Share This Episode
Living on the Edge Chip Ingram Logo

He Holds Me Forever - How Great a Love, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2024 6:00 am

He Holds Me Forever - How Great a Love, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1427 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

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


May 7, 2024 6:00 am

People aren’t perfect. No matter how much we wish it were otherwise, they let us down. And no matter how hard we try, the fact is, we let them down, too. Do you know there’s a love that never, ever fails? Join Theresa Ingram for this program, as she shares a very personal story about how she learned God’s love never fails.

Main Points

God's love is boundless; it has no boundaries. - Ephesians 3:14-19

How Should God's love affect us?

  1. We can live with absolute certainty that God will take care of us. - Romans 8:32
  2. We can live with the awareness that our lives are very valuable and important to God. - Ephesians 1:3-6
  3. We can live with freedom from guilt and condemnation. - Hebrews 4:15
  4. We can live with the assurance that God deeply loves our unsaved loved ones and never stops pursuing them. - Matthew 18:11-14
  5. We can live with the confidence that our future is secure in His hands. - Philippians 3:20-21
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Theresa Ingram

Theresa Ingram has a passion to see women transformed as they learn to see themselves as Christ sees them. Theresa has taught and mentored women in the local church for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Fairmont State University, the mother of four grown children & 12 grandchildren, and resides in San Jose, California, with her husband Chip.

About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

Connect Partner With Us

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

People aren't perfect, are they? I mean, no matter how much we wish it were otherwise, they let us down.

And no matter how hard we try, the fact is we let them down, too. You know, there's a love that never, ever fails. I've asked my wife, Theresa, to share her very personal message about how she's learned God's love never fails.

You don't want to miss it. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians. Today, Chip's wife, Theresa, will pick up in her series, He Holds Me Forever. She'll continue sharing her story where she learned through the worst of circumstances why God's love is absolutely trustworthy. So if you're ready to learn more about that, here now is Theresa with a second half of her talk, How Great a Love. Love is wide, and His love is long, and it's also high.

It says His love is high. It's so high that nothing can ever separate us. Nothing can ever separate us from His love. Romans 8, 38, 39 says, I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can't, and life can't.

The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. It says whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing can ever separate us from His love. It's like I picture a wall around our lives, and it's God and His love, and it's surrounding us, and this wall is so high that nothing, nothing could ever separate you from Him.

Not Satan, not your struggles, not your circumstances, not any person, nothing, not even you can separate you from God's love. He'll never, never stop loving you. Well, His love is high, and His love is deep, and it's so deep that no creature can really ever truly understand it. It's so deep that His love reaches down into the depth of our discouragement. You know, there's not a place we can go that's so deep that His love will not be there. It's so deep that it reaches down into our despair and our heartache. It reaches into our confusion and to our disappointments and our failures. His love reaches every area of our lives, and He puts His arms around us, and He cares for us as a loving Father would His precious child. And it's so deep that there's nothing, so deep there's nothing we could ever experience in our lives where His love would not be there with us. He grabs down, and He gets a hold of us, and He holds us fiercely.

I was thinking about when we were in London and riding on the subways, and Annie was about ten years old, and I remember the crowds were so large and just running into these trains and the doors would close, and I was so afraid I was going to lose her in that crowd. And I held her hand fiercely. I held on to her. That's how God's holding on to you. He's fiercely holding on to you.

It doesn't matter what the circumstances are in your life. It doesn't matter what you're feeling. He's holding on to you, and He's not going to let go.

And you can't make Him let go, even if you wanted to. It's how much He loves you. Well, if God loves us this much, then we need to ask a question. How would this change our lives? How should this affect our lives if we know that He loves us this much, that His love is so great that He would never let go of us? Well, first of all, we can live with absolute certainty that God will take care of us. If He loves us this much, then we can live with absolute certainty that He's going to take care of us. Romans 8 32, He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?

Give us all things. If God loves us so much that He would sacrifice His Son to die on the cross to bring us back into this relationship with Him, if He did that much for us, doesn't it make sense that He would care for our lives, that He would take care of us? He cares about us in every aspect of our lives, down to the smallest detail. He cares about everything.

He knows you, and He wants you to have what's best and His best that He has to give. And this is the God who, in the Scriptures, He tells us that the young lions do lack, He says, and suffer hunger, but those who wait on the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. This is the kind of God that's taking care of our needs. He says that we can put all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us, and He says that He cares about the lilies of the field.

He cares about the birds of the sky. How much more does He care about you and your needs? And He's a God who promises us that He will bring about good in everything that we will ever go through, and He's willing and able to meet any physical, emotional, or spiritual need that we'll ever have in a way that will bring about our best and will help us become more like Christ. The God who said He gave His own Son on the cross to die for me cares about my needs.

He cares about everything in my life, and He reaches into every area of our lives, and He says, You are my child, and I will continually give you all that you need in a way that is best for your life. In Matthew, when Jesus was encouraging His followers to pray and to ask for whatever it is they needed, He said, Or what man is there among you? When his son shall ask him for a loaf, we'll give him a stone. Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him? So let me ask you, what is it that you need to see God take care of in your life? What do you need to see God take care of?

What are you most concerned about? Is it a relationship that you're in? Is it a job? Is it your health? Is it a child?

Is it your finances? He that spared not his son, but delivered him up for us all, how will He not with him freely give us all things? That's a promise. And because God loves you so much, we can live with absolute certainty that He's going to take care of us. Now His way may look a little different than what we think, but we can by faith trust in Him for every need in our lives. Well secondly, if God loves me this much, I can live with the awareness that my life is very valuable and important to God. When Christ died on the cross, out of that great love, God chose you and me to be His very own. Do you know what God says about you? In Isaiah 41, He says, I have chosen you and not rejected you.

You're chosen. In Ephesians 41, it says, it's in your notes, it says, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise and glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the beloved. He has chosen us and He has adopted us as His own, as His children.

You know, an adopted child is a chosen and wanted child, and He has chosen us and adopted us. And in Psalm 139, He says He knows everything about our lives. He says that every thought and every word that comes out of our mouths, He knows about it before we even speak the word.

And you know what? He still loves us. It doesn't matter what comes out of our mouth. And He thinks about us.

He says He thinks about us all the time, and that His thoughts for us are precious to Him, precious and good. And I'm sure some of you know what it feels like to be rejected. Well, I've experienced a lot of rejection in my life in the past, and it's hard to be rejected, to feel rejected, to be the one that's left out, to feel like that, to feel like everyone fits in but me, and to feel so alone. And sometimes we experience so much rejection in our lives that it's difficult for us to really believe that God wants us. And rejection is a terrible thing. It's a painful thing. To be rejected by someone that we love is very painful. Or to be rejected maybe because of our background, or because of our outward appearance, or maybe because we're rejected even by Christians who are supposed to love us.

You see, it's a painful thing, and we all experience that, have experienced it before, I'm sure. When Chip and I were planning to get married, we were praying about getting married, it was during a time, this was lots of years ago, but it was a time when many of the churches hadn't worked through the divorce issue or believed that there was a place for a divorced person to serve in the church. Well, I was divorced, and I had two little boys, and so it was painful to me to hear from people in the church, from the golly people, people that I looked up to, that if I married Chip, they said I would ruin his life. That's what they said. And they said that if I married Chip, God would never be able to use his life in ministry.

That's a joke. And one organization had plans for Chip's life all laid out, his whole future, but it was obvious, it didn't include me, and so it was hard, it hurt deeply to go through that, and we had to work through that as we prayed through, was this marriage something God wanted for us, was this his will, and so what I learned, though, is that I could run into the arms of my Heavenly Father, and he would never reject me, that he was waiting for me all the time to come to him, and he says to us, he says, I love you, and in fact, you're so important to me that I sent my son for you, and you're so important to me that I sent my Holy Spirit to live inside of you, you're my sanctuary, you're my temple, I love you that much, and I choose to dwell with you, and he says, I understand how you feel, I know how you feel, but I will never, ever leave you. I will never leave you. I will never reject you, because he says, you're my treasure, you're my precious one. We can live with the awareness in our lives that we are very valuable and wanted and important to God. Well, the third thing here is I can live with freedom from guilt and condemnation because I will be forgiven and welcomed into his arms no matter how badly I have messed up.

We need to remember that one. I have special memories of my son Ryan when he was a little child, when he would disobey, and I would spank him. He would cry for just a couple of minutes, and then as soon as he calmed down, he would run right back into my lap for love and a hug. He was just that kind of a kid, and he would admit his wrong, and he would take his discipline, and then he would get over it immediately because he knew he was loved. He knew that I loved him, and then he would go on his happy little way, and he didn't pout.

He didn't let what he had done wrong and being disciplined ruin the rest of his day, and he didn't think that I loved him any less or that I didn't want to be around him, but he would run right back into my arms. And you see, I think that's what our Heavenly Father wants us to do, that he knows that we're going to make mistakes in our lives. He knows that we're going to mess up, that we're going to sin, and that when we disobey, we're going to let him down sometimes, and he will discipline us as a Heavenly Father, a loving Father would, any father should, but he wants us to run right back into his arms. In Hebrews 4, it says, We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin. He understands everything we go through. Therefore, he let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

And it goes on to say, Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I love Hannah Whitehall Smith's writings, and I think she says this very well when she says, Discouragement at our own failures is one of Satan's greatest weapons against us, and the only way to baffle him, to baffle Satan, is to do what I say, and so repeat. She says, Confess, be forgiven, and forget the whole thing.

You know, and I think that's pretty good advice. How many times do we just hammer ourselves into the ground, and we don't receive the forgiveness and the love that God has to give us? And no matter how badly, no matter how badly you have run from him, or how badly you've messed up, your father's waiting for you, like my son Ryan as a little boy, to run right back into his arms for a love and a hug. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and we'll continue our guest teacher Teresa Ingram series, He Holds Me Forever, in just a minute. But quickly, are you looking for a practical way to deepen your prayer time with God? Then stick around after the message as Chip talks about an easy tool we've developed to help you be more intentional in your daily time with Jesus.

You won't want to miss it. With that, here again is Teresa. And the fourth thing here is I can live with the assurance that God deeply loves my unsaved loved ones and never stops pursuing them. In Matthew 18, it says, For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which has not gone astray. Thus is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. You know, God loves our unsaved family members. He loves our moms and our dads, our children, our sisters, our brothers, our husbands. He loves our family members and our friends who don't know him.

He loves them. I have a very close family member who doesn't know the Lord. And I pray and I pray and I have prayed for a long time. And I don't know if his heart will ever change. I don't know if he'll ever come to know the Lord as his Savior. But I do have the assurance that God loves him so much and God will never quit pursuing him.

And he'll pursue his life as there is the opportunity for him to change his heart and to invite Christ into his life. You see, I have that assurance that God loves him so much that he will keep pursuing him as long as there is hope that he will turn to him. And because we know, the Scriptures tells us that before we were saved, before we knew the Lord, he loved us. He loved us first as the parent loves the little baby. And he loves our unsaved loved ones in that same way.

And so we should never lose hope and we should never stop praying because God loves them that much. And the fifth thing here is I can live with the confidence that my future is secure in his hands whether on earth or in heaven. Sometimes thinking about the future is a scary thing for us. And I do find myself at times having anxious thoughts and wondering and getting a little worried from time to time. But the future can be unsettling in different ways.

You know, we could think about, well, will I ever get married? Or will my children walk with God when they grow up? You know, will they walk with God? What will my old age look like?

I don't know. Will I be okay financially? What if we have another terrorist attack? Will my son have to go to war someday? There's so many, so many unknowns. What would it be like when all my kids leave home and I have the empty nest?

What will happen to me? Many unknowns in our lives. But because God loves us, our future is secure and we can face whatever comes into our lives with confidence because he has a plan and his plan is good that no matter what the circumstances are and no matter how I feel, his plan is good for the future. And as we talked about before in Romans 8, 38, 39, that nothing, nothing in the future could ever separate us with the love of God, nothing at all. And then in Philippians 3, 20, 21, it says, but we are citizens of heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives and we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our savior. He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything everywhere.

You see, our future is secure whether today when we're on the earth or someday when we're in heaven, our future is secure because God loves us that much. And this is how great the love is that your Heavenly Father has for you. As a child, the only time I remember my dad ever touching me was when he spanked me. And the only other time was I remember being a little kid and being in the bathtub and him giving me a bath and scrubbing my head, scrubbing my hair. And he didn't realize how strong he was, but it hurt when he scrubbed my head. And that's the only times I remember my dad ever touching me when I was growing up. And then when I grew up and I had children of my own and then my first husband left me, I experienced loneliness like I'd never had in my whole life.

It was just a terrible thing. And I longed for someone to come and put their arms around me, someone to hold me and someone to comfort me. And there was no one there. And one day I was in the kitchen. I was visiting my parents and I was in the kitchen with my dad and he was cooking a meal. And that was one of the ways I've learned that he expressed his love. He liked to cook. And if he cooked you a meal, that was him saying that he loved you. But I didn't understand that at the time, that he was cooking this meal and I was feeling so lonely and hurting so much. And as I was standing there watching him cook, I couldn't stand it anymore. And I said, Daddy, would you hug me?

Would you hold me? And he turned around and he put his arms around me. It was the first time in my life that I felt my dad's arms hold me and love me and felt the comfort of his strong arms around me. And you see so many times our earthly dads, they don't mean to, I don't think most of them intentionally mean to, but they don't love us in the way that we need. And people let us down. But our Heavenly Father says that he has a kind of love to give us that he will put his arms around us that he will never let go. And he'll hold us forever. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are.

It's a fact. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Teresa Ingram has been our guest teacher for this program, How Great a Love. From her series, He Holds Me Forever. She and Chip will be back in studio shortly to share their application for this message. In these handful of messages, Teresa is highlighting a fundamental attribute of God, His love. She'll explain why people view God as cold and distant and shed light on the deep-rooted issues that cause people to struggle with their identity. Join us as we better grasp our Creator's deep love and care for us. So if you're wrestling with your self-worth or purpose in life, this series will renew your mind with gospel truth. You're not going to want to miss a word. Before we continue today's program, Chip's joined me in studio with a quick thought for all of you.

Chip? Thanks, Dave. Before I come back, I have just a couple thoughts I'd like to share with you. You know, James 4-8 says, Draw near to God and He'll draw near to you. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one that in the morning or maybe before I go to bed, you're starting to pray or you want to meet with God and you just feel your mind going everywhere.

It's hard to connect. One of the most effective things that I've done over the years is I journal. When I'm not sure exactly what's going on in my life, I often start with just the word yesterday. And I write down sort of a review of some things that have happened. And then I will often write, these are the things I'm concerned about. And in my journal, I'll just list them one after another, little bullet points. And as I have done that, my mind gets clear. And then I can go back and put a check mark where that was a concern yesterday and I turned it into a prayer request. Here's what I want you to know. Having a practical way to track your spiritual journey, to see where God has answered prayers, to recognize, especially when you're down, to go back through and read a journal from a week or a few months or even a year and see that God has been faithful in the past.

He's going to be faithful in the future. And it's been such a help to me that we've created a really beautiful leather-bound journal, has some great quotes, some passages, even a few lyrics from classic hymns. It's just put together in a way where there's not this pressure to write every single day, but you can create your own rhythm and pace to remember God's faithfulness to get your mind clear.

And for me personally, it has really helped me connect with God, especially when my mind is going everywhere. Dave, maybe you could take a moment and tell people how they can get a hold of this journal. Well, to learn more about our prayer journals, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. These beautiful compact notebooks have plenty of space for your prayers and personal journaling, along with scripture verses, hymn lyrics, and quotes to encourage you. If you want a more intentional, enriching time with God, this tool will help. Again, for more details about our prayer journals, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003.

Have listeners tap special offers. Well, here now is Chip and Teresa to share a few final thoughts. Teresa, as you shared today, I was really struck by that moment in the message where you talked about, I just asked my father in the kitchen, will you just hug me? What would you say to that woman, or that man for that matter, who feels just alone and desperate and longs to have a connection with God and needs to be loved? What would you say to them today?

Well, I put myself back in that time, remembering being in the kitchen with my dad, and he never, to my remembrance, ever hugged me and told me that he loved me. And I would say that I know you're in a difficult season of your life, that you feel rejected, you feel hopeless, and you may be grieving right now, the loss of someone, but I want to remind you that God is good, and what he wants us to do is, and what I've experienced that God has helped me, is to persevere every day, to stay in his word, even when I don't feel like it, to stay near to him, spend time in prayer, pouring out your heart, and I don't mean those little tiny prayers here and there as you go through the day, I mean falling on your knees before the Lord by yourself and crying out to him, and just give him all of those things that are troubling you. And there's something that happens when you meet God in that way. There's this sense of his spirit in you and with you, him with you, and what happens to me is I feel his peace. That's what happens, and I feel hope, and I don't see God, but I feel his presence, and I experience the peace that only he can give in our lives, and that's the most wonderful thing that we could ever hope for. And the other thing is to stay connected to the church, to believers, that we need the body of Christ, but we have to, we have to turn to him, and we have to seek him, and so what helped me was getting up every morning, even when it was really, really hard, and just doing what needs to be done that day, just moving forward, taking one step at a time, and you will be surprised at a year from now how God has worked in your life, has changed you, and maybe has changed the circumstances, and you'll just begin to see the greatness and the power and the love of our Almighty God. You know, I remember meeting you early on, Teresa, and you would have dates with God.

I thought it was really odd. I'd never heard of anyone having a date with God, and you would put the little boys to bed and sing worship songs and have dates with God, and I just remember your passion in your heart as you prayed, and you know, it's that brokenness that you bring to the Lord that makes such a difference. Thanks so much for sharing. You're welcome.

Thanks for that word, you guys. As we close, I want to thank each of you who makes this program possible through your generous giving. One hundred percent of your gifts go directly to the ministry to help Christians live like Christians. If you found this teaching helpful but aren't yet on the team, consider doing that today.

Sending a gift is easy. Just go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. Again, that's 888-333-6003 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, tap Donate, and let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, for Chip and the entire team, this is Dave Druey thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge, and I hope you'll join us again next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-07 04:08:53 / 2024-05-07 04:20:08 / 11

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