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December 31, 2019 5:00 am
Where there is no risk there is no faith, wisdom tells us that life without risk is not an option for very Christian but there's a problem I'm afraid to take risk and so are you today will learn three keys to overcoming the fear that we all share. Thanks for joining us for this New Year's Eve edition of Living on the Edge with your finger Living on the Edge features the Bible to a list daily discipleship program. If you're turning into Living on the Edge for the first time Chip and the entire team extend a warm welcome and find out more about us on our website LivingontheEdge.org save that for after as were just about to join ship fours message from Hebrews chapter 11 take great risks. Well, what exactly is faith. If it's that important verse one of chapter 11 now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see fate faith is operating on the reality is I'm certain when it when I hope for that.
The word hope in Scripture is like how we use it and I hope it can be a sunny day and I hope the stock market goes up, and none of that's wishful thinking.
Hope is there is something out in the future. That is a guaranteed thing that will happen for sure and I'm going to live in my present temporal reality in the and in light of that hope that is sure so faith is being sure certain what's hope for is a certainty what you cannot see and then notice this is what the ancients were commended for it wasn't.
They made all the sacrifices on time and all the right ways.
If it was it was their faith, he says, by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible so even a cursory reading of this it gets very obvious. Number one the righteous persons can live by faith, people who are unwilling to take a radical step of faith/risk do not please God. As they shrink back and then he goes on to say what is faith.
Faith is living with this reality, the invisible God's promises certain to us in the past that is exactly what God commended and by the way.
First example because what's the object of your faith in who you gonna believe in many says by faith what we understand that the universe let me just just to get that the universe was formed.
There was this infinite eternal being. Before time self existed, who spoke words and as he spoke and he didn't expand one tiny little aspect of energy in doing it. He spoke in 2 billion galaxies came into existence and we have this one little thing called the Milky Way with 2 billion stars in it, and then inside of it. This tiny little solar system called ours and then inside of that, this unit little thing called a planet called Earth and on it this tiny little dot called you and you and this whole thing of all eternity is that little dot called you has something so microscopic called time and you live in that and you are just a breath of vapor and God created all of that and he says that's who I want you to believe it. The God who speaks and universe comes into existence is the God who says I'm with you always, the God who says confront the issue in your marriage. You can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. The God he says to you, I want you freed from your greed and your security give liberally over the type great start. I want you to give liberally. I want you to believe in me. I can supply all your needs according to my riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I want you to face the addiction I want you to understand that you know something no temptation is taken you but such as come to man but with the temptation. I will provide a way to escape, that you you can be delivered. So they said this is this is the key. This is the common God, and you might be saying to yourself what chip why did you call this refocus your fear. Here's my theory on this is I think were always good to be afraid. I just have decided.
I think I got I'd rather be afraid of God been afraid of people.
Great risktakers fear the loss of God's favor more the loss of people or things. And the reason I don't take risk and the reason many of you don't take risk is your afraid of losing people and you're afraid of losing things in your afraid of losing security. But you know what I can keep my wife happy when God wants me to do something or I can keep conflict at a minimum, in the hope in the home. If I don't do something or I can, you know, met make myself feel like I'm secure when God is tap me on the shoulder, when he wants me to let loose of something because of what other people would think, and if I please them. I don't please God, or I can fear God, sort of a novel concept in our David is pretty biblical. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom is how to do life God's way is a skill that's that's what it means. The Hebrew word for wisdom, it's how to do understand how God has put life together and how to cooperate and do priorities and relationships and money. Everything is what wisdom in a life that honors idea member reading an article I'm reading a book by you, the leadership secrets of Billy Graham and I came across to a section of it that really struck me, and you got it. Go back to the 1950s and remember what was happening racially in this country to beginning the civil rights movement, and as Billy's ministry was really beginning to grow in your they had the big LA movement that occurred and so in northern places in California.
He was speaking to us to mixed audiences of whites and Blacks and then when he went into the South. It was segregated audiences and the reporters were asking Billy we know why you doing this and in key people around Billy.
I mean, I'm sure, goodhearted people, lots change the last 50 or 60 years, said Bill, you know, in the South. You gotta speak to the blocks and you speak to the whites you can have mixed together because you'll lose your base. You know the people that are financing your ministry and in your reputation and that you don't go there. Don't get involved in all this and pick up the story as really good at first it first.
Graham tried to carve a middle ground that oppose both forced integration as well as forced segregation, but over time it became such a hot issue that Graham could no longer find any middle ground and asking reporters over and over why he would never address racism in his messages in the South. Billy chose to make a stand in the heart of the segregated South. He initially agreed to segregate the audience during his 1952 campaign, Jackson, Mississippi, but rejected Gov. Hugh White suggestion to conduct separate meetings for Blacks all the blocks or African-Americans were on one side, all the lights were on the other side and had a rope down the middle. Very interesting to talk about a radical step of faith, but rejected Gov. Hugh White suggestion for he says. Meanwhile, Billy prepared to make a much bolder statement holding segregated events. It always struck him as wrong, but he never chosen to take a decisive action until now.
Walking toward the ropes that separated Blacks and whites.
Billy tore them down, mystified and uncomfortable. Ushers tried to put the ropes back up Billy personally stopped them. This symbolic powerful gesture marked a major ministry watershed. He never again led a crusade with the segregated audience. Graham then got up and said there is no scriptural basis for segregation. It may be there and places there may be places where it's desirable for both races, but certainly not in the church, Graham told his Mississippi audience the ground at the cross is level and it touches my heart when I see white standing shoulder to shoulder with blocks at the cross, and you know what an awful lot of what we experience now. We still have a long way to go is because Graham took a radical step of faith and he and Martin Luther King Jr. faced some issues that they got incredible flack for with huge risk and so you say will so why does God use some people more than others because it critical Windows in grams ministry and in his life. God said don't you take a radical step of faith in the moment he went to pull down those ropes. He knew his whole ministry could fall apart his financial base could be gone so heaters can fear God, reason to fear man question.
Who do you fear who you fear and what makes you so afraid of what they think and what makes you think that doing things God's way instead of what you think might happen if you don't do it his way will make such a difference. Second thing we need to do is rejuvenate our faith in the writer of Hebrews goes on and let me read verses for five and six and just make a point of each goes on now and develop this by faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain did by faith.
He was commended as a righteous man will God spoke well of his offering, and by faith he still speaks. Even though he's dead.
Moving on, then you get you so you get this first story about faith. It's able and he talked about an offering and then verse five by faith Enoch was taken from this life, so he didn't experience death. He couldn't be found, because God is taken away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who please God.
So these first two examples about radical steps of faith recon interesting. One guy comes and gives an offering and another guy has his relationship with God or gods. Is that what you did. I think I'll take you right now and in the third one it says without faith it's impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him is sonic a couple brief observations.
First is if you want to rejuvenate your faith start with the little things start with the little things is not this big thing over here yet and you know what the little thing, isn't it interesting why would God inspired by the Holy Spirit when he talks about faith. The very first opportunity to talk about it. He talks about finances. He talks about finances. One of the quickest, easiest ways to rejuvenate your faith is what you find is Jesus was real clear, was any you can either worship mammon money materialism security or me option NA option be no middle ground right you are all look at me like you've never heard that verse before okay.
Matthew six you read it for yourself on not making this stuff up.
And then in Luke 16 we have this very interesting parable that Jesus tells about money and then in verse 10 of Luke 16 he says he was faithful in a very little thing. Speaking of finances are money will be faithful also in much but he was unfaithful in a little thing money will be unrighteous also much translation. If you can't trust me with your money. I mean, in the spiritual game of life.
You're not on the batters box, you're barely on the on deck circle. You're not on first base rounding second rounding third me. You may be a believer you may love God, you may go to church regularly. You may lift your hands when you worship, you may have illegally feels about God, but if his if you don't. If he doesn't have your treasure you have your heart if you want to rejuvenate your faith God deserves the first and the best and upcoming minimum is the time.
I mean, the first 10% it's it's all THAT long to him.
The first 10% you give regularly just to remind you that 100% belongs to him and then the 90% your hold morally accountable for and then you ask God, he says that he gives you a lot, like if you're an American or an executive or have a good life will that I expect you to proportionally give over and above that, over time, and test me and see how powerful I am I me. I did speak in the universe came into existence like I can't take care of you financially. The average evangelical believer in America gives 2.5% drink and they're just standing before God, screaming. I think you created the universe. I love you Jesus. I think you can forgive my sin, I think you're taking me to heaven. I want you to provide for all my family, but I'll tell you what I will think you're big enough to handle my money.
Sorry me your money entrusted to me. I don't believe I still believe I got says okay except that then I will remove my blessing and you work out your life with your resources. This whole point was I don't need your money.
My whole point of giving was I want to cultivate your faith in the quickest, easiest, most clear way to see God work in supernatural ways is when you give wondering words can come from, and you watch him supply a lot of Christians never experience that if you want to rejuvenate your faith. Start with your finances. The second way to rejuvenate your faith is by pondering big things you know you need to start with little things but ponder big things and this is one of the stories I really wish I could spend more time you know Enoch is such a cool story is very little information but is a very cool story and I asked myself. I don't know when you do, Bible study, or when I'm reading Scripture when I come across something that I think that's odd and I go to. That's weird to wonder why that's here too. I have no idea. I don't understand this. It is this how you read the Bible as well. I hope you know and I'm thinking I mean there's a lot of examples in here he's giving. This is the Hall of Fame of faith. This is about how to really walk with God. He starts with able money and then he goes to Enoch and he please God. And I'm thinking I mean me, Lord, I will tell you how to write your book, but I think I can come up with a lot better ones and Enoch and you back into Genesis and if so what was it about Enoch and he's just in one of the genealogies right, you know, so so-and-so get so-and-so to beget so-and-so to be its own, so he lifts a 100 years and some you know you know you skip to that rather quickly and then hit Enoch and it says and Enoch had a son, and after that Enoch walked with God and then the last. Then on.
Then we learn and he so please God after that God took and I'm not then then then you get to something Enoch was doing life. Enoch had let emails to return Enoch a lot of voicemails Enoch a lot of pressure, I Enoch had to make a living you not had to prove himself.
Enoch was a blow when in going when you lived a long time there you had time to make a lot happen and then he and his son and he saw life and he Saul birth and he realized life's about relationships and you know what, than the stick in the box. Everything you earned everything again hundred years from now no one knows your name. The only thing you ever ever leave is the people you touch and the people you love and's apparently Enoch pondered big things Enoch had this experience where, because of the birth of his son. He realized what really mattered. I wonder how many people of the Lord doesn't return the clock ticks 20 years ahead will be sitting alone because you're so busy with stuff that relationships really haven't had the priority in your own home and with your children with your grandchildren with friends, see if you want to rejuvenate your faith. You first start and say well okay, God, you know what, let me get my wallet out here and look my look, my finances, my security undertake a radical step, and second that got I want to ponder what matters, why don't I get up when I get up, why don't I go where I go white light is the to do list on this to do list what really matters in my life. I think I better invest in the things in the last forever.
And then the third is not just the little things are pondering the big things is remembering the main thing the main things please God without faith it is impossible please God.
I think we think unconsciously and in a sort of in the air and the culture we think if I can get my moral straight get my family line from single thing. Finally, get married, and if I can find the right person and they say if I fill out all those forms someday somewhere I can find the right person and then if I can get my going to missions trip got out who would think at that and and and and I'll get all these things right and then I'm going to get my life to work so I'm fulfilled and happy in everything is picture just like in my mind, I'll stop doing these things and start doing these things. I'm sorry I can't keep all the rules that you got understand some and we just think somehow the goal of life is that our life works out wonderfully wrong. The goal of life is please God, and you can read your Bible and go to church and you can be involved in ministries and you can volunteer the hospital with no risk my saying the signs are wrong. Absolutely not what I'm saying is just what the Bible says here without faith it's impossible please God and where there is no risk there is no faith there may be religious activity may be a nice moral person may be doing some good things. I got news for you. There are cults all over America that are really nice people to make great commercials that emphasize the family and up pleasing God because faith is what pleases God and to please God.
You must believe that he is and is a rewarder of those who seek him this summer. Here is great risk taker.
See faith as a verb and not as a noun, you know we we think of it, you know, I faith I have. I have faith. I believe, but when you read this passage.
What you realize it's a verb. Do you have the kind of faith Abel gives Noah builds Abraham Lees Daniel praise Isaac submits Sarah waits faith is an action but that faith is God, you said this, there's the chasm I'm afraid I'm going to take the step. It's an action to put into practice what your word says based on your character you want to be a great risk taker.
You get a refocus your fear and get more afraid of God than you are of people and things and then you have to rejuvenate your faith by saying okay here's my money that'll get started on a think on the things that are really big relationships and then got on to please you.
I don't know if my life can work out all perfect and I some wonderful. I mean that's what they say in American Christianity is the goal that you know what I read the end of the Hebrews chapter 11 and there's some people that you said so please you that the world wasn't even worthy of them. But you know what they didn't receive what was promised.
Their life didn't work out wonderful.
They didn't see the city somersault into some were hiding in caves. Some live lives of intense suffering and they brought you holy pleasure because they were great risktakers and for all eternity and ever and ever and ever and ever.
The God who spoke the world into existence will be honored by them and they will experience you and experienced you and glorified your name in ways than that group of people that were trying to use you to get you to be there self-help genie to make their life work out the final thing is that we need to refocus her fear and then we juvenile their faith, but we need to recall God's faithfulness. I don't have time to go through this but versus seven through 40. The rest of the chapter mean this this is this is for you and a a great cup of the in of sweet tea, Diet Coke, coffee or water with lemon coming. I don't know what your drink of choice is where you put up your feet and just read real slow versus seven through 40 of Hebrews chapter 11 and you recall God's faithfulness you ever wonder why that chapter. So unless you really do it.
Noah saves the human race. Abraham it's scary, but he gets his own nation. Sarah 90 years old, gets a child. Not bad for 90-year-old woman you know why because she went from laughter to believing Moses delivers God's people dangers.
Daniel delivered from the lions den Jericho. The walls fall down, Rahab goes from prostitute to hero. David becomes a king but it doesn't stop at the end of Hebrews 11, church history, and your life in my life.
The goal is the name just keep getting added and God brings little windows of opportunity to you and to me with our money, our families, our ministry are security our jobs and he says this is what it looks like to trust me, would you take a radical step of faith. Would you risk and the only way to risk and in the in the future is by recalling his faithfulness and not about you, but my life like a lot of demands in my life and I'm I get afraid and so other than reading God's word every day. You know I read God's word every day I get up in the morning I read it first. I need to remember that he's been faithful to all these people and he promises to be faithful to me because lets myself I forget that. Then the second thing I do is I take all those crazy fears that I have a nearly every morning and I list them and think go will audit about this. Not about this letter about this literally. I just write down numbers and after I write down these my journal that I say Lord I can handle this. I want to give these to you. Show me what the step looks like what what is it look like to trust God. What a great question to ask God every day. What is it look like to trust you today. In this meeting with this decision with this person. In this video and whatever you want to do and often when God wants to do something broader through you. He will take you after your radical step of faith to a deeper time with him and suffering creates dependency and pain brings an aspect of a purity and a purifying of your motives, that nothing else can do and then what's the promise he rewards those who diligently seek him and you know what guys I think a lot of men especially, especially men who really love God and want to serve their wives and families. I think a little thing happens over time we get want to please our wives and please our family more than God, and I think every now and then got a tap on the shoulder and I think of so you know what could we we reestablish you. The real Lord of your life is and you know every decision I've ever made. We've been in agreement and God made it very clear I was to do this and my wife didn't.
She said I don't have any versus not to go. I don't have any reasons not to go. I just don't want to go okay if you I will trust you if you believe it's God that we are always together on this. Just know I don't want to go.
What I've lived with her for a while. Okay, her not wanting to go this knocking me like we decide to go, everything to be okay.
Were you work through this for a while and I'll never forget.
It was one of those do you fear God, fear me, but God's reward God's grace God's love for you. Never is realized into you take the radical step faith in the radical step of faith means you will be afraid. And there's risk. So here's my question. What is that look like in your life, your next step. What would it look like for you to take a radical step of faith. Is there something or someone.
God wants you to leave her break off aligning with Scripture is or something or someone, you need to return to and make right is there something or someone that you need to confront another person or in yourself and is there something or someone that you need to step up and fight for not worry what people think God is looking for great Christian right Christians to be back in talk more about great risks if you're just joining us, you're listening to Living on the Edge. Chip Ingram, the serious, good to great in God's eyes, is about practical things a Christian can do to grow and become more mature. It's about learning how to take time for the things God values most of you want to dig into that a little deeper. Let me encourage you to check out the different good to great resources on our website LivingontheEdge.org or just give us a call at 1-888-333-6003. Now here's Chip with a very important reminder hey I'll be right back to talk about today's message but I just have to remind you super super important. Talking about faith is one thing actually acting by fate makes all the difference in the world. Tonight is the very last night for our match.
We as an organization are taking huge steps of faith to do what God called us to do what I'm asking you to do is if you been thinking, intending more portly of God is spoken to you, now's the time to give if you're using mail. Make sure you get it in the mail and postmarked by December 31. And again thank you so very much for doing exactly what God chose you to do okay great reminder thanks to a handful of very generous friends of the ministry. Every gift you give up to midnight tonight will be doubled dollar for dollar, so I hope you'll take advantage of this great opportunity for your gift to have twice the impact to send a gift. Just go to war website LivingontheEdge.org or if you prefer to talk with someone just call us at 1-888-333-6003. That's 1-888-333-6003 God is doing great things were looking forward to what we can do together in 2020 will chip today. You said faith doesn't always have to be some big dramatic deal. You talked about ordinary things that faith can look different for different people. Absolutely Dave, I think sometimes we make faith is very mystical thing all the time and it only revolves around these huge big decisions about relocating or should I get married or should I have a baby or should we launch this ministry or you. I feel prompted by faith to begin to give sacrificially my money. But you know will God provide for me and I think all those things are legit. But when you really study trusting God you were like little children. He's teaching us how to walk in and II shared earlier. It's like a muscle that has to be developed and with each step in repetition and each rep if you will get stronger. You know there's some of us that need to have something to realize we just can't passively talk to one another about quote all the stuff happening in the culture you need to step up and when similarly take the slingshot of God's word and truth in your life and make a difference. But faith looks different at different times. It's not always about stepping out.
In fact, it is sometimes it means returning you like Moses coming faith was going back and for some people. You gotta go back and address some heart issues for others it's leaving. I mean it's this isn't the right relationship that this isn't the right place this is.
I've got a step out in your you're like Abraham's faith gets burst through God's word but it takes on action when you have a group of people that are standing behind you, cheering you on and saying you know what this is what God says you can do it. David was ready to cash it all in, and Jonathan came and encouraged him in God and I will tell you you got have a group of people you do life with. Because faith grows in the context of authentic community just before we close owner thank those of you who faithfully pray for our team and support the ongoing ministry of Living on the Edge. Amazing things are happening in your part of. If you want to get in on supporting the ministry there's never been a better time up until midnight tonight.
Every gift you send will be matched because a small group of ministry partners have committed to doubling everything we receive send a gift. Just go to LivingontheEdge.org or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003. If you're using regular mail.
It will need to be postmarked before midnight tonight.
We'd love to have you with us all tomorrow and Living on the Edge. Chip continues his series. Good to great in Gaza.
Until then, this is Dave really saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge