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Balancing Life's Demands - How To Put First Things First, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 3, 2022 5:00 am

Balancing Life's Demands - How To Put First Things First, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 3, 2022 5:00 am

There are three words that can liberate you from the tyranny of the urgent. Three words that can help you regain control of your life. Three words that will reduce your stress and increase your joy. Join Chip to find out what those three words are.

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There are three words that have the power to release you from the grip of the bird.

There's three words that contain the key to you experiencing more and more of what God wants for you these three words could liberate.

They can help you keep your commitments to God.

Would you like to know what these three words are will stay with me yesterday.

Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Living on the Edge as an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christian vapor in the middle of Chip serious balancing life's demand in this program will continue learning what it means to prioritize what matters most is a great reminder for all of us, especially as we head into this. This is part two of Chip how to put first things first.

So if you missed part one, you can catch up any time through the Chip Ingram. If you have a Bible turnout of Mark chapter 6, let's hear the rest of Chip stock delay gratification if that's the key. How do you develop in your life, and the method of developing biblical discipline can be summed up in three words discipline is to work, delay gratification, how you get at the process of developing, you said yourself what's the training where is the magazine that says if I run or jog a little bit and then the next week. I actually try and jog a mile and after that I go in, where, how does that happen. You can see it right out of scripture. The three keywords are advance decision-making.

The key to delay gratification if you are at the window in the moment where you know you need to delay gratification and you haven't predecided what you do in that moment, about 95% of the time you will do what you don't want to do.

Let me give you biblical example and if you have your pen or pencil pull it out because of what you do circle do a little Bible study. You see something very interesting about what the apostle Paul does not remember this is a godly godly man 13 books in the New Testament.

He writes talk I want to give a little cottage this coming. This is a guy who God is greatly greatly used but listen to some of his fears in his life. He's writing to the Corinthians in first Corinthians 9 says, do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize run in such a way that's a manner of living that you may win circle the word went and everyone who competes in the games is giving reference to the Olympic Games at the time exercises put a box around self-control. That's our word in what all things application to the Olympic Games and the people of his day.

They do it to receive a perishable wreath in the Olympic Games.

They actually have Olympic village you had to talk about training you had to sign up in advance. You had to be approved and you live in Olympic village and they moderated your food and your schedule for a full year and you are in what was called training. So that was the commitment long before the games they do it so at the very end in front of thousands of people they would take a brief stick on your head to declare you as the champion to get the praise of people.

They do it they going to training their self-control. They rearrange their kinder eating their habits, their focus their family to get a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable knees he's picturing the judgment seat of Christ and the reward for the sons and daughters of the King. So here's his personal application. Therefore I run notice in such a way, what's that is repeated again. It's a manner of life. How do I do life how I put my schedule together. What are my priorities. I run in such a way notice as not without aim by box in such a way as not beating the air, but I buffet my body in the for the phrases interesting and in original text literally if it's a battering to black and blue.

He's making no hyperbole here, and I make it my slave, my body is not to tell me I gotta go to the free trade my body second coming is on how to get turned on the TV.

My body and my emotions are knocking to tell me how to live my life. I'm going to be in control by the spirit of God to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done so that I can have the reef from the King of Kings that says, well done, thou good and for faithful servant. I can have the kind of marriage that God wants for me I can have the kind of kids who say I wish I had a dad or mom like that I can have employees who say now there is someone who runs a company God's way. Get use on the say after I have preached to others, I buffet my body and make it my slave is talk about the self-control lease possibly after I preach to others, I myself should be disqualified.

Not speaking of salvation whatsoever disqualified as Noah. Not again making a difference. Many of all of us was of Paul, are you kidding me right by now you probably at 567 New Testament books written. You're one of our heroes are the greatest missionary entrepreneur of all time and he realizes it never ends. The pool of the flesh, the drawl of the spirit, the pool of the world. The drawl of the spirit.

When you make a couple observations and then I want to get this very practical notice. He has a clear cut goal. Verse 24 to win notice verse 25. There is a focus on the prize. He lives consciously with a sense of reward. There's something I want to get this something I want to become. Notice verse 25, 26, there is a motive that his motives are the eternal versus the temporal right and imperishable versus a perishable, then finally notice that the personal application. He basically says I have clear-cut goals. I don't beat the air. I don't run a Muslim on jog here. I know exactly where I'm gone. Second, he focuses on the reward so that I'll get that in third. He ponders the consequences of what if I don't do this. What if I don't do what needs to be done when it needs to be done as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and I am disqualified for service and from that passage alone.

If you honestly in your heart of hearts want to learn to put first things first. Everything from your money to your time to your relationships to ministry and to work.

I will tell you the apostle Paul is outlined for us exactly how to do it advance decision-making. We said is the key notice. It begins with clear cut objectives. Advance decision-making is rooted in clear cut objectives hello to give you a couple examples of the advance decision-making and by the way, again. Sometimes when you hear people talk, we unconsciously think will what he said that maybe I should do that. Maybe you shouldn't give you personal advance decisions I've made, that the spirit is God has led me to make so I can become God wants me to be. If some of them might be helpful. Great but don't. That's how people get all messed up, will you chip. He's doing that this way will good you know why because he's chip your Mary B Mary B Bob you need to discern what God wants you to do.

But here's a few advance decisions I've made what so that I can get the imperishable. I made have an advanced decision. I'll be with God before I'll be with people. My advanced decision with my time.

Hey, can we get together tomorrow is a big business deal. We want to meet so-and-so and so-and-so netted up okay advanced decision to meet with God before me with people without really backed things up, but I just I just found when I start getting people I get pulled I just I need to meet with God. I made an advanced decision so I don't get up in the morning the alarm goes off and I wonder what I should do today. I wonder if I should read my Bible and pray. I wonder what I should do. I wonder where I should plan as an advanced decision second advanced decision.

I will give the first portion of every check to got advanced decision.

I don't care what we got in the bank don't have the bank may not thoughtful quarters on the backseat. I've been a really really poor guy at times in our life with three kids and four kids and no matter what we just decide we predecided by faith either. I trust God.

I believe in God or I don't. He needs to have my heart doesn't have my heart. Lessee has my money and we been on this journey of giving the first portion and progressively getting more and more and more because we want to because we actually believe there's an eternity. We actually believe there's a reward and we actually believe you can send it on ahead. Because Jesus said so advanced decision number three I will not buy anything. We can't pay for 30 days and I will say yes the exception of house or some of you would say you know what chip that's good for you but you need to consider this this great consider all the other stuff I'm just saying. As a general rule we can pay for it.

I don't I don't I don't I know I've never paid interest on any credit card ever after I saved up the first time in pride mascot. I've had cars for eight, 10, 12 years, but it's been 20 some years since ever put Carl you start trusting God and asking for those things.

This whole deal. They want you to carve you know every three years in a menu just lost about 15% of it when it goes off the Lawton that whole leasing deal. The most profitable part of Ford Motor Company has nothing to do with selling anything. It's a finance department because I got an American thinking for life. I get a house payment for life. I have a car payment for life. Not good. I go to rooms to go and I don't have to pay for any of the rooms until 2094 and you know no interest now. I mean you everything on TV says tell you the price of things anymore just how much a month, but only for me, that's just the decision I predecided I will not view nudity of any kind for me, not you. For me, I decided there certain writings.

I don't care.

