According to a recent survey, we want to reduce the clutter, the stress, the ongoing chaos of our busy lives. But the big question is, how do you really simplify your life? Well, today we're going to talk about a plan that will help you cut through the noise and to begin to simplify your life today. Stay with me.
You're going to love it. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians.
And in just a minute, he'll pick up where he left off last time in our series Spiritual Simplicity. For the past several programs, Chip's been describing the freeing power of doing less and how it helps us love people better. But before Chip gets started, let me encourage you to try using his message notes while you listen. They contain his outline, scripture references, and much more.
They'll really help you remember what you hear. To download Chip's message notes, go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, tap listeners, tap fill in notes. Okay, here's Chip with part two of his message, In the Name of Love.
You know what? I wonder what would have happened if we would have eaten together three or four times a week. I wonder what would have happened if instead of being so busy, I actually blocked off the first 30 minutes of every day and talked with God so I could keep my priorities straight.
I wonder what would have happened instead of two or three hours every night just to wind down and watching fairly mindless TV if I would have spent some time investing in the things that matter and the people that matter and giving attention to things that I know that would last. This is what the apostle Paul's saying. He's saying this is how love responds to misplaced priorities.
And then he gives us a solution. I love the Bible. It's not just, you know, he's saying, you know, you could be successful in business or finances or your kids could get in the best schools, but any success minus love equals a goose egg. Everything minus love is a zero. And so what would happen, just what would happen if sometime you started a brand new journey and the new journey went something like this, I'm not sure what I'll do with the entire rest of my life, but until I take my last breath, I'm going to start thinking and planning and praying and structuring my life, my activities and my energy and my money around two things, loving God and loving people. And I'm going to stop cheating by saying one thing and pretending it's true.
And I'm going to ask, do my finances and my time and my closest relationships reflect that I really love God and love people? And here's the promise. Love never fails. You'll never have a regret. You'll never say no to one youth sport activity or a few more hours at work or one more deal that you can do where you say, no, this vacation is planned and we're going to go away.
You'll never look back and go, oh, I wish you would have done one more deal. But you will look back with regret if love's not the number one priority. And so he tells us how to do it.
Are you ready for this? He says, grow up. So how does how does love respond to misplaced priorities? You grow up. I mean, look, look what he says. Verse 11, he says, when I was a child, I talked, I thought and I reasoned as a child. But when I became a man and this word means a man who has responsibility, who's at the point in his life is old enough to reproduce. So I did a little thinking about how kids think or children think. And the word for child here is a small child. So let me tell you how children think and then we'll talk about how adults think. And then you can ask yourself, how am I talking and thinking and reasoning like a child? The word talk here just means what comes out of your mouth.
It's no technical term to it. But what comes out of our mouth always reveals what's in our heart. The word think here is that same word that's used in same root word as in. Remember Romans 12 to don't think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.
But think is to have sober back. Same word judgment as God is a lot of each. It's about processing and evaluating how what's going on and why. And then the word reasoning here is one of my favorite words.
It's low kids. Am I it's found in Romans 12 one. Do you hear logic.
Am I. It means to reason it. It's a very clear it's reckoning. It's an accounting term.
It's weighing things. Here's all the positive. Here's all the negatives. Here's the PNL. Here's what we'll deliver here.
Here's what won't. It's a reasoning matter of fact thinking. And in Romans 12 one at the very end it says for this is your spiritual service of worship.
The word spiritual or reasonable is this word. Now here's how kids think. Here's how they when I hear kids talk little kids. They say I want it. I mean I did an experiment a sociological experiment Friday night. I had two kids stay overnight in my house.
One was three and one just turned six. And I heard Papa. I want that. I want that.
I want that. Can we do this can please please yes yes can want want want want want that's how kids think. And how they talk.
And then how they think is what about them. I mean there's 50 toys on our living room floor. There's two kids. One kid's playing with I want that I want that I want I want the kids by nature. They don't wake up in the morning thinking I wonder how I can encourage mom and dad today.
You know or they don't they don't walk into a room with other seven year olds and say hey anybody feeling kind of down need a little time to talk. Did everybody you know. Hey did did everyone get their milk.
I want to make sure I've got two here. You can you can have seven milks and three kids and they fight over who gets two or three. That's childish. Paul says when he was a child he talked like a child.
Want want want. He thought like a child about me me me. And he reasoned as a child. And the way kids reason are called now immediate gratification. You know if you tell them you can have five candy bars a week from now or you can have one now the rappers off of it. They can't even think about five candy bars later. It's immediate.
It's now I've got to have it. That's how kids think. How do adults think. Talk and reason. Well a kid says I want.
An adult says what's needed. What's needed here. Not what I want. Not what you want.
What's needed. What's best. Kids say it's all about me. When you're an adult what you realize is.
Anything that works it's about others. Maturity is thinking about others. Especially for you moms.
I don't think there's probably hardly a mom in the whole world that gets up thinking. Oh I wonder how I'm going to spend this day on me today. When you're an adult.
When you walk into an office it's about. What do these people need. I'm responsible.
You think about others. And adults reasoning goes something like this. Two words. Delayed gratification. It's not what this is going to deliver today. It's what is it going to deliver over the long haul.
What will this behavior produce next week next year five years from now. It's adults ask the question not what can I have now. Adults ask what is needed and what is best for the longest haul for the most people. What's wise. What has value.
What will deliver. Now he goes on to talk about cloudy vision leads to complexity. And I want to give you a few and me a little grace because. If you think this these messages are hard to listen to you should have to come up with them.
I'm serious I mean I get it. I could apply this stuff if I don't apply it to me first I got nothing to say. And the principle is notice what he says for now. We see in a mirror dimly and by the way a mirror in the ancient world was not like your mirror where everything was clear.
It was a piece of steel that was brushed. And so you could see yourself and you make yourself out but it was cloudy. You knew who it was and it was helpful but it wasn't crystal clear. He says now temporal in this life the way we're living we see in a mirror but it's kind of cloudy. So it's complex and so it's hard to know. And some people say this and some people say this and then you get busy and you feel a pool here and a pool here. And there's competing demands and there's a demand for this and a demand for this and the demand for family demand for when do you do what.
How can you ever know. And so most of us try and do it all and not do any of it very well and neglect our own soul. He says now we see in a mirror dimly but then he's talking about when Christ comes back then we'll see fully. Now we we know and see in part but then it's going to be face to face.
Jot in your notes first John 3 2. We do not know what we will be like but this is what we know. When we see him we will be like him. When you meet Christ face to face we will be transformed and we will be like him not God. But as created beings these glorified bodies I mean everything gets clear.
And when it's clear notice what happens when things are absolutely clear. He says now abide faith hope and love the greatest of these is love. Love why one because at last faith is trusting or believing what I can't see the promises and the character of God. But someday faith becomes sight. Hope is this anchor of your soul the certainty that God says I am coming back. I have forgiven you I am in control and it's not a wish it's an absolute hope. But at one point in time your hope turns from hope to possession.
You will walk with God if you're a Christ follower if you received his forgiveness. But love will continue on because when you see him face to face what's first John say. God is love. We will love one another perfectly that's why it's never ruined it never falls. When you have a cloudy vision about your purpose and your priorities it produces complexity.
When you have a clear vision about where you're going why you're going there what's important and how to get there it produces love. Now if I was sitting there like I've been with this text. And I really wanted my priorities and some of these are big issues right. I mean this this isn't like this isn't like oh hey why don't you pray a couple extra little prayers. I mean this is some of you saying you know what I'm not sure I'm in the right job. This is some of you saying well if this isn't the right job I don't know if I can continue living in this community. For some of you it's like well you know we're both working and we never see our kids. Maybe one of us needs to stop. I mean for some it's like you know aren't my schedules nuts. I mean I intend and want and you know I don't read the Bible I don't talk with God much and I can't figure why it's not working.
Ding ding ding ding ding. You know I know that I could get help from people and I'd love to get one of those small groups I hear it's really great. I don't have time to make time to love God to create margin to nourish your own soul. Some of you haven't taken a day off and ages and haven't had what's a real vacation in years. And you know what you reap and then you're going to sow. But what you need to hear is this isn't like a message you have misplaced priorities and God is mad at you. What you need to hear is you're living in a world that's complex in a place that's fast with a lot of smart people.
And this is your heavenly father saying let's call a time out. I don't want your life to end up a super duper temporal ice sculpture that impresses people. And then you get near the end of your life or maybe even five or 10 years from now. And the most important relationships and issues in your life be puddles of water. And you say wow I was successful my kids got in this school or you know I was upperly mobile or I worked all these hours and they promoted me or you know I did this and I did that. And then you know you just think and it profited you nothing.
And then you became nothing. And so you got to grow up. You got to learn to talk like an adult. You got to start asking questions like what's really needed.
You need to begin to think like an adult. What do the people in my sphere that I'm responsible for what do they need what not what do they want not what makes them happy not if I say this will they reject me. Do they need a cell phone at this age. Do they need to be watching this or that. Are these the right friends for them to be with for some of us. Do I need to keep hanging around this group of people that I find myself making progress and pulled back away.
Do I need to keep burning two to three hours a night because I'm exhausted. Do I need to keep that second glass of wine every night or do I basically have an addiction. See this this is this is hard stuff. Unless we grow up. Unless we ask you know what. What's wise. What's best. Who do I really want to become. What kind of relationships do I really want to have. What do you want to be known for. What do you really want to be known for. I can't think of a greater goal than.
And I'm praying and I've got so far to go. But I would love. I don't want my kids. Adult kids now to say wow. My dad was a busy pastor. I like my adult kids to say. You know my dad had a lot on his plate. But man I heard from him every week. He had time for my kids.
He really cared about me. I want my wife. You know I figure. At the pace that I go I'll probably go before she does. I hope so. Because I need her a lot more than she needs me.
But man I hope. After I die I hope my wife will say. You know something he did have a lot on his plate. But man we had a rich deep. He loved me.
He loved me and he loved God. And what I can tell you is I've had various seasons of my life. Like you have in your life.
Where I just had to say you know something. I'm going to have to uncloud my vision. And I may see him part. If you want. This is a lamp into your feet and a light into your path. If you want to get clear vision. You have to be in God's word.
No legalism. No ought or got to. It is a love relationship. If you want to know if you're doing the right thing.
You need to talk and talk to God out loud. And when you're confused. Ask him a question and sit quietly.
And see if he doesn't give you direction. If you want to make it in this life. And stay clear and stay on course. It's not hard to do it alone. It's impossible to do it alone. You will have to create margin in your life. To be with a group of people to say. I can't love God and love others by myself.
Will you help me? If you want the kind of family that you know is in the back of your mind. That you hope someday someway it's going to have. You will have to structure in. Times around the table and times for vacation.
And times to really talk. Because you're going to get the outcomes of what you structured. The way you're presently living. Is going to produce the continued outcomes of what you're presently receiving. It really is about just loving God and loving one another.
If you'll turn to the last page. I put our R12 application as being separate from the world's values. Because in essence what I've really talked about is how to be holy. Holy is not. That word conjures up for some of us black robes and candles.
People with really big black bibles. Sometimes weird and mystical. The word holy just means different. The word literally means something that's set apart. That it's special.
It just means different. God wants a different life for you. A better life. A holy life. Is moral purity a part of it?
Absolutely. But he wants something different for you. I mean look at the families in America and the single people in America. And all the pain and all the junk and all the stuff.
He's just saying, I don't want that for you. So stop being conformed to this world's values. And start not trying hard. But renew your mind. Say no to some of the movies and some of the stuff and some of the time. And some of the novels and some of the relationships.
That keep telling you you've got to look like this and act like this. And earn this much and do this stuff and live at this pace. And shut out some of that and start renewing your mind with God's truth.
And then notice, look in your notes. What's the second half of that verse say? What's his heart? His heart isn't that you become religious and weird. His heart is that you might approve or taste or test or experience his will for you. Which is good, acceptable and perfect.
I jotted down. When we have misplaced priorities. Even when it's out of ignorance. We end up buying what we don't need to impress people that don't care. We listen to what the world says instead of what God's word says. We assume that the goal in our parenting is to make our kids successful and happy. Instead of holy. We don't live differently and therefore the great majority of all people who sincerely love God.
Miss God's best. And the point of simplifying your life. Is not to become some weird religious fanatical Christian in the negative sense.
Is that you could be holy as God is holy. So that you could experience the very best. And that when people would rub up against your life and your lifestyle and your values. As a single person, as a married person, as people with kids. They would see a refreshing, peaceful, deep, connected relationship. That flows out of your time with God. Your time with others. And they would just say something like, you know something?
This world's nuts. How could you say no to that opportunity? Or how do you balance your life with all your responsibility? And you will have an answer that will say, you know something? I was going really strong and I really love God. But I came out of denial. And I decided that I would actually make loving God and loving people my number one priority. And trust that the hard decisions and the people that I disappoint, that God was big enough to take care of that.
And that's my prayer for you. Chip will be right back with his application for this message, In the Name of Love, from his series, Spiritual Simplicity. Doing Less, Loving More. Have you ever felt like there's never enough time in the day for yourself, the people you love, even God?
If so, then don't miss this series. Chip's going to challenge the unrealistic standards and norms we all feel pressured by. Join us as we learn how to break free from this demanding cycle and uncover the simpler, more fulfilling life God has for us. To get more plugged in with this series, Spiritual Simplicity, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org.
That's LivingOnTheEdge.org. Well, Chip's joined me here in studio. And Chip, today you challenged us to better prioritize our love for God and for others. And here at Living on the Edge, we believe the best environment to make that happen is in small groups. So take a minute, if you would, and unpack why genuine relationships with other believers are so vital to our faith. 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 livingontheedge.org 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 livingontheedge.org. App listeners tap Special Offers. Well, as we wrap up our program, here again is Chip to share his application for this message. When you listened today, where did God speak to you? You know, we talked about growing up.
You have to flat out grow up if you're going to receive and give love. And I asked three little questions. And I want to remind you of these three questions as we end our time together.
The first one is, what is wise? You know, what's the wise thing for you? What's the path for you?
What do you need to do? Second, what is best? What is the very best thing for you, not what is good? And third, what do you want to be known for? At the end of your life, at the end of the day, people are going to know you for something.
What do you really want that to be? And you're a smart person. I mean, if tweaking your life, if making little incremental changes would get you in the right place and priorities, you would have already done that.
Many of you, this is going to be one of the most important days of your life, and you're going to weigh things, and the Spirit of God is speaking to you, and you realize you need to get off a committee. You need to stop working two jobs. You need to stop some hobby that's fun and that you like that's eating up your time. You need to just literally do something radical to get your priorities in line so that you can love. You can't keep living the way you're living and doing as much as you're doing and really love.
You may appear loving, but you can't really love living how you are. Now, in the end of the message, I put a game plan. I laid it out very specifically. But here's the issue. What are you going to do? My challenge, get before God, ask him, sit quietly, do what he says, and then write down what he says and share it with one friend for accountability, and then watch God work in you and through you. Thanks, Chip. As we wrap up, I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs, purchase airtime, and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. Now, if you've been blessed by the Ministry of Living on the Edge, would you consider sending a gift today? You can do that when you visit livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app, and now you can text the word DONATE to 74141. That's the word DONATE to 74141. We want you to know how much we appreciate your support. From all of us here, I'm Dave Druey, saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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