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One at a Time - Zoom Lens, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2022 6:00 am

One at a Time - Zoom Lens, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 8, 2022 6:00 am

Do you find yourself paralyzed by the noise, negativity, and cancel culture of today? Are you even more timid to share your faith than you were before because of how someone may respond? In this program, guest teacher Kyle Idleman explains how we can better engage and love people like Jesus did – as he continues his new series called “One at a Time.”

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Do you find yourself paralyzed today by the cancel culture, the negativity, the noise? Can you find yourself wondering, how can I share my faith? How can I love those outside of Christ?

When the moment the topic comes up, everything explodes. Well, today you're going to learn how Jesus did it and how we can do it as well. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram.

The mission of these daily programs is to motivate Christians to really live like Christians. I'm Dave Drouy, and as most of you know, Chip's our regular Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry. But for this series, he's turned the mic over to a close friend, Kyle Idleman, who's been our guest before. Kyle is the lead pastor at Southeast Christian Church and a popular author and speaker.

In just a minute, he'll pick up where he left off last time in his series, One at a Time. But before he does, let me encourage you to try using our message notes while you listen. They contain Kyle's outline, the scripture he references, and much more.

To download them, just go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, app listeners tap fill in notes. But with that, here's Kyle with part two of his message, Zoom Lens. Jesus had a way of zooming in on the very people the religious community cropped out. Verse two says, the Pharisees and teachers of the law, so these are the religious leaders, muttered, complained, whispered in critical tones amongst themselves, this man, Jesus, he welcomes sinners and he eats with them.

Yeah, he does. They meant this as a criticism, but this is why Jesus came, to seek and save that which was lost. Jesus said, it's not the healthy who need a doctor, it's the sick. How did Jesus have that kind of vision for people? I think it's because he zoomed in and he saw them as a son and daughter, right? Like he doesn't just see a tax collector, he sees a son.

He doesn't just see a prostitute, he sees a daughter. And this is how God sees you, that there are billions of people in the world, but he sees you as his son, as his daughter. St. Augustine says, he loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

That's how he loves you. The religious leaders didn't understand it. Like this isn't how they saw people.

So Jesus wants them to better understand his perspective and how he sees people. On our Unleashed magazine is one of our long time ministry partners, his name is Loyal Thurman. And Loyal started a ministry, I think a couple of decades ago, where he reaches people who are part of the underground subculture. So atheists, agnostics, neo-pagans, witches, Satanists.

And in the article, I love what he said. He said, we go to groups who don't like Christians specifically. That's who they target. God opens doors for us to be good friends with these people. We live life with them. They are far from church and far from God, but he put a love in our hearts for them. They are our friends. And some people think they are unreachable.

That is not true. Nothing is lost. If God says it's not lost, he always goes after the one. And that's the point of this parable that Jesus is going to tell.

He wants these religious leaders, he wants religious people to have his eyes for one at a time. Verse three, so Jesus told them a story. If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? They probably knew the answer to this question. I don't really know. Like, I'm not sure. If you have a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what do you do?

Part of me, without knowing the rest of the story says, don't worry about it. Right? I mean, you have a hundred. If you lose one, another one will come along. Like, one is easy to replace.

And honestly, if you've got a hundred and one goes missing, would you even notice it? And in those days, a large herd or flock, I guess. Not really sure. Let's go with flock. Is it flock?

Herd. Flock. A large group of sheep.

Let's just imagine. In those days, a large group of sheep was like 20 to 30 sheep. To me, a large group of sheep, anything over one.

With a quagmire, that's a lot. If you've got two sheep, you've got a lot of sheep from my perspective. But in those days, it was 20 to 30 sheep would be a lot of sheep. Jesus specifically picks a number here that would be, you know, whatever, three, four times the amount of sheep that would be considered large. And I think one of the points that he's making is, you've got a hundred. If one goes, you've still got four times as much as a person with a large flock.

Do you really care about that one? Jesus says, of course you do. Doesn't he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

Of course you do. And Jesus is helping these religious people understand that he sees each sheep as his own. So for a long time, I would have taught or perhaps interpreted this parable lost, meaning someone who wasn't a Christian, someone who was outside of the church. But really what you have here is someone who was a part of the flock, a part of the community, but wanders off. And Jesus says, that one's mine.

I'm going to go after that one. And for some of you, that's what's happening right now. You have wandered off and maybe this isn't the first time. And he brought you back and he brought you back and now he's bringing you back again. And he comes after, he comes after the one because you are his. He's not given up on you. He keeps coming after you. He'll keep coming after you. That's what he does. He's the good shepherd. You're his, you belong to him.

He sees you as his own. If you're driving down the freeway, this is true for all of us. You pass on the side of the road cars that have been left there for different reasons. Maybe somebody ran out of gas. Maybe there was an accident. Maybe their car broke down on the side of the road, but it happens a lot.

Or they ran off the road because it was a little snowy and icy out and they don't know how to drive on that. And so we all pass cars like that so much so that we don't really notice. Like if I said to you, hey, on your way into church, did you see the car off of the 265? And you'd be like, I don't remember seeing that.

Well, no, I mean, you don't. It doesn't jump out to you because there's always cars off the side of the road. But this week I noticed this white SUV. I noticed it on my way to work. I noticed it on my way home from work. Like each day I'm like, oh, there's that car. There's the car. Paid attention. I slowed down each time to look at it a little bit more closely.

Do you know why? Because it's mine. That's my car. It's my car on the side of the road. I'm going to get it towed. It's been a busy few days.

And they've been busy pulling other people out. Anyway, I see it because it belongs to me. For the last, I don't know, little while, I've been driving this car that's pushing a couple hundred thousand miles. My wife would be like, how long are you going to drive that? I'm like, until the wheels come off. And then that happened. The wheel came off. I didn't know that was a thing.

That's a thing. It just came off. And now I see it. See it on the way home?

Why? Because it belongs to me. When it belongs to you, you notice it. Because it's yours. You have some responsibility for it. Supposed to take care of it.

And the Bible would teach us that this is how Jesus sees each one of the flock. He belongs to me. She belongs to me. This is my son.

This is my daughter. He zooms in. That's how he sees us. And so our prayer is, Jesus, give me your eyes. Help me to see people the way that you see people.

Help me to have eyes for the one. Verse five says, shepherd goes off. He searches for the one. And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. He doesn't curse it out, beat it with his staff until it gets back to the flock. He picks it up, rescues it, and goes back home. And he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, rejoice with me. I found my lost sheep.

I found this one. We already got 99. Are we going to really celebrate because you went out and found the one?

Yep. Yep, we are. That's what we're going to celebrate. I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent. This is the heart of Jesus, and this is the heart of his church. And as a church, we will always emphasize reaching those who are lost, reaching those who don't know Jesus, reaching those who need to be rescued by the gospel, by his grace.

But as a church too, I want us to go after the people who were a part of the flock and have wandered off and we're not sure what happened to them. And when they come back, they don't come back to shame and guilt. They come back to celebration.

They come back to love and acceptance and an open-armed embrace. So Jesus loves people with the zoom lens. He sees them. There's someone in your life right now who needs to be seen by you. I don't know who it is.

I don't know if you know who it is. Maybe you know right away, or maybe this is a prayer. God, who is the one person who you want me to see? Who's the one person who you want to make sure doesn't go unseen? There's a lot of power when someone knows they've been seen.

But who you are, who he's made you to be, the path that you're on, the circle of influences that you have, he wants you to see the one. He wants them to be seen by you because you represent him if you're a follower of Christ. I have a friend who's a pastor and he was telling me that there were four people in his church that quit coming during the social distancing time of the pandemic. They got out of the habit. They never came back. He kept looking for them, kept waiting for them to come back. They didn't come back. So he just decided he was going to text them every week until they came back. Just shoot them a text to say, hey, didn't see you at church this weekend. Miss you. How can I pray for you? Everything going okay?

Within a few weeks all four of them were back. Why? Because there's something really powerful about being seen, about being cared for. It's especially true if the person is going through some kind of a difficult time, a challenging time, just being noticed.

Don't underestimate this. Don't underestimate how God will use you if you send a text and check up on someone. If you take somebody a cup of coffee, give them a word of encouragement. I have a buddy in the church who's a pharmacist, but he'll send me a recorded prayer, text prayer, records it, voice texts it to me, maybe once a month.

But they come at strategic times and I listen to it while I'm driving. I feel seen by him, but I feel seen by God when I feel seen by them. Do you know what I mean? And God wants to do this through you for some one at a time people in your life. And I don't know what that would look like, and I don't know who that is, but I want you to think about that. God, who do you want me to see? Who needs to be seen by you? Again and again in the gospels, we read that Jesus saw.

That's the common language. And when he saw people, he would see oftentimes a need that they have. So in John 5, the Bible says, Jesus saw a crippled man. And in John 6, Jesus saw people who were hungry. In Matthew 9, verse 36, Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus saw. And he saw them and he saw a need that they had. Verse 3 says that there was a search involved. It doesn't always happen immediately.

Like sometimes you only see because you keep looking. And it speaks of the sheep who has wandered off. I was reading this week that sheep wander off for a few reasons. One, they blindly graze.

I thought this was interesting. Like they don't intentionally wander off. It's not some act of rebellion where they say, I've had enough of this flock.

I'm out. Like they just have a little bit and a little bit of grass and they look over here and there's some grass. And before long, their appetite has caused them to wander away. And they have followed their appetite and they look up and realize I'm alone and I am in trouble. This is where some of you are. You didn't mean to. It wasn't your plan.

It just happened. You chased a certain appetite and you've wondered and wondered and wondered and now you look up and you're by yourself and you're not sure how to get back and you're in trouble. The other kind of sheep, the way that a sheep will wander is by following, blindly following. Like one sheep wonders off while grazing but then another sheep blindly follows and then another sheep and another sheep. I was reading about the story in Turkey in 2005 where some shepherds took a break, went over and had breakfast and they had this flock of 1,500 sheep and one of them wandered off and grazed and went right off the edge of a cliff and then another one and then another one and another one. All 1,500 of them went off the edge of this cliff. The good news is, this is true, it sounds like true, the good news is only like 500 of them died because eventually it provided a nice pillow effect. I know, right?

Google it. It's a thing. They just won after another after another and this is how some of us have found ourselves lost at different times. We just followed one and then before we knew it, we were in trouble. Maybe you have wandered away because of an appetite.

Maybe you were just following someone else but it happened. Jesus sees you. He's come for you.

He wants to put you on his shoulders and bring you back. You're welcome here. You're wanted here.

We will celebrate when you come home. I know that whenever you teach a parable, this is true with really any story, there's this natural tendency, perhaps subconscious, to say, who am I in the story? A lot of us tend to think of ourselves as the shepherd, I'm the rescuer.

No, you're not. You're the sheep. You're the lost sheep.

You're either the lost sheep who has been found or you are the lost sheep that he is searching for. I talked to a young lady, maybe mid-twenties, and she said, I haven't been to church for a long time. I said, I'm really glad you're here. She said, but I have been searching for God a long time. I'm going to keep searching.

Okay. I said, can I tell you something? I understand what you mean when you say you're searching for God, but you need to understand that God is not lost. God's not lost. Maybe what you need to do instead of searching is just stop hiding because he's searching for you. This is Genesis chapter three, sin enters the world.

Adam and Eve's first response is to hide from God. God searches for them. God is searching for you. Some of you think you've been searching for God, but really what you've been doing is looking in certain places for a certain kind of God. What you need to do is just come out from hiding so that you can be found by him.

If you're ready to do that, he is ready to put you on his shoulders. And if you need a flock, he'll bring you here. We'll surround you. We'll be in this together, loved and cared for by the shepherd.

As we close today's program, I'm going to pray right now for those of you that hear my voice. And as Kyle wrapped up this message and said, you're the sheep. He's coming for you. But down deep, you feel like you've fallen too far. You've drifted away from the Lord.

You've done some things you're ashamed of. It's been a long time since you've been in church. You can't remember the last time you read the Bible and you just feel unworthy. Here's what I want to pray. Almighty and ever living God, right now in this moment, as you speak to the hearts of those that feel shame and distant and like they don't measure up and they've substituted all kinds of things to numb the pain and Lord, whether it's drugs or sex or busyness or work, God you see through it all. Would you help them to grasp that you're the good shepherd, that you love them, that you're pursuing them and Lord, I pray that they would open their heart, open their mind and recognize the moment, this moment that they would turn to you, you will rush to greet them, to cleanse, to forgive and to help them get back on track. Lord Jesus, I pray that in your name and in your authority. Amen. Great reminder, Chip.

Thanks. Well, if you're looking for some additional help in recommitting your life to Jesus and developing a deeper relationship with Him, we have a great resource for you. It's Chip's series, True Spirituality, Becoming a Romans 12 Christian. Through his teaching you'll discover a clear blueprint to become a genuine follower of Christ. And besides the broadcast, let me encourage you to order the book or even get the small group resources. There's a lot of ways to experience the foundational truths found in Romans chapter 12.

To learn more about all the series resources for True Spirituality, go to specialoffers at livingontheedge.org or on the Chip Ingram app. Well, Chip's still with me in studio here and Chip, you know, there's a belief circulating in Christian circles nowadays that the practice of making disciples revolves around us and our abilities. Now, could you take just a minute and dispel that belief and give us a more accurate picture of how we can engage those who are lost? Well, Dave, I think there really is sort of this idea that you have to be a super Christian. I think discipleship actually has really been sort of warped into it's all these other Christians that I meet and how many studies that I do and how many Bible studies and my theology and don't get me wrong, those things are really, really important. But two things happen.

One is that you never quite learn enough. You sort of get filled with all this information, but we don't have any real relationships with unbelievers. And the Pharisees basically got that one down. And what Jesus showed them and is showing us through Kyle's book one at a time is that discipleship certainly is about study and meeting in a group. I mean, we believe that with all of our heart, but it's really about Christ living in us moment by moment and allowing him to do what he wants to do as the Spirit guides us, as we connect with people that are far from God, people that we don't have anything in common with, people that look different, talk different. They're a different color. They're a different political party.

They're not from our side of town. And Jesus constantly was intersecting with those people, taking an interest in them one at a time, building a relationship, pulling down stereotypes. And then what you would find is they came to know him and they came to grow in him.

And I look back and I have to tell you, I'm so glad someone did that for me. And what Kyle's book has done for me, it has reminded me, you don't have to have it all together. It's just one relationship at a time. It's one meal. It's one conversation. It's one meeting. It's one small invitation to go to coffee, go to breakfast, have lunch, play golf with someone far from God, and then just be yourself and watch what God does.

Thanks, Chip. Well, to order your copy of One at a Time by Kyle Eidelman, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. Our prayer is that this tool will help you find simple ways to share the profound hope we have in Jesus with those who so desperately need to hear it. Again, to get your hands on this book from Kyle, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003.

App listeners, tap special offers. Well, as we close, let me take just a second and thank 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. Now, if you haven't partnered with us yet, would you prayerfully consider joining the Living on the Edge team? Now, you can set up a recurring donation by going to LivingOnTheEdge.org or texting the word donate to 74141. It's that easy. Text the word donate to 74141 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, tap donate. Well, join us next time as our guest teacher Kyle Eidelman continues his series one at a time. Until then, this is Dave Drouie saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-28 09:54:21 / 2023-02-28 10:03:22 / 9

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