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A Precise Explanation of Ministry, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2022 7:05 am

A Precise Explanation of Ministry, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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March 22, 2022 7:05 am

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

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

The word ministry is pervasive, especially in Christian circles, is it a verb now adjective.

Well, we often use the word ministry to describe a nonprofit organization. Apartments within a church but these casual references don't represent the depth of this term today on Insight for living trucks went all this teaching from Colossians chapter 1 is goal is to help us understand the biblical definition of this word so that we have greater confidence and legitimate ministry. Those who leave the truck title his message a precise explanation of ministry home versus of God to give us his book that is timeless and true. We can always count on this when we open his book, we will hear truth, truth to learn and truth to live by is no exception is returned to this little letter written to the Colossians into his truth to live by truth to teach us to be applied to be claimed when we are alone or when we are with others is reliable information to take us throughout time, and to prepare us for the live beyond. You have your Bible opened we are going through this little letter together in 10 weeks of asking to join with me in the project of reading it through once a week during each of the 10 weeks and I hope you're doing that.

The more we absorb it, the better we will grasp what it says and what it means I'm working with you and versus 24 through 29 is really a passage that begins at the end of verse 23, just above this 24th verse I'm reading from the new living translation the end of verse 23. The good news has been preached all over the world and I all had been appointed as God's servant to proclaim it. I'm glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God's people for God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ, or for you Gentiles to and this is the secret.

Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship. Christ, that's why I work and struggle so hard depending on Christ's mighty power that works within to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll sure to download his searching the Scriptures.

Studies by going to Insight another message from Chuck called a precise explanation of ministry that you sometimes wonder about ministry and are you on occasion a little curious about ministers. I sometimes think about folks who drive by this building who never never been inside, but there regularly and in the traffic around us as they look over and must wonder what goes on in their. Oh what about the people who lead what goes on in their wonder if there regal are for phony is interesting when you think about ministry were better at knowing what is not then what it is. For example, we know it's not a commercial enterprise that is involved in the goods and services that we sell. We know it is not an entertainment center that sells tickets and shows, movies and and offers please and live theater window is not a medical hospital where there are doctors and nurses on the staff and help people in their sickness and deal with the whole issue that may be related to dying. We also know that were not a manufacturing plant that makes widgets, markets them in and sells them, and were not an educational institution that offers degrees, diplomas for people who take courses that were not, nor should we be what are we a healthy ministry is as wholesome what were doing is it true that those who leave this ministry are trustworthy.

You often don't know.

One wag put it like this, see the preacher all week long. I don't understand him on Sundays rather honest appraisal. Matter fact speaking of that, I came across the comments of a very fine minister who writes bluntly why my mid 30s after a little more than a decade in the ministry. I'd seen it all is to duplicity and hypocrisy and immense evil that can exist in church leaders. I knew a man who was prominent in his denomination and community. Amanda was married and with his family who was it was discovered regularly consorted with several of his male employees.

While no one was watching.

The wrist is the church treasurer appeared in the church narthex on a Sunday morning dead drunk glass in hand. Wildly whispering as he was leaving that he was leaving his wife and family and departing that day on a private jet for the Middle East. Unknown pious Bible quoting soul winning murderers. He writes that over the years, while speaking at pastors conferences. My wife and I've had pastors, trembling wives, seek us out and reveal abuse and perversion by their publicly straightlaced husbands tales that sound as if they were scripted by Flannery O'Connor. He continues I've said in times of despair that you've never been head until you been had by fellow believer who calls your brother church leadership can attract people with mixed and sometimes outrightly sinful motives. The seeming prestige attract some the lure of power draws others the spiritual directing of others' lives can be heady stuff. Some like the idea of having access to the supposed mysterious inner workings of the church all these motives are empty pursuits you may have come from a toxic ministry like that. My heart goes out to getting past that getting through that takes a long time. That's what we don't badger people about quickly after visiting the need to be involved in serving some of you need to be involved in healing and recovery. You been misled are lied to, taken advantage of. You've gone through the horror of a scandal. Laura heartbreak of a split. It's tough to live. Wonder what goes on in that church. What if I could trust the leadership good question.

They want to be asked, thinking people aren't afraid to question that because you see those who leave ministries need to be qualified because will be judged by a higher standard, which at times wants me. I never want to get to the place where it's perfunctory business as usual, nor to those on our staff. My colleagues in this ministry we talk about.

You see, the Bible sets forth very high standard for those who lead people in the ways of God are middle names need to be character, integrity, honesty, I suppose that's why we get to a section like when looking at the day where Paul unveils the truth. First, regarding the minister and then ministry the we have some guidelines to go by which we are not left adrift or wash.

We are able to pinpoint some things that make for a healthy and wholesome church and a reliable minister. So let's start here, let's let's begin with the minister and let's look at the end of verse 23 and then we'll work our way 24 through 29 as we pick out some of the characteristics that mark a healthy church first. The minister look at Paul's words in the verse 23. The good news has been preached all over the world and navigate specific. I call have been appointed as God's servant to proclaim that's noteworthy when you read your Bible pay attention to words, they are the building blocks of thought and true thoughts lead to an understanding of God's truth to look at the word I've been appointed the new American Standard Bible says simply. I was made a minister, so it isn't the idea of use at home one day you think. Let's see I got to try out for ministry. They go through in my my resume and see if I get hard on it church oh reported your call and there's ministry and that I know I understand you don't read cloud formations. There is sky writing of their art messages in the middle of the night saying go into ministry isn't like that but down inside, there is the sense of call. In other words you cannot do anything else. I was asked that when I was applying for a place as a student down seminary the registrar go to Campbell, said to me, would you be happy doing anything else. Chuck, I've never been asked that before I search my heart there.

I was in my mid 20s, thinking about other things I might do.

I listen to what he said and then I looked him in the eyes and said no sir, I would be happy would be fulfilled. He said that's good. Otherwise we wouldn't accept you. We are appointed and please observe. It's not a matter of just hiring in we are appointed as God's servant God's servant, not a celebrity, not a big time cheerleader mountable motivational speaker were appointed as God's servant, and then we read of the most the single most significant task servant, one who proclaims the message never dealt the paramount importance of proclaiming the message.

John Stott has written an outstanding book called between two worlds and is describing the world that we live in between the place where we get the truth. That's the first century and the place will be declarant. That's the 21st century. Two worlds were between it, we who serve others and minister to others and many of you are in a classification of a minister not to be ordained to be a minister. Though if you're serving a church in ordination is often a requirement and endorsement as part of your qualification but I did. I noticed from Stott's words as he quotes will Sangster called to preach commissioned of God to teach the word a Harold of the great chain and that he quotes Andrew Blackwood preaching should rank as the noblest work on earth but by the way, have you noticed in our generation is fading. Its fading in our post-Christian era expositors are hard to find those who are willing to go to the word keep their finger on the text declare the message explaining the message and then apply the message and then get out of the way and let the message do its work so Stott laments so we come to the 60s, 70s and 80s the tide of preaching and the ebb is still low today, at least in the Western world. The decline of preaching is a symptom of the decline of the church, an era of skepticism is not conducive to the recovery of confident proclamation he so right. I say to everyone we ordain a look them in the lineup is to put my hand on his chest, and I say tell me tell me you're going to be in expositor promise me that when you are engaged in ministry, you will make this book in your text and you will faithfully study it and you will at every opportunity. Declarant teach it proclaim it. Let people know what God is saying in his word. When you do that you promised me that when a young man who just graduated seminary last Sunday morning.

He was getting ready to begin. Churches in rural areas in another state. I looked him in the I've never met him before and I said to him of when you promised me that wherever you serve, you will be known as a preacher of the word of God, he said, I will assume you promised me that any kind of wilted's it. Yes sir, I promise you that. I think what you realize what I'm saying you like it because once you're engaged will be every temptation in the world to pull you away from that and you'll get involved in stuff that doesn't relate to that, and before you know it you will justify and the people you're serving the ghosts go hungry like a shift that only fixes cotton candy for the meat you're responsible to tell the story that God is revealed not a bunches P patch stories as my mother used to say uses a son when you get a ministry, don't tell P patch stories.

I think I know what she meant by that, having told of you and having been around a lot of storytelling stuff. I am to proclaim the truth of God is my job, my calling and so it is the calling of every teacher who hears me right now. Every minister right now.

Everyone who serve the body wherever you have a chance to minister.

Make sure you have your Bible open and make sure you're saying something from Scripture. That's what God says he will bless no, let's look at the ministry itself. I am Mark and highlight five words in verses 24 to 29.

Let me give you the words before we look at each 1 Working Your Way through the word suffering. Verse 24 I participating in the sufferings of Christ so wholesome, healthy ministry includes engaged in suffering little later we read the church by proclaiming his entire message to you. So let's let's mark that word proclaiming your Bible in another version may use another word but you see the word mark that suffering proclaiming dropped out of verse 29 warning everyone is an expert teaching everyone with all wisdom, by the way you want to notice something. Look at everyone warning everyone and teaching everyone that we may present everyone each time he's repeating it for emphasis, sake. So what church is healthy and wholesome is a church that includes warning at the negative side of proclaiming and teaching. That's the positive side, and finally I work and struggle so hard depending on Christ mighty power. Depending or whatever word your Bible version may have ministry is a life of dependence. Let's pick the words apart and apply them and see what they mean. He says I'm glad when I suffer for you. What an interesting comment that his attitude towards suffering I'm glad when I suffer for you in my body.

Why did the little word for it explains why because I am participating in the sufferings of Christ, but continue for his body, the church, what does that mean almost like a tongue twister, you participate in the sufferings of Christ, we know it does not mean what Christ suffered on the cross. That's redemptive suffering and that's complete.

Jesus said it is finished his work on the cross is the finished work, so it's not referring to adding to what Christ started when he died on the cross for sin. This is something else. This has to do with the body of Christ, which is here the church you see it.

The sufferings of Christ to continue for his body, the church, what is it me a ministry that is healthy and wholesome enters into the suffering of other people. Outstanding book written by Eugene Peterson's title five smooth stones for pastoral work is not bedside reading pretty deep stuff.

One of his chapters is on suffering the pastoral work of pain sharing in the chapter.

I find these words. Among other things, pastoral work is a decision to deal on the most personal and intimate terms with suffering. It does not try to find ways to minimize suffering or ways to avoid. It does not particularly.

It is not particularly interested in finding explanations for it is not a search after the cure for suffering pastoral work engages self. I have a friend called me and tells me that tragic thing is happening in the family they've lost one of their family member's money then or later is not to try to make him feel better or to help her dodge the pain I enter into the grief with them. I dignify the grief but telling them I feel the pain. I too heard as they hurt. That's what is right. You see that he continues Scripture is not a lecture from God. Pointing the finger of unfortunate and unfortunate sufferers and saying I told you so, here and here and here is where you went wrong. Now you paying for it, nor is it a program from God, providing step-by-step for the gradual elimination of suffering in a series of five-year plan when a pastor encounters a person in trouble. The first order pastoral ministry is to enter into the pain, and share the suffering later on the Taft developed into clearing away the emotional rubble and exposing the historical foundation, all suffering is triggered by something now listen closely, there is an updatable event behind an active suffering a remembered word of scorn which wounded undescribable injustice, causing injury at death with a date on it. Pinpointing the hour of loss, a divorce decree giving legal definition to a rejection suffering explodes in a life and pain is scattered like shrapnel at the moment the law seems total, but gradually it is possible to recognize and touch many many things, persons, areas that remain sound and stable to discover weakness to admit guilt to accept responsibility even to be grateful for survival. But if we fail to maintain a foothold in local history, suffering like a helium filled balloon… Off the ground and we drift directionless through the air at the mercy of emotional air currents and barometric pressures of hormonal secretion sorrow that does not have historical ballast becomes anxiety and turns finally to mental illness or emotional bitterness history is necessary not to explain to anchor Chuck Swindoll wants to dig deeper into this closing illustration providing practical application so please keep listening the title. Today's message of precise explanation of ministry and to learn more about today's study or this ministry.

Visit us and then as we continue through Paul's letter to the Colossians appoint you to two important resources you see your learning begins by listening to these daily programs. But it doesn't need to end here inside for living has developed an interactive study tool. The chuckles searching the Scriptures, and there's a sequence of study notes prepared for every sermon you will hear in this Colossian series, including the one you heard today.

It's interactive because you can actually take notes online or print out the PDF for safekeeping. We invite you to point your friends to this free resource as well take a look and discover what's available to you by going to now if it's a book you're looking for then I please to remind you Chuck wrote a living insights commentary on Colossians.

This book, which also includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon belongs in your library it's laid out in the format this clearer easy to understand, provides historical background so that you understand the context of Paul's letter.

Plus, it's written in the engaging style.

This become a hallmark of Chuck's teaching to purchase a copy of the commentary on Colossians go to or call us if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 we rely on your support to make these daily Bible studies with Chuck possible. It's been a while since you responded to the need to work. Maybe you've never stepped forward with a contribution. We invite you to give a donation today by calling us listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 or give a donation online Join us when Chuck Swindoll continues his brand-new study in Paul's letter to the Colossians tomorrow on Insight for living.

The preceding message of precise explanation of ministry 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

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