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July 27, 2022 6:00 am
I've heard it said show me your friends and I'll show you your future. You know, relationships are a powerful tool to build character and determine personal direction and if you long to become great in God's eyes.
There are some sick relationships that you want to pursue and today we'll talk about how to discover and develop those kind of relationships.
Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with your finger tips are vital to this daily discipleship program.
Motivating Christians to live like Christian for the little of our popular series. Good to great in God's this program shift looks at how relationships shape what relationships are essential for spiritual maturity is a quick reminder if you miss a portion of the rent. We encourage you to catch up to the ship and remap. It's a great way to listen to Living on the Edge anytime they didn't turn in your Bibles to Proverbs chapter 13 let's join Chip for his message pursue great people. There is a phrase that you hear a lot and I think it's true in the phrases more is caught than taught.
In other words, you can go to a class and you can hear this or that you really catch more than actually is caught and I like to suggest that that's true, it's true when you're young and it's true when you're old and I get to share a story my sister was dating like a star basketball player.
He was about four years older than me, so he was I think a junior, and I was in eighth grade, and his name was Rex and and I gotta be careful here because I mean, Rex had the purest, most beautiful jumpshot of ever seen and I played him 101 for hours and I could never be any was 62.
In a real big kinda guy and he just kinda became a hero and who it was sorta stocky and didn't look like a basketball player except when got on the floor. No one could stop him. But Rex had this unusual sort of posture about like this and when he walked. It looked like he was going to fall over. It was like that and when he was really trying to be cool with his leather jacket he would have that any put little dance into it like it was cool back in the 70s. Okay. And so it's not like I said to myself, I think I'd like to walk like Rex Greg, I just hung with them. I tried to shoot like him. I wanted to be around him and he was at the house and eat meals and one day I'll never forget and imagine if you would. This is a stage where there's a basketball court.
There all time and there's an auditorium in their seats where you could cut through that door in front of the stage to the auditorium to get to class and I was coming through that door walking across it was absolutely empty and all those theater type seats and the old junior highs and I didn't know it but apparently I had picked something up. I had caught it. I never asked for walking lessons, but being the cool eighth grader, I was and I didn't think anybody was up there and I hear from the balcony. It was dark and you can't see you, you will walk and I promptly went and walked off and I thought to myself it was only in the moment when I heard from you idiot that I realize that I unconsciously had picked up walking like Rex you know you just pick up whatever the people around you are now. You would think that you only do that when you're young and when you're not even when you're impressionable and when you get older you outgrow that except I went to Dallas seminary and a professor name Howard Hendricks had a big impact.
In fact, I heard him preach once and said that's where I want to go to school on a preach like him and God so use them in my life and so every class he taught. I took every time he opened his home. We went every retreat we went to for three years. It took me time and finally got to go on a trip with him in the first couple years as a pastor I was 28 years old little country church and a member coming home one day in my wife lovingly sweet woman that she is says the honey.
You gotta knock it off. So what you mean. You just sound exactly like Howard Hendricks. I said what you mean. I sound like Howard Hendricks and she is what you really when you preach, it's like you just go into when you're using his phrases in his mannerisms and all. Now I don't know whether I should why my watch or lose my bulb leads and you know and I mean I heading down.
I didn't even know it.
The principle I want you to get is this timeless axiom we become most like those we admire and those with whom we interact most frequently take it to the bank. You will be like whoever you admire and who ever you hang with the practice. Number three if you want to move from good to great in God's eyes. You long for your heart to be more tender.
You want to be more godly. You want to pray the way that we talked about. You want your motives to be what God wants them to be.
You long to become in God's eyes, the kind of person with the kind of courage and boldness it's explored. I like to sit at your right hand to be a great Christian number three pursue great people pursue. I didn't say hang around go after them find a great Christian and pursue them hang out with them. The key text for this was Proverbs 1320 he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fool suffers harm. He who walks with the wise man will be wise, but the companion of a fool will suffer harm.
Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.
It's true isn't it. Show me your friends. That's why his parents while it's critical you know who your kids hang out with what their attitudes are aware that because her to become the become just like the people to hang with the here's what I like to ask why pursue great people.
I mean I mean we got the basics here, but why only give you a biblical foundation for pursuing great people. The first reason is God's word is emphatic about the company that we keep this isn't just about wanting to be good.
The keyboard here God's word is attic about the company we keep.
First Corinthians 1533 says do not be misled.
