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Jesus Loves Me - God's Love for Me, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2023 5:00 am

Jesus Loves Me - God's Love for Me, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 24, 2023 5:00 am

We’ve all heard people refer to God as “our Father.” In fact, Jesus did too! But have you ever stopped and thought about God as our parent? In this program, guest teacher John Dickerson considers the different meanings of those words as he continues his series, Jesus Loves Me. Hear how God would respond as a parent to the pain and difficulty of our lives.

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I'm sure we've all heard people refer to God. In fact, Jesus did as our Father. But have you ever thought of God as our parent? It carries a little different meaning, right?

And as a parent looking down on the pain and the difficulty in your life, how would He respond? Want to find out? Stay with me. Welcome to 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. In just a minute, we'll continue our series, Jesus Loves Me, Essentials of the Christian Faith, taught by our guest speaker, John Dickerson. He's an award-winning journalist, author, and lead pastor at Connection Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Before he jumps in, if this is your first time listening to Living on the Edge or you want to learn more about what we do, go to livingontheedge.org.

You'll find tons of resources there and a wide range of topics and countless programs for you to enjoy. Or if you prefer, the Chip Ingram app is also a great way to get plugged in with our ministry. Well, if you're ready, let's join John for his talk, God's Love for Me. When we say Jesus loves me, what do we mean? What does God see when He sees us?

Who are you in the eyes of God? And I think you're going to be really, really encouraged and informed as we answer that question today. But before we get too serious, I was at a park with my kids playing. This happened about two years ago. And we were playing and maybe you've been in this situation where kids are playing on play equipment and parents are sitting around on benches. And these days, most parents are checking their email on their phone or their social media and the kids are kind of doing their own thing. It was a little bit of that situation. And I was actually between emails on my own phone when I looked up and saw this other kid kind of body slamming my son. And at first I thought, oh, they're just kind of wrestling.

They're having a good time. And again, you get all these different parenting types, right? You get the helicopter parents who like they're going to make sure there's never even a wood chip in their child's shoe. And then you get the completely disengaged parents. So I'm just kind of looking around and figure out like, okay, who's the mom or dad of body slamming kid? And I can't find body slammer's parents.

So I, you know, kind of keep an eye on things. Next thing I know, I look up and body slammer is stomach punching my son. I had this moment where my animal instincts kicked in and I didn't even think anything cognitively because the next thing I know, I'm just holding this kid up in the air. Total stranger's kid.

I don't know who this kid is. I'm holding him up in the air and everything in me just wants to chuck him at the monkey bars. He took everything I had. Thankfully, right about a half second before I chucked him, my brain caught up to my body and I realized jail, not good. Set child down.

I put the kid down and I grabbed my kids and we left. But here's the question we're asking today. What kind of parent is God? You know, in this crazy world of humans where all kinds of people are doing all kinds of things.

What kind of parent is he? What does God see when he sees humanity? You know, because I mean, if you think of it from God's point of view, he sees all the drug deals happening. He sees the pregnant mom who's smoking crack cocaine, but he also sees the loving dad who's teaching his daughter how to ride a bicycle. He sees the whole thing.

He sees all of it. As I thought about what does God see when he sees humanity, I thought of three different images that really kind of capture both the beauty and the brokenness of humanity. Here's the first, a familiar face, Robin Williams.

Obviously a comic genius, incredibly gifted actor, made so many people laugh and had such a successful career and yet had such depression and brokenness inside of him that in 2014 tragically took his own life. It's a tragic picture of the human condition, gifted, talented, wonderful, and yet broken and devastated at the same time. Other image I thought of was this well-known image from the civil war in Syria where this little boy within the last few years was inside an apartment building when it was bombed and as rescue workers were digging through the rubble, they found him there in the rubble and they brought him out to this ambulance and a war photographer captured this chilling image where we have just the innocence of a child marred by the blood and the brokenness of war.

Another image I thought of was poverty that I've seen in Haiti and poverty that exists like this not only in Haiti but all around the world not as just some past tense thing or something that happens for a moment but as a way of life for hundreds of millions of people who live like this every day. What does God see when he sees humanity or to make it a little more personal what does God see when he sees you? When God looks at you does he just see all the flaws? Is he like a perfectionist kind of God who's got his arms crossed who's just like you know you're never going to measure up and he only sees all your flaws? Or is he one of those kind of you know bubbly somewhat millennial parents who are like oh everything's perfect with my child they don't do anything wrong you know like where is God on does he see the bad does he see the good does he see all of me what does he see when he sees me and what does he see when he sees you? Today we're going to play a little game to start with okay and the game is called this the game is called what do you see because we're asking what does God see when he sees us so I want to ask you what do you see and I'm going to show you a few different pictures and if you want to blurt it out you can if you just want to think it is fine but here's picture number one what do you see? I mean I see some rust I think I see some plants some you know decaying plants now let's go to picture number two these are related okay now we're starting to see at least some of the car people see that that's either an inline six or maybe a v12 we're starting to see something it looks like junk now let's take another picture this is a different picture but a similar theme and more people may be recognizing it now that's right I heard car that's a split window Corvette pretty rare Corvette pretty valuable Corvette and last but not least what do you see what we have here two cars that's correct and these two cars were found in a barn in France these two cars that's a Ferrari and a Maserati they were found in this barn in France and in this present condition these cars are rotted and decayed you know the brakes don't work the engine won't start all the rubber pieces have rotted and yet as ruined as they are these cars are glorious they're glorious to any car enthusiast because of who made them because of what they represent in fact did you know this car on the left this is a Ferrari 250 this exact car sold in this condition the magazines were on it and everything obviously wasn't going to start up so someone bought a car that is not going to take them anywhere a car that does not run and here's how much they paid for this Ferrari in this condition not two million dollars but 23 million dollars for this Ferrari 250 why would someone do that well maybe they have too much money okay I heard someone say that that's that's probably part of the equation okay but this car is valuable to anyone who loves cars because of who made it and because of what it is and so whether or not it can perform it's inherently valuable these cars are what I would call a glorious ruin they're both glorious in that they're a Ferrari and a Maserati and what they represent and who hand-crafted them but they're also ruined to some extent they're decayed and this is exactly how God sees you and me and the world we live in you see every person around us is a glorious ruin and just like a car enthusiast would look at that split window Corvette or look at that Ferrari and say it's glorious the way it is I mean I would take it the way it is I'd be happy to have it in my garage the way it is even though it's ruined but a true car enthusiast says and I love it so much that I want to restore it back to its original glory what it was intended to be and to do it's valuable whether or not it performs even in its ruined state but I would love to restore it and this is how God views all of humanity that every single person of every gender of every race of every belief system of every political party people with disabilities infants babies in their mothers wombs old old people in nursing homes all of them are inherently valuable because they're made in the image of God and he sees glory in every person and yet there's a catastrophic divorce a tear that has happened in the fabric of the universe that ripped us away from God Satan came into this world and this thing called sin has separated all of us from God and so we all have this corrosion this rust if you will on us and we're all ruined to some extent and God sees both the glory and the ruin and every one of us and he sees it with the eyes of someone who says I love them as they are but I love them so much that I'd love to restore them to what they could fully be Romans 5 verse 17 puts it this way for the sin of this one man Adam who's that that's Adam and Eve the Garden of Eden the beginning of God's story with humanity when he said I've given you a free will and I want you to be with me and have an eternal life and no pain or suffering but you can choose to turn away from me and we saw that Adam and Eve did choose to turn away from God and so just like children who grow up in a home where mom and dad choose to divorce we didn't necessarily pick this but our spiritual ancestors did and every one of us have been infected by this sin that ripped us away from God and every one of us if we're honest have had a moment where we've chosen to turn away from God in some behavior or some action or some thought and that has caused death to rule over many it's because of that that our bodies wear out and die it's because of this that our relationships sometimes die but here's the good news even greater is God's wonderful grace what's grace it's when you get something that you don't deserve and his gift of righteousness we looked at the word loves and Jesus loves me that God's love for you is not just some warm gushy feeling or emotion it's a love that was proven in actions and he proved it when he went to the cross and he said I will pay the price to reach her I will pay the price to reach him he paid a lot more than 23 million dollars to rescue you in your decayed state because he sees value in you and now this gift of salvation it's not something we earn but we receive it by faith and when we do the righteousness of Jesus the perfection the holiness of Jesus is applied to us and where we were separated from God we get restored back to God this righteousness is for all who receive it and those who receive it will live in triumph victory over two specific things you can live in victory over sin that is those decisions and those habits that hurt you and hurt the people around you those thought patterns those addictions those behaviors that are bad for you and the people around you through Jesus you can have triumph over all those things that God calls sin and through Jesus you can have triumph over death meaning that when your body wears out in this earth you will wake up in the presence of your creator and you will look down and you'll say whoa I really look good because God starts the restoration process for us in our heart and our soul in this life and in heaven actually scripture says we will have a glorified body which as a car person is a neat idea because the body is the outside of the car the metal of the car the hood and the doors that's all called the body and when you restore a car you start with the engine and the heart and the internals and the body is the final thing you do and God does the same thing with us and all this is possible through this man Jesus the Christ he has to be fully God and fully man in order to rescue us and Jesus the one man is the Christ who is God on earth or Messiah so what does all this mean for you well if you're a believer in Jesus it means three things and if you're considering believing in Jesus I want to share these with you today the first is when you look in the mirror and you say who am I you can know this well I'm a glorious ruin and I'm being restored so who are you you're not who your co-workers say you are you're not who your boss says you are you're not how your parents label you or define you you're not your GPA or your net worth you're not your age or your job title you are made in the image of God and you are inherently valuable and no one can strip that away from you whether they see it or not God sees it the master of the universe sees it you're inherently valuable to him just as much as me or any other car enthusiast would look at that Ferrari 250 and say that thing is inherently valuable that's how God feels about you and is it true that there's some ruin in each of our lives yes it is it is true each of us have some habits or some things we've done or things that have been done to us that are broken and that's okay that's okay because you know apart from God you might think that those things define you but those things don't define you yeah those things are part of your story right now but they will become part of the past as you allow God to continue restoring you he does the work in this life and he'll finish it in the next life well what does all this mean for you it also means this that where others see junk God sees treasure we've all had those people in our lives who when they look at us they only see our flaws they only see what's wrong with us and maybe that person in your life is yourself maybe look in the mirror or you look at yourself and all you can see is what's broken those four pictures I showed you when we played our game what do you see at first a lot of people thought we're looking at junk we're looking at scrap we're looking at stuff that should be sent to the junkyard and melted down or buried in the ground because it has no value but a car enthusiast looked at each of those pictures and said that is worth tens of thousands of dollars or in one case millions of dollars in its ruined state it's worth that much and when God looks at you it's not that he's not aware of the areas that still need work in your life but those don't define you to him because he sees your potential more than that he sees what you could be what you should be what he intended for you to be before sin and death and evil came into this world and into our lives this means that your failures are never final because you are being restored it means that your addictions your problems the parts of you that aren't where you want them to be yet the parts of you that you're ashamed of God knows those parts but he doesn't reject you because of those parts he's in the process of restoring those parts whether it's an eating disorder or pornography or an addiction or magnetic draw to alcohol those things in your life where you just think man that part of me is so ruined there's hope there's hope because there's a capable restorer and you sit in a room a movement of people where hundreds of us thousands now have seen this restoration process we've seen God take parts of us that seemed broken beyond repair and change our thought life change our habits repair our marriages restore what was broken there's always hope if you stay in the repair shop but let's just explore this idea that every human is a glorious ruin in need of restoration where does God's word say this well it says that all people are glorious in Genesis 1 verse 27 let's look at that verse and God says this that he created human beings in his own image so this is what separates humans from the animal world you know all the other animals they're beautiful but they're not made in God's image so they don't have an eternal soul like you do and they also don't have a free will to accept or reject God like you do animals you know if you feed them enough they will they will do what you say if you feed them you can train them and humans have this godlike ability we can choose toward God or away from God that's called your free will you're made in the image of God that means you have an eternal soul in the image of God he created them male and female he created them well what about that word ruined we're glorious but we're also ruined well Jeremiah the prophet wrote about this in chapter 17 of his book he says this the human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked who really knows how bad it is now this verse doesn't mean that a human heart can never be good but it means that all human hearts have moments when they're bad and it means that our hearts are deceitful in other words your heart will deceive you my heart deceives me I have days where I think oh I'm doing this for the right reason but I'm not because our hearts are deceptive one of the most deadly errors I think of my generation as a millennial and many of our kids being raised right now is that we're often told and we heard this we hear this saying just follow your heart just do what your heart tells you and to me the tragic thing is every year the number of young people in the United States who take their own lives through suicide continues to grow and increase you know why because our hearts if we're depressed if we're having a bad day if we've been bullied even if we just haven't eaten and we've been if we just haven't eaten enough or slept enough your heart might tell you to do something evil like take your own life and here's the thing if your heart tells you to take your life don't listen to your heart if your heart tells you to take the life of someone else don't listen to your heart our hearts are capable of great good but our hearts are also capable of great evil and history testifies to this we see individuals and nations who followed their hearts into genocide and into war and into the enslaving of other people and into racism and into all sorts of evils the human heart has the capacity for great good but it also has the capacity for great evil so what can we do if our own hearts can't be trusted well we can look to the one who has the power to restore our hearts and to change our hearts this is Living on the Edge with chip engram and you've been listening to the first part of our guest teacher john dickerson's message god's love for me from his series jesus loves me chip and john will join us shortly to share some additional thoughts on what we've heard let me ask you do you know the core beliefs of christianity forget what churches denominations or notable pastors say for a second what do god and his word actually state are the essential truths of the christian faith well in this 10-part study author and pastor john dickerson will help us discover what those are by using the simple children's song jesus loves me john reveals what these lyrics tell us about god his love for us and the reliability of the bible so whether you're a new believer looking for guidance or you've been a christian your whole life and need a reason to be a Christian your whole life and need a refresher this series will encourage you learn more about john's teaching or his helpful resources by visiting Living on the Edge dot org well chip's with me in studio now and chip this culture as we heard john talk about at the end of this message is intent on discrediting god and the truth of scripture so why don't you take a minute and unpack how christians are responding to this pressure and what we're doing to help i'd be glad to dave i think as christians we see two responses neither of which is going to bring about long-term positive change and one is a combativeness an anger a sort of the culture is the enemy and the other is what i call um instead of being combatant we capitulate and so go with the flow um you know who am i to judge let's just let's just all be loving and so the one has truth with no grace and the other has grace with no truth and so at Living on the Edge we've spent the last 20 years developing resources whether it's audio or books or teaching or or my favorite small group material to help people live out truth and grace and we've had very generous people partner with us to create all those resources to pay for air time to hire staff we are living in a day where if christians do not live like christians we will see america go right down the tubes and so there's never been a day when we need to do more and we can't do more without the prayers and the financial support of our Living on the Edge partners and so if you've never given to Living on the Edge let me tell you now is a wonderful wonderful time we will be true to scripture and will be true to equip people to live out both grace and truth and the power of the holy spirit so thank you for those of you that support us please continue to do so and for those of you that have not i would highly encourage you get on board today we can make a difference together thanks chip if partnering with Living on the Edge is an idea that makes sense to you we'd love to have you join us helping christians live like christians will change the world we live in to give a gift go to Living on the Edge dot org or text donate to 741 41 that's the word donate to 741 41 or visit Living on the Edge dot o-r-g app listeners tap donate thanks for taking the time to help others benefit from the work of this ministry well here again is chip and our guest teacher john dickerson with a few final words thanks dave john thanks for joining us here in studio again and i have to tell you that message really impacted me and i love the idea that we're all glorious ruins who need to be restored and you know as we wrap up today's program maybe you could talk directly to those people the down deep really don't think they can be restored maybe they feel like they've messed up or gone too far or what they're doing currently means that you know god doesn't even care about them they just can't believe that anyone would want to help them and you and i know that's not true could you speak to this and maybe speak directly to them well yeah chip the first thing i'd say if you're listening and you're feeling that you're feeling like maybe god couldn't possibly love you couldn't possibly forgive you i want you to know that this moment in your life is no accident god's actually reaching out to you right now he's reaching out to you because he does love you and his love for you doesn't depend on your performance in fact he tells us in the book of genesis very beginning of his love letter the bible to us that when he made you he made you in his image you are an image bearer of god you can't change that about yourself god put that in you i think of another scripture god spoke to a guy who was doubting if he was good enough to be part of god's plan a guy named jeremiah and god said these words and they're true of you today this part before i formed you in your mother's womb i knew you god knew you before you were a newborn baby he knew you before you were conceived he designed you he built you and knowing every mistake you'd ever make every pain you'd ever go through from eternity past when he saw that sin would separate you from him he said i will go down i will die on the cross i will pay the penalty to be made right and so you need to know you're deeply loved because of who created you you're deeply loved and it is declared not only in the eternal word of god but in the finished work of christ on the cross when he spread his arms on that cross and died for the sins of the world he died for you and what you're feeling that makes you doubt your self-worth the shame the guilt the regret what that is is the reality of corrosion or rust on your soul you know in that message we listen to we talked about classic cars that have been stored away in barns and they're worth millions of dollars but they're all rusty and they need to be restored well you're made in the image of god no matter how you perform but what jesus offers you is restoration so turn to him believe what he says about you and not only will you start to experience god's love but you'll start to see him change you in those areas that you're ashamed of or regret how does that happen because of the power of the gospel we're not ashamed of the gospel it's the power of god that brings salvation which includes restoration to everyone who believes so join us in believing today thanks john and if you're looking to better understand how god uniquely designed you and the specific purpose he has for your life we have a resource for you here at Living on the Edge we've developed a free online assessment called the real you now this tool will help you learn more about your thinking patterns passions gifts motivations and how you fit on a team then the real you will suggest how and where you can live this out sign up for this free assessment by visiting the real the real you dot org that's the real you dot o-r-g or text real to 741-41 that's the word real r-e-a-l to 741-41 well until next time this is dave druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-24 05:27:08 / 2023-02-24 05:37:34 / 10

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