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Spiritual Simplicity - The Love Train - Get on Board!, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2023 5:00 am

Spiritual Simplicity - The Love Train - Get on Board!, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 19, 2023 5:00 am

You are someone’s answer to prayer. And the opposite of that is true as well. God has someone out there who is the answer to YOUR prayers. Want to know how to connect with them? Join Chip as he continues this series, “Spiritual Simplicity.”


Simplify your life. We hear that a lot. Some of you have made some big decisions about simplifying your life.

But you know what? It erodes one week, two weeks, three weeks pretty soon. It's busy, busy, busy.

How do you sustain it? That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher with his daily discipleship program, Motivating Christians to Live Like Christians. Thanks for being with us as we near the end of our series, Spiritual Simplicity. With these last couple of programs, Chip's going to identify the source of the true love we all long for, the kind of love that never lets us down and accepts us for who we are, flaws and all. But before we get going, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge or you want to learn more about what we do, go to

You'll find tons of resources on a wide range of topics and countless programs to enjoy. Or if you prefer, the Chip Ingram app is also a great way to get plugged in with our ministry. Okay, turn in your Bibles now to 2 Corinthians 5 for Chip's message, The Love Train. Get on board.

The big question that I'm wanting to ask and answer is how do you sustain spiritual simplicity? And every week we've had a song. Were any of you kind of waiting, wondering what the song is going to be this week? Come on, go ahead.

Were you? All right. This is my favorite song of all the songs because it's my era.

It's the OJ's. It's Get On Board The Love Train. And we're going to talk about getting on a train. I'll explain what that train is. I'm going to explain theologically what that train looks like. And then I'm going to give you a game plan to get on, stay on, bring other people on a love train. So what is the love train?

I sat down and you know what? I don't know where the OJ's are coming from, but I know where God's coming from. And the love train to God is a supernatural community that is forcefully moving through his story that we call history to bring life and love. He wants to bring that up there, his kingdom, a little bit of it down here where people that have no idea that there is a God who is real, who is loving and who cares. And he wants you and me on this love train and he wants us to invite people by how we live and what we do. And the love train is the Church of Jesus Christ. And I'll tell you what, the tracks are God's sovereign, faithful, unchanging purposes. And he's going to fulfill his plan over time. And it's a time to glorify himself, to bring all things under the reign of Christ, to present to himself a people to be loved and to be loved by him in a new heaven and a new earth forever.

And the ticket has already been purchased. It was purchased by Christ on the cross for everyone and everyone who is willing to believe, to turn from your sin. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whosoever would believe in him shouldn't perish, but have eternal life, a quality of life that begins now and goes on forever and ever and ever. It's the love train. The architect is God the Father from the foundations of the earth. The engineer at the head of this train is the Lord Jesus Christ and we are his body and he's the first born from the dead. And the conductor going up and down the train checking on you and checking on me and wanting to know how's it going and letting you know where the stops are is the Holy Spirit. It's a real train, it's kind of almost like a liquid relational train too because there's times where we're all spread out, going all kind of different places, but God has these tracks and this train called his church is moving on it.

And he's invited you to come aboard and to bring others. And it makes lots of stops. And if you want to write something under the stops, the frequent stops is wherever there's a human need. That's where the love train stops. When there's a lonely person, the love train stops.

Someone has a financial need, someone is depressed, someone is discouraged, someone in your neighborhood, someone at work, someone in your family. Every time there's a human need, the love train stops and the Spirit of God dwelling inside your mortal body as you're abiding in him will take the truth of his word out of your lips and your hands and your life and your money and your gifts and he'll express the love of God through you. And I want to say get on board. Get on board. You get on board the love train. You'll simplify your life. You'll stop doing some stuff that's meaningless. You'll stop pretending.

You'll stop trying to gain approval and you'll stop all kind of things that seem so important now, but six seconds after you die, you'll look back on your life and realize it was junk. It was silly. It was irrelevant. I was playing trivial pursuit but for real. What do you say to yourself? Okay, I got it. The message of living a sustained spiritually simple life is get on board the love train.

We talked about the process and I'll review it for you at the end. You got to surrender at a point in time in your life. You got to step away from the world.

You got to step into community. You got to step up and be who God made you to be and then you got to step out. Now let me give you the theology set Corinthians chapter five. I want you to understand this is God's love train. This is the apostle Paul and he so understands in the midst of his hurt and his pain and he's going to talk about before this passage how he's perplexed and how he's discouraged and he's down but not out and difficulty and then he's going to get to the end of this passage in chapter six and he's going to talk about the what he's actually been through and squeezed into all the adversity in life. He understands that life matters when you live and have an eternal perspective and in verse 14 he tells us very clearly he says for Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died and he died for all that those who live should live no longer for themselves but for him who died and was raised again. So just just just notice here Christ love compels us.

What's life like on the love train. It is not trying hard. It is not being moral. It's not coming to church and it's not being religious. It is being connected in surrender where the Spirit of God through the word of God and authentic community his love compels you actually the word is it's a picture of being hemmed in. If you've ever seen one of those movies you know like one of the old Batman movies where the walls are coming in and they're trying to get out of there or Indiana Jones movie the Apostle Paul is using that word to say the love of God is just hemming me in.

I'm compelled. I am so loved and see the plight of people apart from his love. I have to do this from the inside out and then notice he says it changes his focus. He says we're convinced that one died therefore all died and he died for those. Here's the focus that we should live no longer for ourselves.

That's big. That's what surrenders about. This isn't like Christ is a part of your life. This is where the central focus of why you get up and what you do and what you do with your time your money your energy and your relationships. You don't live for you anymore.

We no longer live for ourselves but for him Christ who died and rose again. And so the question is not what will make me happy it's what will make you happy. The question is not what do I do with my time. The question is what do I do with the time entrusted me.

The question is not what do I think I should do with my kids. The question is what does your word say I ought to do and must do with my kids. See it's a radical change on the love train. Then he goes on to say in verse sixteen it gives you new eyes. So notice the purpose from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though once we regarded Christ in this way we do so no longer.

I have it memorized in a different version and it's amazing when you're reading these words in my brain saying another one. In my version of many years ago therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh even though we have known Christ according to the flesh. He says when you're compelled by the love of God and you're now not living for you but you're living for him he says you get a new set of eyes and the color of their skin and their background and whether they're smelly or clean whether they're cool or uncool you don't look at that anymore. You have that experience like Samuel the prophet did when you know he said hey I know God's got a new king around here somewhere and the big tall handsome guy says is that it?

God says no. And they go through all the boys and finally it's the youngest one. And then he says in that passage first Samuel 16 seven for God doesn't see as man sees for man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord weighs the heart. And when you're on the love train that's what you start looking at. You look at people's inside beauty you start looking at where they're really coming from. You look past all the exterior and that's why the body of Christ starts looking real real different with all different kinds of people with all of our different baggage all of our different struggles all of our different backgrounds all of our different colors all of our different cultures.

That's what the love train is all about and not only that do you get new eyes but you get a new hope. Verse 17 he goes on to say therefore if anyone is in Christ he's a new creation the old has passed away the new has come. You know we quote that and I actually got it in a little set of verses about your new life in Christ and it's absolutely true that when you come and turn from your sin and receive Christ as your savior if anyone is in Christ you become a new creation.

The old is passed away behold everything notice the tense of the verb becomes it's a process becomes new. But in the context of this passage you know what it's saying really? It says we don't look at people external anymore and now he says when we look at people there's no single person or situation beyond the love and the redemption of Christ. What Paul's really saying is this whole passage is about reconciliation this whole passage is what happens when you're on the love train and the love of God is pulsating through your spiritual veins. He says you know what I don't look at people the way I look at them anymore therefore if any man's in Christ he's a new creature. The old stuff he did the addictions that she had I mean the stuff that we think God could never forgive the stuff about people that we want to reach oh they're never open I got news for you if any man is in Christ the old's passed away. God can do anything he wants to do anything he did that for people in this book he's done it through church history and so you get a new focus you get new eyes you get a new hope and then notice in verses 18 and 19 you get a new responsibility on the love train. The love train is not a sit back it's so good to be heaven bound. What would thou haveth me to do thine God? He says well I'll tell you what I'll have you to do I'll have you strap it on. Those guys in the NFL don't even understand what contact is all about. I've sent you into a spiritual warfare and I have equipped you and I love people and I've sent you to get out and rescue them and so notice what it says in verses 18 and 19 he says all this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and underline this in your Bible gave us the ministry of reconciliation that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and here's the good news not counting men's sins against them and he's committed to us this message of reconciliation. Our message isn't clean your life up and start coming to church need to read the Bible a lot start doing this this this this here's the message guess what God currently is not counting your sin against you he counted it and placed it on Christ you have a ticket that's been purchased on the love train God loves you and if you get honest with people most people run in their own life it's not going very well most marriages aren't going very well most parenting isn't going very well most people's finances aren't going very well and if you talk real honestly with the people where it's going really really well it's a weird thing to have everything going great and have this huge emptiness in your life and God called you and God called me to be winsome and loving and caring and outwardly focused and to believe that no one is beyond his reach and then you have this new responsibility you want to tell him God's not counting your sins against you he loves you he's forgiven you that's good news would you like to receive the good news and then finally he's given you a new role and me a new role look at verse 20 he says we are therefore Christ ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us we implore you on Christ behalf be reconciled to God the word reconcile just means become friends God's just saying I want to be friends with people sin is a barrier let's let's get reconciled it's like two people that are having trouble in a marriage they get reconciled people that went divorced and they realize man this is not working and they repent and they get some good counseling and they're reconciled God says I want to reconcile all people and you are my ambassadors what's an ambassador an ambassador is someone from another country from another land who represents where he came from and your citizenship is in heaven and so is mine and you're in Christ and you're heaven bound and you're on the love train if you're a Christ follower and it says I want you I want you like liquid to seep into every kind of need and just love people where they're at don't judge them tell them the truth put your arm around them don't make it just words actually help them and tell them there's a God who cares and then verse 21 is just this amazing amazing verse of truth says God made him Christ who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him while we might become the righteousness of God we not only have a role as an ambassador we now have a standing before the God of heaven that is identical to the Jesus of heaven in terms of God seeing us completely righteous a son a daughter that's why the love of Christ compelled him Paul is a very very very religious man until he got saved and then he realized how broken all of his religiosity was and then he got in relationship with the living God and then he became a passionate relational follower of the living Christ with unlimited power that little phrase who was dead and came back to life and Paul would remind us that same power dwells in you if you're a Christ follower so spiritual simplicity how are we going to sustain it number one here's a little word picture get on the love train and then second remember the theology when you're rightly connected to the living Savior the love of Christ will compel you this is not about duty this isn't about aughts this isn't about shoulds this is about God's love being so experienced because you step down and you stepped away and you stepped in and you stepped up and you can't help yourself you stepping out and reaching and caring for people and when that begins to happen you don't live for you anymore you have a new focus you live for him and then you get new eyes you don't see the same way and then there's a hope for everyone that you meet no matter where they've been what they've been through and then you realize I got a new responsibility my new responsibility isn't just kids SAT scores or someday some way I hope I'll get married or I hope this job works out or maybe someday this thing will go you know IPO or maybe there's all kind of important things in life but your core responsibility is to be an ambassador a representative of the living God wherever you are and that your ministry is reconciliation and he's given you gifts and dreams and desires so that you can do that all kind of different ways and all kind of different businesses and all kind of different gifts and all kind of different roles and you can be moms and sisters and dads and nephews and nieces and school teachers and bricklayers and plumbers and we can just be all kind of things because he needs all kind of people but at the end of the day what we realize first and foremost we're on the love train and we're