Bad company corrupts good character. You put one rotten apple right in a basket with good apples and the rotting Apple will do what it will rot the others knows what it says in Hebrews 13, seventh. Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you first remember, then consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Literally we get our word mimic mimic their faith.
We we want to find leaders we want to remember who they are. We want to consider, ponder, think about their life and just as I was unconsciously imitating how Rex would walk and how prof would preach the Bible says get your eye on a godly leader and imitate or mimic not their mannerisms. Not their externals imitate their faith. Notice what it says in first Corinthians 415 and 16 the apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church, he says to them, even though you have 10,000 guardians in Christ. Lotta people to help you in and tell you what to do in your Christian life. You do not have many fathers for in Christ Jesus, I became your father how through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you same word imitate me the apostle Paul knew the most powerful means of discipleship is modeling beyond teaching beyond classes. It's modeling when you hang around a person with you, pray with them, you will end up praying like they pray you will learn to give like they give you. Learn to make decisions the way they make decisions you learn to treat your wife the way they treat their wife. You learn to raise your kids the way they raise their kids.
You learn to care about people the way they care about people you catch it in the apostle Paul says this is strong imitate me, follow me as I follow Christ.
Proverbs 2717 as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another not want to make one vital observation. Before I go on and talk about how you pursue great people because I've made a point in some of your thinking, you know you pretty quick and you can ago but see I'm to be a lot like the people I'm around. I mean that's really true newsletter versus that make sense yeah okay and you're thinking about a way to second the people that I've been around the most were my parents. The people that I was around the most were some brothers and sisters and in a group. The size some of you had some parents that were believers and some of you had some parents that were and didn't act like it.
And some of you had some parents that walked out on you and some of you had some parents that were abusive in their speech and others abusive physically and others abusive sexually and before I go on your thinking to yourself while I'm to be a lot like the people I hang around with. But you know God, I didn't get out about you. I didn't get a lottery ticket like okay I would like a family in Ohio, Columbus school teachers that serve the Lord. I just got born there and so I make some observations because if you don't think this through. You can really get stuck. The observations I put on your teaching handout. It's that our baggage in our backgrounds demand that we pursue great people. Our baggage in our backgrounds demand that we pursue great people and we all have baggage and we all have backgrounds. No one had a perfect parent anybody the perfect parent, your parent may have given it their best shot. You know my dad gave it his best shot, but how do you be a dad when you didn't have one. After you were 13. How do you be a dad when you've killed thousands of people and have all kinda hang ups and you don't how to deal with your own life, let alone communicated to your son see there's some wounds and deficits that came from your dad. Your mom my dad my mom because they were perfect. But guess what, that's normal. It's normal. Unfortunately, some of us focus on that. The rest of our life. The third observation with this is, we must choose to deal with the damage constructively and you we could spend a lot of time here and I'm not all I want to tell you is, there are some people that have been to some very difficult times, and the focus of your heart and your life is always about what was done to you and what you're working through and there's unresolved shame and unresolved blame and unresolved issues that you know something at some point in time you have to say Lord I want to thank you that in your sovereignty.
I was in this family and these good things came out of it. And Lord, I want to tell you that there are wounds and deficits and pains and I need you to be my father, I need you to heal me.
I need you to restore me.
It's a fallen world and you know what the best thing that's happened to me.
Probably the last decade has been to walk a few miles and my parents moccasins to kinda think about you know when you hit certain ages. All the sudden you think and see when my dad was about 40. This is how old I was and this is what I went through in while I think you did a lot better than I thought. 10 years ago and monotonous email when when I was this age. My dad was 48 or 50 and here's issues I'm dealing with and and you know what I what we had meals together and they cared about me in. You know something in of the confidence I have the drive that I have the positive self-image. I have, you know, a lot of things are really really positive and they all go back to my dad my dad I start a little lawn business when I was eight and my dad help me deliver papers, not 100 and 3050 paper out you know stacked up to the rim and the car was about 11 years old, it's so easy to look at the minuses in the hurts and the pains instead of saying I had a imperfect parent and they gave me these good things. Thank you Lord and only the healer. The restore of my soul. God can ever complete my life.
You know how he does it now. Sometimes you just read you read the word, the spirit of God do some deep things in your heart you know how. Normally, God heals you. He brings the dad in your life that you didn't have he brings a cheerleader in your life that you didn't have he brings the sponsor into your life that you really needed. She brings the confident or the counselor he bring someone in your life. It's been through something and he takes the word of God to the spirit of God to the heart of another person and this person rubs up next to you and he makes you whole and me whole.
Little by little by little to another person.
And so what I'm going to tell you is you need to pursue great people. First of all, because the Bible is emphatic that the company we keep will determine the kind of people we become, and second because we all came from dysfunctional backgrounds. We all have baggage.
We all have wounds.
It's normal. You can either choose to be a victim or choose to say I'm going to grow through it and God. There's people in the body of Christ. You are going to love me in this new family called the church and I need to pursue the people that you want to use to heal my life and I want to be in turn a healer in the life of other people. If you got it you know every time I hit this part.
I wish I had a camera could see the wheels going on inside your heads. It really raises stuff up doesn't that's okay. It's okay to see if you never bring it up.
And if you never deal with it.
What a lot of us do is push it down when it comes up we go to the refrigerator when it comes up other people open something they start drinking little bit of it when it comes up. Some people take some pills when it comes up. Some people just go to work and work more and more and more and more. Could you just keep pushing down stuff that bothers you. That's not dealt with that are wounds and you just have to say you something I love Henry Nowlin's book the wounded healer. It's when we begin to get forgiveness and healing from God in our imperfection that he allows us to pass it on. The other people let's get on the real positive side, then how in the world to be go about developing these kind of relationships. How do you pursue great people. I got about you, but they just didn't line up on my door. You know, seven deep ring the doorbell. I'm a great person ship. I like to be a sponsor in your life.
All okay, you arty have a high chip I like to be a father figure. I knew you went through some rough time if that didn't happen to me yet pursue and give you a couple ways I think will be very helpful. The first is I think you need to start in the rearview mirror ready for that, I think, to pursue great people start in the rearview mirror and mentally build what I'm gonna call your own personal Mount Rushmore. Of the four or five people who have most positively impacted or influenced your life. See what I want you to do before anything but who do you need to go get the help look in the rearview mirror and say to yourself, who are the pivotal people maybe 1 to 3 or four people maybe five who have been the most positive influential because you can ask then why and you begin to recognize needs you have in your life the reason they were influential is God use them. Some of them maybe even unbelievers is on to challenge you to build, your own Mount Rushmore. When you do you recognize the value of people in your life. You see, the strategic needs that you have and then it will help you determine what kind of people we got a pursue so are you ready I'm gonna turn this stage into Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore has four great faces on right I'm a Christian a man five.
Zach and I can do anything I want with my own personal Mount Rushmore Tsonga have five faces and I want you know I'm good have faced number one face number two and I'll tell you about them and I got face number three and face number four, and in my Mount Rushmore. They're all tilted inward and they're going to look toward the middle of face number five is face number five is the one that's had the most impact my life and I just want to go through the exercise personally for a few minutes and as I do. I want you to ask yourself who would be my Mount Rushmore who the people that most positively impacted my life.
My first one over here on the left etched in stone in my heart and soul is a guy named Neil Lantz my junior high coach, PE teacher. I'll never forget the first time I met Neil Lantz. I was a cocky, insecure mouth, the kid who desperately wanted attention because he couldn't figure out what was going on inside and I walked into his PE class and I was mouthing around the room, shut up now give me 20 that was my first experience with Neil Lantz and as I was just like this and I started to bend out Ingram button up in like 10 minutes later I'm still doing this. He never said another word to me. Go shower and then he saw some desire and over time he took me in the gym and he closed the curtain in the sky can play ball and he knew that's where my heart was and I grew kinda late so when I was in the when I was in seventh grade I was for 11 and then I shot up to 51 in eighth grade and I wanted to play basketball. This is not looking good by ninth grade I was five, 4 1/2 and ready to take on the world and coach Lance would come in the gym and he throw me the ball. We play one on one. He taught me how to play defense taught me how to play offense, but more than anything else. You know he taught me.
He taught me what a man look like a never forget, as I was going through my insecurity, cocky stage mouthy part of life and some of your look at me like I can really imagine you like that. Not very hard. Is it right and I had shot off my mouth one too many times and misremembered some the guys will appreciate this number. The old locker rooms.
You go in and have a big public shower and then on the wall there would be all the lockers and then the coach would have. It would be a window you know and then you have a little office. It really smelled like gym shoes and ice get his head up and grown in here now. I walked into his office sitdown and then he got his nose right next to my face and I mean he began to ream into me and then he said okay stand up and you 90s. I was so angry because I shot off my mouth one more time and I just get ready to leave and he just was.
He loved me so much that he cared and he took me by the shirt.
This was long before you got pseudo-schoolteachers and he grabbed me by the shirt and they lifted me up and put me up against it. I slid down a chair and set on to tell you something.
You got great potential in your mouth is to get you in trouble. You could go that high school be a good player but the gonna freeze you out because you got a mouth and your arrogant you could be somebody you know something your mouth is gonna be the ruin of you. You are an arrogant jerk understand.
I know we built a bonsai painted houses all the way through college with Neil Lantz and Neil Lance taught me what it meant to be a man because he confronted me on man issues and he was strong and invested in my life and he's in my Mount Rushmore and I think early on, God brought this man in my life so that I would learn real men stand up to the truth room and speak the truth. Real men are strong real men face tough issues in a room and don't look that stuff go under the rug. The second person on my Mount Rushmore is a a girl named punky serve almost real name real name is Harriet but I shouldn't say that publicly, and she was my sister and she's only about a year and three months older than me and I've never heard a campus Crusade for Christ and we were a religious family and I went to church that did not teach the Bible and no one that was far as I knew were Christians. But we were religious went through motions very hypocritical. I got turned off by the church.
But my sister went to this little meeting on campus Crusade, something, something, and she became a Christian and she was never preachy but my sister taught me what it look like to be a Christian. I can't tell you that she ever preached a message that I ever remember but my sister love me I would come in with friends and she was a got you want some sandwiches and you can I get you Coke and a chip out of the game go and she's real gullible and I so I hit five home runs hollow chip that so good you know how to go. I scored 42 foot all chip. I'm so proud of you. I mean unbelievable. And then I'd anchor chain and Job okay chip what you do that and we ended up going through high school where the classes we got to take some classes together and you know I was in that error in the early 70s, where everyone was doing so person smoke and open all the athletes in the highest state area and had opportunity do all that. And isn't it interesting. I wasn't a Christian didn't have a big moral reason not to, and he I still remember you know a guy given me a joint Sandia want this and saying no, and I remember in my mind I thought no, what would punky think what would punky think she was the most loving person she showed me Jesus.
She showed me she lived it. She's the kindest person that I'd ever met you and she's my sister and my friend and I later became a Christian because of her testimony want to skip from number one number two I want to go right over here to number three in my Mount Rushmore and this is the third person in my rearview mirror guy named Dave Marshall and I prayed to receive Christ at a fellowship cannot Christian athletes, and I was 18 years old had never open the Bible and landed on a campus and there was a bricklayer trained by the navigators.
He was what I would call not cool.
Everyone's wearing white socks. Now he wore back then and it wasn't cool and blue-collar strong worker and he had little Bible study in his house. He been there for three years. This was the fourth year if the ministry didn't grow. I learned later, was can quit and go do something else, but he would lay bricks all day and open his home at night and do Bible study with few students and after three years he had four students in the living room football player on the football team was the fullback and found out I was a Christian said you're coming with me was very big so I went and I found myself in a living room with about five or six other people that were not very cool and this bricklayer said I heard you just became a Christian I said it was a summer I so would you like to learn to study the Bible and I looked at him. I thought, not with you. Sorry, but then I thought, I'm a Christian. I don't know the Bible I ought to want to study the Bible he's offering. So I said yes and every Tuesday morning they would come knock on my dorm room into my shame. Sometimes I pretended I couldn't hearing but the pillow over my head, but over time he got this lazy, arrogant, insecure young believer and we went into the kitchenette and he taught me how to read the Bible and he taught me how to memorize a few key passages and before long I got involved little ministry and those for five people end up 250 students in personal Bible study and Thursday nights I would go up to Dave's house and eat dinner and I watch it for three boys and a girl and I'd watch his kids and he went out every Thursday on a date with his wife and you know what if Neil Lance taught me what it look like to be a man of my sister taught me what it looks like to be a Christian.
Dave Marshall taught me what it meant to be a man of God I learn to treat my wife the way he treated his wife. I learned to stop for people whose were broken down on the road. The way Dave always stopped.
I learned to discipline my kids and love my kids the way Dave did I learn to get up in the morning and spend time with God. The way Dave did. I learned it for could deal with crisis when his wife went to hospital the way I saw Dave did. I member get to work with him for a few months and I watched him build a whole pay diet block foundation, and it was all funny just barely out of square and Armenian inspectors are never to see this and we spent two days on it and I watched him rip it down. I said Dave what are you doing I said that mean that's not off enough to make any big difference is that I'm not doing my work for inspectors and I'm not doing my work for the I'm doing my work for the Lord. I don't think that represents my best one I learned to work a more really is, taught by the people back in just a minute you've been listening to the first part of his message pursue great people from a series good to great in God's eyes.
