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The Hope of Christmas - Wonderful Counselor, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2022 5:00 am

The Hope of Christmas - Wonderful Counselor, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 23, 2022 5:00 am

Can you imagine having Jesus as your own, personal, Christian counselor? Chip reminds us that Jesus counseled a woman who felt overwhelmed, resentful, and that life wasn’t fair. How did He help her process all that was going on? What did He say? Join Chip and find out!

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Can you imagine having Jesus as your therapist?

I mean, as your personal Christian counselor? Well, today He counsels a woman who feels overwhelmed, resentful, and life isn't fair. Join me as Jesus helps her process this.

And I think what He says to her is really going to help you and me. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouie, and the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. Thanks for joining us today as Chip wraps up his message, Wonderful Counselor, from our series, The Hope of Christmas. Now, in just a minute, he's going to unpack for us what he calls the four wisdom principles. If you're tired of the stress and anxiety that society keeps dishing out, these pieces of advice will help you block out those distractions so that you can focus on enjoying this time of year in a way you probably never have before. And if you'd like to help others experience a Christmas season like that, let me encourage you, after today's program, to share this message.

Now, you can easily do that through the Chip Ingram app or by downloading and sharing the free MP3s you'll find at Well, with that, grab your Bibles as we join Chip for the second half of his talk. Let's pick it up in Luke chapter 10 verse 38. Now, as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister, Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve all alone? Tell her to help me. Now, I don't know about you, and certainly she knows Jesus is a great rabbi and a great teacher, but sort of calling him out seems to be a little bit strong, right?

You know, like, hey, don't you care? Look what's happening here. So you got Mary, who, they're sisters, and Martha's realizing, wow, I mean, we need to prepare, we need to cook, we need to get it set up, we need to get the good dishes out. I mean, this is an important guest. So we can't have, like, two or three dishes.

We need four or five. I mean, everything's got to be just perfect. I mean, what really matters is all the stuff we do for God, right? So she's active and she's busy, and we pick up the story. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And so afterward, Jesus said, Martha, Martha, you're anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.

Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her. His words are really interesting. He uses a general word, you're distracted. It means an over preoccupation with a concern about future events. And then the word here, he says, you are troubled.

It's a more specific word. It's kind of what happens to you emotionally when you get locked up inside. So she's preoccupied about, we've got to get this, we've got to get this, we've got to get this, we've got to get this, and everything's going to be terrible unless we get it all lined out. And then she's not only anxious, but she's troubled within. And then he uses an interesting word. He says, what Mary has chosen won't be snatched away or taken away from her.

Isn't it interesting in both situations? Jesus' counsel, he says to the rich young ruler, he says, you have one problem. And he says to Martha, only one thing is necessary. And so I kind of looked through my counseling profile. And so the presenting problem is I have too much to do. I'm overwhelmed.

And as we say to one another, I'm stressed out. The diagnostic evaluation was she believes that Jesus doesn't care. And if other people would get with the program, her life would really work out well. Anybody ever feel overwhelmed like a victim? And if God really cared, he would be helping you a lot more than he is right now. And some of these other people, if they would just pull their weight in your house or pull their weight at work or pull their weight here, then things would really be better.

Has anyone ever felt that? I mean, this is a lady who's frazzled. And she's frazzled because her belief system is that what really honors God is her activity, her serving, her doing.

And like most of us, when doing is the focus, you can never do enough. Mary sat down and she had time for Jesus himself. Martha was doing things for him. Mary said, I'm not sure when this opportunity is going to come, but I want to be with him. You find during the Christmas season that your time with Christ gets squeezed? I mean, you got to shop, you got to eat, you got to cook, you got to go to these parties, you're out a little bit later, it's hard to get up.

What will be your game plan this Christmas to say, wow, if I have a supernatural counselor that wants to give me wisdom, put his arm around me, coach me through this season, and help me for my good, what do I need to hear from him? So she believes Jesus is about how much she does. The real issue is she substitutes her relationship with him for activity for him. And so he gives her a divine prescription and basically says, your problem, busyness, root issue, you don't get it.

You don't understand its priorities. You have built in traditional expectations that when someone comes to your home you have to do one, two, three, four, and five. And actually two would have been fine where you'd have time to be with me. So I would encourage you to ask yourself what are some things that you have always done that take time and put you under pressure and just ask this ridiculous question, should I even do that this year?

I mean, would the world fall apart if you said to a couple of those parties, I would really love to come but I'm just not able to make it. I have another very important priority and it's, you're going to spend time with God. Or, you know, anymore now everyone makes their Christmas cards and then you get something printed from someone that you hear from once a year, right? And on the printing it says, oh, I hope you have a blessed season, rejoice, la la la la la, maybe a verse if they're a Christian or you get a four page letter about how well all the, you know, my one son's a superstar, the other one's in Oxford, my daughter just won a beauty contest, right? You get those letters like I do and it's just like, yeah, I really, I don't want to know that much about your life, right? And you get these, and then sort of at the very end, oh, by the way, please pray for us because we're a little overwhelmed because we're leading seven Bible studies and, you know, it's just like, help me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's wrong to send out those letters, especially if they're well done. But I've met people that the weight of the whole season, what am I going to say in those letters? I've got to write out all those cards. What?

And I'm not saying, by the way, I'm not saying any of this is wrong. You may be led to do some things. I just remember about 15 years ago, I looked at everything and I thought, you know what, I'm just not doing Christmas cards.

I'm not doing them. They take a whole bunch of time. I'm trying to find all the addresses and I get a self, I can text people and call people and have a genuine connection with the top 25 or 30% than doing all those cards and all that stuff.

But believe me, for years, it was like a gun. How can you not send cards? Or for some of you, we have to bake everything ourselves, right? My grandmother, my mother, me, and it's, you know, it's nine days of baking and then we take these pies and then we put them over here and then we're here and then they're a little, get out of the kitchen.

I'm trying to make these pies. Why? Because I really love God, that's why, you know. And there's just all this crazy stuff we do. I'm just saying like, I'm just wondering whether Jesus would say, why don't you can some of that stuff?

I mean, really, that's kind of his words. He goes, Jesus, you're troubled about many things, but the only one thing is necessary. If we didn't do anything and our heart was to spend time with him and to express his love to other people and we didn't do any of the traditional stuff, we might have this weird experience like, wow, there wasn't much stress.

I had such joy. We got to help that family over here. What would happen if you just took off things that unconsciously that are expectations that you think to be a good person, a good mom, a good dad, a good single person, whatever, that you just, you haven't even thought about it. It's just the, it's December. What if you just said, I'm not, are you ready? What if you said, okay, if the child is born to us and his name will be called supernatural counselor, what if you took your whole Christmas list and expectations and said, oh, wonderful counselor, which ones of these do you want me to do and which ones you don't, I really don't need to do.

And is there anything maybe that's not on this long list that this year might really express love to people that you want on the list and then just kind of relax and do whatever he shows you. Now, by the way, he might give you a rich young ruler moment, right? See the rich young Euler, he was restless and dissatisfied and he had a hole in his soul and Jesus gave him the answer. He says, I could hear him going, you know, Hey Lord, I wanted help. I just didn't want that much help. I mean, I mean, I want to be close to you, but I want to keep my idols. I want to be in control.

I want people to know I've got stuff. I want to, and Jesus, you know, good counselors, the best ones I've ever had. There's times where you just want to get up and knock them out.

And usually if you're that defensive, it's because you realize they're really right. You're arrogant chip. You're a workaholic chip. You think you have to earn God's favor chip. You have to feel like you've got to do.

You're crazy and right. And then you, you walk through a journey and a process with some friends and say, I want to learn to be humble. I want to learn to be a servant. I want to learn to not care what other people think.

And you get some insight along the ways about your personality or where you picked up some of this stuff. But grace is saying, I am loved. Not because of anything I do, not if I do something and not to impress anyone. I am loved because the living God came to the planet born of a virgin that would be a full 100% man and a full 100% God. The classical theology is true humanity and undiminished deity without confusion. And he died upon a cross after living a perfect life and he's covered and paid for my sins. And I can receive that by faith and he will take up residence in me. And the Christian life is him living his life through me. And I walk with him and I do good things and kind acts, not to earn his favor. I already have it, but to express his love to other people and to give thanks for what he's done.

And that just takes mountains of pressure off. That's why Jesus came. He didn't come so he could check off the box, okay, no adultery, no this, no this, no this, no this, no this, no this, but I'm God and I'm in control. And he didn't come so he could say, okay, I'm going to do tons of things for God.

Some people do so much for God they miss a relationship with God. So are you ready for the third counseling session? Counseling number one is a restless, rich, young, successful moral person. Counseling number two is a harried, stressed out woman. And counseling number three is you and me. And I want to give you four little principles that I've drawn for this Christmas season for me and for you.

I call them wisdom principles to follow this Christmas. Number one, stuff will never satisfy. Giving stuff to other people won't satisfy.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying don't give Christmas gifts. I'm just saying ask what do you give and why? And what are you going to do? And are you given what you can afford or given all these games we play like I hear people say stuff like, well, you know, I really can't afford it and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but it's the Christmas season. Like, oh, that's licensed to be stupid.

It's the Christmas season. I think I'll be irresponsible. Stuff won't satisfy.

So how do you personally declare war on the stuff world? Second is being good is never good enough. Built into the drivenness is being good but demonstrating to other people you're good. Being good teacher. Jesus said, who are you calling good?

There's only one that's good. That's God. It's about a grace relationship. It's being forgiven. The performance orientation that you have and I have is thinking someday, somehow good. I'll get good enough to earn God's favor or earn people's favor. I want you to know you've got God's favor because of what Christ did. Third, our activities for God and others can destroy our relationship with God and others.

So just, I mean, do an inventory check on your activities. Your good activities. What Martha was doing was good but her good activity for Jesus and the other guests actually ruined her relationship with Jesus and not just the other guests but her own sister. Fourth, if you're too busy to listen and pray, you're too busy.

Right? I mean, if God, Emmanuel, what's it mean? God is with us. God came near. Jesus left heaven to be with you and then we celebrate it by not having time to be with him.

Does anybody see sort of something that doesn't make sense on that one? Maybe you're going to read the book of Luke. Maybe you're going to read the Christmas story. How are you going to be with him to listen and to pray? What's that look like either in the morning or what's that look like in the family or what's that look like?

I don't know. But let me encourage you. The Wonderful Counselor wants this to be an amazing Christmas of deep connection with him, of great love toward other people and you being deeply satisfied. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, Wonderful Counselor from his series, The Hope of Christmas. Centuries before Jesus came to earth, the prophet Isaiah said, for those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine and they will rejoice. He was reminding the Israelites that their Messiah was coming and not to lose hope. And that word hope has tremendous power. It can heal hurts, help push through tough times and provide motivation to live like a genuine follower of God. And sometimes we need to be reminded to hold on to that hope too, which is what Chip's been talking about. So if you're looking for some comfort and encouragement this Christmas season, listen to this entire series, The Hope of Christmas at

Well, Chip's been sitting here in studio with me and Chip, before we get to your application, take a minute, if you would, and share some deeper context to the verse I mentioned from Isaiah. I mean, can you help us kind of zoom out and get a better understanding of this Christmas message? Because I think we sometimes lose sight of that this time of year.

Here Dave, you know, sometimes Christmas gets overwhelming and most of us know the big story. But 700 years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah in chapter 9 verses 6 and 7 gives us the titles of the Messiah. He calls this Messiah Christ Jesus, the one that we knew who came to save the world, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And so what I wanted people to see was the very life of Jesus as a Wonderful Counselor, how He revealed Himself as a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. And so I think it's going to be one of those, especially when we think of all the things we're going through in the world and in our country.

Now's the time for a bedrock, unchanging view where there's hope, hope no matter what happens anywhere at any time our God is on the throne and the Lord Jesus came. And I can't think of anything more important in this season than to remember that. That's so true, Chip, thanks. Well, let me encourage you to download the message notes for these important programs. And again, to listen to this entire series, go to and download the free MP3s.

That's As we close today's program, I flew through those four wisdom principles really fast. So lean back for just a minute, and I want you to think about these and their application for you. Number one is stuff will never satisfy. Be thoughtful with gifts, but just refuse to overspend, okay? I mean, for some of you, that's going into your head, but let it sink in.

I mean, that'll be really a challenge. Spending more money on something doesn't mean you love people more. Second, being good is never good enough. Grace says you're good enough, you don't have to earn it. Boy, there is something about especially this time of year of wanting to earn people's approval and I need to do this and I need to do that and all those expectations.

Being good is never good enough. You are loved and cherished by God just for who you are, right where you're at. Number three, our activities for God and others can destroy our relationships with God and others.

I'm going to say that again more slowly. Our activity for God and others, hurry here, hurry there, do this, do that, how to get that done, can actually destroy our relationships with God and others. I want you to know that the perfect meal, the cleanest house, the greatest wrap present is never a substitute for looking into someone's eyes, listening from the heart, having words of life and affirmation.

If you could connect at the heart level with the people that you care about and especially maybe those that you have a little more trouble loving than others, we all have that in our families, right? It'll make it a far better Christmas than the perfect presentation, the most amazing meal and the gift that you just know is going to make a difference and unfortunately never does. Fourth principle is if you're too busy to listen and pray, you're just too busy. God knows all the demands on your time, but He wants first place. He would love to spend time with you, to enjoy time with you, to speak to you, to give you perspective and wisdom and peace. Let's make this a Christmas season filled with relationship and love and hope, not just stuff and activity. This can be a different Christmas.

Let's do it. Thanks, Chip. Well, in case you missed some of the points Chip just reviewed, they're pulled straight from his message notes, which is a tool available for every program. They include his outline, all of the scripture references and lots of fill-ins to help you remember what you're learning. They'll really help you get the most out of every program. Chip's message notes are a quick download at under the broadcasts tab. App listeners, just tap fill in notes. Well, from all of us here, I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Until next time, this is Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 05:29:14 / 2022-12-23 05:37:39 / 8

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