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Spiritual Simplicity - What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2023 5:00 am

Spiritual Simplicity - What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 17, 2023 5:00 am

Are you tired of trying to find love? Or maybe just trying to keep love alive in a relationship? Could it be that you are missing a key ingredient in your life? Chip simplifies the secret to finding, keeping, and giving away love like never before.


Are you tired of trying to find love, or maybe you're just trying to keep love alive in a relationship? Could it be that you're missing the key ingredient in your life?

Could it be that love is actually more available than you think? Today, we'll discover the secret of finding, keeping, and giving love away like never before. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

Thanks for joining us. We're in the middle of our series, Spiritual Simplicity, Doing Less, Loving More. Today, he builds off the questions he just posed by unpacking what fuels our love life, and the answer may surprise you. But with that said, here's Chip with his message, What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love. Do you realize that you were created, that in your soul, in your heart, in your mind, even in your physical body, you were designed and created by God to be loved? And I want to tell you, you have a receiver built into your heart, and built into your soul, built into your thinking, actually built into the fibers of your physical body, and you are from the moment you come out of the womb and you make eye contact with your mother. There's something inside of you reaching up and reaching out to get connected, and what you need and what you were made for was to be loved, to be affirmed, to be cared for, to be held, to be valued, not for what you do, not for what you accomplish, not for how you look, but for just who you are. And that journey begins with the first breath, and it'll end at your last breath. And that demand and that drive for love never ends.

But if you don't get it right, and if you end up spiritually and emotionally like a lot of people spend their whole life just looking, looking, looking, looking, looking for love, and there's only one place to find it where you'll be loved in that way, and that's what we're going to talk about, because that simplifies life. There's a song that got very popular. If you came here a little bit early, you heard it, and it's what the world needs now is love, sweet love, and we had to make it from one city to another, and it was hard to stay awake, and so the little rent car had XM.

You know, you got like a zillion stations, so like every 20 seconds, we changed to a new station, and you know, if it was a little song we knew, then we'd sing along, but I mean, we went through like 50 stations in two and a half hours just to stay awake, and 49 of the stations had songs that were about love, finding it, losing it, getting it, wanting it, finding it, getting it, losing it, wanting it, love, love. I mean, we heard country love, we heard hip hop love, we heard alternative love, we heard easy listening love, we heard love, love, love. Tell you what, what the world wants is love. Now, if you will open your notes, I want you to read along very carefully with me, because if we're designed and made for love, and we don't get it deeply, unconditionally, and authentically, some really bad stuff happens, and that bad stuff is why a lot of our lives are very complicated. On the front of your notes it says, when we are not deeply and personally loved in ways that make sense to us, we will settle for any number of pseudo-love substitutes.

Pseudo meaning false. Substitutes, the idea is, I want love, do you want love? I've got that little thing going inside of me going click, click, click, click, click, looking, looking, looking. And if you don't get it deeply, authentically, unconditionally, in a way that makes sense to you, you'll settle for substitutes like affirmation we receive from success.

It feels a lot like love. You're good at that. We appreciate that. Wow, you scored a lot of points. You made a lot of money. You're good.

You're smart. Affirmation. It's a cheap substitute for love.

Doesn't mean that we don't need affirm, but it's not love. Or things like adulation that you receive from fame. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame because you were on TV. You're a celebrity. You're important.

You matter. We've seen your face somewhere. And there's this adulation, but it's not love. It's people falling in love with an image. Or like the temporary intimacy we experience from illicit sex. When loneliness and pain and struggle and the connections don't make it.

Some people log on to the internet. Some people have affairs. Some people do all manner of things trying to fill the hole. And there's this temporary sense of connectedness, this temporary sense that I'm loved and this feels good, followed by lots of really bad stuff through illicit sex of all kinds. Or sometimes we look for love in the attention that we receive from our appearance and our possessions. I mean, think of the energy that goes in the multi multi billion dollar makeup business.

The multi multi billion dollar fitness business. You know, what you possess, how you appear, you get attention and it feels like love. But what the attention is focused on is not who you really are.

It just happens to be on kind of what you look like today, or what you're driving, or what you wear, or the temporary things like esteem that comes from position. Oh, you're a somebody now. You got a corner office. You're a somebody. You know, you're the star on the team. You're a somebody.

You made the cheerleading squad. You're a somebody because you have this position. Or finally, the security that we perceive from wealth. And so we get up early and we go late and we move and we get complex driven complex lives because we feel like if we get more money, we'll be secure and if we're secure, security feels a lot like love.

Look at the bottom of the page. This is critical. This is why our lives get complex. Our quest to be loved deeply and personally create fast paced overextended complex lives driven to obtain success, fame, sex, looks, position, power and wealth in the desperate hope that some day, some way, we'll be loved.

But notice the last line. Just for who we are. Everything in this list, when you get done, even if you receive it, people aren't loving you for who you are. They're loving you for the position that you have or the appearance that you have or the possessions that you have. And yet that little, that little search engine inside of you that wants to connect you and I and every single person on this planet of all backgrounds of all races of all cultures want and need to be loved.

So if love is what the world needs, three questions emerge. Where do you find it? How do you get it? And how do you give it away? Where do you find it? How do you get it? And how do you give it away?

Let's start with number one. Where do you find it? The source of love that's unconditional, that's focused on who you are, not what you accomplish is God. Listen to first John, it says, dear friends, let us love one another.

Why? For love comes from God. Everyone who loves God is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God.

Why? Because God is love. John says the source of the love that you need in your soul, the only thing that will ever fill you up is the love of God.

And he says when you know him, when you are loved by him, one of the evidences will be that you will naturally overflow in love relationships to others. And the most attractive people in the world, the people that I want to be around and you want to be around are what? Loving people.

No one wants to be around selfish jerks. We all want to be loving people, but it's just hard. And it raises the question, what would it look like to be loved by God? I mean, that's so ethereal. God loves you.

I heard that all my life. I didn't have a clue of what it meant. What would it look like if you could understand and feel and see and know that you are the object of God's affection? I put it in your notes. Zephaniah 3 17 is to me one of the greatest pictures of getting a grasp of God's love for us. It says the Lord, your God is with you. Part of being loved is someone that won't abandon you. It's someone that hangs with you. And not only is he with you, he is mighty to save.

And you might write in your notes about that word save, write the word deliver. I mean, of course we know that he saves, he forgives our sins, but especially in the Old Testament, when you see the word save, it has the idea of deliverance. When someone loves you and you're in a jam, they show up and they help you get out of the jam. I mean, that's who I call when I'm in a jam. To be loved by God, the Lord, your God, it's his covenant name.

It's his personal name. Yahweh is with you. He is mighty to save.

Then look at the next line. He will take great delight in you. Underline the word in you. It doesn't say he'll take great delight in how you look. He'll take great light in your position. He'll take great delight in what you can accomplish. He'll take great delight in your success. He'll take great delight in you. The one that created the galaxies and the billions and billions of stars after he created everything, he created man. And then he said the pinnacle, the most important, the apex of all of his creation is you.

Not if you do something, not because you've accomplished something, but you as you are created by God, made in his image, he takes delight in you. He'd like to spend time with you. He'd like to bless you. He'd like to talk with you. He'd like to develop you. That's what love does.

It always brings out the best in others. So he's with you. He delivers you.

He takes great delight in you. Notice he will quiet you with his love. If there's one thing I hear from people all the time, Christian or non-Christian, in a high stress, complicated world is I wish I had some peace. I wish I just had some peace in this marriage. I wish I had some peace in my heart. You know when you get peace? When you can unload all the issues and all the concerns and all the cares and when you have that sort of sense that no matter what's going on out there, it's okay.

For many of us that happens in a human relationship. There's times I get completely overwhelmed and I write down all these different things and you know I'm really struggling, but it's over a cup of coffee sitting with Teresa, usually, and saying honey I know I'm not supposed to be anxious and I know I'm not supposed to be this, but I'm feeling all this and you know what I've laid all this out in my journal with God, but I need to sit down and we'll kind of talk it through and there's a quieting of that relationship and you know what that's what God wants to do. He wants to quiet your heart with his love. He wants to tell you, you know what, yeah the economy is kind of rough right now and the marriage has some struggles right now and you've been single a little bit longer than you like right now and you know there's some physical amens that you wish would get better right now, but you know something I'd like God at all taken care of, like you're made to live forever.

Relax will you? I mean if God is for you, who can be against you? If he's got unlimited resources and you're the object of his affection, you know you can all, most of our anxiety is always focused on what might happen someday some way and he says I got that someday covered and then finally notice I love this last line. He says he will rejoice over you with singing. This is a picture literally of God and for some of us men this is sort of a hard picture because it's a picture of God holding you like you're a little helpless baby and like you've ever seen a mom.

I've watched Teresa do this when our kids were small and now when she puts our grandkids to bed I can hear in the other room and she'll hold the little ones and she'll sing over them and it's just sort of this I just want to quiet you down I rejoice over you. God's presence, God's power, all of God's pride, you are his delight. He just wants you to know that's how I feel about you. Can you imagine what would happen and how free your life could be and how you could simplify and begin to push some of the stuff on the front page of these notes to the side if you honestly in your heart of hearts believed that's how God actually feels about you at this moment and are you ready?

Nothing you can do can ever change that. Now you can have windows of blessing through obedience but even when he disciplines us it's because he loves you. That's why Paul would pray to the Ephesian church he would pray since God already loves you I pray that you might be strengthened in your inner man so that you might comprehend the height and depth and length and breadth and to know the love of God that surpasses knowledge or comprehension. That's a great thing to pray for one another and for your kids.

Well it raises a question okay can we all agree at this point that's true. God really loves me and he loves me like that. Well how do you make the connection? You know the fact that he loves you and how do you get it operational in your heart and your life and your experience? Notice what the scripture says. It says God deposits his love in his followers hearts through his spirit. Same passage first John he goes on he says we know that we live in him and he in us because he's given us his spirit.

Put a circle around live in him and then another circle live in us and you might put little arrows and connect them. We know he says it's absolute true that we live in him connection and he in us connection because he's given us or he's deposit us in us his spirit and then explains how that works. He says and we have seen and testify that the father has sent his son to be the savior of the world.

If anyone acknowledges literally the word is confess agrees with that Jesus is the son of God. God lives in him and he in God. He says there is a condition to experience and receive God's love. Christ died on the cross fully God and fully man to pay for your sin my sin the sins of all people of all time. He's our sin substitute. He says if you confess and acknowledge it's not your good works it's not your religiosity Christ died in your place as your substitute and if you turn from sin receive his forgiveness he says the spirit of God comes into your mortal body and you live in him and he lives in you and he takes up residence inside of you and he will then manifest the power and the presence of the living God and now you have that connection. On my little iPad it goes like this and it connects and then a bunch of stuff downloads and he wants to download adoption and forgiveness and place you in his family and grace and seal you with the spirit and give you spiritual gifts and create a new path and the same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you the moment you do that. Now he goes on to say that when we're filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit the outcome or the overflow is love so the spirit lives inside of you the spirit God the second person of the Trinity is the means by which God's love gets from out there in here and then look what it says in Galatians 5 22 and 23 the fruit singular the fruit of the spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness goes on to say self-control so that love that I just described about his presence and his power and you being the object of his affection all of that is available but there's only two reasons why you can't experience it. Reason number one would be living like I did my first 18 years outside of Christ. I intellectually was aware of God's love but I've never turned from my sin asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.

If you've never done that today's a great day to do it. It's called being born from above or being born by the spirit. The Bible calls it salvation.

It's when you experience forgiveness and a spirit comes into your life and you are justified you're declared righteous before God because of what Christ did for you. Now the second reason you can be a believer and his spirit lives in you but what I found is I can have this thing and I'm not going to mention which carrier that it is but there's times where I can turn this baby on and I can be working and then all of a sudden cannot send mail cannot receive mail it drops. You know just like have a drop call it I can't get anything and maybe it's because there's too many buildings or maybe it's what a dead spot but basically there's interference. There's times where interference from whatever signals come on that little pad and I can't get anything. I've got the pad I'm connected I paid my bill but there's interference and you can have the spirit of God living in you but if he's not in control if there's interference like sin like you know exactly what God wants you to do but you say no if your priorities are out of whack if you get so busy and so inundated doing other things and pursuing other you know God in his great love doesn't bless there's interference and so he says if we confess our sins he's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So some of you are here today that you desperately need to experience God's love and intellectually you're saying yeah I really want that and you're saying I know I'm really a Christian and you're saying but my life is crazy and I'm not experiencing that well guess what part of how you experience it is he wants to give you grace and he wants to speak to you but it's been a while since you really talked to him and he wants you to stop and simplify your life and quit chasing the wind and be quiet before him and he's going to have bring people into your life if you slow down and get connected to him where you get together and he's going to show up in the physical bodies of other people and love you through their words and their arms and their feet and their kindness and so all I want to get to you is to know one thing you were created to be loved the source of love is God his means of experiencing that glove is depositing his spirit inside of you and third your his spirit can live inside of you but you need to surrender to and be in alignment and obedience to that spirit so what he has for you you can actually receive and so if you want to know the question where do you find it God by what means the spirit as you walk in obedience and here's what I'm going to tell you knowing where to get love and experiencing it is two very different things I mean everything I've said you can agree with me and say to yourself but I still feel lonely I'm really kind of discouraged I feel kind of depressed I I don't feel very loved at all and I'm a Christian and in fact I'm I'm gosh I read the Bible some and I'm praying so I'm in one of those small groups and it's okay but I'm not I'm not getting what you're talking about so let's now ask and answer the question how do you get it how do you experience love you can be deeply loved and yet not experience it many many years ago I remember reading the article maybe some of you can remember about the bubble boy he was born without an immune system and and this little boy grew up and he was in a bubble literally a bubble and his parents they would have to put things in through this he never got touched his parents loved him and they cared for him but he never got touched by him he lived literally in a plastic room bubble because if he came out he would die you know I think there's a lot of Christians that on the outside there's this God that longs to connect with you and touch you and love you and encourage you but there's this bubble many times by our own creating sometimes by the work of others and God wants to break through that and connect your heart to his so you experience his love let me give you the two major ways that God has designed for us to experience his love God designed love to be birthed and modeled in our families Ephesians 5 18 through chapter 6 verse 4 I'd encourage you to follow along and I don't usually read a long passage but this one is one you just need to lean back and here's what I want you to listen as I read nose notice we said love comes from God's spirit notice he's going to talk about you surrendering or allowing the spirit to control you and then I'm going to show you from scripture that God has a very clear design that where he wants us to learn about love is in our families he actually designed the family system to work in such a way that little boys and little girls would grow up feeling loved affirmed cared for not for what they do but for who they are pick it up with me in verse 15 the apostle after telling us all this great stuff we have in Christ says be very careful than how you live not as unwise but as wise making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil therefore don't be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is and he says well what's the will of the Lord well don't be drunk with wine which leads to debauchery instead be filled and the word means controlled with the spirit well if you're filled with the spirit well what what happens well speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs sing and make music in your heart to the Lord always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and then by the way submit to one another out of reverence for Christ when you're filled with the spirit there's a joy in your heart there's a melody there's a perspective where you realize God's in control and he's good and you choose to give thanks and then he says now I'm going to talk about relationships and how love works when the spirits in control and he says the baseline is no one steps up and says I gotta have my way on my terms submit or surrender one to another in other words God you're the great choreographer and you're going to put relationships together you show me my part of the dance you show me my role so that I can get and receive your love and then give it in the way you want me to and so then he starts and says okay family relationships wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church his body of which he is the Savior now as the church submits to Christ so wives should submit to their husbands and everything and just before the women go are you kidding he says husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church well he died you're starting to get the point guys and gave himself for her to make her holy cleansing her by the washing of the water with the word to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish but holy and blameless in this same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies he who loves his wife loves himself after all no one ever hated his own body but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church for we're members of his body for this reason a man will leave his mother and father and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh this is a profound mystery but I'm talking about Christ in the church however application each one of you must love his wife as himself and the wife must respect her husband children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right honor your father and mother respect don't talk back listen to them obey them why well this is the first commandment with the promise that it may go well with you and you may live and enjoy a long life on the earth fathers do not exasperate your children instead bring them up in the training and the instruction of the Lord he's going to go on and talk about slaves and masters but here's what he says the Spirit of God contains the love of God the Spirit of God comes into a human heart he's going to say there can either be resistance or you can surrender and say I want to do life your way you've been listening to part one of Chip's message what the world needs now is love sweet love he'll be right back with his application for this teaching from a 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 now and Chip the very last line of your teaching today challenged us to surrender to God and do life his way well for those struggling with that and desperate to rekindle a healthy spiritual rhythm how would you recommend they begin well Dave I think most people would say start reading the Bible spend quality time with God take maybe some passages where you're struggling and memorize a short chapter I think all of those would be great places to start but most of us are struggling with the lack of community isolation has killed us the enemy that's his goal to get us isolated to get us discouraged to get us looking inward and the only way to experience the life of the Holy Spirit is to be with people we need to get in a room with a group of people centered around the Word of God and say we're gonna meet every week or every other week we're gonna do life together we're gonna be open we're gonna be honest we're gonna dig in we're gonna apply the scripture to our lives and we're gonna encourage one another it's been a really really hard last 18 to 24 months we need each other and so let me encourage you to go to our website and choose the small group study that best meets the needs of your family or a group of men a group of women or a group of couples we have studies to help you get back in sync get in rhythm get in community because there's life there and God longs for us to experience the very life of Christ but we can't do it alone great point chip to check out all of our small group resources go to Living on the Edge org or call triple eight three three three six zero zero three and let me tell you they're so easy to use she 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 triple eight three three three six zero zero three or visit Living on the Edge dot org app listeners tap special offers well chip as we wrap up this program i think it's important we stay with this topic of surrender so maybe take a minute and unpack for us the critical role of submission in a christian's life and also what God actually intended it to look like i'd be glad to date the fact of the matter is we all have to submit to someone little babies little kids you have to learn to submit to your parents wisdom because they know more so you don't put your hand on the stove you don't run out into the street and God clearly lines out he's designed the world in such a way that he places boundaries and people and at times rules and laws not to prohibit our freedom but to actually make us free and whether it's in our personal relationships submitting to God and his word in our marriage relationships whether it's submitting and laying down your life for your wife or as a woman to respect and submit to your husband to be a team whether it's children obeying their parents submission is the channel through which God's biggest and best blessings flow and our human nature just grades against it and i think for many of us we've bought into freedom means i can do whatever i want the very last line in the teaching i said the spirit of God reveals the love of God and each one of us wants to resist against the spirits work in our life here's my question for you today are you going to do life today God's way or your way is there an area in your life he's been speaking to you about submit surrender obey me not your way and if he is can i encourage you do it today you'll be glad great reminder chip just before we close i want to quickly thank those of you who regularly give to Living on the Edge you're making a big difference in helping christians live like christians but if you're benefiting from our ministry in some way let me encourage you to join the Living on the Edge team you can do that by setting up a recurring donation at Living on the Edge dot org or by texting the word donate to 741 41 it's that easy text the word donate to 741 41 or visit Living on the Edge dot org app listeners tap donate thanks for doing whatever the lord leads you to do well until next time this is dave druy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-17 05:54:12 / 2023-01-17 06:06:09 / 12

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