Share This Episode
Living on the Edge Chip Ingram Logo

The Four Great Invitations - Go Make Disciples, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2023 6:00 am

The Four Great Invitations - Go Make Disciples, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1239 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 19, 2023 6:00 am

God uniquely created all of us for a specific purpose. But unfortunately, most people don’t know what theirs is or how to discover it. In this program, Chip is going to help us out as he wraps up his series, The Four Great Invitations. He’ll dive into Romans chapter 12 and explain how genuinely following Jesus will give us all the guidance and direction we’ll ever need.


God uniquely created you and me for a specific purpose.

But unfortunately, most people don't know what that is or how to discover it. Well, that's going to change today. I'm going to help you to discover your purpose in life. Stay with me. Thanks for joining us for 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 wrap up Chip's newest series, The Four Great Invitations. We hope you've learned a lot from the wise life lessons Chip shared over the last several messages. And if you have, would you take a minute after this message and share this series with a friend?

You can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at Thanks for passing on what God is teaching you. Chip's in Romans chapter 12 again today, and he begins by highlighting the next relationship key to any authentic follower of Jesus. Well, let's dive in. The fourth relationship is with fellow believers.

What's it look like? What's an authentic follower or disciple look like? They're serving in love. He says, love must be sincere.

You might put an underline into that. Literally, it's without hypocrisy. He says, you want to have great relationships with other believers? Take off your mask. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good, be devoted to one another in brotherly love. And then I don't have time to develop it, but there's about 13 participles that all have the force of a command of honoring one another, caring for one another, praying for one another, financially helping one another.

Now, this isn't like I'm in a small group and we're sitting around in a circle. How did your week go? My week went okay. Is your week okay? What did you have for question number four? I had God.

Cool, great answer. How about you? For question five, what did you have? I had Jesus. Oh, that's really great. Okay, now how are the 49ers doing? Have you heard about the draft?

Or what's on sale? Now, these are the kind of relationships where the real you shows up and you meet real needs that are sacrificial and they're not convenient. When you say to another group of people in the body of Christ, my time is your time, my money when needed is your money, my heart is your heart whenever you need it, I will lay down my life for you the way Jesus laid down his life for me. And when you ever get to experience that, I'll tell you, unbelievers will look at like, what in the world is going on here?

You're not those little religious people serving in love. The real you meets real needs for the right reason in the right way. And not only is it so attractive, but it answers that deep question that we have, how do you experience authentic community?

Right? I mean, the experts, at least in America, probably beyond, all the experts say the number one relational issue in America today is loneliness. We've never been more connected to information and less connected to one another. Suicides are up, anxiety is up, struggles are up.

What we all long for, I mean, it's an amazing gift if you just get like even two or three people in your life that love you for you and that would do whatever for you, it changes everything. And see, that's what a disciple is. It's not about how many times, okay, gosh, I only read two chapters long, gosh, what shall I do? I'm supposed to read three chapters a morning and if someone said a proverb, I didn't try the Psalms, I did this and gosh, I can only give 9.5% or I gave 11%, I guess God loves me more. You know, being a follower of Jesus is you've come and found rest. You're following him and you abide and the Spirit of God begins to enlighten the Word of God and you talk honestly from your heart. And when you mess up, you just own it and he forgives and cleanses. And then you get in a group and community like is so important around here and you receive it with someone who actually gives you a hug and eye contact, you realize this invisible God shows up how? Through his body. You know, we sing things like he's our hands and he's our feet, but it's for each other, it's real. And it's not just helping all the people in need and giving away food, those things are awesome. Can you fathom what would happen if God would awaken a new generation to the reality of Jesus?

Well, how do you do that? You come, you follow, you abide and then we make disciples. Finally, he talks to us about our relationship with unbelievers in a fallen world especially. And we supernaturally respond to evil with good.

Some of you are, actually all of you are way younger than me. And if you have not yet been betrayed in a really big way, don't hold your breath, it's coming. And it happens inside or outside the church. If you haven't experienced some deep injustice or someone you love, it's coming. It's a fallen world. So how do Christians, how do genuine followers respond to the evil that's aimed at us?

And the heat is going up in this culture especially. Here's what a disciple does, bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not, rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Don't be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Don't be conceited, do not repay evil for evil. Be careful, literally it means take thought, try to really understand what's right in the sight of other people even who disagree with you on morality, on politics, on God, on everything. Try to pause and empathize and recognize these are their presuppositions. They actually really, really believe this and this is what they're doing and here's how they're attacking me but I gotta get under their skin and grasp this is what's happening inside their heart because if you don't you'll just blame or you'll repay evil for evil. Doesn't mean you compromise and then notice if they're hungry, I mean this is the people that have posted stuff about you. This is the ex that walked out on you.

This is the supervisor that almost ruined your career. If they're hungry what do you do? You feed them. If they're thirsty what do you do? You're gonna give them a drink. In doing so you'll keep burning coals on their head. You go, wow, that sounds really good.

My boss could really use that. This is a picture in the ancient Near East when someone has repented and it was in a village and if they repented and realized, man, I totally messed up. I was totally wrong. My thoughts and my behavior were over here and I need to go over here. They would build a little fire, put coals in it, put it in a pan, put it in a towel and they would put it on their head and they would walk through the village and publicly say, my thinking, it's a picture of repentance. I don't care what people say about you. I'll tell you what, your ex-mate when they get cancer, when you show up to pray. I've got a good friend who was so abused by an ex-mate. I mean love, love, love. Actually she blew through all the money, did horrendous things and made him the evil person. 20 some years later he bought her a home because her life was so messed up.

He just kept loving. Do you remember what Jesus said when he was hanging on the cross? Anybody remember? Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.

Remember Stephen? Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. When they walked into the Colosseum, arm in arm, singing, praying, they weren't superstars. They knew all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Jesus and Jesus lived in them and he would be with them and they really had this picture of life really isn't just about right now and what you can get and who you can impress and how much you can own and what you drive and what you wear and where you live. There's a real heaven that's a real heaven. There's an eternity that's a real eternity.

This matters. A disciple is surrendered to God separate progressively from the world's values, has a sober self-assessment, is actively serving in love and is supernaturally responding to evil with good. After Nigeria I came back and I thought, I've never seen that in the scriptures ever. So on the back of an envelope I wrote those five relationships and those biblical responses and then I thought, you know, I think I'm going to try this out. So I spoke another message with a little more intentionality and then little by little I developed a series and then what I realized was, what if my fellow pastors who I've been asking for 10 years and none of us could come up with a good definition. I mean, you know, maybe the Baptist have theirs and the Methodist have theirs and the Pentecostals have theirs and the Reformed theology has theirs and dispensationalists have theirs but I'm thinking like, don't they all believe in Paul? What if he actually gave us five relationships based on grace with a biblical response that you could actually measure? And so we created an e-learning system about 10 years ago, True Spirituality Online and like there's messages on each one of those areas and you can do like a six or seven minute video.

It's like, you know, I just want R12 Lite. There's like a 40, 43 minute video. There's just the audio. There's the notes for each one.

There's a small group there if you say, you know what? I want to become a real disciple and I want to make disciples. I'm going to jump in and you can do that.

It's all without charge. You'll notice in your bulletin it says the four great invitations of personal assessment. Here's what I'd like you to do. Imagine yourself blindfolded, taken in a car and then you can tell they put you on a plane and then you land somewhere and it's in a dark room and then the lights are turned on. They take off the blindfold and they say you've got two days to get to Chicago. What's the very first thing you got to do? What do you got to do? You got to find out where you're at. You got to find out where am I at right now?

Here's my question. Where are you at right now in making disciples? You can't impart what you don't possess. You got to be what you want others to become.

If you don't know where you're at, it's just like a shotgun, a little bit of this, a little bit of that and by God's grace he does use that. I would just encourage you, not here but get a quiet place and just do that little assessment. It's not in any way to go, oh wow, I'm sure I'm not with a disciple.

I wish I was. It's just to say I thought I was here and oh in this one area I'm over here or some of you have this strict conscience and I thought I was here and you're going to go oh I'm here. I'm making progress with the groups and staff and elders because I wanted to put this into practice. One of the things Teresa and I did when I was a senior pastor is we'd have the elders over at our home.

Once a month we'd all eat together and just hang and hear about kids and life and all the rest and then Teresa went with the women in one room and I went, I'm not sure what they did but they loved it and then I got with the guys and no business and so literally I would, I mean methodically, I would say hey guys, great to be with you. We're just brothers here tonight, not trying to run anything in the church. On a scale of one to five, where are you at in surrender? Now obviously we know at a point in time we all said yes to the lordship of Christ but a one is God's really speaking to me about letting go, surrendering something and you haven't. A five is God really spoke to me and you let go of something, you really surrendered. No one can say a three because that's a cop out. Go. And so I'll never forget one guy said I'm in a one right now, very godly man. I said why?

Because my daughter wants to be a missionary in Afghanistan and I just, I don't want her to go, she's going to get killed or I think she's going to get killed. But children are a gift from the Lord. I know the right answer. I don't want to give the right answer.

Thanks man, we're going to be on that. Over here, a five. What's a five about? I got an amazing job, I made a ton of money. And yes of course I tithe and I give over above my tithing and blah blah blah but I realized man I could do a ton of good. And God's just speaking to me about why don't you give out of your comfort zone instead of in your comfort zone.

Everyone thinks I'm really generous because well, they get really big checks, they just don't know that's not much of what I got. And I'm really excited, God spoke to me and I released that. I'm doing some actually a few crazy things right now and God's showing up. But do you understand is that the next time it might be separate from the world's values and I might say hey, where are you really struggling with the world squeezing you in and you can't be with a group of men and not know at least some of the guys who struggle with pornography or over here it might be shopping or over here it's pleasing people and all I'm saying is there's a way to measure in an informal loving way that's grace based and relational where we could say how am I doing?

And now I want to help those Jesus has rescued like me to learn to be surrendered because surrender is the channel through which God's biggest and best blessings flow because separate from the world's values is how you get the very best from God and experiences will because being a sober self assessment is how you finally discover who you are and quit pretending and because serving in love is how you really experience authentic community and you experience God's presence through other people and because supernaturally responding to evil with good gives you a actual game plan that's not blaming or anger or ungodliness to respond to the evil that is aimed at you because it all comes. Does that make sense? That's the postcard. Now here's something. By Tuesday 90% of everything I've said you won't remember any of it. That's very discouraging. But what I've learned is those people who take a baby step and respond to the light. Wow.

Then they take another baby step and another and they get connected and then here's what you'll learn. I shouldn't give this away is spoiler. You'll go privately. You'll never say this. These people are as messed up as I am. There's as many posers in here as me.

I thought everyone's doing great. I'm doing tear and you know what will happen. God will show up as you turn to the back page. I want to do give you just a heads up on I would say maybe the biggest breakthrough I had in terms of how do you go about this? Write the words at the top. It's a journey. It's a process. It takes time, intentionality. You could just use one word. Some of you are going I can't write that fast.

Journey, process, time, intentionality, perseverance. I mean this whole thing was you know I've been a Christian 50 years this month. I don't have enough hands and toes to tell you how many times I wanted to quit. I'm so glad I didn't. And the breakthrough my biggest breakthrough came I was 30 years old and I was in seminary.

I took a little church about 35 people so I'm working and we had three children at the time and I was completely overwhelmed trying to do everything working out all my issues and there was a mentor that we kept bugging for about three years and we had a brown bag lunch with a guy named Howard Hendricks and we called him Prof. And he just walked in and we'd done a couple brown bags and he goes genuine. That's how he talked. You know what's wrong with me?

We didn't. That's why we ask you to be with us. He says you're all a bunch of overachievers and you're so performance oriented.

And then he said write this down. You will never be more love than you are right at this second. There's nothing you can do to get God to love you more.

There's nothing you can do to get him to love you less. Therefore life really is about how are you going to say thank you. And then he would write these big block letters and he wrote the word objective and he said who do you want to be? You guys are so into do, do, do, accomplish, accomplish, accomplish. Who do you really want to be? And then he wrote the word priority. He said how badly do you want to be that person? There's a lot of distractions, there's lots of hobbies, there's lots of people, there's lots of pressures.

How badly are you willing to say no? This is who I want to be. And then he wrote the word schedule. He said I've been in groups like this all the time and you have good intentions and you have a desire and you can say I want to be a man of God or I want to be a great husband or whatever. And he says what I know is if it doesn't show up the third word was schedule. Show me in your schedule each week where and how is it planned into your schedule for you to be come that kind of person. And then he wrote the last word, it was discipline and he said the difference between men and boys, all men in the room, is those who are willing to pay the price and do what's on their schedule when they don't feel like it. And I remember driving, it's 32 miles was from where I went to school out to this little community called Kaufman and about seven or eight miles before you got there is Crandall, a dinky town back then, had a Dairy Queen.

And I pulled off and I went into the Dairy Queen, I can't remember what I ordered, and sat in one of those very hard booths and I just felt like I was at one of those moments in my life. And I took a napkin out, which is my habit when I'm going to really write something important, and I wrote I want to be a man of God. I want to be a great husband. I want to be a great father. I want to be a great pastor.

I want to be a great friend. And I don't know why, maybe it was my background and some negative experiences, I want to stay in shape all the days of my life. Go figure. And then I got my calendar out and I blocked off mornings and family times and a date with my wife and meeting with my kids and more protracted time for sermons because I had enough ability once I did all my study to do a pretty good sermon with all the other demands without that last 10 or 15%. And I put it all on my schedule and then I had a crisis because I looked at my schedule and it's like 65 or 70% full and I haven't done my to-do list. I said, Lord, this is not going to work because I can't get my to-do list done when only some of these are in there now. And this is really scheduled. And I heard the Holy Spirit say, so are you getting your to-do list done now?

No. Okay, well, here's the issue, Chip. Who you become will be 100x more important than anything you ever accomplish. And as Dallas Willard said, who you become is the greatest gift that you will ever give to others and to our world. And so I went on that journey. I did it very imperfectly, but I blocked off those times.

I put it in my calendar, found two or three guys that I could work out with two or three times that I could be very open with, shared it with them. And here's what happened. I said, will you show me how I can get some time? And for some reason with our kids, we decided we're not going to experiment. For two weeks, we're not going to watch TV during school nights. And I thought, gosh, if they're doing it, I probably should do it. So they're in bed like 8, 8.30.

It's 9.15. And it's like, man, I am bored. I think I'll go to bed.

I woke up at 5 with more sleep, more energy than I ever had in my life. Stopped watching the news. I realized it's just different names and different tragedies that they give me every week. And I found out I could go to the newsstand and read the top line. And I knew what happened in the world.

And if I needed to know more, I could read an article or ask someone or in our day go online. Pretty soon I just said, Lord, I'm not doing that. I changed one thing in my life.

I got an hour and a half, almost two hours back. And all I can tell you was I didn't see any big, rapid, amazing change. But three years in, the guy that met with his wife and the guy that was the pastor was different than the guy three years earlier. Ten years later, the capacity grew. Twenty years later, the capacity grew.

Thirty years later, the capacity grew. And I remember thinking, I had all these demands in my life. And if all the demands were a big pile of dirt, it was like a little wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow. And then after two or three years, it was, oh, the wheelbarrow's bigger. And after 10 years, it was a pickup truck.

And after 20 years, it was this U-Haul thing filled. And the person who showed up to prepare for a message had been in God's Word for 20 years and had a relationship with friends very imperfectly and with ups and downs and struggles. God wants you to be a disciple. You need a Paul. You need a Timothy. And you need a Barnabas or Barnabette that you can say, I'm not sure why God brought me to church this weekend, but I think I need to do what that guy was talking about, and I can't do it alone. I need someone to help me.

I need someone that I need to get off my rear end and help someone else. And then I've got to have someone that'll go through life with me because it's hard. Here's my question. You don't need to do any or all this. As I've been talking and the Spirit of God has been moving, what is the one thing that keeps coming to your mind? What's the baby step? What one thing do you say, that's what I need to do? Because here's the good news. If you respond to the light that God gives you, guess what? More is coming.

Respond to that, more is coming. And little by little, over time, He's going to change you. He's going to change me. And this isn't a pipe dream.

He can and will introduce and awaken the next generation to the reality of Jesus. As we close our time together, is this the moment in your life where you really recognize you need to surrender, you need to be all in? Or maybe you just recognize that you're not separate from the world's values, and you feel tension, lack of peace. You need to make a radical break with how the world system and its values are impacting you. Or for many, you have to be doing life with a group of people that know you, love you, can hug you, care for you, and that you can do that for them. And so this is the moment.

You need to declare, I'm going to get connected, and I'm going to start today. Or you might be one of those people that you've been through some really deep wounds and you've been really hurt and there's someone you need to forgive. I don't know what it is, but what I know is that's what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And if any one of those things is a part of where God is speaking to you, you can simply go online to When you get there, it will walk you through a journey that you can go on by yourself or with others to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus, to learn how it works, how to grow, and then how to share what God's doing in your life. This is kind of what I've learned over the last 50 years. I hope it's been helpful to you, and I hope that there'll be a day in your future where you can look back and say, like me, you were just an ordinary person seeking to walk with the Lord and you just refused to give up and you persevered and now there's some people in your wake, like the bricklayer has been for me, that their life is different because you chose to be a Romans 12 Christian.

Great word, Chip. If you've been inspired to deepen your relationship with God, we'd love to support you. As Chip said, go to and check out our resources. You can order Chip's popular book, True Spirituality.

Get the small group study guide or watch countless helpful videos. All these tools were designed to show you the clear path to becoming a genuine follower of Christ. So check them out today, won't you? That website again is Well, Chip, before we go, I can see you wanting to jump in here one last time to share something with our listeners. Thanks so much, Dave. As we wrap up today's program, I have to tell you that one of the greatest things that happens through Living on the Edge is people make Jesus the Lord of their life.

I've read literally thousands of emails and the change that happens is just absolutely amazing and it's a chain reaction. I just want to thank all of you that support the ministry financially because when someone makes Jesus Lord, their marriage changes, their parenting changes, who shows up at work changes, thank you very, very much for your financial support. And you know, if you have not supported us or haven't supported us in a while or would just kind of like to make it a habit and maybe do it monthly, today would be a great day to say, you know something? Christians need to live like Christians and I'd like to help Living on the Edge.

Thanks so much for whatever God leads you to do. Thanks Chip. Well, if you're already a financial partner, thank you. With your help, Living on the Edge is ministering to more people than ever before. But if you're benefiting from Chip's teaching and haven't yet taken that step, now would be a great time to join the team. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, go to or text donate to 74141.

That's the word donate to 74141 or visit App listeners just tap donate. Well, before we go, I want you to know about an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast. Hear 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. Well, for Chip and everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-19 05:30:57 / 2023-04-19 05:42:06 / 11

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime