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Six Defining Characteristics of the Successful Life, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 19, 2021 9:00 am

Six Defining Characteristics of the Successful Life, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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October 19, 2021 9:00 am

As we look at the life of the Apostle Paul, we’re discovering how the gospel transforms our priorities and our definition of success.

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Today on Summit life with JD Greer in the last speech that Paul gives to these people. The last thing he says in the last speech he gives is about generosity because Paul knows listen what it really means to follow Jesus is to have a life that is defined by generosity because that's what defines Jesus life does not quality. Define your life right 1380 Greer.

I'm your host Molly made a batch two months we've been in a teaching series called the whole story.

An overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and were discovering how every page from beginning to end is pointing to Jesus and reviewing the gospel anywhere in the New Testament. Looking at the life of the apostle Paul.

A great example of how the gospel transforms our priorities and our definition of success.

Let's jump back into a message that we began yesterday of the program yesterday titled today's teaching six defining characteristics of the 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 October 20 let's burst 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 and for Paul. This is very serious business, which is why says in verse 26 I am innocent of the blood of all Paul is likely here thinking about a passage in the Old Testament where 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 die because of their iniquity, but I might you hold you responsible for what is I had a message to give to you never gave it to your question. Does your community does your generation know the truth. Have you made it clear to your family does your school does your community did they know the truth. They felt its weightiness pulses number two. I directed people's attention toward Jesus. Not for me the 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 their victories talk about their accomplishments, their strengths back at work, humility) verse 19 that word is a word in Greek is usually used as an insult event low defeated week that in the Bible, which used 200 different times and it's almost presented not as an insult is a virtue know why. 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, of an example to admire.

He wants to leave them with a Savior to trust in and weaknesses in trials and tears are how God demonstrates the sufficiency of that Savior. The gospel is not about how awesome I am or how also you can be. The gospel is about how awesome Jesus is. Paul said, number three, 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 flocking was always really made you overseers care for the Church of God watches which he purchased with his own blood. Paul says of Jesus Christ shed his blood for the church. I'm going to give my life to the church, going say I understand your role and is not the same as the apostle Paul's but I will tell you without any question or hesitation that the church 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. Rarely does he just answer what is that from heaven. That's what you want. Although does that, but I 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. 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 role what it will be deeply committed to it.

Number four. Paul says I been faithful to do all that Jesus told me to do whatever 24 balls and I don't count my life any value to express myself, if only I may finish my course of the ministry that I received 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. You don't really control what assignment you get the point is, are you faithful with what you been assigned where's he called you to be faithful.

There's number five pulse is often a strong finish strong again. Verse 23, 24 Paul verse 23 is going to explain all these bad things can happen him is not encouraging, being them will be stoned and people to visit. None of these things move me many things move me. If only I may finish my course in the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, I want to finish in another place called him say you have to racing somebody that matter, how will you start the race matters while you finish the race.

A lot of people start whelm Christian life on his breaks my heart because I see it-so any times in our church. They just don't persevere on to the finish there like the one hit Christian wonders Mark Ronson or Carly Ray Jepsen of Christians for Milli Vanilli.

For those of you the last time your current about culture was the 1990s right on. There's one hit Christian wonders really breaks my heart because I it's a big day they come super excited to join small group leader said one of the first five rows here know eventually all that, sit in the first five rows make sure I see him every way that hands rub and worship and they're just like super Christian and then it just fades away that fizzles out. I have noticed that usually happens for one of a handful of reasons. Sometimes it's just the pain of obedience making the decision felt awesome then it also commemorates let you cry so cathartic in my life is also and when I made like one of these you want a moment from it is big decision the house and give it all to Jesus. It was on.

It was of them want to college students. It was an outdoor service, they had a big bonfire built the speaker got out. We sang a much a songwriter by Phil emotional and then they give us all stick to the wall for the BN and Thor stick in the fire to show that were given everything for just that it felt awesome mother college students in our arms around each other with Bowen sticks in the fire were sitting in God decided to follow Jesus and Kumbaya to kill whatever and managed. It was a it was a magical evening in the grout the pizza afterwards on my those laws and what was not awesome was when I actually had to live out what that commitment symbolized when you're giving your lifeways and that that doesn't feel awesome. I just wait until you balk: this room 12 one Paul said I am a living sacrifice about the oxymoron living such sacrifice is to be dead and his coming sacrifices are dead because when the flame starts to burn. The sacrifice deadens advice that move the dilemma of a living sacrifice is that the sacrifice will keep getting up off the altar, living sacrifice than when the flame gets hot. Sacrifice gets up and walks away balls that I've got to live out this sacrifice if not in a moment of emotional commitment. Appeals awesome it is daily living out dying to myself and giving myself away and sometimes people just aren't ready for that they like the emotional catharsis they don't either not ready to follow Jesus brothers is just that they never really consider the cost lovely Jews had offer but what inevitably happens ontology was that at some point. At some point obedience to Jesus is going to take you 180 opposite of where you want to go and in that moment you're going to have to decide how valuable is Jesus to me to see what you wanted is you want to Jesus and comfort in you thought Jesus would like to help you get more comfortable you want to Jesus and your viewpoint on a particular thing Jesus and this relationship Jesus and your oh so what your life would be in at some point you have to choose when it's not Jesus, and those things is Jesus or those things you have to choose which is more valuable to you.

Sometimes people give up this from fatigue just don't see the payoff for all their sacrifice, seeing the fruit don't feel the multiplication. Paul felt like that. If I get for being a hand chosen instrument preacher of God. Paul got some weird reactions to his sermons. Often, his sermons ended with people trying to stoning. That is a one time to end it with a guy getting so bored in his sermon that he fell asleep in a windowsill drop three stories and died.

I met a lot of weird reactions Muslims I've never had that happen falsely PS off her chair and died. No, not yet. And Paul said yeah I know what it's like to labor and not see results. I know what it's like to follow Jesus and experienced pain and suffering. None of that stuff moves me. What does move me is when I look at the track and I see the one stating the BN now see the Lord Jesus and I see that at some point, to stand face-to-face with him. I want to hear from him well done good and faithful servant. And that's what moves me.

Not all these other things in another place he tells a group of really tired Christians for scrimmage 50 really tired or tired of the sacrifice are tired of the fertilizers are tired of the suffering he says to them. He says you really got us decide in your heart heart. You gotta decide if you really believe Jesus rose in the day.

Is it because of Jesus's official Jesus didn't rise from the dead is a first of all we apostles are liars were not good religious teachers were not nice men were a bunch of phonies and frauds. Secondly, if Jesus didn't really rise from the dead, you're still your sense because the resurrection was approved. I got it except to the sacrifice of Jesus and he did not the dead, then you're really no better off than Vince say was just an illusion. He said thirdly Jesus and were dodging the dead. All people to follow God thought history, Abraham and Moses all wasted their lives and are no better off than a bad he said. Lastly, Jesus didn't rise from the dead and all the sacrifices were making their absolutely worthless and it's it's use as we are of all men most to be pitied. Jesus didn't rise from the dead. It's all wasted but if he did rise from the dead, but not changes everything is Jesus really rose from the dead, then he really is sovereign over everything. Not a couple cold waters will be wasted in his name, and he's gonna turn all your death and suffering in resurrection.

So what you really gotta decide he tells them is you can decide whether or not you actually believe that Paul says asked for me first 2015 three actually believe it because he was beaten and tortured and just make sure the me until your dad and they shove the Roman spirit.

There was art and they put them in a grave in a covered them up in the Roman garrison in front of them can. Three days later he came out. Move the stone wall parentally sought mental health. Freaky. How unnerving would that be interesting.

I just don't get out of Bible and open the thing about that you go to a funeral last week and at the funeral. You see, the God you know when you look at the view. We need you what's up you will you wasn't limited value for dirt on the coffee watching to covered up the next week at Starbucks. He comes up he was like amen are you doing that is unnerving. Paul said it is unnerving and it changed everything about how I saw life.

I really believe that Jesus rose from the dead and because of that everything is different.

Some of you listen to those who are struggling with finishing trunks and you gotta decide if you believe that you can renew that vision and you have the problem listen with a lot of us is that we've never actually come to that conviction in the core of our hearts. You never really, Russell actually believe that. And if I do what is that mean just kind of go along because it's something to do. There's a story I told our staff because I thought your story, don't think that it's so illustrate your grandfather and grandson sitting on the grandfather porch is a middle country and a grin that had like 10 dogs, and that I don't run a porch and all the sudden underdogs, perks up lets out a little bark and takes out across the field and in all other non-dogs on. They all can hop up. They did not bark and they take off after grandfather says the grandsons of meeting what's about to happen in just about 10 minutes. One by one all those last non-dogs are to come back one by one with Dale Zellner tilting the legs or their tongues on the tilt and the legs and come back and take her spot back here to the boards and there to go back to sleep about 10 minutes till all be back. He says in about 45 minutes. The first dog will come back and he can have the rabbit in his mouth. He said you want to know the difference between the first dog in the non-dogs to the first dog is the only one that actually saw the rat all the others are just barking and yapping and running because someone is excited the church in some ways is exactly like that.

There are a bunch of people who are here and they're a part of the movement because they're like oh everybody's excited when he barking out along with everybody else but you never actually make it because you've never seen the rabbit. The rabbit in this analogy is the conviction that Jesus actually rose from the dead and when you see that rabbit.

Not even hell itself will get you to back away because you look forward and you'll see them at the end of the finish line and you'll say if God turned Jesus's death and resurrection. He's gonna turn my sacrifices. These units are not paid in the resurrection victory also. So I'm in for the long haul out. Keep going.

So what that would then use some of you listen you started to follow Jesus awesome you started one fate.

Now finish strong. Some of you men gotten bored and in leading your family in boarding and in serving in your job.

Do not be simply told me one of these ridiculous guys who gets bored of his life in his 50s by the sports car unbuttons his shirt down to his navel, which makes all want a bond. By the way, and then plays golf all the time.

Finish and faith, what you started in faith mother. Some of you are tired raising your kids eat you giving your career you feel like to spend more time with them in this chapter is hard and it's unrewarding finish what you started in faith, nothing he says will be wasted. Paul in first. 15 by saying, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord your labor is not in vain because Jesus sits on the throne, not how you start the race.

I finished number six Paul says here the and I gave more than I took. I gave more than not so look at verse 33. I coveted no one silver or gold or apparel not work hard in this way, we must help the week and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said it's more blessed to give than to receive what you think with me for a minute man's last words are probably the thing that are most significant to him there. What's most on his mind.

The last thing he says in the last speech that Paul gives to these people.

The last thing he says in the last speech he gives is about generosity because Paul knows listen that what it really means to follow Jesus is to have a life that is defined by generosity because that's what defines Jesus life. Everywhere you look in Jesus life, you're going to see someone who is giving, not receiving even more. The best examples to me is what happened on the night before Jesus died. What is Jesus doing night before he died he washed the disciples feet.

I'm going to ask Mrs. get this clear enough if I got tells Matt a Dr. you tomorrow. Got system are your gonna die for the tables on the church the night before that I will bill you know what this is some me time. Okay I'm in focus a bit on me tonight because tomorrow is about you, but Jesus in the night before he died, said no it's still not about me of someone to watch my disciples feet because it is more blessed, blessed is the word Macario's, which means happy is just happier to live in a way where your focus more giving than you are receiving does that quality to find your life start with your most basic relationships in your marriage is your marriage more about giving and receiving. Do you prioritize the preferences and comforts and and and dreams of your spouse more than you prioritize your own and your friendships with a more characterized by giving than receiving. And in your relationship with your parents is that more is that were characterized by giving than receiving.

How how about in your career. One of things we frequently ask of this church is is your career is your career basically a tool that you used to get all you can or have you asked how your career might be used in a way that gives to the mission of God is to follow Jesus in your career that many become a pastor necessarily just means you ask how what is my career been given to me for as a way of giving and multiplication in my little backstage area.

I've to my most favorite prized possessions were given to me over the years there, two pages of old Bibles. When I say old lemminglike light one of his from the 14th century it was from a Bible in England's was called the chain Bible because it was it. In Latin it was chained to the pulpit and the church is anyone because you know church leaders and want normal people read the Bible never know that lead so on. They changed their and so I have a place called the chain Bible and I have it framed back there right beside that I have a copy of a page of the first English translation of the Bible by William Tyndale put into the vernacular is an amazing story, William Tyndale. It was this priest who reads the Bible-based get saved because everybody needs to know this resource translate the Bible Inc. strictly to them like it said no we chain Bible for reason and so they bring them up in court and and I William Tyndale says is a better stop piece of will tell you when I'm done by God's grace. The plow boy anyone to know more about the Bible you corrupt priest.

It welded and like that so they strangled him and burned at the stake and not one of the other. They had to do both so they strangled and burned at the stake on his last words that he gives is he dying is Lord open the king of England's eyes. Now that's part of the story I knew, I learned that when seminary what I did know something. I read the book a while back to me to store even better on the missing component in that story missing component is got him freed Monmouth tough name Ray got Humphrey Monmouth was a merchant, a very wealthy merchant who owned a fleet of ships and what mamas did is he had been led to Christ by Tyndale and he said you know what, not only can I finance the translation of this Bible and the publishing of it. I can use this fleet of merchant ships to get this Bible into all the corners of the English Empire because he did that when they burned William Tyndale the stake.

They were not able to destroy the Bible that he had translated it was already out and because of that you got a copy of a sit and write your hands. It goes back to William Tyndale translate. There was a man at a particular time, who understood that his career had been given to him by God in order to be able to be used for the mission of God. My question I want all you to consider is how can your career be used for the mission of God. We put out in front of you. Things like hey, maybe you can move one of our church plants. Maybe you can use your career as a way of of of being a part of gospel proclamation maybe maybe you go to, what will the car.

Global cities initiative, which is where you go to one of these unreached places in the world and you live on your career. Can you tell people about Jesus. Who would not otherwise hear. Maybe you've made a lot of money in your career. Praise God for that. God didn't begrudge that at all. He gave you that ability but maybe maybe he gave you that ability to make money. Maybe it wasn't just so you can increase your standard of living. Maybe damage to you for the purpose of multiplication. Maybe you want to say in my career is more blessed to give than just to receive maybe you're entering retirement right now many are entering retirement early. I don't know the a are you the person were to retire and say finally all about me, because the gospel is that if I am financially independent and I've achieved this place and I'm just for your now to be able to deliver places where I can share the gospel more strategically. In this chapter, I want to give more than I receive what you what you do with your money in retirement. I'm not talking really wealthy guy in our church. Non-older man who set up this is awesome is a piece of my goal.

My goal was for the last check I write on earth to bounce as I gave it all away. I told her to one of our pastors and not one of us is likely I'm way ahead of that guy, I'm already bouncing my (no, it's more blessed to give than to receive. This is the last thing Paul says to them is arguably the most important question is dismissed on the question of discipleship. You look at your life is given, you multiply because that's what it means to follow Jesus.

So there is, as false philosophy of life make sure my generation is about coming to make sure our generation knows Jesus. It's our only goal. Today every day on Senate life with Jeannie Greer while sharing the gospel is the most important thing we can do it can certainly be intimidating. And that's my understanding who God is and his plans and purposes are so important to Jeannie. If we want to know God better. We have to read the Bible right it's not like we can just open the Bible blindly hold it out endpoint to reverse or hate Dell well usually doesn't work like that the same God can do miracles but me move over the story about the person is like oh you know God what you want me to do and so reopens of the Bible points traversing the verse is finger lands on his Judas, one hung himself.

As I lacking the rights of any thoughts couple pages and he went in a verse that exercise good Audi likewise you that's not that's not how God is speaking to you and I know a lot of people while not that extreme. That's how they approach lifelike Bible lottery, you know, but that's not me there's a way that God speaks best to you is when you get the accurate sense of what he is saying both to the original audience in the what it means for your life. Sometimes there are things in the Bible that are gorgeous stories being told mom I will. This is a warning guy. God doesn't want me to do this on so so one of our our our burdens here at Summit life is not just on earth random phrases and promises and what you you come up with ways to apply these worse your life is to help you see what it is in the original context we use a method here and we talked about here at Summit life here highlight just where you're taking promises and your responding is examining that's the aspect of like how does this bid into the overall biblical picture. What's the history or what was going on a is apply.

That's where you bridge the gap your life and ours respond. This Bible that we are offering small compact taking charge for your personal and the backpack. It will help you with the examination and application. It will be able he will help fill the gap of those two things so that you can read and understand the Bible better and ultimately know God is your turn and got we'd like to get you a copy of our new custom Senate life Bible today and it comes with our thanks when you don't need to support Senate life on the radio and online by listeners like filling you to another listener to think cleanly. By doing your part to keep this program going today and remember to bring your copy at the summit, 866-5265 5220 or you can donate this resource online.com hi Molly database again tomorrow. Finish is teaching series diving into the final book of the Bible Wednesday on Senate life Jeannie Greer 19


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