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What Child is This? - Why did He Come?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2023 5:00 am

What Child is This? - Why did He Come?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 15, 2023 5:00 am

There are manger scenes all around town right now - at churches, in front of homes, in stores, and public places. Each one has a little baby Jesus carefully placed in it. Have you thought about why Jesus left the glory of heaven and all He enjoyed there, to come and be with us here - beginning as a baby? Chip considers the Christmas story from a different perspective that just might change the way you choose to celebrate the season this year.

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I don't know about you, but this time of year, my schedule just gets packed.

Activities, parties, buying gifts, family traditions. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no Scrooge, but you know, we've got to pause. We've got to really ask, what is the season about? And today's message is going to take you to a special place and reorient your mind and your heart on the real purpose of Christmas.

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, Chip will pick up where he left off in our series, What Child is This?, by continuing to ask, if God really was here on earth, why did he come in the first place?

That answered today. But first, if you miss a portion of this program, let me encourage you to catch up through the Chip Ingram app. It's a great way to listen to Chip and Living on the Edge anytime. Well, with that, let's join Chip with the second half of his talk from Colossians chapter one. I remember my oldest son was being mentored by a guy. This was years ago, and he was talking about this amazing time with this guy and how it's helping him. He was newly married at the time and making such a difference.

And then he shares a story, this guy that was mentoring him and helping him, who every morning this guy got up and made coffee and brought it to his wife in bed. And my son's telling me this, and I'm thinking at the time, I've been married, you know, like 28 years. How many times have I done that? I mean, like, I heard that. I thought, are you kidding me? And then I thought, well, why not? And then I thought, I think I'll try it.

On a fairly regular basis, I started doing that. And you know what it is? You know the delight it is to see someone's eyes open up and just realize you pleased them. That's what it means to walk in a manner worthy. It's not about this rule or that rule. Of course, we keep the rules out of love and obedience, but it's pleasing him. And that's our motivation. But notice then it's how we relate to people, bearing fruit in every good work. You know, our series on doing good. That's it.

That's our exact word. It says that the way you walk in a manner that's worthy, you're good to people. You're kind to people. You're generous to people. You put them first.

You love them. And you do it in real actions. He says that's how you walk worthy. And then in your relationship to God, increasing in the experiential knowledge of God.

He says when you walk worthy, it's not like, okay, thank you for forgiving me. I'm doing my own thing. You become the kind of person that says, you know, I'm not just trying to figure out, should I read a chapter a day to keep the devil away? I want to know you.

I want to talk to you. You know, when a verse speaks to you, you're riding a little card and you memorize it. And you begin to pray in the car and you look for opportunities. And pretty soon you're interacting with God and you're growing in the real intimate experiential knowledge. And he gives you these little thoughts and little promptings.

And at times it convicts you. But that's how you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. And as you do that, you realize that it's based on not your strength, but supernatural power. Strengthen with all power according to His glorious might. Underline, if you will, strengthened and the word power. Same root word. He's really trying to make a point. We get our word dynamite.

The Greek word is dunamis. You can hear it. He says there's a supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that's taken up residence in you and walking worthy, pleasing Him, these good works. They don't flow out of you trying to be a good person.

They flow out of you abiding in Christ and seeing others through the lens of Jesus and saying, God, I want you to live your life through me. And His Spirit empowers and strengthens and then by His glorious might, His exceeding majesty. And then he says this produces something because the real test of walking worthy isn't when things are going well. The real test of walking worthy and pleasing God is when it's really, really hard.

And so he uses two words. One is endurance and the other is patience. And the adjective behind is with great endurance and great patience. Great endurance, hupo meno, being under pressure. It means putting up with impossible situations, circumstances, difficulties, health issues, economies going upside down, unfairly being fired.

Just situations, you know, the brother-in-law, the sister-in-law, the parent who abused, I mean difficult situations. God gives you grace by His power as you're walking with Him. And one day at a time you just, you endure, you persevere. And two things happen. One, people can't understand how you do it. And the other is you in the midst of that pressure cooker become more and more like Christ. You become more gentle, more sensitive, more understanding.

And it's not just impossible situations but impossible people. The word patience is different from the word endurance. We learned this earlier, macro, broad, thumos. Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 where you absorb the blow and give a hug? This is that word where you absorb the blow.

Your reactions, impossible people, difficult people, people that you want to punch them, they make you so mad. And you ask God for the grace and the strength to love them in a way Jesus loves them through you. And so what you have here is these are graphic pictures and Jesus would say to you and me, this is why I left heaven. I left heaven to give you a hope that would never disappoint and I left heaven to show you something. I wanted to show you exactly what the Father's perfect individual plan is for you.

Because when you live this life that's pleasing to him, it's amazing what happens in you. It's amazing what happens around you. We did what was called our first prime movers group and it's kind of a Bible study for some executives and some people that have kind of done well in life that are asking what do I do with the rest of my life? And it was the very first one as an experiment.

I literally did it in the basement of my house in Atlanta and there was a young guy there named Michael and everyone else was older and kind of had grown some companies or run some companies or built some companies or sold some companies and they had time, affluence and influence and they really wanted to be used for God and so we spent 24 hours talking about what that would look like and a number of them went on for six months and met and talked about how could that happen. And this guy at the time was like late 30s. He found, did some sort of thing with a medical device and it went public and he ended up being part of the team and got a bunch of money from it and and he was like this driven, overextended, you know, up early, up late, two small kids and as we went through the time his marriage was completely out of whack. His kids were being neglected. He wasn't getting much sleep. He was this type A driven, I mean over the top and so we had this time where, you know, we're sharing because each guy had to share sort of what was gonna happen and it wasn't like someone's leading the group actually sort of helps one another.

Well most guys that are really high capacity have never been in a group with other very, very high capacity people and so number one, no one's intimidated. Everyone's got lots of zeros or letters or, you know, whatever makes you super duper and so it became this really safe place and he starts talking and making all the excuses and these older guys, I still remember literally, I mean these grown men, some of them are crying in my basement and they're looking at him and saying, Michael, 10 million, 20 million, it won't mean squat if you lose your marriage. It cost me mine. I was an idiot. I was sounding just like you right now and I mean they were just, I mean I just stepped back.

I thought I'm not gonna mess with this one. I let those guys talk, you know, and Michael went on a journey. For the next six months with a group, he started getting his marriage little by little and a couple steps forward and a few backward, make some progress and then what often happens when you're the guy that takes something public and, you know, you're the guy that has the invention, whatever it was and they, you know, goes public and they hire a board and then someone else gets to run it and then they let you know they don't need you anymore.

Well that happened to Michael and so he was given, you know, a year or two of severance and I think a pretty good sum of money to leave and he said, I spent that whole year getting reacquainted with my wife and what's God's holy ambition, what's his perfect plan for me and what does he want me to do and he and I were talking on the phone Thursday and just something came up that got us on the phone. I said, well how are you doing? He said, Chip, I just have to tell you, it's probably mid-40s now, this is the sweetest season of my life and I said, why? He said, I have peace like I've never experienced.

My wife and I are at a place that we've never been, it's rich, it's good and I said, how did that coffee thing go? Because he kind of shifted his gears and he had this idea that, you know, all the free trade coffee and all how that goes and these farmers that are kind of getting ripped off and so he created this thing and went around the world and so he created this brand and he said, well, we sunk most of our money into that that I got from the last deal and we got down to almost nothing but we did it together as a couple, we felt like it was really God's will and he said last week and I can't tell you who it is but last week one of the major chains, fast food chains, he said this summer we will supply coffee for all of their chains all across America and on every cup it'll have our logo and it'll have a little website where people can go and and help out these guys and he said, you know, whether that happened or not was immaterial. He said, I would never want to go back to the way I was living. You know what Michael learned? God revealed his perfect plan for Michael and it wasn't about money and it wasn't about impressing and it wasn't about getting ahead, it was about being a man who walks worthy of God and when you do that as described here and you endure as we all will great difficulty in circumstances and people then you experience you get to experience what we sing every Christmas, joy to the world the Lord has come let earth receive her King let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing and heaven and nature sing and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world let the earth receive her. You know what this passage says? That little baby grew up fully man fully God every knee will bow and every tongue will confess he's the king of kings he's the Lord of Lords and when he is the Lord now of your life when you live in a way that the knowledge of his will and what that means and he is the king of your life heaven sings and earth sings and circumstances align doesn't mean it's easy but it means there's peace means there's joy it means all that anxiety and all that stuff and all those hopes and all those people and all that frenzy that we live with dissipates that's why he came.

Reason number three is Jesus left heaven to rescue us from the power of darkness. I put the passage right in your notes he joyously gives thanks to God the Father. Paul's still praying he says I want you know God's will.

Why? I want you know God's will because of this hope that can never disappoint and now I'm joyously giving thanks to the Father and then he talks about what the Father has done through the Son who qualified us to share in the inheritance of saints in the kingdom of light who rescued us from the dominion of darkness who bought us and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins. I just want to make the point he rescues us from this domain or power of darkness and I just want to remind you that you live in a very very dark world you live in a day where there is corruption and greed and evil and darkness and it's corporate and it's embedded in business and in government and in churches it's embedded in families it's embedded in individuals and it's dark and what's scary in the words it's so timely of Nelson Mandela. Someone asked him how could you come out of prison and do what you did and forgive and bring about reconciliation? He said everything I did I learned in 20 years by myself you should read his book he said it was in 20 years all by myself in that cell that what I understood was all the evil in the world also resided in my heart it was in my heart and all the evil and all the tragedy and all the anger and all the bitterness and all the things I would do back to other people that they've done to us is in my heart and if we were in power we probably would have done the same thing and I realized what needed to happen was I needed to change and no one can bring about change until they change and I want you to know that he came to rescue not just the world but you from the evil in your heart what you're capable of and what I'm capable of given the right circumstances in the right way at the right time. 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 this program is supported by the generosity of listeners like you and right now during our year-end match it's a great time to partner with us between now and December 31st every gift we receive will be doubled dollar for dollar you can give today by going to Living on the Edge org or by calling triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 well with that here again is Chip to continue his message. Underline the word qualified put a circle around rescued put a circle around Dominion put a box around brought us and another box around Redemption did I go too fast yes okay underline qualified underline inheritance circle around rescued circle around Dominion a box around brought us and then a box around Redemption. So how did he rescue us this is so exciting he qualified you this word means he made you fit in other words the evil in your heart the sin the debt that you have before God what Christ did on the cross and the resurrection he qualified you he made you competent he made you fit by what he did on the cross it's a picture of your account has been approved you know when you like go for a loan you know you want to you want to buy a house or something and and you submit all your stuff and they look at you and they go oh yeah you're approved well when you try and submit a loan to heaven no one is approved on their merit but Jesus says because of what I've done you're approved and what did he qualify you for he named you as an heir you're in his will your heir in the saints of light the moment you turn from the kingdom of darkness he rescued you out of darkness if you put your faith in him places you in the kingdom of light and now he says you're an heir everything that is true of Jesus becomes true of you his reigning his power his blessing his forgiveness his place his heaven his purpose he says you're an heir you're in my will he died the will is open it's called a testament we call it the new will or the New Testament and all the promises there are whosoever would believe in trust in him third he defeated sin death and Satan through the cross and resurrection that's how he did it that's how he rescued you there's an enemy evils real sin is real death is real energized by the enemy Satan and he says that little phrase you you put a box he brought us literally the word is transferred he brought us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light that little word brought us you can write the word transferred in your notes in the ancient world this Greek word was used of someone who would conquer a people and he would transfer them from this city this colony over to this other city and the Spirit of God takes that and says that's what happens to every single person because of what Christ did in your place if you by faith have believed the declaration of the gospel that reality is true and the result is you are redeemed he defeated sin death and Satan and number four he purchased you out of the slave market of sin and released you from your sins that word redeemed comes right out of the ancient world if you were downtown in the ancient city on any given day there would be a small platform and there would be slaves in chains sometimes families sometimes individuals and you could walk in and say I'll give you $50 for that one or $20 for that one and you would buy them out of slavery to be your slave and the word used for buying a slave out of there is the word redemption and then so you don't miss it he goes the forgiveness of your sins literally the release the sending away of your sins that God holds you accountable for because he's holy and he says as far as the east is from the west so far God has removed your sins from you if you're in Christ and that's the declaration of the gospel that's why he came he came to give you a hope that would never disappoint he came to reveal God's perfect plan for your life and he came to rescue you literally it's a picture of if you've ever seen the documentaries about the little girls that are rescued out of prostitution like in Thailand I have a friend who runs a ministry that does that and he says we'll go in there and we'll find out what all the laws are and you know most of them aren't ever kept and we'll work with the legal people there and then we'll set up a sting operation and then we'll go in and we will rescue 10 11 12 year old little girls that are locked in rooms some of them hang themselves and it says we rescue them we deliver them out of that but once we do that what we realize that's just the beginning then we have homes for them and they need to know they're valuable because they've been hurt they've been abused and they need to be loved and we teach them they have value and we teach them a skill and we give them a new life that's what God has done for you it's what he's done for me so the question why did he come the answer he came because he loves you and wants you to have a personal intimate relationship with him forever that's why he came that's why we celebrate the baby oh come all you faithful joyful and triumphant I never saw that before your triumphant you delivered from darkness and the domain and the power of death and sin and Satan so come and behold him your king well as we wrap up the Christmas story you know you can tell it through a lot of different eyes but this seems like there's a couple big responses when some shepherds hear about this baby they leave everything they're the low people in the totem pole they're the social you know like as low as it gets vocationally and they leave the sheep and they come and see and they worship and they're the first to go share or if you're a wise man there's sort of the upper crust it's got a lot of resources they realign their life and their time to go on a journey whatever it takes so they can see and find and worship this new king and they do it and then there's the the innkeeper and there's just another day it's just a young couple it's a census I wish I had room but I don't she looks real pregnant but you know a lot of people get pregnant god bless you too there's no room in the end and so the creator of the world is born in a manger and every year when I read the story I realize I'm either a shepherd a wise man or an innkeeper and the question I have for you is there room in the end of your heart not just for that baby but for the risen Christ who has a hope that won't disappoint who has a plan that he wants you to follow and wants to rescue if you've never been rescued out of darkness or my experiences there's a lot of us that even after we come to know Jesus we get trapped in darkness before we go on today let me ask you a very important question I'd like you to quiet your mind and quiet your soul and begin to think very carefully and clearly with me have you been redeemed not are you religious not even do you go to church not are you spiritual have you been redeemed have you received the purchase price given for you that that baby that grew up that lived a perfect life that died upon the cross has paid for your sin to redeem you to buy you back to relationship with the Father have you received that gift or are you still in darkness it is so easy I spent the first 18 years of my life being semi religious even going to church up until 16 or 17 and having no idea that the God of the universe wanted a personal relationship with me but I needed to be born again I needed to trust him personally and ask him to come into my life have you done that and if not do it right now right where you're at God can even hear your thoughts cry out in your heart Lord Jesus forgive me save me I believe today come into my life and for many of you who have had seasons like I've had in my life where yes I'm redeemed the answer was yes but are you walking in the light or are you walking in darkness this Christmas season turn from the darkness get it with people that walk with God get back into God's Word find a church that teaches the Bible find one or two friends that you know where the kind of Christians that you want to be and say to the Lord Jesus you redeem me now I want to walk in a way that's pleasing to you make the decision today and tell one person what you've done and your new journey will begin well if you just prayed to receive Christ we have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands that was uniquely created for new believers and this tool will help you understand what it means to trust in Jesus and what to do next request this free resource by calling triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 or by visiting Living on the Edge org then clicking the new believers button that's Living on the Edge dot o RG or call triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 let us help you get started in your faith journey well before we go here again as chip to share a final thought thanks Dave friends I am so glad that you're listening today I don't know if you just happen to tune in or we're scanning the radio or you've been listening to Living on the Edge for years and years but let me take just a minute to give you a little bit of background about what we do other than this broadcast that you're listening to we are a catalytic ministry that equips followers of Jesus worldwide to become Romans 12 disciple makers and what I mean is Christians that aren't just sort of casual but they're surrendered to God they're separate from the world's values they have a sober self-assessment they're serving dynamically in the body of Christ sacrificially in love and they're supernaturally responding to evil with good that's what a mature believer looks like and Paul gives us that in Romans 12 and what I want to tell you is that that happens when pastors equip followers to become those kind of Christians and you may not be aware of it but literally a hundred and fifty sixty thousand pastors all around the world just this year we're training to become Romans 12 pastors who develop and produce Romans 12 Christians and then God opened partnerships in this last year to reach the next generation we're seeing kids slash young adults everybody's a kid to me but I mean people in their 20s early 30s late teens that are so far from God that would never ever come into a church coming to know Jesus getting disciple and then reaching their peers I believe God is just starting what he really wants to do it Living on the Edge see the vision at Living on the Edge is to see a global movement of Christians living like Christians for the glory of God and the good of all here's my question will you join us will you help us make a difference in a world that's in desperate need and right now is a potent time to do that because every dollar you give will be doubled dollar for dollar up to December 31st and even better it means that your impact is going to be doubled as well please pray and then give us God lead you thanks so much if you'd like to help us minister to pastors engage today's young people or create new discipleship resources partner with us during our year and match because like chip said every gift we receive until midnight on December 31st will be doubled so now's the time to join us go now to Living on the Edge org or call triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 again that's triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 or go to Living on the Edge dot o RG app listeners tap donate and thanks in advance for your generosity hey before we go let me 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 be able to enjoy that day's full-length teaching try it today for chip and the entire team this is Dave Drewy thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-15 07:16:41 / 2023-12-15 07:27:03 / 10

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