Are you tired of living the status quo Christian life. Are you looking to get a fresh infusion of faith and spiritual passion will join chip in this 10 part series as he shares 10 specific practices every grade. Christian has in common and how you can put these attitudes and routines interaction.
If you're ready for a genuine spiritual breakthrough. Don't miss a single message. For more information about the serious oral resources go to LivingontheEdge.org chipping remap or call us at AAA 333-6003 ships with me in studio now and chip in this message. You talked about the people who invested in you and help you mature as a Christian today those types of relationships happen in a small group, which is why we believe there absolutely vital that we have a growing library of small-group resources. So, for those were planning on launching or joining a small group this fall. What studies do you recommend will Dave. We all have special times in our life where there's either crisis or we know we need to improve our parenting are married you are there some emotional issues and his people go through.
There's plenty of small-group resources like that. But what I think is missing is what the historically has been called a catechism, a catechism is a well ordered process of truth, by which you go through it systematically and intentionally in order to become more and more like Jesus and to fulfill more and more what Jesus has called us to do and so if you follow Jesus life is actual chronological life than the first thing is, he defined what a disciple is and so the very first study I encourage people to do his true spirituality becoming a Romans 12 Christian it a lot of note this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The second thing Jesus did his he took them through various experiences to reveal who God was like, what is God really like and so our second study is called the real God. And in that we studied the attributes of God and how to get them from your head into your heart. The third thing that Jesus did Izzy help them understand how does life change really occur.
How do you put into practice. We have a study from Ephesians chapter 4 called transformed the miracle of life change and the fourth will give you because I don't want to lay it all out is that when you take these kind of steps, all hell breaks loose. I don't mean that as a cuss word. What I mean is it's challenging, it's difficult their spiritual warfare and that's our study from Ephesians chapter 6 is called the invisible war. What every believer needs to know about Satan and demons and spiritual warfare. So let me encourage you unless there is a critical need. I high felt need consider studying in order to catechism the way Jesus taught his disciples. Thanks well.
To learn more about the study strip mentioned or any of our other small-group resources go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us at AAA 333-6003.
Let me tell you, these materials are so easy to use chip provides the teaching, then you'll have time to discuss what you've heard with our helpful study guides.
So if you're not in the small group yet or you aren't sure what to study. Next, let me encourage you to check us out and for a limited time.
All of our small-group resources are discounted again visit LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 hapless nurse Special offers will ship today. You talked about creating out Mount Rushmore of people we can look up to and learn from one pack for us why this is a helpful exercise and maybe a place to start assuring who those Mount Rushmore people are in your life and how did you figure that out. Will Dave one day it just dawned on me, who are the people that really impacted my life and I thought of Neil Lance who was a coach in junior high and spent time with me and showed me what it meant to be a man and edit at a difficult time in my family.
He was that strong man who believed in me and then there was my sister punky who was her lifestyle of Christ likeness that so influence I mean a ton of times I could've gotten in real trouble. I didn't want to disappoint my my older sister. She had that kind of life. The third person was a bricklayer that talked often about Dave Marshall and he taught me how to be a man of God and how to date your wife and how to be a dad and you. I spent about seven years around him.
He just so influence my life and I went to seminary. There was Howard Hendricks who basically taught me.
You know how to communicate and then became a mentor for about 30 years before he went home to be with the Lord and then in the center my Mount Rushmore, the person who's influenced me the most is been my wife Teresa and she just is like the most prayerful high integrity person and and so here's the here's the experience what people get is who are the top three or four even five people that if so influence your life and then just ponder what was it about their life that influenced you the most and then you can do some thinking about what what are some gaps in your life who can I see that's farther down the road that would help me in my marriage or my parenting about leadership and of that help me to know who to pursue. And if you want have an exciting time you get in a small group and you let people share their Mount Rushmore's and they come up with a game plan and God changes us through people and encourage you pursue great people, but strip will before we go. Let me take just a second and think the generous people who make monthly donations to support the ministry of Living on the Edge your faithful gifts help us inspire Christians to live like Christians every dollar makes a huge difference. If you haven't partnered with us yet.
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Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge