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The Path - To the Life You've Always Wanted - The Path, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
October 14, 2021 6:00 am

The Path - To the Life You've Always Wanted - The Path, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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October 14, 2021 6:00 am

Join Chip as he sketches a profile of a mature Christian who’s sold out to Jesus. If you’ve ever wondered what a real-life, born again Christian looks like, this message is your opportunity. He tells us that there’s no way this kind of life-change happens without the grace and mercy of God - and that it’s not about trying harder, it’s about a rubber-meets-the-road reality check.

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One of the great truths about being made in the image of God is this. We've been given the freedom to make choices, and every single choice leads us down a path. The question is, are you on the right road?

And if not, how do you get there? Stay with us. That's what we'll talk about today on Living on the Edge. I'm Dave Druey, and Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. If you've ever wondered what a real-life born-again Christian looks like, this message is your opportunity. Chip sketches out a profile of a mature follower of Christ who's sold out for Jesus. Chip emphasizes that it's not about trying harder. The only way true life change happens is through the grace and mercy of God. Before we learn more about what that looks like, if you happen to miss a portion of this program, you can catch up any time through the Chip Ingram app.

Well, with that said, here's Chip to pick up where he left off last time in his message, The Path to the Life You've Always Wanted. There's something required of us, three practices. To become like Jesus, there's some things we have to do.

It's a partnership. Scripture says, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Why? For God has worked in us. And so there's a part where, you know, it's like God provides the oxygen, but he doesn't suck in the air into my lungs.

That's my responsibility. And we've talked about this. We talk about it's about life. It's not about religion.

And our little acronym is BIO. You will never mature or stay on the path unless coming before God daily, reading his word, hearing his voice, talking to him, and then moving through your day with that truth, seeking to apply it and be aware of it, and coming before God like a real priority that weekends together matter. About 40 years ago, the average committed Christian went to church about 3.5 weeks out of a month. They actually thought it was really important. Relatives came in town. They'd say, do you want to go with us?

When their kids were on the traveling team, they said, you know, this is really important. Well, I guess we'll have to go to Saturday night. Today, the average committed Christian goes to church 1.6 times a month.

So it's interesting for someone like me. What I know is about 40% or 45% isn't here this week, and a different group will be here next week. Can you imagine showing up for work like a third of the time? You know, you might miss something. You might kind of get out of the flow. Now, again, we've all had those experiences of legalism, and if you weren't in church, God doesn't love you, you're a bad person.

We don't have any of that. And there's times we all miss, and there's times where actually, you know, I'm a pastor, and there's been times where, honey, you know something, I'm not preaching this weekend. We need to have a church service, you and me and a couple of our kids, and I need to get away for a couple hours. You need to do what's going to minister to you.

But I got news. The great majority is there has to be a commitment. On Monday morning, I have a commitment, you know, I've got to be at work. I have a commitment to my kids. I have a commitment to my wife. And then, as I read God's word, I have to do life in community.

You know, the world is not going to be transformed because of buildings or programs or humanitarian aid, as wonderful as all that is. Jesus said the way that they will know that He is true is by how much we love one another. You can't love other people sitting in a room, hearing some guy talk, singing a few songs, and going about your business. You cannot love people you do not know. And are you ready?

You can't be loved unless you're known. And yes, you're busy, there's demands, but that's part of your path, isn't it? Ask yourself, what do you have time for?

What changes should you make? I remember I started reading the Bible. It seemed like just an incremental little change, and it changed the whole course of my life. I was in an office and talked to a young gal who started coming to our church recently, and she said, you know, I work out every morning, and she's really into all that, and she goes, I always listen to music, and I started listening to podcasts two weeks ago. She goes, I'm experiencing this peace. I mean, my attitudes have changed.

I don't get it. She doesn't know that she's renewing her mind. What changes do you need to make in terms of coming before God, doing life in community, and then being on mission? It's a whole mindset where you wake up, and whether you're married or whether you're single, whether there's a roommate, whether you're alone, I get in my car, I go to work, but my mindset is I'm a servant.

I mean, I'm a servant to the guy that just cut me off, and part of me wants to provide a gesture to tell him how upset I am. But see, I'm a follower of Jesus. I'm a servant. I want to bring life and forgiveness.

And it's a mindset, and I don't have the power to do that, but boy, when I get on mission and see that, amazing things can happen. And it's a journey. As you turn the page, I want to give you a picture to remember and a profile to pursue. A picture to remember and a profile to pursue. This is just the overview.

Here's what I want you to get. The process of spiritual growth and maturity is the same for everyone. It's grace in relationship with God as I come before Him, it's grace and His power as I do life in community, and it's His grace as I discover my gifts and choose to be a servant even when I don't feel like it. That process is the same now, but the journey of how it looks is different for every person. So in other words, when I first became a Christian, and this was so all new to me, I would pray for like three minutes, and it was like, man, I cannot think of anything else to say. I think I've prayed for everything and everything in the whole world.

I mean, it was like 15 whole minutes. Okay, I read a little bit. I don't understand a lot of it. And okay, but I'm going to do something. I'm going to respond and pray.

What do I do now? You know, 35 years later, just because of my appetite, less than an hour feels like, gosh, Lord, I'm sorry, we'll check in a little bit later. And I'm not more holy. In other words, a little baby, when a little baby, how much food do you give a little baby?

How much do you give a triathlete? See, what I want you to see is, are you ready for this? Look at that picture. The picture is you and me. The path is the same, love God, love people. The methodology, the practices are before God, in community, on mission. And the goal is that I become like Jesus. Would you write right below that, I am ridiculously in charge of my life.

I am ridiculously in charge of my life. That's the path, you see it. I don't know what you need. I don't know if you need to read the Bible, if you need a reading plan, if you need to study it, if you need to go to seminary, if you need to get a daily walk.

I know we have all kind of things everywhere to help you. But what's your plan? Here's what I'm saying is, you are in charge of your spiritual growth and development. You'll be as holy, you'll be as righteous, you'll be as loving as you want to be according to Jesus.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. So what's your plan? If you want the life that you currently have, with the level of joys, the level of frustrations, the level of problems, then just don't change anything. Because what you're reading, who you hang out with, when you get up, when you go to bed, what you do with free time, how much time on the internet, how much time on Facebook, who your closest friends are, is producing the life that you're getting every single day. If you like it, keep doing it.

I hope God likes it though. And by the way, there's a destination. It's leading you somewhere. All I'm saying is, and here's the thing, we get thinking that I'm going to have this big aha, miraculous light bulbs epiphany.

Most major changes of how everything changes, it's an incremental, you know what? This is where I'm at, but this is where I need to be. I was praying this morning because sometimes I say this stuff and you think, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, chips, easy for you.

This is a truth card. I have two or three relationships that if I keep living the way I'm living now, I will be very sad in about 10 or 15 or 20 years or whenever I die. I got a great relationship with all my adult kids. I'm currently emotionally connected to all 11 grandkids.

And I went through a process of evaluating my whole life and coming up with some new goals. And he asked me, well, how do you want to be remembered by Teresa and by your kids? And I remember getting to the point by my grown kids. All of them are 30s, early 40s. They all have three kids, one, two. They're in the pinnacle of the demands on their life. And they've got three kids. I mean, they've got everything that you have, school and sports and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And down deep inside of me, and I've kind of shared this with him, I've kind of felt like, could you guys give old dad a little more time?

Could we be a little bit better connected? And as I went through all this, what I realized is, yeah, we go on a big vacation, and I text this one, and I call this one, and I'll never forget. I remember sitting in the room with my wife as I was evaluating, and it was like, I think my kids would say, my dad walked with God, my dad really loved me, my dad set a great example, my dad stayed in touch. I don't think they'll say, I miss my dad. Their lives are so busy.

It's not like we have a lunch at least once a month. I want my kids to say, I miss those Friday lunches. I miss when my dad would drive over the hill and we would just hang out.

I miss the time with my dad. See, that briefcase, it stayed so full that I'm connected, but if I keep living the way I've been living, my kids are not going to miss me. Now, I'm going to have some impact around the world. So here's what I want to ask you. What's something that you think, I don't want that to happen? So I wrote down a truth card.

Part of the reason that I have an over-scheduled life, because I don't believe that people love me for me, I tend to believe they love me for my productivity. That's from the enemy. That's not true. My wife told me it wasn't true.

My friends told me it wasn't true. And so I wrote this on a card. I'm not going to read this every day. People love me and are for me and want me to live a life of joy and rhythm and rest and fruitfulness in all areas of my life.

Down deep, I don't believe that. I don't want to ever do video because I'm afraid you guys will think I'm arrogant and I don't care. My last one was, I don't need to prove my worth through hard work or extraordinary productivity. I'm accepted and loved and greatly valued just for who I am. My marine dad, my workaholic past, I have lies that are still haunting me today. And so I decided to identify the lies, write down the truth, and I'm changing what I'm doing on my path. What do you need to do to identify the lies and write down the truth and make some incremental... Now, one of my big things is I'm scheduling a lunch with all my adult kids once a month.

Is the whole world going to change? I've got three out of four so far. And you know what? And I didn't have an agenda. And I didn't have mild guilt, like, oh gosh, you know.

It was awesome. And then many of you have heard so much about Romans 12 if you've been around for seven or eight years. It's like, you know, Ingram has one chapter in the Bible. It's all he really knows.

Actually, it may be true. But what Romans 12 is, is if you can't measure something, if you don't know where you're at, you drift. Here's the thing. What incremental decision, when you look at that little stick figure, loving God, loving others in community, on mission, before God, what do you need to do? If you're ridiculously responsible for your own life, imagine our church, if you will, we have a very strategic, clear, intentional plan. But since your journey is different, maybe people who've been Christians for 25 years have a different need than those with 25 days.

So we're saying, you know what? We think the weekend services will help everyone grow as a disciple. And then we have a number of classes that, you know, different times, some of you don't need to be in a class right now. And you're thinking, class and small group, I can't do both, don't. But if you need some work in your marriage, go to a marriage class. If one of your teens is struggling, go to that class. If you need some, look at and pray it through. For others, it's, I don't need a class, I need to be in a small group. Oh, I'm in a small group, does that mean, oh, then people are telling me I need to be in these smaller groups and meet one on one. What do you need?

That's not my job to tell you. The Spirit of God, if you're a follower, He lives inside of you. If you would say, Lord, I'm gonna gather with your people on the weekend, and are you ready?

Here's the question. What do I need to get in this season of my life in order to become more like Jesus? But that's only half. Because there's a whole nother side, what do I need to give?

What do I need to give in order to become like Jesus? I mean, for over half the people in America, and our church is no exception, half of you don't give anything. You don't give any time, you don't give any money, you don't do anything.

You're a consumer, and we love you. That's how I started. But I remember it was a big step of faith to give five dollars a week to a couple in Japan, and that started a journey where my heart changed. Some of you have been in small groups forever. You know what? You don't need to be in a small group, you need to lead one.

For some of you, you know, it's a classic. Some of you need to launch a group where you work. Some of you have visions and dreams and heart, and someday, someway, you know, you're going to launch it, start it, pray about it. But what you need to do is ask God, what do I need to do?

Are you getting this? Because see, at the end of the day is, we're going to do this, we're going to start these groups, and I'm going to teach through Philippians, and we're going to see that circumstances can't have a stranglehold, and we can be different, and God's going to work. But listening to that will not change you. Let me give you the five aspects of a Romans 12 Christian. Number one, it means you're surrendered to God, and that's the channel through which his blessing flows. If you've never, at a point in time, not just said, but said, I'm all in, and offered your body as a living sacrifice.

It's a scary proposition. But I've never seen Christians' life change more than when they do that. The second is being separate from the world's values. Don't be conformed to this world, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. For some of you, if you changed what you allowed in your mind, and you begin to get into God's word and into community, how do you think it'd be like that young gal?

She's experiencing peace and purpose. The third is to have a sober self-assessment. And by the way, these never change. Don't think too highly of yourself, but think with a sober judgment. I have another card that says, Chip, you have limits just like everyone else. And I wrote down a lie.

So embarrassing to share. I just was raw with God. Here's the lie, I believe.

Chip, other people need rest and renewal, and time to be refreshed. But you're a high-energy, high-capacity person who can amaze people with your productivity. It's a lie from the pit of hell. I cheated for all these years.

I had a great time with God, a great time with my family. But in my little warped mind, if I'm not up by 4.30, half the day is gone. I mean, I am one intentional, focused, crazy man. And so are some of you in different ways. And yes, I've channeled an awful lot of that for Kingdom Ventures, but the lie down deep in my heart is that that makes me an okay person. Instead of, I have a Heavenly Father going, why don't you have some fun? Why don't you put your feet up?

You know what, I've given you an awesome wife, you've got great kids, when's the last time you just really weren't trying to accomplish something and enjoyed them? And friends. I can feel the Spirit moving, moving, moving, moving. What are you going to do? Serving in love.

You never grow until you're caring about others. Be devoted to one another in brotherhood. Devotion means you serve.

And you don't need to know a bunch of Bible. Be an usher, help out with the parking, help with the kids. Last week it was kind of interesting, we had those cards out, who would like to serve?

Would you just let us know what you like? We got thousands of people, we had 163 cards turned in. Forgive me, this is just the Ingram. I did the percentages of what 163 cards would be out of like 5,000 to 6,000 people.

And I went, oh God, they're on a path. Someone else will do it, someone else will love. I don't have time. And God, if they just knew when they give their life away, that's when they'll experience you. This isn't about recruiting or will you do this or will we have these needs? This is about life. And finally, supernaturally responding to evil with good. And that is forgiving those people that have deeply hurt you and working through the process of saying, I'm not going to be an angry person on Facebook and attack other people. I'm going to be an agent of light and love in the midst of a very difficult time in this country and around the world. What path are you on? What path do you need to get on?

And just you and God. Make a decision. Take some baby step toward what you've heard.

Don't try and do it all. No one's down on you. This is the love of God saying, come to me. Come to me, all of you that are burdened, stressed out, heavy laden. I'll give you rest. Take my yoke. Do life with me.

I'll give rest to your soul. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, The Path to the Life You've Always Wanted. Do you ever wonder if you're living up to your fullest potential?

Is there a sense you're missing out on something better? Through this short series, Chip provides a clearer picture of the life God has for you and how you can get it today. If you'd like to get this message for yourself or pass it on to a friend, you can do both via the Chip Ingram app or download the free MP3s at livingontheedge.org. For complete information on the path to the life you've always wanted, just go to livingonttheedge.org.

App listeners, tap Special Offers. Chip, for a lot of believers over a period of time, the Christian life starts to feel like a big, long to-do list, like I'm supposed to pray, I'm supposed to read my Bible, and it becomes a grind and there's no joy. Could you give us some help in terms of how do we make our relationship with the Lord fresh and alive, the way we'd like it to be and the way God wants it to be?

Dave, it's true of all of us. I mean, it's about relationship. It's about connection. It's about the Spirit of God taking the Word of God and hearing His voice and growing and having a sense of His presence and very vivid prayers and sort of walking with God day to day.

And what I realize is a lot of Christians don't know how that works or they need kind of a jump start to that. We're doing something brand new. It's called Daily Discipleship with Chip, and it's on true spirituality. It's me meeting with you, the listener, one on one. We walk through the text together.

I give you a small little outline and I ask you to do 10 minutes. And for 17 days, we walk day by day together and discover how to study the Bible, how to hear God's voice, developing the habit where day in and day out, you begin to make this a part of your life. People have asked me for years, will you mentor me, will you disciple me? Daily Discipleship, true spirituality is just that.

Dave, could you tell them how they can get connected with us? Be glad to 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. You can sign up for this study right now and when you do, 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. That's 888-333-6003.

Or go to LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, just tap Discipleship. As we close today's program, I walk through the profile of a disciple pretty quickly, so I want you to lean back and rather than try and take it all in, just ask yourself, what specific step might God have you take to stay on the path? Is it to be surrendered to him? Is it to realize that you're not all in and until that happens, you're not going to experience his power?

Second, maybe, is it being separate from the world's values? Is there an issue, a habit, an addiction, a relationship, you just know it's wrong and you need to turn from it, get some help and say, I can't live that way? Is it a sober self-assessment? Is it, you know, I need to discover my spiritual gift. I need to be involved with other people and be used by God. Or maybe it's serving in love. Maybe you find yourself just so busy that you're kind of a lone ranger Christian and you're not doing life in community and you're not being loved by people and you're not really loving people in a way that brings joy to your heart and life to them. Or finally, maybe you're stuck. Maybe you've been hurt or wounded, betrayed. Maybe someone's done something terrible against you and instead of supernaturally responding with good toward that evil, if you're honest, you realize you're resentful, you're bitter and you need to forgive that person.

Don't try and take all that in. What one thing would God have you do to respond and say, Lord, I surrender and then take this step? Or Lord, I'm going to break off that relationship and take this step?

Or Lord, I'm going to forgive my ex and take that step and see if God doesn't allow you to begin to experience the joy of being on the path. That's an encouraging word, Chip, thanks. In case you missed some of the points Chip just reviewed, they're pulled straight from his message notes, which is a tool available for every program. So let me encourage you to get this resource before you listen to us again. Chip's notes include his outline, all of the scripture references and lots of fill-ins to help you remember what you're learning. They really help you get the most out of every program. Chip's message notes are a quick download at livingontheedge.org under the broadcasts tab. App listeners just tap fill-in notes. Well, until next time, this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-11 02:08:11 / 2023-08-11 02:19:13 / 11

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