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March 23, 2022 7:05 am
In his letter to the Colossians Paul told his friends that God was holding a secret and it was time for them to embrace Paul said God wanted you to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you and he added. This is the secret. Christ lives in you will today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll helps us understand the life altering implication statement not only for the Colossians, you and me as well.
Chuck titled his message a precise explanation of ministry begin with prayer grateful father for those milestones in life's graduation are good you have been to provide all that was needed. The health the discipline. The determination commitment and now the reward for those who were still engaged in the process. Those in educational pursuit was in business.
Those serving you in some capacity in your work others who have finished their work and are now in the retirement years. Pray that you will remind them today of your grace given to us what we don't deserve and can never ever repay for you never look for repayment. Look for our lives. We want you to know. Father, we want to live for you strictly out of love for you because we have to, because we are in love with you, and you have shown us in that love relationship that is enriching and rewarding in his matchless name we give we pray everyone's to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll sure to download his searching the Scriptures study by going to Insight world.or/studies.
Another message from Chuck called a precise explanation of ministry. The ministry itself marked in highlight five words in verses 24 to 29. Let me give you the words before we look at each 1 Working Your Way through suffering. Verse 24 I participating in the sufferings of Christ little later we read the church by proclaiming his entire message to you. So let's let's mark that word proclaiming the verse 29 warning everyone 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. So let's pick the words apart and apply them 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 we know it does not mean what Christ suffered on the cross, suffering, and that's complete. Jesus said it is finished. 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. People are not made to should be ashamed that there suffering.
Furthermore, there is in the hand of self-pity or resentment on Paul's parties and I'm glad when I am able to enter into your world, your suffering brought participating in a very important part of the ministry and that suffering in the body, the church remember the words of Philippians 310, Paul wrote amplified Bible that I may know him. That is, that I may intimately that I may become more intimately and progressively in touch with him.
So many were through the fellowship of his suffering.
This is part of the fellowship of his suffering. Christ was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. So the man or woman of God must have a place in his or her life for sorrow and grief.
It is not our task to fix people who are hurting is not the task of someone in the church ministers to another going through a deep valley to try to jerk them out of the valley.
We get in the valley with we identify with the pain we feel the hurt one of my tasks as a minister and a and others task is to help people live through the pain and survive and to assist if I possibly can and helping them figure out some of the costs is a very delicate intimate relationship that develops pastors who are too busy to do that are too busy people who enter into the lives of others.
Take time we listen, we care the times we weep at times we agree horses, I suffer for you in my body or I participating in the sufferings of Christ continues with his body, the church. So much for that ministry is not healthy or wholesome. If there is not entering into the suffering of one another. Second, proclaiming 25 through 27 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church. How by proclaiming his entire message to you to people of Colossae who were they gentiles mainly not Jews, mainly gentiles and in the first century a Gentile was called a dog by those who were proud Jews. These people ever live on the backend of prejudice they been kind of left out of the blessings of God until Paul comes along with his message proclaiming the secret. Look at it.
My job is to proclaim his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past your Bible may include the word mystery mystery, a moose carry-on translated mystery in our Bible is a sacred secret hidden in the past, but now fully revealed the longest time God was at work, wanting to get the message to you. That's why he sent Jonah to Nineveh. But Jonah didn't want to remember the story and didn't want to mess around with those Ninevites almost gentiles. He doesn't want to see them trust in the living God because Jonah is a prejudiced profit.
So is not saying the veil of prejudice is lifted at this this message was kept secret for centuries and generations past.
Now it's been revealed to God's people.
God wanted to know wanted them to know that the riches and glory of forgive me for God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ, or for you Gentiles to this is the secret. Christ lives in you know you hear that you're sitting in this 21st century setting and you think, well, big deal. All wait. If you live in the first century and lived under the threat that Gentiles lived under the awful awful cloud of prejudice.
You would think all how magnificent is this God gives us the assurance of sharing his glory Christ lives in me of all people is like Emancipation Proclamation announced the slaves you are free. You are free no longer all by someone you can be free in this land and little by little the message finally was believed and finally, little by little prejudice set aside little by little sleeves came to know liberty and freedom this case, the Gentiles of the let me just give you the practical side of this prejudice has no place in the local church whether the church is in the south of the north one of the churches in America or Canada or South America whether the churches in Africa or Asia. If there's one place a person ought to know the joy of being free of prejudice.
It is the local church.
Paul says I have the joy of proclaiming that the secret is now known God lives in you. It's a message for all Jews and Gentiles alike are no longer excluded from the glory of the riches of God's grace. You were once hopeless and helpless. Ephesians 2 tells us that, but now, now that predicament is been removed. You are filled with hope. Since Christ lives in you, empowering you to please you.
We now tell others about Christ, he says in verse 20 prejudice Bishop Sean Greene of Sydney, Australia told about working with a group of boys, some of them of aboriginal blood. Some of English descent, racial tension was so great they could not sit peaceably with each other on the same bus one day when things were getting heated Bishop Green stop the bus and had all the boys get all he spoke with great passion, exclaiming that they were no longer black and white no longer aboriginal in English from now on your all agreed. Your pre-he then lined them up in alternate order and made them repeat the same two words as I got back on the bus. I am green I am green did you hear those boys doing that, I agreed. I am green and the guilt of the bus hear the rest of the story.
They wrote along quietly integrated quote on quote until he heard a voice from the back of the bus okay light green on one side. Dark green on the other we can't get rid of it unless it's done.
The power of Christ cannot be legislated. The heart has to be changed and I speak as a southern born young man from days past. Having grown by southern born parents having been around southern prejudice and I can tell you the more I read passages like this, the more grateful I am that God can deliver us from a life of bridging some of you need that deliverance you still entertain secret feelings of prejudice, it still impacts in your treatment of others of another race or color a church that's healthy and wholesome has no place for that.
If the Gentiles of the first century were freed. Certainly all races are freed once they come to Christ were all one in the body is what it will be like in heaven. By the way, freed of all of that pain. Verse 28, so we tell others about Christ, warning everyone. There's 1/3 word a church this wholesome and healthy and healthy warns everyone as I said earlier, this is the negative side of the ministry of the word. It includes admonition instruction reproof discipline this word from which the word warning comes means to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct was a big words that say you need to stop doing certain thing a churches pulpit no longer says words like that is not a healthy church. If all you hear is the positive you're not getting a good diet. You need a diet that includes admonition, Paul uses the word when he speaks of the Ephesian elders that you remember how I warned you that there would be wolves that would come right from your own meds who would take advantage of you ask 20 that morning appears.
I heard a televangelist interviewed on one occasion in a talkshow and a televangelist well-known big following was asked by the interviewer.
Why is it I never hear you use the word said do you use the word sin, and in the man responded no, absolutely not. People arty know their center. They need to be told a good tale really is that right I have found that it's helpful to know at times how wrong things are.
If I were physician and only gave you good news, I lied to you about having cancer is called malpractice. You can malpractice in ministry, but telling someone only what they want to hear rather than warning history stays healthy because their warnings warning everyone. That's the negative. Now look at the positive teaching everyone. This is the positive side of instructing them and read on teaching with all wisdom that God has given us. We want to present everyone to God mature in their relationship to Christ, so it isn't all negative.
It is of all warning otherwise would be like driving and all the signs of the side of the road, will tell you on the sign for the row does not lead you never get to your destination that this will not get you to that this will not get you where that's just the night you got. I have the other side as well.
And when you get the other side of the teaching is such that it comes with wisdom. You have a balanced diet and again is for every one of us were learning about five ingredients in a healthy church we enter into people suffering were involved in proclaiming some of the proclaiming his warning other proclaiming his teaching, and now I love this last part that's why I work and struggle so hard depending on Christ mighty power that works with a ministry that gets the job done is exhausting know ministry is authentically a healthy and wholesome ministry without hard work without a deep and exacting commitment. Paul uses two words I work and I struggle the first word for word is a word for labor, as when he made tents and he uses it in that way in another place of one of his letters.
The second word struggle as I don't visit my we get the word agony from the word I agonize about all the while I am depending on depending on Christ power to stay at it. There are days at the end of a day of ministry that you are exhausted said that I have a saying we share with each other: 32nd night usually is right after we brush our teeth, get ready go to bed now say to her mother tongue is a little thick as the 32nd night at about the time my head hits the pillow. I'm snoring and she says to me the next morning it was actually a 10 second night that you had all of the line from my Dwight L. Moody, who at bedtime after a laborious day, rolled his sizable bolt into the bed and this prayer was Lord I'm tired. Amen.
Not a bad prayer you love golf more than ministry don't go into the ministry you love some hobby more than ministry.
I don't waste our time just to your hobby. But when you are engaged in ministry, you can count on it. It will be times of work in agony, but you will be able to make it because of your dependence on the Lord Jesus market down. Sloth is an enemy of a great ministry.
It has no place in a pastor's life. So here it is.
This is how we do it we depend on Christ mighty power. When you and I depend on Christ power. Don't miss this. We don't watch the clock will feel sorry for ourselves. We don't move to another church goes will make more money we don't run from hard tasks. We don't brag about how hard were working.
We stay energized and excited and motivated.
We cannot wait for the next day to begin. I confess to you, I am addicted to what I'm doing and I can't get up early enough to get started on him.
He was about ill sleep at 5 o'clock, preferably 4 o'clock. My kids were so glad to leave the house because they said that you're the loudest person at 4 o'clock anybody could positive your things around us. It will I just like you to get up time for us to get up and I'm all excited about what about ministry but what's in front of me the opportunity the privilege the joy of teaching Colossians and did not teaching and studying it in the privilege of being with colleagues who are engaged in the same thing and being around people who love it. This is energizing stuff so let's see what this says to all of us and then on through four things.
Number one, were appointed as servants were not hired to hold a job you hear and never hear me refer to ministry as a job.
It's a calling.
We are appointed as servants not hired to hold a job number two were thankful for. Suffering not resentful of it is important that I as a minister.
Don't try to interrupt God's teaching you to your suffering. I need to stay out of the way and stand alongside you and hurt with you, but not try to make you ignore it or get past were thankful for suffered number three were telling everyone the secret were not keeping it to ourselves.
Everyone deserves to know the good news. What a privilege it is to share it.
We don't pay attention to what race a person is or what color our joys to share the good news is God's job to take it up from there for them.
Finally were giving it our all. Were not holding back one of my favorite lines comes from the martyred missionary Jim Elliott get this wherever you are, be all there not a great line wherever you are, be all there lifted the hills. Every situation you believe to be the will of God live to the hilt. Every situation you believe to be the will of God. I have the privilege of living in that world and it's perhaps the highest of all privileges by with me. Would you please you set through this patiently listening, it may be the reason you got a little bored is you may not know the Savior. I don't know my job to tell you about it. What my calling includes Savior died that you might have life. He paid the price for your sins so you didn't have to pay it. Because of that he's ready to give you his life if you will receive his gift of eternal life, take it right now and as you do, given thanks for coming in, living within you, turning you in the right direction giving you a promise of eternity future and hope we can help you with that decision. That's why we exist connect with us in any way you wish. We will offer you hope and a way to go on help us all our father to realize that are our hope is in you, not really in our times, suffering has a purpose, it isn't design just to make a score and feel pain. The proclamation is a privilege we who are under the teaching of the Scriptures consider it a great joy to be instructed in truth, help us our father to live lives of character and integrity and honesty so that people are not disillusioned when they find out that has not been going.
Guard us from anything that would interrupt precious fellowship is our system. Guard us from wolves that would come in. Guard us from the colors. Pray those are not well guard is slow.
This will become lazy, give us joy.
Mark arrives in the name of Jesus. Everyone's amen we hope today studying Colossian better understand God's design for ministry guide you to a local church were these principles are modeled as well. You're listening to Insight for living in the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. He is presenting a brand-new verse by verse study through Paul's letter to the Colossians, and to learn more about this study and our ministry. Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you'll be pleased to learn. Chuck is written a commentary on Colossians. In fact this hardbound volume includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon as well. This is the kind of book you likely spread open next year Bible should dig deeper into this satisfying letter from Paul to purchase a copy of the living insights commentary on Colossians go to Insight.org/offer or call us if you listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 now the last several months we've heard from thousands of friends from all around the world who've affirmed the value Bible. Many of the elders, they can trace their listening back 10, 20, 30 years and more effective friend sent us an email that said, I've been a listener since my teenage years and I'm moving closer to 60 years old now. Thank you Insight for living, for making a huge impact on my life to know the number of hearts that are being touched globally by Insight for living each day blows me away. This feedback motivates us to keep forging. We believe the best days are yet before we deepen our friendship partners like you give a donation today. Call us listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 or give a donation online Insight.org/don't mind Dave's joint is when Chuck Swindoll describes what he calls wise counsel the concerned apostle Thursday on Insight for living. The preceding message. The 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