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Spiritual Simplicity - Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2023 5:00 am

Spiritual Simplicity - Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 12, 2023 5:00 am

How would you like to simplify your life and at the same time experience more love than you ever thought possible? Join Chip as he shares a time-tested method for loving more by doing less.


Does someone need you to believe in them today?

Is there someone you know that a word from you, an affirmation, a compliment, it'll change the course of their day and maybe the course of their life? We're going to learn how to do that today. Stay with me. Well, in just a minute, Chip's going to pick up where he left off in his series, Spiritual Simplicity, with a hope-filled message from 1 Corinthians chapter 13. He's going to comfort those who feel unlovable because of past mistakes and encourage those who are desperate to mend a broken relationship. Well, there's a lot of helpful content to get to, so let's join Chip now for the remainder of his talk, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. Who in your world, who in your world needs you to look them into the eye and say, you know, yeah, you blew it, or there is a struggle, or this is a pattern in your life, but I believe in you. I care about you. I believe in you. There's a friend of mine who's an extraordinarily gifted guy, and I just kind of, you ever watch people kind of get a lot of darts here and darts there, and I've seen him recently, he's kind of discouraged and was more discouraged, and as I was praying one morning, God just prompted me, you need to go sit down and talk with this guy. And so I did, and asked him a few questions, and as he began to share, I said, well, time out. Do you understand in your field, you're probably one of the top three in all of America?

Okay, maybe top five, I think three, two. Do you understand God has used you to do this, this, this, this, and this? Yeah. Do you understand what these things that are getting you down are about this big?

You know, you're starting to believe the criticisms that you're getting. I just want to tell you something, I believe in you. I'm behind you 100%, and whatever you decide to do with your life, I want you to know I'm in it with you.

And you know what, it wasn't a big deal, but I watched his countenance change, and I watched what happened to him the rest of the week. Who in your world needs to hear from you? I believe in you. That mistake, that divorce, that abortion, that dropping out of school, that not making the team, that lie, it doesn't have the power to define you.

I believe in you. Who needs to hear that from you? And maybe change the course of their life.

You know what it's called? It's called love. And what we're going to learn is when you do this, see, love never fails. Love never fails when you bear with one another and cover the sin.

Love never fails when you believe in people. Third, love hopes all things. Word is used 32 times in the New Testament, 18 times it's translated trust, 10 times it's translated hope, a handful of times it's translated hope for. It has the idea to wait for and have confidence in deliverance. Usually it has the idea of salvation, deliverance not just from the forgiveness of your sin, but deliverance out of this world and all of its evil, and our great, great hope is heaven. The return of Christ, the anchor of our soul. There is coming a day that no matter what's happening, how unfair it may be, our ultimate, ultimate hope is that we have a savior, the God-man Jesus who died, was raised from the dead, and those who trust in him have an eternal hope. And practically, it's not hope and hope. When people speak kind of in English or, you know, in a sort of casual way, they use hope, I would translate it wishful thinking.

It goes something like this. So what are you going to do? Meeting someone at work. I'm going to Vegas this weekend. Really? Yeah. What are you going to do? Get married?

Really? How long you known him? Two weeks? Hope it works out? Good luck.

How those last two marriages go? Not very good, but I'm hoping for the best. Hope, hope, hope, hope. It's just hoping and hope. There's no basis.

It's like writing checks without a bank account. By contrast, this is confidence. This is absolute confidence. Not that this person has the power to change. Not that circumstances are going to change and work everything out.

This is a hope that's rooted in the promises of God, the character of God, and the sovereignty of God, that he's in absolute control. And even though these are situations where someone's been struggling with addiction, and you've tried and tried and tried, and they've been to a couple rehabs, someone who's, you know, you've got a kid, they lie, they lie, they lie, you've done everything but stand on your head. And guess what?

They still lie. This is a problem in a marriage that you can't even get them to go to counseling and you hope and hope and hope. And I mean, this is just where you got a co-worker that, I mean, they just make everybody crazy, but they happen to be your supervisor. And you get to the point where you're just out of emotional gas. And you get where they're going to change, that there's going to be some big thing happen. You lose hope in their capacity or in your ability to fix the situation. This is a hope where you say, you know something?

I've done all I can do. This person, I'm not putting my hope that someday, someway, under the right conditions, they're going to have this aha moment and everything's going to be wonderful. But I refuse to give up hope because this is a book where Saul became Paul.

This is a book where Rahab went from prostitute to being in the line of the Messiah. This is a book as long as the resurrection of Christ is true, failure is never final. And I'm not going to trust in this person. I'm not going to trust in this program. I'm not going to trust in my ability, but I'm going to trust that the all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign, loving God cares about this person.

And I'm going to trust that he's going to work. I had a really, what I thought was a pretty good illustration right at this point in my message, which I would share right now, but I'm not going to. Last night we were singing, and as we were singing, the third song was the greatness of our God. And as we were singing that song, it was just like God, bang, hit me. And I just remember knowing the songwriter of that song. And that song now was introduced at Hillsong. There was a hundred thousand worship leaders from all over the world, and it's coming out on four or five major albums with major worship leaders.

I mean, it's just sweeping the globe. And as I was sitting there last night and singing the song and hearing just people embrace the greatness of our God, I just thought you really are great. Because see, when that songwriter was 16, I lost all hope that any of my parenting in any way could ever make any difference. When that songwriter was 17, we were so butting of heads and he was rebellious, and he had a dad that was young and afraid and was too hard on him at the wrong times. And we just had a horrendous situation in our house.

And I got to where, I mean, he told me, he said, Dad, I got to tell you, I kind of like you as a person. I just don't believe in any of the Christianity. That's where you're going. I'm not buying it.

I'm just rebelling. And I mean, it broke my heart. And Teresa and I would sit up in bed and pray and talk and cry. And he had no desire. I came to where, you know what, I have lost all hope that he will change, and I have lost all hope that I have any parenting technique that will bring about change. And I had just absolute hope that the God who changed Saul from Paul, the person that you think it's impossible for God to reach or change, the issue in your marriage that you think is stuck forever, or something with one of your parents or one of your kids or a close friend. And I just came to, you know what, as long as Jesus rose from the dead, God still does the impossible.

And God, I'm asking you for your glory and for your name that you do something special in that boy's life. And about late 17, it's a long story, he did. By 18 he was leading worship. By 19 he had a band. By 20 something he was going around the country.

And then pretty soon he just started writing music. And to think that someone I had no hope could change, and I saw my failure in my parenting to think that God would have him write a song that millions of people would talk about how great God is. That, my friend, is biblical hope. And that's what Jesus did for Peter. I mean, I don't know, there's lots of sins and I think sometimes we categorize them probably a little differently than God does. I think with God, betrayal is like way up there on the top of the list. You know, people that love you, give their life, they care, and you turn your back on them and you just totally diss them.

That's what Peter did. Under pressure, I don't know him. In fact, it was blankety blank blank, I've never seen the guy.

In the blankety blanks are cuss words for those of you who wonder what that means. And he turned away completely. And Jesus had such confidence. You know, one, he told Peter, you know, you're going to blow it. My trust isn't in your bravado. My trust isn't, everyone else will let you down, I'll never let you down. My trust is not in the Peter of your willpower and what you think you can do. My trust is in what God can do, the acts to Peter. And then after Peter, you repent, go back and strengthen your brothers.

I believe in the Peter, the statement that upon this rock, I'm going to build my church and the rock isn't your personality, your ability. It is my word and my promises through you. And so in John 21, we have this amazing picture of this betrayer and he feels like he's ashamed and he's blown it and he's betrayed the Lord and he's heard about the resurrection and he feels like a heel. And my life's over and I'm not going to be any good. And I just I've blown it. It's too it's too much.

It's too long. Peter, have some fish. Thanks, Lord. Peter, question, do you love me? Yeah. Peter, do you love me?

Yeah. Peter, do you love me? Betrayal, betrayal, betrayal, question, question, question.

Lord, you know all things. You know where Peter got? My hope is not in my ability to obey, but you know my heart.

I've blown it. Peter, feed my sheep, feed my lambs, feed my sheep. God reinstated, God restored someone you know needs to know that your hope in God, not their ability to change, can bring about change.

Who's that person and what will it look like this week for you to love him? The final way we learn is we endure. We endure all things. To endure means to actively remain, to persevere under misfortune and trial.

I love this. The meaning of the word is to bear bravely and calmly ill treatment. It means to remain.

You might just jot in your note, love stays. It's not staying out of an inability to leave or inability to set boundaries or inability to deliver consequences. It's not an enmeshed codependency love that says I have to stay because I'm an incomplete person. And so I will live in this dysfunctional situation and continue in this abuse or continue in this dysfunction.

No, no, no, no, no. Truth and grace. Truth, here's the boundaries and that kind of behavior, that kind of addiction, those kind of things will not be tolerated.

And here's consistent consequences and the help from others to maintain those. Grace. But I'm not giving up on you. See, the opposite of love is not hate. When there's hate, there's passion left. The opposite of love is indifference. You just don't care. Just what the heck? And often you say that more strongly.

Just forget it. This endurance, hupo meno, hupo to be under meno, distress, misfortune, pain, difficulty. And it's an active word. It's not passively I'm going to endure what's happening around me.

It's an active engagement of remaining healthy and understanding. This is the truth that must be obeyed, but despite these devastating failures and I might have every reason and right to leave, I'm going to stay. And I'm not going to stay because of you.

I'm going to stay because what God has done in me and the strength and grace he gives me to demonstrate the love of Christ to you. That's what Jesus did on the cross. He endured. It wasn't nails that held him up there. It wasn't the Romans that put him up there and it wasn't the Jews that got him there. What held him on the cross was he endured love stays and he remained because he knew you would fail badly and I would fail badly.

And you may think you've just messed up a little when the standard is absolute unapproachable light, complete perfection 24-7, 365. As long as you live, you fail badly. And so he endured. And as he endured, the scripture says that he became sin or a sin offering on our behalf. And so your sin, my sin, the sin of all people for all time, as he hung upon that cross as an offering, he took all that sin and he placed it on Christ and then he turned away because he couldn't tolerate sin. And the wrath of God for your sin and my sin and all people's sins. And that's why Jesus cried, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Because there was a division in the Godhead for the first time in all eternity. And when he died, he paid or covered or atoned for your sin and my sin once and for all. And the gospel is not get religious, become a Christian and try hard to be moral. The gospel is you have already been forgiven. The wonderful happy news is of a God of love and kindness. And you can receive it by faith. You don't have to receive it.

You can tell God, forget you, I don't want your free gift, but you can never earn it. And so those that would understand the good news of the gospel that you have been forgiven and the offer is by faith, will you receive it? And those who receive it by faith, by turning from their sin and believing and trusting on what Christ done, the spirit of God enters their life.

They're born from above or literally born again. And the spirit is sealed in their physical body. And the life of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit takes up residence in you. And you have been removed from the kingdom of darkness, placed in the kingdom of light.

Spiritual gifts have been deposited. You're connected to the supernatural community called the church. And then God wants through his spirit in relationship for you to begin to walk by faith and live and enjoy him.

So the Christian life is not how long you read the Bible, not how much you pray, not how much money you give, not how many good works. It's all about abiding in a relationship with the Father through the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit. And then what you find is you love to be around people that you love. And you begin to read this because God speaks to you and your relationship deepens. And then you start talking to him. And it's not just a little five minutes or ten minutes in the morning or at night, but it's all through the day. And then pretty soon the love of God compels you because of what he's done in you to share that with other people. And you find yourself taking money out of your pocket to other people who need it more. And you don't get little brownie points for it.

You are just following Christ. Why? Because love never fails. Love never fails. Literally the word is translated over 70 times, falls, or to fall down. It means love never falls down, love never gets corrupted, love never gets ruined. When you love, situations and circumstances may not come out the way you want them all the time, but you will never lose.

Why? Because you are governed by an all-wise, all-powerful, sovereign God. That's why Joseph, who was betrayed, who was lied about in terms of the rape, who was forgotten in prison, at the end of his life, the difficulty, the pain, he understood, I don't get it, but I'm not. I'm going to stay in God's program. He's in control. And he would say at the end of his life, after he's made the second most powerful person and saved the entire nation of Israel, he would say to his brothers who feared for their life after their father died, thinking now Joseph will take revenge.

And he says to them, guys, you still don't get it, do you? You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive. When you love, you can never fail. Outcomes may not be the way you want them, but you can never fail.

It never fails. Listen carefully. Nothing will enter your life that God does not either decree or allow, and nothing will ever enter your life that if you're willing to trust him, he cannot work out for your good. That's what it means when we say God is sovereign. And his sovereignty and rule in your life begins when you can just do what we said at the very beginning. Admit I failed.

All the energy of blaming other people, blaming your past, blaming your parents, blaming someone else, blaming Hollywood, blaming, you know, your family of origin, when you can just face love requires truth and grace. And just own up and say, I'm not the dad I'm supposed to be. I'm not the Christ follower I'm supposed to be. What's coming out of my mouth is a failure. How I'm spending my money is a failure. And this addiction I have, I'm failing. God, I admit it.

I can't do this. Will you forgive me? His answer will be, I already have. And he will ask, will you receive it?

And your answer needs to be unreservedly. Scripture says if we confess, it just means to agree with God. If we confess our sin, missing the mark, failure. He's faithful and he's fair to not only forgive you of your sin, but to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. For many that happens at a very first time and we call it trusting Christ, becoming a Christian. For many, many people that are Christians, you've trusted Christ. The fact of the matter is, you're just negotiating all your failures.

You're just blaming here and shucking and jiving here. And you've got to come clean and be honest and get real. And receive his forgiveness and then follow with his power and his grace. The truth of the matter is, Christians and non-Christians alike have one country song in common. A lot of us are looking for love in all the wrong places. And when we do, we hurt ourselves. We hurt other people and we miss God's best.

If you're going to find love in the right places, I'm going to tell you where it's at. The intimacy, the security, the significance, the purpose, the impact. It happens in the family of God. It's when his word takes root in your life and you have relationships that are rich and deep.

And you feel connected and there's genuine intimacy. And that aligns your sexual expressions in a way that are God-honoring and fruitful. That aligns the spending of your money and your priorities that are God-honoring and fruitful. That gets your time redirected in ways that are God-honoring and fruitful.

And we call it becoming a Romans 12 Christian. And the verse says 9 through 11, it says, Let love be sincere, literally it means take off your mask. Let love be without hypocrisy. Notice, abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.

No, no, here's the love. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, giving preference to one another in honor. Not lagging behind a diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, contributing the needs of the... It's just talking about doing life in community with a band of brothers and sisters where the real you shows up and meets real needs for the right reason and the right way. And my passion, and if I'm getting a little excited, I'd say forgive me, but I don't want forgiving.

The great majority of Christians in America and around the world think church is an event that you come to once a week. It's a community that you join, that you do life with, and where God changes you from the inside out. What would happen if you got connected with a group of people and you got really loved to change the entire trajectory of your family? I long for you to maximize love, minimize the trivial demands of life so you simplify, so you become who God made you to be. Chip will be back with his application for this message, looking for love in all the wrong places from his series Spiritual Simplicity, Doing Less, Loving More. Most of us live very hectic lives that move too fast, demand too much, and deliver too little.

If you're desperate for an alternative that actually works, then this study is for you. Chip's teaching will help you get out of this destructive pattern and reveal how to better prioritize what matters most and love others in a fresh, revolutionary way. If you've missed any part of this series, let me encourage you to catch up via the Chip Ingram app. Well, Chip's back with me in studio, and Chip, you wrapped up your message today by stressing that we do life with a band of brothers and sisters where the real you shows up and meets real needs for the right reason, in the right way. Why is that such an important part of our Christian walk?

Well, Dave, I'll tell you. I don't want to oversimplify, but Jesus said, I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly. At the heart of the Christian life, it's allowing Jesus to live his life through you by the power of the Holy Spirit, rooted in the Word of God in the context of community.

And that little word bio means life. And so I've just taken that acronym here, Living on the Edge, and it simplifies it for me. If you want the life of Christ lived out, it means B, you have to get before God daily and before Him with other people weekly in worship.

The I is for in community. You have to do life with people, heart to heart, face to face, and the O is on mission 24-7. What I've seen so much is people have lost the in community aspect.

It's impossible to obey the Word of God, to experience life by yourself. So what we've done is we've put all of our small group resources on sale to encourage you to get in community, get with a group of people, watch the videos on your own, then discuss them. Do it live, do it online, do it however it works best, but take the next step, get in community.

You'll never regret it. Thanks, Chip. To check out all of our small group resources, go to or call 888-333-6003.

And let me tell you, they're so easy to use. Chip provides the teaching, and you and your group will have time to discuss what you've heard with the help of our insightful study guides. So order your small group resources today. And for a limited time, we've discounted them to encourage you to build community. For more details, call 888-333-6003 or visit

App listeners tap special offers. With that, here's Chip to share his application. As we close today's program, I just want to ask you two very important questions. Question number one, is there someone that God wants you to help overcome the mistakes of their past? You know, it's one thing to know intellectually God loves us, He forgives us, it's been paid for by the cross, Christ has been risen from the dead, and He offers us free, unconditional love and forgiveness. But you know, we all need someone to put a hand on our shoulder, to look deep into our eyes and say, you know, I forgive you, I love you, I believe in you, that mistake is behind you, and God has a future for you, and I want to walk with you in that. Is there someone you know today that a phone call, a text, an email, a lunch, a breakfast, that God is prompting you right now, imagine thousands of people making one singular step to affirm someone who's made a mistake, the difference that it could make today. And secondly, there's some of you that you realize this message isn't for someone else, you've made a big mistake, and you feel overwhelmed and bad and guilty. Would you right now bow your head, shut your eyes, and just ask God to help you receive His love and forgiveness. You don't have to earn it, you can't get it back, you can't work yourself back into some standing, He loves you. Would you just say, Lord, I believe and trust as I confess right now, you love and forgive me. And then today, share where you've been with one trusted friend so that a brother or sister in Christ can help you seal the deal that you indeed are forgiven. Well, if you prayed with Chip, we'd love to put a free resource in your hands called Starting Out Right. It'll help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to put your faith in Jesus. Request this free resource by calling 888-333-6003 or by visiting, then clicking on the New Believers button. That's or call 888-333-6003. And as Chip always says, welcome to the family. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-12 05:24:21 / 2023-01-12 05:35:31 / 11

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