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October 22, 2021 6:00 am
Is it possible the trying very very hard to be good to be moral to be a positive person could actually cause you to miss a relationship with God today will talk about the most famous story Jesus ever told and give you an insight you may have never ever understood.
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Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge drift. Your bigger budgets are vital to this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christian Otis program ship continues in a series with the message he calls when being good isn't good enough. If you're struggling under the weight trying to be more committed.
This message is for you. Jeff shares how to read or thinking so we can experience God's peace and his power when we needed the most. Without her strip with his talk from Luke chapter 15 the wisest man in the world. His name was Solomon. God gave him the gift he said I'm gonna make you wiser than anyone who has ever lived wiser than anyone who will ever live and he said this, there is a way that seems right to a man, but the way ends in death. There is a way. There's a path there's a worldview that people lock onto thinking this will deliver happiness and purpose, and fulfillment. There is a way which seems right to a man, but the way thereof ends in death. There's two primary paths or ways historically and actually to this day the people of developed to say this is how we ought to live if you want to pull out your teaching handout on the front of added some notes for you. The first way is what I'll call the way of self-discovery. This is the people that say that I'm tired of tradition.
I'm tired of people tell me what to do. I'm going to do my own thing. I'm going to discover my own way to cast off the restraints and no one's going to tell me what makes my life work, I will figure it out. In fact, the problem of the whole world is all those super conservative people with their narrow, bigoted ideas. The other way is called the moral conformists. In this way is where the person says you know something I want to be a good person. I want to obey the tradition of the fathers and usually there's some religious establishment and want to do what's right and I don't want to say and I don't hang around with people that do. And if I'm a good person, the life's gonna work out well that's the path that I need to be under the moral conformists we have the development of people who think in conservative thoughts. We call those people the right wing and on the other side of self-discovery to the progressives and we call them the left-wing in his little book of the prodigal God Timothy Keller writes this our Western society so deeply divided between these two approaches, but hardly anyone can conceive of any other way to live. If you criticize or distance yourself from one everyone assumes you have chosen to follow the other because each of these approaches tend to divide the whole world into two basic groups. The moral conformists says that the moral conformists says the moral people. The people who do their own thing they're the problem in the world and the moral people are the solution. The advocates of the self-discovery say the bigoted people. The people who say we have the truth of the problem with the world and the progressive people are the solution not notice this phrase. Each side says our way is the way underline way in your notes where you our way is the way the world will be put right. And if you're not with this, you're against us. Now here's what's very interesting Jesus parable in Luke chapter 15 will tell us that both camps are wrong.
He's gonna say there's 1/3 paradigm, there is a way to be right with God. That is a separate path and the path is not moral conformity and the path is not to be progressive, there's 1/3 path of Christ path a different path and he's going to explain it when he's in the middle of these two groups in Luke 15 grows at a situation where he's with the progressives and the tax collectors and the self-discovery and in moral people and the prostitutes who think I'm going to cast off restraint and find my way and at the same time, the moral conformists.
The Pharisees are there.
The goody two shoes that have lots of rules about everything. And these two groups are together in the religious group is rejecting him thinking he couldn't be from God because he's hanging out with these people and last time we learned that in order to address this issue. He's gonna speak to both groups. He gives one parable and one parable has three many stories and story number one. He talks about their own world where the shepherd has 100 sheep, he loses one and he goes and he's on a search gets the sheet rescues, it puts it on his shoulders and brings it back to his house. The second story is about a woman that has one of her 10 silver coins that they would wear around is a headband to show that she's a married woman and she loses one and she sweeps the house and she finds it and then she invites her friends as a celebration and then in climax. The story moves to the young son and there's a father that has a young son who we learned represents the immoral people and has an older son that represents the Pharisees and the younger son and absolute rejection of his father says give me my part of the estate. Now, as a father has to sell off some property and liquidated his assets. He takes 1/3 of all that he has. He gives it to the young son and the young son goes way, way over here and he lives in wanton pleasure and while living and he squanders it all in one day he's feeding pigs in his thinking you know what my self-discovery.
Progressive do my own thing is really not working very well right now.
In fact, anything the Sangha, humble myself and going to back my father to my father. Father of syndicates haven't sinned against you. I can't be your son but your hired guys at least have a meal we please forgive me and has he's on his way back we learned that the father every day is going out and looking and filled with compassion. He embarrasses himself lifts up his tunic runs to his son hugs his son kisses his son.
The son starts in on the speech and he says stop quick but the best robe in the house on. He's a family member put a ring on his finger security authority is my son again put sandals on his feet. Because that's what sons where slaves go barefooted, kill the fatted calf get out the Kobe beef. You have a party invite the whole community and we learned that spot. The father's heart towards lost people.
The father in the story is God. The Pharisees are the elder son. We learned that there's a celebration in heaven. When one single person comes and turns from where they were when one sinner, a sinner by their progressive actions, or a sinner by their conservative actions. When one comes to the father. There is rejoicing this morning were going to talk about people that are out of relationship because they zealously keep all the rules we pick up the story in verse 25.
Because while all this is happened. There's the older son, and the older son apparently was out in the field working because he always works because he always does what is right is always you know obeying what you're supposed to do. He lives with Ott's insureds and got to use all the time and he hears the music and hears the dancing. We pick up the story in verse 25. Meanwhile, the older son was in the field when he came near the house.
He heard the music and the dancing so he called one of the servants and ask him what's going on your brother's company replied in your father's kill the fatted calf, because he's back safe and sound.
The older brother notice his response became angry and he refused to go in as an opportunity to throw the father's heart is an opportunity sell dad. You know this is your flesh and blood. This is your son, you must be really happy there's a big party celebrating but what you do. He refuses to go in. Now the father is going to embarrass himself yet again. In this culture because there's a big party and people were stunned that this young person is been restored back but where's the older brother. Oh, he's outside and noticed he wants to hurt the father and reject the father because he won't come in and so the father goes out and he pleads with the sun but he answered his father look all these years I've been slaving notices view of the relationship, not loving, not enjoying, not intimacy.
I've been slaving for you and never, never, never disobeyed your orders yet you never gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when the son of yours who squandered your property with prostitutes comes home. You kill the fattened calf for him and then you hear the heart of God. Remember Jesus is explaining how the father feels first about lost immoral people far from God, who break rules of had multiple affairs who've cheated people that had a couple of abortions. People that have done terrible things people that are sex addicts and drug addicts, and we constantly celebrate.
Isn't it amazing how God saves them. In contrast, now Jesus is going to say how does the heavenly father feel about people who are trapped in their own goodness who think their acceptance is based on being a good person or religious person or doing the right things being morally superior and notice what he says to my son, you are always with me and everything I have is years.
It's always been available but we had to celebrate because this brother of yours is dead and is alive again. He was lost and now he's found. I want to dive in together and I put some notes together to help us. Jesus offers hope when our goodness fails this elder brother is good moral person but his good morality is actually keeping him from God. Notice his response is anger. I won't go in. He's mad but God has forgiven someone else. He's mad that God is compassionate, he's mad also because when you get down to it, 1/3 of the estate was given to who the younger son, it's gone now will who owns that the two thirds it's left. He does will guess what that fatted calf that was a part of his estate. This younger brother coming in. He might edge you know what he's the older brother is not concerned about his relationship with the father. He's concerned about what I get what I don't get and I've earned it, and he squandered. Notice the son's reason is reason is pride. I never disobeyed. I do the right thing all the time. I keep the rules. I cross the teeth. I got the eyes. I follow the law. I never killed anybody another knee wrong big bad but is his pride. His arrogance is I won't go in because I'm not going to go in there and associate and notice what he says, the son of years.
He thought my brother better than I'm superior. He's not my brother he's arrogant he doesn't see his own need his messages. You owe me. I've been slaving for you is relationship with the father in the story isn't any closer than the younger son. It's a transaction I do certain things you're supposed to deliver certain things. In fact, Keller in his book has as a great line.
He writes the hearts of the two brothers were the same and that interesting both resented their father's authority and sought some way to get out from under it. They each wanted to get the position which they could tell the father what to do each one.
In other words, rebelled one did so by being very bad, and the other did so by being extremely good, but both were alienated from the father's heart. Both sons were lost to realize that Jesus is teaching in this day that was stunning. Neither son love the father for himself.
They were both using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than lovingly enjoying and serving him for his own sake, and this is one of the greatest lines in this little book.
This means you can rebel against God and be alienated from him, either by breaking his rules, or by keeping all of them diligently. It's a shocking message, careful obedience to God's law may serve as a strategy for rebelling against God's very subtle. The problem with being an elder son, you know you're lost effect your convince not only you're not lost but you know the score.
You are right, it's others in their problem that are lost. Now let me summarize some observations about this passage and let me preface that with.
I know a lot about the sun. I'm ashamed about how much I know about this son.
I remember early on I was probably 17 years old and doing little work at the Ohio State's fair in my head, a friend whose dad sold hearing aids and he paid us a few bucks to get in a stand and units is huge, fair, and thousands of people would walk by and and we were supposed to just hand out these brochures and it was a ridiculous amount of money like five dollars an hour. That was awesome back then and across from us was some group of religious people, but they had the sign that said you must be born again and I had no idea what that meant or who they were and they watched us in after three or four days. They came over and I will never forget it. A young guy that looked a little bit like medium. You need to seem fairly normal and he said are you saved.
I said from what I mean. I'm dead serious.
No, no, are you saved civil from what he civil let me ask you this question if you were to die today. You know whether you go to heaven or not. I said yes. He said it was were like oh well you can answer the right questions. We went back over to his booth and I thought to myself.
I mean if if God I have not killed anyone. I intellectually believe in God, you know what I may cost a little bit and have a few but you not sleep with anyone. I don't drink I don't smoke I try to be a good person.
I mean, what's he want if anybody gets inhabited on the people like me. My goodness was keeping me from and I grew up in a family system where perform perform perform perform is how you get successful.
Notice how this person's goodness kept him from the father. What we learn from the elder brother that very good moral, religious people, even those who believe the Bible can be as lost as the most immoral center did you understand what when the Pharisees heard this, it was what second observation is that Jesus extends forgiveness to elder brothers. The Pharisees then the Pharisees like us now. What's he say coming to my house. Interesting. I was every night after I teach on Saturday night I get a chance to review and get feedback from different people and how long I spend on each one and then I pray it through and try and improve, and as I woke up early this morning I was on time last night. Things were okay but I had this little lack a sense of peace and it was like God's somethings missing from this message and I don't know what it is and so I begin to process it with trees over a cup of coffee early and as we talk I said honey you know what it is down deep.
I think the father's heart and deep love and compassion really got communicated to people that feel far away from God and I said last night as I taught through this. I think the information was clear. I think the content was clear.
I don't people heard and felt God's loving father's heart you know we celebrated when prostitutes come to Christ, and we celebrate when people come out of you know, trafficking or drug addictions. But when like good moral religious people. I mean even some of those that are you know like the repulsive and arrogant and bigoted will. I mean, the Pharisees are always the bad guys and when they come to faith.
It's almost like, well, we got a let a man, but there such jerks, and a member. She said something to me this morning. She said will chip may be the reason it was hard for you to share God's gentleness and compassion is because you had a hard time accepting that as a Pharisee and she is not condemning when she seen my journey, not only before I became a Christian, but then after I trusted Christ, I mean I had like a year of grace. No one said you gotta read the Bible.
I just got in the morning and I read it was like oh this is me.
God would speak to me and he started change my life and I was singing out loud.
I didn't even a wine on whistle as I was walking on the college campus in my my attitudes change. I felt like a burden was gone and I was free and I didn't know you were supposed to do a bunch of stuff. I just knew God loves me I did after perform. I did have to fake it. I didn't have to try and pretend it was someone else and and then I got connected to a group of very committed Christians with all the best intentions that it was it was like a recipe for disaster.
Their style of Christian growth in my personality was just like TMT and nitroglycerin and someone threw a match on it and what it was is that you know they started tell me you need to spend so much time in the Bible you need to pray so long for me to memorize so many verses you need to be in a Bible study.
You need to have a Bible study. You need you need you need and I mean it took me a while but that was okay and I mean I can remember probably been a Christian for two years or 2 1/2 years and I mean I read the Bible every morning I prayed so long. I made a list. I went through the list every time I learn to give 10% and 12% and 20% wasn't over but much money but I mean it was like whatever you're supposed to do.
I shared my faith and I remember is the end of my junior year.
The beginning of my senior year of college had been Christian about three years and I met a girl in the in the quadrangle. We had a campus that all these beautiful brick buildings with IV and then all grass and sidewalks went everywhere and we met in the middle and I knew her as a freshman fact I dated her for little while and we had a quick conversation and she said she asked me a question and I answered quoted diverse said something and she asked another question. I quoted diverse that something and I never forget. I mean it was a defining moment. She said she can't tell you something I said sure she was, you know, when I met you three years ago you were a really neat guy and she said I'm not a Christian.
I never claimed to be a Christian but I thought to myself if I was ever to be a Christian. I beat. I like to be one like you. There was a joy in your heart and you weren't down on people in unity seem to have this reality of a relationship with God. But I gotta tell you, you really have changed. You know, people ask a question. All you do is spout little Bible verses and you know what every time I'm around you I feel less than every time I'm around you I feel guilty every time I'm around you I feel like I don't measure up and if you are, what a committed quote disciple is whatever Christian is what I know is I would never want to be like you and in my pompous arrogance.
I member turning around and thinking well obviously because universe printings 214 says that those who don't have the spirit of God can't discern the things of the spirit of God and she doesn't so she doesn't understand that I'm just and I got down to my dorm room and God went and it was like you know what I just spoke through that young woman, you're far from my what marks a follower of Christ, they love people and they love me and there's intimacy joy in life and relationship listening to part one of being good isn't good enough, will be right back with this application for this teaching series. Jesus offers hope. It's been said that hope is the oxygen of the soul fact is we all put our faith in someone or something.
But what happens when our dreams are dashed, or someone what's a stone or life just falls apart.
Where do we turn when our situations shake us to the core in the series 2 points most of the only true source of our hope for using familiar New Testament parables chip illustrates how we can experience and safeguard God's indescribable hope in our lives.
If you're feeling hopeless.
Don't miss a part of this series. For more information about Jesus offers hope go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or LivingontheEdge.org Listeners tap special offers before we go any further, here's a quick word from ship this current series is talking about Jesus offering hope and I don't have to tell you we are living in a season where people feel very very hopeless and we been able to provide some hope. I wish you could sit with me personally over a cup of coffee and I could just, you know, take all these emails that I've printed out and that I've read over and and the little cards of people who've told me and our team.
You have been my lifeline.
My husband lost his job or my wife is critically ill. You know the stories go on and on and on and on and what we found during this time is we've created broadcast and then we done daily discipleship, swear, we've coached people through you know the last 18 months or more and were watching God. Give people hope because in their desperation there. Turning to him and when I just want to tell you that we can't do this without the help of people who faithfully pray and people faithfully give you probably can't imagine the stability in the hope it gives to us when we know, and whether it's enough $10 or $50 or $25. The issue is not the amount the issue is, would you where you're at.
Be willing to say Living on the Edge has offered me hope and is really help me. Maybe I've given now and then. Or maybe I haven't, but would you be willing to pray about and I mean that sincerely just pray Lord, do you want me to begin giving the Living on the Edge and whatever amount that is just between you and God. And if he says yes, then do that. And if he says no that don't do that. So, thanks.
Thanks for praying about that I appreciated in my request is do whatever God chose you like strip will as you prayerfully consider your role with us in this ministry. I want to remind you that when you partner with Living on the Edge. No gift is insignificant to send a gift call us at AAA 333-6003, or if you prefer, just go to LivingontheEdge.org listeners tap donate. Your generosity is greatly appreciated will now with some final thoughts.
Here's chip so let me ask you as we close today's program what went through your mind as I described the elder brother in today's message at did you see yourself there. I know I certainly did at the question is how do we keep from swinging from one extreme to the other will be answered is the third option is not conservative it's not liberal, but 1/3 option that will talk more about in our next broadcast but for today here's what I want you to do if you struggle with being an elder brother and I gotta tell you, I think there's a lot of us elder brothers in the church. I want you to take your watch and put it on your opposite hand if you don't wear watching your married take your wedding band and put it on the opposite hand same finger and then every time that you look down at your wrist.
You know, because we do that to the tell time and is just a habit I just want you to stop and what I want you to remember is that God loves you for who you are. It's not your performance. It's not being good, you can't earn it. You don't have to earn it every time all day you look at your wrist. It's empty. God loves me. You look at your finger in the ring. Isn't there God loves me.
He's for me and know what I want you to donate about the second half the day is turn it into a thank you God thank you that you love me apart from my works. God, thank you they love me just the way I am God. Thank you that you understand and love me even with my struggles God, thank you that when I'm hurting and and I feel like I don't measure up.
I feel guilty and I want to run away from you. Thank you that you want to be close to me. Even then, God wants his love to break through our efforts of trying so hard to be good and he wants the goodness to come from the inside out. Enjoy your relationship with your heavenly father.
Today he want you to come in the house and enjoy the feast before we go. Let me remind you of an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast here chip anytime on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo.just say Alexa open Living on the Edge and you'll hear that these extended teaching any time you walked well for Chip and everyone here.
This is the same. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge