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January 1, 2020 5:00 am
When was the last time you witnessed a great personal sacrifice.
Maybe it was in a movie or a news story. When's the last time you saw something of such great sacrifice that it melted your heart, your soul, something unexplainable happen inside and said that is what life is all about all of us want to be that kind of person. But how does it have to stay with us and find out how. Welcome to this New Year's Day.
Addition of Living on the Edge with Living on the Edges of international discipleship between the Bible teacher continues his series.
Great God is in the process of showing us several ways. God loves to see us mature list programs in this series are all available on the chip and remap now. Let's join Chip for his message make great sacrifices from John chapter 15 what are learning some things about great Christians and we said that great Christians have some things in common. View all the way back.
You learned a great Christians I mean people that are great in God's eyes. They think great thoughts they read great books they pray. Great prayers. They dream great dreams in our last session, we learned that they take great risks and this and this is a little delicate because the title of this one sometime scares people. Great Christians make great sacrifices, but don't let that word sort of. Oh boy, you know your human nature to says the word sacrifice and yet go together, but I want to help change that by the grace of God. Let's look at what sacrifices definition. It's the act of giving up, destroying or permitting injury to or forgoing something valued for the sake of something having more pressing claim that's Webster's.
I like that it's giving up it's being willing to be injured. It's it's doing whatever it takes but it's for the sake of something that is more important that has a higher claim. I was in China and one of our worlds. Teachers medicine Hong Kong we did some training and we went out to dinner and as we were talking he began to share what was going on in his life and where he was add-in is a house church pastor of an underground church needs evangelist and he was out traveling and often he does that and then his wife and children be left at home and so while he was gone. The police came and they came into his home and his wife convinced them that she was the pastor not her husband, which is not at all uncommon, especially in China and that actually that the church had moved all around and the people have dispersed and she was the only one left and she was the pastor and they try and make a point of punishing the leaders to really discourage people walking with God and so they took her down to the police station, and they beat her to a pulp and I I remember just sitting around that table and looking into this Chinese man's eyes as he was recounting the story and somehow I was visualizing what it would be like if that happened to my wife and my emotions and you know what would be going on in my heart and so I asked my civil you.
How did you deal with this and on thing in my mind and thinking you know your frustration, your anger, your wanting to have vengeance and some never forget. He looked at me and he said well he said my wife was beaten badly. But as we talked about it later. She said to me. Isn't it amazing that Jesus would give us the privilege to suffer for his sake, and in some measure make that kind of sacrifice to say thank you for all of his suffering for us and I'm thinking to myself I didn't say it that is not exactly what came to my mind I'm thinking could I control my anger of trying to get out and bust the police officer right in the mouth and take my own vengeance and you know Truscott and I just thought when he's looking at life through different lenses and he he didn't see the suffering as necessarily even negative, but he sought of something that if you walk with God in that country to sacrifice and to suffer was a way of expressing his love. When we witness great sacrifice among the human species it triggers.
This is just an observation. It triggers a powerful magnetic awe-inspiring response, deep within our souls meet that story is a true story, but when you see sacrifice when you observe it in Christian contexts or non-Christian context, I mean when you see great sacrifice even in a movie when you read a book, or even when they're doing those little clips for the Olympics you know and you hear the story of this little girl that's been up at three in the morning and practice her whole life for this one moment on a balance beam. I may not.
I have to confess to me.
I start tearing up over that stuff. This something about sacrifice. There's something about the Rosa Parks and and the Mother Teresa send the Martin Luther King's and the stories about Gandhi walking through the streets and you know every time when you see sacrifice played out. There's something about how God made us that you know I may not want to be the person who is involved in the sacrifice, but every time I see it.
It's like there's this wonderful thing touches me deep in my soul and I just thought I made I made a little list of I thought of the Corrie 10 boom of Lincoln. Even back to Joan of arc, Fox's book of martyr. I was in South Africa. If you understand the story of Mandela. You see people that for 25 years in a prison and then coming out absolutely says the people we will not retaliate.
No retribution. We will forgive but will get the truth on the table before we forgive amazing amazing sacrifice, and as I observe what I saw is that we admire people who make great sacrifices we enshrined them. You know the statues you go all around the world and you here's the person who gave his life for this and here's the person who did this and there statues were in the church when you make a great sacrifice. Sometimes you get in stained glass right you know they put you up on the wall.
We honor them. We reward them. We emulate them. And here's the question I have for you and me as we think about making great sacrifices. Why why men even when unbelievers make great sacrifices. Why, what is this mystical union and the soul connection we unconsciously make when we witness a great sacrifice for a noble cause or personal relationship, and I think the answer is that sacrifice is the clearest and greatest evidence of the extent of one's love and devotion toward a person because Earth Day I think the reason it resonates in your soul mean are you ready for this on.
This is almost embarrassing. I'm watching the animal planet channel the other night and this mother didn't have any food for her little lion cubs you know and she's a small lioness and she finally kills something and that her cubs are over here and she drags the pray and then she can't do it. So she go get gets her little cubs and on the way. About eight or 10 hyenas surround her and I mean I mean you get scared watching TV and then here's this one lioness and I mean she doesn't. I mean she's got one opportunity run and she's willing and you to see built into the animal kingdom. She is takes on six or seven or eight or 10 hyenas in order to say this cubs and there's there's something about that picture. There's something about that picture bit as I watch it I thought God what you built into the life of all creation.
That makes my heart so resonate see she will give her life for those cubs because she's devoted to them because you know in take this right.
She loves them. She's for them and you know that I got think I thought you know what this is.
This is really clear what the Jesus say John 15. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friend.
What I want you to see is that sacrifice the measure of our sacrifice represents what matters the most. What we are willing to sacrifice for is what were most devoted to what we love the most. What we care about the most. And so if you ever want to know what you really worship. All you have to do is take you and draw an arrow and then what's in the box toward the arrow what you give your time to what you give your energy to where are your dreams where you willing to sacrifice what he willing to do. And in that box for many of you would be your children when and in that box for many of you would be your job.
And in that box might be many of you are a guitar aura or a painting, and many people sacrificed amazing amounts of time and energy to be a great musician or great artist or a great athlete, but whatever you would put in that box is the object of your worship.
Great Christians make great sacrifices now you need to come to do a little okay little pause because I need to do a research project with you before we go on. I read for this. I don't do this very often and I'm good have to go through very quickly and some of your thinking you go through everything very quickly but what I need to do is do a Bible study with you where I walk through the concept of sacrifice and the concept of worship because they're so intertwined. But if you just want to get a top level you sacrifice worship. I think the connected none no no not you miss it completely until you understand from all the way in the beginning of the Old Testament and the sacrificial system Leviticus. It's a book about worship and what's the whole book about sacrifices it's gonna take you on a little journey and you have to really put on like your thinking cap and track with me and I want to go through an overview study old and New Testament about the relationship between sacrifice and worship.
This is sort of the required course of worship and sacrifice good Christians do what's required and make the sacrifice required to demonstrate that Jesus is in fact the object of their worship great Christians. What you find is they go above and beyond everything is required to express an overflowing love and commitment to the relationship with Christ. So are you ready to roll.
If you have a pen you might want to pull it out because I am going to guess you gonna want to make a couple notes and I'm going to go pretty fast. Understanding biblical sacrifice and worship lessons from Leviticus is a first 10 chapters will cover 10 chapters here about two minutes and you'll say that's the best journey I've had to Leviticus and Leviticus. There's five offerings prescribed for worship in the Old Testament to our compulsory offerings. In other words, the required you have to do them. One is called the sin offering for atonement and you making you bring a bull you'd bring a goat and it's to cover your sin.
The other is a guilt offering. If you would lie or if you would steal or do something wrong, then you would bring an animal for your guilt and come to the priest and so these were required.
You had to bring at certain times and atonement offering and a guilt offering, but there were three noncompulsory oral voluntary offerings. The burnt offering was a one to express your devotion.
It was voluntary.
The grain offering was for God's provision of the fruits and the crops came in and you would bring in the first portion of it in and you would waive the grain before the Lord in Thanksgiving and then that the peace offering had to do with any time you had.
