Letter from Chip
“You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace…They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.”
Nehemiah 2:17-18, NIV
I had just submitted a proposal to the Living on the Edge board of directors to fund 100,000 copies of The Real God for work in China. We tested the waters with 50,000 copies, a door was opened, and even though it wasn’t available in our budget, I thought this would be a big step of faith we should take.
The discussion shifted. “Chip, is your proposal what you think ‘we can stretch to do,’ or is it what God wants to do?” The board then said, “What if God is opening China? The time is short; go back and pray about what God’s will is if we had all the resources needed.”
So, I did. I prayed and fasted, and God made it clear that the goal should be 1,000,000 not 100,000 books. Then the Lord spoke to me: “Chip, is this a good intention or a conviction? Will you trust Me personally?”
After a lot of struggle I said yes, and was led to do a lead gift of six figures (which we did not have and meant dipping into savings for our retirement). Conviction meant stepping out, and God responded with power and provision.
There’s a difference between commitment and good intentions. You can be emotionally and spiritually moved, have a vision and a plan, and even take steps of faith fueled by good intentions. But only a personal commitment will see you through to the end. Making a difference in life is the result of making commitments and keeping them.
Nehemiah had a vision, a plan, lots of preparation, and the resources to carry it out. But when he arrived in Jerusalem with the backing and resources of the king, the people were discouraged and harassed. Their hopes for a restored Jerusalem seemed in ruins, just as the city’s walls were in ruins.
It’s an attitude and perspective I see with many Christians as they look at the challenges in our day. They started well but then lost heart. With clarity and a strong sense of direction, Nehemiah asked them for a personal commitment, and they responded to his leadership (see Nehemiah. 2:17-18). As a result, the wall was rebuilt in 52 days.
Personal commitments bring awesome power. They focus our attention on the challenge before us, inspire and motivate others to follow, and depend on mutual accountability with others. Christians can’t afford to be lone rangers. We are called into one body, and any commitment we make must be lived out in the context of an authentic biblical community. That’s what makes their commitments so powerful.
God has a special job in the body of Christ that only you can do. In a committed community in which everyone depends on everyone else, each person has a role to play. God has designed you for a purpose and given you unique strengths and gifts to contribute to the whole. There are no spectators in God’s economy.
That is how His presence and power become visible to the world. When people know how needed they are and simply do their part, beautiful things happen. God works powerfully and profoundly when we stop trying to compete or be like someone else and understand how He divinely orchestrates us as one body. He coordinates His people to fulfill His purposes.
If you’ve never made a personal commitment about your role in the body of Christ—or if you have and that commitment has gotten lost in the busyness and distractions of life—it’s time to refocus and be decisive. Let me encourage you to take seriously the gifts God has given you and put them into practice. Your Divine Design is a resource crafted to help you personally, or even better, you can use the small group study with your family or a few friends. When you link arms with other believers who understand their gifts, too, God does amazing things.
We are seeing those amazing things happen across America and around the world as Living on the Edge listeners and followers continue to turn their good intentions into personal commitments in their home, churches, communities, and in prayer and financial support of what God is calling us to do. If you’re ready to take that step of commitment, your financial support will play a crucial role in carrying forward our mission. We can accomplish so much when we unite our efforts and resources.
Join us in meeting the need for discipleship, equipping and training pastors, and reaching the next generation.
I thank you for stepping out in faith this month and making a difference.
Pressing ahead together,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. Your gift today will provide biblical teaching and discipleship for believers who are spiritually hungry, equip and train pastors to be effective shepherds and reach the next generation of Christian leaders. Your prayers and partnership are the key to a united effort and transformational resources.
Coffee Break Message
Praises and Prayer Requests
We Thank God For…
- The Lord answered our prayers for the new Daily Discipleship with Chip: The Invisible War, with thousands of people engaging in this new study.
- Ongoing A.R.T. of Survival training across the world. Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mexico, the Philippines, and India are just some of the locations where we are seeing great fruit. Pray for the thousands of pastors who’ve been touched by the teaching from James chapter 1.
- Grateful for the time spent in both strategic planning and fellowship when the Living on the Edge board of directors convened last month in Atlanta. Thank you for the prayers, including those for travel mercies for all in attendance.
We ask God to…
- Bring peace in Israel, Palestine, and Gaza. We have friends and partners who are being affected by the war. Let’s ask the Lord to intervene. Our plans during the first week of November previously included stops in Nazareth and Bethlehem. With the conflict happening, we’ve postponed this stop. Pray for wisdom as we seek to serve the church.
- Ask the Lord to bring the faithful, talented team members we need to join the US Ministry team so we can continue to develop impactful discipleship resources to help Christians live like Christians in the US.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment for our executive team as they conduct strategic-planning sessions based upon the direction set by the board at the October meeting.