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Encouragement Served Family Style, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2023 7:05 am

Encouragement Served Family Style, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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March 13, 2023 7:05 am

Growing Deep in the Christian Life: Returning to Our Roots


Words are powerful. A well-timed compliment can make someone's day.

Conversely, a little barb, a little dig can take someone down. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll presents another message in his classic series called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. In this study, we'll consult Hebrews Chapter 10 for a practical lesson on building one another up. We're not talking about flattery or over-inflated praise.

That's disingenuous. Rather, our role is to recognize the power of relationships and to use our speech for good. Chuck titled his talk, Encouragement Served Family Style. Now for the balance of my time, I want to convince you with the help of Scripture, I want the Lord to show you in His Word the power of your tongue. I want you to see, as if for the very first time from Proverbs, how much weight is carried by the lips, the voice, the tongue. Turn back to Proverbs 10. You are going to see in the Scriptures inspired comments regarding the power of the tongue. Proverbs 10 verse 11, The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. So I see in that the tongue is a forgiving instrument. It covers transgressions. Proverbs chapter 12 verse 17, He who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of moms and dads with their children and the way we talk to them. As a matter of fact, chapter 18 really caught me off guard when I first found verse 21. You talk about a reproof from God.

I got it. Never forgotten it. The first line of Proverbs 18 21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, but those who love it will eat its fruit. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

I made these notes. Death words destroy hurt create hateful and humiliating feelings never forgotten. Life words build and increase strength of character. They lift spirits.

They center on the truth. Therefore, they set free the person who would otherwise be in bondage. You know what encouragement is? It's a strength transfusion. That's encouragement.

It's a transfusion of strength. I'll show you a classic example from the scriptures. Look at 1 Samuel 23. Go right on back to 1 Samuel 23 and we'll go to one of our favorite characters, David.

While still a teenager, he killed Goliath. It just shocked the king named Saul. Before long, the people of Israel made up a song. Saul has slain his thousand David, his ten thousands.

Well, everybody but one in the kingdom applauded that. Saul hated that song and he became suspicious of him. And before long, it turned to hate and then to rage and then to murder. And he took a spear and tried to kill him. And David ran for his life.

You remember the story? In the meantime, as the plot thickens, ironically, Saul's son, Jonathan, developed a relationship with David. He loved him, says chapter 18, as he loved his own soul.

Maybe you have a friend that intimate. They understood they loved each other deeply. But all the while, Saul's intensity was growing until finally, David is in a wilderness and he doesn't know where to turn. He's full of fear. And in this critical moment of his life, I want you to notice a courage transfusion. Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David at Horesh and encouraged him in God. Jonathan arose without an invitation and he went to David.

Why? Because he loved him and he transferred courage to David. Let me give you a simple little formula about encouragement.

It isn't original with me. Genuine words of encouragement are prompted by love and directed toward fear. That's what makes Jonathan's time with David so significant. He really loved him. David, I love you too much to leave you alone. David's response must have been, Jonathan, how I need you right now.

Thanks for coming. Now, I mean, let me show you in a few words what I'm trying to say. I call this four levels of encouragement for a few moments. Think of layers and core. OK. Unfortunately, most of us build layers around ourselves. Scripture talks about this and we've heard much about it.

So there's no reason to develop it any further. Most of us want to give off an air of being on top of things. We're winning. We've got life by the tail. We can handle it.

And so we give superficial comments to people and we respond superficially back from layer to layer. And that doesn't bring encouragement. I can just hear a fellow who has a coaching background. He's a tough guy and he's got a son who weighs 101 pounds and he's a running back for a team that's full of 200 pound ball players. And a little kid is scared to death, but he can't tell his daddy he's scared. And so his daddy says to him every morning, you suck it up, bucko.

Well, that's common words. And the little kid says, right, dad. He walks out and he's scared to death when he catches the bus and he's got his pads and he's thinking about facing the team that afternoon in practice. But he can't say to his dad how afraid he is because his dad doesn't leave room for that.

There's another level. There's a level of fear inside an individual, but somehow that person can penetrate beneath the layers and reach the true fear in another person. And that's what I would call superficial encouragement behind the shield of success and false security.

We could come across with right words, even quoting verses and telling someone we'll pray for them in their fear or in their need. And that brings a little encouragement. It doesn't last. And no relationship is developed between two people like that. There's a third level where the person doing the encouraging really does love, but somehow can't bring himself to say it. So in another guise, he will communicate to the fear of this individual. And that brings limited encouragement.

And it lasts a little longer, but it's not permanent. The best kind is when the person doing the encouraging really loves. That's our friend Jonathan. And the person needing encouragement honestly admits his fear. And there's a connection between the two so that soul meets with soul. And the deepest level of needs begin to be met. Now, is it ever possible for me to encourage myself? It was a thought that I had when I was studying this.

Yes. As a matter of fact, I think the more we get in this level as we grow older, as we grow up, the more we get in the way of a transfer of comfort and encouragement. In fact, the courage transfusion. The more we get of that, the more as we get older, we're able to find that encouragement from our God. But I for one believe we never reach the place where we never need some kind of encouragement from someone else. If we did, we wouldn't have the command in Hebrews 10 25 to encourage one another.

And all the more as we see the day approaching. In fact, if you take the time to read over in Chapter 30 of 1 Samuel, you'll see that David came to a place where everything had broken loose in his life. And it says, verse 6, he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

You know how I do that? When I haven't anyone near me that I can call on, when I'm alone, I find in the Psalms my most precious source of encouragement. And I locate Psalms often inadvertently, which address a particular fear that I'm struggling with. And that Psalm speaks to me as if God were speaking. Another plan I use is the use of the hymn book. I happen to love the hymns and I've committed a number of them to memory. And I will often pray through a song or a hymn, especially the grand hymns of the faith. And somehow in the transfer of the rhythm, the meter, the message of that music, I find my heart lifted up. I'm also a student of my low times.

I probably I speak to people who are also. I know myself well enough to know that I'm not very strong when I'm alone and when the sun is going down. When it gets to those night times, dusk and the hours that follow, those are my hardest times. And knowing that ahead of time, I prepare for those times by doing the things I just described. And I find that God helps me. He transfers courage to my otherwise fearful heart. I'd suggest that to you.

Three quick questions and I'm through. Who should I attempt to encourage? Well, of course, ideally everyone we meet. But realistically, those with whom I have established a close relationship. And you know what?

That isn't automatic. You know with whom I'm closest? My wife and my four children. You know who are often last to get encouragement from me?

My wife and my four children. It's funny how it works. But before you judge me, think about when is the last time you deliberately gave encouragement to your mate? There wasn't any hint dropped, wasn't any invitation. You just, out of an understanding of that fear, conveyed courage, confidence. Oh, talk about building a relationship with her or him or your children.

Nobody's words are more important than parental words to the kids. Second, how can the levels be penetrated? It always takes time. It usually involves pain. Occasionally it can be addressed verbally. I sense you're hiding. I sense as I talk to you right now, you're not really helping me see what's going on.

Something is being held back. See, that's why I say it has to be a close relationship. You don't walk up to a stranger and say that.

You say that with someone with whom you have a love relationship. It's been cultivated. What techniques ought to be remembered?

Well, we mentioned it in a lot of them. Talk less so you can feel more. It's one I would pass along. Be sensitive to the timing. Watch your words. Do everything in your power not to judge. You know, we can say we're encouraging, but we're really preaching. Watch your motive.

Don't forget our chart about love and fear. Guard against sarcasm and verbal put-downs. Don't hide behind a layer. You know, when you're behind a layer and your other person's behind a layer, it's like kissing a person with a plate glass in between you. It's just about that effective. It's about that satisfying. You're doing all the right stuff, but you just aren't connecting.

It's no fun. I close with a story that could be my own, but I prefer to use another's. The man, Dan Allender, who helped write this book, Encouragement. My wife and I had drooled over a planned sailing vacation for more than a year. Sacrificing a few pleasures and hoarding our pennies helped us to afford a week on the west coast of Florida at a sailing school. A week of sheer joy, rich time together, fun on the water, and rejoicing in God's blessings rewarded our long anticipation. When the week was over, we returned to the wintry climate of our northern home. Moving quickly from tropical paradise to snow-covered streets proved to be a major culture shock. I was mature enough to accept the loss of paradise without slipping into depression, but I did feel a grudging reluctance as I dragged myself back to work bundled up in overcoating gloves.

An appeal to rejoice evermore or to fight the good fight would not have moved me at that moment. I was mildly down. Eavesdrop on two conversations that took place shortly after my return home. Fred, looks like you got some tan. Nice sun, huh? Dan, Becky and I just spent a week in Florida, great weather. We went sailing for a week. Jet set life, huh? Must be doing better than most of us. Too bad the tan won't last up here.

Fred laughed sarcastically. Dan, I know, but it was worth it just to get away and relax and spend time together. It's hard, though, to get back to the grind of grind. At least you got away. Well, look, we got to figure out what we can do to get this work project.

It's overdue. Before the conversation, I was mildly discouraged. After, I was moderately discouraged. Less inclined to return to my responsibilities. More affected by the realities of a sometimes unpleasant life.

Why? Fred's a friend of mine. He's not typically unkind toward me. Nor did he seem especially vindictive or angry.

Yet his words were discouraging. Listen to the other conversation. Jane, hi, Dan. Good tan. Where'd you get, when'd you get back? Just two days ago. Well, how was it? Good time?

It was great. Just what Becky and I needed to unwind. Makes it hard to come back, though, after 80 degree days. Below zero is hard to take. I'll bet, she says.

Probably hard to believe you were even there. How's Becky taking her re-entry to the real world, Dan? Better than me, I think. Her schedule up here is tough, but a little more flexible than mine. I feel the contrast between having nothing to do for a week and having to meet time demands again. So you're struggling some, huh?

Well, I'm not proud of it, but I am. Your school and work schedule is pretty demanding, Dan. Pretty demanding, isn't it? Becky and I had so much undisturbed time just to be together, and up here I'm lucky if I get any quality time with her at all. I'm afraid our commitments might damage some of the closeness we feel with each other, Jane. So it's not just missing warm weather and sailing that's getting you, right? I guess not. Maybe the trip helped me realize that my priorities were out of line.

I'm afraid I'll get them fouled up again. The contrast, he concludes, the contrast between the first and second conversations is dramatic, but not overdone. They happen just that way. Jane made an effort to understand me. She esteemed another's concerns greater than her own. She responded to my needs rather than to hers.

That's important. Her encouraging words prompted me to evaluate what my struggles really were. Give me a home or a church where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and I'll show you a group of healthy, effective, producing people. May that be true of our places, where we live and where we worship. Let's bow together, please.

I don't know where all of this strikes you, and I really don't know where you are in this. You, for all I know, are a model of these things, and we could have just as well listened to you as to me tonight. But God has spoken, and I'd like to give you a project this week where you make it a point to move yourself out of the realm of your world and your interests into a world of someone else that's marked by fear and discouragement, and you help that person gain courage. I want to do that tonight for you who are here without Christ. I promise you courage that will never end as Christ fills the void of your life by your saying to him, I'm lost, I'm afraid, I'm full of myself and my sin, and I need you. Come into my life. I believe you died for me.

I believe you rose from the dead for me. Come into my life, and he will come in. Do that now, right now. Don't wait. As soon as this meeting is over, you tell somebody. As soon as this message has ended, you make it a point to tell somebody. Tell them.

Ask them for help in going on. I thank you, Father, that you speak to us in words that we can understand, practical words, words that have meaning, words that are significant, words that can change a place from clouds to brightness and light. You are in the process of changing all of us, and we invite you to do that as you give us the courage to remove the layers that cover up the truth and allow us to minister to one another like you have commanded us to do. May it begin in our hearts, be felt first in our homes, and become evident in our churches.

For Jesus' sake, amen. To learn more about this daily program, visit us online at Well, since our first program aired in 1979, Insight for Living has featured thousands of Chuck's messages.

Along the way, there's a handful of series that we would consider classics, and the one we're concluding this week certainly falls into that category. It's the 22-part classic series called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. This study, which started in early January, ends this week, and now's the time to request your copy of the book while it's still fresh on your mind. Like the teaching series, Chuck's book is called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. In an uplifting style you've come to appreciate, Chuck helps us understand the pillars of our faith, such as the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, worship, and even prophecy in the end times. To purchase a copy of Chuck's book, Growing Deep in the Christian Life, go to slash store, or call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Well, it seems like every day we hear a story of someone who's discovered how to grow deeper in the Christian life. Let me give you an example. Responding to a video clip we posted on YouTube, a young man wrote, I'm a young pastor in western New York. Pastor Swindoll has been a constant in my life since I was around 18 years old. I consider him to be one of the most important spiritual mentors in my life. Well, God uses your gifts to influence young pastors as they prepare for ministry, so your contributions to Insight for Living are truly making a difference. To give a donation today, give us a call.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or you can give a donation online by going to slash donate. Treat yourself to a vacation you'll never forget, on the Insight for Living Ministries cruise to the great frontier with Chuck Swindoll. Honestly, I had no idea that a cruise to Alaska could be so much fun, and without a doubt the stunning views took my breath away. God's artistic genius is on full display in Alaska. In fact, I guarantee this, you'll come home refreshed and filled with awe for his majestic creation. Yeah, at one point our ship was getting chased by dolphins.

They were playing and spinning in the waves. It was amazing. You'll have plenty of time for adventures on shore, lingering conversations around mealtime, and strolling through the idyllic ports of call. You'll be a part of some of the best parts of our day, laughing, singing, and celebrating our God. Plan to come with us, won't you?

The dates are July 1st through July 8th, 2023. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. That's 1-888-447-0444. Or visit slash events.

The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer. Join us when Chuck Swindoll describes the joy of worshipping God with other believers, next time on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Encouragement Served Family Style, was copyrighted in 1985, 1987, 2005, and 2011, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2011 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 14:30:02 / 2023-03-12 14:39:16 / 9

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