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What Now? What Next? - Substance Not Success, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 5:00 am

What Now? What Next? - Substance Not Success, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 10, 2021 5:00 am

It’s been said that, “Every dark cloud, has a silver lining”…meaning there’s always something good that’s revealed in the worst of times. In this program, Chip highlights 4 ways God is using this major disruption and reveals a major discipline we need to take more seriously. Don’t miss how we can be more authentic Christians in this disrupted world.

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Someone has rightly said in every dark cloud. There's a silver lining, meaning that there's some good that comes out of the worst of times to give you for specific things God is doing in our world that is really good in the midst of some very welcome to this edition of living only a survival teacher for this discipleship program and Christians to live like Christians in the middle of our brand-new series. What know what next disciples disrupted. It started after the teaching replication about stick around. Also note Jeff originally taught the series at an outdoor venue or some echoes another ambient sound stewardship known for his message.

Substance not success. Let me give you a handful of things of how God brings about good disruptions and challenge and tribulation will notice on your notes if you have a can go ahead and pull it out because I've I've I've left you a blank so you can do little bit of work but let me give you for very specific things that God does, especially during challenging times that often they don't feel so good, but there really really wonderful. The first thing he does is he exposes idols Jeremiah 923 and 24 says, thus says the Lord, let not a wise man boast in his wisdom, let not a rich man boast of his riches, and let not a mighty man boast in his might. But let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me that I am the Lord God who exercises justice and loving kindness and righteousness, and all the earth, for I delight in these things. The second positive thing that happens in very challenging times if he tests our faith. First Peter 412 and 13. He says why are you surprised Peter is writing during a time of Nero. I mean, it is just they are being marched into Coliseum's and being burned and he would write and say why you surprised at the fiery trial that you're going through, as though something strange were happening and then he says to them, God is testing your faith he's refining your faith he's helping you discover who he is in the midst of your need like never before, so that you suffer now, but there is great great glory and reward that follows the third very positive thing that happens is he develops her character. I'd love to say and you would love to say that you know we just we dig into God's word. We prayed a fresh level were super discipline. We are really on pace, but the easier life is the lazy or most of us get in Romans five he talks about.

We have been justified. We have peace with God and so we exult and rejoice in this grace we also exult in our tribulation, knowing our tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope doesn't disappoint, because the love of God is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit this last year a lot of rough edges in all of us a new level of dependence and awareness of what matters and what doesn't matter of temporal stuff that used to overwhelm us and now an eternal perspective. A lot of his. It looked at our priorities and what are we doing with our life that have really stepped back and said my go to do what matters most in the midst of the hurt in the prayers and the struggles you've drawn near to God and he's drawn near to you. And he's made you more like Jesus and that's God's big agenda the fourth good thing that happens is in the midst of these really really challenging times, God searches for difference makers and can ask you to open your Bible to little bit obscure passage. It's easy kill 22 anybody reading in Ezekiel lately.

I didn't think so.

By the way, me neither. Ezekiel chapter 22. Once you get to Isaiah keep going right and the historical parallels are quite similar. God's people have the not been very obedient.

They've been exiled, and in God. Again, I want you to hear his mercy, his love is compassion.

He's always longing to restore. He delights to show mercy. He wants to forgive. He wants to help people no matter what we've done and what I would tell you is that in these times God searches for difference makers.

Look at verse 30 in the midst of all of this the Lord speaks I search for a man and mankind a person the woman the student. I search for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land so that I would not destroy it.

That was his hope that was his desire in the next three or four words to me are, if not the saddest among the most sad in all of Scripture look down at your actual Bible or in your phone whatever you reading what to say.

I search for a man among them to build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land but I found no one.

The result verse 31. Thus, I poured out my indignation on them. I've consumed them with the fire of my wrath notice their way. I've brought upon their heads, declares the Lord God.

The comes a point when when no one stands in the gap when there's not a Moses to say Lord no no no when there's not someone to stand up and say, you know, I know it's unpopular but this is really wrong and this is really right and right now God is looking for people in America and around the world to build up the wall of righteousness and truth in love and holiness and to literally stand in the gap God says you know, if you don't it. This is this is sort of the Old Testament version of Romans chapter 1 God has a passive wrath to eat. He's he's holy and is just as times were people say I'll do my thing I'll do my thing I'll do my thing I'll do my thing and you say okay you want to just decide that life is not very important. You want to sort of glamorize violence go head feed your minds on it. Have your games play it and don't be surprised when people randomly kill one another and shoot one another and have anarchy. You don't think the family is really important. Only 20, 23% of all the families in America have a mother and a father and children of the same biology nuclear family you believe the family okay do it your way. You don't believe what I've told you about being wise of being generous with the first portion to honor me of saving and you got $30 trillion of debt.

Okay, I've I've made it design biologically for a man and a woman to come together and you want to do your own view of gender and sexuality. The heart ache. The pain and in the midst of that there's you and there's me in the eyes of the Lord are going literally all over the world right now and is looking for a man or woman, or a student who would build up the wall and stand in the gap in the way it works. There's not some big hero coming okay.

It's us. Kiki always chooses honey you go through all of Scripture, it's just some little ordinary regular not all that intelligent person who has faith, encourage, and says Lord here my Gideon, Caroline, Esther, dear, my Moses, you and I can't speak very well mean almost everyone. God uses are not just fishermen.

I'm a corrupt tax collector on a revolutionary and all through history. It's the same God is calling us to be difference makers who stand in the gap and we do it by making our focus notice on Christ, not causes, making our response healing not hostility making our priority relationships, not real estate or programs making our attitude innovation not indignation making our passion substance and not success. Let me tell you what I mean by that. The challenge as you see in your notes is that Christianity has suffered deeply. By adopting the world's passion and perspective of success. I don't have time to go there but I put the passage it's Luke chapter 16 verses 10 to 15. Jesus is being attacked and as he's being attacked. He tells them a parable and he tells them the parable.

It's called the unrighteous steward and it's basically the story of a guy who is corrupt, so he gets fired and he thinks you know what I'm too proud to beg and I'm too weak to dig.

I know what I'm going to do the calls in all the debts and and he he changes all the invoices so that he gets favor so that when he gets fired. He's got a lot of friends that Jesus doesn't say what he did was right but he what he says his perspective was shrewd know that's what he knew was I'm going to do something right now that is going to set me up for the future.

When Jesus finishes that in verse nine he says now you in your temporal life do what's important to set yourself up so you be welcome into internal eternal dwellings, and then he talks about money and greed and success and he says if you're faithful to little thing speaking about money materialism.

You be faithful much of your unrighteous and little things you being righteous and much and it says that the Pharisees sneered at him because they love the money and he said you can't love to Masters money, fame, success in Jesus and then verse 15 it's a verse I memorized as I was struggling as I think we all do an occasion I really struggled with pleasing people in outward performance and I memorize this verse in verse 15 and Jesus said to those religious leaders seek independent people like us says that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. The thing that everybody clamors for the thing that people position for what people think how many likes how many followers dominate this company that where's my ZIP Code. What will I drive, I dressed all the rest. All those things when don't impress people out there. He says the things that we want to impress everybody out there if our priorities are first and foremost on him. He says it's detestable in the sight of God and I want to suggest that unfortunately we have focused on success.

Instead of substance the gospel has been perverted. I gave you the passage. It's not new Paul would write to Timothy says there's actually people that think the gospel is a way to get rich now. None of us have ever seen any that have we back the matter is the gospel been converted to a self-help means to financial prosperity personal success self actualization and its goal is happiness. So that is not the gospel. In like manner because of that I think shepherds have betrayed their calling. I gave you passage in Ezekiel 34 it's not new work shepherds fleece people and tell them things and the people who get rich and the people whose lives are, it's that the shepherds are the pastors that happen in Israel is happening today. And third, and foremost, there's a famine in the land because of it. God's people today don't know his word.

They don't know the historical doctrines.

They don't know his promises. They don't know his purposes, and in general with wonderful and excellent exceptions. I'm not down on everyone don't hear that but in general of 8.5 to 9 out of every 10 Christians life don't reflect Jesus.

There's there's a problem in the pulpits around America and around the world. Never have so many wrote one observer of Christianity today.

Never have so many profess to know Jesus as there is today in the world whose lives so little reflect him scandals among evangelical celebrities both during their lifetime and after so sad Catholic priests and sex scandals and coverups financial corruption here, especially in Asia as well. There's Megan everything make everything except mega holiness and mega love in the state of the church. I think it breaks Jesus heart. He died for his church, but with champion on success.

Pastors have drunk the wine of bigger, better buildings, money, fame, and so we told people the same thing, so pretty soon. It seeps into the to the mines in the hearts of believers, and so you're successful in, and ask yourself as you raise your children has been the goal that they become successful as your focus been on how well what school they get into and how well educated, or how much they know the Scriptures as amended. They make the traveling team and are they graded sports and gosh if you have to choose between that in church well will catch that later. I've had so many conversations that are not just in recent days been probably the last five or 10 years but I had one over here and Pete's just probably to three weeks ago the super super successful person in the medical field work with all the professional teams has a reputation absolutely impeccable came to the conclusion about two and half three years ago that he was on the success ladder.

And yes, he came to church. Yes, he had dropped his kids off in the youth group and member as we talked, we became friends in. I introduced him to the Bible you understand it. I mean, the percentage of Christians in America that read the Bible is superslim. The American Bible Society has done his research.

If a person is not in the Scriptures regularly lists four days a week. It makes no difference in their life when we we live in a world where people don't know the Bible. They don't know what's right. They don't know what's wrong they haven't taught their children that some of those old-school ways of people actually eating a meal together, opening the Scriptures having a deep conversation talking about news, events, and what does the Scripture saying what's a worldview and teaching your kids a theology that those things are happening. Instead, it's been you know what you know we got it to spend extra money will get you to tutor so your SAT and ACT scores, so you get in the school and the school and the school.

He's as successful as he could be. And I'll never forget.

He said something over Pete's. He said you know there's a absolute world of difference between a churchgoing Christian and a word centered Christian and and he kind. He was quite the athlete in college and so when I told him basically this is our playbook to you know we both play college sports and I said if you want you want to get to know God, you can't get all predigested food and listen to me or anybody else once or so week. You gotta renew your mind and he, I'm not sure he's missed today.

The last two or three years and the pretty soon he's reading and then now he just sees you know that, 10, 15, 18, 19 years of the success in providing money and finances for the success of his kids. Now he shocked her dissolution to find his kids don't believe what he believes their morality has abandoned Christian morality and I got news. His story is one that I've heard over and over and over and over. You have to stand in the gap.

Notice the repetition of this is happened the famine in our land is not a famine of food, although that is a significant one in many parts of the world. Hosea chapter 4 verses six and seven. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. The context is the lack of knowledge of who is God sent you the rejected knowledge. He says I will also reject you from being my priest. Since you have forgotten what the law of God.

I will also forget your children, the more they multiplied, the more they sinned against me. I will change their glory into shame.

And isn't it interesting to see what's happened now just before and I'm I do believe that the good news can't be fully embraced or understood until you get the bad news, as some of you are thinking but you better get to the but good news.

Pretty soon because she know if I can walk out. I would right now but I'm I'm just telling you if you don't face reality, we can put our head in the sand we can get behind her gated communities. We are among the wealthiest in all the world, we can figure out a way that you know that maybe things work out a little bit better for us than most people. If you're gonna make a difference. Don't you think the spirit of God would be coming and tapping people on the shoulder have unprecedented wisdom and opportunity and influence and affluence not to make us more comfortable.

But to make us difference makers who stand in the gap who build up the wall to say not on my watch or say you know what Lord I'm sorry. I'm one of them.

It happened so suddenly we were like the proverbial frogs and you know the path that you heat up gradually. It happened so subtly, here's what I want to tell you there's a revolution that's always available, but the revolution always begins every great movement of God always involves a return a discovery and a passion for God's word when there's a man when there's a woman when there's a student when it's in a Bible study went to the church is the church.

I mean a passion for God's word. I don't mean II should a chapter a day keeps the devil away. I mean a passion that says this is truth man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is powerful, and sharper than a two edged sword, piercing the division of soul and spirit in joint mayor able to judge the thoughts and intentions of our heart. It's a kind of passion that Solomon would talk about in Proverbs 2 is if you search for it. Wisdom and knowledge is for silver and light for hidden treasure. Then you discover the knowledge of God, then you'll know what he's like and when you nobody's like and you encounter him, he changes you. And there's a change reaction Christianity fundamentally is not about our morality. It's about being in the presence of God. The entire narrative from the garden into the city in Revelation is the presence of God curious his presence because of sin were removed from his presence was to bring his presence so there's a tabernacle and what he gives his word and then there's a temple so there's a place where God can come down on earth in his presence, and finally his presence manifested inside of fully God and fully man bridging the gap between heaven and earth and in the end what's the story, his presence comes down a new heaven and a new earth. The most important thing that can ever happen in our life is not some little legalism that you know I read three chapters are.

I had my devotions I read daily bread or Jesus calling, it's knowing him. It's not it's not the word for the word. The apostle Paul saying more than that. Speaking about all his accolades and all his wealth in all his wisdom said no more than that I count everything is loss compared to the surpassing value of personally, experientially knowing Christ, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and I count them dung or rubbish. They might gain Christ and be found in him.

That's the man that's the woman that's the student who will make a difference and it doesn't have to be big, it's just you in your world me in my world, but it starts by coming back to his word. I mean sometimes. I mean, I don't know how I got to talk to my dad shortly before he died and it was a not good illness but he had one of those you've heard about a lot like he got he got like super awake and super and we had probably our best talk and people say the most significant things when they know the gonna die. Jesus had a conversation with his father before he was going to die and he knew what was coming in is in John 17 and he prayed for us. They prayed that we would love one another would be one with one another and we put away petty stuff, Republican and Democrat mass. No mass meet, not meet inside outside stop at Jesus. Jesus we want to be one with you the way you are with the father that you might be in us, and we might be in you and us one to another, to show the world what it looks like and then then how would you pray he said father set them apart make them holy by your truth. Your anybody. Your word is truth. I've been pastoring a long time and dinner. There's different traditions so some traditions when you get done speaking you kind of go with the back of the room and people walk by and you shake their hand in one of my professors called it the glorification of the worm, and since he said that I decided that wouldn't be how I would do it and so I just got in the practice of when I got done I would just sort of hang and and just say hey you know you have a team of people to do counseling and if you want to talk for 1020 3040 minutes on enough clothes church a lot of times in my day and people come down and I mean it's right's life. My wife left me. My husband left me about addiction.

I got a eating disorder. I got a porn issue on shopping too much. Got money too much, you can't believe what I did on this business trip and it goes on and on and on. My kids's life. I've heard it all and NSF talk with people and pray with them and and things that have done been done to them.

And I mean life is so messy and it's so hard and our job is to love people and to also bring in the truth so there's deliverance and change and hope in one of the things I I try and listen because I'm not really very good counsel. I'm a great one time counselor. I'm pretty good at listening and then evaluating and giving you a sense of I think this is where your at Mrs. Ray need to go.

But if you need someone to cry with you and go on the journey for the next six run much better call my wife.

She is loving and kind and merciful and I'm a lot more okay. The scope but I always ask people question is this year especially when it's things that are been convoluted over time. I said could you just let me let me ask a question what's your relationship with God's word and I get the look that I'm getting from some of you like to know what's what's your relationship with God's word, not God.

Not of an Italian really really really big problems really really low or no relationship with God's word, the higher the relationship with God's word in most cases the smaller will join us here in studio with this application just listening to the first part of his message. Substance not success from a series what no what next.

