Many people today look around at the broken society, the chaos in the world, wars, disease, and natural disasters, and they blame God. But did you know that the world that you live in today was never a part of God's plan? This brokenness wasn't what He intended.
Well, if that's true, what went wrong and how did He fix it? That's today. Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the daily Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. We're in the middle of our new series, Jesus Loves Me, taught by our guest speaker, John Dickerson. For the past several programs, he's been walking us through the essential foundational truths of the Christian faith and underscoring why they're non-negotiable. We hope you've been learning a lot from this series so far. And to help others learn as you have, would you take a minute after this message and share it with someone?
You can do that either through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at livingonthedge.org. Thanks for spreading the word about how this teaching is impacting you. Well, with that, here's John with part two of his message, Supernatural Love. When God created all of creation, He makes this sort of crown jewel of creation. Humanity will be in my image. They will create like I create, and they will have spiritual capacity. They will be eternal beings, and they will have a free will. They can choose my ways and my presence, or if they choose, they can reject my ways and my presence. And this is the next step in the story of God and humanity. This is the bad news that there was a catastrophic divorce when our spiritual ancestors, with their free wills, chose, having known God and His presence, to say, we would like to know what evil is like. And so what do we experience? Mortality that will die, and we spend our lives unresolved emotionally and spiritually.
We're unresolved. This is kind of like if you've seen that documentary about orca whales, and when orca whales get put in captivity at Sea World and these other places, that very often their giant dorsal fin will flop over on the side because they're depressed. Why are they depressed? Well, an orca whale gets depressed when it's in a cage about the size of this room because it's designed, it was created to swim thousands of miles.
It's created to crisscross the globe, and now it's in a tank a little bit bigger than this room, and yeah, it's alive, but is it living? You know, it's not doing what it was created to do. And that is exactly the position that you find yourself in because you're in a body that's broken by death and evil, by what God calls sin. In Romans 3 verse 23, God says, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
And the idea is that we're born into a world that's already contaminated. All of humanity is on this side, broken away from God, and fall short of the glory of God. In other words, this is like a Grand Canyon chasm. You can't like, you know, give enough money to a church or go on enough mission trip.
You can't earn your way over here. So this is bad news, right? If the story ended here, it would be depressing. You guys ready for some good news?
Here's the good news. When God looked down and saw humanity in this position, he didn't just leave us there. He decided that he himself would intervene. And this is why the Christ, the Messiah, Jesus, had to be human and God at the same time because, you see, he came to perform God's rescue. He came to perform God's rescue. And what Christ literally does is create a bridge between us and God.
And this bridge is very significant. Jesus says in John chapter 14 verse 6, he says, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. In other words, as Jesus will say many times throughout his life, the way to the kingdom of God is a narrow road. It's not just like all roads lead to God in heaven.
It's a narrow road, but it's a road that is available and open to everyone. Whosoever will may come. In fact, God outright says in scripture that he desires that no one would perish, but that everyone would come to salvation. God desires that all human beings would set foot on this bridge of rescue and be restored to God, but God respects the free will he's given you. And you get to choose for yourself.
Do you want to accept this gift? So here's a verse that summarizes all of this really well. Romans 6 verse 23 says, the wages of sin is death. That's the bad news we've talked about. That's this side.
We've got broken relationships, death, anxiety. What are wages? Well, if you've done your taxes yet this year, you've probably seen that word. It's on your W-2. You have wages, tips, and other income. Wages is your paycheck, right? Wages is your salary. Wages is usually an agreed upon, I will work for this much per hour or for this much per year.
That will be my wage. It's a give and take. And what God says is the payment of sin is death.
And it's interesting. It's not an immediate death. It's not like when our ancestors sinned that they immediately, God didn't strike them dead right away. And when you sin, he doesn't strike you dead right away. But what happens is you get separated from the source of eternal life. So it's not like God's mad at you and so he's going to cause death in your life. It's that you've been pulled away from the source of eternal life.
And until you get restored to it, you won't experience eternal life. So the wages of sin is death, but here's the good news, the gift of God. A gift is something that's free. A gift is something that you don't earn, but you do have to open it up, right?
You have to receive it. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, our Lord. Now here's the thing about eternal life. First of all, you know, I mean I know right now, if I have a stroke tomorrow, if I get in a car accident and die tonight, I know with all confidence that I will wake up in God's presence in an eternal life. I'm not afraid of death anymore. But here's the thing, eternal life is so much more than that.
It's that, but it also begins now. Like I mentioned earlier, I know God is with me every day in this world. Eternal life begins now, because I've been made right to my creator.
And my longing to be loved and to be accepted and to be secure, those needs have been met by my creator. And so it changes my life now, and it also guarantees me eternal life after my body wears out. Think about it this way, you know, picture in your mind your age as a number.
You see it? Now add 50 to it. You know, if life expectancy is about 80 years, will you be alive 50 years from now? Will you be alive 20 years from now?
Will you be alive 60 years from now? We don't want to acknowledge it, but we have this short time on earth to decide whether or not we will receive the gift of eternal life. One of the things I love about being a dad is that with my little kids, I get to kind of experience maybe a little bit of what God must feel like with us. Because sometimes they do silly things, sometimes they do stupid things, but I never stop loving them.
Even if they say, I don't love you anymore, or I don't want to play with you ever again, I don't stop loving them. And I get all these little pictures of what it must be like for God as He is saying, accept my free gift, come back to me, I love you. Very simply, why is it that we don't feel God's love for us? It's because we have things in our lives that we're embarrassed about.
We have things in our lives that we're ashamed of. We have guilt and we have shame and whether or not we have the right words for it, we realize that there is something between us and God. And when Jesus came, what He did on the cross is that He willingly laid down His life to do the cleanup, to get dirty. And what did He take upon Him? He took upon Him every murder that's ever been committed. Every lie that's ever been told. All the genocide, all the rape, all the evils of humanity that have split humanity away from God. He said, I will willingly take upon myself the cleanup duty. I will take the consequences for their mistakes so that all who desire to be made right to God can receive a free gift and be restored back to God.
That's what it means that God loves you. I want to give you a physical picture of this, my favorite picture from the physical world. It's a true story. It started in August of 2010 with about 30 miners who were three miles underground.
You might remember this. They were in Chile when a mine collapsed on top of them. And for about two weeks, the whole world thought these miners were dead. And then all of a sudden, someone figured out these guys, these 33 miners are alive at the bottom of this mine shaft. And what followed was one of the greatest rescue missions in human history.
Because nations from all around the world gathered and NASA sent down its top engineers to help the Chilean government figure out how are we going to rescue these 33 guys who were buried three miles underground. What I love about this picture is this is how God describes humanity right now. He actually outright says, we're born into a world that is fallen. We're born into a world that is collapsed. And so because we're made in the image of God, we still have a little bit of God in us. And so we're still very noble and there's great accomplishments and great achievements and great moments. But at the end of the day, we're in a mine shaft and none of us is going to live more than about 90 years.
At the end of the day, even the best things that happen down here end up getting tainted by cancer and divorce and just evil. And so what Jesus did when he came to this world is he cut through the fabric of the universe, the God who created everything. He cut through the fabric of the universe and he made an escape tunnel.
He made a way out. And he said, whoever believes in me, I am the way, the truth and the life. And this is why Jesus, when people would come to him and they'd say, hey, Caesar says this and this political group says this, Jesus, what do you say? Jesus would say, don't you realize my kingdom's not of this world. In other words, you guys are arguing about who is in charge of the food rations in the collapsed mine shaft.
Go ahead, argue away. I came to drill a way out to an entire higher realm to be completely free from the darkness and the death and the dustiness of a collapsed world. So those miners from August of 2010 until October for 69 days, they lived in the darkness, knowing that rescue was coming from above. And finally, rescue did arrive in the form of this capsule called the Phoenix.
You had to step inside of it. And I love this because this is exactly how it is with God. He has done the hard work.
He has made the self-sacrifice to drill down into our lives. But this rescue capsule, it would thump down at the bottom of this mine shaft three miles underground. And each miner had to decide for himself, will I step into this thing? It's got to be a little claustrophobic. Will I get strapped into this thing and be lifted up by a winch held by a wire rope three miles above the ground in a tunnel that goes straight down?
I mean, if that rope breaks, you're dead. Am I going to trust in that? Am I going to put my faith in that? And by placing their faith in the rescue capsule, they were acknowledging that they couldn't do it on their own.
Right? Wouldn't it have been sad if one of the 33 miners, after all the effort to get to them, said, hey, you know, I've got a pickaxe and a flashlight. That way is fine for you guys, but that seems kind of narrow to me. I'm going to go find my own way to the surface.
That would be sad. But that's what so many of us do when it comes to Jesus. So many of our neighbors say, well, that makes sense, but that's so narrow, I'm going to find my own way. Jesus said the way out is narrow, but it is open to all. So let's look at God's rescue again. Let's look at this bridge that Jesus created.
And here's what I want to ask you very specifically. Where do you find yourself today? Do you find yourself over here, still separated from God? Have you had a moment where you've set foot by faith on believing in what Christ has done for you?
Do you know with certainty that you have eternal life once your body wears out and that you can begin to experience the eternal life of God right now? The gift of God is eternal life. I think one of the hardest things about receiving a gift is that you can't take any credit for doing it. And I've met people who have completely understood this, and they say it's just too easy. Well, here's what's not easy about it. Just like those miners had to admit, I can't get myself back to the top, receiving this gift, the one thing that's hard about it is you have to humble yourself before God very simply to say, you know what, God? Spiritually, I'm humbling myself before you, and I acknowledge I can't fix myself. I can't achieve eternal life. I can't fix my broken relationships.
I can't even fix what's broken inside me. And so, you know, Jesus actually said once, he said, it's easier for a camel, a big tall camel, to kneel down and go through a small door than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Why did Jesus say that? It's not about money. It's about pride.
It's about humbling ourselves. So how do you receive this gift? It's very simple. God tells us in Romans chapter 10, verse 9. Here's how you receive the gift. God says, if you declare with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
You receive God's gift very simply by believing that Jesus is the Christ, that he died on the cross for your sins. I want to give you a chance to do that today. And as you think on this, I want to tell you a true story, actually the saddest moment of my journalism career. I was profiling a heroin addict in Phoenix, and the story had started just about a heroin epidemic. But within the interviews I was doing, I had started interviewing this 21-year-old heroin addict named Mickey.
I ended up doing a profile just on Mickey. She'd come from actually a really good middle-upper-class family. Her dad was an attorney. Somewhere along the way, a friend gave her some heroin. She had injected some heroin in her arm, and from the first day she injected it, she was an addict. By the time I met Mickey, she was about 21. She had been addicted to heroin for two years, and she was down to 85 or 90 pounds.
Just this skinny little shaking creature, these electric blue eyes. And I'd meet Mickey at the drug house where she lived, and we'd walk together to the Jack in the Box near there. And we'd sit there at the Jack in the Box, and I would interview her. And Mickey would describe her life with just these traumatic sentences, and she would blur words together like agonizing and anguishing. She came up with this word, agushing.
Her brain was just so messed up. And she was at a point where she knew she was dying, and she had seen other heroin addicts at her drug house die, and she wanted to get free from this. So as I'm profiling Mickey and meeting with her, I'm also talking with the best addiction recovery center in the state. And so as a reporter, I pitched this idea to the recovery center of, hey, I know treatment, you know, six months of treatment costs like tens of thousands of dollars. But what if, if Mickey agreed to do the treatment, I could write about it all along. It'd be a lot of publicity for you guys.
Would you guys give her treatment for free if I agreed to cover it? They said, yeah, they agreed to it. Mickey said she wanted it.
So we got it all set up. The day was scheduled. The day was scheduled where we would pull up in the treatment van in front of Mickey's drug house, and all Mickey had to do to receive this free gift, she didn't have to pay anything, she didn't have to do anything, but with her own free will, she would have to walk out the front door of the drug house, walk down the sidewalk, and get into the van.
It was one of the saddest moments of my life. I was sitting in my own car behind the treatment center's van, and we waited there for about 15 minutes. The door doesn't open.
