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Less is More - I Am Crucified with Christ

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2024 6:00 am

Less is More - I Am Crucified with Christ

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 3, 2024 6:00 am

Does your spiritual walk feel cluttered right now? Are you overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ you have going on, like looking into a messy garage or closet? In this program, we’re kicking off Chip’s series, Less is More: Decluttering Your Time with God. Join Chip as he helps slow life down by studying one key Bible verse at a time.

Main Points

Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."

Game plan:

  1. Write down the verse
  2. Review/Meditate on the verse
  3. Ask questions
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit for help
  5. Relax and enjoy the passage
  6. Share it with someone
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions 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.

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Do you ever feel like your soul is like that closet or garage that needs to be cleaned out? There's a bunch of stuff in it, but you need to declutter and just draw near to God.

Well, if that's you, stick around. 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. And for those who listen to us regularly, you know Chip usually teaches through a couple of chapters or a book of the Bible at a time. But today he's going to do something a little different through this new series, Less is More. For the next five programs, Chip's going to stop and study one foundational scripture verse per message. The goal is to help you slow down and really concentrate on the truth of God's Word from a single verse. But before he gets going, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They'll help you get the most out of this meaningful series.

Download them under the Broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org. Atlas Nurse Tap, fill in notes. Well, if you're ready, the verse Chip's going to unpack for us right now is Galatians 2.20.

So go there in your Bible as we join Chip with his talk, I Am Crucified with Christ. One of the most counterintuitive but true principles of life is this. Sometimes less is more, right? And we've all gone to a great dinner, a special dinner, maybe celebrating something really great, and you just eat too much.

I mean, it's so good, it's such a moment, it's so available. Often it's a buffet, or often you've paid a lot for it, and then you just find yourself much later at night going, ooh, less would have been more. Or some of us have had maybe a trip of a lifetime. I still remember this one, where, you know, it's like a vacation, and there's places to see, or there's a number of cities that you want to see them all because you've never been in that part of the country or that part of the world. And I remember this, and we went from city to city, and when we got there, then we visited this and we visited that, and we didn't want to miss anything. And after about nine days, I realized I'm not sure I enjoyed much of anything. It was go, go, go, get up, get up, do this tour. We popped into this little city and, oh, but we haven't seen this other one. And, you know, we went and went and went and went, and I still remember thinking, you know, if I ever have a chance in my life to go back to that part of the country, you know what, I think I'm going to choose one or two places that we really want to see.

I'm going to go deep and really enjoy it, but enjoy the time with my family. And what I would say is the same can be true spiritually. You know, we live in a world where there's such access, such opportunity. You've got an app that helps you pray. You have an app that guides you through something. You're going to read the Bible in the morning, but there's this great devotional that you read that before, and you heard from someone, you should read five Psalms and one proverb along with that. And so there's a devotional and there's an app and there's a prayer series, and then you open up your phone and there's the verse of the day, and I should maybe listen to what that person has to say. And isn't it interesting that sometimes we get spiritually dry and you look at it and you say, you know, I'm in the Bible. I'm reading.

I'm praying. I'm doing all these different things, and you find yourself three or four hours later thinking, I can't even remember what I read, and then it gets worse. And by the way, I'm in this with you, especially some of us that are really zealous. Like, I really want to grow.

I really want to learn. And I heard so-and-so does this, and so-and-so turned me on to this devotional, or, oh man, that app is great. And so you find yourself doing more, and yet there's no power or there's this vague sense of disconnect with God. It's kind of like your soul's cluttered.

It's like there's just so much in its activity, and all of those things have their place and have a great value. But the fact of the matter is, in some seasons spiritually, in your relationship with God, are you ready? Less is more. That old adage for some of us that are zealous, like, you know, if one chapter is good, two is better.

Four or five is even better. And so what I want you to know is if we're not careful, we can all develop our own private works, righteousness. And I have met people, and I personally have been down this path, and then I have to do U-turns every season or so, and you find somehow unconsciously, if I read that devotional, I read these X chapters, I write in my journal, I do X, Y, and Z, then I'm kind of good with God. And yet what you find at times is you're really developing your spiritual disciplines.

But the fact of the matter is you don't feel necessarily more connected to God, and you don't see the life of Christ being lived out in some relationships. And what I'm going to suggest is rather than being overwhelmed or feeling guilty, that what you need to do is you need to do less and not more. And I'm going to suggest that we do a little experiment. It's something that I've practiced over the years just now and then. It's not how you should do it all the time, but there's just times where you walk, at least I do, I walk into my closet, and over time there's this and this and this, and you realize, you know what?

I've not worn some of that stuff in two years, and I really like those shoes, and it might rain again someday, and that's when I really only wear them. And you have that moment, and you just get out a big bag, and you just declutter your closet, and you take it where maybe if it's good, you can pass it on to someone else, but you just have to simplify. And the practice that I have used, I just call it a one-verse time with God, and I focus on reading just one verse, and I meditate on just that one verse, and then I try and figure, okay, Lord, rather than all this stuff, I just want to take one core, important, deep truth, and I don't want to just read it in the morning. I want to walk it through my life and my heart all throughout the day, and so I build little times that I'll talk to you about it. You know, how can we get one thought, one deep connection, and you don't have to feel guilty because you didn't read your devotional, and you didn't open this app, and you didn't write in your journal?

I'm giving you permission, okay, at least for a week if you want to, and you feel like you need to declutter, that we're just going to take one verse a day, and we're going to walk through a process, a very, very practical process where we're going to keep it in front of us, and we're going to meditate on it, and we're going to think about it, and we're going to apply it, and we're going to ask God to speak to us and reconnect us around this one truth. And so I want to start with, I think, the most important truth in all the world and that Jesus wants to have the same place and provide the same resource in our personal lives that he does in the whole universe. Jesus is the center of the universe, like the sun is the center of all the planets, and when all the planets are in right relationship with the sun, there's this gravitational pull and this rhythm, and it puts them in relationship with all the other planets. The most important thing in my life and in your life with all the pulls and all the demands and all the concerns and all the anxieties and all the what-ifs is that Jesus is the center of your life.

He's the focus of your life. The Apostle Paul put it this way. He said, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives within me. And this life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. That's our verse. If you were going to write this on a card or put it in your notes on the phone because you want to bring it up because we're going to talk about how to make that single truth, I mean the core of our thinking, all this day.

And if it's better for you, you can even do this two or three days. But let's just start with Galatians 2.20. The context is important, and I'll just give a brief overview as the Apostle Paul has found himself with a group of people that the Galatians have come to Christ. They've trusted him. They've seen miraculous things happen. And yet some people have come and said, well, Jesus is good, but you need to add all these other things. And whether it's circumcision or eating certain foods or following the Jewish law, and he says, no, no, it's justification by faith. It's what Christ did in our place. And then he tells sort of this story of how in the early gatherings of the church that the church was learning this, and there were Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. And there was a time when Peter was Mr. Leader of the church, and yet he stumbled. When he was with Gentiles, he gave up the dietary laws, he realized he had this freedom, and then some of the really big wigs from Jerusalem came down that were really into the law. And little by little, Peter stopped eating with the Gentiles. And Paul rightly saw that what you're doing here is hypocrisy, your behavior is absolutely saying that gospel is not true. Yes, it's Jesus around the Gentiles, but now you're intimidated by these people.

You're trying to keep the law and follow all the rules. And what do the Gentiles think? What do the other Jews think? In fact, he went on to say, my best buddy Barnabas, he followed your hypocrisy. And so Paul confronts him, and that's the context of all of this. And what he's going to say then in Galatians 2.20 using himself as an example in contrast to what's happened with these leaders is that I am crucified with Christ.

That's the first fact. 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 mid-year match, it's a great time to partner with us. Between now and July 9th, every gift we receive will be doubled dollar for dollar.

You can give today by going to livingontheedge.org or by calling us at 888-333-6003. Well, with that, here again is Chip to continue his message. And the deeper teaching is in Romans chapter 6, but what he's really saying is, when you put your faith in Jesus, we were connected with him in every way. When he died, we died with him. When he was buried, we were buried with him. When he rose, we rose with him. And Paul's saying that in this new supernatural relationship, I am, and it's a tense of the verb, I am and I continue to be crucified with Christ. In other words, so I'm dead to the demands of the law.

The old Chip with all of his arrogance and all of his self-righteousness and all the deeds that he's done that are wrong, that Chip died, and you can fill your name in. I have been crucified with Christ. And then the next fact is, but I'm still alive, right? Nevertheless, I live.

And then he goes on to say, well, what's that mean? I live now, but in a new state. I live forgiven. I live connected to Jesus. I live justified, loved just for who I am, because when Christ died, he paid for the sins of all people of all time. When Christ died, the devil was defeated.

The power of sin was defeated. Whatever is true of Jesus actually became true of me when we got connected by faith. I don't know about you, this is hard to get my mind around. And I often use this little illustration because this is a concept, right? And I take a little piece of wood and I'll put it in like a big pan of water and the wood is floating. And then I'll take like a nail or something and I'll drop it in the same pan and it sinks to the bottom. And then I'll tell people, you know, myself included, is that wood is the life of Christ. And that nail is my life.

They each have a nature, they each have a property. Wood floats, nails drop in water. And then I take the nail out and I take a big thick rubber band and I connect them. And then I put it back in there. And it's interesting.

The wood is floating, but the nails on top the wood, now they're both floating. And I know this is a theological concept and it's a bit hard to grasp. I want you to know it is the very heart of an intimate relationship with Jesus.

Otherwise, we will just make up new laws. I gotta read three chapters, I gotta read this devotional. If I haven't written in my journal today, God's not gonna bless my life.

And then we add all kind of other lists to it. And Paul says, stop it. We've been crucified with Christ.

Past is gone. Nevertheless, we live. But we live in this new relationship. You can't get God to love you more than he loves you right now. He says, nevertheless, I live. And then he talks about this is how it works, yet not I. But Christ lives within me. And what we know is when we turn from our sin and we receive Jesus by faith, we were transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. The Holy Spirit comes into our physical body He seals us. He deposits spiritual gifts. He loves us. He's for us. And what he does, he manifests the presence and the power and the personality of Christ within us.

It's when Jesus was praying and talked about, it's better that I lead, the Spirit will come. And so he lives in you. He lives in me. So he says, yet not I, but Christ lives within me. It's relationship. It's the very person. Think of this, you know, we read scriptures about our bodies are the temple of God.

Why? Because the Spirit of God dwells in us. We're his special person. He already loves you.

He's for you. And then here's the part. And this life, or this new life I live, I live by faith.

How? In the one who loved me and gave himself for me. So it's about trusting God.

It's about being connected in this relationship. You know, you might be in the car. You might be on the treadmill. You might be just taking a walk.

I want you to just kind of walk through mentally. I am crucified with Christ. You are.

I am. Nevertheless, I live, right? We're alive. And this life that I now live in the flesh, you know, in my physical body, in your physical body, I live how? By trying hard, by getting God's approval, by reading more, doing more, praying.

No. And this new life I live, I live by faith. I'm trusting what Christ did for me. And not just for my salvation.

By faith, the Spirit of God is connecting me to him. And do I need God's word? Yes. Do I need God's people? Absolutely.

Do I need to discipline myself? For sure. But he says, here's the focus. I live by faith in, it's a relationship, in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. To which then it's like, you know, Lord, if you were willing to die for me, if you were willing to give up all for me, I want to die to my agenda and myself. I want you to be the center of my life. I want, just like the planets revolve around the sun, I want my relationships and my work and my attitude and my thoughts and my money and my dreams, I want them to revolve around you. And what we all know is we struggle with that. We get out of orbit, if you will.

And when I get out of orbit, it impacts my relationship with my wife, it impacts, you know, my emotions, it impacts my friends. And there's just times where I think in our best efforts, we just try so hard and develop a bit of a works or self-righteousness that less really is more. And so I want to give you permission, and let me give you a little game plan here. Galatians 2.20 is our passage. I've kind of written this out so you can click on the website if you want just a little thing that I'm going to share. So we're going to review and meditate on this passage, Galatians 2.20.

And for some, you're going to think, this is so old school. Chip, please, there's something powerful in terms of the learning process when you write something out and you see it with your eyes. Find a 3x5 card, a piece of paper, something small but where you can write clearly and boldly. Write this out. I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I.

But Christ lives within me, and this new life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. And then as you've got that little card, I mean, I want you to do it now, okay? This isn't like, oh, this is a really good idea. No, I mean, don't stop the car. But I mean, I want you to say, okay, when I stop, I'm going to take, you know, 90 seconds, and I'm going to write this out on something that I can carry with me. And then all I want you to do, depending on when you're listening and kind of when we're spending this time together, the next meal, the family's there to say, hey, you know, I'm just focusing on one verse today, and would you all mind before we kind of pray for the food just read it before you go to bed, just read it. And are you ready for this one? Some of us are going to run an errand today, or you're going to go to work, you're going to come back from work, and we're creatures of habit. So you either turn on the radio, and for some of us it's, you know, hey, the sports, and others it's music, others it's a podcast. I'm going to ask you, just today, don't turn anything on, and just as you're driving. I mean, I'm not even asking you to memorize it, but when you keep looking at it and reading it and pondering, just in your mind, I'm crucified with Christ.

And then start asking questions. What's that mean to me? What died? What have I been delivered from? What has Jesus done for me?

What's it mean that now I live, that I live forgiven and loved? And you get the idea, you start asking questions. And then one of the questions out of this I ask is, is there any area in my life, Lord, that you're not the center?

And this is not like, okay, I'm going to really go for it. I'm going to really mount up all this energy. No, no, this is, we're taking one verse and we're drawing near to our Heavenly Father, focusing on God the Son, and He is the center. He is the center of the universe at this moment. He holds all things together. He is the Christ.

He's the head of the church. It's, so Lord, everything revolves around you. Is there any area in my life, Lord, that you're not the center? And just ask yourself that.

And instead of the harsh voice that you might hear in your mind or from your family of origin, hear the tender spirit of God saying, I don't think you're married. You know, I don't think I'm the center of that right now. Or you're kind of like into the, how do I get to the top?

What am I going to do? My agenda. And just say, well, Lord, just show me. I want you to be the center. And wherever there's a spot, I believe you love me and gave yourself for me.

You're not down on me. And then I think the other thing that I do is I just would encourage you to then ask, Holy Spirit, you live inside of me. Would you help me? Would you help me allow Christ to be the center of everything? So show me and lead me. And are you ready? Just tell me, I can't do this. I can't try hard enough to make Christ the center. He lives in me, but I'm not experiencing that fully. Would you help me? And this may sound a little crazy, but relax and enjoy this passage.

You know, this is not like a hammer. Okay, I've got one verse. I've got to get it memorized.

I'm going to go for it. I'm going to, just, would you just lean back spiritually and let God love you? He died for you. He's for you. He's empowered you.

He wants to lead you. And then the final thing I would say is share it with someone. And by the way, I'm saying do this for one day. If God starts speaking to you and you need to be in Galatians 2-20 for two days or three days or four days, isn't the real goal to be connected and to love God, to enjoy God, to let him change us from the inside out and to have his joy in our heart?

That's what I'm talking about. Less is more sometimes. And the only way you do that is to declutter. And, you know, this step of reviewing and meditating, asking some questions, asking the Holy Spirit's help, relaxing and enjoying the Lord in this passage, and then sharing it with someone, those are just some things that, they're suggestions for you to put this into practice, to declutter. Father, thank you that we are loved. Thank you that we died with you. We were buried with you, Lord Jesus. We rose from the dead to walk in newness of life. Thank you that you're for us and that you're not down on us. And I pray right now for my brothers and sisters.

Would you free them from the works' righteousness and the self-righteousness and the anxiety and the struggles? And God, oh, please manifest your presence to us. Speak to us. Renew us.

Survive us. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen and amen. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Druey, and the message you just heard, I Am Crucified with Christ, is from our newest series, Less is More, Decluttering Your Time with God. I hope you were encouraged by Chip's study of Galatians 2.20, and let me encourage you to take some time today to write it out, meditate on it, and memorize it.

You'll be happy you did. Well, Chip's still with me in studio, and Chip, today we're kicking off our mid-year match. So for the next several weeks, we'll tell our listeners about the ministry work we're doing all over the globe and how they can partner with us. But first, I wanted to take a step back and ask you to share your heart for what we do. I mean, what keeps you going? You know, Dave, that's an interesting question. And of course, first and foremost, you know, I believe God's called me to do this, and He's gifted me to do this, and I'm going to be obedient. But from the emotional standpoint, I just have to tell you, it's the impact in people's lives.

I mean, everyday people. I was at the airport, and a lady looked at me kind of funny, and she walked up and said, Hi, my name's Wanda, and for the last 20-some years, my husband and I, every single morning, have listened to Living on the Edge, and it's shaped us, and it's how we raised our kids, and our kids have grown, and she just began to, you know, talk about it. And, you know, I got a letter from a young man that trusted Christ at 25, and had had a pretty rough life. And, you know, he writes to me and says, I've listened to every sermon you've made available over the last 16 years.

Some of them I've listened to four and five and six times. And then he goes on to share how his dad died when he was 14, and I didn't know how to be a man. I didn't know how to be a husband.

I didn't know how to be a father. And just recently, God had led him to become a pastor of a small little country church. And he just writes, pouring out his heart, I got all this just from listening to Living on the Edge.

And, Dave, I've got a longer email, just a couple hanging on by dear life. I mean, cancer, and struggles, and lost jobs, and pain, and things that you just think, are they ever going to make it through all this? And, you know, just saying every day we get up and we listen to God's Word through Living on the Edge.

So the reason I do what I do is, God's Word doesn't return void. And by the grace of God, we teach God's Word to millions and millions and millions of people every year. And it's going across the nation and across the world, bringing some to Christ, strengthening others, and they in turn make a difference in the life of others. And when I have my down days, I take stacks of these emails and letters, and I just read them, and I remind myself, it's not about you, and I love what I get to do, and we're going to keep on doing this. And that's why we're asking people to help us, why we're asking them to pray and to give so that regular people who are really hurting and need hope and help can get it, and we can give it to them together. Thanks for sharing those stories, Chip.

It's so humbling to hear how God is working. So if you'd like to join us in impacting people's lives, now is a great time to become a financial partner. Thanks to a handful of donors, every dollar we receive between now and July 9th will be doubled dollar for dollar. To send a gift, call us at 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003. Or go to LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, tap Donate. As we close, you know, a great way to stay engaged and connected to Chip and Living on the Edge is through the Chip Ingram app. You'll get free access to our recent messages, the message notes, and more. Not only that, but it couldn't be easier to call or email us directly from the app. Well, join us next time as Chip continues his series, Less is More. Until then, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-03 04:13:54 / 2024-06-03 04:25:56 / 12

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