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Real Discipleship - The Radical Road to Greatness, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2022 6:00 am

Real Discipleship - The Radical Road to Greatness, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 5, 2022 6:00 am

Do you wonder why Jesus made a big deal about how we treat children? And what it reveals about us? In this program, Chip continues his series – “Real Discipleship: How Jesus Chose to Change the World.” He’ll unpack what Jesus had to say about caring for children, and the profound lessons we can learn from ‘em.

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Did you ever wonder why Jesus made such a big deal about how we treat children and what it actually reveals about us? You're going to hear something that will shock you about children and Jesus.

Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drury, and I hope you've been encouraged by our series, Real Discipleship.

If you have, would you take a minute after this message and share it with a friend? Now, you can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s at livingontheedge.org. Before we begin, I want to remind you that this is a classic Living on the Edge series that Chip taught many years ago, so it's going to sound a little different than what you're used to. Well, with that, let's dive in as Chip continues sharing the profound lessons we all can learn from children. The third observation about kids is they rarely understand how much sacrifice it takes to do for them what you do for them.

Do they? I mean, when's the last time those of you that have kids, a kid walked in and said, Mom, Dad, or Mom, or Dad, or whatever. I like a little talk with you. I've been doing some thinking.

You know, you guys get up early. My clothes are clean. There's food on the table.

I read an article that is going to cost you $150,000 to $200,000 to get me from zero to 18 alone. There's been sacrifice. It's interrupted your relationship. I just want you to know that you two are incredible and you're swell.

Thanks. See, kids don't say that, do they? After you give, they say, Hey, how come we didn't get this too?

Right? Now, as we're laughing, now listen very carefully why Jesus illustrated with the child. He's saying, here's the test, the acid test of our servanthood.

Here it is. The acid test of our servanthood is our motives. You see, if you're willing to serve a little child, if you're willing to serve people who can't pay you back, who can't take you out to lunch, who can't affirm you, who can't give you a visible position, who can't do something to let everyone know what a great servant you are, then you must be doing it for only one reason, for the Father, as an act of worship. See, go back and look in nurseries and four and five year olds and elementary rooms and a Juana and you find the people that work there. You know something? Those kids, you know, can you imagine what one of those Juana kids say? I just want to tell you, you're making a significant eternal impact in my life.

I really appreciate it. You know what they say? Hey, how come we didn't have more snack?

Where's the lemonade? And they learn. And the people who work with children, you know what? You know what their motivation is? Do they get a lot of recognition? A lot of visibility? I guess they're doing it for the Father. Now, just kind of, if you have a spiritual seat belt, fasten it real mildly because I'm going to take the scalpel of God's Word and I'm going to just put it right in between some of your ribs into your heart. I wonder why there's always a great need for people to minister from the crib through sixth grade, junior high, and often even high school. Mostly the early grades. You know why?

There are no strokes to be found. There's little visibility, mostly in gratitude. You know what it requires? It requires a heart for God. It requires sacrifice. It requires taking off the me first mindset and the hassle and saying, to the least of these I do it, not for them only, but for you and the Father welcomes me. The Lord now shifts gears and after giving this acid test of what makes a great person, and basically the question is, why do we do what we do? That's what He's getting down to, the motive, the heart. And as we get there, He reminds us we're not in competition with one another.

Isn't that great? Comparison is always the root of carnality. When I'm trying to figure out whether you read more or give more or serve more or do more, you know something?

That's just carnal because I don't know God's agenda for you and God really doesn't want me to know His agenda for you, but He wants me to have a Father first, others before me mindset and come to Him and do what He wants me to do. The only reason that keeps us from sacrificial giving of time and talent and treasure, you know what it is? A me first mindset.

My schedule, my stuff, my bills, and often many of our bills are things that in an impulse when we're feeling down we went out and bought that we didn't need and can't afford and have payments up to our eyeballs to soothe the pain for a while. And the Lord is cutting through this and saying, there's a road to greatness. It's a radical road.

Not a lot of people travel it, but you get on this road and take off that me first mindset and put a Father first, others before you mindset, you will be great. The second thing now He's going to say is that this isn't just for the elite, for the insiders. This isn't just for people who've been to seminary or Bible college or on the inside or leadership or close to Christ in some way, however you define that.

This is for everybody. Notice how John, verse 38. Now I'm not sure whether this is a confession or whether a diversion. Conviction has occurred. He's got the spiritual dagger in his heart. It's being gently twisted, I think.

And he's either confessing, teacher, oh gosh, if we're supposed to teach little children like this, I got to tell you, you can't believe what we did the other day. We met some people and they weren't in our group and they were actually casting out demons in your name and doing ministry in your name successfully, unlike us. And so we told them to stop because they're not part of our group. They don't run around with us. They don't go to our church. They're not even our denomination or our non-denomination.

And so we told them to stop. Jesus now is going to teach that this jealousy of others, this exclusive attitude and competition with other people is to also be forbidden because it is rooted in a me first mindset too. Verse 38, teacher said, John, we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told them to stop because he's not one of us. Answer, do not stop him, Jesus said. No one does a miracle in my name and can in the next moment say anything bad about me. For whoever is not against us is for us. In fact, emphatic, I tell you the truth.

I tell you the truth. Not only people who are doing ministry and big time things like casting out demons, but I tell you the truth. Anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name, a small teeny bitty bit of father first, others first sacrifice. Anybody who does a tiny little thing in my name and gives it because you belong to Christ, will certainly not lose their reward.

We are not in competition with other people and we're not in competition with other works. Sometimes I'm absolutely astounded and semi amazed because I didn't grow up in a Bible tradition. The churches, and I hear church people talking about other churches and parachurch ministries when they do well, like something's wrong. Now, help me think this through because maybe I've got a tainted view growing up somewhere, maybe had a head injury or something, but it seems to me that if they're preaching the same Christ and they may vary on this, they may be very serious in expressing it or they may be a little rowdier than we are over here, but if they're preaching Christ, believe scripture and are introducing people to him and helping them mature, shouldn't we be happy when things are going well for them?

And shouldn't it grieve our heart when they're struggling and shouldn't the things that come out of our lips be encouraging and positive instead of critical and detrimental? Now, help me if I don't have that right, but I've kind of got this picture of this big boat and different kind of people in the boat in a struggle and we're paling water and these other people are paling too and we're saying, hey, wait a second, you're using the wrong size pail. And it just somehow seems to me that we're on the same team and I think the Lord is saying to John, hey, John, there's no exclusivism. Hey, John, they may not do it our way. They may not be in our little band, but you know what? You guys are not the only guys that can be great and this is not the only group that can be great. I got lots of people doing lots of things everywhere and you know what they have in common with you? If they're great, they have exchanged their me first mindset, selfishness and they have put on a father first mindset and an others before me mindset and they're serving in my name, they're serving in my power, my blessing is upon them and they'll be great.

So John, shut up. What I'd like to notice here too that Jesus, he says, you don't have to be big time, it's the small gift. It's parking in such a way that someone older in rain could have a closer spot. It's picking up after yourself. It's pulling stuff out of the laundry that you didn't put in the laundry and going ahead and folding it for the person who does it.

It's finding dishes that you didn't dirty and cleaning them in the name of Christ for them and it's doing your own so someone else doesn't have to do that. It's little things. It's a smile. It's a kind word. It's a note. It's a phone call. It's not to get credit, not to gain attention but it's to put the needs of other people in tiny little ways everywhere for others. It makes you great. Great in God's eyes and he'll exalt you.

That's what he's talking about and I'll tell you what, it has drastic implications and impact. At one point, those of you that know the story of Teresa and I, Teresa was very godly and I was very slow in our relationship. After a year or she knew we were going to get married and I kept checking it out for another year and a half after that. I struggled and struggled and struggled and I was in a conference here in California. As I was at this conference, a long story but basically it was a conference where they brought in the meal and it was salads on like five or six long tables and about 150 people, so if you're in the last third, basically you came through and got lettuce with nothing. After the first day, everybody got smart at this good Christian conference with a me-first mindset and you made sure you got up there close and early and got all the good stuff. Being suddenly open to the Holy Spirit, I was having my quiet time, happened to be on servanthood, read that, was convicted by God and said, tomorrow I'm going to be last in the line, just a small little, no big deal. The other thing I'd been praying is a man named Dick Killis who was the president of OC or Overseas Crusades.

He and I had met two or three times and for some reason I got in my mind, if I could talk to him about Teresa and I, he would really have some answers. I don't know where I got that, I think it was from God. I wait and people were going through this line and what I didn't realize because I'd been pretty selfish the first two days is that not only when you're at the end of the line do you get the lousy food, but there's no place to sit either. So now we're down to three or four people and I'm at the very end and this guy travels all over the world and guess who walks in the door? Dick Killis. And he comes, hey Chip, how you doing?

Doing great, good to see you Mr. Hillis. So we get our salad with little else and he looks around and says, hey, it looks pretty crowded in here, why don't we go in the conference room? And I spend the next 45 minutes with Dick Hillis, share my story and he doesn't ask penetrating questions, he looks at me and says, marry her my son. And then with his eyes, hey, no joke, with his eyes open he starts praying, God, I pray that you put your hand on this guy and you know, hey.

And he's not even charismatic, you know. But I was actually so conservative at that point in my life after God did that and you know, I gave him 45 other tests that he fulfilled. I said, Lauren, I'll tell you what, now I'm going to wait 24 hours in case you want to tell me anything differently and then I'm going to call Theresa long distance and ask her to marry me. So to the hour I waited and went into a room and called her and, but here's the point, it's a good story. I love to tell it.

Why did I meet Dick Hillis? I made a tiny little application to take off my Christian me first mindset and in a tiny way said, Lord, you know, I want to have a father first, others before me mindset and God exalted my life. God gave me an answer to prayer. You do that in your home, you do that in your office, you begin to do that with your dollars, you do that with your time and you will experience joy and power like you've never tasted in your life. Now, right after that, Jesus has told us that if you want to be great, you can. Here's the road, being a servant. He said it's not just for some, it's for everyone and then now I'm going to breeze through the next eight verses because one, they're theologically packed with problems and I don't want to spend too much time on them. But what's clear in it is there's a warning sign on this road.

You know, those big, they're not triangular, they're diamond shaped and they mean warning and they're bright yellow and they have flashing lights. Jesus is saying, you want to be great, great. You want to be a servant, great.

It's available to everyone, great. But now he says, look out because there's two things you've got to be careful of. In your pursuit of greatness, you be very careful to be sensitive and genuine so you don't cause other people to stumble. And secondly, you better make sure that your own life is pure and clean before me because if there's sin in your life, it's impossible to have a father first mindset. See, sin deceives you and if there's anything that you do, anything that you see, any problem that you have, you've got to deal with that before you can be a servant.

Let me walk through it as we close. If anyone causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. Who were the people that were causing people to stumble? It was the Pharisees, largely.

And what was their problem? Legalism and hypocrisy. When we in our walk with God begin to add layers of what people have to do to be spiritual and we begin to talk one way and live another way so people have confidence in us and then we let them down and they see gross things in our lives, they get disillusioned and they stumble. I can't tell you when all the TV evangelists went down the tube, my office was filled with people who said, hey man, I just wonder if this is really real. Those of you that have been through a pastor falling that is close to you, disillusioning, isn't it? And the young, see the mature say, hey, he's just a man and he struggles, he's got problems, it was sin, he was tempted, and on and on. But see the neophyte, the new believer, you know what he says? The new believer says, I thought there was hope, I thought that there was truth, I thought there was something to sink my teeth into.

He's just like the rest. And Jesus says when you emerge as a great person and are a godly person and you live in hypocrisy, well you be careful because it would be a whole lot better if you took this donkey sized millstone, put it around your neck and they threw you in the ocean because I care a lot about those new believers. Secondly, he says, a second warning, is you need to make sure that your heart has the right condition to be a servant.

And it means ridding it of sin, strong words. As I read these, remember, he's speaking to a mixed group. These disciples are not all believers. Judas, obvious, is not a believer. And we know from later that Thomas is not a believer yet. So he's talking to a mixed group that haven't totally made up their mind whether they're going to follow him as Savior or Lord.

So there is the possibility of what he shares here even among the disciples. If your hand causes you to sin, here's the warning, cut it off. Anything that you do, if it causes you to sin, cut it off. It's better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands and go into hell where fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, places you go, things that you do, cut it off. It's better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, the things that you lust after, the things that you look at, the things that you watch, the greed in your heart, if it causes you to sin, pluck out your eye. It's better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to be cast into hell. And obviously this is hyperbole because where did Jesus teach us is the root of sin. It's not in our members, it's in your heart. He's saying in essence, be as radical as you need to be to deal with the known sin in your life because until you deal with the known sin in your life, the idea of being a servant is a joke. You can't have a double life and be living with someone here and be watching trash over here and be cheating people over here and be dishonest over here and have anything other than a me first mindset.

All you'll be is a faker. And he's saying they don't mix. Summary statement, everyone will be salted with fire.

Salt seasons things. He's saying, what's fire do? If it's an imperishable godly quality, you put it in fire, gold, silver, precious stones, it comes out pure. But if it's stony, it gets burnt up. The stuff that I do to impress people, the stuff that I do out of the flesh, the stuff that I do that looks Christian on the outside and God knows my wicked heart when I come before Him is going to be burned up.

And the stuff that I do because I put on a father first, others before me mindset as an act of worship, whether anybody knows, whether anybody cares, whether it's visible, whether I ever get any credit, whether I ever get a pat on the back, I do it unto God. He says it's silver, gold, precious stones of reward. Summary conclusion, have salt in yourselves.

What's he saying? Be distinctive. Be a servant. Be pure. Personally and then be at peace with one another. What was the problem when this started?

They're arguing. What's his remedy? Follow the radical road of servanthood. Be at peace with one another. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, The Radical Road to Greatness from his series, Real Discipleship. Now you may be asking yourself, what does it mean to be a disciple? As Chip walks through Mark Chapter 6 through 10, he impacts this complex idea of discipleship by using the simple lessons Jesus taught his followers. Stay with us as we learn how commitment, evangelism, humility, and trust paint an accurate picture of what a genuine disciple of Jesus looks like. To learn more about this six-part series, Real Discipleship, or to catch up on past programs, visit livingontheedge.org. Our Bible teacher Chip Ingram is with me now, and Chip, it's been incredible to see how God is working both here and across the world. So, as we near the end of this mid-year match season, what final thoughts do you have? Well, Dave, it's been absolutely amazing when I think of what God has done through the Daily Discipleship.

This global pastors expansion is something that we never saw coming, but in the midst of where the world is, I feel like God is moving like never before. So, as we come to the end of this mid-year match, we need everyone who feels led to give to do that in the next couple of days. If you've been praying and meaning to give but haven't done so yet, would you turn those good intentions into actions? Help us to finish strong.

The match ends at midnight this Thursday, July 7th. Up to then, every gift will be doubled dollar for dollar. Thank you for praying and doing whatever God leads you to do.

Thanks, Chip. Well, let me just add that by partnering with Living on the Edge, you'd be helping us take the truth of God's Word across America and literally around the world. There's never been a better time to join the team because between now and midnight tomorrow, every gift we receive will be matched dollar for dollar.

Regular mail needs to be postmarked before then. To make a donation, just visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. App listeners, just tap donate. And thank you in advance for your generosity. Chip, as we wrap up this message on the radical road to greatness, remind us of those warnings you gave at the end of the program. Well, Dave, there are two clear warnings from this passage. And the first one is to be sensitive and genuine, not to cause other people to stumble. And so I think that starts with what behaviors that I might feel like are okay with me or what behaviors that you know are wrong that you realize this isn't just about me.

It's not my way, my rights, and who cares what someone thinks. According to Jesus, our behaviors, our actions, our words, even some things that we might have the freedom to do, we have to be very discerning because love considers what others think and how they feel by our actions. And it doesn't mean that we're restricted by those, but it really does mean that we go to great lengths not to cause other people to stumble. The second warning is the one that sounds kind of crazy where he says, you know, if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.

If your hand causes you to sin, chop it off. And you know, yeah, that's hyperbole, et cetera, et cetera. But here's what he's really saying.

He's really saying that in areas of sin in our life, we actually have to be as radical as necessary. Let me give you some examples that I've had over the years. One is a guy called me and got involved in an emotional affair. He had not committed adultery at this point, but every day he thought about this woman and it was mutual and he knew where he was going to end up. And he called me on the phone and said, what can I do? And I asked a few questions and then I said, if you need to quit your job, quit your job.

And he goes, oh man, you have no idea. I mean, and they told me all the implications. I said, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, even if you have to start over in your vocation, you could have a great job and have three kids or four kids who think you betrayed them and ruin your future, ruin your marriage.

I will tell you what, that career means nothing compared to the long-term impact of your marriage and your kids. And I'll tell you what, he did something radical. I remember another guy who had a porn addiction and no matter what he tried, I said, are you ready? If you've tried everything, get a flip phone. He said, what? I said, get a flip phone.

And he was a young guy. I said, do you want to break the habit or not? There's a lot of issues and there's counseling and all the rest, but be as drastic as you need to be for other people, for maybe some of you, it's you need to find a good Christian 12-step program, admit that you have a problem with alcohol or some addiction and confess it and say, I'm going to go get counseling and help. Be as radical as you need to be to get your life in line with God's will. There will be short-term pain, but there'll be long-term eternal gain. You know who you are.

This isn't something to think about a lot. Do it and do it today. Great challenge, Chip. Thanks. Just before we close, I want to thank those of you who financially support Living on the Edge. Amazing things are happening all around the globe and you help us do that. So if you want to be part of what the Lord's doing through this ministry, let me encourage you to partner with us financially. And right now, every gift we receive up until midnight on July 7th will be doubled for even greater impact.

So today is a great day to join us. To donate, go to livingontheedge.org or give us a call at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap donate. Thank you for praying and giving whatever the Lord leads you to give. Well, until next time, this is Dave Drewy thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 21:19:53 / 2023-03-27 21:30:29 / 11

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