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What Child is This? - What does He Want?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2021 5:00 am

What Child is This? - What does He Want?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 22, 2021 5:00 am

Most of us think a lot about what we want from God. Have you ever wondered what God wants from you? Join Chip as he reveals what God really wants from us - and in turn, what He wants for us.

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Did you ever wonder what God really wants from you? I know I did, and my perception of what I thought God wanted from me wasn't even close to reality.

In fact, it actually kept me away from Him for years. Today we'll discover what God really wants from you and me, and in turn, what He wants to give us as well. Don't miss it.

That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher on this international discipleship program, and I'm Dave Druey.

And we're currently in a series called What Child Is This? In this program, Chip asks a question most of us have asked at some point. What does God want? Sometimes we ask it in frustration, and sometimes we ask it in humility. Either way, the answer may surprise you. As always, Chip will be with us after the teaching to talk more about his message, so be sure to stay with us for that.

If you have your Bible handy, open it now to Colossians chapter 1, and let's join Chip for What Does He Want? Do you know what the most commonly asked question is in December of every year? It's not a trick question. It goes like this. What do you want for Christmas?

I mean, think of the millions of times that's happened just all over the world. When I was very, very little, my grandparents, you know, they would come by, and we'd go visit. And so, Chip, what do you want for Christmas? And it was a ridiculous question because you're going to get socks and underwear every year.

And I just remember getting the soft package and going, oh, brother, you know. But that's what grandparents ask of little kids. And if you've ever seen, you know, one of the Christmas movies, right, there's the Santa. Or if you go to the mall, sometimes they have a big area, and the little kids get on Santa's lap. And what does Santa ask every little boy and little girl? So, what do you want for Christmas, right?

Or for some of us, it's a little more serious. It's sort of like, you know, that person that you love very, very, very much, and sometimes it's a friend, a mate, one of your kids, and you're thinking, what do I get? I mean, what would really express what's on my heart? I want it to be special. And you think about it, and what do they want for Christmas? That's the question. And then for some, and I don't want to pick on us men, but this question keeps us wandering the malls on the 23rd, on the 24th. I'm supposed to be back. I can't even get this thing wrapped.

It's like 730 at night, and you just wander because you don't know the answer. What should I get him? What should I get her? What about, right? Here's a question for you. If we could ask Jesus, I mean, the reason for the season, the baby in the manger, the God that visited the planet, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation, the one who created all that there is, what if we would ask Him, what do you want for Christmas? I mean, what do you really want? We've learned already, you know, why He came and who He is, but what do you want? But here's the thing. How about what do you, Jesus, the little baby want, although that's true, but what about the Jesus who lived the perfect life, died upon a cross, paid for the sins of the world, was resurrected, walked on the planet for 40 days in a resurrection body, 500 witnesses, ascended in broad daylight, sits at the right hand of the Father, and now rules all things and is coming back, and if we could ask Him, so what do you want this Christmas personally?

And that's what we're going to talk about. The answer is in the book of Colossians. You know, this isn't the Mary or the Joseph story. This isn't the Herod angels.

This isn't a way in a manger. This isn't, you know, the Luke chapter 2 and the wise men. All of that is the story and it's wonderful, but I wanted to stop this year and say if we could just pull back a curtain and from heaven, looking down from God's perspective, what's this Christmas story all about? And we find it tucked in a little book that was written to a group of new Christians. They were a group that were new in the faith. The apostle Paul had never met them personally, but Epaphroditus was one of the kind of servants and ministers and he had gone there and he's writing him a letter to actually straighten out some things.

Some false teachers came in and in the letter he ends up answering this question. We pick it up at about verse 19 or 20. It says, for God was pleased for all the fullness of deity to dwell in Christ and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things in heaven or things on earth, making peace through His blood shed on the cross. It says once, speaking of these new Christians, you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior, but now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through His death to present you holy in His sight without blemish and free from accusation.

If you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel, and this is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven of which I, Paul, have become a servant. And so here's what I want you to know. If you could ask Jesus this very day, what do you want? I can tell you four things He wants for you and a little bit later there's four things He wants from you, but the first thing He wants for you is this. He wants you to receive His pardon. He wants you to receive a gift.

You know, most people, you give a gift, He wants you to receive one. Notice the text says once you were alienated from God, the word means estranged. And then He says that it's because in your mind you were God's enemy. In other words, God is over here and you're over here and you're enemies. And He says you're enemies because of your evil behavior. But He says that the great news is you've been, the tense of the verb, you've been reconciled, it's happened. And it happened by what Christ did on the cross, paying for your sin in mind for the whole world. Now, this word alienated, estranged, if you've ever had like a falling out with a friend or if you've ever been separated from your mate or your supervisor and your boss, you really got into it.

I mean it was really bad. To be estranged or if you've been through a divorce, I mean that's estranged. And all the emotions go through it. That was the position that you and I and everyone have been in apart from God. And the gift is we're reconciled. The word reconciled, you know what it really means? It's when two people that are enemies become friends. Here's the truth, jot this down.

Here's what He wants. Jesus made it possible to be friends with God. Now think of that. Jesus made it possible for you to be friends with God.

Now, you know, sometimes we just throw this stuff around. Think about what a real friend is like. I mean not just this distant God who created things or a religious ceremony, but I'm a friend. At least in my life, a friend is someone you can depend on. A friend is someone that, this is what I like, they love and care about you for you, not what you do or what you can do or who you know or what you've accomplished. The people that I really call friends in my life is I can share anything with them and I don't get judgment. I also don't get a pass. But I mean I can say this is what I'm struggling with and this and this and this and I got this attitude.

I know it's not quite right, but I'm really ticked off. And they listen. And then they give wise counsel. I mean a friend is someone that, at least the ones I have that are really close, everything they have, when I've been in a jam, I've called people at 1 in the morning to pick me up. I got in an auto accident and called a guy at 1.30 in the morning. Would you come? And it never entered my mind that he wouldn't jump out of bed and come and he did. See a friend is someone who's there for you, who loves you just for you. Have you really thought about Jesus wants to be your friend and he's made a way to close the gap so that you could be God's friend. And this Christmas he doesn't want you to know about him or have a religious belief or try harder to be a bit more moral.

He wants to be your friend. But the response is two things have to happen. We need to repent and to believe in order to become his friend. The word repent just means you need to have a change of mind. When an enemy is I'm going this way with my life, I'm going to do my thing, God don't you tell me what to do and I don't want your direction.

You may have made me and all that stuff but I'm doing this. Repent means you turn around and say, you know, if you really made me and you love me and you died for me, okay, I want to go this direction with my life. So there's a change of mind that leads to a change of behavior. But then the real power is you just need to receive a gift.

It's a gift. In John chapter 1, it's the story of the life of Jesus and it's all around this idea of so why did Jesus actually come? And in John chapter 1 it says he came into his own, his own people and those who were his own didn't receive him. In other words, they rejected him. He came and said I want to be your friend, I want to forgive you, I want to love you.

And the great majority of people said we don't want you. But then verse 12 says this, yet those who believed in him, who believed on his name, he gave the right or the power to become children of God. Those who received him, those who said you know what, I want the pardon, I want the gift. I heard a story a number of years ago and I was told it was a true story but I mean this was like really an old, old story but it was just stuck in my mind. It was a story of a guy that was on death row and it was in the Midwest, I don't know, like Indiana, Minnesota, somewhere in there. And the guy was on death row, was really hardened and bitter but his family was just, I mean just torn up by it.

They had appeal after appeal after appeal and finally like the governor was going out of office or something and they just asked would you please, please, please. So the governor decides he's going to pardon this guy and so he actually does. He pardons him of his sentence and I can't remember whether he was really old or what the situation was but he pardoned him and the guy was so hard hearted he said you know what, I don't want your blank pardon. And the governor, true story, said let it be known in this state on this day that so and so will be executed but he will not be executed because of his guilt. He will be executed because he refused the pardon.

His guilt was forgiven but he refused the pardon. Now I don't know about you but that seems rather dumb. Could we agree on that one? I mean if that was your dad or your brother or your friend, I mean just like are you kidding me? And yet that's what people do to God all the time.

All the time. And by the way it's not an intellectual issue. Notice he says that we were enemies in our minds, notice a little phrase, because of our evil behavior. See the fact is that we're all narcissists to a high degree and we want to please me and my world and I want to be king. I want to be my own God and I want to do certain things and certain behaviors and because of that I say I don't want you. And God here's the thing, are you ready for this? He doesn't want you to fit into some little religious mold. He longs to forgive you and give you a pardon, invite you into a relationship and be your friend and be better than any friend you've ever ever had who would be available, who would accept you as you are, that would help you grow, that would deal with issues of your past, who would always be willing to listen and give you the strength and the resources, whatever you need to become who you long to become and better who he wants you to become. The second thing Jesus wants this Christmas is he wants to make you holy and whole. Okay, he doesn't just want to give you a gift and take you from this kingdom of darkness and put his spirit inside of you and say okay you're my child.

He wants that to begin a process of transformation. The text says in order to present you holy in the father's sight without blemish free from accusation. This is a picture where Jesus says my blood paid for you and has covered it and when you come to faith and turn to me then I want on a certain day at a certain time before the final judgment to present you to the father holy. It means pure, set apart.

The word unblemished here is a picture like an Old Testament offering where you'd bring a cow or a goat but it had to be unblemished, no defect and without accusation in other words no one can bring up charges and say oh this person should never have a relationship because he did this and she did that and what about here and what about the past here. He says absolutely. He says I want you to be holy.

I want you to be presentable but the word even holy in our language it comes from the idea of wholeness. This isn't just some spiritual transaction. He wants you to be restored. He wants to address the dysfunction. He wants to give you peace. He wants to repair to happen in your heart and your soul. He wants to make you whole. He doesn't just save us out of something.

He saves us into life and light and relationship. Now notice there's a little condition that says if you continue in your faith established and firm not moved from the hope and the hope is the return of Christ all the promises of God held out in the gospel and he says this gospel is what you heard and so the truth is that Jesus has freed us from the penalty and the power of sin. Now think of this there is a penalty the wages of sin there's consequences to our actions the wages of sin there's a penalty it's death. He has freed us from death but sin has power. I mean if you would make up a whole new set of rules I don't care what they are 30 days you can't keep your own rules. In fact once you start making rules breaking them just there's something in us it's like it'd be kind of cool to find out what it'd be like if I broke my you can make your own rules but God's made some and they're real clear and they reveal his character they call the Ten Commandments and they were never designed in any way to save or forgive anyone they were just to give you a bar of clarity to know this is what God is like this is really what's best for you these are the boundaries that make life and relationships work and then everyone who tries realizes I fall short and he says I knew that that's why I sent my son. So you have to be pure and maybe you're like me you grew up a little bit I didn't grow up reading the Bible or church or anything and I sort of grew up with I think it's an American concept but it's pretty ancient from what I've read I kind of had this idea that there's a big chalkboard or whiteboard in the sky or in our day we'd say there's a computer screen and you know there's sort of all your good deeds and good thoughts would go on one side and all your bad deeds go on the other side and I thought like you know at the end of your life you know more good deeds and bad deeds right you know and I always have graded myself pretty liberally so I figured I was doing great everyone grades on the curve except God and but if you read the Bible the scripture is very very clear and Jesus was very clear one little mark on the ledger of bad deeds or thoughts or a lustful thought or a single lie or hypocrisy eliminates you from relationship with God because he's holy and perfect and pure so to have a relationship with God your score has to be a hundred not ninety nine point nine well that makes it really hard to get in but that's his character and maybe you know Billy Graham and the Mother Teresa's and a handful of people around the world or ninety twos and ninety fours and axe murders or minus fives I'm just telling you most of you you're you're in the seventies and eighties all right but you know something if you have to get a hundred it doesn't matter whether you're a minus five or ninety four you still fail and the the point of scripture and the point of Jesus is he atoned for and he paid for your sin he reconciled you once and for all so that you could be his friend so there could be a relationship and this little clause if it really has the idea of sense it's what's called a first class condition in Greek it's since you won't be moved the infrastructure and the foundation that you have can't be changed and you can't it's the second word affirm as a picture of someone who's seated and something that can't go from one location to another he says if indeed you've actually trusted the gospel of Christ which you heard that God being fully man and fully God lived a perfect life upon the earth died upon a cross to pay for as your substitute your sin and rose from the dead and you place your faith in that and that alone to have new relationship he says you won't be moved but what he also says is that when that happens there's a progress that occurs God wants to make you holy for that last day but but the Bible talks about two things talks about kind of positional righteousness or sanctification and practical righteousness or holiness and sanctification and so the moment a person recognizes your need and I did it when I was 18 after going to church for years and rejecting it all and I heard the gospel and realized it was a gift not performance I asked Christ to come into my life and forgive me and I trusted in him alone I was transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light his spirit literally came inside my physical body my sins were forgiven and God as a judge legally goes step one you're justified it means literally God from that moment on or any person's trusted Christ it's just as if you've never sinned all your sins are taken away legally but that's just half of it then the very righteousness of Christ is imputed to my account it's like if it was numbers it's like all your debts go and then all God's resources go and it's called justification and so God sees us legally or positionally in that way but then that begins the process where his spirit wants to practically work out what's already true of us let me give you a picture of this we have some friends and they they have three kids and there was a student that came from another country and she was on like a 30-day visit to America and not not a little baby but you know like a preteen I think and she stayed with him for about 30 days and after 30 days they just fell in love with this girl and they went for the last year through this process and there's some good parallels here they loved her they chose her they adopted her but she went back and lived in this other country while this was happening and though she lived in this other country at a certain day at a certain time the adoption went through and though she's in that country and they were in this country except for like three weeks ago that girl is their daughter do you get it it's positional it's true she couldn't be more their daughter but her experience of life in their family didn't occur until they all got on that plane and the whole family went there for about three or four weeks and now the whole family came back and she's now living and you know what she's learning she's learning how this family walks and talks and eats and loves and see that's God's plan for you he wants you to receive a pardon but he wants to make you whole and he wants to make you holy your response is we must actively persevere in our faith I mean grace doesn't mean God has done something wonderful and free but there's no effort on our part that little girl has a journey on her hands to figure out how this family works and she's loved she's been adopted she's in a family she matters but I got news for you I think it won't be all that easy right she's gonna have to learn a lot of new things and one day little by little by little she'll reflect her mom and her dad and the values of her family because she lives with them and that's what happens with us you come into relationship and the spirit of the living God lives inside of you and he speaks to you through his word and through his people and you know what month by month year by year time by time as you make every effort to walk with him and follow him remember Jesus didn't say I came I want you to know there's forgiveness get your free tickets I'll see you later what did he say to all the disciples the kingdom of God is near now leave your nets follow me follow me follow me see I have a concern I have a concern that in our great desire to make sure that people understand that the free gift of God and grace and forgiveness is totally what God has done is I think we have a lot of people that don't have saving faith I think what they have intellectual assent in other words they intellectually believe if you said you believe in Jesus yeah believe he died yeah believe he rose from death yeah do you love God's word you read it no are you on a path to become more holy no not really are you living your life your own way yeah but I mean I believe that stuff so I think you know when I die I'll go to heaven because somewhere it says that well here let me another picture let's say I have cancer and I need surgery and it's a pretty tricky surgery and I go up to San Francisco because he's the number one in the world and they say you know it's pretty tricky but this guy's really good he's like you know 85 out of 87 on this particular one only guy in the country that does it and I say you know what I believe he can do that 85 out of 87 thank you very much I believe the facts are there he's a great surgeon he's done it I believe intellectually now the difference okay and he says you need that surgery 6 a.m. tomorrow morning we're gonna put you under and he's that guy that you believe in is gonna take a knife and he's gonna cut you open he's gonna take that cancer out and you're very hopeful that it's 86 out of 88 do you see the difference intellectual assent is I agree with it intellectually saving faith is my mind my emotions and my will I entrust myself that's where you get born again that's where the life new life takes root and you become not only holy but whole the third thing he wants to give you is Jesus wants you to be 100% certain of heaven with him now think of that he wants you to be a hundred percent certain talk about the peace that would bring he wants you to know that on your down days your up days your in between days a hundred percent certain that you would be in heaven with him notice verse 24 he picks up the text he says the Apostle Paul speaking of his relationship he says now I rejoice in what was suffered for you speaking of this new church and all the individuals I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking with regard to Christ's affliction for the sake of his body which is the church I've become its servant to present to you the word of God and all of its fullness it's the mystery that's been kept hidden for ages and generations but is now disclosed to the saints and that just is a word for believers to them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles basically non-Jews all of us or mostly all of us the glorious riches of this mystery which is in Christ which is Christ in you the hope of glory and so what you see is Paul saying he rejoices that he actually got to suffer he's in prison writing this at the time for this church because there's been a secret that wasn't known before that's all the word mystery means it means it was hidden in the past so all through the Old Testament the prophets and the nation of Israel and God's plan it was hidden but the secret is if you would like open a box it'd be clear as a bell it's not mysterious it was just a secret and you would open up and say here's the secret God is going to come and the new covenant is going to have not just his plan for the Jewish people and the world but Jews and Gentiles are going to come together in this one new thing called the church and all those things you've heard about God wants to be with his people and Emmanuel, Emmanuel God with us well here's the secret he doesn't want to just be with us he was with Israel he was with them in the tabernacle he came in a Shekinah glory he was with them when the temple was built here's the secret he wants to be in you he wants to be in you he wants to have a relationships that's deeper and more intimate than any person has ever known at any time in all history he wants to dwell inside of you Christ in you this is the hope of glory and hope is the hope of glory is God's final glory of heaven and he says I want you to taste part of heaven every single day and what makes heaven wonderful is the person of Christ yes there's a new heaven there's a new earth there's all kind of wonderful things but at the core of all of that is Jesus himself and he says here's the amazing thing I want you to be certain because you would experience day by day moment by moment not some distant relationship with some God who has a set of rules and you're supposed to do this and supposed to do that but your friend who's forgiven you who makes you whole and he actually lives inside of you Chip's going to be back with his application but just a quick reminder this message is from Chip's series What Child Is This for most of us the Christmas story is pretty familiar so there's a chance we've forgotten the mystery and awe of Jesus leaving heaven and coming to earth in this three-part series you'll become more aware of the significance of Christmas as Chip asks three simple questions why did he come who is he and what does he want the answers may actually lead you to make a few changes in the way you celebrate this year to listen again or share any of these messages with a friend the Chip Ingram app is the way to go everything's there including Chip's message notes for more information about Chip's series What Child Is This give us a call at 888-333-6003 that's 888-333-6003 or visit us online at livingontheedge.org Chip before you get to your application we've been talking a lot about our year and match but let me just ask you straight up because people want to know what are you going to use this December match money for I mean we say it's a huge part of the ministry's income for the year what does it actually go for Dave I think that's a great question number one what you're listening to right now is either a podcast an app or a radio broadcast and that's going to go out to well over a million people this week we are teaching the multitudes we are equipping small groups and then we have very specialized ministries where we're helping business leaders and key leaders disciple and make an impact in their sphere of influence and so living on edge is a media and discipleship ministry that is committed to helping Christians live like Christians in fact we're training people to transform their world not the world their world and so that's what we're spending the money on to create those resources to do the training to put it on satellites to put it on video to put it on podcast to write books to do whatever we need to do to get God's word in the hands and then into the hearts of God's people who in turn will live out their faith at home at church their neighborhood and their community so that people love God with all their heart and take the word of God to all the world if that excites you then this is the time to give to Living on the Edge great answer that really covers the scope of everything Living on the Edge does year after year we just keep building on the previous year's progress so first I want to say thanks to our ministry partners who've helped us get where we are today we couldn't do what we do without the prayers and financial commitments of listeners like you and if you'd like to join the team and get in on what's happening just go to Living on the Edge org tap donate on the app or give us a call at triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 that's triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 and thanks in advance for your generosity as I close today's program I'd like to take you back to the story of a little girl that got adopted and she was as much in that family the moment she was adopted but she didn't experience it I mean she didn't feel it she didn't take advantage of what was already true of her and I know many people who claim to know Christ and yet their lives are still in bondage I mean they're like the little girl who has all of this grace and all this love and all this acceptance but they don't know how to realize it they don't know how to appropriate it Jesus wants you to know today that if you've been forgiven you've also been set free and he wants you to live that way he wants you to experience his love he wants to get rid of the guilt in your life and and here's what you need to understand there's about three things that you need to do in order to appropriate or to experience in life what's already true of you as a genuine follower of Christ the first is get before God you have to get in his word you have to talk with him and share your heart and just use normal language but but before God come before God daily and and then throughout the day pray little prayers even as you drive or even when you walk just practice the presence of God the second thing you need to do is get in community don't do life alone you'll never experience God's power unless you have a band of brothers or a band of sisters or a few other couples and you say let's walk with God together let's share our struggles and our hurts let's grow together and third get on mission discover what God made you to do the reality of God's power happens as you reach out and love other people before God be in community I on mission oh we call it around here bio the life that Christ wants for you each and every day as we wrap up this program I want to thank those of you who regularly pray for us here at Living on the Edge we've never seen a greater need for God's truth to go out and by God's grace Living on the Edge has been able to provide encouragement teaching and personal discipleship resources to more people than ever before we just want to say thank you for praying and if you are keep it up your prayers are making a difference for chip and the team this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-06 14:06:20 / 2023-07-06 14:19:03 / 13

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