imploring we're imploring people to be reconciled to God because he became sin the sin offering for them and for us that they and we if we by faith would receive it would become the righteousness of God well the picture is one thing the theology is another the third is I just call it a game plan how does it really work and I'm just gonna walk you through this a lot of this you've hopefully some of you are gonna say I have heard this before you should okay I mean this isn't new I've heard this before so if I would stop right here and say okay if the incarnate Jesus in the supernatural body would come from behind that curtain walk out like say excuse me Jesus I know you don't need a microphone but I like to ask you a question what do you want us to do I mean I mean could you just give it to us what exactly in a sentence do you want us to do with our lives Lord Jesus could you give it to us I think he'd say love God love people that's how simple life is we get it really complicated love God are you loving God now I didn't say feel like you love but just love God and love people the ultimate test of success and the ultimate test of spiritual maturity of becoming what he commanded make disciples is that I love God more deeply and authentically each day and I love others more sincerely and more practically in ways they can understand Chip will be back in just a minute with his application you've been listening to the first part of his message the love train get on board 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 before we go any further our Bible teacher Chip Ingram is with me now to share a quick word thanks so much Dave if you've been listening to Living on the Edge for a while you may have heard me talk about bio the B is for before God the I for in community and the O for on mission and here Living on the Edge we have about a million folks who listen each week like you are right now we've got hundreds of thousands who use our small group studies read the books and go to the website every year and for many the teaching and the resources we provide through Living on the Edge it helps them understand what it really means to to come before God and and to medium and experience him for others it's kind of their lifeline to doing life and community but there's a relatively smaller group of people who step up and say I'm all in we want to be on mission with you and we want to make this ministry happen so here's what I'm asking nearly all that we do at Living on the Edge is only possible through the financial partnerships of folks like you will you help will you pray about becoming a partner with Living on the Edge financially would you stand in agreement with us on our mission as we pursue in this day and age to help Christians really live like Christians thank you for doing whatever God leads you to do thanks Jim well as you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry I want to remind you that every gift is significant when you partner with Living on the Edge you multiply our efforts and resources in ways that only God can do make your donation at Living on the Edge org or through the chip Ingram app or if it's easier you can text the word donate to 741 41 that's donate to 741 41 we appreciate your help well now here's chip to share a few final thoughts as we wrap up today's program I just have to tell you I love that song the love train by the OJ's get on the train join hands now you know what I don't have quite the soul that I had my younger years but I just have to tell you I love that song not just for the rhythm and the beat but the words we need to get on board with speaking the truth and love but loving each other radically so let me share a story about something that's happened just recently in my living room I did a series at a local church and it's filled with all young people very multicultural they have very little Bible background most of them are first-generation Christians and when I got done with this four-part series I said if anyone would like to learn just how to simply follow Jesus Teresa and I are going to open our home come on over tonight for the next three Sunday nights and Teresa was a little nervous because we didn't know whether five or fifty people would come but about 12 or 13 came and I just I wanted him to see what it looked like to follow Jesus to be surrendered separate from the world a sober self-assessment serving in love and supernaturally responding to evil with good after the first week a lady came and said for 12 years I've wrestled with God I do all the right things and I discovered it surrender I just want you know I surrendered my life last week after our time another lady came and said I never understood before I've been coming to churches but I trusted Jesus as my Savior two or three of the younger people said I don't know why but life was so confusing and we started meeting on Sunday nights and we started to pray for one another and there weren't expectations and we started to love one another when we love one another it's the most powerful witness in the world I found that there's so many people that their Christian life has become I go to this meeting or I listen to this message or I I watch this video and there's this podcast and then I try really really hard to be a good person and then I learned those people are the bad people and those other people are over here and we join sides and we join tribes I don't know then all my ministry experience I've seen such power such answers to prayer as we simply came together vulnerably to care for one another to love one another and that's God's hope for you are you connected with others are you in loving relationships if not get there start a group open your heart let's get off the war path and get on the love train great word ship and we here at Living on the Edge want to help you cultivate meaningful community so if you're thinking of starting a small group or you and your friends are looking for the next subject of study check out our resources today our small group tools are easy to use and will deepen your relationships with God and others to learn more go to the store at Living on the Edge dot org or call us at triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 that's triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 or visit the store at Living on the Edge dot o-r-g will join us next time as chip wraps up his series spiritual simplicity until then I'm Dave Drewy thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 21:48:43 / 2023-01-21 21:58:17 / 10

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