Have you ever driven a car with a manual transmission? It's one of those things either you know it or you don't. And the hardest part for most people is using the clutch to shift from one gear to another. Today we're going to talk about that difficulty as it translates to our spiritual life and our relationships.
How do you make a big shift? Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians.
I'm Dave Drury. And as many of you know, Chip's our regular Bible teacher for this daily program. But in this series, he and his son Ryan are co-teaching a new series based in the book of Jonah called You Were Made for More. You know, as society drifts further from God's Word, we believe it's vital to turn to biblically grounded voices like Ryan to share a different viewpoint for what we're experiencing.
Through his insight and the wisdom of our teaching team, we can better encourage and support Christians to really live like Christians. All of all that said, let's join Ryan now for the second half of his message, Running from God. Turn in your Bibles to Jonah chapter one.
I want to say something that's so obvious, but we have to say it. When we run from God, we shift away from the more we're made for. How do we run from God? I think it's in the areas where his will doesn't make sense. I think it's honestly, most of the time, don't we have a better plan than God's? I know you like created the universe and all that stuff, and it seemed like you had some pretty good Old Testament plans, but I got a pretty good plan for my life.
I got it from here. We run from him when we resist what God has clearly shown us or revealed to us in his Word. When you go, okay, there's much that when he said, this is how life is to operate, how life's to work, that he's been so clear on. And when we just go, no, I pick and choose the parts that I like.
And I don't like this part, but I like that part. And it's when we run from God. When we run from God, we shift away from the more we're made for.
Well, then how do we shift into the more we're made for? Let me give you two things that God has shown us clearly. These are two fundamental shifts we need to make in our lives to live out who God has made you to be and into the person he's created you to be.
The first is simply this shift, the shift to God's heart for the world, God's heart for the world, to embrace his heart for the world and the way he sees the entire world around you. John 3.16 is probably one of the most famous verses in the entire world. And even if you don't go to church, you know this verse. And it says this, for God so, help me out, loved the world. For God so loved, like the attitude, the intention, the disposition of the God of the universe is not that he's against you, out to get you down on you, but loves you. And who does he love?
The world. Every single person on the planet, regardless of whether you agree with their politics or not, regardless of where they live, regardless of what they're doing, regardless of how they're living, he says, I love them with an everlasting, passionate, all-consuming love. Whether they're Ninevites or Israelites, I love them.
I love them. And God sees the great heartache and pain of the world and he sends his son right into the heart of it. Right into the heart for you and for me. That he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes puts the weight of their life on him, shall not, and will you say this word with me? Perish. Like God's heart is that you would not perish but have eternal life or it's the eternal life now.
It's the eternal kind of life of peace and joy and hope that begins now in the presence of Jesus, the spirit deposited inside you and forevermore. And his heart's desire is I so love you. I so love you. I'm so for you. And there is a sickness of the soul that has separated you called sin from my presence.
And there's a direction and intention that that pathway is destruction. And this is my heart for you. My heart is to keep you from harm and to bring you into my family.
I love you. Isn't it a fascinating thing that God calls this prophet to Nineveh and he runs the opposite way? You know, I was wrestling this week of like, why didn't Jonah want to go to Nineveh? And, you know, I think my human kind of first reaction is like, well, Nineveh and you heard who they are. It's like, you're going to die.
You know, you got a word like that, isn't it? That ain't good. But at the end, chapter four, Jonah tells us, he says, I knew you're a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love. He's quoting Deuteronomy, the very character and nature of God, because he knew that he's going to Nineveh to proclaim this news. What has he given them? He's given them a warning. He's given them a heads up. You ever wonder why you give somebody a heads up? Hey, heads up.
I was playing golf the other day. Four, look out. Why do you give somebody a heads up? Well, you give them a heads up and you let them know that harm is coming, destruction's coming, a ball is flying through the air.
And if you don't look up, you might get hit in the head with it. And so I'm going to give you a warning. I'm going to yell it out because I want to keep you from harm. Heads up. And Jonah says, I don't want to give them a heads up.
Because I'm afraid they'll listen and repent and they won't get what they deserve. Because I was thinking like, okay, so who do I give a heads up? Who do I say look out?
Who do I let them know? I mean, don't go down that direction. Well, certainly people I love. And I was like, well, it's just people you love. And I started like, no, it's more than that. It's more than just people you love. It's people I like.
Like, well, no, it's even more than that. I mean, you see a ball coming at this total stranger. What are you going to say? Heads up, watch out. So who are the people that you would not say heads up or look out to? The people you hate. The people you want to get hurt.
Now, chances are you don't have any Ninevite at your workplace. And these extremes sometimes cause us to miss out on the moment. You know, in Jesus's day, in the cultural customs of their day, when he said, love your enemy, an enemy defined it was simply one whom you would not have into your home.
All of a sudden, it expands. And heads up. There's heartache coming. I don't think we do a good job at this because we live in the world of like you do you and you know what, you're going to get what you deserve. Like when we get God's heart for the world, he's so loved that he gave, he sent, he's like, I don't want any harm.
I so love the Ninevites. And I know what they're doing is so broken. But I'm going to send you there to give them a heads up because I love you God's heart. And we take this verse so personally, and it's wonderful. And that's absolutely true. But we have to expand it out to your neighbors, to your co workers, to your classmates, to that person who posts that just annoys you online, to the person of the opposite political party. And where we begin to get God's heart that he has this everlasting, all consuming love. And he sees that there's a direction and a path that you're headed. There's a process of the state of your heart that you perish, destruction, harm is coming.
And we can't help but say we love you. Heads up. First fundamental shift is that we have to embrace God's heart for the world. He's clear on that. Secondly, is then respond to God's calling on your life. God's calling on your life. You're like, well, Ryan, I don't have a calling. You're a pastor, you have a calling. In fact, you're paid to be good.
I'm good for nothing. No, wait a second. That's not right.
That's for profits. Notice what Jesus said. Final words to the disciples, we know it as the Great Commission. And Jesus came to them and said, therefore, all authority or all authority has been given to me. By the way, real quick, all authority, that word authority means Jesus has the final say. Jesus gets to say and be able to be the one who is like, hey, this is what is going to happen. He's in charge. He has all power, all authority and heaven on earth, it's been given to me. Then he says this, therefore, in light of that reality, go. Not just pastors.
Us. Go. And make disciples.
Go and tell people heads up. Go and let them know that he loves them with an everlasting love and has done what we could not do. And you no longer have to work your way to God, but God has worked his way to you and he's done and covered the cross and the pain and the punishment and invites you into the family of God. Therefore, go. And then when we hear the go, we're like, well, is it Nineveh, 550 miles away from home?
It's interesting, the tense of that word in the Greek go is actually while you go. While you go. Therefore, as you go about your day, make disciples. Therefore, as you're going to work, make disciples. Therefore, as you go to your school, therefore, as you go to your CrossFit, therefore, as you go to your spin class, as you go to the coffee shop, as you go wherever you go, as you go, that you embrace, you are a called one by God, separated out, immensely loved to share and express his love to a hurting and broken world, one in which he died for. He died for you.
You experienced his grace. And how could you not share that? Friends, that is the more.
That is the more. In fact, the Apostle Paul, when he was writing to Philemon, he said this. It's a short little book. It's a letter to this church leader. And he says, I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith so that you'll have a full understanding of every good thing you have in Christ. There's something about this that when we're active in sharing, when we begin to just share what God has done in our life, we experience the more we're made for.
It sets your heart afire and you begin to experience him in unique and profound ways. I think we run from that. I think we're running from our calling.
I think we're running from our calling in our day, the same reason maybe that Jonah ran. See, he prophesied that Israel would be successful in this campaign and expand their borders. Well, you know what happened to him.
He's a hero. The wealthy, the elite, the noble loved him. I'm sure he got paid handsomely.
He had a very comfortable life. Can you imagine what they would think of him if he went to their archenemy and gave them a heads up? He'd be hated, wouldn't he? See, I think we get so concerned about what other people think, so concerned at what they might say, that we say nothing and we don't give anyone a heads up. And you're like, Ryan, don't you know there's so many crazy Christians out there?
Don't you turn on the TV? Like people are gonna think I'm one of them. Crazy man. Well, yeah, if you don't start speaking up and showing Jesus and the light and what it really looks like to be a follower of Jesus. Friends, in this area, let's just be real. You at your workplace, at your campus or wherever you're signing onto Zoom is probably the only follower of Jesus, the only light that they know, and they don't even know your light oftentimes. Where we'd begin to say, no, no, no, God's heart for the world. God, would you begin to knit my heart with your heart? Would you begin to allow my heart to be with your heart? May I begin to see others around me the way you see them? May I begin to have that heart desire that you love them, every single person that came across my path, and then you called me, not somebody else. Called you. Called you. You're his game plan. Go and make disciples.
I want to give us just a very simple application. Prayer, care, share. Where you'd write down three people that's in your life, in your world, who do not know Jesus, and then pray for them every single day for five weeks.
See, we complicated. Would you write down three names at least and pray for them? Isn't it the least you could do? The least caring thing you could do is at least pray for somebody?
If you really long for them to know Jesus, can't we do that? And you're like, Ryan, I don't know three people. I'm living the little holy huddle of church.
I've been here, I don't know any non-Christians. So get a new hobby. Seriously. Get a new hobby. Join the CrossFit crew.
Spin cycle. Start going to a coffee shop. Get to know your barista. And you're like, okay, well maybe there's one person.
Who cuts your hair? Just imagine what God wants to do in and through you and use your life to be a light to those around you. Prayer, care, share. Would you, on the backside after you write this, then would you write John 3.16?
And then the prayer that I have underneath there. Heavenly Father, would you give me an opportunity to share with someone in some way about you today? I've found if you ask somebody if you can pray for them, they don't say no.
Everybody's pretty open to that. It's an incredible way to share in some way about Jesus today. And it's amazing that when you pray for somebody, God changes and shifts your heart.
And when you pray for an opportunity, God changes and shifts your lens at how you see those around you. When I was a senior in high school, this became a reality. It was the summer before my senior year that God got ahold of my heart. In high school I wasn't really walking with Jesus and was trying to just fit in. I mean, I just want to fit in. It was so intimidating, right? I wasn't popular.
I just was trying to hang out with anybody that would hang out with me. And then over the summer, Jesus got ahold of my heart. And there's something that happens when you encounter Jesus and he gets ahold of your heart. It's like you're so excited and you want everyone to experience what you just experienced. You're like, this is amazing. And so I was sitting in my US Gov class at the beginning of school, our football coach was teaching it.
It was dreadfully boring. And there's like, we're sitting around tables. So there's like five of us at a table. And so like I have this new found passion and excitement and faith in Jesus. And I turned to Preston. Now Preston was the most popular kid in our school. I mean, like he knew everybody. Everybody knew him. Everybody wanted to be him. He was like, I mean, so cool.
And I was so not. And I just turned to him and I said, this is how sophisticated I was at 17. Has anybody told you about Jesus? Now, mind you, the football coach is lecturing on about something, who knows?
Has anybody told you about Jesus? And Preston kind of looks at me and goes, can I? And I ask, can I?
Sure. And I got to believe it was just simply because we were stuck in class and it was boring as all get out. And he's like, yeah, why not? I don't know.
This crazy kid sitting next to me, I've seen him around and sure. And I just began to share how Jesus changed my life. That was as simple as that. At the end of class, you know what he said to me? He's like, could we talk more about this? It's like, yeah. And he's like, could I come over to your house and talk about this? Yeah. Could I invite some friends?
Sure. And all of a sudden, a guy who doesn't know Jesus started a Bible study at my house to know Jesus. And I began on a three by five card and I wrote down the names of every one of those guys. And I just began to pray for them every day.
It just sat by my bedside table. And I know this isn't the way it always ends up because sometimes we're praying for people for years and years and years, and eventually God shows up. But I got to see every single person on my three by five card comes to know Jesus. Preston was April 24th, 1999. He was tattooed on his arm. Years later, he would get married on that day because it was so significant in his life.
To this day, one of my dear friends, my wife from my 40th last year had people send in videos to share who were significant in my life. And Preston's on there thanking me for a moment that a 17 year old kid just got out of sight of himself because Jesus had changed his life and couldn't help but share it in probably the worst way. And God honors that. He's like, that changed my life.
