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Spot-On Advice from a Seasoned Coach, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2022 7:05 am

Spot-On Advice from a Seasoned Coach, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 1, 2022 7:05 am

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

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When a person decides to receive Jesus Christ as Lord, everything changes within. But in addition to the regeneration of the soul, the Bible teaches us that believers should pursue specific goals. Here's how Paul framed it in Colossians 3. He said, Since you have been raised to a new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll challenges us to heed Paul's counsel. We're picking up right where we left off on Thursday's program.

Teaching from Colossians chapter 3, Chuck titled his message Spot on Advice from a Seasoned Coach. Here are the things that we need to get rid of. First is a group of sensual things. Next is a group of materialistic things. And you'll see the third is a group of verbal, verbal habits. The emotional part of our lives, which has to do with anger and maliciousness. These areas of our emotions and words out of control.

Look at it. Now's the time to get rid of anger. Some people have a seething of that of anger just under the surface. On occasion, you will see evidence of it, but they kind of live as an angry person. We refer to people like that as needing anger management. Because they live in the realm of the angry.

And he warns us against that, says get rid of that long-lasting, slow-burning fuse that refuses to let go and give up. The second is the word for outbursts of anger. We call this temper. It's correctly rendered rage. We have the words road rage. That's not a seething low-level anger. That is an abrupt violent act that lashes out on the road when somebody cuts in on your lane or somebody gets to the light or holds up the light before you're able to make it.

And then they go across while it's yellow and then you don't get to make it. And if you're not careful, you catch up with them and then bad things happen. It's called rage. You may live with the person who's given to rage.

If you are that person, this is written to you. Get rid of anger, rage. Here's a third one, malicious behavior. This is a viciousness of mind that plans evil against another person. In fact, it rejoices when misery falls on that individual. We call that individual a malicious person and that may be your weakness.

If it is, it's time to get rid of it. Malicious behavior has no place in the Christian's life. It'll not only ruin your life, it'll ruin your marriage if you happen to be married.

It'll ruin your family relationships if you happen to have a family. Malicious behavior. And then he goes to slander, which everybody understands, and then he coins a word and uses nowhere else in all the New Testament translated in this version, dirty language.

It's a word for dishonoring words, abusive words, words that shame perhaps our best synonym would be obscene, language that is obscene. Get rid of it. This is Coach Paul instructing all of us as our very qualified guide through life and he's saying, set your sights vertically, not horizontally. Once they're set, rid yourself of the things that drag you down, sensual things, materialistic things, and these things that are in the realm of anger and slander and dirty language. I left out one of the group. I saved it for the last here in this group. Don't lie to each other. By the way, isn't it interesting he's writing to Christians. It's easy to you to think as you sit there, I wish my neighbor were here to hear what's being said from our pulpit that he or she needs to hear. This is not written to your neighbor.

It's written to you. You know the harshest letters I've ever received? I've received from fellow Christians. You know, the ugliest words ever said to me have been said to me by fellow Christians. The worst things done to me have been done to me by so-called brothers and or sisters in the family of God. Frankly, some folks who lie more often than they tell the truth are often Christians.

Stunning, isn't it? It's a tough one to hear. I, on occasion, will marry a couple and I always ask for the opportunity to do some premarital counseling. They always think it's going to be great because they're getting ready to get married and everything is honeymoon and fun and it's going to be one ring after another and it's going to be a joy and I can't wait for us to make love.

It's going to be so great. And then I say I'd like to meet with you and I'd like to talk to you about some things. When I get through with them, it's like, do we really want to go through with this?

See, I bring them to reality and one of the first things I address is they're lying to each other. We learned a lot of each other when we date. You do that when you're dating. The bride-to-be loves a symphony.

You hate it. She says, we're going to go to the symphony Friday night. You go, oh, I love the symphony.

That'd be great. That's wonderful. You lie right through the lips and you go and you hate it. Then you get married and she says, let's go to the symphony. You say, are you, what are you smoking?

There's no way I'm going to be interested in going to the symphony. But you went with me. I know, but what you did was lie. Teaching people to talk the truth is one of the most difficult things in the world. Some of you regularly lie to your married partners, even though you're married to them. You regularly tell them something that isn't true. But I'm going to tell you, chances are good, you have a problem. It may be as mild as exaggeration, or your slander may be a hidden prejudice. You just are careful where you use those words, but it's down deep and you haven't dug it out. Back to the story about marriage and all of that.

We have a very, very good friend who became missionary. He and his wife, shortly after they married, they were in a terrible auto accident. Both of them were thrown from the car. Cars totaled her vertebrae.

The one that paralyzes your limbs was the one that broke. And she became, even though just weeks, months along in the marriage, a quadriplegic. Every time I marry a couple, I tell them about my friends, who had that to face shortly after they had been at the altar. And for the rest of his life, he has a wife who cannot move arms or legs. When he talks about love and commitment, it's a whole new level. When I tell that story to people that are going to get married, they're like, ah, ah. And they look like, uh, but that's not going to happen. I say, you don't know.

You don't know what's going to happen. But your love, which is really commitment, that's what we want to talk about, has to bypass all physical disabilities. All physical disabilities, all emotional battles. You may marry a man who, within a matter of months, falls into a depression and needs serious counseling, serious work, and he's no longer the man you thought he was. And you're married.

That's why later on in the passage when it says love is the one thing that binds us together, that's the one you've got to search real carefully. But get rid of all lying. If you've begun to form the habit of lying, that's a great habit to stop as of today. Get rid of it.

Have it no longer a part of your life. And then we come to this transition. Now that we've gotten clearly in mind that we're to be coaching them up, we're to be focusing on the vertical, now that we understand the things that ought to be laid aside, we're going to go through a transition. That's verses 10 and 11. Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him. Isn't that a great line? You got a new nature so act like it, kick it into action, get it underway, let it take over your life, and be renewed as you learn to know the God you say you believe in. In fact, there's another letter that Paul wrote where he says, mimic God.

I love that line. Learn the things that characterize your God and then begin to live like that. As you get to know Him, you learn of Him, your Creator, and your goal now in this transition is to start becoming like Him.

And He is the ideal model to follow. Verse 11, verse 11, in this new life it doesn't matter, and look at the list, if you're Jew or Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, you know that doesn't mean a lot to us because we're all Gentiles. Most of us here are Gentiles, but many of those reading the letter were Jewish and all their lives the Gentile was the dog, the mangy dog, the Roman was the swine. That's how they were raised. But if the person who is a Gentile trusts in Christ, he's a member of the same family, for goodness sake.

Whether Jew or Gentile, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, the barrier is down. And he's describing it so that you realize you can't hide behind the fact that, you know, we're of different races or we're of different backgrounds. That's what it's all about. That's what makes the family so exciting.

To live in this family is a place that you don't live freely in any other area of life. There are lines of demarcation. In fact, look at the third one in the list. There's no longer the uncircumcised or the barbaric. You know what the person of that day would call a person who was uneducated and rather crude?

They would refer to them as bar bar bar bar bar. That's the word they used for them and they came to be known as barbaric. A person may come from that background, not a lot of seasoning, not a lot of class, very different from the way you were raised. Maybe you were taught good manners and you weren't raised. You didn't have to raise yourself like a lot of them do.

But he said we're all in the same family, barbarian, uncivilized. Look at slave or free. When was the last time you were in the slave market?

Probably never, unless we refer to slave traffic, which by the way is everywhere. But in these days, it wasn't hidden. It wasn't a secret kept by those who traffic in that realm.

It was public. Your slave, your mark, often branded. He says in the family of God, doesn't matter if your background is safe.

You have the marks of shackles on your wrist, doesn't matter. You're in the family. You see, when you go through this transition, you begin to look at people with new eyes and you don't care about their color.

You don't. It doesn't bother you that their background is so different from your background. You are thrilled. They're in the family. Only Christ can blend together lives like this.

So he writes to people in colossi who have been raised so prejudiced toward a body of people. In fact, look at how it ends. Christ is all that matters and he lives in all of us. Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.

Perfect example is Christ. Now then, we've made the transition. We're on our way to a new way of life. Look at the garments we're to wear.

In fact, these are, if you will, threads that are woven into the garment that we're to wear. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, don't miss that, set apart to him, people he loves, you must clothe yourself with these eight qualities. Last time I talked about a list you need to ignore, pay no attention to, since it represents a legalistic standard someone's trying to force on you.

This is not legalism. This is a good list written under the inspiration of the spirit of God. And here are the eight.

Here are the things to put in your new garments. Tender-hearted mercy. Say, you know what, Chuck? I wasn't raised to be tender-hearted. I'm not asking how you were raised. I'm talking to you about your new family.

I'm coaching you, or Paul is, in a whole new way of life. Tender-hearted mercy is appropriate. In fact, essential for us to get along in this divergent family. Look at the next one, kindness. Wouldn't it be great if everyone were just kind?

I love the way my sister puts it. She says on occasion, I just wish that everyone were nice. Just be nice. It'll shock some folks, but it's good for them to realize you've got a nice side. Maybe you've had to be tough to make it through your life.

There's a place for tough, and it isn't in the family. You just be kind. How about humility? Humility disarms everyone around us. Where there's pride everywhere, on occasion you'll meet someone genuinely humble.

I read about a headmaster of a school that was a wonderful man that everyone loved. One of his characteristics is humility. And they have placed these people getting awards in a line, and the others in front of him were walking onto the stage, and then they said, and now to the one we consider the most humble individual in the school, and he steps back and asks the lady behind him to take the stage. Everybody else is applauding.

He's applauding her. How great it is that they recognize that humility is in her. That's humility.

Not looking for the applause yourself, not expecting it, being surprised by it. In fact, humility is a part of the garment. Gentleness, patience.

We're not going to stay there very long. Let's move right on to verse 13. The next one I would call forbearance.

Forbearance would be number six. Making allowance for each other's faults. You need to do that. You need to make room for that. Leave people to catch up on their own. Bear with them. And then forgive them, those who offend you. Forgive them. Right now, if you're not careful, you are massaging a list of things that you don't like in certain individuals, and you've got those people in the black book of your mind. Get rid of the black book.

When you hear the name, don't think first of something you don't like about them. Forgive that. If anyone offends you, forgive it.

Get past it. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others, and above all, here it is, clothe yourself with love. You know how we all benefit from these things? We all benefit from it because we are not only the recipients of these things, we are models of these things, and we become the guide for others to learn from.

How helpful is that? Think of yourself not simply as a recipient of these great qualities, thanks to the grace of God, but now as one who can be a mentor. And you begin by teaching them to your own children, and then you spread that to your circle of friends and fellow fellow believers that you have in your life. And before long, you have changed the whole perspective in the lives of others. I got to tell you, and I close with these comments, I don't know that there's anything more valuable regarding attitude than the right perspective. How we look at things makes all the difference. It leads to whether we look forward to something or dread something. It's whether we're excited about something or we would wish it would never happen. Perspective.

We held our Insight for Living board meeting this past week. It happened to fall right at the anniversary of D-Day. It happens to be the 70th anniversary, which I hope you did take time to pause and give God thanks for the heroes who flooded that beach in Normandy and those who flew planes and gliders and those who parachuted into dangerous places. The whole turning point of the war, you watched Saving Private Ryan, and unless I missed my guess, that first 30 minutes you had to look away a time or two.

It's so raw. One of our board members told us that his father was one of the very first ones that jumped into the darkness of night and landed by parachute, of all places, in a tree. Think of it.

You're already marked because there's this massive parachute above you and now you're hanging in a tree, somehow was able to slide down without being detected, and then lived to tell the story of the fight. Another one of our board members passed along to me, happens to be a Lieutenant General retired in the Air Force, and he said, I got a story, Chuck, that I think you would love. It's about perspective. I thought, boy, thanks, Gary. You gave me my conclusion. This is it.

This is what I need. Two veterans of D-Day were being interviewed for a program commemorating the anniversary of the Allied assault to defeat Nazi Germany and restore freedom to Europe. One of the men had fought the battle on the ground on Omaha Beach. The other fought it in the air high above the seashore.

The first man described the scene on the sands of Omaha Beach as it was depicted in the movie Saving Private Ryan. He saw nothing but his compatriots dropping all around him, one after another. And to him, it looked hopeless. In despair, he kept telling himself, we're going to lose.

We're going to lose. That's how he felt in the heat of the battle that day. But the other man, the pilot, saw something completely different. He saw the movement of the troops on the beach.

He saw some of them taking this particular area that was once held by the Nazis and overthrowing them, silencing that gun, and then taking another one. And he remembered saying out loud in the cockpit of the plane, we're going to win. We're going to win. We're going to win.

Same battle. Opposite perspective. And I will tell you, without reservation or hesitation, you make your focus a vertical focus and your life will be spent repeating the words, we're going to win, because we will. You turn it to the horizontal and focus on all of the stuff happening in the air.

You turn it to the horizontal and focus on all of the stuff happening around you, all the bad news, all the sad news, all the disappointments, all the disease, all the deaths. And if you're not careful, you'll spend your life thinking, we'll never make it. I'm not going to make it. I'm on a losing effort here. We're going to lose.

The coach tells us how to win by telling us where to fix our focus, what to get rid of, how to turn a corner to live a whole new way, and then ultimately even the garments to wear that turn us into the kind of people known for their love for one another. Amen? Amen. You are awake.

Good. Bow with me, will you please? How thankful we are, our Father, how grateful we are that Christ is our all in all. We thank you that having won the victory, He sat down and being in Him, the victory is ours. Not to plead for, not to hope for, not even to fight for, but to claim.

Help us to know how to do that in a way that keeps us from being passive and out of touch and indifferent. Give us a focused life filled with being free of the things that would hurt us and embracing the things that would make us strong as we turn our hearts toward you, reminding ourselves again and again, we're going to win. We're going to win. Thank you for being here. Thank you for that promise. And thank you for the truth that we have learned from a book that is as timeless as it is true. Your word. May these verses from Colossians 3 become a part of the way we live and even how we die. In the name of Christ, our master's savior, we pray. Everyone said.

A man. Spot on advice from a seasoned coach. That's the title Chuck Swindoll gave to his message from Colossians three. And this is insight for living. To learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at insight world.org. Over the years, we've discovered that our listening audience has a healthy appetite for studying the Bible on their own.

So in addition to these daily programs, we've developed a wide variety of resources designed to help you learn more. For example, Chuck has written a commentary on Colossians. This hardbound book includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon as well. As you'd expect, the commentary is theologically sound, but equally important, it's designed to help you integrate what you learn into every aspect of your life.

And that makes sense because Christ is our all in all. To purchase a copy of Chuck's commentary on Colossians, Philippians and Philemon, go to insight.org slash offer, or call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Then as the international news continues to focus on the intense conflicts in Eastern Europe, we'll remind you that for many years, Insight for Living has been speaking into this part of the world. As part of Vision 195, Chuck's Bible teaching is translated into eight different languages. These ministries are part of our long range strategic plan to make disciples for Jesus Christ in all 195 countries of the world. When you give a gift, you're helping us provide Chuck's teaching in your own country.

And a portion is applied to going beyond our borders, where clear Bible teaching is desperately needed. So thank you for supporting the ministry of Insight for Living. One more thing, did you know that Chuck has a daily email devotional? It's sent to your inbox each morning to help you start your day with God. Thousands are taking advantage of these daily inspirations that come from some of Chuck's best writing, and you can too. The email devotional is absolutely free. All you need to do is sign up at insight.org slash devotional. I'm Bill Meyer inviting you to join us again Monday when Chuck Swindoll continues his brand new study through the book of Colossians on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Spot on Advice from a Seasoned Coach, 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-13 16:56:15 / 2023-05-13 17:05:43 / 9

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