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Finding the Right Partners, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2021 8:00 am

Finding the Right Partners, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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September 16, 2021 8:00 am

The role companions played in Paul’s fruitfulness in Corinth; the importance of interdependent relationships in the plan of God; based on Acts 18:1-11. (Included in the 6-part series Making Your Vision a Reality.)

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Partners are so important that even if you run into people problems with some of your partners, you still need to let God help you raise up some more. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

We're glad to have you with us. If you walk with God long enough, you'll have a few people problems. You can be right in the center of God's will, your partners in ministry can be right there in the center of God's will, and yet sometimes you'll still have conflict. Today you'll see how one of the greatest leaders in church history handled an unfortunate situation with one of his close friends and partners.

His decision may surprise you. Stay with us now or stop by anytime to hear today's message or any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's

You can also subscribe to our podcasts at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. But let's join Pastor Paul now as he shares today's Destined for Victory message, finding the right partners. Acts chapter 18, beginning with verse one. After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife, Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tent maker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Now, in the opening message in this series, I established from the Scriptures the fact that all of us who are called by the Lord Jesus, saved by his grace, all of us have certain works, certain good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do.

We saw that clearly taught in the pages of Scripture. In other words, if you are a follower of Christ, you are not to just sit on your blessed assurance and wait for Jesus to come get you. You are to do some good works before you leave this earth. Every one of us is called to do some things in earth that matter in heaven. So a good question to constantly ask yourself is, what on earth are you doing for heaven's sake? What on earth are you doing that matters in heaven? Because you are to do some good works which God prepared in advance for you to do.

And so we must be about our Father's business. I labor to help you understand the operative question must be, what's in your heart to do? We looked at a statement of Jesus where he said, the good man out of the good treasure in his heart brings forth good things. So the question is, since God has saved you and made you that good man, that good woman, what's in your heart that ought to get out of your heart and become a reality? What is the vision you see, whether you see it when you sleep as a dream or whether you see it with your eyes wide open as a vision? What is the vision that is the sum total of the things that God has put in your heart to do?

What is it that makes you think and daydream about where your life could be and how much more fruitful you could be for God and how many lives would be touched because of what you are called to do? That's what I want you to be grappling with as we continue this whole theme of making your vision a reality. Now, I also in the last message gave you the first key to making your vision a reality and we're using this experience of Paul going to Corinth as sort of a case study.

And the first thing that comes out of this case study for me is if you're going to make your vision a reality, you must have partners, partners. You must have partners because as we said, you can do the will of God. You absolutely can do the will of God. You can die one day and open your eyes in the presence of God in paradise and one day you will stand before the king of kings and you will hear him say, well done, good and faithful servant.

That is completely possible. But I hasten to say, while you can do the will of God, you cannot do it alone, cannot do it alone. God doesn't create lone rangers. God doesn't endorse lone rangers. Even a lone ranger wasn't alone. I have never figured out why they call him the lone ranger. He was not alone.

Y'all know, y'all grew up watching it just like I did. You older folk, young folk don't know who he is, but you older folk know who it is. He wasn't by himself. He had tanto with him. So you are not going to be some spiritual lone ranger who gets the will of God powerfully done and you do it all by yourself. And we noticed that Paul established partnerships first with Aquila and Priscilla and later on as Timothy and Silas came and joined him in Corinth, they freed him up from tent making so that while they earned the bread that they needed to eat, he was able to go out and continue ministering and sharing with people who Jesus was. You too need partners. Now, I was hoping to be done with partnership in that first message.

And I wanted to jump on to the second key in this message. But the more I labored over the series, the more I realized there's more I need to tell you about partnership. And so I can't make it nice and neat and put all the partner stuff in part one.

I got to be more interested in you getting the right information than having my my series as timely as I wanted to be. So pardon me that I got more to tell you about partnership, but I'm a prophetic preacher. I preach to meet the needs of people.

I preach until the Holy Spirit has finished telling me what else to say. So there's some more stuff I got to lay on you about partnership. You independent people aren't happy about this. Oh, my goodness. Are we going on to something else?

No, you're probably the one need to hear about this. So here you go. Some more things I need to say.

Here's the first of them. Partners are so important that even if you run into people problems with some of your partners, you still need to let God help you raise up some more. In other words, some people, not you, if it's not you, it's somebody on your row. Some people have had people problems. You had trouble dealing with people. You had conflict dealing with people.

You had heartache dealing with people. People have tap danced on your reserve nerve. You do realize that you got your normal set of nerves and then you got your reserve set of nerves. And there are some people who have long since worn out your regular nerves. They are now down on your reserve nerves and they tap dancing on those. And some of you listening to this message have had so much people trouble that you have silently said, well, pastor, that's a nice concept and all, but you don't know the folk I've had to deal with. And you don't know what they put me through. And if you would just sit down and let me bend your ear for a couple of hours, I can tell you why I no longer fool with people. That's where some of you are.

I know it because I got it in my study chambers. I picked you up in the spirit just like that. You are sick of folk and you want to believe you're the exception to this rule. And God made me preach a whole extra message just for you. I'm supposed to be on to my second P in the making vision of reality.

I'm using Ps. And you got me stuck on the first P because you're trying to excuse yourself from dealing with people because people have gotten on your nerves. First of all, let me affirm, yes, I'm sure it has happened. Yes, there are people who have a gift of getting on our nerves. Yes, you are not telling me anything I haven't experienced over and over again. Yes, I know there are some folk who just when they get through with you, the only thing you can say is, come, Lord Jesus, please, please come in a hurry.

If you don't come, I'm going to hurt somebody. It happens. Interpersonal conflict didn't start with you. Interpersonal conflict started way back in Genesis and been happening ever since.

The first family, one of the boys killed the other boy in a personal conflict is part of life on this fallen planet. How much sense does that make? Abel gave an offering that the Lord accepted. Cain, who had the same opportunity to please God, he gave an offering, a pitiful offering that the Lord rejected. And the Lord told him, if you do what I tell you to do, I'll accept yours, too. But instead of getting upset with himself and repenting before God and humbling himself and saying, Lord, give me another chance to please you, instead of that, he gets mad at the guy who gave the offering the Lord accepted. What kind of sense does that make?

You got it right, I got it wrong, I got to kill you. What kind of sense does that make? But how many know there are people who don't ask themselves the question, does this make sense? The only question they ask is, is this what I feel like doing?

And so we've all dealt with interpersonal conflicts of all sorts. Stay with us, the second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the joy of the Gospel message with a growing audience.

Destined for Victory is supported entirely by friends like you, so please prayerfully consider making a generous gift to us today. Give online safely and securely from our website, Or just give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, that number is 855-339-5500. Even the best partnerships run into trouble from time to time. Up next, a case study in partner trouble from one of the greatest leaders in church history.

As we wrap up today's Destined for Victory message, finding the right partners. Once again, here's Pastor Paul. I believe some folks come into your life for the express purpose of making sure you have a prayer life.

I can't prove it from the scriptures, but I just think there are people, the only reason they're in your life is to make sure you pray. Because you haven't been praying quite enough, but when these folks get through, you're going to be down there talking about Father. You're going to go back to your old Baptist roots. I stress my hand.

Some of y'all thought you graduated from that old school. But time these people get through with you, you're going to be at a morning's bench or somewhere calling on the name of the Lord. And I came to tell you, just because some partners have gotten on your nerves, you can't abandon the principle of partnership. See, it happened in the life of Paul. This Paul, whose case study we're looking at in Corinth, he too had partner trouble. If you go back, if you go to Acts 18 where our text is, hang a left and go back three chapters, you will find that after the first missionary trip has been completed and they've gone back home for a while, toward the end of Acts 15, Paul says to his former companion on the first trip, Barnabas, you know, it's time for us to go back and do some more work. We can check on the people we've already ministered to and we can hit some new places.

We got more preaching to do. So let's get ready to go back. And Barnabas said, all right, good idea.

Let me go get John Mark and I'll meet you back here so we can go. Paul says, stop the presses. He said, John Mark is not going with us this time. And Barnabas said, no, no, no, we got to take him along because we're teaching him how to be a man of God.

We're teaching him how to be faithful and all that. Paul said, don't you remember that joker left us high and dry as soon as persecution came during the first trip. That boy went running back home to his mama. And he did, too. John Mark was used to the saints around him praying. You know, some of those major prayer meetings in the early church, they were held at John Mark's mother's house. For instance, in Acts 12, when they were praying that Peter would be delivered from jail and they were in the house, remember, and God delivered him from jail and he knocked on the door.

That was at John Mark's mother's house. So here's this nice little comfortable Christian boy, saints around him praying and eating all the time. I know they was eating because we don't just pray. You all know how we roll in the Christian church.

We pray and then we eat. And all that fellowshiping and praying and he had that nice cozy upbringing. And when it got thick out there during that first missionary journey, they started talking about killing folk. John Mark said, I am going home, and went back to his mama's house, ate some chicken.

The gospel bird. Paul said, don't you remember that? Barnabas said, yes, I remember that.

But how's he going to learn unless we give him another chance? See, Barnabas is the son of encouragement. Paul is not.

I just put it that way. Paul is, I need folk who can cut the mustard. I need folk who not going to cut and run every time some trouble pops up. And I don't need no little rookie that says I'm not trying to train folk. This is no cookie and Kool-Aid party. This is a blood and guts spiritual war. I need a warrior.

I don't need some mama's boy. And the Bible says, read it when you get a chance. Acts 15, the Bible says the contention between Paul and Barnabas was sharp.

I told you, you're not the first one to have people problems. Sharp. You know what sharp means? They weren't saying, now, brother Paul, I need you to consider something else. No, it sounded to me, it sounded to me like they were about that far from going to blows. You don't like to think of that when you think of apostles.

You want to think of men who are just always stalwart and always full of love. I think Paul was about two seconds off of Barnabas. You don't have to.

If you want your nice little rose colored glass view of them, you go right on. I think they were fitting to get it in. But what we do know is that the contention was so sharp. And Barnabas, thank God, Barnabas stood his ground. See, he's the son of encouragement. He knows his job is to find weak people and help them get strong.

Paul's job is to find strong folk and get the work done. And so they just had two different folks. It's not like one was right and one was wrong.

It's just the way they do business. And so they had to separate. And they both went on a second missionary journey, but they did two different versions of it. Paul found a new partner, Silas, and he went in one direction.

Barnabas got John Mark. So you ready to try this again? Okay, yeah. All right, let's go.

And they went in another direction. You know why I told you that story? Because some of you all have had sharp disagreement with people. And your conclusion is, so I don't need nobody. And the Bible is showing you, yes, you do. And if you can't make it with this one, then get you another one. But do not live your life without accountability and partnership and somebody to walk with you and somebody to be honest with you and somebody to help you and somebody to encourage you and somebody to sharpen you. You need somebody. Jesus is not enough.

I said it that way on purpose, to shock your sensibilities. Ooh, heresy. First time I heard Pastor Paul speak heresy, he said Jesus isn't enough.

Let me ask you something. If Jesus was enough, where's Silas come from? Paul had plenty of Jesus.

What's up with Silas? How come he didn't say, all right, fine. Me and Jesus, we're going on the second missionary journey. Come on, Jesus. Jesus, come on.

How come he didn't do that? Because we are baptized by one spirit into the body of Christ. And that means we are connected and we need each other.

That's why we're called the body of Christ. What's a thumb going to do hopping around by itself? First of all, if we see a thumb moving by itself, come on. If we see that, we all clear it out.

Anybody going to stay around and investigate? Not me. See, I'm like those people in those movies. When something goes wrong, believe it. You ever see these movies where something's gone? You ever see these movies where you're walking and you see some friend laid up, head cut off, mutilated? And some people say, wow.

Wonder what happened. Don't you know when you're in a horror movie, your job is not to stand around and try to ascertain what happened? If they ever cast me in a horror movie, I'm the one dude getting out. Because when I see you laid up there, there's nothing more I can do for you. I'm so sorry.

Oh, you were my boy. And I'm running. You need somebody. You need somebody besides Jesus. You need somebody besides Jesus. You need partners.

And they got two new partners to finish the missionary journey. Some of you need to be healed. Ask God to heal you from the hurts people have caused you. Ask for healing. Don't ask for deliverance from people. Ask for healing. And the other thing is learn from that experience.

Because when people hurt you and disappoint you and betray you and all of that stuff, it's real. It matters. It makes a difference. Let God work with you and say, Lord, what can I learn? I'm a different pastor today than I was 10 years ago because of things I've learned about people. I've learned enough about people to write a big book. All kind of chapters, special people. All of them Christian too.

Everybody in the book will be Christian. Special people. Special Christians. Lion Christians. Two-faced Christians. Smile in your face. Always want to take your place, Christians.

OJ's got nothing on my book. But we are not permitted to be through with people. That's not an option if you want to be in the will of God. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. To listen to recent messages on demand, including today's message, Finding the Right Partners, visit That's

In Psalm 107, King David writes, Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. If you need prayer today, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to join you in prayer. From the home page at, use the contact feature to let us know how we can pray for you. While you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. Destined for Victory exists only through the prayers and generous financial support of friends like you. And today, as you give, we have a great thank you gift to share with you, a booklet from Pastor Paul that goes hand in hand with his message, Junk Removal for the Soul.

All of us have some habits from our old life that we need to set aside so that we can embrace the newness of who we are in Christ. Pastor Paul offers some practical, biblical advice about doing just that in this booklet. And it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Once again, our address, Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. Some of you all have had sharp disagreement with people, and your conclusion is, so I don't need nobody. Yes, you do. Do not live your life without accountability and partnership and somebody to help you and somebody to encourage you and somebody to sharpen you. You need somebody. Jesus is not enough. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Finding the Right Partners. Until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-22 17:21:06 / 2023-08-22 17:30:06 / 9

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