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January 12, 2021 7:05 am
Beginning in September of last year Chuck Swindoll began a comprehensive study through Paul's New Testament letter of Ephesians seriously titled becoming a people of grace.
Notably, the 26 part study concludes today insight for living. Glad you chosen to join us for an emotion filled half hour biblical instruction as we examine Paul's closing comments to his friends in Ephesus in the closing verses of Ephesians chapter 6 Paul provides explicit instruction on how to make the most of our golden years, Chuck titled today's message. Here's how to finish well. Stay strong in people who stay strong in prayer finish well with all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the spirit and with this interview be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and by the way, pray for me. 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 prayer will keep you engaged in what is happening. It will focus your time and energy on what God is doing. Ill get your eyes off herself. Keep you from throwing so many pity parties and reminds you that life is to be spent on the positive side, not the negative prayer never leaves me negative. It always makes me positive.
It gives me hope to go on, and so it will be for you.
Stay strong in prayer, finish well is the second. Be bold. Encourage verses 19 and 20. Be bold.
Encourage pray on my behalf.
That utterance may be given to be 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 says again as I ought to speak. Not before we analyze what Paul wrote stop and remember where Paul was member is under arrest, but of course never a complaint there's not even a requested that you would please ask the Lord to heal book the raw run sores on my ankles and and on my wrist from the manacles.
He doesn't say.
Pray that I'll be freed from this unfair arrest. His eyes are not on himself. What is he pretty for he he says there were needs greater than these physical needs. I need to be bold I need to have courage as I speak the gospel. That's my that's my calling that I would be bold and courageous to open my mouth and make the gospel known as I ought to do. See how verse 20 ends. As I ought to speak is wait a minute. This is all you trying to tell me what bold wake up Swindoll. This is the apostle Paul. Anybody was courageous. Paul really maybe you know something we don't know. He says he's not well he just try to be humble. Let let's check the seed of eternity, let's go back to first Corinthians 2 see if this is really Paul Harvey's jerkiness around first Corinthians chapter 2 is a little younger when he wrote this to Corinth verse one chapter 2 and when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and improves the sound too nervous to me. Read the next verse, and I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. Say what I checked it in the Greek I preach this passage on a number of occasions on the humanity of the apostle and and just like us.
He came to Corinth in weakness and fear and trembling in a lie. Figure now he adjustment to Athens and he left with his tail between his legs. No church was ever established in Athens.
He met all those eggheads on the Areopagus, and there was no interest in the gospel and he left with a few people saying listening sometime and he comes to Corinth which is a fast city of Gentiles. He's a Jew, raised, apart from Jen's eyes, a Pharisee and is passed out of Tarsus for the make chance to see people. Apostle says I was with you in weakness and fear in much trembling in my message was not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power at all this weird idea that the man never ever was in the beginning of the second letter of Corinth. He said I despaired even of life. I think he was given to depression. I think the pain in his body at time was so strong he wished he could just check out. That's why in Ephesians chapter 6 pieces pray for me that I have the courage to speak what I ought to speak you know what's great to see an older people boldness to speak for Christ's. We need you bold and oh, the apostle says pray for me that I would be bold and I'm an ambassador in chains, that I may speak boldly as I ought to speak me tell you something. The apostle Paul ought to speak boldly at his age so should you. And I not talk endlessly not offensively boldly you live long enough to be heard. You have earned the right to be heard. I read back into Exodus chapter 32 will take the time to turn I found Moses coming down from the mountain okay. He's now past 80 he's coming down with the tablets and he sees the people of the Hebrews dancing in front of this golden and he is really he slams the tablets down and takes them on with both fists.
He confronts Aaron and says whatever appearances you know these people are evil. I mean, they just threw gold in the plot and out came his text that's what it said. Moses goes get a life. Aaron he confronts Aaron, he confronts the people he has been drinking. After grinding up this golden Important in the water makes him drink it is that you will never do this again before the living God. This is a man in his 80 confronting the Hebrews and disobedient. And there's not a person in the group taken issue with because his bow standing for what is right.
You never get so old that you're not that important and you will finish well if you stay bold encourage. Quit talking yourself out of speaking up for Christ do it do it and you can't start when you're retired, I wrote a grant I read a great piece in preparation for old age should begin, not later than once teens a life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement are you preparing for getting older. If you're not bold. Now I can't imagine how you you will be when you get into your 70s and 80s practice now.
Don't worry about what they think most of them don't. That's why you gotta be bold stand for what you believe. Don't worry about how they're going to respond. You couldn't change that if you try and who wants him to sit there and listen to nothing.
Cultivate a closeness with faithful friends versus 21 and 22 cultivate a closeness with faithful friend, but that you also may know about my circumstances. How I am doing to kick us the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will make everything known to you, look at that word that name to kick us to kick us say that to kick us never said that before it submits it's a brand-new name the beloved brother and faithful minister to kick us will make known everything to get if you check them out in Colossians. He's the same guy mentioned was taking the message about Paul to the friends say he wasn't under arrest, but he was a close friend with Paul cultivated a good relationship in the process.
Paul could trust him to spread the information about him to other people how Paul was doing and that's what ticket because as he says in verse 22.
I've sent him to you for this very purpose of you may know about us that he may comfort your heart.
This is a great point. He's got a friend as you grow older you get more friends, less really, it's it's invaluable what I did this past week, something I've never done in my study of the Scriptures. I sat down and I went through Romans all the way back to Philemon. Checking the names of Paul's friends. Are you ready I found 45 names 45 names and it's not an exhaustive list. I'm sure it it could, but son could be added to most of these names you've never heard of their friends of Paul listen, Phoebe, Priscilla, Aquila apparatus.
Mary Andronicus Julius Beatrice Banas's Nikes appellees those of the house of Everest oculus try for no try.
Wonder if they were twins thought Rufus Timothy Lucius, Jason Sosa put her tertius Gaius Stefan S. Fortunato's okay I guess to kick us look octopus Vanessa Miss Mark Barnabas never owned a sin for us to press the proper diagnosis Erastus dropping bus uvula's Putin's line is Lydia Claudia Silas Portis talking in terms of.
This lady overhears going crazy trying to keep up with that is unbelievable. Learn to say, etc. that'll work, dear lady working with our folks to hearing-impaired. You know why I did that I did that to tell you he is encircled himself and friend. Oh, I hope you are I hope you are doing that you will finish well. If you do that.
I hope your circle of friends is larger than it used to be and is growing in number beyond the old crew that used to hang around with all the time. Nothing wrong with sustaining them ported that you not limited to them and not be sure you chew some who were younger.
One of the joys of leaving the seminary as being around younger men and women.
It's terrific there forever challenging the mind. People my age and around my age were the ones who are being educated.
We don't tell them that. But that is what's happening. Listen to the words of alternate at age 75. He said one of the secrets of my life and my wife's is staying young and staying young and removed from adolescence is the most of our friends are now younger than we sometimes one hears said that it is not easy to form new friendships. Once one is no longer young. If this were really the case.
My luck would be exceptional. My closest friends from the period of my childhood and youth are nearly all dead and gone my wife to his lost many of hers but we have lots of new friendships, wonderful friendships with men and women who were mostly younger than week and who certainly play their part in keeping us young and heart and mind. Some of our closest friends. We have known for only a few years know what you need younger friends because their whole perspective is different from yours.
And from my plus they're not enamored of you and their world is been different from your world and they bring a freshness in the vitality and joy in the whole. Furthermore, you need to finish well. I'm sending ticket costs because I trust him. He's been right here with me and he knows me. Stay strong in prayer. Be bold.
Encourage cultivate closeness with faithful friends and finally let love for Christ abound on such a model of this. I'm amazed no bitterness. He never got cranky all the wrong things done against him and the man just pulled out all the stops we could have weekends.
This everyone of his letter starts with an in something like this piece of meat of the brethren, and love with faith, from God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ grace me with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with him in corruptible love, love that word grace me with all those who love our Lord Jesus with in corruptible love. You see the great words in this benediction piece love, faith, grace, even love in corruptible. What a great letter.
It begins with grace and peace and it ends with peace and grace always loves sandwiched in between.
The man is still under arrest still stuck against his wishes, and against his own plans and he's been there for months, maybe well over a year and he even let the entire letter without one saying don't you feel sorry for me. Don't you wish I could be free.
He says why. Because of this imprisonment.
Many have come to know Christ and to know the love of God, God has his own timetable. He has you exactly where he wants you to listen to me you are in a circumstance that herein because that's exactly where God planted. He is not surprised. And he is not frustrated, he is not out of control. He is in control and is painful. Art is is a straight as the path may be right now is it's full of strain. Believe me, you are right where the father plans now. You accept that and make the most of it and given an opportunity for love to abound you become a part of the statistics my time could've been spent talking about Dimas who loved this present world and force of the righteous path or Sampson whose life litters the pathway of disobedience or half dozen others.
The books full of them.
Because this book tells the truth. But remember Enoch who walked with God and probably did because he prayed. Remember Moses who led the exodus and led the Hebrews all the way to the promised land because he was bold incurred. Remember Kaylee, who took the mountain and refused to back off because of a friendship with Joshua that strengthen him all the way through those difficult years of waiting. Remember, Paul, regardless of the circumstances love to the very now let me confess something to I cannot make this happen. All I can teach the truth as best I understand it, and I will do it as long as I live in if I don't do it.
I will answer to elders who hold my feet to the fire and they should. It is my responsibility to set the doctrinal stage for the future of this church and to strengthen its spine muscles doctrine, but I cannot make you loving. I can only courage you to be and challenge you to be and I can remind you that there were churches better taught that ours has been lost, namely Ephesus, can you believe it. If you were to take the time and turn from Ephesians 6 over to Revelation chapter 2 verse four, you would read of the church at Ephesus in the year 95 A.D. 95. 30 years later from the state and they had left their first law, though founded by Paul and instructed by Paul sent a six chapter letter from Paul, nurtured by Paul and Timothy and the apostle John as pastors when it comes to the end of the first century there known for their orthodoxy in the love days and I fear that is much as anything Stonebraker Community Church do something about the teaching I can't make you love each other.
I can love you and I do but the Lord has to work within you to help you forgive and live in harmony infection, forgiveness with one another to most churches in the Dallas area don't split because of bad teaching a split because of a lack of love they break down because relationships break down and they don't have love in corruptible for Christ not only in the Dallas area but anywhere around the world stay to see asked Henry David Thoreau once said, none are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm not just about our heads closer rise to soul-searching, I will preach a sermon again that I will remind you that these principles still work.
Prayer, courage, friendship, love, still the secret attorney church into the harbor of hope in a place of renewal makes the church contagious magnetic begins with you and the only reason you have to feel hope… If you've never come to Christ and if that's true, what are you waiting for talk about needing to be bold. Don't wait another day, you may not have another 24 hours. This is your invitation may be different from a church you're familiar with. This is your invitation I'm inviting you to come to the Lord Jesus Christ right where you're sitting right where you live, you may choose to receive them when you sit down in your car as soon as this meeting is over, you may prefer to receive him after doing a little more time in the word this afternoon examining passages that help convince you live your own sin, but I doubt that's what you need. This is the best time now. Right now, so I invite you to come to Christ right now most of us in the staff remain right up here until the meeting is ended and everybody's gone, you come to Christ should like to tell us, talk to us about now. Father I pray that you will use the truth that has been shared to help us not only live well but finish well silence the Tim Tatian within our minds to back off as we get older are somehow feeling reluctant that we have little to offer when in fact we have more than ever in our lives, having transferred knowledge and found turn into wisdom, give us open mouths and open minds and open hearts, open arms to accept people where they are and help them become like Christ deal with us father for our prayer list nests are reluctance to stand boldly for the Savior. Forgive us our father for limiting our friends to close few who were safe and never threatening. Help us to broaden our reach, especially for our love… We have treasured knowing truth more than leaving it in the world has lost its way. Thank you for the Lord Jesus, who was such a perfect land of all these things worship him today in his name for his sake and all God's people say a today's prayer not only concludes the message wraps up Chuck Swindoll's comprehensive study through Paul's letter to the Ephesians as well. He is titled the signature series becoming a people of grace you're listening to Insight for living in the event you missed any program in this series. Remember, you can catch up by straining the audio directly from our website, you'll find all the information and insight world.org.
We are pleased to remind you that the next episode represents a milestone day at Insight for living because were launching a brand-new expositional study in the gospel according to Matthew in the coming weeks and months. Chuck Swindoll will guide us through this first century account of Jesus birth, his entire ministry on earth right through his parting words commonly known as the great commission along with the daily program Insight for living ministries has prepared a number of additional resources for you and each one is designed to help you dig deeper into God's word on your own and to apply the principles to your daily life.
For example, the online searching the Scriptures.
Studies will complement each sermon. This gives you a way to explore the passage on your own and to take notes of what you're learning. You can even print out the document and share it with friends to search the Scriptures with Chuck go to Insight.org/studies finally in sync with the release of this brand-new series on the program. Chuck recently released his verse by verse commentary on the book of Matthew the guns into hardbound volumes alongside the verses in Matthew loss or gain access to charts, photos, key terms and of course Chuck's practical insight so to purchase windows living inside commentary for Matthew Collins glistening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888, 1-800-772-8888 or go online to Insight.org/store tomorrow. Chuck Swindoll begins her new study in the book of Matthew.
Let's meet the king right here on 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. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited