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Balancing Life's Demands - Warning: Discipline Can Be Hazardous To Your Health, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2024 5:00 am

Balancing Life's Demands - Warning: Discipline Can Be Hazardous To Your Health, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 5, 2024 5:00 am

In this message, Chip reveals the danger of becoming too disciplined in both your personal and spiritual life. Join Chip as he shares how to recognize the warning signs of an out-of-balance spiritual life.


There is a potential downside to becoming a very spiritually disciplined Christian.

I mean, it can be hazardous to your health. And that's what we want to cover today. Stay with me.

Sounds like an obvious contradiction, right? Well, right now, Chip's going to give us some clarity as he picks up in his series, Balancing Life's Demands. So if you're ready, go to Matthew chapter five in your Bible as we dive right into Chip's talk. I want you to close your eyes. I'm not going to do anything weird, but I want you to close your eyes. I want you to try to remember exactly where you were the last time you heard these words. Please take out a clean sheet of paper and a number two pencil. Put everything away.

Clear your desk. Number from one to ten. We're having a pop quiz. Okay, now you can open your eyes. And remember the feared pop quiz? That was a tool of accountability, right? It was, did you read the assignment? Are you on track? Are you doing your work?

And the way we will enforce that is when you don't suspect it. And I used to hate that. Please take everything off your desk.

My heart would sink. Number two pencil. Well, I'm going to give you a pop quiz. And this is a for real one, okay? So I mean, don't think like, oh, this is kind of a nice illustration.

No, no, no. You'll notice on your notes, it says to what degree? It's a biblical priorities pop quiz. To what degree have you taken specific steps in the following areas? And I told you earlier that I had that moment with Prof Hendricks where he went over to the board and he told us, remember guys, God loves you right now as much as he'll ever love you.

The issue is who do you really want to be? And then in big letters, he wrote the word objectives. And then under the words that he wrote priorities. And then under that he wrote the word schedule. And then he wrote discipline.

And then he wrote accountability. Now, as we take this pop quiz, some of you are very intense. You're trying to be very deeply honest. Would you be, you know, give yourself a good grade, okay?

Don't be too hard on yourself. You'll notice, you know, there's a little box. I actually want you to put a number in the box. And so I'm going to give it, you know, the definition on the quiz. And then if you say none, you know, put a one. If you, well, a little, put a two. If you started, you know, and you're kind of doing okay or even making some progress, put a three. If you're making some good progress, and by the way, you know, some of you are so hard on yourself. If you feel like when we get to accountability is, oh, I meet with some people and I'm doing some things, well, give yourself a four. And then if you feel like I am vigorously pursuing this, I mean, man, I am intense in this area and I'm really trying to do what God wants me to do, give yourself a five. So have you got it?

There's the scoring. Question number one, students, number two, pencil. Objectives, moving from vague ideas to specific decisions about the kind of person I want to become and what I want to accomplish. So what are you? Are you moving from the kind of vague ideas to some specific decisions that I want to be this kind of person and these are some things I want to accomplish by God's grace in my life. If you've never thought about it and really don't care, give yourself a one. If you're vigorously pursuing that and you've gone from some general decisions to, hey, you know what, even while I've been here, I've gotten some clarity, then write down a four or five. And the first number that comes, go with it, okay? I mean, let's not over analyze this.

I will be collecting the papers later, however, no, I'm just kidding. Question number two, priorities. This is about how you spend your time, how you spend your money, the order. Ordering my life in such a way that the important and eternal are not forfeited by the pressing and the urgent. It's that putting first things first, keeping first things first.

Where are you at on that? None, little, started, doing okay, making progress, vigorously pursuing, put down a number. Third, some of you are, I just can't, am I really a three or is it a four?

Just, okay. Third is schedule. Determining specifically how and when I will place the important and eternal in my daily life. Things like, you know, where and how am I gonna put time with God in my daily life? Where and how in the important relationships that I have responsibility and I want to develop, whether it's my kids or mentoring or a roommate, you know, where and how specifically are you gonna put in your schedule becoming the person, the being that you know God wants you to?

Where are you at on that? Next is discipline. Doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Choosing to habitually delay gratification of short-term pleasure in order to more fully enjoy long-term success.

How are you doing there? Final one is accountability. Enlisting the support of those who love me to help me keep my commitments to God.

Is there some people that you that you're enlisting or you're already doing that? Where are you at on that? One, two, three, four, or five. Write it up. You got it?

Good. Now I want you to do something that might be crazy is put a line under that and I want you to add up those numbers. Just add them up real quickly, okay? There's, you know, there's only one, two, three, four, five.

It can't be that hard. Just add them up. Some of you thought I was kidding about the pop quiz, I wasn't. We're about a little over halfway through this series together and so I thought we'd do a little evaluation. If you added those up and if you were, your total score was between a five and a ten, you have heard but not acted at all. If you, your score is between 11 and a 15, you've begun to take some initial steps toward what God wants you to be in balancing your life and biblical priorities. If your score is between a 15 or a 20, your life is actually changing. It may not be as much as you would like but your life is changing and if you scored between a 20 and a 25, this message is for you. I mean you are vigorously, intensely pursuing, I want to be this kind of person and my priorities and my discipline, my schedule and accountability.

If you're between a 20 or a 25, I think God will have a special word for all of us but especially for you. If some of you have struggled with kind of keeping your commitments in the past, you know that last teaching we did on accountability, I think will really help you. If however you find yourself being one of those people who say, you know something, I am really trying to be all God wants me to be and I am pretty intense in pursuing Him and yet I have these waves of guilt and I never know whether I'm doing enough and you know as I've processed some of this, I'm trying to be real discerning but I'm just not sure then I think this message will be very helpful. We're going to look at two warnings from Jesus. You'll notice even the title of this message is personal discipline can be hazardous to your health. Warning, flashing lights, personal discipline and we talked about how important it is that it's from the Spirit of God that we need to be disciplined right. Now it's time out before you get too focused, too fired up, personal discipline can be hazardous to your spiritual health. There's two great dangers in becoming a highly focused, highly disciplined, authentic follower of Christ.

Danger number one is the danger of distortion. Jesus warns that we can easily distort the purpose of spiritual activities. He was up on a mountain, had prayed all night according to Luke 6 and he knew that he was going to turn over the ministry to a select group of men, not a group of men that most of us would have chosen.

Most of them blue-collar workers, exception of maybe one. One was a former revolutionary, a couple guys with anger management issues, one a strong leader with a very big mouth, one a betrayer, one a crook and he goes up into the mountain and it's very clear the parallel. He's going to, even as you know Moses was the great Old Testament hero and as Moses laid out God's economy for the children of Israel from the mountain, now Jesus the rabbi, the teacher, goes up into the mountain and he prays and we will hear what's commonly called the Sermon on the Mount but what he's talking to is to his disciples and the crowd is overhearing and as the text opens up it says he sits down which was when a rabbi was speaking authoritatively, he would sit down and say this is the way it is. You'll notice that you have in your notes Matthew chapter 5 and then in your notes you also see a structure or overview of Matthew chapter 5. The context is verses 1 and 2. Now one of the things that's important is Matthew chapter 5. The context is verses 1 and 2.

Now when he saw the crowds he went up into the mountainside and he sat down. His disciples came to him and he began to teach them saying obviously in our time together I can't go through all of this in much detail but I want you to see the structure. Verses 3 through 12 he's going to say the reward and the character of true is like this and then in verses 13 through 16 he's going to say when that kind of character is lived out by the grace of God in relationship with him you are literally the salt and the light of the world. He's saying be worthy examples and then after that then he's gonna he's gonna have to tie it in because they've spent all their time as little boys in the synagogue listening to the Pharisees teach and Moses is the great teacher and so now he needs to say what am I saying and how does that tie in to what you've always heard and what they've always heard is not only the Old Testament teaching but there's the Mishnah and that was a oral tradition that you know I think someone has said there's about 614 or 13 commands in the Old Testament clear commands well added two or three more thousand that came out of this oral teaching.