It finally gets to 20 minutes. I get out of my car, I go up and I knock on the door, is Mickey here? Yeah, Mickey's here. I talk to Mickey. Mickey does not have the willpower to move herself to the van.
And the whole agreement with the place, they're like, people can't come unless they want to come. There's this free gift, life or death, and in the moment, she just won't choose. So here's what I want to ask you today. What would keep you today from receiving God's free gift of salvation? Is there really a reason good enough to say not today? Because I'll tell you what Mickey said, and I've worked with a lot of addicts. Oh, I'm not going to do it today, but I will do it someday.
And the ones who say that never do it. And I wonder, is there really any reason today why you wouldn't receive God's free gift? That is an experience I will never forget, seeing the agony in Mickey's eyes as she longed so desperately to be free from that heroin addiction.
And here was free, free addiction treatment, and yet she just couldn't move herself. I know right now there's someone listening to this, and you're agreeing that you need Jesus' help in your life, but you've never really made the decision for yourself. Jesus loves me, this I know. Do you know for yourself that you've agreed with God that you need forgiveness for your sins?
Have you ever stepped out and received his gift? Just like I mentioned in that message that you heard, I've worked with a lot of drug addicts, and it is very common to hear them say, oh, I'm not going to go to treatment today, but I will someday, and those people never go. Now, I want to warn you, God gives us a promise in the Bible. He says it is appointed unto humans, men, women, all of us. It is appointed once to die, and after that, the judgment. In other words, there will be a time when you breathe your last breath in life, and there will be a judgment after that. And if your judgment depends on your track record of your good deeds versus your bad, you're not going to be in heaven with God for eternity, but you can know in the judgment that your sins are forgiven, that when God judges your life, he looks down and it says, paid for by the work of Jesus on the cross. But to have that on your account, you have to make a choice, just like Mickey had to make a choice. So right now, will you choose to believe?
Will you choose to receive? If you are, you can simply from your heart call out to God and say, Jesus, I do believe that you're God. Jesus, I do admit that I've sinned, and I need your forgiveness.
Jesus, I do believe you rose from the dead. Be my Savior. Forgive my sins. Give me eternal life. Adopt me into the family of God. I cannot encourage you enough from a heart of love. Make this choice today.
Don't put it off. We tell you this because we love you. We want the very best for you. And if you've made that decision today, we would love to know about it so that we can get you some resources and journey with you. If you prayed with John, we do have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands that was explicitly created for new believers. It's a tool that will help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to put your faith in Jesus. Request this free resource by calling us at 888-333-6003 or by visiting livingontheedge.org then clicking on the New Believers button.
That's livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. Let us help you get started in your faith journey. Well, Chip's joined us in studio now. And Chip, before we go, let me just say this ministry relies on the support of our faithful listeners. But you know, there may be some listening out there who are maybe hesitant to partner with us financially because they think their gift is too small or won't make that big a difference.
What would you say to them? Dave, you know, a lot of people think that. But the fact of the matter, it's not just a person giving, say, $10 or $25 or $30 or $50 or whatever they think seems to be insignificant with the huge needs that there are to help people here and around the world.
It's the combined efforts. I mean, think right at this moment. I mean, over a million people are going to list on a radio broadcast, a podcast, or on the app.
I mean, a million people. If just a few thousand, say if 10,000 gave $10 a month, can you imagine what we could do here and around the world? So I just want to encourage some of you who just don't feel like you have enough to give or it wouldn't make much of a difference, would you pray and say, Lord, I will just give whatever you would lead me to give.
And could you know when you do that, it's a lot like the widow's mite. God will honor it, and we'd be very grateful. Well, thanks, Chip. If joining the Living on the Edge team is an idea that makes sense to you, we'd love to have you partner with us. Your support multiplies our efforts and resources in ways only God can do.
So let me encourage you to become a monthly partner. Go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app and tap the donate button. Or if it's easier, text donate to 74141.
That's the word donate to 74141. As we close, a great way to stay engaged and connected to Chip and Living on the Edge is with the Chip Ingram app. You'll get free access to our recent messages, the message notes, and much more. And not only that, but it couldn't be easier to call or email us directly from the app. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge. Music
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-23 05:15:26 / 2023-02-23 05:25:21 / 10