One of the greatest dangers during financial uncertainty is a hidden monster called greed. We think only about ourselves. It poisons our soul. Now is the time to be free of greed that we might help others. We are the salt and the light of the world.
But how does that really work? That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And we're in the middle of his series, I Choose Peace, how to quiet your heart in the chaos of life. I'm sure it's no surprise that money can be a major source of anxiety for many people, especially since we live in such a materialistic society. Well, today Chip's going to help us let go of that mindset and explain how contentment can lead to a peace-filled life. And be sure to stick around after this message as Chip shares a practical step we can take to make that happen.
With all that said, here's Chip for his talk in financial uncertainty from Philippians chapter four, verse 14. How many people know what I'm talking about if I say a scouting report? What's a scouting report? You look at the film, you watch the other team, and what do you do?
You figure out what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, so you come up with your game plan. If you have small children and someone says, can your little girl come over and stay overnight with our house, and it's someone from school, and you don't know them, what do you do? You make phone calls to find out about these people. You go on the internet and find out if there's any sexual offender predators in that neighborhood. I mean, you check out what's going on. And students, you guys do scouting reports. You know, you see that girl and she kind of catches your eye, or that guy and he kind of catches your eye, and you think to yourself, you know, that might be sort of one of those.
And so you ask so-and-so who asks so-and-so who asks so-and-so, and you find out all about her to see whether that's worth pursuing. On a less light note, I had a very, very good friend in my years in Dallas who was a squad leader in Vietnam. And he would take 12 to 15 men out, and they would do a little circular about three to four miles and make a loop. And he said the most terrifying thing, because he was the leader and he had about 10 to 12 men in his care, and he said, we would go out and we'd make this loop, but just not every day, but very frequently, we'd find ourselves where we'd be in jungle, jungle, jungle, and then we'd have to go across the space of about 100 yards, maybe 200 max, and it would be wide open, just rice paddies.
But you were completely exposed. And so he says, I'd get a couple of my scouts, and they would literally, I mean, get down, belly with their rifles, go all the way. And then he says, when they made it and had everything checked out, they'd get up on one knee and motion us, and he said, I mean, you watch guys with packs. We would run across there as fast as we could with our hearts pumping, because we know the exposure in that 100 yards. And he said, if we had a good scouting report, it wasn't a problem. But he said, there were times where I ran across there, and then I heard, bam, pa-pow, pa-pow, pa-pow, pa-pow.
And I would watch as one of the men I was responsible for would be hit, and we would all hit the ground. And I had men with bullet holes and blood coming out of them that died in my arms, because the scouting report was inaccurate. We're going to talk about contentment's greatest competitor.
We're going to talk about how to beat it. And the apostle Paul, inspired by the Spirit of God, is going to give you a scouting report. And this scouting report is just, in fact, it's more serious than my friend in Vietnam. If he got a bad scouting report, people could lose their physical life. The scouting report that you're going to get, if you don't understand it and heed it, you can lose your soul. You can lead your kids and your friends for all eternity off the wrong path. So this is a serious message. The apostle Paul gives us the scouting report in 1 Timothy 6, verses 5 to 10.
And a good scouting report does about four basic things. It says, well, who's the foe? How formidable is the foe? What are his tactics? And then where are we vulnerable?
So let's follow along. The context is, some false teachers are moving through the church. And so he says in verse 5, false teachers produce men of corrupt minds. That's the product of false teaching. Who have been robbed of the truth and think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
That's the context. Paul is writing to his son Timothy, and he writes this letter and he says, Timothy, when you receive this, you've got to understand, these false teachers are going around, they've been robbed of the truth, and what they teach, they actually teach. Can you believe this, Timothy? That walking with God, serving God, loving Christ, is a way to get rich. The reason you walk with God is he's going to make everything turn out great and you'll be wealthy.
Does that sound familiar? And then he'll give us thesis. By contrast, godliness with contentment is great gain. That's our word. The fact of the matter is, walking with God and knowing God and loving God when there is a sense of supernatural sufficiency in Christ is a great gain.
And then he'll give two facts. Why is this true? First, for we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. Timothy, these guys are promising and people are wasting their lives, but Timothy, you need to remember, you come in as this little naked baby and you go through ups, downs, but you know what, they may put clothes on you, they may put you in a big expensive casket or a wooden box or burn you up and put you in an urn, but you come in with nothing and you leave with nothing and it's 100% true for 100% of the people.
