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The Gift of Grace, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2021 7:00 am

The Gift of Grace, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 24, 2021 7:00 am

Reminiscing about great Christmas gifts we’ve received in our lifetimes; understanding why God’s grace is the greatest gift anyone can receive; based on various passages.

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What's so amazing about grace? Find out next on this Christmas Eve edition of Destined for Victory. Hello and thanks for spending part of this great and glorious day here with us. In just a few moments, Pastor Paul Shepherd will deliver his message, The Gift of Grace.

But right now, he joins me from his studio in California. Well, Pastor, here we are in the Christmas season, so easy to get distracted with how the world positions Christmas and even the circumstances of the last many months that we've been through now. But I thought I'd ask you, what's on your heart this season and how do we center our minds on the real meaning of Christmas? Well, I'm thinking about the grace of God. In fact, last Christmas, in the two Sundays before Christmas, I preached about the grace of God as it related, of course, to the gift of Jesus coming into the world.

And as we move toward Christmas on the broadcast this month, I'm going to share those messages about grace. I started the series by asking people to reminisce with me. I said, let's think about some of our most memorable Christmases in years past.

And then, as a true baby boomer, I walked down memory road to places the young people said, what in the world are you talking about? I started in 1978 and talked about a game called Simon that came out. That was the big Christmas game in 1978. And then I said, 1980, there was the Rubik's Cube, and only a few folks knew what I was talking about then. And then I said, in 1983, there was Cabbage Patch Kids, and more folks came alive as I talked about that. And then I talked about 1989, and I said, by then, stuff was becoming more technological. There was an 8-bit handheld cartridge-based console called Game Boy.

Before you know it, more than 118 million units had been sold in America. And then I said, just allow me one more old man memory. I said, in 1996, I was pastoring, and I was amazed by this phenomenon called Tickle Me Elmo. I said, it's unbelievable that people lost their minds over Tickle Me Elmo. In fact, I talk about the fact that one of the rumors was that one parent paid $7,100.

No way. To someone who had bought an extra one just to make money off of it. And somebody who said, well, I got to get it for my kid, and the guy charged $7,100, and they bought it. Elmo, are you kidding me?

$7,100 for Elmo. And so I just told people, you know, we've been through all kinds of things, but let's always remember at the end of the day, and especially dealing with a worldwide pandemic that hasn't yet gone away, we've still got to deal with the rest of this. We've got to remember in the midst of all of this, the one true thing we can rejoice in is the real meaning of Christmas. And it's not about our gifts, not about our toys. It is about what Jesus did and the grace that gave us that blessing of salvation. Pastor, thank you for those words of encouragement about the reason for Christ's coming and the reason we celebrate this Christmas season.

Well, we have a wonderful Christmas gift of our own to share with you today. Pastor Paul Shepherd's new book, Lessons from the Vineyard. You know, even though not every Christian is blessed with the same gifts and callings, all of us can bear the same fruit of the Spirit. In this book, Lessons from the Vineyard, Pastor Paul inspires believers to use their gifts to glorify God and bless others, to become attractive as we bear godly fruit that brings honor to Jesus Christ and leads others to Him. That's Lessons from the Vineyard, a book from Pastor Paul Shepherd and our gift to you by request for your generous donation of $25 or more to Destin for Victory. Just call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Again, that address is Destin for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. The greatest gift ever given was the gift of grace because of all the other things I've talked about. But finally, because it will keep you firm to the end. Some of you all feel shaky. Some of you look shaky right now. Your lifestyle is shaky. Your decision making is shaky.

You've got some stuff in your life that hardly looks firm, but God said don't worry about it. Grace is an endowment that I give you. You don't have to earn it. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It's not a singular gift, but rather a variety pack of blessings that all fall under the heading of divine grace. Today on Destin for Victory, Pastor Paul wants to give you a deeper understanding of God's grace and show you why followers of Christ call it the greatest gift ever given. Let's listen closely now as Pastor shares today's Destin for Victory message, the gift of grace. Jesus has sanctified your life. So there's a question.

What does it mean to be sanctified? Glad you asked. Let me tell you the answer. Those of us who are seasoned citizens, many of us grew up in homes that had a china cabinet. And if your home didn't have a china cabinet, your mama or grandmama probably had some china. China was not regular dishes. You didn't come home from school and go in the china cabinet and grab something to put your bologna sandwich on. When you saw china back in the day, it was true. Folk got china now. It's just the culture looks different. But we grew up where china was a really big deal. And so what does china have to do with sanctification?

Glad you asked. Because to be sanctified means to be cleansed and set apart. That's what sanctified means, to be cleansed and set apart.

Clean it up and then don't put it among the ordinary, the common, the everyday. And this scripture just said because of the gift of grace, you and I have been sanctified in Christ Jesus. That means we have been cleansed by his blood, cleansed by what he did for us on Calvary. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He took all of your sins and then he gave you all of his righteousness. That's the sanctification. He cleaned you up because of what he did on Calvary and now he has set us apart from the ordinary.

We're not like everybody else. We who were not a people are now the people of God. You are somebody in the Lord.

Never let anybody tell you you're a nobody. I beg to differ because of Jesus. I'm cleansed and I'm set apart for God's exclusive use. And that is the blessing I need you to rejoice in. Don't ever feel common when you are a child of God.

You are special because God made you special. You are sanctified because God cleaned you up and set you apart. You say, but pastor, I still got issues. I still got stuff going on in my life. I still got some vices. I still got some besetting sins.

I still have some things I haven't quite worked out. Listen, don't let that make you believe you are not sanctified. When God does a work in us, he does it first by declaring us that and then the Holy Spirit is at work in us to make us what he declared us to be.

You got to understand that. Don't wait until you stop smoking. Holiness folk, you couldn't be sanctified if you were still smoking. That's my holiness background.

You're still smoking, still doing a little drinking, still doing a little something. You weren't sanctified. So you need to get sanctified.

They put you on the altar until you quit all that stuff. Listen, you want to quit some vices to be sure, but that doesn't determine whether you're sanctified. You're already sanctified because the passage said in Christ we are sanctified in him.

Do you see that? You are sanctified. You're not waiting to get sanctified. Well, as soon as I stop doing some stuff, then I'm going to be sanctified. No, you get sanctified because Jesus pronounced you that. Now let the Holy Spirit lead you out of some things we all need to be let out of.

See, here's the bottom line, saints. Being saved doesn't mean you got your act all the way together. I get saved first. Now the Holy Spirit's helping me walk into a lifestyle of greater holiness, of greater obedience to the will of God.

He deals with your stuff. Everybody in the church of Jesus Christ has, here's a theological term you're going to really need to know. Everybody in the church of Jesus Christ has jacked-uptedness.

We all have jacked-uptedness. Not yes, you. You talking about me? Yes, I'm talking about you. You got some areas in your life, if you don't believe me, ask somebody who loves you enough to tell you the truth about yourself. See, some of y'all surround yourself with fans. You'll never grow with your fans. You need friends. A friend loves it all the time. A friend will say, can I see you for a minute?

And pull you aside because they don't want to embarrass you in front of other folk, and then they'll tell you about yourself. And so we need to know. We all have jacked-uptedness. Welcome to earth. Welcome to the family of God. It doesn't mean we're not sanctified. We're sanctified first. Now the Holy Spirit wants to lead us into a lifestyle where progressively you see us coming out of our jacked-up stuff. You ought to be a little less jacked-up now than you were Christmas last year. Little bit less jacked-up because God's been dealing with you, hasn't been letting you get away with stuff, been dealing with you, been convicting you, and all of that, and so there ought to be some growth. If you've been growing in the wrong direction, then God's really got to work.

He's got to do on you. But sanctification is a designation that comes from heaven first. It's not your lifestyle first. It is your position in Christ. Positionally, I'm already sanctified.

Possessionally, I'm learning how to live a life of faith and obedience. All right? You got that? Good, because I can't labor that. I got two more points to make.

Go to number five. So here's your fifth reason to thank God for the greatest gift ever given. Grace energizes our spiritual gifts and abilities. Not only does grace prepare us to be used by God, but it energizes our spiritual gifts and other abilities.

Notice in the passage that Paul went on to say, I thank my God, verse four, always concerning you for the grace of God which is given you by Christ Jesus. Then look at verse five, that you were enriched in every way by Him in all utterance and all knowledge. He's talking about the spiritual gifts, all the uttering gifts, things like tongues, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, everything where you speak, he's talking about those spiritual gifts, and all knowledge.

Word of knowledge gives you prophecy, gives you insight from heaven. So he's talking, you've been enriched, Corinthians, by spiritual gifts, so much so that you come short, verse seven, in no gift. Paul said, when I look at the Corinthian church, y'all got all the gifts flowing. That is wonderful that many different spiritual gifts were already at work in this church. But I want to let you know that it is God's grace that energized those gifts and allowed them to be exercised. And we still have gifts. I am of the theological opinion that all the gifts that were in the body are in the body.

Some of my colleagues, some of the guys I preach alongside on the radio, they are cessationists. They believe that certain gifts died out after the canon was completed. And some gifts never have been in operation since then.

I beg to differ, love them all, I respect them all, but I disagree. All the gifts that were in the body are in the body is what I believe with my whole heart. So, fact of the matter is, spiritual gifts are very important, and we need to exercise the ones that God has given us. But even if you aren't in touch with your spiritual gifts, look at your natural abilities, look at your learned disciplines and your learned expertise, and guess what? God will use those with the same energy that the Holy Spirit uses spiritual gifts.

The spiritual gifts are of a different nature that they come from God and are supernatural, but God will take your natural abilities and supernaturally energize them. For that reason, I want to encourage you to look at the set of gifts and abilities God has given you, not only spiritually, but again, your natural abilities, your learned disciplines, your learned skills, all the things that you do well, and realize that God will consecrate them in your life and use them for His glory and for your benefit as well as the benefit of people around you. And we'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. You can listen to this broadcast on demand at

That's, where you'll also find a host of great resources at our online store. Now, here's Pastor Paul Shepherd with the rest of today's message, The Gift of Grace. I believe that the church in these closing hours of time, and I do believe we're in the closing hours of time, we have got to get used to God blessing us in many different ways. Some of you will use your gifts and abilities not only to bless people from a ministry standpoint. Some of you, God wants you to use your gifts and ability to have additional streams of income.

Why? So that you can have more, not only for yourself, but also for the kingdom. So we've got to be people who think very creatively, Lord, you've given me a lot of abilities, spiritual gifts and also natural abilities, natural aptitude. Some of you are born and you can do some things well.

You have an aptitude in certain directions. Find out how God will energize that as you use it not only for his kingdom, for his glory, but you use it to create streams of income for yourself or for the church of Jesus Christ. We've got to become entrepreneurial in the way we think in the body of Christ.

And so I want you to pray as we move out of one year and move into a new year. Pray and say, Lord, how can I give you a full return on your investment of creativity and mental ability, physical ability and spiritual gifts? How can I give you a full return on that portfolio of gifts and abilities? We all have a portfolio. You say, I don't have certain gifts.

Well, no one has all of them. But you've got to understand what you have, God wants a full return on. And so you've got to prayerfully be creative and say, God, I want you to use me for your glory. Here's the way Peter put it in 1 Peter 4 verse 10.

I like the way it says in the New International Version. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. Each of you should use whatever gifts. Don't worry about what you don't have. Look at what you do have because God wants you to use it as a faithful steward, even if it's not a quote, unquote spiritual gift, but it's a natural ability, an aptitude, a learned skill that you can then consecrate, say, Lord, use this for your glory and then help me to use it to benefit myself, my family and others in the name of Jesus Christ. And some of you all need to say, Lord, help me make a lot of money while I'm doing it because God wants it. God doesn't mind you being blessed. God doesn't mind you having lots of money. Just make sure money doesn't have you. I need some more millionaires in the kingdom. I got a big vision. I got a vision that I need some millionaires to come alongside me and say, Pastor, I'm going to help fund what God's put on your heart to do.

How you going to do that and you still fooling with the twos and fus in your bank account? So I need you to release your gifts in the name of Jesus and help us get some things done. All right, one more thing and I'm going to let you go. Grace, number six, and finally, grace will keep you to the end.

It will keep you to the end. Look at verse eight of 1 Corinthians chapter one. It says that the Lord will also confirm you to the end that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, that the Lord will confirm you. You say, Pastor, what does that mean the Lord's going to confirm me and make me blameless?

Well, NIV just makes it read a little easier for you to understand. NIV says he will also keep you firm to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isn't that amazing that grace is so powerful that not only does it do the other five things I've just talked about, but grace is going to make you firm to the end between now and the end of your life, and it's going to make you blameless so that when you get to the end and meet the Lord in judgment, there's no question but that you are right with him and you hear the words, well done, good and faithful servant.

I need you to understand that the greatest gift ever given was the gift of grace because of all the other things I've talked about, but finally because it will keep you firm to the end. Some of you all feel shaky. Some of you look shaky right now. Your lifestyle's shaky.

Your decision-making is shaky. You've got some stuff in your life that hardly looks firm, but God said don't worry about it. Grace is an endowment that I give you. You don't have to earn it. I give you the gift of being firm.

You say, but how can I be firm when I'm shaky right now? That's because of who he is, not because of who you are. You know what gave me a fresh revelation of this? The fact that right now as I preach this message in the Christmas season of 2020, I have my first grandchild, and so here I have a months-old grandchild, and I love holding him, walking around with him, talking to him.

They tell you speak, sing, all that, and I'm trying to do that, talking to him and singing to him and making sure that his brain is constantly stimulated by what he sees and what he hears, and I love walking around with my grandson, but you know what I've learned freshly about this? He'll keep you firm to the end, that when it talks about being firm to the end, nothing to do with you has to do with the one who's keeping you. You know why I say that? Because sometimes I hold my grandson, and sometimes in looking around at something else, he'll lean way back while he's in my arm, and you know why? Because he's not worried that I can keep him. He's never said, I wonder if he's going to be able to hold on to me, frisky as I can be sometimes. He doesn't worry about that. He just leans back, looks around, just does whatever he wants. Why? Because Pop-Pop got him, and when I was making this last point in my notes, I thought to Zion.

I said, that boy is the illustration of this point. He knows he's firm not because he's always holding on to me, but because no matter whether he's holding on to me or not, I'm holding on to him. Sometimes he grip me, and I'm walking around, he'll grip, and I feel him on my shirt or whatever, and he's gripping, but it's not based on how well he's gripping. That's good news for some of y'all because some of y'all aren't gripping God real tight right now. Some of you are going through some things, and your focus is elsewhere, and you're not prayed up, and you're not focused, and you're not faith-driven.

Right now, you're shaky, and you got some stuff distracting you. I came to tell you, because of grace, even when you don't have God, you ought to hold on to him. You ought to be growing in your dependency on him, but I know what it is. We all know what it is sometimes to go through a season where you're not really holding on to God, but here's the good news. Because of grace, God is holding on to you, and you might be leaning out of his arms looking at something else and trying to get distracted by what's going on in the world, the flesh, the world, the devil, are all trying to get your attention, but you serve a God who gave a gift of grace that sees to it that he will keep you to the end.

He will make you firm to the end, and when you get to the end, it's not going to be a performance that determines whether you're blameless. It is going to be his grace that made you blameless. The grace of God cannot be taken away.

It is freely given, it is permanent, and it is yours for the asking. That's why it's called good news. Thanks so much for being here for Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, The Gift of Grace. For more information about Destined for Victory or how you can obtain a copy of Pastor Paul Shepherd's brand-new book, please visit

Once again, You and I are never going to be perfect in this world, but you ought to be getting over some things. Some of y'all, aren't you ready to leave some stuff and say, I don't need to take that mess with me into this new year that's coming in a few days. Since I'm saved, I might as well be growing while I'm saved.

I might as well be getting better. That's Monday in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Emmanuel. Merry Christmas to you and your family, and may the Lord fill you with a gift of His grace today and every day. Until next time, remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-05 15:08:41 / 2023-07-05 15:18:12 / 10

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