Thank you. The entire course of his life. God, it's hard for the world he loves. And where we would embrace that God's calling on our life is the people in your world to just simply begin to love them. It's the more.
It's the more we're made for. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Ryan Ingram has been our guest teacher for this program, Running from God, which is from our series, You Were Made for More, facing the Jonah in all of us. He and Chip will be back in studio shortly to share their application for this message. So what do you know about the story of Jonah?
Maybe you remember something about a big fish, a violent storm, and an evil city named Nineveh. Well in this new 10 part series, Chip and his son Ryan share that there's actually a lot more to this familiar Bible adventure. They'll unpack what Jonah's life teaches us about handling adversity, God's love for all people, and how we can shift our lives to the more we were created for.
If you've missed any part of this series or want to share it with a friend, let me encourage you to check out the Chip Ingram app. Our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with me now. Chip, today your son Ryan really emphasized the idea that we were all made for more. But I'm sure there's got to be some people listening who think they're not that special or that God doesn't really have a plan for their life. Would you give them some encouragement?
I'd be glad to, Dave. You were created by God to fulfill a purpose that no one else can. Maybe it's to be a safe sounding board when people are wrestling with their faith.
Or maybe it's funding big ideas into big realities. I don't know what your purpose is, but God has a strategic vision to use your skills, to use you in ways that you never dreamed. But what has God designed for you?
Not sure? Well, here at Living on the Edge, we've created a brand new resource called The Real You. It's an online questionnaire designed to provide insight into how God wired you. This is more than spiritual gift test. You identify the patterns in which you think, what motivates you, and why teams need someone just like you.
It'll take about 20 minutes to complete, and it won't cost you a thing. Then based on your responses, The Real You will offer suggestions about how you can practically live out God's purpose for your life, whether that's at home, in the office, at church, or in your community. As a Living on the Edge partner, we want you to be the first to access this resource. Head over to TheRealYou.org to learn more. That's TheRealYou.org.
Most Christians don't know how to leverage their God-given wiring and experiences for the kingdom. We want to change that. Thanks, Chip. Well, as you can tell, we are really excited about this new resource. We hope The Real You will help you not only discover who God made you to be, but how He made you to think, act, and live.
As Chip said, you can sign up for this free assessment by going to TheRealYou.org. Or if it's easier, text the word REAL to 7-4141. That's the word REAL, R-E-A-L, to 7-4141. App listeners, tap Special Offers. Well, now here's Chip and Ryan to share some application for this message. Thanks Dave. Well, Ryan, thanks for joining me again here in studio to talk about today's teaching that focuses on how we can shift into the more that we're made for. You reminded us that part of God's calling for all of us is to go and make disciples, but you pointed out that the verb GO is not necessarily to a place. It's more of like an active process. Could you unpack that more for us and help us to understand what's that really look like in our lives?
Absolutely. What a great question. You know, I think one of the things that keeps us from following God's calling in our life is we believe we have to do something big, go to Africa, serve on a missions trip. And so the command to make disciples doesn't really apply to me in my everyday life.
Here's what's interesting. Like I said, in the sermon, the tense of the verb GO means while you are going. Now, certainly it can mean to go to a specific place or call to a specific people, but let me give you a good translation of the Great Compassion. While you are going about your everyday life, disciple.
Let me say that again. While you're going about your everyday life, disciple. It's not an event, a one and done, but a way of living, a part of who we are. And so for many, the primary place of discipling is your workplace for it is there you spend more time than any other space. While you go about your workday, disciple. Invite Jesus into the middle of your work that you would respond the way he would respond. Do what he would do while you go about your mothering and fathering, disciple. While you go about your CrossFit, your Pilates, or your spin class, disciple. Every moment of every day is drenched with redemptive potential.
When we understand Jesus is calling us into a new way of living, a new way of being, a new way of seeing the people around us, not merely as an event. While you go about your day, your everyday life, disciple. Great word, Ryan.
Thanks. Well, just before we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. Now, if you found this teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team, would you consider doing that today? To send a gift, go to livingontheedge.org, or text the word DONATE to 74141. It's that easy. Text DONATE to 74141, or visit livingontheedge.org. App listeners, just tap donate. And let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, for everyone here, this is Dave Drury saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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