I mean they had commands about how many steps you could take on the Sabbath about this about I mean every detail of life. A Pharisee would fast twice a week they would tithe on their money and Jesus would even say later you know down to the kind of the herbs and spices they were legalistic down to the minutia and so Jesus is gonna I mean he is declaring himself and his message and his followers and then he's gonna say where do I and my teaching fit with what you've heard all your life with Moses and he's gonna make a very radical statement in verse 20 and he's gonna talk about true righteousness so have you got the structure so with that just listen let's let's listen first to the reward and character of his followers. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In fact blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you falsely and say all kind of evil things against you because of me. You see the role he's taking. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you and so he gives a character quality the poor in spirit someone who sees their need before God and then he gives the reward the character quality of the reward the character quality reward he says this is an authentic follower of mine and then he goes from that to impact what's the role how do you live you are he doesn't say become he doesn't say do you are the salt of the earth but if the salt loses its saltiness how can it be made salty again it's no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men you are the light of the world a city set on a hill cannot be hidden neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house in the same way let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and praise your father who is in heaven and in their minds when he said good works the good works that would immediately come to their mind would be the good works of the pharisees i mean all the good works all the duties all the rules all the stuff and so he begins to build the structure first of the reward and character then be worthy of examples and now we're going to get to the part where you're going to really get in trouble if you're the messiah he says do not think because who are you are you the one shall we expect another even john the baptist was asking john the baptist was asking he's teacher like no one else he speaks with authority the lame walk the blind see the dead are raised he feeds five thousand i mean so where do you fit in the economy of god and he's going to just lay it out do not think that i've come to abolish the law or the prophets i've not come to abolish them but to fulfill them i tell you the truth until heaven and earth disappear not the smallest letter lord the least stroke of the pen will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished anyone who breaks the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven but whoever practices and teaches these commands did you notice the emphasis practices and teaches what's his problem with the pharisees what's his problem with the religious culture it's duplicity it's the problem we have today everyone says i'm born again everyone says i love jesus we just don't live that way anyone who practices and teaches these commands would be called great in the kingdom of god for i tell you and this is the one where i mean their jaws dropped i tell you unless your righteousness surpasses that of the pharisees and the teachers of the law you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven now can you imagine here in this sermon and to get to that part and go on are you kidding i mean these guys are squeaky clean squeaky clean squeaky clean i mean they have these things on their head and that goes down their robes and the hundreds or thousands of verses that they've memorized they pray at certain times they give their money they fast twice a week i mean if righteousness is doing the right things i mean these guys and now this new messiah tells me unless my righteousness exceeds theirs i can't even get in right about now i'm thinking there's no hope for me thinking there's no hope for me and then jesus begins to make the distinction between external righteousness activities spiritual activities good activities doing the right things however for the wrong reason but it's a very silly illustration but it helps me can you imagine if someone maybe it took many many years and by just great fortune they were able to build i mean the house of their dreams and after the house was done you know they needed there was a little brook and so they needed to build a small little bridge and and then a driveway to get into it and and and then they invite you over and the last thing they worked on was the driveway and there's you know different kinds of stone and you know the little white fence and landscaping and they they bring you over and they say look at this can you believe this driveway look at this driveway you know where we got these stones look at this driveway look at this driveway and for like two hours they describe the driveway the driveway the driveway the driveway and then afterwards they say well it's been really great to have you here i'll see you later what's the purpose of a driveway to get to the house it's only a means what jesus was saying and what he's going to teach is the practices of good works and religious activities are merely the driveway true righteousness is always a matter of the heart true righteousness is always an issue of relationship not performance what he was saying to them is your righteousness needs to exceed that of the pharisees because they've got all the external religious activity but their hearts remember what he'd say your lips profess this but your hearts are far from me they weren't poor in spirit they didn't see their need they weren't merciful they weren't pure in heart they weren't seeing god they weren't being persecuted they were persecuting him all the things about the character did you notice that every single thing of those be attitudes they were be not do attitudes there were issues of who you are inside who you are that only god can see who you are when no one's looking what's your motives what matters jesus says genuine righteousness is always a matter of the heart of the heart and then we're going to pick it up and notice in your notes it says true righteousness and then he's going to take their oral commands and he's going to this phrase is going to be repeated and he's going to apply it and under you know he's going to apply it to murder and adultery and divorce and oaths and retribution and enemies but he's going to say you have heard it said and what he's going to say is here's the external righteousness that you've been taught since you were little boys and little girls but i say to you behind that external thing this is the spirit this is god's heart this is what he was always after the pharisees each one is going to you've heard it said the focus is external jesus will say no no the focus should be internal the pharisees it was always about doing jesus is saying no no no it's really about being the pharisees were pounding people and making people greater sinners than themselves it was about duty duty duty jesus said they missed it it's about devotion the pharisees would say it's performance are you doing this are you doing that are you doing this jesus said performance no one can be justified by the law it's about uh your relationship on the pharisee side they manipulated controlled people with guilt jesus said i wanted you to introduce you to grace they were focused on the letter of the law jesus said no no it's not the letter it's the spirit of the law the letter kills the spirit gives life finally jesus said they've got it all in their head i want you to know that i'm looking for the pure in heart you're listening to Living on the Edge with chip engram and he'll be back to continue our series balancing life's demands in just a minute but let me quickly tell you we are more than a broadcast ministry we're passionate about supporting pastors globally developing helpful resources and sharing the gospel with this next generation so if you'd like to partner with us in these areas go to well here again is chip and so he applies it and so you know we can't go into it in great detail but let me give you a taste okay let's just let's go through how he applied it so he starts with with murder now remember the context is your righteousness if you were listening to the sermon by jesus it needs to be exceeding that of the most religious squeaky clean got it together disciplined folks that you could ever imagine and so he starts he said you have heard it said to the people long ago do not murder and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment but i tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment again i say if anyone says to his brother raca his anspiral to the sanhedrin but anyone says to his brother you fool is in danger of the fire of hell therefore i say to you if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember your brother has something against you leave your gift there at the altar and go be reconciled to your brother then come and present your offering and then he goes on and talks about settling matters the command was about don't commit murder what's behind murder murder is murder is the last thing you do when you have relational conflict that's unresolved and where does it start it starts with anger it's when i'm angry i mean people don't like have casually wonderful feelings and say hey i think okay you today i mean it starts with a a resentment and there's anger or a hurt or injustice and the anger builds and it ends up in the action of murder and so jesus says what's behind that is some relational issues and he's talking about the value of human relationships and so he he takes it from murder to saying we don't have time to explain what he meant there but you fool very strong word in that culture and then he goes wait a second in fact if you don't have something right with a brother hey don't don't come here and give your offering with god this stuff that you've observed most of your life where there's hatred and the breakdown in relationships and yet people do their perfunctory religion he says that's you've missed the heart of god make things right with god and did you notice he didn't say if you blew it if you are aware that there's a problem with your brother it may be his problem it may be your problem maybe 50 50 might be 90 10 might be 99 them one percent you he says if you come before the altar and there remember your brother has something against you what's his point relational reconciliation and human relationships are are the heart of that command well he applies it to the next area and he's going to instead of talking about murder he's going to talk about the sanctity of sex he says you've heard it said do not commit adultery but i say to you anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his in his heart if your right eye causes you to sin gouge it out it's better for you to have lose one eye than to um from your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell and if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off a hyperbole here he's making a metaphor to to say the gravity of what you need to do but what's his point you know they got to the point where hey you know did you commit adultery or not is it legal i'll tell you what moses gave a certificate of divorce and at this point there were two schools of thought but basically the average guy could say you know what she doesn't look very pretty anymore i don't want her anymore a woman had zero rights you're out again a new one and jesus said wait a second it's not just the external behavior i'm telling you that when your loyalty moves from the fidelity of an a covenant marriage to even mentally going to another person before god you've already missed in fact if you have a problem be as drastic as you need to be i mean if you gouge your right eye out men how many of us could just love lust with one eye i could right i could be a left eye luster right or if i cut off one hand i you know what he's saying he's saying in a figure of speech be as drastic as you need to be to deal with the issue of the sanctity of sexuality uh he goes to the next area which is uh having to do with divorce he says it's uh it's been said among you that if anyone divorces his wife he must give her a certificate of divorce but i tell you if anyone divorces his wife except for marital infidelity i've just created a new word i think causes her to become an adulterous and again it's the sanctity of the family it's not just the legality it's the covenant it's what you committed to it's the relationship he skips down to oaths again i say you've heard it said from people long ago do not break your oath but keep the oath that you've made to the lord but i say to you don't swear at all either by heaven for that is god's throne or the earth for it's his footstool or by jerusalem for it's the city of the great god and don't swear by your head for you can't make even one hair be white or black simply let your yes be yes and your no be no anything beyond that comes from eat from the evil one and this was a time when they would do business deals they wouldn't have a lot of written contracts i swear by this and i swear by that and i swear by this i swear by that i swear by that he had this whole system of swears and jesus said you know what here's the deal like just try integrity if you say yes i'll do it you do it if you say no just mean it stop playing these games and negotiating and trying to attempt to work around kind of religious loopholes be men and women of integrity from the heart and then he gets to retribution and you know that classic eye for an eye tooth for tooth but i say to you do not resist evil person or resist if someone strikes you and by the way the striking here on the right cheek most people are uh are are right-handed this this is more of a the offense it's the slapping and then he says if someone asked you to go one mile the roman soldiers by law could come to anyone and say you you carry this for a mile you carry my equipment for a mile and basically what he says is you know you know your pride and your rights and when you get offended well they did that to me i'm going to do that to him he said you know something i want let's let's there's some law how about grace how about we show the world how different and wonderful god is let's give people what they don't deserve so roman soldier says okay i command you now in the name of the emperor and the roman government you must carry my equipment by law for one mile you must carry my equipment mile and then they had markers there's a mile and you look up and say hey do you mind if i go one more and that soldier goes what says that's a kingdom citizen you see the heart see the difference then finally he said you've heard it said love your neighbor and hate your enemies but i tell you love your enemies and then listen to this pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your father in heaven and the idea of sons especially in hebrew culture it has family likeness is the idea you'll be like your father in heaven he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good he sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous if you love those who love you duh you know what reward is that i mean don't tax collectors and sinners do that and so he makes this point he says i want you to demonstrate to the romans mercy i mean grace and then now he says what do you do to your enemies you don't give them what they deserve grace is giving people something they don't deserve mercy is withholding what people do deserve and so when your enemies and so when your enemies do he says i want you to withhold what you would more normally give them and i want you to overcome evil with good you'll never be more like your heavenly father than when you love people who have wounded and hurt and abused and betrayed you this is Living on the Edge with chip engram and you've been listening to part one of chip's message warning personal discipline can be hazardous to your health from our series balancing life's demands chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about do you long to get out from under the pressure to do more have more and achieve more in this 10-part series chip provides practical biblical steps to help you move your life from chaos to contentment you'll discover what it means to prioritize your hopes around god's hopes for your life and how to not only put first things first but keep them there to learn more about this series go to that's well i'm joined in studio now by chip and chip you wanted to quickly say something to our listeners about our year-end match that's ended a few days ago well dave i just wanted to pause i mean to really pause and tell you from the bottom of my heart thank you right you know every time a person makes a financial gift a spiritual transaction occurs in other words something actually happens in a person's heart and and i speak to those of you who gave you gave you responded you invested in Living on the Edge and i want you to know that as you've invested we're going to invest in the lives of people here and all around the world it really matters and we are super grateful thank you each one of you who prayed and said lord what do you want me to do and then you followed his lead thank you thank you so very much for hearing from god responding to god and for being so generous and let me add my thanks too we truly celebrate every gift we've received and are excited to see how god uses it to motivate christians to really live like christians so thanks again for your support well here again is chip to share some really insightful application for us to think about you know jesus shocked the people he was talking to when he told them what it looked like to be an authentic follower of christ when he framed the world from you have heard it said and all those external righteousness and discipline and performance and religiosity he threw out the window his surgeon skill went to the very heart of the matter it's about something inside that god is looking for and as he walked through these various issues of murder and adultery and divorce and and oaths and retribution and then he gets to this one about enemies and i gotta tell you i can only imagine sitting in the crowd someone shaking their head saying you don't understand you certainly don't mean i'm forgive that person and release that person who's hurt me i mean they're my enemy i mean think of what they've done to me in the past and yet they hear his voice and he says to them just like he's saying to us if you're thinking of that x mate if you're thinking of that x boss if you're thinking that the child who's betrayed you or the parent that abused you or the person that ripped you off financially who said they were a christian what he's saying is you need to be set free i want you to forgive your enemy i want you to release them i want you to learn in my power to love them and you may just say god i just can't or i don't know how what i want you to know first is you need to make the decision lord i'm willing i want to do what you want me to do but i don't know how and second i would say that as you pray that earnestly and sincerely there's a place that we can take you to get some help i did an entire message that will teach you very specifically how to overcome the evil that's aimed at you it's the apostle paul taking this very core text and he explains in detail what to do and how to do it and i want you to know that as you take by faith the steps that god will show you you will be free because good is more powerful than evil thanks chip and the teaching he just mentioned how to overcome the evil aimed at you is the last message in chip's popular series true spirituality go to special offers at or the chip ingram app and listen to that specific program or the entire teaching from romans chapter 12 again go to special offers at or the chip ingram map to learn more well thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with chip engram next time we'll continue chip series balancing life's demands i hope you'll join us then
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-05 05:23:27 / 2024-01-05 05:36:30 / 13

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