This Week in Chapel

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fall 2016 Chapel Message

How to Ruin Your Time at Dallas Seminary
Dr. Charles Swindoll on September 14, 2016

There is no way I could pass up a message with a title like this.  I'm glad I listened in as it was exactly what I needed to hear.  Dr. Swindoll lays out his first of four points during this Fall 2016 series.

How to Ruin Your Time at Dallas Seminary

The central thread of Dr. Swindoll's message is that there are habits that you can fall into that can; steal your joy, diminish the benefits of studying at the seminary, and create enormous regret that you gave into them.

Before considering the first habit, consider the following about your time at Dallas:
  1. This is the opportunity of your lifetime.  This opportunity will never be repeated as it is right now so make the most of it.
  2. Your being here is no accident.  This is the result of much prayer by yourself and others and was ordained before God laid the foundations of the world.
  3. Your adversary will work overtime to discourage and demoralize you.  He hates everything that we stand for and as Peter describes seeks to devour us as a roaring lion.  Be alert.
  4. You are here for two primary reasons and both require disciplined perseverance.
    1. To cultivate a knowledge of the truth.
    2. Discover and deepen an awareness of yourself.

(NASB) 1 Timothy 4:16
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

Heart of the Message

The first habit that will ruin your time at Dallas Theological Seminary that Dr. Swindoll is revealing is "worry".  "Worry is a thief that steals your joy."  The message is aimed at 3 kinds of people.
  1. Those who are worriers by nature.  People who have formed habits in life that place them in a perpetual state of worry.
  2. Those who are right now worried.  People who upon embarking on this journey have already begun to give into the temptation of worry.
  3. Those who are planning to worry.  People who are beginning to understand the challenges that lie ahead of them and are growing apprehensive.
Dr. Swindol lays out three scriptures which put worry into perspective.  This is to help us avoid giving into this temptation and allowing it to ruin our time and studies at DTS.

(NASB) Matthew 6:25-34
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Worrying is a sinful habit. We are not to give in to it.

(NASB) Luke 10:38-42
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

We need to be mindful that there is only one thing that we are to be concerned about.  And that is Christ.  Keep your focus simple.  Right now, if you mess up being with Jesus, you will have messed up your time at seminary.

(NASB) Philippians 4:6-7
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Take your cares to the Lord in prayer.  Trust in God that he will provide according to your needs.

    In Summary

    Our time in seminary will be full of challenges that will test us.  We are being prepared to serve God and the benefits of our training will be reaped by us for the rest of our lives.  We need to ensure that we staying grounded by growing in the truth and growing in the awareness of ourselves.  Don't let sinful habits distract you from achieving these goals during your time at seminary.

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