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April 13, 2022 7:05 am
It was Carl Sandberg who made this astute observation about the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. He said a tree is best measured when it's down Lincoln's greatest influence on our nation and on the world was not realized until he was gone today on Insight for living.
Chuck Swindoll presents the very last message. It is brand-new teaching series in Colossians as we read the final sentences in Colossians chapter 4 which Paul wrote from a prison cell. We begin to see the timeless legacy of the apostle Chuck titled this final message off on and friend filled very well the next Aristarchus is written down in verse 10. What is says about Aristarchus, he is in prison with me. He's actually under arrest.
As I am in acts 27 two you will trace Aristarchus as he travels from Caesarea by the sea all the way to Italy all the way to Rome. He was one of his traveling companions. So there's a closeness to Paul, probably so close is the reason he became arrested. He simply says he is in prison with me but he sends his greetings is interesting. There's no bitterness mentioned there's no pity there is greeting Mark. Now we meet in verse 10, when Paul and Barnabas did their first missionary journey they took along with them. A young man named John. John Mark this Mark. The first part of the journey, but when they got to the shores of Pamphylia and the rugged rocks that were there no doubt that the infestation of mosquitoes. Some of them carrying malaria.
Perhaps it was there. Paul contracted the terrible disease.
He became discouraged.
He panicked and I know down the middle of the night fled. He abandoned them. This is John Mark.
This is the man mentioned here among close friends gets better through the years. John Mark has begun to mature. He's become reliable.
He seemed the failure of this early decision, when he abandoned these wonderful friends and he is probably coming full circle and maybe even make it right with Paul, so much so that Mark Barnabas's cousin. He says welcome him. If he comes your way is to encourage. Here's a man who had been abandoned by Mark now saying I speak in his behalf.
Then we go to a man who has a name.
Nobody wanted verse 11 Jesus Jesus is his Jewish name justice is his last name not uncommon in those days but they called justice for obvious reasons. He sends his greeting. What about we know nothing more.
You will not read of justice anywhere else in all the Bible but to Paul. He's a friend now. What he says about justice. These are my coworkers there working with me here, for the kingdom. What a comfort. They have been. But I miss something important.
Look earlier in the verse verse 11 justice since his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my coworkers about you but that surprise me to read that by now because Paul has ministered to the Gentiles number of the Jewish companions had moved elsewhere been involved in their ministry. He's really surrounded by Gentiles, but there were still a few who were Jewish, who were standing beside justice is one of the numbers 12 is ever press.
We met him earlier chapter 1 turn.
Colossians 1 verse seven you learned about the good news from Apple press. Our beloved coworker who is Christ's faithful servant helping us on your behalf.
He is told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit is given you. You know what I think on the upper France was one of their teachers we would call him one of their pastoral staff members.
He was one of their shepherds.
It was from him that many of the Colossians we just read this learned about the good news of Christ. So he mentions him again here at the end of the letter.
Verse 12 chapter 4, a member of your own fellowship. Indeed, he was in.
Notice also do loss Christo Jesu, a slave of Christ Jesus, that sounds like a put down, but it is one of the finest titles that you could bear here is this man ever press who is been a teacher well known among you communicating the truth, but the best thing I can say about them. He's a slave of Christ Jesus. He sends you his greetings.
What was it that characterized upper France so exciting. I know you think about lost my mind spending all my time on this, but staying with me. It gets better because he can't get worse to stay with me okay brass what is he always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect fully club that you are following the whole will of God. Verse 13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you.
I was muscle excited about it. He's a friend who prays what I believe. I believe every circle of friends has one who's known for prayer when the great things about encircling yourself with people who love the Lord. One of them will be what we would call a prayer warrior when you're facing a real need you so you know what, pick up the phone to call so-and-so is unknown to pray or to send this message to her and you type it out right quick attached or something and you and you punch it sand and it goes right, and it is a matter of seconds before that individual getting your message stops to pray why is this what they do the calling friends. Individual you can call on and so you know what I'm facing a very real situation on a man say to me this morning. I'm homeless and jobless and I'm here in this area taking care of an individual who has cancer and I'm a part of the hospice gives them a roof over his head gives him an opportunity to do what he does and I know this.
He's a man who was praying and though his friends are praying about a need for a job, a need for a whole and his friend was dying with cancer ever. France is a kind of individual you could count on. He's the branch of our sheltering tree who brings our needs before the Lord our God. Quick story when said that our seminary we would occasionally go to Houston where our folks lived. Mom and dad lived in the east side of Houston since his parents lived in the west side so we would we would do our best to visit with both of them. But the good thing is we would visit our home church, and while we were there. I guarantee you and me would find its and said that I would say that we just we gotta be ready for at bay. It means she's going to have her book and then that book will be our names Chuck and Cynthia at seminary. They went fall of 1959. Here are their needs and she's got a mark down here so she walk up and say I want to know how that situation as you mentioned last time we were together I been praying about that when you got an MA in your life.
You gotta get your stuff together is just a prayer request. If you have the right to say actually I don't have a lot to report on that or let me tell you what happened and she will write down the answer to that prayer and then she was in a before you leave. I know you get ready go back. Tell me one thing that is a struggle for you or one thing that's a concern for you right now we would tell her we would be ready we give and she was a women right and had me would write that down one of the great things about visiting her home church was meeting up with her why she was our friends. We often think wonder what life would've been like a double seminary for Chuck and Cynthia's window.
If we hadn't had at me to stand behind us be a part of our lives. In case you happen to be the one in that circle of friends, who is the prayer partner stand tall, hold your head up high, your role is a significant any preacher in the world.
Your participation in the needs of the people you know is invaluable. You are the upper France to that group that you call your friends and they would call you there friend.
Now we get to a name were familiar. Luke look at verse 14. He's one of the six that remained in what we read about him. Luke is the beloved Dr. I pause because I want you to look at the words and I want to explain wide significant member with K I'm introduced concordance and lexicons ongoing introduced little Greek syntax is good for you okay there is a particular construction in the Greek language called the restrictive attributed I get so excited when I think about it nobody else. Nobody else does the restrictive attributed is a particular construction that emphasizes the adjective we did an example. I am the good shepherd. The Greeks is I am the shepherd the good one, and the emphasis is on good okay here's another one. John 15 one.
He is the true vine. He is the vine, the true one. The emphasis is on true. In Matthew 2545.
There's a statement inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brothers you have done to me. The Greek says. Inasmuch as you have done it to these brothers of mine, least of them you done unto me. The great thing about that is the emphasis on the least, the less those who are disabled.
Those who have a hearing those who have insight those who are brain-damaged the least of them. The way you treat them is evidence of the way you treat me I love I told you all that verse 14 is a return to the restrictive attributed here goes. Luke the doctor, the beloved one that tells me he's more than a doctor who hands out pills. He's more than a dog who likes cutting on people he has endeared himself to the apostle think of it. Luke could've stayed in the city where he was born or retrained as a physician had a very lucrative practice but he didn't know why because he saw more value in traveling with Paul in building into his life and he became one of Paul sheltering trees when he was lacerated by the stones. Luke was there to massage in the oil to comforting we we had stomach troubles oriented pain or he struggled with the thorn in the flesh. Luke was there to help apply the ointment to his eyes. Probably some form about bumping Luke is there is a beloved brother. Another thought I had think about Paul as an apostle, so he has miraculous gifts among them the gift of healing.
Okay, but he travels with the doctor is great people and I believe you find a healer, Dr. you remind them of Colossians 414. Paulette's own Dr. because there are times you can't heal and you need the assistance of a very wise competent physician. My first comments when I hear someone has a difficult difficult disease is. Do you have a really good physician.
Do you have a doctor that you can rely on. Luke was a kind of doctor. Best of all, he was the doctor the beloved one.
Then there was Dimas when you notice about Dimas look at it sort of Baron's Luke, the doctor sends his greetings also is Dimas wonder that you not you had your concordance.
I'm not giving up on this. If you look up the name Dimas you would find another place where he's mentioned way over there in Paul's last letter.
Second Timothy four TN Dimas having love this world, has deserted me. The Greek says Dimas loving the now age doesn't mean it's intriguing. Dimas is drawn to the stuff of this world, but he found himself in the dilemma among Paul's friends. I wonder, could it be that there were already faint outlines of degeneration, loss of spiritual enthusiasm which caused Paul to simply name him all Dimas also sends his greetings, which I think represents a concern. Paul has for this traveling companion who is begun to cool off one of my mentors named Richard Sumi written a magnificent book called shoes for the road. He refers to what drew Dimas away as the lure of a lesser loyalty. Dimas had the loyalty of a Paul but there was a lesser loyalty and I quote Sumi this, who were known knew no limits. It knows no limits.
It may strike individuals.
It may afflict churches it may endanger institutions, none is exempt from the allurement and I may be speaking today to one of you who is a Dimas maybe drawn to this now age. No one knows it, not even your own partner in life, but in in secret moments you're compromising your starting to drift.
I warn you this consequence to that. It's a great moment for you to deal with it. This very day and drop the lure of lesser loyalty and there's a young woman we know nothing of other then nymph the church that meets in her house so he greets her and he says also verse 17 to another name unfamiliar to us. Sager RK plus be sure to carry out the ministry, the Lord gave you flip Philemon verse two calls RK plus his fellow soldier so I don't know what the calling is. But our campus may have begun to cool off, or may have begun to have less discipline in his pursuit of his calling, and he says you tell our campus to stay with it.
Stay at it to carry out the ministry, the Lord gave you.
At this point, Paul realizes there's nothing more right, but his name in a very personal note, look, here is my greeting in my own handwriting. The Greek simply says by my hand. Paul if you read this document and we do not have it. We have none of the original documents or extent we have only copies. But if you were to read this original document, you would see a change in handwriting, for he says to his amanuensis of the secretary we have a stylus to retake the stylus and your rights by my own hand. Paul but that's not the end of the letter he had something why when he took the stylus the chain. The manacle dragged over the parchment and he was reminded that he is still in chain's and he says is very touching moment.
Oh, almost forgot and maybe you forgot I'm in chains, remember that. And then he commands them to the very same truth that he began the letter and that's grace early in the letter he says grace and peace from God our father. He ends with. May God's grace be with you.
I think it's worth mentioning that this letter ends with three essentials. I name Paul, this situation changes in God's grace, which he committed to them again about telling you of Carl Sandberg's chapter title. A tree is best measured when it's down one day they'll measure you one day you and I separately.
Of course, in our place of death will be measured. There will be people who come from all over. Perhaps there may be letters written communication that will mention your name will mention the marks on your tree and will also include the message of God's grace that you model for them or talk to them. Paul is living the results of God's choice for him. God's plan for him providentially that he would spend these use under arrest in chains, all of that brought me to the words of Horatio Molnar choose Val for me. I dare not choose my lot. I would not if I might choose Val for me.
My God, so shall I walk right. Choose for me. My friends my sickness and my help choose though my cares for me. My poverty, wealth, not mine.
Not mind the choice in things, both great and small, be thou my guide, my strength, my wisdom and my all my all met with me please. I suggested some of you have lived your life long enough alone. The major lesson you learned from this is that your fierce independence is not commendable.
You cannot make it on your own when you become so desperately ill which may be tomorrow or maybe months, years from now you will need another to be near you, someone who loves you whose friendship you have cultivated they will be for you.
Sheltering tree and when they measure you.
I so pray that they will find that there has been carved in the trunk of your tree across that marks the day that you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ you gave your life you never done that you can begin the carving today right now you, Lord, are our strengths when we are weak you the treasure that we seek. You have become for us are all in all, seeking you as a precious jewel Lord to give up would be a fool because you have become are all in all I pray for those who have buried loved ones whose arms ache for them. I pray for the friends in their lives that they will be comforted and encouraged to pray for those who have been weakened like Dimas begun to entertain the lure of the lesser loyalty pray you will bring a friend who tell the truth and stay with as they returned to finally I pray for those who had never come to your son that happened today.
Grace of our God. I pray in the matchless name of our friend are all in all even Jesus I pray everyone and with Chuck Swindoll's prayer, we conclude our 10 part study through Paul's letter to the Colossians, Chuck titled the series Jesus Christ are all in all and to learn more about this ministry.
Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org then please take note that today is the final day to mention the living insights commentary that Chuck wrote on Colossians. In fact this hardbound volume includes his commentary on Philippians and Philemon as well to purchase a copy of the living insights commentary on Colossians go to insight.org/offer or call us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 at Insight for living were pleased to receive notes, letters and phone calls from friends all around the world who affirm the value of Chuck's Bible teaching might be encouraged to hear this one that arrived from the state of Washington. It said Chuck over the years my parents read your books and listen to insight for living on a consistent basis.
When we got my dad a new computer last we made it so he could access your teaching with just a touch on the screen you listen faithfully to your radio program. Now I listen to your podcast each morning while I walk before work. My dad went to be with Jesus in his final days, there were two things besides family that made his eyes sparkle ice cream and listening to Chuck Swindoll. Well, uplifting comments like this are made possible through the support of listeners like you financially sustain insight from and you can partner with us by giving us a call if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 to give a donation online, go to insight.org/guides us in the celebration of Easter. Listen Thursday to insight for living.
The preceding message of fun and friend Phil farewell was copyrighted in 2014 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll.
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