If you were to conduct a general survey asking participants to describe what a Christian is, you'd probably be disappointed or frankly embarrassed by the results judge mental close minded, pretentious, just a few of the adjectives you likely hear so where are believers going wrong and how can we actually become authentic images of Christ throughout this new teaching series trip answers those tough questions by describing six radical attitudes.

Jesus calls us to follow. These truths will not only renew your mind, but utterly transform the way you engage with people.

If you miss any part of this new series.

What know what next catch up anytime on the chipping remap woodchip as you been teaching this series and I can't help but think that there are people out there who feel maybe a bit helpless, don't lead major companies or pastor large churches and many are thinking I'm not in a prominent position to make a major change so what can they do. One day that's really true, but I will tell you there was a lady name Anna about this time of year, who went into the temple and fasted and prayed and it seemed that God valued her so greatly that she actually got to be one of the first people to see the baby Jesus. For reasons I don't understand. There's something about God finding people that are dependent whose focus is on trusting him evidenced by prayer, intercessory prayer prayers from the heart pleading with God.

Writing down specific prayers in addressing specific issues and not just saying, Lord, make things better. And right now as people are challenged with that I want to challenge fellow believers. Let's really pray one of the resources that is help me is our prayer journal and I don't mean that you have to write down three or four, five pages. I personally just take the biggest heaviest burdens or concerns and I put a little box in the corner and then I turn it into a request Lord I'm so concerned about, but now I'm asking you, will you please and I'm really specific. And then I write that down and when I get discouraged and we all get discouraged from time to time I open my prayer journal and I see a lot of checkmarks with dates. Now some of them. There's no checkmark. God hasn't answered yet but I will tell you the practice of writing. My prayers, in reviewing them has made it more clear and I've seen God's hand, and I would invite our listeners to let's make a difference in God's is the effective prayer of a righteous man or a righteous woman accomplishes much. Let's do it. Thanks trip.

We have a great resource designed to help you spend more intentional time with God. It's a beautiful Compaqs notebook. This tool is full of meaningful versus popular quotes in song lyrics, with plenty of space for journaling.

These notebooks also make perfect gifts, especially with Christmas just around the corner for more great Christmas gift ideas go to or call us a 8883336003 express shipping is available, so don't wait again that's AAA 333-6003, or app listeners tap special offers will trip you shared before that when you're counseling someone you ask them a very important question. Tell me about the relationship with God's word what you ask that what is revealed to you. I've been doing this for a very very long time and as I shared in the teaching time if you're not in God's word. Your minds not being renewed and if your mind isn't being renewed. Then you lived your life in the opposite way that God wants us to do so when people are not in God's word, which according to the American Bible Society. Very few Christians are in God's word regularly and I've done some research to say that unless a follower of Jesus is in the word of God, you know, 15, 20 minutes at least four days a week. There's rarely if any life change that happens in their life. What I've learned over the years is a lot of people don't know how to get into the Bible for themselves in a way they can understand and really experience. I mean hear God's voice. So here's what I want you to know I will help you. I will meet with you personally and help you learn how to study the Bible is called daily discipleship and David the end of the program here will give you very explicit instructions how you can meet with me to begin to understand God's word and it's absolutely free. Here's my heart will all be deceived.

We will all find ourselves chasing success rather than experiencing the substance and the truth of God's word. If we don't know how to get into the Bible for ourselves and hear Jesus voice saying to us. I love you and for you. This is the way walk in it. That's what we want for you Dave, could you give him some help as your kinship. Let me tell you how to sign up for our new daily discipleship with chip true spirituality used in Romans chapter 12 for 17 days you and ship will walk through what a genuine relationship with Jesus looks like and how you can put these truths into practice when you register for this study will send you our friend Lance with devotional based on Romans 12 called leave ordinary behind at no cost.

Sign up now by going to or by calling AAA 83336003 app listeners just Discipleship. Until next time. This is the same. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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