The entire Christian life is grace. From beginning to end, it's all about grace. Are you experiencing that grace today?
Or are you consumed with guilt and shame and failure? I'm here to tell you on the basis of Scripture, you don't have to live that way anymore. Today, I'll share three specific ways that you can begin to soak in the love and restoration that your soul is craving. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram.
Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. In just a minute, we'll wrap up our series, leaving a legacy that lasts forever. And to you parents and grandparents listening, we hope Chip's teaching has put a fresh wind in your sails to continue spiritually investing in the lives of your kids and grandkids. Your wisdom, guidance and example are critical in building a godly legacy from generation to generation. So if you'd like to help other couples learn as you have, would you take a minute after this message and share it with them?
You can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at livingonthedge.org. Okay, here's Chip for part two of his message, Teach Them to Live Grace-Filled Lives. Jesus' message was not everyone's all messed up, get with the program. His message was I didn't come to condemn you. I came to help you own and come to grips with the failure and the sin and the using of people and the abuse and the lying and the deceit to let you know I will forgive you and cover you and I want you to know you can have a relationship with my Father. He loves you and I'm going to pay the highest price that could ever be paid and I'm going to be separated in this moment of historic time from the Father, the triunity of God.
For the first time ever, he would bear the sins of the world and the Father would turn his head because he can't look upon sin and Christ would bear your sin and my sin in that moment of time, in that price tag to cover or atone for your sin and that is grace. That's what grace is and when we tell God I know you've forgiven me but I can't forgive myself, that is an insult. That is an insult and it is arrogant.
Well intended though it may be, it is arrogant. I had an abortion and I can't ever forgive myself. I've been through a divorce, I can't forgive myself. I lied to so and so, I can't forgive myself.
I did this when I was young and no one knows about it, I can't forgive myself. God has forgiven you and he has atoned for it. For you to not receive it is to tell God that what he has done for you doesn't measure up to your standard.
Whoa, I didn't realize your standard was higher and better than his. Wasn't it pride that kept Peter from saying, Lord not my feet and it wasn't the call to humility where Jesus would say, Peter if I don't wash your feet you don't have any part in me. Well then Lord wash all of me.
What was he saying? It takes huge humility to admit I have need and allow another to wash our feet, to cleanse us, to meet our need, to say that there's dirt here and it takes great humility to allow God to do that. The number one reason people miss heaven is at the core of it they are unwilling to humble themselves, admit their need and realize I can't do this on my own. I love the passage in 1 Peter where he takes it not only from what's done in the past but he begins to help us focus toward the future and orientation and in verse 13 he says, Therefore prepare your minds for action. Be self-control. Then I love this, set your hope. Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Set your hope on grace not if I do this and if I do that and if I try really hard and if I do this and if I do that I set my hope on God's grace.
I love a quote by Tozer in I think his most classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy and just listen to this theological perspective. He says, No one has ever been saved other than by grace from able to the present moment since mankind was banished from the eastward garden none has ever returned to the divine favor except to the sheer goodness of God. And wherever grace is found in any man it's always been by Jesus Christ. Grace indeed came by Jesus Christ but it did not wait until his birth in the manger or his death on the cross before it became operative. Christ is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The first man in human history to be reinstated in fellowship with God came through faith in Christ. In olden times men look forward to Christ's redeeming work. In latter times they gaze back upon it but always they come and they come by grace through faith.
Let me ask you how do we pass this radical radical concept on in a performance oriented world to those we care about most? I think the first step is for you to write in your name in my notes it says, I Chip Ingram choose to believe that with God my failure is never final. I choose to believe, that's not an emotion, I choose to believe that with God my failure as a parent is never final, my failure as a pastor is never final, my failure as a friend is never final, my failure morally is never final, my failure with regard to neglect in the past is never final. It's powerful, it's grace. Now let's talk about how do you how do you experience that?
Let me give you three specific ways. First encourage them whether it's a fellow you're discipling, a young woman, one of your grandkids, encourage them to meditate on the lives of David and Peter. Murderer, adulterer and betrayer who are among God's most beloved and mildly used servants. Did you ever did you ever wonder I mean I mean some people wonder is this really God's word can you really trust it did God really write this and you know the many authors over 1600 years and all the alignment and all the archaeology and all those are great reasons but I got news for you. No man would ever write such a self-revealing book and allow the heroes of the story to be so messed up.
You don't have that in any mythology. I mean think of this, the deliverer of Egypt, the one who brings us the ten commands, oh yeah murderer, I kind of messed up that day. David, the greatest king, the writer of the Psalms, oh adultery, murderer, oh boy. The Apostle Paul, greatest mind of a century, wrote 13 books in the New Testament, murderer.
Why? Rahab, prostitute, James, John, anger management issues. The other Judas, he was a terrorist. I mean we read it in the Bible like you know he was a terrorist. He was trying to overthrow the government, get a band of people to take it over physically and kill people and take over Rome. He was a terrorist. Matthew, crook, he was an embezzler.
He was a dirty little crook wiping people for their money. This is God's dream team. And we have the audacity to say well God could never forgive me. I don't think he could ever use me. Are you kidding?
I remember I had not read the Bible growing up at all. And I remember you know probably after a year or so and dealing with all the stuff that you know I had to deal with and just sort of a naive thought. I thought you know I've not killed anybody. I think God could use me.
And so far the people that are used the most, they've all at least killed someone I'm thinking. How much worse could it be than that? And you know with your kids, they're going to fail. And our unconscious works mentality that we'll pass on is the blackboard in the sky message. Now does it mean that there's not consequences for sin? Absolutely not. Does it mean you don't discipline?
Absolutely not. But I will tell you what. We can pass on oh Jesus died for you. He loves you.
He rose from the dead. You need to put your faith in him because I want to feel really good about us being in heaven and all that stuff. And then raise them and your disciples in a way that basically your love is conditional.
You know they get good marks on the one side of the board and bad marks on the other side and when they do good you're affectionate and caring and when they don't you back away. And part of that is we got to tell stories. We got to tell the stories of Peter more than walking on the water and saying you are the Christ and talk about what goes in a human heart to betray the person who loves you the most. What happens in people who really really are good people and love God that they start getting deceived and then they lie and then they commit sexual acts and then they cover it up and then they commit murder and then they go into denial and then they lie about it. And the web that occurs and how did God treat people who blew it that badly? He caused some loving consequences and he restored and loved and used them. I mean some people think oh God could never use me now.
I'm thinking Peter did okay and I don't think there's a more grievous sin to God than betraying him. We need to meditate. We need to think about. We need to tell not just the Bible stories where they're heroes but let's peel back some of the layers and talk about where they blew it and make it into real life and talk about that pastor that we all know who fell morally with a little bit different spirit and maybe assume that it was a good man in a weak moment.
And maybe talk about you know in a weak moment that could be me or that could be you or you when you talk to someone that you're trying to help pass on the things that matter most. Secondly help them remove the power of secret. Secret is the key word and condemnation by practicing repentance James 4 7 to 10 and confession James 5 16 with some mature believers that they can trust. The way the enemy works is this when you sin when you blow it big time when you make a mistake when you do something you're ashamed of what happens is we do exactly what David did. We start to cover it up. We don't want anyone to know. We're embarrassed by it. We don't want the consequences of it and we cover it up and then a little secret and by the way I will tell you it's just what the enemy does is then all my lands. Some of you you've lived with stuff for years some with decades and anytime you start to take a step here a step here you don't think God's really going to use you. Don't you remember that hotel room?
Yeah you were young but remember that hotel room? I mean just what happened if your maid ever found out that it was actually her best friend and what about when you worked in remember that time in the service and you were overseas and you know what and I mean that starts playing the tape. And then you just cover that back up and then you push it down and if the truth were known probably some depression and physical issues and unresolved conflict has been brewing for years and years and playing itself out. God says I have a remedy. When you take bacteria that is growing and you take it out of the darkness and you bring it into sunlight you know what happens?
It dies. You just bring it into light and the process of bringing those things into the light are given to us in James 4. It says therefore submit to God. You realize okay okay I submit to you and then notice that there's an enemy.
Resist the devil and he'll flee from you. You have to say I'm in Christ. Did I blow it? Yes. Was it wrong? Yes.
Am I ashamed of it? Yes. But I'm going to now bring. I'm going to submit to God. I'm going to resist the devil. I'm going to quote Romans 8.1.
There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. And then I'm going to draw near to God instead of feeling like I don't deserve him and I can't come close. And he promises he's going to draw near to me. Then I'm going to start this process and it will start with the external things and it says cleanse your hands you sinners. Purify your hearts you double minded. And so I'm going to look at the outward things that I've done and then I'm going to look at the motives of the heart and then I'm going to allow it to emotionally get down to my gut and to my soul. Lament and mourn and weep. I'm going to embrace the emotions and the pain and the grief of what I've done against God.
It's a Psalm 51 moment. Against you and you only have I sinned. God forgive me. Forgive me.
I'm sorry. And then notice what happens. Turn your mourning and your joy to gloom. It's a process and this is describing humbling yourself in the sight of God and what's the promise? He will lift you up.
But until you come clean until you get the secret out in the open. In fact later in James 5 until we confess our sins to one another you don't get healed. Had a man in our church in California and man it was just like as a pastor you meet these guys and he's just a whiff it guy and he was committed and he was driving about 35 or 40 miles to church. I said Andy can't you find something a little closer? He goes look I commute 55 minutes to work. God is speaking to me. He's speaking to my kids. He had like four or five kids and he said we are all growing.
It's worth the trip. I said well I mean okay but I mean I'm just thinking there's got to be a church closer for you and etc. He said no no. And I mean you know it's just one of those guys where you met him and boy he's growing. He's in the scriptures and pretty soon he's involved in ministry and you know you just dream about this as a pastor.
These really solid people are going to make a huge difference and they do and ministries get built around them and you become friends with them. And he said hey can I get some time with you? I said sure. He said I need to do something.
I said fine. So he came to my office and grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down and you know he's kind of shaking. I'm going Andy what's wrong? He said the last four months I've been traveling secretly to another city. And I'm thinking oh man you know. I said so what's going on? He said well it's been going on for over 30 years.
He's in his mid 40s. He said it started when I was seven years old and these magazines would come in. I mean it was like the Sears catalog and you know I was just a kid but I found the lingerie section and it was like a magnet. And then I was about 12 or 13 and I don't know accident or what but my dad kept playboys in between the mattresses and I had a steady eye to those. By the time I was in my late teens I kind of moved and progressed to some hardcore stuff.
I've never told anyone this. He was in some other denominations. He'd been an elder and a deacon. He'd been in leadership in the church.
He was actually a good communicator of God's word. He said I've been living with this for 30 years. The internet has been killing me the last decade.
There's stuff and access that he said it's like a thirsty man that I can only go hours without going and logging on the internet. And the guilt that I've lived with and the turmoil inside I can't even explain to anyone. So I heard about one of these sexual addiction groups kind of a celebrate recovery type thing in this church about 65 miles away because I didn't want to do anything near us. And once a week for the last four months I've been driving there. And I got the secret out in the open. And something broke inside of me. And I wept with other men with the same problem. And I have been clean now for not just this four months but a pretty good season of time afterwards. And I now I've shared all this with my wife.
It was horrendous. Boy do I have a godly woman. And he said now after this season I feel like you know I don't know about the statistics but probably 25 to 30 percent of the men in our church are dealing with this in some way.
You're doing the series and I kind of see where you're going and you're going to talk about sexual purity. With your permission I'd like to tell my story. And I've asked my wife to sit on the front row because I need to apologize to her publicly.
Now don't get me wrong. I really knew this guy and we prayed about it and I will never forget. I got to a certain point in the message and you know rather than giving an illustration I said you know I just want to stop for a moment. Andy would you come up super respected in the church. He had a little thing something he'd like to share. And I just came over here and Andy told his story. And with tears streaming down his face he apologized to his wife and his kids. And at the end of that I said you know we need to get secrets out. Whoever has an issue like this in your life Andy's going to be here tonight and we're going to start some shoot it straight small group sexual addiction for men. We launched five groups that night.
It multiplied after that. I told the story and had people calling me from all over the country and all I do is I say Andy can I have permission because he's gifted organizationally. So can I have permission to just give your name.
He's launched now groups all over the country. God has taken his greatest secret and pain and sin and not only forgiven him but restored him and used the thing that was the worst in his life to become the conduit of grace for others. What's your secret.
What is it in your past. Is there something that you'd never want anyone else to know that needs to come to the surface that you need to bring to God first and foremost submit to him resist the devil draw near to God cleanse your hands purify your hearts mourn humble yourself and let him lift you up and then share that inappropriate place with a safe person who is very mature so God could bring healing to you and then use it as a redeeming powerful ministry to others. Do you ever hear the apostle Paul when he gets real personal in the New Testament. I'm chief among sinners and God revealed himself to the apostles and also to me as one unworthy.
It was his depth of understanding of owning his stuff. See grace doesn't mean much if it's a little word that says I'm saved by grace. I believe in Jesus. I went to a camp. I raised my hand. I got baptized.
Now I try and be a good moral person and in my functional Christianity I realize there's a big blackboard in the sky. Good deeds bad deeds. When I do do do do do I feel good good good. When I bad bad bad bad I feel bad bad bad bad bad.
So I will try really really hard to get really exhausted. I have to hide a number of things and it doesn't feel really good. I know I'm supposed to be a good guy but but but but. That's American and much of Christianity around the world. It is not supernatural. It is not Christianity.
It is performance oriented. It is not grace. Grace produces powerful life change from the inside out.
Third teach them to refuse to continue living with a performance orientation in their relationship with God. It is and always will be a grace orientation. Sometimes when we think about grace it's still hard to kind of get your arms around. There's a lot of Bible words like that you know. And sometimes a word picture gets it.
So here's a word picture. Here's what grace is. If in your flesh and frailty as a human being you make a mistake and you fall into a 10 foot hole and you're looking up and it's a 10 foot hole and there's no way to get out of this thing. Grace is God will extend an 11 foot rope with knots on it and you sit on the little chair at the end and he'll pull you up out of it. But if you happen to be one of those people that makes even a huge mistake and you drop into a 99 foot hole and you can barely see the light and there's no way out of the 10 foot hole but there's not even any hope.
God will drop a 100 foot rope with knots in it with a little wooden thing that you can sit on and he will pull you up. That's what grace is. It is all that you need. Paul, my grace is sufficient for you. Grace extends a foot beyond whatever your need is. Totally apart from your performance.
Totally apart from what you could earn, try hard, get back together. If I'm really good, well maybe then. All that thinking. And I will just tell you I think it's a very long journey especially if you're goal oriented, fairly strategic, happen to be driven. A little OCD came from a legalistic background. Can I continue or have you got the idea?
Let me give you a couple tools that might be helpful. One for me is I realized it's so deeply embedded in me, my performance orientation. I feel close to God when I'm doing good. My emotions I tend not to feel close to God when I'm doing bad. Left to myself I will think well I'll read.
I used to be when I was a young Christian like if I missed a day I'd have to read that many more chapters to kind of get it back level again. But that mentality, I mean it's so deep in me and I realized what needed to change was not my behavior but my thinking. And so I began to take, these are called desire cards.
And I just thought I'm not going to try and memorize them. I need to learn to think in a new way. And so I began to begin to think of ways that I could begin to think and reorient my mind around what is true in relationships and with me and with God. And so I desired to communicate unconditional love and acceptance toward my children regardless of their performance.
I thought you know if I could learn how to do it with my kids maybe I'd get it myself. And then I said I desire to please God and find my worth and security in Him rather than seeking to please people to get their affirmation in ministry. Because see what I realized was is you know if I had a good sermon and people said oh that was really good. Oh good good good. Oh that wasn't a very good sermon.
Oh really bad bad bad bad. And I would live like this. Anybody do that?
See that's a lack of understanding of grace. And my point is you can write down what's for you. These are ones I've been, and I just read them over.
Put them on the bed stand. Just read them over. No pressure. I mean when I first wrote them I wrote them as goals. Ingram right? My goal is to be more grace oriented. Wait a minute Ingram, a goal is something you can, it's a desire. My desire is to focus on my faithfulness to God rather than my success in ministry.
Just read that over. My desire is to enjoy my relationship with Jesus Christ each and every day. I realized I was getting hey Lord you know what aren't you glad I'm on your team? I get a lot done. I mean I get a lot done. I mean hey give me the ball I'll run it. I get a lot done.
And it was like Chip lighten up. I want you to enjoy me and I jotted Psalm 16 11. You've made known to me the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures forever. To enjoy God. To not get anything done when you're in his presence always. My desire is to allow my children the freedom to fail.
To make our home a pressure free environment. And they will tell you dad you really need a little bit more work on that but you're not like you used to be. My desire is to have some good fun once or twice a week limiting my work hours to 55 or 60 hours. See part of that performance orientation creates a workaholic. A workaholic works not because he needs to work.
He works because he's filling up the holes in his heart to say I'm really okay. And that's a lack of understanding of grace in my identity in Christ. So I have to write down have fun Chip. Don't feel guilty when you play nine holes. I mean don't feel guilty when you sit back and you know get a Diet Coke and get some of that sharp cheese and those Triscuits you like and put your feet up and watch the Dallas Cowboys. And enjoy it.
I mean of course I need to limit the media but my lens like there's great movies and there's times to sit back relax enjoy and it brings this balance. You tracking with me? Final one here is my desire is to worship God for who he is and praise and adoration at least once every day. I got to the point where when I met with God it was okay let's get something done here.
Who do you want me to pray for? Another tool along with the cards I didn't used to do this but what I found is I lied to myself and I needed to be reminded of God's grace and this is a super duper like 599 just little notebook. Whereas I just try and be more honest and I find when I write it out it's harder to lie to myself and I just got in the habit of writing out what I really think and what I really feel and when I'm really mad and when I'm really afraid and when I'm really hurting. And they often start out yesterday started poorly ended well seemed like all of life was pressing against me yesterday I was angry and disturbed and very frustrated. For a guy like me that's like you don't measure up you need to be in control you need to have it together you got to get with the program and this tool has helped me just come before God see grace always flows downhill grace always flows towards humility.
Performance control is always rooted in pride now there's responsibility that's healthy but some of us feel like we got to be in control and manage everything and manage outcomes you can't. And so God's loving grace for some of us will help just keep overloading you until you can't handle it so that you come to this amazing discovery I can't handle it and I think God smiles goes well what took a while but you know I've known that from day one I want to help you. Oh really yeah you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. So the life message here is you were created to receive grace and give grace. You're listening to Living on the Edge with chip Ingram, and the message you just heard, teach them to live grace filled lives is from our series, leaving a legacy that lasts forever.
We'll be back to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. Throughout history moms and dads have been responsible for guiding their kids spiritually, emotionally and mentally. But as you look around today's society the family unit is falling apart, and young people are more confused about life's purpose and morality than ever.
So how can we fix this problem. Well through this 10 part series chips helped us reestablish a Christ centered joy filled home by highlighting five biblical habits we need to pass on to our sons and daughters. We hope you learned the intentional ways to build a godly legacy in your family, starting today.
Let me encourage you to go back and revisit any part of this series. Now you can do that through the chip Ingram app, or by visiting LivingontheEdge.org. Well I'm joined in studio now by chip and chip I'm sure you've experienced this but as I talked to parents and grandparents, their biggest concern is the next generation. Believers today are desperate to see their kids and grandkids have a meaningful relationship with Jesus.
Well that's right Dave. In my lifetime I've never seen such a passion among God's people to reach the next generation. I am absolutely convinced if we're going to reach the next generation it's going to require that first we speak their language, second we need to meet them where they are, and third and most important we have to model Christ centered life giving relationships. You know we at Living on the Edge are stepping out like never before in this area and we need your help.
In the next few months we'll be releasing a book, a study guide, and a resource for churches in an effort to reach the disaffected youth. Would you prayerfully consider giving to Living on the Edge to help us reach the next generation? Our kids, our grandkids, and yours are in dire straits and every dollar that you give between now and July 7th will be matched dollar for dollar doubling your impact as we disciple the next generation. Thank you for praying and then giving whatever God leads you to give. Well if you want to help us reach today's young people with the hope of the gospel now's a great time to become a financial partner because thanks to a small group of ministry friends every gift we receive through July 7th will be doubled. Your $25 becomes $50, $100 becomes $200, and $500 becomes $1000. To make a donation give us a call at 888-333-6003 that's 888-333-6003 or visit livingontheedge.org.
App listeners tap donate. Well with that here again is Chip. We have come to the end of a very exciting series together and I think we've covered maybe one of the most important messages in this series. It's teaching people to live grace filled lives. You know as you talk with people out on the street or if you read a little bit of history people will often say you know religion actually has been the cause of terrible things in the world.
And what I would say is you can't get around that one it's really true. But what I will tell you is the opposite of religion is grace and the grace of God, the life of Christ, understanding what forgiveness is and not only receiving it but passing it on becomes a trite word. And so often we have it intellectually but we really don't get it is free. It is really free. It's not cheap but it's free and God wants to forgive and to heal and to restore and you know he is really not up in heaven wanting to give you little gold stars for okay you read the Bible today or you need to pray a little bit longer or you thought a bad thought. Naughty, naughty, naughty.
You know we've got these bizarre ideas. He is your heavenly father who gave his son to die in your place because he loves you and he wants you to experience grace. And the prerequisite to experiencing grace is brokenness and honesty. And what I want to tell you is often we believe lies that keep us from grace. We believe our sin is too great.
We think God loves other people but not me. We think well I haven't done enough good deeds. Well guess what the truth is you'll never do enough good deeds.
That type of performance orientation living up to things is so deeply rooted in you and me that we have to root it out with repetition and renewing our minds. Of all the messages I would just tell you just keep listening to this one about God's grace, God's grace, God's grace until you start feeling and believing that you're a cherished child of God. Your past has been put behind you and then the grace of God doesn't teach us to live any way we want. The grace of God teaches us to live in holiness and purity to say thank you to the God who loves us and cares for us. Be a grace-filled Christian.
Receive it and then give it away. Good reminder Chip. And as we close would you stop for a minute and pray for Living on the Edge? We've never seen a greater need for God's truth to go out than right now. And by God's grace we've been able to provide encouragement, teaching and personal discipleship resources to more people than ever. So thank you to those who support us in prayer. God is doing amazing things. Well until next time this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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