The most important decision that you and I will make today and every day is what we allow to go into our mind. We are the product of our thoughts. Here's the question. How do you filter out the bad ones and dwell on the good ones?
That's today. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry motivating Christians to live like Christians. We're in the middle of Chip's series, I Choose Peace, How to Quiet Your Heart in the Chaos of Life. We hope you've been encouraged by Chip's teaching so far. And to help others experience that same encouragement, would you take a minute after this message and share it with them?
You can do that either through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s you'll find at livingonthedge.org. Thanks for spreading the word about how this teaching is impacting you. If you have a Bible, turn to Philippians chapter four for the remainder of Chip's message, In a Broken World. Before I watch, listen or think, is it true? Does it honor God?
Is it right or wrong? And next, is it pure? This is from the same root word as holy that means to be set apart, means to be free from defilement, sexual and moral purity and thought, word and deed. And the question you want to ask is, will this cleanse or dirty my soul? Job would say in Job 31, I've made a covenant with my eyes, how then could I gaze lustfully for a virgin?
David in Psalm 101 about verses two and three, he says, I've committed before you, Lord, to live a blameless life and I will set no worthless or vile thing before my eyes. Can I just say something and we won't belabor it? If you have a porn addiction, just get help. All the research is that it is as addictive as cocaine and trying hard and really intending and wanting to break a porn addiction is not something you'll probably do on your own.
No one else has. And it produces fears and it multiplies into lies and cover up. And it's no less addicting than if you were sticking a needle in your arm. And it's a pseudo intimacy that will destroy your relationships. And so God's heart would be, I want I want you to see sex as holy and pure.
The Bible says God made it. He loves it. But the marriage beds should be holy.
He wants what you watch, not just porn, but the kind of movies and not just the sexually explicit ones. What about the ones that they they sort of suck us in by you have this kind of mean guy married to this wonderful gal and she falls in love with someone who's really not her husband, but he's a nice guy and she's a nice guy and he's a jerk. And we find ourselves rooting for them in their affair.
And you know what that does? Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, seed planted. The enemy is very shrewd. The battle for your life is not out there. The battle is right here.
The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but divinely powerful. And we will take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And that's why if you have a teenage son, in fact, in our day now, if you have a teenage daughter, you have to open the phones and have a conversation and you need to do it in the next 24 or 48 hours and sit down and talk about your mind is so precious and you are so precious.
And the kind of addictions and the kind of information and the kind of attacks, no one would take their 12 or 13 or 11 year old daughter or son or 10 year old boy and drop them off, you know, like in downtown San Jose in the middle of the night or downtown Oakland and go, hey, I'll catch you later. Have fun. And yet when you don't have filters, when you don't have a conversation, when you haven't talked about these things, it's exactly what you're doing.
And our kids are dying. Ask yourself, will this cleanse or dirty my soul? The next word is lovely. I like this one.
Attractive, winsome, beautiful. It pictures things that call forth a response of love and warmth versus bitterness, criticism and vengeance. This is a call to smell the roses, to look at a rainbow, to watch kids playing in a park, to ponder a pleasant memory, to pause with a warm embrace, to put your feet up and read an encouraging book. Yesterday, I'm very excited.
I guess it was Friday. I played golf a couple of times. So fun. And as I was driving, it was about 6 30 in the morning, all these puffy clouds, and then it was all red and pink behind them.
I was just driving and it was just like winsome, attractive, admirable. Oh, Lord. And I happened to my phone, you know, you know how these phones work where they just play songs that are on your phone.
You never know which is coming up. And out of the blue comes up a song from a 25 year old young man who's best friends with my son. And he died of cancer at 25. And the song came on, Restore Me. And I thought back of those memories and I thought back of what God has done.
And it was just, I just began to ponder his kindness and his sovereignty and his love and beauty and creation. Guess what? Guess what happened to my emotions? I mean, we live close to the ocean. When's the last time you went there?
When's the last time you went to the redwoods? Get your faces out of the screens and look at the beauty that God has brought. Ask yourself this question.
Will this renew or harden my heart? I had come home and we were going to eat in about 10 minutes and I looked on channel two and it was like, oh, my gosh, I got to channel four. You know, PBS, sometimes they'll give you a more documentary sort of position. I found myself disturbed within, sad, angry about the injustice in the world, a sense that the world is completely messed up.
Here's the deal. In 10 minutes, in 10 minutes, everything bad that happened in the globe went on my screen and to me. And I'm telling you, there were hundreds of millions of acts of kindness and children born and people being generous and love given and people caring and kids adopted and food given and fresh water and people pulled out of the sex trade. And all that wonderfulness I didn't see. All I got in 10 minutes was that and it shaped my thinking.
What you allow in your mind the last 30 to 45 minutes before you go to bed and what you allow in your mind the first 30 minutes of your day will shape your subconscious, your mind, your thinking. You're either starving, fear and feeding faith or you're doing the opposite. Finally, he says that which is commendable, good repute. He says gracious, admirable is the meaning of the word. It literally means fair speaking.
It describes things which are fit for God to hear versus ugly words, false words and pure words. And the test here is could I recommend this to someone who looks up to me? Right? By the way, if you kind of are thinking, oh my gosh, this would radically change what comes in my house, good. It'll also change your fear, change your emotions, change your kids if you have them. But you don't have to raise your hands on this one. Have you ever been watching something and someone's coming down the hall and before they walk in you change the channel?
Oh, OK. I did that once. We've all been watching something and a little kid is coming in or your mate's coming in or something. And I don't mean that it's terrible, but you just I'm not comfortable with them watching this.
How about this test? Imagine you're sitting on, you know, one of those couches with two or three seats and whatever is coming on your phone, your screen, your TV. The Lord Jesus in his resurrected body shows up and says, hey, Chip, how you doing? Great. I'm just going to relax a little bit and watch this. Great. Mind if I sit down?
No, I'd love to have you. Here's the question to ask. Are you comfortable with him sitting next to you watching what you're watching?
Are you comfortable with a five year old, with a grandchild? He finally summarizes and said, if there's any virtue or praise, in other words, in case I left anything out, it's sort of a think on anything that has the moral excellence and that will inspire and motivate you to love God and to love others. So everything doesn't have to be spiritual. I'm listening to a book called The Last Lion. It's the it's the life of Winston Churchill. It's just it's fabulously interesting. So in my car, I mean, it's a book like this. That's why I put it on Audible. I said, I'll never read that. I've got like six hours in and I looked the other day.
There's only 31 hours left. But I mean, his courage and what was happening in the war. And I'm listening to another book by John Ortberg on the life you've always wanted. And at night before I go to bed, it's just 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes. I'm I'm reading about the life of Martin Luther. And just just all I want to do is how do I feel my life and my mind with good things? Because I will be the product of my thought life. But it's just not thinking. It's then acting. Habitually practice these things.
Habitually practice these things. He says you've learned and received. You had an appetite and you applied. You heard and saw.
I gave instruction and I modeled it. And here's why. Your thought life determines your. Write the word future. I don't know what your hopes are.
But I'm going to tell you, your future will be determined by your thought life. The dreams. The passions, the joys, the thoughts.
For friends, for family, for work. The scripture in Romans Chapter 8, I put it in the Amplified because it's so graphic. Here's a great truth.
Follow along. For those who are living according to the flesh, set their minds, notice the phrase, on the things of the flesh which gratify the body. But those who are living according to the spirit, set their minds on the things of the spirit. His will and his purpose. Now the mind on the flesh is death both now and forever because it pursues sin. But the mind of the spirit is life and peace. The spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God.
Both now and forever. The mind of the flesh with its sinful pursuits is actively hostile to God. It doesn't submit itself to God's law since it cannot.
And those who are in the flesh, living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses. Notice, cannot please God. You can't keep putting things in your mind and then in your will, oh God I want to do this. Transformation always begins with your thinking.
Second, how. It's the principle of mind renewal. The principle of mind renewal. It's a verse we hear a lot around here. Romans Chapter 12, 2. And I like this again in the Amplified Bible. Do not be conformed to this world any longer with its superficial values and customs but be transformed and notice, not overnight, progressively changed as you mature spiritually by the renewing of your mind. Sometimes in some of these illustrations they sort of, they kind of get me because I'm getting old-er. I've been a Christian a little over 40 years. I didn't grow up as a Christian.
