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Wherever, Whatever, Whenever, However . . . Christ!, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
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April 4, 2022 7:05 am

Wherever, Whatever, Whenever, However . . . Christ!, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 4, 2022 7:05 am

Jesus Christ, Our All in All: A Study of Colossians

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Today on Insight for Living from Chuck Swindoll. The Bible is not written to people, just those going to seminary. It's written to individuals who love God, who want to put Christ in first place, who desire to walk with Him and make Him a part of everyday life. That's why Paul writes what he does. He's not writing to seminary students. He's writing to all believers. Jesus Christ are all in all. In Colossians chapter 3, we find Paul's helpful tutorial on allowing the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts while keeping peace with those around us. Chuck titled today's message, Wherever, Whatever, Whenever, However, Christ. Well, we're going through Colossians, and we've given you an outline in your worship folder, which will help guide us today, especially it's important because of the categories that the apostle Paul covers. In verses 15 chapter 3 through 1 of chapter 4.

Here's a perfect case in point, which we've mentioned before. When Paul first wrote the letters, he of course did not write in chapters and verses. He simply sat down and began the scroll and wrote it start to finish without any break. In fact, when you read it in the original, you don't find breaks. It just simply runs together from one Greek word to another. Thankfully, we have had those scholars come along in years that followed and broken up the books and the letters into chapters and verses, but you'll notice a misplaced chapter break. Here's an example, since they are not inspired, but the Word of God is. The chapter break at chapter 4 should really begin at verse 2, since verse 1 continues the same subject all the way down through the third chapter and includes the words addressed to the Masters in verse 1 of chapter 4.

You'll see what I mean as I read it for you. Colossians 3, 15 through chapter 4 verse 1. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts, for as members of one body you were called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ in all its richness fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, always obey your parents for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not aggravate your children or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do.

Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you'll be paid back for the wrong you have done for God has no favorites.

Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a master in heaven. You're listening to insight for living to search the scriptures with Chuck Swindoll.

Be sure to download his searching the scriptures studies by going to insight world dot org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck called Wherever, Whatever, Whenever, However, Christ. All of us are good at one thing especially. In fact, it becomes our passion, our drive, the force that gets us up in the morning and keeps us going through life. It may not be what we do for a living, but it's what we feel most deeply about. When we find that in one another, we call that someone's life. For example, you may be a person who truly loves music and you are trained in it and you have become proficient in it. We could say for you that music is your life. Is everything right about that?

But that is true for you, but it may not be true for another. Who may feel that way about some other of the arts, architecture or painting or a design of some kind that becomes your life? If you love leading athletes on a team and you like the challenge of a contest and helping the team find their way to success, you would say your life is coaching. I watched an interview with Bill Belichick, who is the coach of the New England Patriots at the present time, and he was interviewed because of the number of winning teams that he has turned out up in that area that for the longest time did not have winning teams.

And the interviewer asked, what is it? What is it that has turned the corner for the team? Let me tell you, when you coach, you've got to love it. What is describing is the life of a coach. He lives to coach. Lombardi lived to coach. Another example, Tom Landry was a coach par excellence.

But your area of interest may not be that at all. It may be your work. My mother used to say of my dad that his life was his work. He loved his work. If he had time to do more, he'd get a second job. He loved work. Now, you answer back. Probably that's not my life.

It's not what I love. We happen to have a granddaughter who who loves four footed creatures and actually lives for the day, which he can go to A&M and major in veterinary medicine and become a veterinarian. You know, when she was little and all of her friends would be playing in the lake, she'd be digging around for snakes and frogs in the lake to bring them in and show them to all of us. I took her on a date one time, and when we finished our meal, I said, now, what would you really like?

Actually, let's do it together. And I thought she'd mentioned some movie. And she said, could we go to a pet store? So we went to a pet store and she put her hand in every one of those blessed cages, every one. I'm standing back like, don't make me do that, please. Even the big old parrots.

If I had stuck my hand in there, I'd have a finger missing right now. But not her. She knows how to do her. Her life is animals. She lives for that. It's her passion.

It's her drive. For the longest time, I admired and studied under and had as my mentor, Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost. Dallas Seminary was his life. Same would be true for a colleague of his named John F. Wahlberg.

His life. If you lived in L.A. back in the 70s and 80s, you know, the Dodgers were in their heyday. And Tommy Lasorda was the manager. Lasorda would say, when I bleed and I cut myself, it bleeds blue. Dodger blue.

It doesn't bleed red. He loved the game of baseball. It was his life. I checked recently, speaking of the 70s, and I found that back in August of 1974, the talk of the nation was a little guy named Philippe Petit. Remember Petit?

Some of you weird people like me. He was a guy that walked on high wires. He strung a cable between the twin towers. And he walked across the cable, laid down on the cable, knelt down on the cable. He had a saying, two towers, I walk.

As I watched him, I thought, two towers, I would bomb it. I am not going up there. I'm not getting out on that cable.

Why? Because it isn't my life. His life. His life on the high wire. That's why he lived.

That's what made him who he was. If you and I had lived in the first century and had a chance to interview a man named Saul, whose name was later changed to Paul, Saul of Tarsus would tell you, if you asked, what is your life? He would say, without hesitation, Christ. Christ is my life. He wrote to the Philippians, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

He wrote to the Galatians about being crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live. Yet not I, but hear it, Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live, I live by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. My life is Christ. It's all about Christ. Now, my concern today is not Philippe Petit or Tommy Lasorda or some coach or some artist.

My concern today is you. Maybe when we were there earlier in Colossians chapter 3, you missed a little line that appears and then sort of drops off from the page of the scriptures. Look at chapter 3 of Colossians, where Paul tells us in verse 2 to think about things that are above and not on things on the earth, because your life is hidden with Christ in God. In fact, he says, verse 4, and when Christ, look at this, who is your life?

There it is. Or is he? These words are written to people who know the Lord Jesus Christ. The entire letter of the Colossians was written to people who love Jesus and walk with him. They're in the midst of the influx of a particular teaching that was taking over in some parts of the church called the Gnostics. Paul writes to the people and reminds them that your life is not some philosophy. It is not some religion. Your life is Christ.

It can be boiled down into the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The thing I love about Paul is his logic. He makes the statement like that, and it may look as though he drops off and leaves it from then on, but he comes back to it in another direction when you get to verse 15. In fact, if you have your outline ready, I want you to kind of track it with me here. As we look at the verses overall, then we'll look more in detail as we work our way through in the exposition.

Look at 15. Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. I'll explain that in a moment. But the peace of Christ, here we are in the outline, is to rule in my heart.

He says it. Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your heart. So the peace of Christ is to rule in my heart.

Look at verse 16. Let the word of Christ, or the message about Christ, fill your lives. So the second point of the outline and of Paul's writing is the message of Christ is to fill my life. The word of Christ is to fill me to the full. Now when you get to verse 18, without announcing it, he goes from the inner person and the life of the individual to the first circle that surrounds us. And that's our homes and families.

How do I know that? Look at your Bible. Verse 15, or verse 18. Wives, verse 19, husbands, verse 20, children, verse 21, fathers.

So clearly it's a domestic scene. So he has in mind the home and family. The presence of Christ is to be seen in my home and with my family. The presence of Christ is to pervade, to permeate my home, my family. Verse 22, in the first century, the issue was slaves and masters.

I'm not here today to solve that conflict and that problem. Paul doesn't set out to change it, so I don't intend to. I'm going to apply it to employees and employers. So you get to verse 22, we now have the life of Christ is to be on display in my work, or at my workplace.

Words to the employee, 22 through 25. Words to the employer, verse 1, chapter 4. It's a good time for me to say, for you who love the Bible and are studying it seriously, look for clues. As you're reading through it, put your brain in gear and look for the flow of thought.

Notice the progress. Verse 15, the heart. Verse 16, the life. And 17. Verses 18 through 21, the home.

22 through 41, the work, occupation. People have made the Bible out to be this complicated riddle, this difficult book that very few can understand. Certainly if you don't go to seminary, you can't understand. The Bible's not written to people, just those going to seminary. It's written to individuals who love God, who want to put Christ in first place, who desire to walk with him and make him a part of everyday life. That's why Paul writes what he does.

Christ, who is your life. He's not writing to seminary students. He's not writing to bishops of the church or to some religious leader. He's writing to all believers. Happens to be those in Colossae here at verse 4. Now, let's move ahead and let's see what he has to say, first of all, about peace in our hearts.

Verse 15. Because it is an automatic, he begins with the word, let this happen. You have a hand in this. Let it occur. Let what occur? Let the peace that comes from Christ. What is this peace? Well, think about it. When you read your Bible and you come across a word that is deserving of some time and attention, spend time on it.

Here's a good one. When I think of peace, I think of inner quietness, tranquility, a feeling of calm, secure serenity. When I have peace, I'm at ease.

I'm at rest. And here he says, let that peace be in your heart. I'm not talking about the organ that pumps blood, not the literal organ of the body, but the inner person. Get this, where you make decisions, where motives are hidden, where secrets are kept. It's the deepest part of our being frequently referred to in the Bible as our heart.

Now it begins to make sense. Let the sense of calm and serenity flow through your inner being so that you are at peace. And what does that do?

It is there for what purpose? To rule in our hearts. Paul had a choice of words and he chooses rule. The Greek term means to arbitrate, to arbitrate. An arbitrator is one who takes it upon himself or herself to decide what is right in a given conflict or contest.

In games, we call them umpires or referees. That's why people will sometimes paraphrase this, let the word or let the peace that comes from Christ act as umpire deep within your life. And when is that important? When you're wanting to do the will of God.

For example, let's use the situation that is a little bit complex. Let's say you've been married and you're now divorced. You've gone through the battle of all of that, the struggle of it and the depth of it that no one else really knows like you do. So you have naturally a built in uneasiness about falling in love again or marrying again.

Some simply cannot bring themselves ever to marry after they have been through a divorce. Others are able to do so. So you find someone that you're attracted to. You and that person have things in common and you share in them.

You laugh freely together. You think often alike. Your backgrounds are different, but this person is so different from your former spouse that you in quiet moments start thinking, should I go deeper in this or not? Because you've been through what you've gone through. You're reluctant.

What do you need? You need peace. You need a calm inner assurance that this is the right thing to do. If you lack that peace, you don't want to go further with it.

You don't want to put. We've all done this. We've all pushed it.

We've even ignored the lack of peace and we've run ahead only to regret it later on. So if Christ is to rule in our lives, he acts as the umpire. When I was engaged in a ministry in California for almost 25 years, I got a phone call and, you know, some of you know the story and it happened to be some of the people at Dallas Seminary as they were looking for a president. And they called to ask if I would consider them.

I didn't think about it twice. I said, no. First of all, I thought it was a crank call to think about me as a president of something. And they said, no, no, no, this isn't this isn't really this very serious. I said, well, no, I'm very serious. I'm not interested.

I'm not your guy. And through a long set of circumstances. By the way, Cynthia had peace about it from the start. And so she was there on one side going, you ought to you ought to really consider this. And I go, get a life. What are you thinking?

Whose side are you on? She had a great answer. God's. So after a while, they said to me and they called back and I said no again. And they called again. And I finally said, oh, what is with you, God? They said, well, would you pray about it? How can you say, no, I'm not going to pray about it.

So guess what? When I really began to pray about it, I was flooded with peace. I didn't seek the peace. I didn't ask for peace, even. Peace came when I thought about it. And even though I couldn't fit all the pieces together because I I'm not your basic seminary president.

That is the understatement of the year. But I realized after coming, they didn't need an intellectual. They had enough of those. They needed a shepherd.

And I'm that. And God knew that all along. And so he gave me peace and let it rule in my heart. And against all odds that I could name one after another reason, I said yes.

And the result was a delightful experience for those years I served. He's called us to live in peace. You see how the verse ends? And by the way, be thankful.

And you are. When the peace of Christ acts as umpire in your life, you're always thankful. You can't help but say, Lord, thank you for giving me this sense of serenity when I was in such unrest. Whether it applies to our household, the place we work, or even the country in which we live, all of us crave that kind of peace that Paul described in his letter to the Colossians. And there's much more Chuck Swindoll wants to show us in this passage, so please keep listening. To learn more about Chuck and this ministry, visit us online at Well, you may not realize that Chuck has written a full biography on Paul, the one-time Christian hater who was dramatically converted. Later, Paul would write the New Testament letter to the Colossians, and he did so while in prison, chained to a guard. It's stunning to realize that an incarcerated man offered such wisdom on things like peace and serenity.

Chuck titled this biography Paul, a Man of Grace and Grit, and you can purchase a copy right now when you go to slash offer. Or call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. As the eyes of the world have been focused on Eastern Europe and the unthinkable invasion of Ukraine, let's continue praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ whose peace and security have been violated. You'll be pleased to learn that Insight for Living has a strategic outreach to this part of the world. While we don't fully comprehend their plight, we can certainly deliver hope and encouragement through this program, through the devoted staff that live in the region, and through the additional resources we provide. These ministries are all encompassed under the banner of Vision 195.

As part of Vision 195, Chuck's Bible teaching is translated into eight different languages, including Polish and Romanian. And these ministries are made possible in part when you give a much needed donation to Insight for Living. To give a gift today, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Or give online at slash donate. Again, to give a donation today online, go to slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer inviting you to join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll continues our study in Colossians 3 on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Wherever, Whatever, Whenever, However, Christ, was copyrighted in 2014 and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 17:07:02 / 2023-05-12 17:15:51 / 9

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