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January 8, 2021 7:05 am
None of us know when the end all of us understand that our mortality is finite. We don't know the hour, the day you were the year, but the time is coming when God will call us home today on Insight for living trucks went all advisors to dwell on our final resting place.
But on the days that preceded. How do we wrap up our final years under a fashion that honors God and the families we love Chagas teaching on the last passage of Paul's letter written to his friends in Ephesus there is something no wonderful that occurs when God's people sing together. Stop and think about it. It is the only place we do that in such a sizable group here at the church or in a church where we gathered a church building a place for worship, but we do it because first of all, we are commanded to do it. Paul writes, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and sing spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord so we we do this out of obedience. You know what else.
It is like a rallying point for believers to hear other voices around us singing as we are singing. It reminds us were not alone. The tune we just sang as a grand team. It was used for the words written by an old monk named Bernard. Bernard of Clairvaux is one of my favorite hymns down through the years. His words were Jesus, the very thought of the with sweetness fills my breast but sweeter for thy face to see, and in thy presence, rest grand him and has lived since the 12th century and the legacy of the church. This is our touch in time with our roots, always an important part of worship as is the reading of Scripture.
If you have a copy of the New Testament God's word with you, I'd like you to turn to the sixth last chapter of Ephesians. If you will follow along. I would like to read these final seven verses we began Ephesians on the ninth day of January this year we in the Ephesians on the first day of October this year. Don't feel badly I want set under a man who taught Ephesians 3 1/2 years and I learned not to like Ephesians during that time taken me all these years there fall in love with it and a wonderful study. Ephesians 618, with all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the spirit and with this in view be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, just let me interrupt.
Did you notice all prayer at all times with all perseverance for all the saints, a unique fourfold use of the same word and pray on my behalf. That utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains that in proclaiming it. I may speak boldly as I ought to speak but you also may know about my circumstances. How I am doing ticket costs the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose so that you may know about us and that he may comfort your hearts peaceably to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll.
Be sure to download is searching the Scriptures.
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Today's message is titled.
Here's how to finish well. The Bible is full of remarkable stories just remarkable and they always seem to revolve around incredible kind of people. Now I understand that not everybody is ready to believe all of them.
I read just this morning about a lady who really believe your Bible and was sitting on the airplane reading one of those great stories and she was sort of moved over to the smiling fellow sitting next to hers and leaned over and said what are you reading.
She said I'm I'm reading the Bible says all that stuff in the Bible.
She said yes as a matter of fact I do about that guy that was swallowed by the whale that is preposterous. You don't believe that the genocide I do well. How do you suppose he survived inside the whale, how to make it. She said I don't know I guess I get to heaven to ask him how he made well what if he is in heaven will and you can ask the remarkable stories that are in the Bible. In my opinion.
In my opinion those people who lived well and then finished well get my nod. They're the ones I find myself most fascinated by, for example, I my Bible open to Genesis chapter 5. One of those first early on remarkable stories about a man named Enoch. Genesis 5 verse 21, begins his story. I guess I'm interested in it because he's as old as I am as he is right. As he is presented to us in the Scriptures, Enoch lived 65 years and became the father of Lucila look at the next verse. Then Enoch walked with God. 300 years after he became the father of Methuselah pause right there when you love to have been Methuselah and had a father who walked 300 years with God when that had been great. Then when Methuselah was born. Enoch walked with God. 300 years. Do the math yet other sons and daughters for all the days of Enoch were 365 years Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him great was a quaint old preacher who said that Enoch took a long walk with God. Late one evening in they got so far away from Enoch's home God said to him what I do, just come on home with me to remarkable story finishing well 300 years. He walked with God.
Deuteronomy 34 for another remarkable story and remarkable life not Enoch now, but another man far more familiar to us Moses by name. Moses was born after midnight in Hebrew history, they were at their lowest. Probably his father, along with all of his skin and all of those others who lived in the ghetto of Goshen stomped out bricks with less and less straw. It seemed until time and life seemed unbearable. Moses is born into this scene and he hears early in life he is to be the Redeemer and in his own flesh, but the time he reaches 40 he attempts to redeem the people by killing an Egyptian and hiding him in the sand and then he runs for his life and hides in the deserts of Midian and keeps his father-in-law. She for the next 40 years age 80. A burning bush in the bush doesn't stop burning here stands an 80-year-old Bedouin who was long since forgotten about being useful or effective or eloquent or significant in God's plan and the Lord said, I want you to lead the Exodus. The Exodus by the way, when you travel to Israel today. Of course the language there is still Hebrew and you will see the exit marks at the various streets and highways that it always reads in Hebrew Exodus, you will lead the exit.
Moses who may may remember the argument back and forth back and forth and sure enough, as always, God got his way and he wants Moses into the most significant years of his life from age 8220 40 year segments, trying it in his own flesh, hiding in the middle of the desert for the next 40 years keeping sheep and then for the last 40 years. He leads them through the wanderings in the wilderness right up to the edge of Canaan and then he dies.
Deuteronomy 34 is the record of his death. Look at verse five.
Look at this obituary. Talk about finishing well. So Moses the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Bethpage or notice that he is God. The hymn is Moses. God buried Moses in the Valley opposite Bethpage orc but no man knows his burial place to this day look at the next verse. Although Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was not dim, nor his vigor of the living Bible says his eyesight was clear and he was as strong as the hundred and 20 years. No glasses still pumping iron still strong, still able to climb still able to survive life in the wilderness. He finished well what a story is another.
The next book is called Joshua and it's the 14th chapter and here is a man, not as old as Moses is certainly as old as Enoch. This man is nothing Caleb. Caleb has lived also through the wilderness and even lived through the invasion into the land of Canaan and he and Joshua have been fast friends all through the plan and now they are distributing the land to the heads of the tribes. And when they get Judah verse six the sons of Judah drawing near for their parcel of land that will be theirs in the land of Canaan, the sons drew near to Joshua chart, Joshua 14, six, and Caleb the son of Jeff would know the king is light said to Joshua you know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses, the man of God concerning you and me and cut Aishwarya. I was 40 years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Cadiz Borneo to spy out the land and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart.
Nevertheless, my brethren, who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear. But I follow the Lord my God fully does that mean well. Originally there were 12 spies were sent out to supply the land and to see if they could take the land they came back content of the trust of the spies said there's no way there were giants in the land were like grasshoppers in their sight, but Caleb and Joshua said we are well able to take the land because God's promised the land to listen.
Caleb is now lived on Pascucci and he reminds Joshua when you and I came back with that fateful report you and I have continued to walk with God through these years. Now look at this again verse 10 now behold the Lord has let me live just as he spoke these 45 years from the time the Lord spoke this word to Moses when Israel walked in the wilderness and now behold I am 85 years young. I want to read that today so what is his birthday or not.
I don't know but I know now this man. Caleb is 85 years old and look at what he says. I'm tired and it's time to retire and I'm looking for rocking chair. I paid my dues, no none of that is there. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me as my straight was then so my strength is now for war and for going out and coming in, uses an old Hebrew colloquialism to describe life and lifestyle.
I'm able to get about unable to take care of myself. I'm able to do war in battle, and if necessary take on giants. Speaking of which, give me this mountain, verse 12.
Give me this Hill country about which the Lord spoke on that date for you heard on that day that Anna came were there with great fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I shall drive them out as the Lord has spoken is great 85 years old and he saying you know I'm ready for a challenge.
Life's been rather easy over the last 40 years.
Moses, Joshua, Kevin Hill country and maybe will be a chance running one of those giant I get pick off a few of those guys hi pockets walking up toward me thinking there to rule this playset it's time for me to fight a little. What you love it you staring at me like you don't believe it.
Look at it it's right there matter-of-fact I look through the Scriptures to find words like paid my dues retired over the hill there, you know, why doesn't their because God never put that in his plan. I don't care what your age is your always too young to check it to somebody else. Enoch, Moses, Caleb, I love the words of Douglas MacArthur who on his 75th birthday, wrote in the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber, so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage so long are you young but when the wires are all down in your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism in the ice of cynicism, then and only then, have you grown old, none of these men are old age doesn't make you old thinking old makes you all giving up makes you owe. You heard about the older couple traveling to nice restaurant together in the two guys in the front seat ladies are in the backseat fellow driving said no Ralph you should go to the place where the wife and I went not long ago when great great restaurant got terrific stakes in wonderful lobster is just fabulous guy said oh really, what's the name of said what's a red flowered that has thorns and the green leaves and noises. Rosie outgrows the name of the thinking old thinking old sees himself old around with people over the hill doing that for Turner second Timothy chapter 4 I got one moral guide. I wanted tell you about.
Second Timothy chapter 4 were in the world. The second is lost here is Paul I'm on I mean this. Respectfully, Paul is an old 6566. He calls himself in Philemon. Verse nine Paul, the aged, he bore the marks of a stoning more than one whipping 39 stripes you imagine shipwrecked in the deep.
Here is a man who knew what it was to stumble along severely crippled from the blows of his past, but he's now sitting in a dungeon writing a friend named Timothy who is some 30 years younger than he, and the apostle is encouraging him to stand firm. Look at these closing remarks of second Timothy four verse six. I am already being poured out as a drink offering in the time of my departure has come.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith is correct.
In fact, the object of each one of those phrases appears at the beginning of the original the good fight, I have fought the course, I have finished the faith I have The plan that God laid in front of me is the plan. I've carried out with no plans of taking it easy. My plan is to finish as strong as it became in the future.
Verse eight there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me. Here's where we come in the picture but all so to all who have loved his appearing. Here's Paul Stillman mentoring still ministering still motivating younger Timothy to stir up the gift within him to get the job done for the cause of Christ. He finished well question.
How do you do it. How do you do it.
We got we got an Enoch on record to walk with God.
Here's how you do that we would gotta Moses who does his best work from 8220. How do you do that, what's the secret of a Caleb at age 85. Tightening Ascension is Bill saying give me the mountain and let me take on the Giants and while I'm asking, how in the world is a man who has been beaten to the individual life say at the end I have fought a good fight of finished and I've kept the faith, not Timothy step up. The answer is found in the last seven verses of Ephesians chapter 6 and if I read this passage correctly on how to finish well. I I find for guidelines or if you like the word better tips for directions for finishing well the first of the four beginning in verse 18, down to the early part of 19 is stay strong in prayer. People who stay strong in prayer finish well with all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the spirit and with this in view be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and by the way, pray for me staying strong in prayer. Some halves taught that there are really six pieces of armor. There are seven remember the last time we were together. We talked about the built in the breastplate, and the boots and the shield and helmet on the sword. Perhaps we should have said there's another piece John Bunyan writing in his immortal work called it all prayer with a-add all prayer to the wielding of the shield or to the breastplate for protection. All prayer is 1/3 stanza that comes from an old gospel song.
The church saying for many years. It goes back 150 years to a man named Dunfield who wrote those words when I quote, then some of you will remember, stand up, stand up for Jesus standing his strength alone. The arm of flesh will fail you.
You dare not trust your own.
Listen to this line put on the gospel armor.
Each piece put on with prayer for duty calls or danger be never wanting there.
Put each piece on with prayer that I mentioned the importance of that last time, maybe not before the helmet.
Pray when strapping on the breastplate pretty when taking the shield of faith, pray when wielding the sword of the Spirit, the cream of God. The saying of God, pray, pray, the more you study this 18 verse them, the more one word stands out all all all all spirit directed prayer consistent, persistent prayer, staying on the alert on our knees, widespread prayer all the saints specific intercessory prayer.
Pray for me, says the apostle Paul, I want to speak to you who are in your 70s or older, of the greatest disciplines that you can sustain is prayer.
You may not have the energy used to have. You may not have the vision you used to have. You may not even have what you would call determination my focus to college for the ring that come from maybe don't feel splintering to him that used to have but I wanted tell you. You have prayer as a friend. All of us learned a brand-new word today splintering to him say that right you're listening to Insight for living in Chuck Swindoll titled today's message. Here's how to finish well.
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Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org what is much more from Paul's final words to the Ephesians that Chuck wants to show us, especially as it relates to accelerating our prayer lives to continue this message next time and then coming soon. Our attention will turn to the first book in the New Testament when Chuck presents a brand-new series on the gospel according to Matthew. This series is never before been shared on Insight for living and we are confident you gain a whole new understanding of Jesus life and ministry by joining us for this fascinating study. Concurrent with Chuck's new teaching series on Matthew will be glad to know that he's just completed an exhaustive commentary as well. It's titled Swindoll's living insights commentary for Matthew. Matthew commentary comes into hardbound volumes and we encourage you to purchase your copies now in order to make the most of this in-depth series to purchase when dolls living insights commentary for Matthew Collis if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 or go to Insight.org/store. Many of us are making every effort to understand our changing times were learning how to communicate truth with the next generation. Chuck is been impressed with the insight in a new book is recommending to is called a practical guide to culture. The authors John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkel provide a biblical view on key issues in our culture.
All of us face such as sexual orientation and gender identity, racial tension and more. Purchase a copy right now by going to Insight.org/store. The book is titled a practical guide to culture and there's a similar book targeted for young readers called a student's guide to culture Collis and ask for today listening in the United States. Call 1-800-772-8888 or go online.
Insight.org/store. Join us again on Monday. The Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll, Insight for living. The preceding message. Here's how to finish well was copyrighted in 2000 2001 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll.
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