strip with his message how to give God what he wants most Romans chapter 12.

If I ask you cut over a cup of coffee.

Where did your spiritual journey really began as an adult. What would you tell me where were you what were the circumstances for me was the night I graduated from high school after being with some friends at a party I realized I was a workaholic. I had academic success.

My dream of a basketball scholarship was in hand. I was all-league and baseball. I had a really pretty girlfriend and I sat alone and empty, and just wondering what in the world am I here for my little formula of success will make you happy, didn't pan out member that night sitting on my bed looking out my bedroom window was a very starry night. I remember I started asking the real questions that adults ask why am I here. Is there a God, what's my purpose in life is is there more to life than just setting goals and achieving them. And that night although I had a lot of childhood prayers of you know, get me out of this jam and please help so-and-so when I prayed what I think was my first adult prayer and I remember looking at the stars. I said God if you exist reveal yourself to me in a way I can understand and then I figure everybody wants something and I remember praying God what you want from me. If you exist, what do you really want from me and that's going to be the question we can ask and answer today on our journey toward true spirituality. How do we give God what he wants.

The most you pull out your teaching handout walk through this journey in this journey is going to take us to a point of a very very important decision, when you asked the big questions of life, they come back to you in a way where there's big decisions, decisions about future and priority in relationship to me way more important than jobs and money and details and someone introduce you to a book that I read was by a Harvard actually Gail, excuse me, but use it. Harvard business school, but by Yale law professor called risk reason in the decision-making process It's a series of true stories that are case studies and they read the case study.

Then again, small groups, and they talk about okay what were the risks involved in making this decision. What reasons did people make this decision and what would you do and so they sort of peel it out. Give a case study but the groups talk a little bit and then give more information. So let me actually I got a couple case studies. Here is here's the deal.

The goal is to teach them to make skillful wise decisions and really talking about a very very important decision and there is just some great insight about making great decisions of case study number one. The brief but the kind of fun. 32-year-old engineer named John wants to go to estate sales to look for antique furniture and other potentially valuable items.

One weekend he goes to an estate sale in the southern part of United States.

All items in this particular house are being sold together for a single price. Visitors are welcome to make a bid and John learns that the winning bid will be about $95,000. The house is old in disrepair, probably built during the Civil War. John, a self-confessed geek in history buff recognizes a collection of rifles that seem to be from that timeframe. He then goes downstairs to a damp basement using a small pocket flashlight finds an old roller top desk and going to the desk. He discovers a false drawer and in the false drawer is a small leather pouch that contains 22 very rare pure gold coins minted by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. They could be worth millions of dollars he believes John has to make a decision what you do give $10,000 in savings if he can sell his car, his house and everything he owns. He believes he can come up with the $95,000 and make the winning bid. What would you do students at Harvard's business school at MIT and other universities discuss this some face value what would you do think about that case study number two Sheila, a twentysomething college art teacher to community college was traveling in Europe over the summer. She had even started a small collection on her limited salary and while in a small village in southern France well off the beaten path. Sheila went to an auction where the locals have all donated family are to be sold to help finance the construction of a much-needed school. One painting top the list was said to be a rare but highly valued copy of Picasso's work. It was deemed as a non-original because the signature at the bottom was different from all of his other works.

Sheila however wrote her masters thesis on Picasso and was aware that in the first year of his work. He does not sign his name, but only put his initials there.

She looked and studied the painting carefully and came to the conclusion that she actually was in the presence of a priceless piece of art. It was believed there were only two or three of these paintings in existence anywhere in the world. If this were so, Sheila was standing before something more than a very great deal of money.

The 25,000 asking price was a joke. With regard to what it was worth, but was a bigger joke with her income but she would have to do would sell her Volkswagen Jetta sell her entire art collection and withdraw her entire savings of $600. What should Sheila do what would you tell her now you'll notice on your notes. Are you did Lola. Observations are questions to ponder and here's, you know, when you get something like this, you ask okay what are the risks.

The risk is that the coins are phony, and John does, that he loses everything, and the risk for Sheila is, if it's not a Picasso. She's going to lose everything. The potential rewards are and by the way, later in the study. You know they have a second page that the teacher brings out the coins or real and there was about $30-$40 million. The Picasso was real and was worth about $100, so the rewards were super. If in fact was true, but the cost and the risk was very high. It's not so with that information. What would you do and why not to be three principles that flow out of these case studies. Here's where the meat is for you and me and every big decision and I mean big important life altering decisions, especially the number one thing you need is just right this were down truth. Truth. The issue here is the validity of the fine if the coins are legit.

If they're true. If it's a Picasso if it's true, and for you when you're trying to figure out what you should do with your life and the relationships that you're in, you need to first and foremost say what's true. Second, write the word knowledge there under your con observations. See, Sheila had knowledge that other people didn't have. She had done some work she's done some study she was prepared to take advantage of a situation because she knew things that other people didn't know John the same way, is a computer geek is a history buff when he saw the rifles he saw the house. All those things gave him insiders knowledge about what he was really looking and after truth and knowledge. The last thing just write the word faith. These are the three keys to making great decisions.

What's true. Do you have the inside knowledge and then faith is literally the courage to pull the trigger you. It's one thing for John to say hey I believe this this is true. I've done some evaluation and then can you hear John like going back to talk to his wife a honey when empty or savings account sell the house sell the cars everything that we have because I just found these gold coins and even if he's absolutely convinced as I watch this happen a lot, you know there's things you're convinced of you really believe are true, your logic tells you it's true at times. Even the Bible tells it. Use true at times. The research in history even says it's true.

But when you look at the weight of the risk.

There's a great deal of people that never have the faith or the courage to pull the trigger and act on what they absolutely believe is true and so they don't make good decisions or they make no decisions which is really a decision of itself. Turn the page. If you will, because these to remind me of a case study by Jesus that teaches us also about risk reason in the decision-making process. When Jesus is teaching this is out of Matthew chapter 13 versus 4445.

By this time his popularity is growing and people. He is deemed to be the king of the universe, the Messiah, and he saying that I'm the king over a kingdom, and all the kingdom is his the rights and the power and the authority that someone has to rule and he was teaching a completely new way of life completely different from the religious time completely different he was. He was loving and he was kind, and he was holy and he was radical and everywhere he went.

There was either a riot or revival. There is something fascinating and powerful, and he did things that no one else had ever done. He raised people from the dead, and he spoke about God and he revealed the father and people were following him. But as they begin to follow him, forced him into very big decisions big decisions about the way they used to think big decisions about other relationships big decisions about their time with their money or their future, and so he gives them to similes or pictures parables, he makes them up because the kingdom of heaven. In other words following me and how life works with me as the king of your life is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found many hit again and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has any buys that field. Now that's a very short sermon, but there's a lot in there and just in case very common in Jewish teaching parallelism they give you a truth and just to make sure you get it.

Maybe give you exactly the same truth with a different picture to look at verse 45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls and upon finding one pearl of great value of exquisite value of over-the-top priceless value with the idea he went and sold all the pearls that he had anybody. So if you have a 10 pull it out, let's go to verse 44 what you do see something underline the two words treasure hidden and then the two words of man found in the two words hid again and then the two words from joy in the two words sells all and then the phrase buys the field and if we were doing little Bible study together. I would say there's four observations we could make better very very simple but unveil what Jesus is saying a man. Number one finds a treasure the man.

After finding the treasure sees how much worse it is he hides it again number three.

He has an emotional response. He is absolutely exhilarated and joyful that he is coming to all this money and then number four in order to get that field he sells everything he has. So when he owns the field you get the treasure inside. Now here's what you need understand. Jesus wasn't talking about money and treasure. He's making a very profound spiritual point in principle about decision-making and what is saying is this, he saying there certain things that we can see in certain things we can't see in the kingdom of God and following me is akin to and this would be in their day.

It would make sense because this actually could happen in their day. They didn't have 401(k)s and so you would take your treasure and you would hide it, dig it someplace on your land and the goal is you would tell your relatives your sons or daughters where it is. But sometimes people you know they aren't ready.

Quite to hear it and they die before they tell anyone, so it can be on a piece of land for two or three or four generations so the people realize that this story is really plausible and so he says here's a man who is in a field maybes walking with a stick and he hears something he opens it up and there's a little chest and there's a fortunate and he covers it back up and he is just exhilarated with what you just found so he will miraculously with abandon sells everything he has this not worth very much to get something it's worth a whole same picture with the pearl. Here's the thesis Jesus is saying when you understand who he is and how life really works and what really really matters now and forever, and you get the treasure of what it is to have relationship with him and the plan that he has for you on this earth you would with reckless abandon and joy for sake. All else to get that put another way, his thesis is total commitment is the channel through which God's biggest and best blessings flow. Did you realize that I mean total commitment. He sold all that he had motive joy above the word in your notes which is total commitment.

Would you write the words surrender and put a box around surrender total commitment me. It was all or nothing, in order to gain that land with the treasure inside. Now notice Webster defines total commitment forest can sometimes that word means different things to different people. He says it's the alignment of one's motives, resources, priorities and goals to fulfill a specific mission accomplish a specific task or follow a specific person in in in the words of Texas hold amidst your Allin total commitment, surrender, this is very counterintuitive.

Jesus is this amazing teacher calling people to a life and he says the it's the values are upside down in the world you live in and the way to gain is to give the way to life is to die and he says I have a plan and in following me there is a treasure of its unspeakable its unspeakable for the now it will transform you will transform every relationship. It has the promise of eternity. It has for the forgiveness of your sin. It has focus and purpose, and answers all the big questions of life and this treasure I want to give you but here's the entrance to the decision surrender. Surrender is the channel through which God's best and biggest blessings flow. Now you'll notice at the very bottom. I put a spiritual insight because when you talk like I have just been talking about total commitment and if you really begin to played out in your mind and you start thinking about you know the story about John and Sheila, that's really nice and you know you can't think of $100 million that Sheila has an you think about the 30 or $40 million that John got out of the deal because they had inside knowledge and had the courage to pull the trigger. Both did did by the way, before I go on is there no compassion in this room, I noticed does anyone just have a twinge and feel sort of sorry for Sheila. She gave up her Volkswagen Jetta. I mean every piece of art that she picked up over those years. The don't you think they were on her teacher salary and emotional and John if he's been to these estate sales when he sold everything has, don't you think there's a couple antiques from other sales that really meant a lot to me. His wife loses her home you're really hardhearted group so so your you actually are saying you think that 30 or $40 million is worth doing. Of course you do not.

Jesus told these two parables to get into their world in such a way that they would get a new set of glasses because when you talk to people that want to follow God about total commitment is like why don't you know pastors are supposed be totally committed and admitting missionaries and there's always like you, like a 98-year-old lady who really prays like 37 hours a day is only 24 hours. Can we know she's totally committed but I mean for most of us like were just like regular Christians. That sounds really scary and you know I really want to love God and God. What I haven't got Jesus, forgive my sins and you not like to be a good person and I come I think a little bit better person than most people, but will commitment sounds like scary like I mean, lock, stock and barrel means God has the say on my time, my money, my future, my family and so what most of us do is we see the lens of total commitment negatively affect notice upward on your notes, we see total commitment is sacrificial we see the self-denial we see it is noble we we think people are totally committed are martyrs ever met someone who said I have renounced all for Jesus. I met some people like that and I have a lot like to be around them very long because they've renounced all and somewhere in there they think their way better than you and me.

Here's what I want to tell you when Jesus taught about surrender or total commitment. It is the channel to get God's very best in your life.

But he said it's for joy.

His motivation is positive. It's wise it's logical what shrewd is not so much for announcing as it is a reevaluation is $95,000 as valuable as 30 to 40 million isn't rocket science. Know when we look at it like that.

It's easy but when you look at the treasure that God has. It gets the more difficult as you can see, just as Jesus made up parables to help people in their world understand what's going on. I took the liberty to make those two parables up, please do not feel betrayed coming. If I would've come out here okay okay are you ready to come out here and said total commitment surrender is the channel through which God's biggest and best blessings flow.

Now are you totally committed are not you to step up or not you get with the program. I mean all your defenses would be what and you have totally missed the point. I've actually taught that in my early days as a pastor you know where to view the crowd of Christian Marines come on and I was one of those religious jerks, but I was better than I'm committed. I totally missed the point. I didn't understand God's grace. But you know all of you were kind of leaning forward thinking. The only thing you thought about Sheila and Jon, I wish I were them right. I wish I were them and you know what Sheila does anyone would say that all Sheila and John were noble. They were martyrs. She gave over to her right cheek. They they made a big sacrifice where's your focus, your focus is like mine. Sacrifice my lands 34 million. The focus was on what they got and that was Jesus point and that's his message to you will how to give God what he wants most to be right back with this application series virtuality becoming a Romans 12 Christian word Christian means little Christ. So when we put our faith in Jesus we are to look and act like little copies of Jesus. Unfortunately that is not the reputation Christians have in this day and age, so how can we change that will through the series chip teaches us what it means to be a genuine follower of Christ by studying Romans chapter 12 you'll discover God's plan for you and me why we matter the need for genuine community and how we should respond to evil and injustice.

So if you're wanting a clear blueprint to becoming a true little Christ. These messages are for you wasn't any time on the trip and remap or@livingontheedge.org website is also where you can learn more about the resources for this series which are discounted for limited time and while you're on our side. Let me encourage you to sign up for the brand-new daily discipleship with chip based on true spirituality for 17 days triple walk with you through Romans 12 and reveal what it means to really follow after Jesus and the ups and downs of everyday life. You can sign up for the study right now and when you do will send you our friend Lance with 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 calling triple late. 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to LivingontheEdge.org hapless nurse just tap discipleship. I want to take just a few minutes to talk about something really important and I hope especially for those of you that are regular listeners you will agree God is been using the ministry of Living on the Edge in incredible ways we been growing and reaching folks like never before and you're an important part of that. Your gifts to Living on the Edge make it possible for us to be present in places that without you. We simply couldn't be many of these places are extremely dangerous to proclaim the name of Christ in your gifts make it possible for us to reach people in desperate situations, you know right here in the United States. I can't tell you how many emails and letters I received that somewhere in that letter or email. It's like I was on my way to the abortion clinic or I was planning to end my life, for I was about to give up on my married your I was giving up on God because of something terrible that happened to me but then I started listing to my drive to work or my neighbor gave me this book or I found your after whatever it was God's catalyst to begin a total transformation my life.

These things aren't happening because of Chip Ingram or even Living on the Edge there happening because God is working in and through those who by faith respond and obey him.

You know we can't do anything alone. That's because it's not God's plan for any of us. We are in this together and Living on the Edge as God's ministry is about you and me doing exactly what God calls us to do and so I would ask you first. Would you really pray for the ministry. And second, would you pray specifically about partnering at a deeper level and partnering with us financially. Do whatever God leads you to do and let me say in advance.

Let's keep pressing ahead and thank you very much, but strip if partnering with Living on the Edge is an idea that makes sense to you.

We'd love to have you join us helping Christians live like Christians will change the world we live in now to give a gift. Just give us a call at triple late. 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or if you prefer to give online you can donate securely by going to LivingontheEdge.org hapless nurse just tap donate.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Without your strip with a final thought about today's message as we wrap up today's program I've really introduced a very different paradigm about what God is like. I mean, surrender is not this great huge sacrifice. It really is the channel it's the opportunity it's the window through which God is going to do the biggest and best things and you know what I know is that's a lot easier said than to believe and so here's your assignment for today and you can do it right now. I want you to ask this one question.

How do you tend to view God as kind or demanding just in your own heart and mind when you think about God is he kind easy for you.

Is he ready to help is is he just you know on the edge of his throne saying what you need today or is he demanding and hard to please that will tell you why it's hard to surrender.

Here's a little action step get a 3 x 5 card and write out in whatever translation you want. Romans 832 he that spared not his own son for you, how will he not with him freely give you all things. If he loves you enough to give you his son. How can we not trust him for the little stuff like our future. Our cars are money our homes and our locations. He wants to help you surrender today just before we close. Would you pray for those who are feeling challenged to respond to trips encouragement right now. There's always a spiritual battle when we feel prompted to draw near to God, thanks for taking a minute to do that if there's a way we can pray for you. Would you let us know.

Call AAA 333-6003 or email chip@livingontheedge.org.

We'd love to hear from you until next time for everyone. This is really saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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