I will see predecided. I I've missed probably two or three really great movies that had a writing that's beyond my personal conviction. I confess I have missed a couple great movies and I think I've dodged about a thousand. Because I'm just on real visual and on sensitive and so I just might want as I will not be with another woman alone other than my wife of seeing all these ministry guys who love God. They start counseling people, lousy counselor anyway so that's pretty easy one for me but my meanness even down to years emergency. The cars here, you know, my assistant know what I made precision. I mean, it's only 6 miles away your legalistic chip okay confessing all this with I'm legalistic but I just got this theory if I'm not with another woman alone other than Teresa, there's a good chance I'll end with her and is it okay for some other people do that differently absolutely. You do whatever God shows you a lot of my pre-decisions are about my weakness, not my strength. So what pre-decisions would God want you to make my dad. I really so go do a great thing in his life when he it was really hard.

World War II became an alcoholic.

A functional loving alcohol. He knew he drank all the time but he wasn't like mean are you just start drinking beer about two in the afternoon and 11 or not you still drinking beer and on Saturday, started nine the morning and did it all day, but Nino's nice guy and I remember when he quit and then yes equipment came to Christ to the Marines right and and then he just made some pre-decisions in all of his buddies. He just you know I can't go to Pete. I like hanging out with you guys but I can't go there and maintained and we all have a series have a very very good friend who does not have Internet at his house and thinking how do you do life. Well, he had a porn problem for two years and he just predecided. I know other people. I can't. I just can't have it in my house, but if you want to be disciplined. You have to make some pre-decisions. And here's the key. Let the pre-decisions grow out of clear-cut objectives. My experiences so often what they grow out of his guilt and other people's expectations and the thought of what ought to do this to be more. This will keep you in the passage the world you know the children of darkness more shrewd than the children of light to get to seminaries to sell insurance and investments. If I made three sales. I could be. My family comes full-time in school and working full-time and so I went out about three or four nights a week and I went to northern part of Dallas amazing luxury home set down with this couple and and I learned something. I mean I had all different socioeconomic levels but a lot of them.

I got in for the referral of getting into the unit. What about the gravy land. The people had some money and others really work out and I learned something. When people had a little window in the made this much money. That's what they spent in them.

When I made this much money. That's what they spent in them and I made this much money. That's what they spent on. I just would pray.

God give me an engineer please please please I want to meet with an engineer.

They're just so logical I can show him this this ago Dang okay let's do it. I would sit at the table with people and luxurious homes in BMWs and Mercedes and this and that and they were leveraged up to their nostrils and they could make a simple change or invest the difference is like in medicine at the table and looked over and this guy had on his refrigerator. I mean a big picture of a black turbo nine think it was a 911 Porsche Porsche and I said what's that goes. That's why I do what I do. I said what do you do is I'm growing a business make a lot of money and you know all the first, I thought, oh, how materialistic and then I thought you knew what they did smarter than most of us. We don't even know what we will do. He's got a picture of goal a clarity and it makes the rest of his life make sense. I may disagree that that's the highest thing to give your life to but this is this is Paul's illustration, there's people to give up the year of their life. Eat the same food be away from their families going training for year so that they can get little reef on top your head hello. He's saying, what are your clear-cut goals.

I would encourage you to develop a to B list. I know you do to do list at least most of you, it was the 1986. Honestly, prof Hendrix of Dallas seminaries had a big impact is a brownbag lunch. I was with 12 other guys. We were talking about the life and ministry, and being husbands and fathers. What were supposed to be what we wanted to do and I'll never forget profit. These four words up on the board and then he basically guys a get Grace down God loves you this moment as much as you ever love okay let that sink gentlemen you can impress in reading longer, praying longer affect the ministry doesn't change his love what you need to do first is get rooted and grounded in. You are loved and accepted your his son were all men in the room at the time since then you need to ask how do you say thank you what you want to do with your life what you want to be what you want to be and it hit me just focused accomplishments are about doing doing doing doing. I remember driving home. I can almost tell you I was on the freeway and I started thinking what I really want to be out loud in the car coming in talks with got I thought I want to be a man of God's will be a man of God. I want to be his people, God would say chip fulfill God's purposes. Chip had a heart for me and I thought okay and then I thought. I want to be a great husband and a great marriage to be a great husband and three kids at the time I want to be a great father and I got kinda bold. I thought I want to be a great pastor, I want to be in okay I want to be a great pastor and and and I took my want to bees in the want to be a great friend.

I want to be in shape. The rest of my life like I had this thing where some of the circles that early Christian experience was all these people talk about God. It was just like man. They were just, you know, like so far out of shape and so disconnected from the world and part of not wanting to be a pastor was like I want to be like that. I want to be. I put my two bees on my calendar for me you can do it anyone to be a man of God on the meet with God not blocked off these mornings and to be a great husband.

It takes a lot more and it's relational. Don't okay but I blocked off Friday and I had a date with recently through four hour block every Friday. Although, pastor, and then I put my kids in my calendar and then I I blocked off okay all day Wednesday half Thursday might out what I want to be a great pet, to preach great messages and then I like you, I can't keep that and I was out with Bill Glass in a prison and we were sharing Christ in one of the elders took me there and did a number of times and just off-the-cuff. He talked about how your mind.

Whatever you think about what your desires are, you unconsciously gravitate toward accomplishing want to sit at the table.

I was listening. I just like 28-year-old pastor unit is that in the background listen to all these heavy hitters you know and I remember thinking what I'm going to I'm going to write this is old card 1986 is my desire cards. It seen a delight yourself in the Lord will give you the desires of your heart. What if I started writing on cards.

What I want to be that I knew for sure is God's will. I'm not memorizing I'm coming out of becoming a workaholic.

After three years I want to memorize them. I don't demand him unlocking to say their goals.

I'm just going to tell God.

These are desires of my heart. And then I'm gonna let him sorted gravitate so these are if these are old colored cars. Actually I was little obsessive-compulsive. I put the family in one color work in one color for some of us can't get over is making progress. Those in recovery. But anyway just give you and night. I would just read these over and then during the day now and then but and and I think to look at the finest today. Who cares, but through four or five times a week.

My readings over. I want to be a worshiper. I want to enjoy God more sing of his greatness.

Scribe worth the price to him because I didn't come naturally to me. I like to become habitually thankful. As a matter of unconscious response to all life circumstances and relationships.

In light of the goodness in the sovereignty of God.

I just want to become my unconscious reaction to everything. Thank you.

I want to learn to take time and schedule an enjoyable fun refreshing activities without feeling guilty about them or what others might think you can hear me trying to break out of those pleasing people. I long to see each of my children hunger and thirst for righteousness, and no deep in their souls. How loved significant and value. They are in Christ, not because of anything or anyone. I'd like to be come more joyfully disciplined and praying for longer seasons of time and learned the joy of simply resting in and enjoying my relationship with Jesus. I want to stop caring about what others think and apply myself, my schedule to what will make me the best I can be to honor God the most.

I want to be and grow free of the invisible expectations that I allowed to hinder my joy, my freedom, my schedule for pursuing the best. I want to become more authentic in every aspect of my life for strengthens 1012 your pulses. I am what I am by the grace of God I like to view others. In light of their eternity and needs instead of by their outward appearance, possessions, status, work to get the idea. I know those are God's dwelling and I got others but we had enough what would happen if you did, if God says to give you the desires of your heart what you wrote down what you really want to be. I want to be a wife who I want to be a dad that I can tell you as I would read these over just have to confess I wasn't trying to pray but I'm just gravitating toward praying these things my kids in one of mine as I want to be a model of the attributes of God. For each of my children. I mean I want that but and then so when something would happen and I've you know my anger something would bring that little card and you not apologize in my 40-year-old. I'm sorry that's not how God works in this is how daddy isn't clear cut objectives. I learned this I was a gym rat. I know what a workaholic was. I played basketball eight or 10 hours a day as I thought it was my ticket to being a somebody and you and him. He look at me coming. I am 69, so you can and I'm really strong right I probably had a 45 vertical, skinny little white kid. Okay, I know who I am now in the inner city for years playing pickup with the brothers to learn to get good and I did those Pete Maravich drills until I could do this and do this in throat here through it here and through my legs and I did for eight or nine or 10 hours is identical.

I wanted a scholarship.

A basketball scholarship and if I did that so idea someone well I got a basketball scholarship at its doesn't make you someone. But here's what I learned. If you have a dream in your heart if you have a desire once the goal gets clear. You know what I was very disciplined. I never thought of disciplined.

It was my want to what you want to you want to be a great mom you want. Have a great marriage. You want to build a godly great business to be a great employee, you will have great kids write down those desires get a clear-cut objective and then all of a sudden you know and will sacrifice for their finances and having get on the budget because it's ties into the clear-cut objective second is and focus on the reward, like Paul did. Imagine picturing your heart and mind.

The success reward yourself along the way. When I did real well and something it takes six weeks to develop and inhabit. Okay, getting up in the morning, whatever. When I did real well and it was hard to discipline myself and all these pools I would reward myself. All my years in California and that this older guy, godly guy, wise, gave oversight. These big companies in the past and he was sort of my leadership group every Thursday morning if my outline was done by 6:30 AM. We played nine holes of golf in the first two or three holes you know I would. We talk about stuff that I would go through my message, and in the last three holes I get them all my leadership issues and you have put his arm around me and had kids my age and I can tell you I mean a lot of times I was up for the morning at my little doughnut shop finishing up my outline so I could be with Dick and if I did these things I were to treat ourselves and wouldn't go out to eat. And guess what we been saving within budgeting that it's steak all around were to have a blast and you know if we do this honey to save up, you and I will go away. Plan in some rewards and had a blast. What happens you live with all this guilty don't know and so weird. We do too many fun things to escape stuff instead of reward ourselves and enjoy what God's goodness. The key to discipline delay gratification.

The key to delay gratification advanced decision-making. How do you make advanced decisions. One.

Clear-cut objectives to reward yourself along the way.

Three and this is very important. Advanced decision-making becomes personal and a conviction when you ponder the consequences.

Ponder the consequences. Apostle Paul says he ponders that a clear-cut goal. If I don't buffet my body. I don't think you like that. If I don't discipline myself if I don't say no to the refrigerator say no to the emotions say no to the quick fix say no to you know that everything and anyone that wants to run from this marriage issue to say no to you delaying talking to one of my kids to say no to sitting down and saying you know what I get. I need a day away to figure out what my on earth for and what a minute do with my life. You gotta say no to all the pressures and give yourself permission to come up with a plan. Clear goal focus on the rewards and then a member.

Sharing this with the our church and could be different now. I guess I would have to say grandkids, but not one of my great fears this just because I see people fall financially or morally is I have this picture in my mind of all my kids on the couch.

I guess now the couch of the really big so their kids and sort of bending over with my knees and you know there on the couch and I'm explaining to them how I really do love God and I have been preaching God's word for you know now a lot of years and but I was just a weak moment and I'm really sorry and I know of embarrassed God, and often bears the kingdom. I know that everything I've ever taught you this behavior and what I just did and now it's in the papers and and I visualize telling my kids eyeball to eyeball and now grandkids grandkid that I blew it and I fell. It scares me to death and the fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom you need to ponder. You know that you think about one raise the ante imagine what's going to be like when Jesus is sitting on the couch and your explaining to him why you didn't have time to fulfill your purpose and how you just dinner you can get around to getting on a budget and getting your finances straight and dreaming. The dream discover your purpose but you just had too many emails to answer and too many committee meetings to go to too many kids to run around all these activities thought about you all in gold, silver and precious stones. I don't stop.

It takes discipline.

