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Chuck Swindoll on The Only Way to Find Rest for Your Soul

“Man’s Quest”

Greece said…Be wise, know yourself.

Rome said…Be strong, discipline yourself.

Judaism says…Be holy, conform yourself.

Epicureanism says…Be sensuous, enjoy yourself.

Education says…Be resourceful, expand yourself.

Psychology says…Be confident, fulfill yourself.

Pride says…Be superior, promote yourself.

Asceticism says…Be inferior, suppress yourself.

Diplomacy says…Be reasonable, control yourself.

Communism says…Be collective, secure yourself.

Humanism says…Be capable, trust yourself.

Philanthropy says…Be unselfish, give yourself.

And on and on goes the quest of man. No wonder people are confused! Pick any thought-dish from this smorgasbord of human philosophy, then digest it completely…and you will find yourself suffering from the worst case of indigestion imaginable. It may smell good and even satisfy your rhetorical palate during the time you are consuming it…but it will leave you hungry, uneasy, and searching for something else to satisfy.

Rollo May’s word’s often interrupt my thinking as I ponder the plight of searching men and women today: “It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.”

And so it is! Look across your office desk tomorrow and chances are you’ll be observing a living example of someone still searching, still running to find inner satisfaction. Step out in front of your apartment or home tomorrow morning and look both ways…listen to the roar of automobiles…study the dwellings around you. Those sights and sounds represent people who have, like Little Bo-Peep’s sheep, “lost their way,” and, tragedy upon tragedy—they don’t know where to find it. Many of them have tried hard to “be religious” or “live by the golden rule” or “tie a knot and hang on” or “be sincere,” but they are still running blind and bored and baffled.

They are attempting to fill the inner vacuum with everything but the only thing. You name it, it’s being tried. As Henry Thoreau declared: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Robert Ingersol, the bold and brilliant agnostic, spent many years of his life opposing and attacking the Scriptures and Christ’s claims. On his deathbed…at the end of his race, he uttered:

“Life is a narrow veil between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry.”

Ingersol’s pursuit is best described in the bumper sticker I saw on my way to work:

DON’T FOLLOW ME…I’M LOST

Pontius Pilate, Judea’s notorious governor, stood eyeball to eyeball with Jesus of Nazareth. In the judicial process of interrogation, he heard Christ refer to “everyone who is of the truth,” to which Pilate replied, “What is truth?” That question hangs heavily on the thin wire of reason in many a mind in this very hour. Pilate never waited for an answer. Jesus could have told him that He alone had satisfying words of life…for He alone is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Christianity is not a system of human philosophy nor a religious ritual nor a code of moral ethics—it us the impartation of divine life through Christ. Apart from the Way there is no going…apart from the Truth there is no knowing…apart from the Life there is no living.

God says…Be in Christ, rest yourself.

“Man’s Quest” was written by Chuck Swindoll and is excerpted from the excellent devotional book: Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. Portland: Multnomah, 1983, pp. 216-217.

About the Author: In the summer of 1977, the sermons that Chuck Swindoll preached at the First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California, were broadcast on twenty-seven stations in the United States. Listeners responded immediately to the lively message of this down-to-earth pastor who could communicate God’s truth in terms they could understand and apply to their lives. In 1979, the radio ministry of Insight for Living was officially born, beginning on just a handful of stations. Today, more than two thousand stations carry the program around the world in seven different languages.

Two passions have directed the life and ministry of Chuck Swindoll: an unwavering commitment to the practical communication and application of God’s Word and an untiring devotion to seeing lives transformed by God’s grace. Chuck has devoted more than four decades to these goals, and he models the contagious joy that springs from enthusiastically following Jesus Christ

While on the island of Okinawa during his tour of duty in the United States Marine Corps, Chuck recognized that the Lord was calling him to devote his life to the gospel ministry. With Cynthia, his partner in life for more than fifty-one years, Chuck has devoted himself to the challenge of communicating practical, biblical truth and its application in the context of God’s grace.

After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Chuck enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary [DTS]. Chuck’s course of study at DTS and the lifelong mentors he met there have permanently marked his life and the course of his ministry.

Chuck graduated magna cum laude from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1963 with three major honors:

  • Harry A. Ironside Award for Expository Preaching
  • Christian Education Award for the greatest achievement in the field of his academic major
  • Faculty Award for the most outstanding graduate in the opinion of the faculty

Chuck has also received four honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of his outstanding contributions to ministry:

  • Doctor of Divinity, Talbot Theological Seminary, 1977
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Taylor University, 1986
  • Doctor of Laws, Pepperdine University, 1990
  • Doctor of Literature, Dallas Baptist University, 1997

For more than forty years, Chuck’s pulpit ministry has emphasized the grace of God alongside an uncompromising commitment to practical, biblical truth and its application. He has served the following congregations in his pastoral ministry:

  • Grace Bible Church, Dallas, Texas, Assistant Pastor, 1963–1965
  • Waltham Evangelical Free Church, Waltham, Massachusetts, 1965–1967
  • Irving Bible Church, Irving, Texas, 1967–1971
  • First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, California, 1971–1994
  • Stonebriar Community Church, Frisco, Texas. In October of 1998, Chuck founded Stonebriar Community Church, where he continues to serve as senior pastor.

As a pastor, Chuck has received the following awards:

  • Clergyman of the Year, Religious Heritage of America, 1988
  • Named one of the top twelve preachers in the nation by the Effective Preachers Program of Baylor University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary, 1997

Ranked second to Rev. Billy Graham in a 2009 survey which asked 800 Protestant pastors to name the living Christian preachers who most influenced them (survey conducted by LifeWay Research).

Chuck’s congregation extends far beyond the local church body. Through the Insight for Living broadcast, Chuck’s teaching is on the air in every major Christian radio market in all fifty states and  through more than 2,100 outlets worldwide in numerous foreign languages, and it is also available to an exploding Webcast and podcast audience. While Chuck serves as chairman of the board, his wife, Cynthia, serves as president and chief executive officer of Insight for Living. They have directed its expansion to become one of the leading radio programs in Christian broadcasting. Their leadership has made Chuck’s messages accessible to 100 percent of the world’s population. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Insight for Living now has a staff of over 125 employees. We also maintain offices in Melbourne for our Australian listeners, in Brasilia for our Brazilian listeners, in Vancouver for our Canadian listeners, and in London for our listeners in the United Kingdom.

As teacher on Insight for Living, Chuck has received the following awards:

  • Program of the Year, National Religious Broadcasters, 1994
  • Religious Broadcaster of the Year, National Religious Broadcasters, 1999
  • Hall of Fame Award, National Religious Broadcasters, 2000

Chuck’s prolific writing ministry has blessed the body of Christ for over thirty years. Beginning with You and Your Child in 1977, Chuck has contributed more than seventy titles to a worldwide reading audience. His most popular books in the Christian Bookseller’s Association include: Strengthening Your Grip, Improving Your ServeDropping Your GuardLiving on the Ragged EdgeLiving Above the Level of MediocrityThe Grace AwakeningSimple FaithLaugh AgainThe Finishing TouchIntimacy with the AlmightySuddenly One MorningThe Mystery of God’s WillWisdom for the WayThe Darkness and the DawnA Life Well Lived, and the Great Lives from God’s Word series, which includes JosephDavidEstherMosesElijahPaulJobJesus: The Greatest Life of All, and his most recent addition, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal.

As a writer, Chuck has received the following awards:

  • Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement Award, Evangelical Press Association, 1997

Twelve Gold Medallion Awards, more than any other Christian author to date

After serving as Dallas Theological Seminary’s fourth president for seven years (1994–2001), Chuck became the seminary’s chancellor in 2001. As the sixth-largest seminary in the world, DTS’s primary goal is to equip godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of God’s Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide, a mission Chuck wholeheartedly supports in his life and teaching. He continues to uphold the school’s motto, “Preach the Word,” as he serves in leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary, at Insight for Living, and at Stonebriar Community Church.

 

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Spurgeon’s Channel of Encouragement by Chuck Swindoll

Blessed Are The Persecuted! (Sometimes we feel like human lightning rods as displayed below!)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon remains one of the most colorful and gifted preachers in the history of the church. Any man who loves to preach and desires to cultivate the art and skill of communication must study Spurgeon. Before the man was 30 years old, he was the most popular preacher in England. The new Metropolitan Tabernacle was filled to overflowing every Lord’s Day as people came miles by horse and buggy to hear the gifted man handle the Word of God. They were challenged, encouraged, exhorted, fed, and built up in the Christian faith. He was truly a phenomenon.

As a result, he also became the object of great criticism by the press, by other pastors, by influential people in London, and by petty parishioners. The man, not always a model of quiet piety (to say the least), had numerous enemies. Normally, he handled the criticism fairly well . . . but finally, it began to get to him. He began to slump beneath the attacks. The persecution started to take a severe toll on his otherwise resilient spirit.

I am told that his wife, seeing the results of those verbal blows on her husband, decided to assist him in getting back on his feet and regaining his powerful stature in the pulpit.

She found in her Bible Matthew 5:10-12 and she printed the words of this passage on a large sheet of paper. Then she tacked that sheet to the ceiling of their bedroom, directly above Charles’s side of the bed! Every morning, every evening, when he would rest his enormous frame in his bed, the words were there to meet and to encourage him.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

The large sheet of paper remained fixed to the ceiling for an extended period of time until it had done the job. May Mrs. Spurgeon’s tribe increase! It is refreshing to think how a marriage partner can be such a vital channel of encouragement.

And it is also encouraging to see that we have no corner on the problem of persecution. Did you observe what Christ said? “In the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Servants, that statement will help us call a halt to the next pity-party we are tempted to throw for ourselves. We are not alone. Persecution has been going on for centuries.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll. Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living. Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1981, 117-18.

About the Author: In the summer of 1977, the sermons that Chuck Swindoll preached at the First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California, were broadcast on twenty-seven stations in the United States. Listeners responded immediately to the lively message of this down-to-earth pastor who could communicate God’s truth in terms they could understand and apply to their lives. In 1979, the radio ministry of Insight for Living was officially born, beginning on just a handful of stations. Today, more than two thousand stations carry the program around the world in seven different languages.

Two passions have directed the life and ministry of Chuck Swindoll: an unwavering commitment to the practical communication and application of God’s Word and an untiring devotion to seeing lives transformed by God’s grace. Chuck has devoted more than four decades to these goals, and he models the contagious joy that springs from enthusiastically following Jesus Christ

While on the island of Okinawa during his tour of duty in the United States Marine Corps, Chuck recognized that the Lord was calling him to devote his life to the gospel ministry. With Cynthia, his partner in life for more than fifty-one years, Chuck has devoted himself to the challenge of communicating practical, biblical truth and its application in the context of God’s grace.

After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Chuck enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary [DTS]. Chuck’s course of study at DTS and the lifelong mentors he met there have permanently marked his life and the course of his ministry.

Chuck graduated magna cum laude from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1963 with three major honors:

  • Harry A. Ironside Award for Expository Preaching
  • Christian Education Award for the greatest achievement in the field of his academic major
  • Faculty Award for the most outstanding graduate in the opinion of the faculty

Chuck has also received four honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of his outstanding contributions to ministry:

  • Doctor of Divinity, Talbot Theological Seminary, 1977
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Taylor University, 1986
  • Doctor of Laws, Pepperdine University, 1990
  • Doctor of Literature, Dallas Baptist University, 1997

For more than forty years, Chuck’s pulpit ministry has emphasized the grace of God alongside an uncompromising commitment to practical, biblical truth and its application. He has served the following congregations in his pastoral ministry:

  • Grace Bible Church, Dallas, Texas, Assistant Pastor, 1963–1965
  • Waltham Evangelical Free Church, Waltham, Massachusetts, 1965–1967
  • Irving Bible Church, Irving, Texas, 1967–1971
  • First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, California, 1971–1994
  • Stonebriar Community Church, Frisco, Texas. In October of 1998, Chuck founded Stonebriar Community Church, where he continues to serve as senior pastor.

As a pastor, Chuck has received the following awards:

  • Clergyman of the Year, Religious Heritage of America, 1988
  • Named one of the top twelve preachers in the nation by the Effective Preachers Program of Baylor University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary, 1997

Ranked second to Rev. Billy Graham in a 2009 survey which asked 800 Protestant pastors to name the living Christian preachers who most influenced them (survey conducted by LifeWay Research).

Chuck’s congregation extends far beyond the local church body. Through the Insight for Living broadcast, Chuck’s teaching is on the air in every major Christian radio market in all fifty states and  through more than 2,100 outlets worldwide in numerous foreign languages, and it is also available to an exploding Webcast and podcast audience. While Chuck serves as chairman of the board, his wife, Cynthia, serves as president and chief executive officer of Insight for Living. They have directed its expansion to become one of the leading radio programs in Christian broadcasting. Their leadership has made Chuck’s messages accessible to 100 percent of the world’s population. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Insight for Living now has a staff of over 125 employees. We also maintain offices in Melbourne for our Australian listeners, in Brasilia for our Brazilian listeners, in Vancouver for our Canadian listeners, and in London for our listeners in the United Kingdom.

As teacher on Insight for Living, Chuck has received the following awards:

  • Program of the Year, National Religious Broadcasters, 1994
  • Religious Broadcaster of the Year, National Religious Broadcasters, 1999
  • Hall of Fame Award, National Religious Broadcasters, 2000

Chuck’s prolific writing ministry has blessed the body of Christ for over thirty years. Beginning with You and Your Child in 1977, Chuck has contributed more than seventy titles to a worldwide reading audience. His most popular books in the Christian Bookseller’s Association include: Strengthening Your Grip, Improving Your Serve, Dropping Your Guard, Living on the Ragged Edge, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, The Grace Awakening, Simple Faith, Laugh Again, The Finishing Touch, Intimacy with the Almighty, Suddenly One Morning, The Mystery of God’s Will, Wisdom for the Way, The Darkness and the Dawn, A Life Well Lived, and the Great Lives from God’s Word series, which includes Joseph, David, Esther, Moses, Elijah, Paul, Job, Jesus: The Greatest Life of All, and his most recent addition, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal.

As a writer, Chuck has received the following awards:

  • Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement Award, Evangelical Press Association, 1997

Twelve Gold Medallion Awards, more than any other Christian author to date

After serving as Dallas Theological Seminary’s fourth president for seven years (1994–2001), Chuck became the seminary’s chancellor in 2001. As the sixth-largest seminary in the world, DTS’s primary goal is to equip godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of God’s Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide, a mission Chuck wholeheartedly supports in his life and teaching. He continues to uphold the school’s motto, “Preach the Word,” as he serves in leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary, at Insight for Living, and at Stonebriar Community Church.

 

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You Are NOT a NOBODY! By Chuck Swindoll

One of the realities that motivates me more than anything as I seek to teach, make disciples, counsel, coach, and live out the gospel is that those I invest in will surpass me for the purposes of Christ in this world. Here is an excellent article by Charles R. Swindoll that can be found in several books he’s written – this article is from his book Encourage Me. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1993. When you wonder whether history will be different because of your service for Christ, remember these words. You may have the next John Stott, R.C. Sproul, John Piper, Ann Graham Lotz, Kay Arthur, or Elizabeth Elliott in your Sunday school class, small group, or they may even be your neighbors! – Dr. David P. Craig

You are YOU. There is only one YOU. And YOU are important. Want to start feeling better? Really desire to dispel discouragement? I can say it all in three words” start being YOU.

Pull a sheet of scratch paper out of your memory bank and see how well you do with the following questions.

Who taught Martin Luther his theology and inspired his translation of the New Testament?

Who visited Dwight L. Moody at a shoe store and spoke to him about Christ?

Who worked alongside and encouraged Harry Ironside as his associate pastor?

Who was the wife of Charles Haddon Spurgeon?

Who was the elderly woman who prayed faithfully for Billy Graham for over twenty years?

Who financed William Carey’s ministry in India?

Who refreshed the apostle Paul in that Roman dungeon as he wrote his last letter to Timothy?

Who helped Charles Wesley to get underway as a composer of hymns?

Who found the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Who personally taught G. Campbell Morgan, the peerless expositor,” his techniques in the pulpit?

Who followed Hudson Taylor and gave the China Inland Mission its remarkable vision and direction?

Who discipled George Muller and snatched him as a young man from a sinful lifestyle?

Who were the parents of the godly and gifted prophet Daniel?

Okay, how did you do? Over fifty percent? Maybe twenty-five percent? Not quite that good? Before you excuse your inability to answer the questions by calling the quiz “trivia,” better stop and think. Had it not been for those unknown people—those “nobodies”—a huge chunk of church history would be missing. And a lot of lives would have been untouched.

Nobodies.

What a necessary band of men and women…servants of the King…yet nameless in the kingdom! Men and women who, with silent heroism, yet faithful diligence, relinquish the limelight and live in the shade of public figures.

What was it Jim Elliot, the martyred messenger of the gospel to the Aucas, once called missionaries? Something like a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody. But don’t mistake anonymous for unnecessary. Otherwise, the whole Body gets crippled…even paralyzed…or, at best, terribly dizzy as the majority of the members within the Body become diseased with self-pity and discouragement. Face it, friend, the Head of the Body calls the shots. It is His prerogative to publicize some and hide others. Don’t ask me why He chooses who He chooses.

If it’s His desire to use you as a Melanchthon rather than a Luther…or a Kimball rather than a Moody…or an Onesiphores rather than a Paul…or a Hoste rather than a Taylor, relax!

Better than that, give God praise! You’re among that elite group mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 as:

…some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary…so God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that might otherwise seem less important (vv.22, 24, TLB).

If it weren’t for the heroic “nobodies,” we wouldn’t have top-notch officers to give a church its leadership. Or quality sound when everyone shows up to worship. Or janitors who clean when everyone is long gone. Or communities to provided dozens of services beyond the scenes. Of mission volunteers who staff offices as home or work in obscurity

overseas with only a handful of people.

Nobodies…exalting Somebody.

Are you one? Listen to me! It’s the “nobodies” Somebody chooses so carefully. And when He has selected you for that role, He does not consider you a nobody.

Be encouraged!

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10).

About the Author: Dr. Charles R. Swindoll is senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church, chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, and the Bible teacher on the internationally syndicated radio program Insight for Living. He has written more than thirty best-selling books, including STRENGTHENING YOUR GRIP, IMPROVING YOUR SERVE, THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, COME BEFORE WINTER, GROWING STRONG IN THE SEASONS OF LIFE, STRESS FRACTURES, HOPE AGAIN,  LAUGH AGAIN, THE GRACE AWAKENING, the million-selling GREAT LIVES FROM GOD’S WORD series; and his newest offering SAYING IT WELL. Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, live in Frisco, Texas.

 

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How God Scrutinizes Our Paths – Chuck Swindoll

A Great Illustration of Psalm 139:1-2 By Chuck Swindoll (The Mystery of God’s Will)

“For Christmas one year we bought our children what was called ‘Ant City.’ This consisted of clear plastic plates on either side, filled with sand and ants. From our vantage point outside and above, we could see what these busy little creatures were doing underground. We watched as they tunneled their way around, leaving a maze of trails.

In a similar fashion, God scrutinizes our paths. From where we are, tunneling along, all we see is the sand immediately ahead, behind, and beside us. But from His vantage point, He can see exactly where we’ve been and precisely where we’re going. ‘He is intimately acquainted with all my ways.‘”

 

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