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Encouragement Served Family Style, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2023 7:05 am

Encouragement Served Family Style, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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March 10, 2023 7:05 am

Growing Deep in the Christian Life: Returning to Our Roots


Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll offers what he calls encouragement served family style. Moms and dads, the power of life and death is in your tongue. You can't change yesterday, but my the power you have over tomorrow.

Maybe your son or your daughter is now grown or almost there. Start now. It's never too late to start doing what is right. As you face your daily struggles, whether it's on the job or in your travels, it's always good to come home. There's nothing like a warm embrace from those you love. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues a message introduced last time. In this study, we're reminded that the home and the church family ought to be a safe, family-friendly harbor of protection. But all too often, the very place we seek sanctuary becomes the place we're knocked down a few notches.

Today, Chuck invites us to consider the better alternative. In the New Testament, Hebrews chapter 10, beginning at verse 19 down through verse 25, and I have in mind especially the last two verses in the passage, we find the command to encourage. Since, therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and while listing the facts, since we have a great priest over the house of God, since we have both those things, let us do three things. See verse 22, let us. Verse 23, let us. Verse 24, let us.

Those are commands. What are we to do since those things are true? Number one, let us draw near, implied, draw near to our God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Let's be sure that our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are washed with pure water. This is symbolic language saying, let's come into the presence of our God clean and pure. Let's have no lingering sin hang like an anchor as we attempt to storm the throne with our needs. Let's come pure and clean.

Let's do it. It's a command, the next command. And let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. For, it says, he who promised is faithful. Take the book of God and its promises and its truths and hold on to them as you come into God's presence clean and pure. Take his truth and let it be your stability in time like these.

But he's not through. There's a third command. Since we have confidence, verse 19, since we have a priest, verse 21, let us, 24, consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Did you ever know that was in the Bible? Let us give thought to how we might stimulate our brothers and sisters in the family of God. Not forsaking our own assembling together. See, you can't stimulate someone else to love and good deeds if you're not around them. Encouragement is a face-to-face thing. It's a touching thing. It's a relational thing. So he says you can't forsake the assembling together as has become the habit of some.

Now watch this. But encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near. One New Testament scholar does a mighty fine job of tracing the meaning of encouragement in the New Testament. As a matter of fact, he begins by talking about how it is used in the early days outside the New Testament.

He said it is used of exhorting troops who are about to go into battle. See it in verse 25 again. Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another. Celeste Holm, the film star of yesteryear, was quoted as saying on one occasion, we live by encouragement and we die without it, slowly, sadly, angrily. Now for the balance of my time, I want to talk about how to do it. I want to convince you with the help of scripture. I want the Lord to show you in his word the power of your tongue. I want you to see, as if for the very first time from Proverbs, how much weight is carried by the lips, the voice, the tongue. Turn back to Proverbs 10. Proverbs chapter 10.

Good for you. I can hear those pages turning. You are going to see in the scriptures inspired comments regarding the power of the tongue. Proverbs 10 verse 11. Let me just make sort of walking comments as we take a little safari through Proverbs.

10, 11. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. That's one notice, one observation. Your tongue is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgression. So I see in that the tongue is a forgiving instrument.

It covers transgression. On the lips of the discerning wisdom is found. There is a transfer of wisdom from one life to another through the vehicle of the tongue.

Verse 19, same chapter. When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable. But he who restrains his lips is wise. I'm glad we've happened upon that passage because it is the last thing in my mind to convey that all we need to do when we're together is talk. Sometime well chosen words, though brief, are much more eloquent than a paragraph of information dumped from one mouth to other ears.

This is talking about rationing our words. He who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver. Verse 21, the lips of the righteous feed many.

Look at chapter 12, verse 17. He who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness deceit. There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. I don't know if you have been the recipient of healing from someone's tongue, but I have.

I think most of you have on some occasion. The scabs been ripped off some wound in your life. You're bleeding. You're uncomfortable. You may be humiliated, perhaps intimidated by the savage world around you. And someone cares enough to say just the right thing at just the right time. Looking right into your eyes. And healing begins.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of moms and dads with their children and the way we talk to them. As a matter of fact, chapter 18 really caught me off guard when I first found verse 21. You talk about a reproof from God.

I got it. Never forgotten it. The first line of Proverbs 18 21, death and life are in the power of the tongue, but those who love it will eat its fruit.

Isn't that something? Gordon MacDonald, one of his earliest ones, the effective father, writes this wisely and then I always stop at this illustration. And I recall friends I've had who had similar experiences as the one Dr. McDonald mentions. Quote, A 42 year old man has allowed me to look into the inner recesses of his life and see what makes him what he is today. A man who is frantically working himself into exhaustion. One who spends every dime he makes for impressive artifacts of luxury and success.

A volatile human being whose temper explodes at the slightest hint of disagreement or criticism. As we talk, I asked Tom to tell me about his childhood. At one impressionable point in in boyhood, when my friend was apparently displeasing his father with the way he was doing a chore, his father said to him, Tom, you will always be a bum. You're not going to amount to a thing.

You are a bum. Tom goes on to tell me that whenever he and his father had angry moments, the same prediction would be repeated until it burned its way into the boy's spirit. So deeply that like shrapnel embedded in flesh. The words could never be removed. Thirty years later, Tom still suffers from verbal malpractice. They drive him day and night from a subconscious source to attempt to prove that his father was wrong. Ironically, even though Tom's father is dead, the habit patterns of his inner life still maintain fever pitch to convince a dead father and a slightly unsure Tom that he's not a bum.

Let anyone suggest to Tom that he what he's doing is is wrong or that he's deficient in some aspect of his life and hostility, defensiveness and furious energy are unleashed to guard against what he senses is a resurrection of the old accusation. Moms and dads, the power of life and death is in your tongue. Don't think they'll just be passed off and forgotten. You and I can remember a line from a teacher who in a moment of haste, God bless her, in a moment of hurry said something that just cut its way in and made a scar. It'll never be erased. The grace of God gives you the ability to go on and to forgive. But it hurt. You can't change yesterday, but my, the power you have over tomorrow. Maybe your son or your daughter is now grown or almost there. Start now.

It's never too late to start doing what is right. As a matter of fact, I find that an encouraging church is that because its homes are that. Is yours an encouraging home? If I were to drop by as an invisible, unseen guest and just listen in to conversations, would I hear sarcasm and put downs and caustic comments that cut and scar and wound? Or would I hear, good job, I noticed you're growing up.

What a delight you are to our family. How pleased I am to see that you've begun to master such and such a skill. Or I know you failed and I understand I've been there. It'll be better tomorrow. Let me work with you.

Let me help you. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. I made these notes. Death words destroy, hurt, create hateful and humiliating feelings never forgotten. Life words build and increase strength of character. They lift spirits.

They center on the truth, therefore they set free the person who would otherwise be in bondage. You know what encouragement is? It's a strength transfusion. That's encouragement. It's a transfusion of strength. Now that creates the problem. In order for strength to be transferred, the one doing the transferring has to have the strength.

And has to be secure enough, confident enough, thoughtful enough to give that surplus to someone else. That's why I've noticed that unforgiving and fighting and critical people aren't encouragers. You heard that perhaps from Gene Getz.

We heard it over the weekend when we were up at Forest Hall. Made a couple of three very insightful comments about people who are excited about life can transfer strength. People who are down on themselves in life can't do that. Show you a classic example from the scriptures. Look at 1 Samuel 23. Go right on back to 1 Samuel 23 and we'll go to one of our favorite characters. David. While still a teenager, he killed Goliath.

It just shocked the king named Saul. He didn't even know who the boy was. He asked Abner, his right hand man, whose son is he? From what family is he? And not even Abner knew.

I don't know where he came from. Saul said, find out. And in the process of time, not only did they find him out, but they promoted him. And he came in on the king's staff. And before long, the people of Israel made up a song. Saul has slain his thousand David, his ten thousands. Well everybody but one in the kingdom applauded that. Saul hated that song because he wanted to come out on top.

He was too insecure to see someone else promoted above him in popularity. And so Saul began to watch him and he became suspicious of him. And before long it turned to hate and then to rage and then to murder. And he took a spear and tried to kill him and David ran for his life.

You remember the story. In the meantime, as the plot thickens, ironically, Saul's son, Jonathan, developed a relationship with David. It was a deep relationship of love, genuine love. He loved him, says chapter 18, as he loved his own soul. They were soul mates.

Maybe you have a friend that intimate. They understood each other. Their looks fit together like teeth and gears. They didn't have to explain themselves. They understood.

They loved each other deeply. But all the while, Saul's intensity was growing until finally David is in a wilderness and he doesn't know where to turn. He's full of fear.

He's disillusioned. By now the entire army is looking for him and Saul has a bounty out on him. And David knows behind every rock there must be a soldier that's going to kill him. And in this critical moment of his life, I want you to notice a courage transfusion.

2315. Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. Before you read any further, I want you to identify with that. Hopefully you will never know the threat of being under the gun like that. But if you've ever been there, you know how horrible an existence it can be. Every nightfall, you're afraid that night they'll find you. Every trip you take, you're afraid you'll be discovered and killed. David lives his days in that kind of fear. Now the next verse. Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David at Horesh and encouraged him in God. The Hebrew term conveys the idea of putting strength into someone's hand, occasionally someone's arms or someone's body so they can resist a pressure or an attack. Jonathan arose without an invitation and he went to David.

Why? Because he loved him and he transferred courage to David. This is an especially good illustration because it so happens that it was Saul's son who was doing the encouraging.

His father was the one who wanted to kill that man. Sometime to encourage, you'll have to swim upstream. Usually you won't have to wait for an invitation. Let me give you a simple little formula about encouragement. It isn't original with me. Genuine words of encouragement are prompted by love and directed toward fear. Genuine words of encouragement are prompted by love and directed toward fear.

I say that isn't original with me. I found much of what I'm going to share with you in the next few moments in a book entitled Encouragement, the Key to Caring by a couple of men, Lawrence Crabbe and Dan Allender. I know Larry Crabbe.

I don't know Dan Allender. But this book, Encouragement, is in our church library and you can't have it yet. But when I put it back, there's going to be 5,000 people that want to check the thing out. So come early, but it is worth your time or even your buying a copy.

It's good. The Key to Caring. It is a mistake to think, write these men, it is a mistake to think of encouragement as a set of specific words or phrases. Encouragement depends less on which words we use than the motivation behind them. Words that encourage are inspired by love and directed toward fear.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? These two conditions must be met for words to encourage. Let's look at the two conditions. Condition one, words that encourage are prompted by love, not by fear, that is the words spoken must never function as a layer for the speaker.

And condition two, words that encourage are aimed not at another's layers with the intent of rearranging them, but rather at another's hidden fear with the intent of reducing it. That's what makes Jonathan's time with David so significant. He really loved him and he said to him, I love you, David.

I believe in you. And when he came to David, David didn't hide and say, hey, I'm not afraid. I'll take on Saul and his army.

What are you here for? He didn't act strong. Why, probably Jonathan found him by listening for his knees knocking somewhere behind the rock over there. The guy was scared and he didn't hide it. And Jonathan didn't hide his motivation. David, I love you too much to leave you alone.

David's response must have been, Jonathan, how I need you right now. Thanks for coming. You're listening to insight for living today. Chuck swindoll presented one of the final messages in his classic teaching series called growing deep in the Christian life to learn more about this series and access Chuck study notes online.

Go to insight world dot org slash studies as your next step in growing deeper in the Christian life. I want to tell you about a brand new resource that will challenge your outlook. It's a brief book by Chuck titled Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react. If you're a longtime listener to insight for living, that title might sound familiar to you. That's because it's one of the most highly quoted statements that Chuck has ever made. While the quote is original with Chuck, the wisdom is not. It's rooted in scripture and described in his new seven chapter book.

He's written on topics such as freeing yourself from drama and overcoming envy and another one on how to have a joyful and prosperous life. To purchase a copy, go to insight dot org slash offer or call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Chuck's teaching on your radio station is made possible in part by those who give generously. And we're also grateful to our station partners who provide a platform each day. It's a collaborative effort between Insight for Living Ministries, your radio station and the people in our listening family who faithfully support us. As we continue a new year together, our focus on God's word will not change. In fact, we're declaring 2023, another year in which we're fully engaged in Bible study together. As God leads you to give and support this worthy effort, we invite your financial partnership. You can go online to insight dot org or you can call us if you're listening in the United States. Call 800-772-8888.

Take it from Chuck's window. There's nothing quite like the beauty of the great frontier. Wide open skies, pristine glaciers with various shades of blue and turquoise mingled within them, towering pine trees and all manner of wildlife. I'll tell you, Alaska is truly a masterpiece of God's creation. I've been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things, but honestly, nothing compares to the beauty in Alaska.

God is awesome. Come with us on the Insight for Living Ministries cruise to Alaska, July 1st through July 8th, 2023. When I'm in Alaska, I feel like I'm in an amazing painting created by God. Let yourself get lost in the majestic beauty. Spend quality time with those you love. Allow God to refresh your soul as you reflect on His word and His goodness in your life. To learn more, go to slash events or call this number 1-888-447-0444.

The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer. Join us when Chuck's one doll continues to describe what he calls encouragement served family style. That's next time on Insight for Living. The preceding message, encouragement served family style, was copyrighted in 1985, 1987, 2005, and 2011, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2011 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-09 14:32:12 / 2023-03-09 14:40:43 / 9

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