Are you ready for this year and Old Testament saints, and he had just overwhelming feeling of how good God is to you to you say a lot honey what he think I will go to the temple today. Why don't give a peace offering and end the way it works. You would bring this peace offering, and you would offer to the Lord God. The priest would get the key part of it. Oftentimes you have to eat right there and it be like a little party a festival and you would eat it there before the Lord, giving thanks for what he's done and the only observation I want you to get. Is this access to God demands a sacrifice okay. In other words to to come to God's present. You need to be atone for covered. That's a sacrifice and then fellowship with God grows through sacrifice. Voluntary offerings were from the heart. Compulsory offerings were required. Second, a lesson from the life of Abraham. I wish we could open Genesis 22 and read through, but we don't have time but many of you know the story. Abraham has been waiting for a son for a long time. God finally gives him a son. When Sarah is 90. The boy now reaches about probably 12, maybe 13 years old and God is going to test Abraham and uses Abraham on what you take your son, your only son, whom you love, and this is what I want you to do and go to this mountain and I'll show you in. Abraham does what great Christians do you always obey early because later in the day you don't have the courage and motivation, and the text says he got up very very early set off with his son, his servant, and the boy along the way, says in a Papa and where's the offering is as the Lord will provide. And you know the story he goes up he ties a son he builds an altar the knife is up and this isn't like a little you know rubber knife and this is it like well he knows for sure what we know is Abraham believed, from Hebrews 11 that after the knife would be plunged into his son, the Lord would resurrect him and the reason I believe that was. This is what God told me to do, but God promised to come to this boy talk about test and so what you have here is you got the requirement is to give a son. The response is obedience and then as the knife.
I mean, he fully willfully made the decision and just as the knife was starting to come down. Angelo stop Abraham stop.
Now I know now I know you fear God, now I understand where your priorities are 90 I start to get this sacrifice.
What did he asked him to sacrifice the most precious thing that he had why to find out. Actually, God knew, but he wanted to test Abraham. So Abraham could learn and be confirmed of what matters most. What do you worship the most me or this boy and for us it's me or this wife for this husband me or these children me for this job me for success me or money me or fame to get it in way summary we learn from Abraham, God periodically test the singularity of our devotion through sacrifice and before you start feeling like while this is really heavy. Let me tell you why it is out of his goodness and his mercy and his grace that he does that new thinking away the minute you are you trying to spin this chip. This does not sound like a merciful good kind thing for him to say to this guy. Give me your son, your only son. Good things and good people left unchecked over time will drift from a great gift from God to becoming an idol in your heart when something that is good becomes an idol in your heart, it will destroy your relationship with that thing and it will destroy your relationship with God and so out of his great mercy and kindness.
There is times will help happy on the shoulder and you say I want you to give me this job. This only job that you love. I want you to set apart this how you thinking about this child or your mate. I want you to take this money, this security that you think is an hill out of his mercy and his grace test you, so that it does not become an idol in your heart and begin to breakdown the relationship you have with him and not allow the thing that was meant for good as a gift to become a God, because then it will destroy you and destroy it. I think we often resist this because we don't understand the difference tween sacrifice and worship can hit that time as men do sword in your mid-forties and you come spend your whole life.
You trying to figure out what you're supposed to do with your life and then you finally lock into this is what I'm supposed to do and then takes about 10 years to figure out how to do it and then you know about another 10 years that if by God's grace gives you window and a great team of people.
It was like well here's this amazing church. In all these buildings got built and it seemed like an accident, but this radio ministry just popped up out of nowhere and I did this 10 year run with, you know, six or eight pastors we became great friends and buddies. We hung out together and pretty soon we look up got a staff of 7080 people and 30 pastors and thousands of people in man this is great you live on the coast. Your kids like the surf and someone has little cabin up in the mountain so when you want to get away and praying. Life is wonderful. God none. I know you understand my wife really likes it here. My kids had gone off but they're all going to move back here were noticing Kumbaya Thanksgiving all my daughter-in-law's there from here. Lord you understand this is I think there's times were God will do what feels harsh and painful to protect you from you because he loves you and you change the relationship outside what the first year. I like to say everything that wonderful. My wife had to oral surgeries.
Neither of them worked. Her mother died was in intensive care for over 90 days during the journey of the first year and half and Alanna was as bad as I can remember of any season in our married life.
Not that we had a problem that I mean when you gonna come home and some is either in pain, hurt, depressed, unhappy, or in the middle of the night waking up in some you guys been there you like of the middle like to hear someone sobbing and to have the pillow over their head so they don't wake you up.
This is not fun, and yet it was required to wean my wife's heart to wean my heart and for us to make sure that the good things that he gives don't turn into bad things and idols. The third thing we learn his lessons from the life of teaching.
Please open your Bibles to Luke chapter 14, when Jesus speaks on this when you need to get this very directly, not Connor. Just hearing me describe it. We know from Leviticus. There's compulsory and noncompulsory sacrifices. We know from Abraham, but there's times where he will test you and the way he will test you to ask you make a sacrifice about the things most precious to you and now what I want you to see from this passage Jesus is going to speak on the relationship between worship and sacrifice and what I want you see is what he's going to talk about is normal. We tend to think what you're about to read you think unconsciously that this is for like pastors, missionaries, Billy Graham's mother Teresa's. We think there's some elite group of superstars and this kind of sacrifice is probably for them what God wanted you to know is that this is for every believer of every age. These are required courses. This is 101201 Mrs. freshman, sophomore stuff, Luke, chapter 14, beginning at verse 25 large crowds were traveling with Jesus and turning to them. Notice, this isn't private. This isn't with the disciples. This is it for the elite. This isn't for full-time workers, large crowds, here is the call. If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life he cannot be my disciple. If you have a pen underline, he cannot be my disciple. You know there's some things in Scripture that are hard to understand. This isn't one of them coming you know it may be hard to do but he cannot be my disciple is talking about priority.
Obviously, you know there there's that there's a picture here that we don't actually hate, but in comparison to our love for him every other relationship is so secondary it is though we hate them. And then he says, and anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple others. If you didn't get it the first time carry your own cross now in our day. You know, we think of you know car crosses and chains around people's neck it, he could've said anyone who isn't willing to go to the electric chair or to have lethal injection.
It was just a common way to die what he saying is if you can't die to your agenda. If you can't put to death your agenda in order to take on my agenda. He can't be my disciple and a disciple is what a follower a learner.
It means the teacher cuts the path and the disciple or the learner of the follower heat.
He follows the path that you know what I but there's a there's a large crowd. I think the crowd dwindled after this, so that's the call and is for every believer.
What you really saying here to worship me demands absolute sacrifice.
I must have supreme position above every relationship and every issue in your life and unity thing will blow that sounds pretty narrow. Who do you think you are God to get and then notice he says not, but I'm not looking for emotional knee-jerk response. I'm not looking for people that are you going to wail and cry and said oh yeah you know you the greatest teacher the world and you get that 5000 yesterday and you know, I want to be a Jesus groupie. He kinda stops him and said you better count the cost. So to suppose one of you wants to build a tower will not sit down first and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it. For if he lays a foundation is unable to finish it, everyone sees it will ridicule them, saying, this fellow began to build and was unable or suppose your king is about to go to war with another king will he not first sit down and consider whether he's able with 10,000 men to oppose one coming against him with 20,000 if he's not able he'll go and take a delegation while the other still a long way off and will make terms of peace in the same way, what's that what's the point in the same way as you would say, following him while I count cost I could evaluate he comes before stuff comes before my dreams he comes before every other relationship. These are the demands of following him. He says don't outrightly he says why it out and then notice in the very end. If, in the same way anyone of you does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, its distinctiveness, how can it be made salty again. It's neither good for soil. These two uses a small parts of soil for fertilizer nor for the manure pile is thrown out. Hugh has ears to hear, letting here from Jesus, we learn he demands absolute supremacy in our hearts as a condition for being his follower and what I realized over time. A very good thing and a wife that I really loved little by little, was creeping into the idle you know want to please her. I don't want conflict.
I do want tension and usually that you know it wasn't in conflict, the God tested the most important relationship and I look back now I just can't imagine our marriage being better. I can't imagine how it's open doors. I can imagine the freedom that it's created in the next level of maturity, both in my relationship with God and my wife and then what you see is to some of your get little nervous and it's okay. You know you thinking everything is like that's a big word like everything me my job.
Yeah, you mean what yeah you mean yes I want you to learn is if you really understand who Jesus is and if you ever ever grasp the depth of his compassion and his goodness and his kindness. The only reason he ever ask you to leave everything is because anything else is so second right, it's like God coming to us and have seen a little child you know down on the beach playing with plastic pearls in the sand and having priceless. Pearls and saying to the little girl.
You don't give me this pearls because I want you to have these in the little girl. No, these are mine. These are my not in these my favorites in the dysplastic junk but it's all she knows and I think the sad sad thing that is occurred in our world is.
I think we have believers all over the world. But probably especially in America because persecution and pain kinda helps you see what real pearls are more plastic stuff is but I think especially in America we have Christians hanging on to the plastic pearls of our jobs and our careers and our families and our money and I guess you don't believe I really love you.
You just don't believe I'm a good God.
These commands are for.
But there is real sacrifice.
This application, but if you're just joining us, listening to living on the truth Chip Ingram. In today's talk, make great sacrifices is from trip series. Good to great in God's eyes.
He created the series to help Christians mature in ways that God thinks are important so the idea of becoming great, rather than a prideful thing becomes a personal passion to delight the heart of God. To learn more. Let me encourage you to check out. Good to great on our firstname.lastname@example.org or just give us a call at 1-888-333-6003. Which of the series is several great resource options, audio and video but you like to recommend the book.
Why is that well as you know, Dave, were living in a world that's getting more and more volatile. It's getting more and more difficult.
And I think we have to go back to the basics of what is it that were to do that creates the kind of life by God's grace were were really different and really loving where our lives are empowered by the Holy Spirit and there are 10 practices that have been true, Old Testament, New Testament church history that I've identified and in fact someone is told me that anyone who ever works with you chip this should be required reading.
This is the DNA of your life and honestly the life of the people that you have modeled your life. After this is a great mentoring book. I have a friend who's taking his adult children and one of his high school kids through it. This is one where you say to yourself, you know what delight take out one of my teenagers through to prepare them for the kind of world are entering or maybe even this is a great book that's a gift you know theology is very important.
Truth is very important, but my observation is a lot of people don't know what do I actually do Monday through Saturday to become that kind of person.
This book is a guide to pick up your copy of chips book good to great in God's eyes. Visit us online that LivingontheEdge.org or give us a call. Whether it's for you personally for you to use mentoring others, or to give as gifts. You'll find good to great in God's email@example.com or if you prefer. Just give us a call at 1-888-333-6003 will chip candidly know the word sacrifice really doesn't come up in everyday conversation, but since it's something God values how can we reframe our thinking, I think I would say first and foremost we need to change the word sacrifice and connected to another word that Jesus connected it to.
And that is love. Where there is great love. There is great sacrifice.
I think we have made the entire Christian life about my success my happiness my joy, my positive thoughts and so sacrifice kinda comes in and in a rude Conaway like that's not the Jesus I want to follow. I got news for you. That's the Jesus that saved you. If any man will come after me, let him take up his cross. That's instrument of death. Deny himself and follow me. If you do not do that. It's not like you're a bad disciple you can't be my disciple. What we need to understand is that love and sacrifice are interchangeable, and when you die to your selfishness in your marriage. You have a great marriage and your mate is loved when you die to your selfishness, you end up with great friends give and to be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over just before we close. We want you to know that as a staff we ask the Lord to help this teaching strength in your face it, we ask him to help you confidently take whatever your next freight steppers would love to hear how it's going to take a minute to send us a note or give us a call. You can send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003. Thanks for doing what I hope to be with us again tomorrow when chip wraps up his serious, good to great in God's eyes. ~This is a very safe thanks for joining this addition of living on the