So it doesn't make a lot of sense to follow these false teachers. The second fact you need to remember is that if we have food and clothes, we will be, and then circle the word, it's our word content. If we have food and clothing, put a line into the word clothing because literally it means covering. The Apostle Paul says their teaching doesn't make sense, but if we have food and covering, the idea is covering for your body, clothes to keep you warm, and a covering, a roof. It could be a tent, it could be an RV, it could be a house, it could be a condo, but if you have something over your head to protect you from the elements and you have food, with Christ, Paul says, you got all you need. If he gives you more, great, be a wise steward of it, but that's all you need to be content with that.
And then verse nine, he's gonna give the scouting report. In contrast to that mentality, people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires. And what do those harmful desires do? They plunge men into ruin and destruction.
Well why and how does that happen? Verse 10, for the love of money is not the, but the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager to get rich or eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Now I said a good scouting report answers those four questions, let's take this text and let's answer those four questions. Question number one, who is our foe? The technical name is Philogoria, the little phrase there, who want to get rich, the phrase love for money, eager for money, the root word behind those, Philo, to love, remember like Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, Philogoria, greed. The street name is just materialism, greed.
The belief more, more, more, gotta have, that will satisfy. The love of money, age old, that's who our foe is. How formidable is our foe? If you have a pen, pull it out, I want you to circle a few words that tell you how formidable this foe is. Circle the word plunge, circle the word ruin, circle the word destruction, circle the phrase, a root of all kinds of evil.
In other words, the love of money, it's not just a financial problem, 60% or more of most marriages that fail are rooted in some financial issues. It is a root of all kinds of evil. Circle the word wandered, circle the word pierced, and circle the word griefs. This foe is formidable. It is a deeply, deadly, powerful, ruthless enemy that wants to destroy your physical life, your emotional life, your family life, your spiritual life, and take your soul.
That's how formidable. What are its tactics? Put a box around the word temptation, put a box around the word trap, put a box around the word foolish, and put a box around the word harmful desires and you will see the tactics. The word temptation, what's temptation? Temptation is simply, usually offering a good thing in a bad way. Temptation is missing the mark.
Temptation is a, temptation then it uses a parallel word, a lure. The word for lure or trap here, it's that shiny thing that a fish sees that gets its attention but behind the shiny little lure is a hook and so money promises power, position, popularity, self-image. Money will give you this.
Money, you can live like this. People will love you. They will like you. You'll be significant. You'll be of value. And so you chase money and then it's what the word is. And that hook will plunge you into destruction in relationships. It'll alienate you from God. It'll like Jesus said, it'll be like the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches.
It'll take the work of the spirit of God and the word of God in your life and little by little it will strangle you. But notice the tactics. Did you notice some of the words? Trap, temptation, foolish harmful desires and then the product is some for their eager lover money have wondered.
It's in the passive voice. You don't wake up and make a willful decision one day to say, you know I love God and you know I like being a student at this school and I want him to really use my life or you know I'm married or I'm single and I'm glad God's given me these kids and this is what really matters. You know what I'm just tired of living this way. I think I'll just chase money and throw all that away and I'll go hog wild and try and get rich.
No one wakes up and does that. Remember what did Jesus say? It's the deceitfulness of riches. You understand what deceit means? It means that when you are loving money and when you are wandering away from Christ, the only person that doesn't know it is you. They have wandered from the faith.
It's a picture of like two people talking in a boat and there's a current in the stream and they get talking and they're in a good conversation and as they're talking, the dock is right here and as they're talking, oh how's that going and how's that going and they're so engrossed in the talking but the boat is being pushed down the stream and when they stop talking they look up and they're two miles away from where they thought they were. That's this word. You just wake up one day and you're far away from Christ and your priorities are out of order and there's tension in your marriage and your kids are seeing things in you and you are driven and work is totally out of proportion and things and what's new and what you got to have and your debt continues to rise and to grow and pretty soon you have rationalized your way and you have pierced yourself with many a grief. That's who's tactics and where are you vulnerable? First and foremost in your heart. The heart is deceitful above all else.
Can I just let you in on something? The issue this morning is not if you have a problem of philogoria. The issue is not if you're being deceived. The issue is not if you are greedy.
We're just going to try and find out how greedy you are and how greedy I am. We're living, we're vulnerable not only in our heart but you are living in a culture and I'm living in a culture with every commercial and every magazine and every advertisement and every new style and every new car. We are the people. The goal of an advertisement is to what?
Produce discontent. Those old shoes aren't good enough. That old car's not good enough.
You don't want that house. Those kind of sinks aren't in anymore. You know what? The skirts are too long. Now they're too short. Now they go to the middle.
The heels are high. Now they're flat. Now they're red. Now they're white. Pink is in this year. Light blue is going to be next year.
Lime green really coming in. And so we got closets full of stuff that we don't wear that's good because we've been hooked and deceived. So the issue today is not are you greedy.
It's not am I greedy. The only issue is to what extent is the hook in your mouth and what are you going to do about it and what am I going to do about it because the implications ruin, plunged, pierced destruction. I mean this is way heavier than my Vietnam story because you might jot on the bottom of your notes Luke 16, 13 through 15. When Jesus took the whole area of spirituality he said you know what? There's basically two options. You can either worship me or you worship what he called mammon or money or greed or materialism or consumerism.
You are either in this camp or in that camp. And so what I want to help you by God's grace and his spirit through his word I want to help you and I want to help me break the grip of greed in my life and in yours. This isn't something you can just grow into some day some way. It is possible to come to a point spiritually where you can say when times are terrible or when times are great as I learn to be grateful, as I learn to be teachable, as I learn to be flexible, and as I learn to be confident I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. It is possible to be completely content in this life by the power of the grace of God through your relationship with Christ. And that's priceless as the commercial says. I mean that is really priceless. I think it was John Paul Getty who at the very end of his life had amassed millions and millions and millions and asked him what's it really take to be satisfied.
His answer just a little bit more. And so what we're going to see from the Philippian church they are going to be a model for us. We're going to look at the Philippian church and how they related to Paul and they will model how that you can break the grip of greed from your heart and life and how I can do it as well. So after saying he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him he's going to say here's how to break the grip of greed. Develop personal compassion. See at the heart what greed does it hardens your heart.
What your focus on money does is things things things things become important and God God God and people people don't. And so the only way to combat that is you've got to get your heart tenderized so it's soft toward God and soft towards people so you care. How do you develop compassion? By putting others needs ahead of our wants.
That's how you do it. You take some of your wants and you find someone who has a real need and you say I'm going to let go of that want and I'm going to take the time or energy or money for that want and I'm going to give it to this need. Watch how the Philippians model this. Verse 14 after he says he can do all things through Christ who gives me strength he says yet it was good of you to share in my trouble. Moreover as you Philippians know in the early days it was about 10 years ago and best you can piece it together the church has planted plus or minus around 10 years ago. And if you want to get the story jot on the corner of your notes act 16. That's where Lydia the church started there by the riverbank and and then the Philippian jailer you know he comes to Christ and you know Paul gets in trouble like usual and so they built this bond and this is a this is a real connecting and he goes it was good of you literally it was beautiful it was winsome it was a it was a thing of beauty the way that you were to coin an eel with me you shared with me we became partners and he said when did we become partners in my troubles and the word for trouble there's a technical word in the New Testament for the afflictions or the pain that would come on person's life for sharing Christ and he goes on to say you know you remember the old days when you were first acquainted with the gospel and then I set out from Macedonia not one church shared or literally partnered with me in the manner of giving and receiving except you only and Paul basically is saying is you know this is a thank you letter and Epaphroditus brought the financial gift and I'm prison and I just want you to know thank you so much I've learned to be content so I didn't really need it yet it was good of you to help out and then he goes on to say here that moreover you know you were the only church to share you were this poor little church and you saw my need and you generously gave to supply my needs you put my needs ahead of your want and that's how you do it this this idea of giving and receiving it's all through the New Testament of those who supply spiritual food for us giving need to receive financial provision so the ministry can go forward that's what Paul will make that point in all the churches and I thought to myself how where or how did this most profoundly get worked out in my life and I was in Dallas Seminary because when you when you see a principle like this you think to yourself well you know when I really get a lot of excess then I can help some other people but you know what you know is that everybody is mentally middle-class you do know that I don't care what you make you make a hundred million dollars I mean the people billionaires they're rich not me right you know you make eighty thousand you make thirty thousand someone I don't care what you make whoever makes more they're rich and you're kind of in need it's life and so I thought of a time when I learned this when in my mind at least I was very poor and so we're in seminary and I'm making just under a thousand dollars a month and I have three kids and going to school full time and a guy comes to chapel I'd never heard of the group called World Vision and he came and there was about a thousand students in this chapel and he showed a video thing where you know my I'm crying and thinking to these poor kids and saying well I wish I could help them but I mean I can barely pay my rent and the guy gets up and he said you know you're probably wondering why I would come to Dallas Seminary to show you this and I'm thinking yeah I'm wondering I mean first of all I'm glad I know now but I thought boy I sure would love to help them but I mean I can't and he said a lot of you were probably thinking that you know you got two jobs you're barely making it your wives are putting you through you don't make any money so why would I come here and he said before I answer that question can I just ask you a little quick question here in the group and I still remember this he said how many of you I know you don't have hardly any money but how many of you just as a little treat maybe at least once or twice a month take your families out to McDonald's and like 95 percent of the hands went up I went up I mean that was big time I mean three kids two and a half happy meals we split the cheeseburger everybody gets water I can get out of here for 14 16 bucks I mean and that's you know whoa hey kids here we go right Ronald we're gonna have fun golden arches I mean that was that was the moment and then I'll never forget and then he clicked a button and put a picture of what I'd seen and he said you know if you go to McDonald's twice a month you know what I'm asking you that's a want would you be willing to give up going to McDonald's once a month and take that $16 to feed and educate that child and I'll never forget walking home that was 30 some years ago now I think and bringing a little picture of a little girl or a little boy I can't even remember now and that started probably a 30 some year journey that I thought yeah decision am I gonna go to McDonald's twice or that kid get to eat once you see compassion your heart gets soft when you take your once and sacrifice your once for someone else's you've been listening to part one of chips message in financial uncertainty which is from our series I choose peace chip will be back with us in studio shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about have you ever thought about what it means to be at peace is it just a fulfilling job happy household financial security well many people put stock in those things but they don't last eventually the shine wears off in this 12-part study of Philippians chapter 4 chip explains where this attitude of discontentment comes from and the ways it steals our joy stay with us as we learn how to move beyond that temporary feeling of calmness to a lasting peace centered life to help you on this journey during the series we're offering every listener a copy of chips 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 Living on the Edge dot o-r-g or text peace to 741 41 that's the word peace p-e-a-c-e to 741 41 limit one book per customer while supplies last well I'm joined in studio now by chip and chip I don't know if many of our listeners know this but every year you travel around the world ministering to pastors now take a minute if you would and share why this group is so important to you and why you devote time and energy to support them well Dave first and foremost is because my heart bleeds for them spiritually they're like first responders I mean they're like an EMT they're the fireman on the edge you can't imagine what pastors have gone through and the difficulties and the pain and the challenges and first and foremost they need someone to put their arm around them and they need encouragement and help and training yeah and by the grace of God I've had the chance to grow little churches and medium-sized churches and very large churches and one of my passions was to study what kind of churches see lots of people come to Christ see them really mature and then meet the deepest needs in their community and we call that a high-impact church and so I get to help other pastors grow those kind of churches well healthy pastors create healthy churches which do what make disciples like Jesus said and so I think it's one of those areas that is the most strategic and of course we're doing it here in the United States and then globally it is happening in ways that I have never imagined in all my life we're involved in over 60 countries with tens of thousands of pastors learning to become high-impact leaders and pastors and so here's my request if you care about the church and care about your pastor and care about all those people with needs that need a shepherd that's healthy would you pray and ask God if he wants you to be a monthly partner to Living on the Edge when we can know there's a monthly steady stream of income it allows me and our team to plan in ways that really help us design what's very best for pastors so please give it some thought pray about it and then join us as we train pastors here and all around the world well if you'd like to be a part of that work let me encourage you to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge with your support we can reach countless pastors with the resources and training they desperately need so if you'd like to set up a recurring donation today visit Living on the Edge dot org or the chip engram app or you can now text donate to 741 41 that's the word donate to 741 41 and thanks in advance for doing whatever God leads you to do well as we wrap up here's chip with a few final words he'd like to share in this message we're talking about choosing peace in a materialistic culture and as we wrap up today's broadcast I just want to remind you of something how is it that you develop a heart of compassion and the answer is really easy to say but it's really hard to do it's practice putting others needs ahead of your wants and I told a little story of how I begin to learn that even when I was a very poor seminary student but here's what I want to remind you of whenever you start being compassionate whenever you start to choose to put other people's needs ahead of your wants you can expect opposition here's what I want you to know as we learn to choose to be compassionate we declare war on greed and we discover God's peace in our heart why don't you just try that in some little things today and see what God does in your life great challenge chip before we go let me quickly remind you of an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast here chip anytime on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo dot just say Alexa open Living on the Edge and you'll hear that day's extended teaching anytime you want will join us next time as we continue our series I choose peace until then this is Dave Drewy thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge
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