Given all that is going on in our world, being a pastor is really difficult right now. This was impressed on my heart after returning from training at the Billy Graham Center last month with 300 pastors. I hope you’ll watch this personal video update about some of the ways that Living on the Edge is encouraging and equipping pastors here in the United States, and around the world.
Your financial support helps Living on the Edge equip leaders like Lisa Bodenheimer with transformational resources. Keep reading below to learn more about how God brought about a powerful, life-changing experience with eight young women who desperately needed a glimpse of God’s unconditional love for them.
Realizing Who God Says I Am Changes Everything!
Chasing freedom from substance addiction, eight young women enrolled in a one-year rehab program I was teaching, which included a weekly Bible study. For ninety minutes every Thursday night, I watched their demeanors morph from heaviness to pure joy as they learned about God’s unconditional love for them.Read More
It felt like a dirty trick, but I knew it was the right way to start this study. Taking a deep breath and steeling myself for the pain that was about to surface, I handed out small mirrors to the young women in my Bible study. I asked them what they saw when they looked in this mirror.
The silence was deafening as I watched them peer into their mirrors. Tears filled many eyes. After thirty seconds that felt like an hour, heavy breathing and awkward coughing pierced the silence. Then the sounds of sniffling, tissues being tugged from boxes, nose blowing, and choked-back sobs.
“Ugly and worthless,” one girl whispered.
“A frightened little girl,” mumbled a woman who looked older than the rest.
“No one loves her.” Tears dropped to her cheeks as she stared into her mirror.
Chasing freedom from substance addiction, all eight of these young women had enrolled in this one-year rehab program, which included a weekly Bible study. That night we dove into Chip Ingram’s Discovering Your True Self: How to Silence the Lies of Your Past and Actually Experience Who God Says You Are.
For ninety minutes every Thursday night, I watched their demeanors morph from heaviness to pure joy as they learned about God’s unconditional love for them. Lesson by lesson, each woman was blown away to discover she’s wanted, valuable, secure, competent, beautiful, and called by God!
Slowly but steadily, I witnessed each girl’s resolve to abandon the “quick fixes” they’d been relying on to dull their pain—and embrace the truth that Jesus loves them and wants to know them personally!
Near the end of the study, Chip asks a penetrating question: Apart from Christ, what do you use to medicate or sedate your sense of angst? The women admitted they’d been running to drugs, alcohol, sex, and materialism to dull their pain, but it only ever worked for a few hours. We discussed the fact that God has bigger, better, more satisfying plans for all of us—and we memorized Bible verses to reinforce that truth.
What a dramatic contrast I saw in these precious women from our first session to the final weeks, when they exuberantly declared with confidence, “I’m chosen!” “I’m adopted!” “I’m redeemed and empowered!”
At our last gathering, I asked my students for parting comments about what they learned:
Nothing in my past that I’ve done and nothing I may do in the future can separate me from God’s love. —Julia
I have assurance of God’s love. Now in my heart, not just in my head. God defines who I am, not my past. —Kathryn
I no longer have to be that hurt, frightened little girl. I can now bury her. —Debbie
God doesn’t see me for all my mistakes but for who He says I am. —Rachel
It’s difficult to put into words how much I enjoy the small part God is giving me to introduce His powerful, life-changing truth to people so desperate for it! I love partnering with Chip and Living on the Edge as I teach others the principles God has used to heal me.
We are grateful for Lisa Bodenheimer of High Point, NC, for sharing her story with us! Do you have an impact story you’d like to share? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.orgHide
A Personal Message from Chip
Recent devastating events like Hurricane Ida, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the wildfires in the west have had me praying, “Lord, what are You up to? It feels like the world is spinning out of control.” As I was pondering and processing that question, I sensed the Lord asking me much the same question: “Chip, with all that’s happening in the world, what are you up to right now?”Read More
What both questions have in common is purpose. It’s easy to get lost in trying to discern God’s purposes in a fallen world, but He’s made it very clear what His purpose is for us during this time.
Why does God have you on this earth in October 2021? What does He want you to accomplish during your “dash,” the time between your birth year and death year engraved on your tombstone?
Our purpose at Living on the Edge is very simple: to help Christians live like Christians. When they do, amazing things happen. They radiate a deep-down strength and vitality, a sweet fragrance. There’s life, there’s love, there’s power, and there’s something attractive, almost magnetic. The Jesus in them flows out, and the needs of hurting people get met.
In Romans 12, the apostle Paul describes what it looks like when Jesus is living inside you and the Spirit of God is maturing you. You’re surrendered to God, separate from the world’s values. You have a sober self-assessment, and you serve others authentically from a heart of love. It’s this transformational process that helps you discover your purpose.
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, this purpose is summarized in one word: ambassador. You’re an ambassador—actually a stranger and an alien. Your citizenship isn’t here. You don’t even belong on this planet! It’s a temporary existence, where you represent Jesus until He calls
When you get your mind around this truth, it changes everything! God’s design is for you to stay here to serve Him as a minister of reconciliation. He wants every single person you meet, every person you know, to “hear” God screaming through your life, “I love you! I love you! I’m for you!”
“It’s not about works,” He is saying. “It’s not about trying hard; it’s not about religion. I have provided the gift, the atonement, the covering, forgiveness. Will you receive it?”
As you serve as His ambassador, you’re “on mission.” And here’s the thing that makes our lives much more than a string of tasks, evangelistic programs, and ministries we get involved in: being “on mission” is 24/7. It’s not what we do; it’s WHO we are.
As we live “on mission,” God’s power works in us and through us. I remember the very first time this happened in my life. I was a young pastor, and a couple came to me with a relationship problem. As a guy with only two years of marriage under my belt, I lacked confidence, to say the least. And this couple had big problems. I remember crying out in desperation, “Oh, God, please help me!”
I sat with the couple, I listened, and I offered a little bit of counsel. Then I gave them one tool that I had learned in marriage counseling. And I remember watching them in week two, week three, week five—they fell back in love! I thought, “Wow! God used me!”
God wants to use you, too. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV). Ironically, it’s when we intentionally serve others, meet needs, and make sacrifices in our homes, workplaces, churches, and neighborhoods that His “spiritual adrenaline” flows through us.
So I challenge you to go “on mission” today and every day. There’s a loving God whose Spirit dwells inside every believer. He wants you, fueled by His power, to be His ambassador—His hands, His feet, His Love in your world.
Thank you for your continued partnership. I am so grateful for the ministry that God allows us to accomplish together, “on mission” for Him.
Pressing ahead together,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. I hope you enjoy our new format this month! Please bookmark LivingontheEdge.org/CoffeeBreak to watch my Monthly Coffee Break Update.Hide
Prayer and Praise from Living on the Edge
Every month, we'll share with you the top three prayer requests and praises from our team at Living on the Edge. This update is one of our favorite, as it's so clear the many ways that God is at work in our ministry. Chip and our entire team encourage you to celebrate and pray alongside us.Read More
We Thank God For…
- The recent launch of the new Daily Discipleship: True Spirituality, which is helping participants move from “in” to “all in” in their walk with Jesus.
- God’s hope given to pastors and military couples through Chip’s teaching last month at The Cove.
- The distribution of 200,000 more True Spirituality books to pastors in China.
We ask God to…
- Give wisdom to our Board of Directors as they meet this month.
- Call forward a group of monthly prayer warriors and donors so that we can continue the work that God has called us to do.
- Place new Living on the Edge resources into the hands of people who need them.
Living on the Edge helps Christians bring their faith to life by living before God, in community and on mission.