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I Choose Love - Love Serves, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2023 6:00 am

I Choose Love - Love Serves, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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September 25, 2023 6:00 am

In this program, Chip reveals five ways we typically measure greatness. But as with any scale, we always want to know whether the scale is accurate. From Philippians, Chapter 2, Chip explains how true greatness is achieved.

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Deep in the heart of every human being is a desire to be great. We're made in the image of God. We want to be and do something significant. Here's the question. What's the path?

How do you get there? Today we'll learn from the Apostle Paul how to become great in God's eyes. 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. We're in the middle of our series, I Choose Love, based in the book of Philippians chapter 2. We hope you've learned a lot from this series so far. And to help others learn as you have, take a minute after this message and share it with a friend or loved one.

You can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at livingontheedge.org. Thanks for spreading the word about how this teaching impacts you. As Chip teased, in this program we'll discover how to pursue greatness, not with a selfish or greedy mindset, but by following Jesus' perfect example. With that, here's Chip for his talk, Love Serves. We tend to think about love as, you know, a romantic feeling or an emotion, and I'm all for those. But the kind of love we're talking about requires a choice. And there's some things that work against us being loving people.

And they're not necessarily bad, but they can distract us. And I'd like you to think, just right now, when was the first time, just as back far as you can go, when you really thought to yourself, I want to be great at something? I mean, something clicked and you just said, you know, I want to be a great musician, or I want to be great in ballet, or I want to be a great student, or I remember I was, I think, 11 or 12 years old, sixth grade going into seventh grade, and I went to a sports banquet, and this coach was speaking, and he kept talking about this one five foot nine guard in a small school that led the nation in scoring, and he talked about his work ethic. And all I can tell you is something got birthed inside, and I thought, I want to be a great basketball player. And I was so motivated because this guy's only five foot nine, and as I went into seventh grade, I was 4'11". And I went out for the team and the coach said, why don't you go out for wrestling?

We need someone in the 85 pound class weight. And basically, you're too short, you'll never be a basketball player anyway. Well, to my personality, that's like, you know, pouring gasoline on the fire. And I remember just going absolute kind of nutso and starting, you know, I started doing a bunch of drills, and I started this ladder in my mind of, first I'm going to make the team, then I'll get some playing time, and then after I'll be a starter, and then I'll get prepared, and then I'll be a starter in the high school at the Hannah Lincoln Lion, and the whole town comes out, and then I'll get a scholarship to college. And I mean, I had this just blazing in my mind. I started playing seven, eight, nine hours a day.

No exaggeration. It just dominated my life. See, here's what I want you to know.

Open your notes. The quest for greatness is universal. Everybody wants to be great. Everyone wants to be successful, esteemed, valued, admired, significant, known, appreciated, accomplished, right? We want to look our best, do our best. We want to achieve.

And by the way, I don't think that's wrong. I think we want to be great because we're made in the image of God. When you look at the galaxies, they're great. When you look at the earth, it's great. When you look at beauty, it's great. We're the pinnacle of God's creation. But desiring to be great is one thing, but then sort of in our humanness, we start deciding, well, how are we going to measure greatness? How do you know if you're really great?

And whether it's, you know, like basketball, climbing the ladder of success, business, music, relationships, historically about five ways I've put them on your notes, we tend to say this is what makes you great. First is power. Who and how many people do you control? And of course I mean control in the best sense of the word. But it's that idea that you have the final say, that you have either formal or influence, that just you're a somebody. The second way is possessions. Possessions provide freedom. Buy what you want. Go where you want to.

Do what you want. And we just kind of tend to think the people with the most possessions are really great. In fact, sometimes we buy things we don't even need so that other people understand how great we are. Third is position. Our rank kind of in the pecking order.

You know, your rights and your privileges and, you know, they say, okay, well, all the business class passengers, well, the VIPs, you know, there's just this, there's this pecking order and you start out as an intern and then you get a job and then here and then here. And we all have this little pattern of, you know, power, possessions, position, and then prestige. How many people look up to you? You know, that inner security, these people admire me.

I'm a somebody. I have this many followers on Instagram. I have this many likes on Facebook. I'm a star. I have three million followers.

I have a bazillion followers, right? You're great because of what other people think of you. And then finally productivity. What do you produce?

How good is it and how much of it? And no matter how much, it can be better and it can be more and new and innovative. See, what productivity provides is a visible proof of your greatness. It's games won, buildings built, children raised, deals done, work accomplished, companies developed, accolades and awards. Now, just before you start feeling like I'm gonna give you the left-hand hook and smash you and say, how terrible of you to measure your greatness that way, I don't think any of those things, any of those are bad. They're often perverted, but if God would choose as you walk with him to give you power, position, prestige, and you saw it as a stewardship in order to honor him and use your position and your power and your possessions and the people that look up to you to fulfill the will of God, here's what I want. I want you to get more position, more possessions, more power and more prestige than anybody in the world and love God with it. But the problem is there's a way that we become great in God's eyes and there's a way that we become great in the world's eyes. And what we're talking about is genuine love and so notice how do you obtain greatness? I'm gonna suggest there's two pathways and they're very distinct. Pathway number one is ascending, right? You climb the ladder of success and no matter where you are, there's one more rung.

That's the world's mode. And you can love God with all your heart and he can bless and you can go up that ladder. You just have to remember who got you there. I love the little picture of the post.

Have you seen this? There's a fence post and there's a turtle on top of it. And the byline is, I didn't get here on my own. And you know, being great and having some of all these things that if you can really recognize you're that turtle on the fence post, more power to you. But we live in a world where there's a lot of pressure to ascend in the world's mode. The second way we become great is by descending. This is what we're gonna see is that the apostle Paul's gonna be speaking to a group of people and when you wanna be great, you tend to compare and when you compare, you try and get better than other people. And when you compare and wanna get better with other people, you kinda put them down and put yourself up.

And what we learned last week is the me set mindset, the only way to really be great in God's eyes and to have unity in relationships, you have to declare war on selfishness and you have to attack image management. Because a lot of all this greatness, you know what, at the end of the day, it wasn't about a scholarship. It wasn't about how many points per game. It wasn't being a great basketball player. It was about Chip's ego wanting to be a somebody.

It was about I'm gonna prove I'm okay, probably mostly to me and maybe more to my dad. And Jesus is gonna say true greatness comes with humility and the way is you descend into greatness. We're gonna find that Jesus will be the supreme ruler of all creation and the creator and then he's gonna take on human flesh and then he's gonna become a servant and then he's gonna sacrifice his life and then he's actually gonna die and then he's gonna have the death like on a cross of absolute humiliation and shame. And because he descends into greatness, then God will highly exalt him.

Mark it down. God blesses and rewards humility and humility is the pathway to deep abiding relationships. True greatness is defined by do not think only on your own things but also on the things of others.

Does that sound familiar? Do nothing from selfishness or pride or vainglory but with humility of mind, consider others more important than yourself. Here's the acid test of greatness.

Are you ready? It's how well do you love? The greatest people in the world are the people who love others the best. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and Chip will be back in just a minute to finish today's talk. But quickly I want to remind you that this program is only possible because of the generosity of listeners like you. So if you'd like to support us, go to livingontheedge.org.

That's livingontheedge.org. Thanks for doing whatever God leads you to do. Let's rejoin Chip now for the remainder of his message. I have a unique part of my job. I bury a lot of people.

Someone has to do it. And I've never sat around a graveside or gone to a house afterwards and had any group of people talk about wow, man, did that guy have a great house? Or man, her jewelry was off the charts. Or did you ever hear, what do they talk about? They talk about relationship and they talk about, you know what, whether she had a lot or had a little, she was the kindest woman I ever knew. You know, he was the man that stayed after work even though he was busy when I was going through a big marital problem. And every Tuesday night he met with me and talked with me and kind of privately shared this new thing about faith I didn't know about.

And he was a vice president in the company. He was someone that when my husband walked out on me, he and his family had me over for Thanksgiving. They met me at church.

They made me feel loved. At the end of the day, the greatest people on earth, the greatest people you'll ever know will not have anything to do with how famous they are, how much money they have, how much power they have, how many likes they have on Facebook. It will be love. Now open your notes because I want to walk with you through how God is going to teach us to achieve true greatness.

How do you get there? How do you experience true greatness? One word, you got it don't you?

Can you write it down? Humility. By the way, humility is not thinking too high of yourself. It's not thinking too low of yourself. It's kind of self-forgetfulness.

It's not thinking of yourself at all. There's a focus on God and there's a focus on others. The most humble people in the world actually don't think they're humble because they're not focused on themselves. Humility is the channel, underline the word channel, through which the supernatural power of God's love flows to heal our deepest hurts and restore our most important relationships. Can you think of anything more important than your hurts or the hurts of someone else? I mean we all have dysfunctions. We all have struggles. We've all been betrayed. We've all hurt, right? But someone, humility is someone who cared enough to get off of thinking about themselves to invest in us and love us and as they did that the Spirit of God, His love came through them and wholeness occurred so that what?

We could do the same. Humility is the channel by which grace flows downhill into our hearts and it restores us and it restores relationships. Have you ever seen what happens in a group or in a marriage or in a family when people forgive one another? I mean it's pride that keeps relationships apart and it's the other person.

They should apologize first. Do you know what happens in a marriage or in a family or in a small group or a business when there's someone that has genuine humility and lets go of their rights and their position, their prestige and said this relationship matters more than? That's what Jesus did and He changed your world and my world and the whole world. So I want to take you on a journey following Jesus into greatness and as we do I have to tell you that all of scripture is God inspired.

All of scripture is very important but there are some passages that I think rise up to the pinnacle of the truth, the majesty. We're going to go to a holy, holy place where what we will see about the second person of the Trinity is so mind-boggling, so counterintuitive and for those of you that have been Christians for a long time, my prayer is that you would see this with fresh eyes. We're going to talk about one who is in the pinnacle of glory and myriads of angels are worshiping Him and He sits on the throne, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit. He owns everything. He controls everything. He has the utmost position.

Colossians 1, He spoke and the galaxies came into existence. By the word of His power, He holds everything and He will take on human flesh and then He'll become a servant and then He'll sacrifice His life and then He'll die and then He'll actually die on a cross which was the most shameful, humiliating way. A Roman citizen could never be crucified because it was so lowly and it will be out of that humility that you and I and whosoever would believe could have life and what He's going to say is, here's the path, Paul's going to say, there's bickering between you all and there's persecution and pressure without.

You have to, are you ready? You have to become humble so there's healing and there's life. I'll walk through the model rather briefly because then I want to get to the end and apply it for all of us. Notice humility flows from a specific mindset.

Here are the command. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Circle the word attitude if you will. Literally it's let this mind be among you. You know I talk about reading the scriptures, I talk about meditating, I talk about putting good things in your mind.

We are the product of our thought life. This passage literally is your mindset, how you think, how you view yourself, how you view money and position and power and prestige, how you think. Have this mindset in you all that was in Jesus.

And now He's going to tell us what the mindset is. We achieve true greatness when we embrace, not just agree with, when we embrace Christ's mindset toward power and possessions. How did Jesus view power? I mean He had all the power, He was the ruler. How did He view possessions?

He owned everything. Notice what the text says. Who although He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. Put a box around the word form and then put a line under did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. Literally that phrase is as something that must not slip out of His hands. The word form here is morphe.

We get our English word morphed. The meaning of the word is the inner essential quality of a thing or a person. In other words, when it says that although in the form of God, we think a form of something exterior, He's going to use a different word for exterior in a minute. Form of God is the essential inner nature. In other words, although He and the Father and the Holy Spirit all have the same morphe, God, He didn't regard His equality with God something that He had to hang on to. In other words, He was going to take His power, He's going to take His rulership over positions and He's going to let them go and start descending downwardly out of His love for you and His love for me.

Notice next we must become truly great when we embrace Christ's mindset toward positions and prestige. But He emptied Himself. So instead of holding on to this position, He emptied Himself taking the form of a bondservant and being made in the likeness of a man. Underline the word emptied, put a box around formed, it's the same word, and then underline bondservant and a circle around likeness of men.

And if you're here thinking, my gosh, I didn't even bring a pen, we'll bring one next time. What I want you to see, these words, the theology is so rich, it's so mind-boggling. In other words, He was equal with God when it says He emptied Himself for Bible students, the word is kenosis. Literally it means He made Himself nothing.

What that means is about two or three things. Number one, He had pre-incarnate glory. If you would have met the pre-incarnate Christ, the light emanating from Him, you'd be gone. And so He veils His glory by putting on human flesh. Then He limits the independent use of His attributes. See, sometimes we think of Jesus like Superman. He had this toga on, but when it got really hard, He just ripped off the toga and there's a big, instead of an S there's a G, I am God.

I'll overcome this. He didn't do it that way. He limited the independent use of His attributes. And He took on a body, are you ready?

Permanently. Have you thought about that? Jesus at the right hand of the Father, He has a resurrected body. When you see Jesus, you can see a bit later, those of you that are followers of Christ, you want to see the holes in His hands?

You want to? I mean, it's a sacrifice that's unbelievable. And what He's doing is, He's saying, I was in the form, the very essence of God. I make myself nothing, never ceasing in any way relieving Himself of any deity.

He's fully God, fully man. And then notice what it says. Taking the form, not just the acting, the form, the essential nature, not just of a servant, but of a bondservant. A bondservant in Jewish and in Roman culture had no rights.

You might have a number of servants in the house, the bondservant is the guy that picks up the doo-doo, he's the guy that empties the trash, he's the guy that has zero rights, no anything, anywhere at any time. Could you just pause for a moment? Could you imagine? I mean, when you think of how we cling to our rights, how come they didn't do that for me?

Don't they know who I am? Can you imagine the creator of the universe taking the form of a bondservant, and it says He's made in the likeness of a man. The word likeness is our word schema.

This is the word that means just the outward fashion of, the appearance of. And He was fully human, except He wasn't like all other men. There's no sin nature. Jesus, everything He did, He said, follow me, model this.

I can do nothing apart from Him. His entire life was I'm dependent on the Father and in the power of the Holy Spirit to live this life so you can follow behind me and you be dependent on the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit. And He did that because He loves you. He did that to rescue mankind.

He descended into greatness. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of his message Love Serves from our series I Choose Love. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. You know, one of the greatest delights of God's heart is to witness His children, those of us who call Him Lord, loving one another. But as we all know, that's easier said than done and doesn't always come naturally to us. In this short study, Chip walks through four characteristics of love laid out for us in Philippians chapter two. Discover how to apply these truths to your relationships with others and God so you can love more and love better.

To listen to this entire series, visit livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. Well, I'm joined in studio now by Chip, and Chip, you know, studies tell us that many committed followers of Jesus are kind of reluctant to share the Gospel with today's young people, you know, for fear of being canceled or sounding intolerant of what they believe. What's your reaction to that? Well, Dave, I'm very concerned because the Bible's really clear that people can't know and they can't respond if they don't hear.

Right. I'm concerned, yes, for the next generation, but I'm concerned about the future of our faith. We can't lose hope, but we have to pass on our faith to the next generation and those that are coming up. And what we know is like 80% of all the people that ever come to Christ, they do so before age 18. And we're always one generation away from the faith disappearing.

It's happened in other countries. I'm absolutely concerned that we need to learn how to connect with and reach the next generation. And that's why I'm so excited about the brand new book by Aaron Pierce, Not Beyond Reach, that we've had a chance to partner together on that will help moms and dads and pastors know, this is a blueprint.

Here's a game plan. Here's how to reach the next generation. Here's how to not turn people off, but to connect and to listen and go on a journey that will allow you to connect the people you love, the next generation, with the Lord Jesus Christ.

You won't regret it. To order this new book by Aaron Pierce, Not Beyond Reach, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app. Learn what you can do to skillfully and intentionally share the truth of the gospel in this post-Christian culture. Again, to get your copy of Not Beyond Reach, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app.

Well, here again is Chip. As we finish up today's broadcast, I was reminded of a verse that I reviewed this morning. I write down little verses on cards and I memorize them and then I review them as often as possible and candidly I need to do it a bit more. Psalm 113 5 and 6, I reviewed today and it just struck me so powerfully. It says, Who is like the Lord our God who humbles himself to behold the things that are in heaven and on earth?

Now think of that. The God that we serve is so great, so powerful, so pure, so holy. He humbles himself to even look into heaven, which is an absolutely perfect environment, let alone the things on earth. And then imagine that this God, God the Son, came and humbled himself to the point of death. He allowed himself to be separated from the Father, that he paid the ultimate price so that you and I could have relationship with him.

Jesus is the greatest, the first, the foremost. Everything in heaven and earth has been created by him and for him and through him, and yet he descended into greatness. He humbled himself. He was willing to give up his rights. He thought of us instead of himself.

Instead of convenience or comfort, he left the pleasures of heaven, of being worshipped by myriads of angels and was treated like a common thief, was stripped, embarrassed, humiliated, and then died upon the cross to say to you and to say to me, I love you. And that is our model. He says, have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus. You know, you talk about humility. You talk about what love really is about.

I will tell you this, love serves. You know, for years and years, I recognized that I was arrogant and proud and I tried really hard. I don't want to be proud. I don't want to be arrogant. And you know, as soon as I got pride to go out the window, it came in the door and I put it out the door and it came through a crack in the floor. And finally, I had a dear older brother say, Chip, quit thinking about trying to be humble.

You want to be humble? You just serve people. Just choose, choose to go to the back of the line. Choose to let other people go first. Choose to not hurry to get on the plane. Choose to look at the two pieces of meat at dinner and let someone else have the best one. You just start choosing to serve and over time, God will make you humble.

Jesus came to serve. Here's my question. What are you going to do? You want to really see the world change. In fact, you want to see your relationships change.

You want to see yourself change. Today, say to the Lord, help me become a servant like Jesus. The power of the Holy Spirit living in you will give you all that you need if you make that choice and take that step. Let's be servants of the living God.

What a powerful application for us to think about, Chip. Thanks. And as we close, I want you to know that as a staff, we ask the Lord to help you take whatever your next faith step is. Now, if there's a way we can help, we'd love to do that. Give us a call, 888-333-6003 is our number or connect with us at livingontheedge.org. And while you're there, take a moment and look through our resources on various topics, many of them absolutely free. We'll listen to next time as Chip picks up in his series, I Choose Love. Until then, I'm Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 13:27:26 / 2023-10-29 13:38:17 / 11

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