I'm still doing the most basic things that I did years ago because I'm still struggling with everything that I'm talking to you about. But what I can tell you is, as I have done what I've talked about, the transformation that I've seen God in my life and those I love and those I've had the chance to help. So I have a little card.
You can make your own. Before I watch, listen or think on it, is it true? Does it honor God?
Is it right or wrong? Will this cleanse or dirty my soul? Will this renewal harm my heart? Would I recommend this to someone who looks up to me? Will this bring peace or fear in my life?
When I went through this stuff with my back, I had a time to really ponder some big issues and look at some pretty big holes that I felt God was speaking to me. And so there was a lie. I've always been, you know, semi-ADD, you know, A-type personality. But here's a lie I've believed most of my life. I'm a prisoner of the opinions of the important influential people in my life. I agonize when my best judgment and direction from the Lord is different from theirs. Disagreeing with them will harm our relationship irreparably. So I attempt to please everyone creating an unhealthy lifestyle.
I mean, you could say it a lot easier like people pleasing. But part of that is an alcoholic father and realizing, you know, you've got to keep the peace and so you learn clues. And so that's on one side of a card and it says lie, I believe. Then I flip the card over and it says truths. Here's a truth. People love me and are for me and want me to live a life of joy, rhythm, rest, and fruitfulness in all areas of my life. I do not need to prove my worth through hard work or extraordinary productivity.
I'm accepted, loved, and greatly valued just for who I am. But that lie pops up. So guess what I do? I read this side of the card and then I say stop. And then I turn it over and I read this side of the card. And you know what I do? I'm setting my mind on the spirit. What lies do you believe?
What cards do you need to make? You would just be shocked at what God will do as you renew your mind. As you turn the page, here's the promise. The God of peace, the God of shalom will be with you. It's not just you're going to receive his peace, but his blessing, his power, his presence, his provision.
He wants to fulfill the desires of your heart. Are you ready for this? Here's the biggest lie you believe. You don't think God is for you. You think you've got to measure up.
He is so outlandishly for you. In the New Living Bible, Psalm 86 about verse 5 says, it says, Oh Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so abounding in unfailing love to all who ask for your help. And I bet I've read that hundreds of times in the last probably 90 days.
Because I read that and I just getting it from here to here for me, as I just have this predisposition and I know where it came from, is that God's arms are probably kind of a little bit crossed and now and then his toes tapping and no matter what I do, well, Chip, that wasn't quite good enough. Here's what you need to do. And that's a lie. And I'm changing. And you can change.
And your kids need to change. But you will have to guard your mind like never before. Remember, we started, I ask you a question. Do you want to overcome your fear?
Do you? I mean, for real, I want you to go back to, this is what I was afraid of. Do you want to overcome your fear?
If you do, then you have to radically change. These things don't come into my house, they don't come into my mind, they don't come on my screen, they don't come on my phone, and they don't come into my kids' or grandkids' lives. This truth is going to start into my mind. I've given you a game plan, 21 minutes of how to spend time with God. That's a good start. It's written out for you. I'm so excited that as you take these steps, God will show up in your life like never before.
Now, here's the deal. Your emotions aren't going to change overnight. But if you do what we're talking about, I mean, a week, you'll go, hmm, a little different. A couple, three weeks, whoa, a little different. About 30 days, it'll be like, wow. 90 days, people will say, what happened to you? Six months?
Two years? Those addictions, those anger issues, those I've got to measure up, those things can really change. Lord God, my Savior, my friend, the lover of my soul and the soul of every person in this room and anyone at any time, whoever might watch or listen to this, we praise you.
Here's what's true. You are good and you are forgiving. You are slow to anger, that you are abounding in steadfast, loyal love, and you want the best for us. Lord, there is an enemy that has infiltrated the media and sends messages of death and comparison and immorality that, Lord, we would just confess. We want to confess corporately our sin of how casual we have been with what we've allowed into the most precious commodity you've given, this mind. And so, Lord, would you help us to say no to that which is evil and say yes? Renew our minds that we could break the power of slavery. In Jesus' name, amen. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram.
And the message you just heard in A Broken World is from our series, I Choose Peace. Well, Chip will be back to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. What are you anxious about right now?
What's causing you to lose sleep? Financial uncertainties? A tense relationship? The daily demands of life? Whatever is robbing you of your peace right now, there's an antidote. Through Chip's insightful teaching in Philippians chapter 4, we're going to learn about the peace of God, which can restore, calm, and encourage our soul no matter what's happening around us. And to help you better understand that, during this series, we're offering every listener a copy of Chip's popular book, I Choose Peace, at no cost. We want to encourage you to completely lean on God and trust Him through the highs and lows of life. So to learn how to get your free copy of I Choose Peace, go to livingontheedge.org or text peace to 74141. That's the word peace, P-E-A-C-E, to 74141.
Limit one book per customer while supplies last. Well, I'm joined in studio now by Chip, and Chip, today you talked about the harmful ideas polluting our minds through social media, TV, the news, and you name it. And young people are the most vulnerable group to these opinions.
So take a minute, if you would, and share how and why we're stepping into this fight. Well, as many of you know, I have 12 grandchildren. And if you're like me, you're troubled about the culture they're swimming in. And I'm thankful.
You know, my grandkids are growing up in Christian homes. But I see the pressure that they're under. It's immense. And the cultural change in technology is happening so rapidly. And so we at Living on the Edge, we have doubled down. We're creating new resources. We're partnering with some other organizations. We're going to be bringing to parents and grandparents and even youth pastors, I mean, some tools that are going to really help the next generation live out their faith in Christ.
Right. And if you agree that those things are important, I'd just like to ask you, would you be willing to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge? See, monthly partners are so important to the ministry because it gives us a steady income.
It's people who say, I don't want to just help now and then, but I believe in what you're doing. And I really want to make a difference as we partner together. Would you pray and ask God if he wants you to be a monthly partner to Living on the Edge? Thanks, Chip. 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 only God can do. To set up a recurring donation, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app. You can also text donate to 74141.
That's the word donate to 74141. We appreciate your support. Well, Chip, in your message today, you touched on the idea of shaping our thoughts, especially right before we go to bed and as we wake up in the morning. As a place to close the program, would you take a few minutes and explain why these are such crucial times to guard what comes into our minds?
Absolutely, Dave. And this is one of those where, oh, I so wish I was just sitting across the room from each one of our listeners with a cup of coffee. My background is in psychology and undergraduate and graduate work before I became a pastor. And the study of the mind and how the brain works, your very first thoughts or the very first things you do in the morning, it shapes your day more than you can ever imagine.
So if you pick up your phone or look at the Wall Street Journal or look at your Facebook, or in other words, your mind is bombarded with multiple things and it starts a chain reaction versus pausing. As I shared, you know, I quote Psalm 23 or a portion of Colossians 3 or a passage of Scripture where I begin to ask God and talk with Him, I mean in the first two, three minutes before I get out of bed and then I make sure I get into the Scriptures and have a good conversation with the God that knows everything before I face anything. And then at the end of the day, if you can just discipline yourself to turn off the screens, turn off the TV, turn off the noise and calm yourself and recite some things and have a quiet moment of prayer or review some verses or some Psalms, you will be astounded at the impact and the change that will make, so much so that you'll realize how hard it is.
And you've got to ask yourself, why is it so hard to turn off the noise? And we just so want to encourage you to allow God to transform your life so that you experience, what's the Spirit produce? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. And the way He does that is not by us trying harder, it's by the transformation of our mind.
That's what Romans 12 2 says. So let me just encourage you, give it a try this week. I mean, start today. Before you go to bed, turn everything off, just 15 minutes and calm yourself and then jot down just a couple things, maybe don't have a passage memorized that you just want to read over as you first get up and see if it doesn't make a big difference. Thanks, Chip. And if you're looking for an easy, effective way to fill your mind with more biblical content, we have some resources that can help. Go to livingontheedge.org and search for our discipleship cards. These tools began as index cards Chip used to daily renew his mind and connect with the truth of scripture. And then we took them and developed them into beautiful sets for you to learn from. So if you want to be a more intentional parent, better equip yourself with the Bible, or receive daily affirmations from God, these resources will encourage you. To learn more about our discipleship cards, visit livingontheedge.org today. We'll listen in next time as Chip continues his series, I Choose Peace. Until then, this is Dave Druey thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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