Share This Episode
Summit Life J.D. Greear Logo

Six Defining Characteristics of the Successful Life

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2021 9:00 am

Six Defining Characteristics of the Successful Life

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 800 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 18, 2021 9:00 am

Everyone wants to feel like they’ve succeeded at life. But, what does “success” even mean? Pastor J.D. describes the biblical standard for a successful life and explains how we can make our days count.

Words of Life
Salvation Army
Moody Church Hour
Erwin Lutzer
Cross the Bridge
David McGee
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts

Today on Summit life with Jeannie Greer.

Jesus died for the church. We should be deeply committed to doing very connected again so would not just a casual dinner on the weekend would involve an investment. God has a body. God has a body and that is the locus. The central point of what he does on earth. And if you and I understand that like Paul will figure out all will what it will be deeply committed to life after Jeannie Greer. As always, I'm your host Molly good events. I think everyone wants to feel like he succeeded in life. What is six even mean our world tends to point to fame, wealth or accolades from peers that as believers, should we have a different metric tape after Jeannie describes the biblical standard for successful life and how we can truly make our days count is a challenging message from our teaching series called the whole story. If you missed any part of the study.

Remember you can always catch up right now let's dive on in castigating key moments in your life or you decide what's going to define the rest of your life, what values and what principles are to shape the way that you live, author, philosopher Beverly Donofrio says. She says one day can make your life one day can ruin your life when you look back over your life. You probably realize that it was for five days on which you may major decisions and set major trajectories that ultimately shape your entire life will see Sheppard 20 Paul is giving us a farewell speech in which he summarizes what I think are the six values that Paul has built his life around you saying goodbye to the church leaders in Ephesus, where he spent the last three years. As far as he knows he's never to see any of these guys again. He is headed from here to Jerusalem and then from Jerusalem on around where Paul assumes is going to be martyred. This is his farewell speech to them. Here's the question if you were making a farewell speech addressing the people that you would known and love are most your life and you had one chance to make a speech to them, what values would you include in a what would be in that isolated Bible study here called men's fraternity. It's one of things we would do that someone a Bible study is to draw out a tombstone in the right of the five or six different things they would want written on the tombstone what they want to be remembered by always, shall I give these guys.

Examples of unit.

Famous last words of people yet. Nathan Hale you know that a great American patriot.

It was like you know I regret that I have but one life to give for my country or by country boy from person County don't watch this I'm like you know what what what is it that once to say how you want to define your life.

Will these are the six things that Paul would want written on his tombstone. These are the six thing Paul wants them to remember by way little Bible trivia for you. This is the only extended speech in the book of acts, but actually made to other Christians.

Every other sermon.

Every other speech that is always made to unbelievers and so there's there's a reason this was included and I think it's because this gives you kind of the crucial components of the Holy Spirit wants every believer to live their life around me to the six values of the you should live your life according to you write your fuel speech. This is how essentially I think that you should write it okay catch up a 20 foot silence again in verse 20 here and I'll give you the first to be six statements I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I'm innocent of the blood of all. For I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Here is number one value for Paul. I made sure that my generation. I made sure that my community knew the truth twice in this speech, Paul says to them. I did my duty. I deliver the message that God gave me to give to you I told you everything that I was supposed to tell you.

You see, Paul saw himself primarily as the bearer of a message as a messenger. He was not responsible for whether people like his message. He was only responsible for whether or not they heard it clearly, and for Paul. This is very serious business, which is why he says in verse 26 I am innocent of the blood of all.

Now that's kind of dramatic languages and it why would Paul talk like that.

It's because Paul saw his message as a matter of life and death.

Paul is likely here thinking about a passage in the Old Testament. I think he's probably quoting it with the prophet Ezekiel said it this way. Ezekiel 33, eight, God speaking to Ezekiel. When I say the Wiccan, you wicked person you will surely die and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin. Rather doing wickedly. That's why the good die but but but but I will hold you accountable for their blood, their good die because of their iniquity, but I met you and hold you responsible for what is I had a message to give to you never gave it to talk so years ago where there is.

There was a guy who was on there who would say that all these people's lives after an earthquake out in California.

What happened was he was robbed along at 3 AM in the morning outside Los Angeles, one of the earthquakes takes place out there and I think is not your thing's fine buddy. He turns to go across the bridge as he's driving across the bridge. He notices the taillights of the car in front of them just disappear. So he slows his car down curious as to what happened and realizes that but the middle section 1 of the sections of the bridge is dropped out and what is the same as the taillights of the car disappear out the side and plunged down so that you have the death of everyone in the car and so they got me panics because this is a braided flight at night but there's people still come across your car from across the bridge so EE stands there was a card party source to wave his arms to get people at the stop now question for you. You're driving along at three 3 AM the morning outside Los Angeles and there's some dude out there in the southern roadway lasagna stop now. He says this guy watched it discussed that I watched as four different cars went by me at 65, 70 miles an hour, plunging to their death. He said I saw a bus begin to come across the bridge.

He said I made up my mind that if that bus was going to go over that bridge and it was you have to take me with it. He said, so I stood right there in the middle the road. He said that bus started a flash of light. Some home kits want to get me to move and I would move that is my sure bets are off Mike my jacket I was waving it and he said the guy finally stopped to get Sally's he's cussing at me and Lisa but I showed him like this section of the bridge dropped out and the bus driver your parts that the bus in a way that keeps other people from dropping off the edge of the The Bridge on as I'm watching this. The question that I know asked myself is if I had been the first one to notice that what I've got right wiping out in the same thing right to mean what I care that everybody thought I was an idiot.

Noah zealot met a little crate no because I knew some they didn't know and I'm responsible to tell them I'm responsible.

If I see something they don't see what Paul said is God has given me a message and not message it starts with bad news. The bad news is you.

When Ira condemned because of our sin because we live in rebellion against God.

God's rightful anger at his wrath is on top of us and we are alienated from God and things are not right in our life and there's a missing piece in all kinds of things going well because were under the wrath of God, then it's good news. The good news is that God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that Jesus would come and live the life that we were supposed to live a sinless life and die the death that we were condemned to die in our place of sinners death so that if we would receive him as our Savior.

He would forgive our sins and change our life. The gospel is that all those who are humble enough to admit they need a Savior and a call out on Jesus for salvation will be safe. I'm not responsible for how you respond to that message. I am responsible for making sure that you have heard it and that you understand it clearly.

Here's your question.

Does your community does your generation know the truth. Have you made it clear to his everyone in your life is everyone in the Paul Duncombe of the whole world here. He's talking other people to whom God sent him as your family does your school does your community did they know the truth. They felt its weightiness.

Verse 31 Paul tells them for three years.

I didn't see Snyder data admonished every one of you with tears. Can people in your life say that that they felt the weightiness had they felt its weightiness from you. I had to do have a sense of how real it isn't really is, the question for us in the do we really actually believe it never asked yourself that you really actually believe this message, you believe in heaven and hell are real. Sometimes people say to me like you're an educated person you really believe in a hell my responses always will Jesus believe then it is easily then a thought more about all thing about it that he did have melancholy with literal flames and fire and smoke this in the Bible uses a lot of metaphor and I do not claim to know everything. But I'll tell you, even if those things are symbols whatever they're pointing to is a terrible reality. Revelation 21 a called hell. The fiery abyss of burning sulfur. There where there is weeping and darkness and gnashing of teeth and the smoke of their torment ascends forever. If those are just symbols what are they symbols for not a beach vacation or a winter retreat. It's a terrible reality so much Ursula's and also this is clear as I can. I believe it is morally wrong to know that in the claim to believe it and to live in complacency. I think it demands something of us in order to change how we look at our staff payee in it in Long Beach California. You can visit a ship that is been turned down to a museum. It was originally launched in the early 20th century as the Queen Mary, the ultimate luxury cruise liner for rich people every possible convenience in World War II. However, it was commandeered to carry troops back and forth across the Atlantic. You go on to the ship now and see examples of how the ship will set up in both in both settings when it's either set up to be a luxury liner it house about 3000, when it was set up to go in the World War II how to carry these troops back and forth. It had house 15,002 rooms that used to sleep one couple would now sleep 16 soldiers in the point. You see, right played out in front of you is that wartime and peacetime demand different things the same thing is true for us wartime and peacetime ought to demand different things. This is not simply trying to recruit people into a religious movement.

We think this is a life or death message yelling as best we can do's mentality forms. Our approach is a church. We are not trying to build the Queen Mary luxury liner for Christians, we think we been commissioned to who to build a rescue station for loss people not mean has to be trashy and we we wanted to be a warm, inviting, well-kept environment done at solely for the glory of God. But everything we do, we do so with the understanding that our resources were not given to us to create a cruise liner with luxury for Christians. It was given to us to create a rescue station for the broken one of the phrases you use or we will hear she's run, here's the phrase, resourceful excellence, which really do it at solely for the glory of God but we go with the knowledge that resources were given to us not to build a big beautiful monument to Jesus but to create platforms on which we can preach the gospel make disciples. I believe this principle should also shape your approach to life as I've also told you there is nothing wrong with you enjoying God's blessings. There is something however morally wrong with you putting your head in the sand pretending the world is not lost.

No Christian singer Keith Green, a converted hippie who died in the early 80s used to say on this generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls all over the world the only chance that our generation has to hear the gospel is going to be the generation of believers that are alive right now and that demands something of us. Paul says, number two, I directed people's attention toward Jesus, not toward me met at first 19 what Paul says I serve the Lord with all humility and materialism. The trials now. That's not typically how great leaders describe themselves as it leaders like to talk about the victories talk about their accomplishments, their strengths back that were humility) verse 19 that word is a word in Greek. It was usually used as an insult event low defeated week did in the Bible its use.

200 different times and it's almost presented not as an insult is a virtue know why. Why would Paul take a word that was normally intended as an insult and then and then turn it into a virtue. Here's why it's the town sure cultural gospel message.

Christian ministry at its core is not about extraordinary men and women of great power that you should emulate at its core. Christianity is about a great Savior who can save and been used the weakest and most broken and was guilty of sinners. Paul does not want to leave these people with an example to admire. He wants to leave them with a Savior to trust in and weaknesses in trials in tears or how God demonstrates the sufficiency of that Savior. The gospel is not about how awesome I am or how awesome you can be.

The gospel is about how awesome Jesus is Tim Keller's is a humble and weak person will show a crucified Savior better listener than Apollo is pulled together expert because I would have brought us right we want say because we pulled ourselves together. If you ever hear somebody give their testimony how they came to Christ and it's all about how they pull themselves together.

That person does not understand the gospel. The gospel is not how you discovered your inner awesome child and submit know if the gospel is about how you discovered that you were a sinner with no hope in the calling of the one who was pulled apart for you, and so we can demonstrate that better through weakness in trials in tears than we can through victories and accomplishments. I will just go ahead and tell you as your pastor, as your pastor, I want your attention to be on Jesus not on me.

I don't pastor myself up.

Here's a man who has it all together for a couple reasons. One is not true. Be a want to show you. I want to show you really like the best thing I can do for you to show you that I'm a recovering sinner like you are so that you cannot open Jesus like I have. I was like what you most need is not an impressive example to emulate, but an all sufficient Savior, though. This kind affords my philosophy is apparent how would help my kids see that I'm a sinner like they are my kids already think I'm Superman.

I will have to like tell Matt, but when I admit my sin in front of them. Maybe it's my sin toward their mother. Maybe it's my sin toward them and I asked for their forgiveness and prayer GW kids. I do what you here's the reason I want them to learn the daddies a safe sinner to so that they can learn to hope in Jesus and their insecurities and failings, which I know they're going to grow up with. I don't want them to grow up trying to live up to a model like Pharisees, how Lavinia brought hope and in a Savior like Christians and its confession of sin is weakness. At trial, it's tears that demonstrate to us the sufficiency of the Savior. This is also by the way home I mentioned this before we move on with the heart behind sacrifice. Sacrificial generosity is guy lit deliberately divesting yourself of resources that you can use to strengthen yourself so that you can use them to redirect people's attention toward Jesus when you give sacrificially you're saying. My life is not about me when you give sacrificially you're saying metallic time, a resource in the tragic all of none of it was given to me for me and so I'm going to redirect the use of my resources away from personal personal enrichment and I'm going to use it to direct people's attention toward him. I'm voluntarily putting myself in tears and trials so people can see Jesus. Paul said, number three, I invested deeply in God's community, the church, I invested deeply in God's community, the church in verse 28 Paul talking to the Ephesian elders. The leaders of the church, he says, were 28 pay careful attention to yourself and all the flock was always really made you overseers care for the church of God watches which he purchased with his own blood. Jesus Christ shed his blood for the church.

He purchased it with his blood and Paul says of Jesus Christ shed his blood for the church.

I'm going to give my life to the church now going say I understand your role and is not the same as the apostle Paul's you're calling to the church is not the same as mine.

I been called the pastor and lead the church but I will tell you without any question or hesitation that the church in Jesus poured out his blood for the church. The church ought to be the center of your life, the church. Paul tells us is Christ's body is the means by which Jesus does his work on earth which need to be separate yourself in the body you separate yourself in Jesus right that analogy, Paul says, is how God works in the world we got was to work in your life, hate me/the snuggly messenger you rarely does he just answer what is that from heaven.

That's what you want. Although does that but only got I got trouble at work is a body which reason I asked him to say to you, I probably will say that you whispered in your heart to probably use managers to do it. Which means when you cut yourself off my body.

You cut yourself off for me so if you're not really connecting the church you sit on the sidelines and complain about working in your lifestyle complaint and do what I said minutes are working with your life the way that will job at work Jesus Christ body amounts. I'm going to be connected to a Jesus Christ bride, which means that Jesus loves the church like a bride and I got to be committed to it. You can guy JD think you're awesome. We think you're cool what you can order house we hate that Veronica you better leave her home you and are good at problems, you can't love me, and hate my bride can't love Jesus and hate his bride and Jesus died for the church. You should be deeply devoted to it. I know it's not perfect. Jesus died for. That's how I know it's not perfect. The church is so screwed up that Jesus had to die for it so you'll have something that you know about the church Jesus that no so Jesus died for the church. We should be deeply committed to it very connected into it, not just a casual attender on the weekend but involved in invested. God has a body. God has a body and that is the locus. The center point of what he does on earth. And if you and I understand that like Paul will figure out all will what it will be deeply committed to it.

Number four.

Paul says I been faithful to do all that Jesus told me to do. I been faithful to do all that Jesus omitted a look at verse 24 balls that I don't count my life any value to express myself, if only I may finish my course of the ministry that I see from the Lord Jesus. Paul was very personal about his ministry as I'm my course the ministry I received.

Paul felt like he had been given a personal assignment from God. God does not give the same assignment. Everybody listen to me follower of Jesus. Listen to me. God has given you a particular assignment in the mission of God and the body of Christ and at the end of the day you can answer to him for what you did what he gave you the point is not even you don't really control what assignment you get the point is, are you faithful with what you been assigned a lot of us are really focused on success and failure and how big of an impact you make balls.

That's irrelevant is your distant sermon. In fact, there's always that in verse 24 two.

Moreover, it is all that is required of stewards that they be found faithful stores with a household servant Stuart was not responsible to provide for the house when responsible design house when funds omit big decision for the house. Stewardess servant was simply responsible to do with the master of the house had commanded that servant to do you were not going to be responsible for the role that you were assigned. You are going to answer to Jesus for whether or not you played out the role that he had given you to play success and failure in impactor master words. Faithfulness is the concern of stewards. Here's what we find in Scripture. Paul seem to understand is that God uses ordinary acts of faithfulness to accomplish his most extraordinary things on earth. I challenge you go to the Bible and look at where God does something amazing, more often than not, it's just an ordinary believer in an ordinary act of obedience and God just delights in taking the five loaves and two fish. A little boy sharing his lunch or given his life and Jesus asked it and got his dap phenomena used the feed the multitude, and every once in a while. Every once in a while you'll we get a glimpse of how God does that. I think God would hold most of them from us, but every once in a while just to keep us in the game noticed it was a little taste of it on to see how he'll use one of these acts in it is something extraordinary.

I had one of these personally happen recently as a couple years ago I got a letter from a guy that I haven't talked to since I was in college. This guy I met in college. He was in the dorm that same dorm. I was not a believer I met him I gave him a Bible and I said let's read it together. We read the Bible together for about 10 days by four or five times or they were doing that. I really thought he would come along. The gospel was really nothing to be taken root in his heart, and all of a sudden, out of the blue he should upset I wanted this anymore. I don't do as I don't believe it.

On the any advantage he'd met this girl that started the sling together and he knew he couldn't get to pursue both of these that I just I just don't want all of this anymore and for the next two years of God. I didn't talk to him when I become single.he totally cut off our relationship right so the state so how many years after me as a been out of college. Five years later I got him I got II get a letter from the sky is couple years ago and he said hey you probably don't remember me details in the story. I'm never exactly who he is because I'm covered by he. He said he said well it what you tell me one so you he said a couple years after college was over, he said I found that Bible I think a back up and started to read it. He said I really got engaged in it again and he said I went to a church where I learned more about Jesus and he said I became a Christian and he said I want you to know that the first Bible ever put in my hands was by you, and you started the process and I just want to say thank you is it was even more as I got so inset into it.

He said I quit my job. I went to seminary now and pastoring a church myself and I just thought I'd let you know that. But all those years ago you have in your Bible and I made all the difference.

Now I'm like okay what is heaven going to be like, what's heaven going to be like when all these little things that you and I did. We never saw the result of maybe was just praying for somebody we got put on your heart.

It was making a financial sacrifice.

Maybe it was telling somebody about Jesus leaving the waiter or waitress a big tap and save. Jesus loves you faithfully parenting your child and all of a sudden God begins to pull back the curtain and say three act of faithfulness. I used in my blend, not a couple cold water was wasted in my name. We know that God holds us responsible to be faithful, and he uses ordinary faithfulness to do extraordinary things worse to call it a successful life here on Senate life and I love what Ginny just said about God working through our faithfulness in little things to accomplish extraordinary outcomes that something we witness every day here at Senate life as God works through the faithful support of people like you getting what you can to reach people around the country and intact around the world with the gospel centered Bible teaching and when you give towards that mission today will say thanks by sending you a custom Senate life Bible we partnered with the publisher Crossway unaccustomed Bible know we didn't change any of the words of the Bible that we were able to add some pages to the front of the Bible to give you whenever custom Senate life reading plan with little checkboxes and everything 52 weeks of Bible reading, sleeping, pick up where we are in a teaching series or start at the beginning or given away to someone think might need some encouragement in reading their Bible.

If the English standard version of the Bible.

A blue leather cover will send you the custom Senate lifecycle as an expression of thanks when you donate today to support this ministry. When you become a monthly gospel partner ask for it when he gave Michael he thinks I 52 training 866-335-5221 you can give mail your donation in your quest for the Bible says clear ministry, PO Box 12293, Durham, NC 27709 Molly Witt event inviting you to listen again Tuesday Senate might by

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime