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Balancing Life's Demands - How To Escape The Rat Race... Forever!, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2022 5:00 am

Balancing Life's Demands - How To Escape The Rat Race... Forever!, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 10, 2022 5:00 am

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, you can’t trust in material things to come through for you. Chip reveals how to rise above the daily grind and escape the rat race forever.


Great physicist Albert Einstein once said, not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts that you might want to spend that in your mind a couple times, but what is really saying is we spent a lot of time counting things that don't really matter and we don't count some things that matter most. How do you get out the rat race, that's today welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians, the Bible teaching of tripping, I'm February and were nearing the end of our current series balancing life's demands over the next two programs general focus on how we can stop wasting time chasing one thing after another in our lives and get clarity on what's most important thing with us as we discover God's plan for our ultimate contentment and peace after the teachings of Scripture some extra insight into what he's learned in this area, so be sure to stick around for that.

If you have a Bible handy.

Go to Matthew chapter 6 and let's join Chip for his talk how to escape the rat race forever. I like to start with a little story Scott about adeno I think it's a little bit of a funny story, but it comes out of the Midwest. It may be even apocryphal, so don't try and find this anywhere but I think it's an old, old story, but the story goes like this, there's a very strong Bible church Bible teaching church and they had what they called years ago, revival meetings, and so once a year they would bring in a great Bible teacher and they had room Bible meetings. It was a very small town.

It was up in the mountains and a very small community and everyone knew everyone and so it was a big thing in town. A lot of people would come from the town and every year a number of people would come to Christ and Christians who needed their priorities realigned would get the priorities realigned, but they always knew what was going to happen on Friday night. On Friday night they had a town drunk and he chose Friday night and he would come and he would sit in the back and he would listen to the message and near the end of the message you would hear so yes that's what I need to do and so they would give it a time of invitation were people could come forward in and deal with God, and everyone knew on Friday night. The town drunk and through me for the last 15 years every Friday night he would come forward. So it was Friday night. He had moaned. He had grown yet. Amen. And now he is walking forward and he comes and you know he sort of had this down oh law hurt. Oh Lord, all the cobwebs of sin that I've been entangled in all the Lord.

I just ask one please remove the cobwebs remove the cobwebs in the tangled sand of my life, and there is a man after 15 years who heard this for 14 years and he stood up in the back in a very loud voice said. Dear Lord, forget the cobwebs kill the spider and I like to suggest that we've really addressed a lot of the cobwebs of priorities of time, money and relationships that we have said okay.

What's really important. We want to put first things first, we want to keep.

First things first, we want to develop some discipline. We want to do it in the right way we want to do it with a perspective that is relational and from the heart and my concern is that you will go for two weeks. Maybe some of you for two months and you stop not knocking out the cobwebs out we got a budget now were now giving off the first portion okay on start spent some time with God. I start reading your Bible more. Might even join a small group or get a Bible study, you start changing little bit what you do with your giving and all these things are extraordinarily important and but you know you sort of. And then after three months, six months, eight months, nine months a year old Lord, the cobwebs of those priorities will Lord you know what it's like there's so many demands on my time all Lord you know we were on a budget for a while. We didn't expect that Dr. Bill and then there was that camp and we really need in kind of messing with you, but I like to suggest that to move beyond the periphery. We need to get to the kill the spider. What's at the heart of misplaced priorities. What is it that keeps pulling us in ways that are priorities over and over and over get out of whack and Jesus is been addressed.

Jesus is going to say there is a singular route because to misplaced priorities and it is the spider and you need to kill the spider and when you do the cobwebs will go away and if you notice in your notes he's going to give a warning.

And Jesus will teach us in Matthew 619 to the end of the chapter that the root problem in priority living is and here's the word you can write materialism. Materialism now before you get all uptight thinkers and talk about. I have too much and is it wrong to have this and every time someone brings us up. I feel guilty just like not okay is lighten up. Let's let's let's analyze what is materialism. First let me give you a definition and don't try and write all this down. At this point try and think about what it says materialism. By the way, is a disease of both the rich and the poor, and everyone in between has little or nothing to do with what you have.

It is a condition of the heart where I am leaning, trusting, depending, or even believing that the outward props of things money and possessions and the fame, status and power that they provide have the ability to achieve for me inward peace, happiness and satisfaction in my life.

Materialism is a condition of the heart, I can show you people that don't have two nickels to rub against each other that are shot through with materialism as evidenced by when they get their first three dollars they go to 7-Eleven and buy a lotto ticket because man if I got the lotto then everything will be okay and most of mom never take the time to read some of the research and actually some of the sad books of tracing the lives of people after they won the lotto the percentage who end in divorce percentage that say it ruined her life. The percentage you say if it I could do it all over again and not get it. I would do it but it's it's a condition of the heart, and I could show you people with great wealth who have so many things to keep up with so much stuff so much demand that their time and their energy.

It's not like they feel stuck on it.

It's just their time and their energy because they unconsciously have been led to believe. I need to have these things and there's no margin in their life there problem is not can I get it or ever have it. The problem is it has them and they don't even know it, material things are in no way listen carefully evil in and of themselves, you might jot in the notes of quoted it several times. First Timothy 618 Paul says instruct those teach those who are rich in this present world that's you that's me not to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but to fix their hope on God who supplies us with all things to enjoy the all things are material things. The goal is to enjoy, they can never be my hope don't be conceited.

Don't be arrogant, he says and fix your hope on those things. So the problem is not that things are evil in themselves. It's what I'm trusting in or even desiring them with the belief that they can fill the inner void in my life and bring significant's security piece joy and meaning, and what he's going to do from verse 19 the end of the chapter is he's going to teach you anything to teach me how to kill the spider of materialism, so it will once and for all begin to remove the cobwebs of misplaced priorities of the structure of this is very important you noticed in your notes or put on the right side. The context is what it's Matthew six verses 1 to 18 any member he talked about what he talked about giving. He talked about prayer and talked about fasting. What is the one thing that was true of his teaching about giving prayer and fasting. When you pray when you fast when you give.

Don't do it like the beast to be seen of men. But when you do it do it in secret.

So your father who sees in secret.

Here's my point is what you get the context of what organist see his two motives.

You can either impress people you can please God and then the text will unfold because the question is what how do you know what your motives are. I mean, he just told me my motives need to be secret and pleasing God will how do I know who can know what's in your heart well.

In verses 19 through 21 he's gonna say guess what I will show you a very clear way to know exactly what your motives are the two motives reveal two treasures and then after that is going to say now that you understand that there's two treasures, one eternal and one temporal.

I'm going to tell you where those treasures come from. There are two eyes there's two perspectives about life and then finally, those two perspectives will determine two options to Masters. Let me walk to the passage with you.

Okay Lord we understand when we pray when we give. When we fast.

We need to do with the right motive your means of protecting our motive is secrecy will how do we know what our motives are. Here's what he says. Verse 19. Matthew six. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. The reason, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal translation it's a bad investment but store up for yourselves.

We underline the word for yourselves. This is not about deprivation. This is about doing something good for you but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And so he just makes a point because if you want to know what your motives are pretty simple. Where is your treasure your money is the greatest clearest true revealer of your heart.

Our trust always follows our trash, our trust what I believe is going to come through for me.

People whose God is gold always have anxiety people whose God is Christ. Even in the midst of.varied circumstances can relax the scissors to treasures, so he says be smart investor treasures. And what's ahead and he says will okay okay now I can. I can see where my motives are. If I want to do an acid test of where my motives in heart is I'm gonna look at my treasure and the treasure of money for sure, but I would also say the treasure of my time.

The treasure my energy what what what what what what are the resources. What is the wealth that I have and where do I spend that wealth that will tell me might you treasure my true motives. And then there's this kind of interesting passage. I mean really interesting little passage here and and noted notice what it says.

He says that built the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, circle the word good. And then above it right the word singular. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

But if your eyes are bad circle bad and actually then write the word evil underneath that your whole body will be full of darkness is then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness now is is really interesting here is going to say the eye is the lamp of the body you know and that is using this play on words and is to help you see is that your Outlook will determine your outcome, your perception will determine your pursuits. He's going to say what you and I perceived to be as important is what we will passionately pursue so I jotted a few thoughts. A mother, her children, a man his work and athlete's workout and artist's art musician's music. The Christian is God, he's going to say if you don't know what drives your desires. He says if your eye is clear. The word is Loss literally means to be on without any folds in it. In Latin is trance and translated simplex. It has the idea of simplicity, clear, singular focus on the contrast from clear, singular, there's two motives. There's two treasures really he's getting down to the eye physically were ever the eye goes the whole body follows right mean I can't. I can't got eyes the back my head what ever I see I can see perceived make direction. He says your desires, your core beliefs, your passions, your pursuits, what you believe.

If it's clear if it's singular if it's on God if it's honoring him if it's being the man.

The woman that you know he wants you to be.

He says your whole body before, like everything else comes, he said. However, you can have these external things going on in religious activities.

If your eye is evil. If there's duplicity if if if you're deep belief is that things in power and status and possessions can deliver satisfaction, meaning and significance.

He says your whole body will be full of darkness. Your eye or desire is clean, healthy, undivided and godly. Your whole life will be directed and affected by God's blessing power and presence it. It has the idea of on divided loyalty to God's singleness of purpose. If you will. If your eye focus is bad, your whole life will be infected by darkness and ultimately destroyed the word for evil here. It's very interesting it's upon a Ross. It means evil, corrupt, perverted. It's used for food that is been spoiled or an unsuitable to eat is something separated or anti-God is translated Matthew 1822 member, the worthless servant. That's this word John's Gospel. Contrast this word you hear it against God's light. God's word God's work in Matthew 1319, the article there is added and the whole phone a Ross is the evil one in the point I want to make here is simply at the heart of all these things were talking about cobwebs, priorities, time, money, symptoms. He said there's two motives in walking with me those two motives lead to your treasure, your treasure will tell you where your motives are. But where what treasure you pursue has to do with your core beliefs, passions, desires, what you really really want.

What do you believe, not what you say knotting what you verbalize, but what do your actions demonstrate is your core pursuit in life and then notice what Jesus will say he says you can have only one of two Masters it will be either Mammon or him right after the two eyes. I mean it's it's as if it's an amazing thought here. He says no one can serve two masters. Either will hate the one and love the other, or will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. It doesn't say you cannot have God and have money. It says you cannot serve God and money.

The battle and priorities boils down to. You either have faith in God and his promises for peace, security, significance, and your passion is relationship with him or you have faith in things in their power to deliver for your life.

And so what you have here is, it is clearly laid out as anywhere in Scripture. This is the issue. Materialism is a condition of the heart. How do you how you go about it. Well, check your motives there some practices where you treasure it's the revealer check then your eye wears its focused and then finally your eye will reveal one master or another master that hears the question. This is the question that brings everything we talked about in series to hit hears the fundamental question you notice of putting your notes. It says do not allow the pursuit of material things to Fort your spiritual development. That's what that's the statement that's what he saying, but then the question is how can we live in a material world without becoming materialistic and I mean in that it I got news for you. There's college tuitions and you say for this and you have house payments and you know you know I gotta rent this. I've got to do that. I've got to buy food. I got responsibilities of I live in a material world. I can't come up to some mountaintop and hear great things about God buddy when I get home. I got bills to pay. I got issues of got tuition about car repairs. I got Dr. bills. How do you live in a material world without being too realistic and you notice you remember when Jesus was talking about spiritual growth and spiritual development. How it happens and he was talk about the power of God's word and he says the word of God is like a seed, and man went out to sow the seed and there's four types of soils in the soils of the human hearts, and you know Satan comes in the hard soil takes it away. And there's a wanted sprouts up quickly and in persecution comes and it dies out the third seed memory grows up with the thorns grow up around it and it chokes out the life of truth in your heart and soul. Does anybody remember it's the worries of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the deceitfulness by the way when when your money is messing you up when your possessions are messing you up. I got news you don't know about. That's what deceit means we read stuff some. Oh yeah, well, but there's some people out there that are really just enough so you don't get it. I'm deceit. It's how much. And then that last part that this is why we don't have margin in our lives, not just the deceitfulness of riches, but he says and the concern the worried the preoccupation with what other things.

One of the things other things other than what really matters is talking about priorities, so I want to do is I want to walk now through verses 24 through 33 and working to get the solution. This is how you kill the spider and then those priorities and practices and disciplines are how you maintain that relationship of what having the right motives on a please God of doing what. Looking at treasure is some tug-of-war. No I want my treasure to be an investment where it's gonna make the most sought invest the treasure of my money and my time and my heart and my energy in people, not in things in in in in in doing things that last forever, and loving people, rather than using people to get things will house it happen. Well, let's pick it up in verse 24 he says no one can serve two masters.

We've heard that either hate the one or love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. And before we go on because we are Americans. Can you just can you just swallow hard, you can't have it both ways are right. That's what we wanted to follow God with all my heart and right. You can't have it both ways. According to Jesus, you cannot serve both God and money.

Therefore I tell you.

Therefore when you see that we me, it will what you say say I understand this is axiomatic. This is true, therefore the solution left, let me help you learn how not to be materialistic. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life what you eat or drink, or your body what you will wear. And then we get a rhetorical question. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes. We also will yes or illustration number two look at the birds of the air sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. And then some logic application. Are you not much more valuable than they. And it's a grammatically in such a way that the answers overwhelmingly. Of course you are meant by the way, who of you by worrying can add a single hour to this life logical conclusion. Let's see, no one in then ever a question and why do you worry about clothes illustration number two main see the lilies of the field. They don't labor or spin. They're not wiped out there not minivans and SUVs and having bills up to their eyeballs are not stressed out. They're not uptight. They don't feel like your life's out-of-control taking pills to go to sleep at night and told to get him up in the morning. They don't feel like everyone's pulling on from every direction and there's no way to find some peace and direction gossip passage really opened up and as I tell you that Solomon all of his splendor was dressed like one of these now.

Again, the a priori logic from lesser to greater. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire, will he not much more clothe you encircle this phrase.

Oh you of little faith. The issue behind materialism at the core has nothing to do with things or even money.

It has to do with faith. It has to do with trust.

Do you trust me, you trust me to come for through for you. Yes, in the material necessities, but do you trust me to come through for you that your significant and valuable. The way I made you you trust that if you would find my purpose in my role for your life that you don't have to look like that you don't have to live in that ZIP Code. You don't have to drive that you don't have so many people know you can you trust me, if you do life my way. The deepest things that you long for in your heart.

I'm going to give you design good and I love you. That's really what he's getting to so do not worry, saying what we can eat what shall we drink, or what shall we wear, and then and then just this is more than a mild rebuke for the pagans run after all these things in your heavenly Father knows what you need that you need them put a line under run after because these he needs a play on words.

It means to vigorously pursue and that verse that we like. That's coming up the tells us how to really arrange our our priority forces but seek ye first the word seek. This word is an intensive form of that same word the pagans are seeking are running are pursuing. After all these things in his point is is that you don't look any different than the pagans when you're running after all these things when your priorities are out of whack. When your relationships are being deteriorated. When you think that things in status and stuff and letters behind your name and kids getting into certain schools and SAT scores being a certain way and vicariously your Little League teams of your kids and grandkids winning little championships you can tell your friends about a cocktail parties and of course, Christians drink different stuff cocktail parties depending on what kind of back on the come from and back are cocked up. Elders are often in the foyer of the church. Have you heard about my grandson yeah you know Harvard really didn't quite work out with thought MIT would be a good second choice. Yeah, well, did you hear about my daughter yes well she's in the area where she's been doing it for 11 years how to she she's 12 and one we put her in the pre-Olympic gymnastic team they could see from the Rent-A-Center DNA it for hundred thousand dollars in we could see that that she had the high side potential and actually in the Olympics of 2042 were expecting gold-medal. We've rearranged our entire life will be moving to Houston soon so that you know that's where the gymnast and I'm putting on it. So help me, you just you just backed off a little bit.

We all play those games and we think our meaning and our significance and R-value is what we've done what we've accomplished, who we know what our kids have done now is, is there a place for a God honoring sense of accomplishment and pride. Of course some by the way, when this sucks you in its deceitful listening to part one to escape the wrath will be right back with his application for this teaching from a series balancing life's demand. Do you long to get out from under the pressure to do more, have more and achieve more in this five-part series chair provides practical biblical steps to help you move your life from chaos to contentment will discover what it means to prioritize your hopes around God's hopes for your life and how to not only put first things first, but keep them there.

You're not going to want to miss a single part of this series for limited time the resources for balancing life's demands are discounted and the MP3s are always free. For more details go to or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or Listeners tap special offers which up before we wrap up you wanted to say something about the year and match that we talk so much about throughout the month of December will Dave I just wanted to pause me to really pause and tell you from the bottom my heart. Thank you. You know every time a person makes a financial gift a spiritual transaction occurs. In other words, something actually happens in a person's heart and and I speak to those of you who gave you gave you responded you invested in Living on the Edge.

I want you to know that as you've invested were going to invest in the lives of people here and all around the world.

It really matters and we are super grateful. Thank you. Each one of you who prayed and said, Lord, what you want me to do and then you follow his lead. The final numbers will be on our website as soon as we get all the mail that comes in but I just want to say thank you, thank you so very much for hearing from God responding to God and for being so generous and let me add my thanks to that as well. All the information about our end-of-the-year match will be on our website soon so if you're interested. Keep an eye out for their and again, please note were celebrating every gift and the impact it will have and what were doing in 2022. Thank you so much, as we close today's message. I wish I really wish I could sit down with a couple coffee you know, across a small table and just look you in the you look me in the eye and say you know we heard the very words of Jesus. He said there's two motives. There's two treasures there's two eyes and there's two masters, and he's either our master or Mammon or riches are and I wish I mean at a level of of of deep accountability. We could just ask one another. The hard question who's really your master right now. I mean if if you looked into and know my schedule in my time and my money. What story would it tell and if I looked into yours.

What story would yours tell and I believe that of all the areas here in America, especially if it's about making it happen. It's about people that sincerely love God and yet their lives are often out-of-control and the driving force that's hard to admit it's the dollar. It's the movement it's the stuff you gotta have and it's very very subtle. It's the deceitfulness of riches is as we talk together.

I just want to ask you can have a real heart check and ask God to help you be honest with yourself. I can't remember the last time that someone in a Bible study said, you know, I just want everyone to know I'm struggling with materialism and I think it's an idol in my life. Would you pray for me. I mean this is one of those things it's so close to all of this. It's insidious and I had a guy recently come up after service and say I realize that no matter how much I've made.

I've figured a way to up my lifestyle and spend more and more and more in the last seven months.

The best gift from God, was I lost my job were on a budget begin to give the first portion to God. I'm in the Bible again regularly.

I now understand what really matters. Could it be, could it be that some of the hardship that you might be going through is the loving hand of the kind God drawing you back to himself. One should get a good friend since we can have coffee and talk about that from the heart and then do what God chose you to do in a great way to get more out of every message is to use chips message notes while you listen will get his outline all of the Scripture references and lots of feelings to help you remember what you're learning. Use them personally, or even with your small group chips message notes are quick downloaded under the broadcasts tab app listeners tap filling notes in your all set will be sure to join us next time. Until then, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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