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November 19, 2020 7:05 am
Life is messy, agreed some messes we create.
Others are imposed upon us, but in either case, is a disservice to perpetuate a false notion that walking with God allows us to bypass occasional chaos today on Insight for living.
Chuck Swindoll continues teaching from Paul's letter to the Ephesians in the passage will examine today will be reminded that our best defense against the complicated life is to stay focused on the basics maybe feel somewhat overwhelmed by the confusion that stirring up angst in our culture these days. Let's return to what Chuck calls the Christian life 101. If you have brought with you a copy of the Scriptures. Would you turn into the New Testament with me to the fifth chapter of the letter Paul wrote to the Ephesians, Ephesians, chapter 5, I want to begin the reading at verse 15 about the way before reading. Let me tell you when I first began to think seriously about this passage and knowing that today would come which was several weeks ago, it occurred to me that tucked away in these very few verses here in the central section of Ephesians 5 is really the Christian life. In a few words, which led to the title of the message. The Christian life 101. This is really its most foundational statement. Once you have come to the cross and then gone beyond that to begin to grow. These are our marching orders. Ephesians 515 therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but is wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the father and be subject to one another in search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll.
Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies and now the message title, the Christian life 101 third times it helps just to get back to the very basics, life gets complicated things get convoluted when that happens, it helps to sort of blow the dust off of the.
The mix of essentials and nonessentials and come back to what is absolutely foundational sometime when we do that we call it Project 101 there were certain courses we take in school 101. You can't get more basic than 101.
Our older daughter Caruso some time ago, said Cynthia Mead rather cute thing on the email. I'm calling it parenting 101. It's a series of tests on how you can know whether it's time to start having children.
It's a little late arriving to us but for some of you it may help.
There are 10 exams in all 10 tests and will see how well you do, you who are still wondering about whether you should start your family. This may help. The first is the mess test smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub that on the walls cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer mess test will help you know if it's time to start having children. The toy test is another obtain a 55 gallon box of Legos. If Legos are unavailable, you may substitute roofing tax are broken pieces of glass have a friend spread them all over the house, put on a blindfold and try to walk to the bathroom or the kitchen without screaming. Toy test. Here's the grocery store test borrow one or two small animals.
Goats are best like that line goats and then take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them inside and pay for anything they eat or damage followed by the dressing test obtain one large unhappy octopus great opening line with try to stop it into a small net bag making sure all the arms day inside.
Then there's the feeding test, obtain a large plastic milk jug filled halfway with water suspended from the ceiling with a stout heart cord start the jogs swinging back and forth and then try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal Froot Loops or Cheerios into the mouth of the job while pretending to be an airplane when finished, the entire contents of the jug on the floor.
Then there's the night test prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand so get thoroughly in water at 8 PM begin to waltz and home with the bag until 9 PM. Lay the bag down, set your alarm for 10 PM, get back up, pick up your bag and sing every song you have ever heard make up about a dozen more sing these until 4 AM.
Set the alarm for 5 AM get up and make breakfast keep this up for five years look cheerful. Then there's the physical test for women just for the women, obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to your front under your clothes, leave it there for nine months after the nine months removed 10 of the been the physical test for men to know if you are ready go to the nearest drugstore. Set your wallet on the counter asked the clerk to help himself. Next, proceed to the local grocery store go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited at that store purchase a newspaper go home and read it quietly for the last time in your life before read the final assignment. Let me give you one more that came to me: the release and be embarrassed. Test it has to do with preparing your children for the public world and then standing back and waiting to see what they're going to say to very important people. A friend of mine sent me a true story of a friend of his came home late after about eight or nine day trip and that was lightning thundering raining on their plane was delayed and so we got in late and the shuttle finally got them home in the middle of the night and wouldn't you know it. The kids were all afraid and that all crawled in bed with mom and he wants. He can't even sleep alongside his wife for that night.
Every's been gone 89 days and so the next morning decides to have a talk with his children that I don't mind if used if you sleep with mom on what is going on but the last night. Night is gonna come back whenever sleep with mom. Just leave the bed for me when I get home okay. Okay.
Day three or four weeks later took another trip and the family decided to meet him at the airport so mom dressed up all the kids got them ready for dad to come back and he's comes sloughing off the plane, exhausted. The youngest of the family walks out into the gate area which is packed with people's home while you are gone.
