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Keeping in Step with the Spirit, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2020 8:00 am

Keeping in Step with the Spirit, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 7, 2020 8:00 am

The importance of living by the power of the Holy Spirit; four practical insights regarding keeping in step with the Spirit.

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No one is ever going to be justified before God as a result of their own efforts to observe the law. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. We've got to learn to keep in step with the Spirit. Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory. Wherever you are, however you may be listening, whether online, on radio, or on your mobile device, we're always glad to have you with us. Well, our friend and teacher, Pastor Paul Shepherd, is standing by with a great lesson from the book of Galatians, one in which he answers the question, how do we keep in step with what God is up to in our lives?

In other words, how do we avoid getting too far behind or too far ahead? Today's message comes your way next. Stay with us here or visit pastorpaul.net any time to listen to Destined for Victory on demand.

You can also download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you go to get yours. Let's join Pastor Paul now for today's message, keeping in step with the Spirit. Galatians chapter five, beginning with verse 13, and we'll go down through the conclusion of the chapter. Paul says, you, my brothers, were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature. Rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command, love your neighbor as yourself.

If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.

They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious. Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. We continue to look at key passages in Paul's letter to the churches in Galatia where he has been instructing us about the importance of walking in the freedom that we have in Christ. In the last message, we began to look at the earlier portion of this chapter, Galatians chapter 5, and we saw that Paul made the case that we must stand firm and walk in the freedom that Christ has given us. Of course, in the context, we have seen that he has been talking about the fact that Judaizers had infiltrated the church and insisted that the Gentiles who were being saved would have to convert to Judaism and have to be circumcised and adhere strictly to Jewish law if they were to be justified in the sight of God. And this, of course, was not in keeping with the gospel message. And so Paul is correcting them and telling them, some of you are getting circumcised and beginning to buy the lie that you have got to become observers of the law as a means of justifying yourself before God. And he's making the case that no one is ever going to be justified before God as a result of their own efforts to observe the law.

And in the course of making the point, he said the only thing that counts, verse 6 of Galatians 5, he said the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. And later in the chapter in verses we just read, he says that since we live by the Spirit, we've got to learn to keep in step with the Spirit. So we're looking at what it means to keep in step with the Spirit, with what God is doing in your life. How do you keep in step with God's movements in your life? There are three factors.

We have covered one and we're currently looking at the second. The first is we've got to learn if we're going to keep in step with the Spirit to walk in faith. That means we put our trust in Christ every day. The only way you're going to live the way God wants you to live is you have to trust Him day by day. Christianity is not something you can put on cruise control.

Why? Because it's a relationship, not a religion. It has to do with your walk with God. That's the key element to Christianity. It is walking with God, literally keeping in step with God.

Every day I wake up and say, Lord, I am not personally capable of living a life that pleases you. So, Lord, walking with you, having your Spirit with me, having your Spirit empower me, being directed by your Word, I can do what you have called me to do if I'll stay in touch with you. So, Lord, help me to walk with you today. You've got to learn to walk in faith. It's a faith walk.

Every day of your life, you've got to trust Christ for salvation and trust Him to meet your needs, trust Him to give you victory, trust Him to give you guidance, trust Him for everything in your life. The Bible says we walk by faith, not by sight. And so we have to learn that the first step to keeping in step with the Spirit is living and walking by faith. Now, we're currently looking at the second, which is walking in love. He said the only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love, in love.

And we're looking at what it means to walk in love. The fact of the matter is we are called to love God. The great commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors ourself. Now, there are a lot of Christians who want to love God and choose and pick the other folk that they like.

Not you, but people I know. Everybody wants to talk about having a relationship with God and loving God, but it is convenient for some believers to dislike or perhaps even hate certain individuals. Well, I got a word from the Lord for you. You can't love God and then hate people He loves. If He loves them, He calls you to love them. We love the Lord because He first loved us. And now that we've responded to His love with loving Him back, He now says the great commandment is not only to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, but watch this, love your neighbor as yourself.

And we just saw it mentioned in the text. We are called to love our neighbors along with ourselves. And so we've got to get our love lives right, not just with your spouse or significant other.

We've got to get our love life right with everybody God loves. We have to learn to love other people in the church that we have personality clashes with. Listen, the church is a family. You pick your friends, but you're stuck with your relatives.

The church is a family. You don't get to vote them in or out. You've heard me tell that story. We didn't get to vote our younger brother in after we were all grown. Most of us were teenagers and what have you. By then, my younger sister at the time was 10 years old when my mother messed around, went on a cruise with her husband and got pregnant, came back, told us she was pregnant, had a 10 year old. I was 14. My sister was 16. My brother was 17.

What y'all doing getting pregnant? But it wasn't a voting meeting. It was an informational meeting. They got out there on the Caribbean. Those warm breezes got to him. My father got the anointing of Abraham.

Popped up with another kid. That's a good thing we liked Kenny. Everybody happened to like him. But whether we liked him or not, he was in the family just like us. Listen, the folk in your church, the folk in your fellowship group, the people on your job who know the Lord, they're your brothers and sisters in Christ. You didn't vote a man, they didn't vote you in.

We all got in by the grace of God. What you have to learn to do is love people. You don't have a choice. It's not a decision you make.

It's a foregone conclusion. Now love is going to look different as it relates to different relationships. So if you have personality classes with somebody God calls you to love, you have to learn to cover a multitude of faults. You got to learn to not pick a battle about everything.

Listen, let me help you really good with this one principle. You've got to learn to pick your battles. There are some folk who want to call you on it every time you do something they don't like.

Do you realize you'll be calling people all day on stuff? So the Bible gives you a principle. If I'm going to love you right, love covers a multitude of faults. It like throws a blanket over things that I don't like what you said, I don't like what you did.

That really irritated me. That got on my nerves, but I love you enough to cover it. Listen, if you don't learn how to cover, you are going to be miserable and you're going to make a lot of other people miserable.

You got to learn how to cover some things. Sometimes somebody in your natural family or your spiritual family will say something that you don't like. And you have two choices. Biblically, you can either confront them and the Bible does give you the right to do that. The Bible says in Ephesians four, be angry, but don't sin.

Don't let the sun go down on your wrath and give no place to the devil. What that means is you have the right to confront people. You have the right to tell people what they did that was offensive.

Jesus said, if your brother offends you, rebuke him. You have the right to say, listen, I don't appreciate what you just said to me. I don't appreciate why or how you said that. I don't like that. That gets on my nerves. I wish you wouldn't say that anymore. You have the right to do that.

How many know if you do that all the time about everything, you will be by yourself because people will see you coming and say, oh, no. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, keeping in step with the spirit with Pastor Paul Sheppard, senior pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website, pastorpaul.net, I invite you to do it when you have some time. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources in our online store, including books and MP3 downloads and DVD messages from Pastor Paul. That's pastorpaul.net, and it's a great place to learn more about the ministry, pastorpaul.net. Now you can watch selected video clips by subscribing to Pastor Paul on YouTube.

For more details and links to all of his social media, be sure to visit pastorpaul.net. It's hard to catch God's blessings when our hands are full with other things. We may need to learn to let a few things go.

Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's destined for victory message, keeping in step with the spirit. Don't you know people that when you see them, your first instinct, even if you don't live up to it, your first instinct is to go another direction. That's because you get tired of getting called on everything. So learn to pick your battles. And sometimes it's not worth it. If it really is a pressing matter, go on and call them on it. But if it's not, let it go. Life is too short to pick fights about everything. Just let some things go. You'll feel better.

The atmosphere will be better. Have you ever called a family member or a person in your fellowship on something and it changed the whole atmosphere in the room? By you saying, listen, I don't like that. I don't appreciate that.

I don't want you to talk like that. And so after it's over, there's this funny silence. You ever been at a table where somebody got into one of those little spats and the spat changed the atmosphere? And before, y'all were talking at the table and what have you, and now folk just passing food.

You ever do that? And don't do it at holiday time. Make up in your mind, before you sit down Thanksgiving, before you sit down for some family gathering, before you sit down getting people together, make up in your mind, I'm not going to start anything and I'm not going to let anybody start something with me. So when they say something I don't like, I'm going to tell them up front, I got that covered. Just make up in your mind because you know one of your relatives is gifted. You know you got some gifted relatives. They are gifted to get under your skin. They know how to do it. They have perfected it by now. They've been working on it for years.

And it is an art form they have perfected. And they wait till you get a good fork full of mashed potatoes and they say something that makes you want to throw the mashed potatoes across the room. So you have to know ahead of time, I'm not letting her or him get to me today.

And how do you do that? I'm walking in faith. So I approach that gathering with prayer. I approach it.

Sometimes in your small group, there's somebody in your small group, you want to ring their neck. But you're getting ready to go to small group, you say, Lord, I'm walking by faith today, I'm trusting you, not only for my salvation, I'm trusting you to keep me off of somebody's neck today. And give me the grace, Lord, if they say something I don't like, and it's not something I really have to call them on, give me the grace to have love that covers.

That's what you want to do, because you keep things moving along smoothly. And you'll impress other people at the table because they know they heard the same thing you heard. But they're waiting now to see your reaction. Do you know that some people are more concerned about your reaction than the original action?

Because it's the reaction that determines what goes down. See, if I react by covering, then it clears the atmosphere. Everybody says, oh, that was really nice. And they keep on talking, and what have you. But if you had that bad reaction, changes the atmosphere, now nobody's talking, they're just passing food. Give me that salt.

Need that dressing over there. Mess it up. So you got to walk with love for your brothers and sisters, in the family of God, and for that matter, in your natural family, and your family of origin, all that stuff. You got to walk in love. Our marriages will be better if you just cover some things. Listen, you didn't hook them, you didn't marry them because you criticized them all the time. If you were as critical when y'all were dating as you are now, they'd have never hooked up with you. Oh, you know, it's tight, but it's right. You made them feel good when you talk before.

They call you up for no reason. How you doing? Just thinking about you. Your day going okay? I love you boo. You know what the guys would call, yo girl, what you doing?

Just thinking about you, I saw him just came on the radio, I thought about you, I thought I'd give you a quick call. She hung up, she all impressed, she telling her girlfriend, that's him again, he always calling somebody. But she knows she happy trying to act like she complaining.

Why? Because we had the art of making each other feel good. We are attracted to people who make us feel good. And now here you are in a supposedly love covenant of marriage. And the last thing you want to do is make them feel good. What you focus on now is every way they get on your nerves, and you're tracking it.

Some of us have it in diaries and journals. Here's what he did today. I know I'm ringing doorbells coming right down your road. I know I'm the spiritual mailman.

Here it is. And we need to reverse that trend. You need to go back, do your first works over. Find out how many compliments you can give your partner. Find out what good you can say about that person in your small group.

Find out something, and you say, whoo, that's a tough call. The Lord will give you wisdom. And don't pick all your battles, walk in love. Now the other thing we have to do is learn to walk in love with people who don't yet know the Lord or who aren't yet in the spiritual family. Christians have got to get better at loving non-Christians. The Christian church is developing a reputation for being a bunch of people who don't love anybody but the God they claim to serve while they conveniently hate me. And I'm here to tell you that does not represent Christ in this world. Nobody ever got saved because they were hated into the kingdom. Nobody. You don't know anybody. Boy, I tell you what, I was out there just minding my business and a bunch of hateful Christians came out and gave me hateful tracks and had hateful signs, gave me hateful looks, and I got convicted and asked Jesus to come into my life.

I'm going to help you if you let me. You're not going to win the world hating people. You're a savior. If anybody had the right to be condemning, it was Jesus. And he came into the world and he said, I'm not here to condemn you. I'm here because your sins already condemn you before God and I'm here to give you the way out. I am the way. I am the truth.

I am the life. If you want to know God, you come to me. And he was inviting enough. He was inviting enough where the religious people of his day criticized him by saying he is a friend of publicans and sinners. Our savior had a reputation for being the friends of the people he came to save. Now, if the savior who was all God and all man who had the right to condemn but chose to love and to introduce grace and mercy to those who would accept him. If he did not condemn you and I who were only saved by his grace in the first place. The only difference between you and some of the people that some Christians are hateful toward the only difference is the grace of God. But for the grace of God, there go I.

Doesn't matter who you are pointing at. Doesn't matter what brand of sin they specialize in. If it weren't for grace, I'm in the same boat. I might have different brands of sin that I got involved in.

When you're on the Titanic, no need to talk about which deck you're on. And churches have got to understand that our savior loved people into the kingdom. Our savior made sinners feel comfortable around him.

Jesus didn't walk in the room and people say, oh, hey, stop, stop, stop. He come, he come. Put up, put it, put that bottle away. Yo man, get that blunt. Get it out of here.

You don't know what a blunt is. Don't worry about it. It's all good. It's all we're good.

We're good. Why Jesus knew the way to reach them is let them know. That they are loved.

And your love beyond what you do. In other words, God doesn't love you because you're nice. God loves you when you're not nice.

And he introduces his love into your life with the hope that you will respond to it and allow him to come in and make you the person he wants you to be. But he begins by loving us unconditionally. God doesn't love us because of our goodness. He loves us in spite of our badness. When we fail, he loves us anyway. When we sin, he loves us anyway. That's the good news of the Gospel.

God doesn't just love you, he loves you anyway. Well, for months now, we've been living in a period of uncertainty. Some are seeking answers in all the wrong places.

There's chaos and confusion, political strife, social injustice. But there is good news. More people than ever are listening to programs like Destined for Victory.

They're looking for truth, for answers that make sense. And that's why your support is so critical today because Pastor Paul shares that truth every day and he needs your help to do it. For your generous donation to Destined for Victory, we have a gift we'd like to send your way. Pastor Paul Sheppard's booklet, Little is Much When God is in It. I'm sure you remember the story of the feeding of the 5,000. A young boy gave Jesus five loaves and two fish. It wasn't much, but it was all he had. And in the hands of God, it was more than enough.

That's Pastor Paul's message to you in this booklet, Little is Much When God is in It. And it's our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone. Or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation on our website, pastorpaul.net.

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. The enemy has always been encouraging us to go into the area that God says, for your own benefit and for my glory, I want you to leave that alone. The sinful nature will always point you back there.

But here's what you've got to understand. God says, I want you to live this life of obedience to me, not as a matter of law, but as a matter of relationship. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Keeping in Step with the Spirit. 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 / 2024-02-05 15:18:27 / 2024-02-05 15:28:00 / 10

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