That's how you put first things first. This is a sobering picture that seeks to keep the front of my mind and that's why discipline is so important, I want you to begin to allow your mind to drift to invite the spirit of God right now, even as were talking to bring to mind what it looks like there's failure to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. That's the definition of discipline and this idea that later or someday were I'm kind of sliding allowing that kind of thinking to continue will produce a life of tragedy.

I believe that God has your ears, and my voice connected right now and his sovereign purpose is to say to you, stop, stop. You gotta stop living the way you're living and you can't do that alone and you can't do it in your own power. It's going to start with advanced decision-making and you can't develop advanced decision-making about what it is God really want you to do until you have what first clear-cut objectives who do you really want to be. How do you want your life to end what kind of parent do you want to be, what kind of man. What kind of woman. What kind of student. What is it that you really want to be. Get your arms around that wrestled with that second then focus on the rewards instead of what you have to give up, ask yourself what can I see as a reward of things that are priceless versus trivial how many hours are spent in front of the TV or video games, doing nothing that produces nothing except regret this message is about avoiding regret and then finally ponder the consequences know what I know is that you can be moved deeply by the spirit of God as you face some things in this moment of time, but the probability is that following through on what we just talked about for success in the long term is minimal or almost impossible apart from two important things. Number one, someone to help you and number two a pathway or resource to help you fulfill what you're thinking and feeling. God wants you to do right now and I want you know it. Living on the Edge, both those things are available. We created the resource in the pathway to small group material. Now you need to ask God, who is that person one or two maybe three people that you could say I made a big decision today will you help me keep my commitments to God that's great advice. Chip thinks you're listening to Living on the Edge and today's message how to put first things first is from our current series balancing life's demands. Does it feel like life is pulling you in a thousand different directions. Are you exhausted trying to juggle your job kids marriage and everything else you're responsible for. Do you wish there was a way to relieve that stress and tension on your shoulders. Live life with a little more joy on the series trip reveals what a balanced life really looks like and how you can rearrange your priorities around what matters most.

Here how you can experience the joy filled and satisfying life. God desires for you to have.

For more information about this series go to or call us at AAA 333-6003. Additionally, all the resources for balancing life's demands are discounted and the MP3s are always free. Again, go to or call AAA 333-6003 for all the details help listeners tap special offers trip right at the end of your application a minute ago you made a reference to our small group resources, and doing life together with other people.

Why is that such an important part of our Christian walk will Dave. I'll tell you I don't want to oversimplify, but Jesus said I came to you might have life and have it more abundantly.

At the heart of the Christian life. It's allowing Jesus to live his life through you by the power of the Holy Spirit rooted in the word of God in the context of community and that little word bio means life is I've just taken that acronym here, Living on the Edge and it simplifies it for me if you want the life of Christ lived out, it means be you have to get before God daily and before him with other people weekly and worship the highest court in community you have to do life with people heart-to-heart face-to-face and the O is on mission 24 seven. What I've seen so much is people have lost the in the community aspect. It's impossible to obey the word of God to experience life by yourself. So what we've done is we've put all of our small group resources on sale to encourage you to get in community get with the group of people watch the videos on your own, then discuss them do it live do it online, do it.

However, it works best. But take the next step getting community. You'll never regret it fixture we have a growing library of small group resources on a wide range of topics in there so easy to use chip provides the teaching and you'll have time to discuss what you've heard alongside her helpful study guides. We even offer some insights for leaders to leave their groups well.

So if you're not in a small group, you are you aren't sure what to study. Next, let me encourage you to check out our resources as chipset for limited time we've discounted all of our small group resources so you can get into community starting today to learn more, go to or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or app listeners tap special offers. Just before we close our mission at Living on the Edges to help Christians live like Christians. One of the ways we do that is by giving away free resources. So when you hear a message.

This is especially helpful. We hope you'll pass it on to others that are easily shirred from the chipping roadmap or by forwarding the free MP3s from our website.

Don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life will be sure to be with us again next time, Mr. continues her current series. Until then, this is Dave Drew saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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