Nobody slept with mom is try to find a calling to hide behind. Nobody slept with mom while you were going final assignment. This is the final exam on the 101 parenting find a couple who already has a small child lecture them on how they can improve their discipline. Patients tolerance toilet training and child's table manners. Be firm suggest many ways that they can improve emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run rampant. Enjoy this experience because it will be the last time in your life you will have all of the parenting 101 is funny. But as I read through this central section in Ephesians 5, literally couldn't get away from the title, the Christian life 101.
There are 10 tests here. There are five and if you read them through. You see, they emerge right out of the section, Paul wrote without my having to add much to the each one is there test number one is the conduct test. That's verse 15 has to do with behavior test number two is the time test verse 16 test number three is the decision-making test which is a big part of the Christian life. That's verse 17.
The control test is number four and that's 18 through 20.
Even with proof in knowing whether you pass that test or not. And the fifth test is the submission test in verse 21.
There they are. The conduct of the time the decision-making the control and the submission test in my opinion when you've worked your way through these 5 You Have Worked Your Way through some of the most basic statements concerning being a follower of Jesus and would be helpful if people would've told us right after our conversion. These are important things for you to know rather than to wallow around and make the mess we've made it we've made of things and to learn later in life. Some of the most basic things that should have been taught us right from the get-go. Let's go to the first test. By the way, by the way, everything mentioned in these verses is foundational. Everything removing any one of them and you made a significant you will encounter a significant hindrance in your in your growth. Any one of them follow them carefully and consistently and you will know what it is to be fulfilled and rewarded life there really worth another good thing about this test is your able to grade your own paper. I give you a chance. A little later on, you'll be able to see how you're doing. It's a pretty good pulse taker. Some of you know the Lord. 30 years. Some 40 years song only will five or less. But wherever you are.
You will be able to know how you're doing after you take the tests and all defined each one of them.
Number one is the conduct test. That's verse 50. Here's the test you answer it on your own. Are you careful and wise in your behavior. Pretty simple question is are you careful and wise in your behavior scale of 1 to 10 how you doing there. How can I ask you that look in verse 15. Be careful how you walk not is the unwise but as wise right out of the text are you careful and wise in your behavior. Please observe. He's not talking about where you're going. That's about destination.
He talks about how your walking that's conduct how you walk, it occurred to me that a tightrope walker doesn't concern herself or himself with where you're going, but how the getting there very delicate balance. Very narrow path that steel cable that quarried that stretches from point A to point B that person is concerned with how to do with balance using caution care, attention to detail not getting distracted. Observe the word walk. Be careful how you walk Paul was used it about five or six times already in this Ephesian letter without an exception. It has to do with behavior. The behavior of the Gentiles the behavior of the believers. The behavior of the lost world, the behavior of those who are worthy of the calling, walking worthy of the calling chapter 4 verse one he's used it over and over and he comes back to it right here. Be careful how you walk, not pausing and think walking those of us who are parents have trained children in walking or assisted them as they learn to walk on their own and tell our own story some of our children walk when they were eight, nine, 10 months old son didn't want to labor 12, 15, 18 months of some learn slower. Some learn quicker but every one of them discovered how to do it and we say is adults is not that complicated. What did they get it just left foot down right foot down, left foot down right foot down and it seems so simple, once you learn to do it, but one of the two most often as they learn welding fall they fall, they stumble and then they pick up how to do it and then they learn how to do it a little more carefully and meticulously and then they learn how to carry things while they're walking and they learn how to do the will of this sometime in precarious places on time near dangerous place. Invariably, we say to them, be careful, be careful, be careful both.
I was walking with one of our grandchildren happen to be Austin several weeks ago we were at a conference ground and the ground was uneven and there were some rocks and stumble over and I looked down I had his hand and I said also. He said I know Bobby don't tell me to be careful never to be careful even told me careful all through his years of growing up careful diplomacy to learn this. This is one. You can't just stumble into the world system and think beyond ignoring to be great.
I just got a walk along by doses walk no followers of Jesus. Use care and wisdom and how they will likely one paraphrase, put it walk like sensible men and women not like simpletons. Some of us have learned through walking in the wrong way too many times that there are consequences that accompany it and it isn't worth it. Why didn't we think before we stumbled into the parable, what and we think that's can that's can I have a bad result consequences to pay.
Be careful how you walk Kate test one are you careful and wise in your behavior. Test number two. The time test verse 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Here's the test question are you disciplined and discerning in the way you spend your time or you those two words are carefully chosen. Are you disciplined and discerning in the way you use your time look at the verse it's connected with the previous verse because it's really part of that sentence. Be careful how you walk, making the most of your time. Some Christians never seem to get this straight, we are given to extremes by nature.
Either we are wasteful of our time or we are neurotically energetic about our time.
We flew around we mess around, we poorly infest our efforts in areas and just don't get the job done. That's one extreme, how many great books never get finished how many great songs never get written started but never written many great projects.
How many degree programs get underway but left unfinished. How many great resolutions are great to begin with, but they died for lack of interest in energy. That's one extreme you know the answer to that discipline, its discipline never met an individual who was really, really gifted and accomplished in his or her areas and really productive in staying at without discipline. Great writers are disciplined to keep the writing up. They get the book done. Those who compose songs songs written those who step into projects with a plan to get them. They stay at it and some of those projects are exhausting.
Now the other side, the person who doesn't know the value of play, relaxation arrest, one of my mentors used to say a good nights sleep is often more spiritual than another hour of work. He's right. Some of you don't get enough sleep. Some of you are so driven, you've lost your sense of humor. Every life is become grim, much too serious. You're approaching the neurotic level in your driving determination to make the most of your time. But wait, but this is about look again at the verse making the most of your time. Paul doesn't use the word Chronos CHR oh NOS, from which we get the word chronology for like clock time. That's not the word he uses to use the word Kai Ross KIK AI ROS which is the idea of opportunity on a block. A season making the most of every opportunity would be a good rendering. In fact, making the most of conveys the idea in the original of redeeming or buying back is that curious buying back every opportunity or the benefit of every opportunity might be a paraphrase. The question has to do with your opportunities. Are you making the most of Chuck Swindoll titled today's message the Christian life 101.
There's much more teaching ahead as we examine the five tests that the apostle Paul identifies your listening to Insight for living and Chuck is here in the studio to share personal comment just for the radio family so please keep listening and if you'd like to learn more about this ministry.
Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org walking and wisdom, making the most of our time maintaining sobriety. The spirit of Thanksgiving. These are biblical virtues. We are hoping to instill not only in the people of North America but in men and women all around the world. To that end, we are calling on friends like you to join Insight for living in the all-out effort to bring God's message of grace to 195 countries of the world where calling this mission, vision, 195.
Together we can implement the great commission of Jesus by making disciples to radio our website. The mobile app, CDs, books, DVDs, the podcast are live stream feed and more.
Not long ago I heard a fascinating statistic in a meeting with other ministries like ours. One gentleman said they had conducted some research on their audience. They discovered that for every 100 people listening only six people actually responded to say that again so you can grasp it over the period of one month for every 100 people listening only six people called in or wrote or went online to give. I find that astounding 94% of the people who listen today will never even pick up the phone or write a letter or for that matter.
Give a donation online, so let me ask you very direct question. Are you one of the 94 or are you one of the six if you're one of the 6% we cannot over express our gratitude you are providing insight for living for the majority who had yet to respond. If you're one of the money for doesn't seem logical to you that it's time to do your part. Don't underestimate the significance of your gift, regardless of the size any financial donation goes directly toward providing these daily visits together and to furthering God's work around the world through insight for living ministries. It's been a demanding and I might add a very fruitful year for us. I can tell you this, our financial reserves are depleted, so our need is urgent. God would use your special year-end contribution to replenish what insight for living needs so that were postured for yet another year together so please pick up the phone go online or send a gift in the mail today. Thanks so much. Thanks, Chuck, and let me assure you that your contribution today will be channeled toward reaching people who come to rely on this daily program.
Not long ago we received an encouraging note that said, Chuck Swindoll has been my pastor on air for the last 40 years. He doesn't know it, but my spiritual maturity is due to his insight for living broadcast in the books he's magnificently written by the way, we always look forward to his future visit to our small country in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, thank you. Pastor Chuck is comments like this one that motivate us to venture forward vision 195. Give a contribution today, listening in the United States dial one 800-7788 88 or you can also give mobile app or directly email@example.com/donate again. Swindoll continues to describe the Christian life 101 right here on insight for living. The preceding message. The Christian life 101 was copyrighted in 2000 2001 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited