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Prove It! Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2020 7:00 am

Prove It! Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 2, 2020 7:00 am

The importance of possessing godly qualities that will increase our faith in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul

If you're really a follower of Christ, then it's time for your faith to show up every day. It's time for it to show up in the way spiritual fruit is developed in your life. It's time for it to show up in the way you tap into God's power to get through what you have to go through.

If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Hello and thanks for being here for today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. When we read Hebrews chapter 11, we gain a better understanding of what faith in Christ is all about. By faith, Abel brought an offering. By faith, Abraham left his home. By faith, Noah built an ark.

Faith is an action word, not merely a belief but a behavior. Today, Pastor Paul will encourage you to live a life that bears fruit, to let the confession of your mouth become the actions of your hands and feet. Stay right here or visit to listen anytime on demand. That's

And you can download or subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message. Prove it. 2 Peter chapter 1 beginning with verse 3. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them, you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness and to goodness knowledge and to knowledge self-control and to self-control perseverance and to perseverance godliness and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter wrote this second letter during a time when the early church was under intense persecution. If you're familiar with early church history or even with Roman history in the first century AD, you will know that Nero was a ruler who had a particular anger toward the Christian church and he told lies on those who were followers of Christ and tried to stir up all kinds of resentment among the Romans toward these Jews and Gentiles were being added to their numbers.

People who really were innocent of the charges but Nero wanted them out of the picture and so he caused all kinds of trouble and the result was there was intense persecution among the people of God. It is during that time sometime in the mid to late 60s AD that Peter writes this letter to a scattered, a persecuted church that is trying to hold on in the face of all that Nero is doing to try to wipe them out. And by the way, in church history whenever there has been intense persecution designed to destroy the church, all it has done is cause the church to multiply. God has a phenomenal way of taking persecution and using it to spread the gospel rather than to quench the gospel.

And that happened in the first century and it has happened literally in every century thereafter. Whenever the enemies of the church rise up, God has a way of using it for his own purpose. And they should have known that because Jesus said, upon this rock I will build my church and he said, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. My brother, my sister, I want to let you know God is going to have a people here until he comes again to receive us home.

The devil can do his best but he will not wipe out the church of Jesus Christ. And all we have to do is to learn to stay in the word and allow God to speak to us through his word and show us how to get through even those dark times. And it was during such a time of persecution that Peter writes this second letter.

And I love the theme he presents in the early part of this letter because he wants to make sure that these Christians to whom he writes understand that it's not enough to have a profession of faith but especially in dark and difficult times, they have to have the real thing. And so the premise of this first chapter of 2 Peter is if you really belong to God, prove it by the way you live your life. If you are really a believer, if you're really a follower of Christ, then it's time for your faith to show up every day. It's time for it to show up in the way you believe God. It's time for it to show up in the way spiritual fruit is developed in your life.

It's time for it to show up in the way you tap into God's power to get through what you have to go through. Peter's premise is if you are called of God, if you are part of the elect, then prove it by the way you live. Now just a word about doctrine. When you see words like calling and election as you read your New Testament, they speak to the issue that the Bible is clear about which is that God foreordained, predestined us to be in Christ. Now Christians debate about what the basis of that election or that predestination is. There's one school of thought that says God sovereignly chose who would be saved and who would be lost before the foundation of the world.

He did it purely according to his own purpose. He didn't take anything into account in terms of how you and I would live or what our inclinations would be for or against faith. He just sovereignly chose some to be saved and some to be lost and then he created the world and what God preordained by his sovereignty is happening. The other camp says, well, yes, God did elect us or preordain us, but it was based on his foreknowledge. In other words, that camp says God looked down the corridor of time and saw what you would do when you were presented with the gospel message, saw whether or not you would say, yes, I want to be saved or no, no, thank you.

I want to live on my own terms. I'm not interested in matters of faith and that based on his foreknowledge of your decision, then he elected you or predestined you to be saved. And church folk love fighting about which is right. I'm here to tell you I want to preach on election and calling and I don't care which is right.

You know why? Because if you will make your calling and election sure, what difference does it make whether God chose you sovereignly or he chose you based on how you would respond? What my job is as a preacher is to tell you if you're called of God, prove it, prove it, prove it by the way you live. I don't get into debates I can't win. See, I believe in winning. I believe in winning.

That's my, I mean, I want to win at everything. And so since I'm called to be a preacher and some of you know my testimony, that was a reluctant calling in terms of accepting it for me. I didn't want to be a preacher. I grew up in a preacher's home and I love my daddy to this day. He's a retired pastor, listens to the broadcast just about every day if not every day and loves the fact that two of his sons are preachers of the gospel and carrying the torch that he carried faithfully for so many years.

And so I thank God for him and loved him. But as I grew up and saw the lifestyle of a person in vocational pastoral ministry, I thought I don't want that. I want to be a regular Christian. I want to be a normal person. I want to have a normal life. I don't want to have to be responsible for a whole church of people.

I don't want to have to priest the folk who are mad and some are happy and some are, and all of that stuff. I didn't want to go through those changes. I wanted a regular job. And I was all the way in college trying not to be a preacher until God finally got ahold of me and made it clear to me I was called to preach. And the sooner I accepted it, the happier I would be. And he also pointed me to scriptures like Jonah and showed me the success rate of people who try to run from their callings. I'm saying this not just to set up this message. I'm saying it because there are probably some of you who are running from a calling. It may or may not be to a pastor. It may or may not be to missionary work.

Whatever it is. But whatever God's called you to do, I would suggest that you get it done because God doesn't let you win until you say yes to his will. And since I'm a preacher, I want to win.

I want to hear him say, well done. I believe in winning. I don't care what it is. I believe in winning. If it's a game and I'm in it, I'm in it to win it. If I play Monopoly, I'm out for blood. Anybody can relate to me.

Can anybody relate? See, some of you all are those kind of people. You're just in the game just because it's a game. And I just say, oh, it doesn't matter to me. Oh, take all my houses.

It's just fine. No, no. I don't even want somebody like that on my table. Go over there to the kiddie table if you don't care about winning. At this table, I want people who want to win or they're leaving with an attitude.

That's what I want. I want the people for whom it is life and death. They want your hotels. They want your houses. They want boardwalk, park place, everything.

They want to leave you broke, busted, and disgusted. And that's just the way I am. I want to win at everything. And so I want to win in terms of my calling. And therefore, I choose not to enter into the debates in Scripture about things that can't be settled. I figure if Christians and scholars, theologians, have been debating this for centuries, I'm not smart enough to settle the debate.

So since I'm not smart enough to settle it, I just won't get in it. And instead, what I'm going to do is preach the main and plain things because I can win at preaching those. I can help you see that according to this word, there is some evidence in the life of a person who is truly called an elect of God.

And that's what I want to do. Spend a little time in this passage and help you see how we are called to prove that we truly walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. He'll be right back with a second half of today's message. But first, an important reminder. If you haven't already, be sure to download our free mobile app so that you can listen to Destined for Victory right in the palm of your hand. The app is easy to navigate. You can even take notes on Pastor Paul's messages, so they'll be there the next time you tune in.

Search Destined for Victory in the App Store and download it today absolutely free. You may not have everything you've ever wanted, but if you're a believer in Christ, you have the greatest gift ever given, the gift of salvation. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Prove It. Now, I didn't read the introductory verses, but Peter introduces it in a rather standard way. He says that those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours. He calls the Christian faith a precious gift from God. Please understand that when you're saved, you have a precious gift. Please understand that when God has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, you have an outstanding gift from the Lord.

If you don't have many of the trappings you want in your life, you've already won because you have the greatest gift in the history of mankind, which is the salvation of your soul through the free gift God has given you in Christ. He calls our faith precious. He says, grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Please know that Peter is saying, and again, he's speaking to people under intense persecution, that you can expect to receive from God two things in abundance. One is grace and the other is peace. And he says, you need to expect to believe and receive them through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, through getting to know God in an intimate way.

And I'm going to talk about that more in a moment. He says, you can expect that God will give you grace. What is grace? Grace is unmerited favor. When God gives you grace, he's given you something you can't earn, you can't deserve.

He just bestows it upon you. Now, what does that grace look like in your life and in mind? Grace is an endowment. It is an ability to get through what you have to go through. It is the ability to do what you've been called to do. It is the ability to fulfill God's plan and purpose for your life. And it is an endowment. It is something that is given for a specific purpose.

You know, even when it comes to those who are philanthropic, they give because they want a certain purpose to be fulfilled. Well, God says, I give my people grace because I have a purpose for your life. And my grace is designed to get you through what you have to go through. Have you ever gone through a season in your walk with God, where you felt like God, I cannot make it. I can't make it. Please know when you get to a place where you can't make it, if you will look to the Lord, he has said in his word, I will give you the grace you need. And I'll give you abundant grace in that moment to get through what you have to go through.

Now, here's the trick. He gives grace and abundance, but he doesn't give grace in advance. Somebody missed it.

So I have to say it again. He gives grace and abundance, but he doesn't give grace in advance. I've walked with God for some time.

So have some of you. I've never had God give me advanced grace for a trial. I'm not going through yet. What you have is the grace to handle what you're going through right now in your life. But you may have some things down the road coming. You may have, for instance, a calling that's going to blow your mind. God might ask you to do something that you just can't imagine being able to do. When he calls you and when you say yes and begin to move out in obedience, that's when you'll have that kind of grace. So that's why you can look at some people right now and see what they're going through in their life and say, oh, I could never go through that. Well, you can't do it with the grace you have, because the grace you have is designed to get you through what you're going through.

You see what I mean? But if your calling gets higher or if your challenges get higher, then your grace will exceed the level of your challenge. So I want somebody to be encouraged to know that when you need it, God will have it available for you.

See, we shop at Costco and we like to get big boxes of things. You want a grace value pack where you're coming out of the place with a big old value pack of things. God won't give you grace like that. God will give you the grace for what you're going through in this season of your life, and that's all you have. In fact, the grace seems to be dispensed day by day, because if you're like me, you've had those times where you say, God, I can't make it another day. Well, you can't make it another day on the grace you have, because the grace you have is for the day. But I tell people when you're up late at night saying, God, I can't make it another day, go to sleep. Go to sleep.

Why? Because tomorrow, you can say, now, Lord, according to your word, there ought to be a fresh batch of grace to get me through what I'm about to go through. God, I'm getting ready to go to work, Jesus. And those folks, you know how they worked my nerves yesterday.

They're waiting on me today. I need a fresh batch of grace. And Peter said, you can believe God for grace in abundance. He said, you can also believe Him for peace in abundance. And peace, of course, is that fruit, that quality that God will create and cultivate in our lives, which will allow us to experience not an absence of trouble, but an absence of anxiety, overwhelming anxiety about our trouble. So you might be going through difficult times, and peace, as it's spoken of in Scripture, isn't the absence of the trouble.

That's deliverance. Every now and then, God will deliver you. Sooner or later, if you'll be faithful, He'll deliver you from what you're going through. But before He delivers you from it, He promises, I'll give you peace while you're going through it. See, we want to be delivered from, and that's nothing wrong with asking God, oh God, bring me out of this. But as I said in the message about Job, one of the things we have to learn to do, whether we want to or not, is wait on God. Got to wait on God, because He doesn't operate by your schedule.

Have you learned that by now? Have you ever told God, I need you to come through by the end of the month? And the end of the month flew by, and you haven't seen God yet? But He's with you.

You know why? Because He has given you grace, and if you trust Him, He'll give you peace. Now, peace, please know this, peace isn't something you get automatically. Peace is something that is conditional.

It's a conditional promise. We know that because when you look in places in the Scripture that talk about it, you will see the conditions. For instance, in Philippians chapter four, you will see that the peace of God that passes understanding only comes after you've done some things that Paul talks about. He said, first of all, that you need to learn to rejoice in the Lord always. In other words, if you want peace, make the choice to rejoice. Some of us make the choice to complain.

Some of us make the choice to blow up all the negative circumstances. Paul says, no, make the choice to rejoice. Find something to rejoice in God about. And if you can't rejoice in your circumstances, rejoice in the God who will bring you through your circumstances.

Make the choice to rejoice. He also says, be moderate, be temperate in your living with Christ. Make sure that you allow God to bring balance into your life, that you don't become overwhelmed by your negative circumstances, but you allow God to bring the fruit of temperance or balance into your life. And we'll talk about that as we move through the text. Then he also said, you got to learn to pray if you want peace because when you have trouble, what are you going to do?

You got to do something with it. When the Bible says, don't worry about it, but instead pray about it. Paul said, don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. And he said, if you will learn to give your petition over to God, I often say that we who are going through difficulties and tough times can not afford to be prayerless. You can't afford not to pray if you're having it rough.

A lot of times the devil will make you say, well, you know, you're having it rough. You don't feel like going to church. You don't feel like praying.

You don't feel like going to small group. Well, that's when you ought to go all the more because you got to believe God through your tough time and you got to learn to pray and cast those cares on God. Because if you don't pray about it, you will worry about it. But some of us have learned if you pray and pray right, God will deliver you from the worry and give you a peace that passes understanding.

I don't know about you, but that's the best news I've heard all week. You and I already have the power to live a life pleasing to God, the wisdom, the faith, the desire. Each has been freely given to all who have put their faith and trust in Christ. Well, if there's an area of your life that needs a little work, learning to walk by faith, learning how to live a life that pleases God, the Destined for Victory ministry team would be happy to pray on your behalf. Visit and use the contact feature to send us your prayer requests. While you're there, be sure to request Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation.

Did you know that listenership to Destined for Victory is on the rise in the past few months? During this season of uncertainty people are looking for hope, for meaning. Just one more reason why your prayers and financial support are so critical at this time. For your generous donation to Destined for Victory today, we'd like to send you a book by Deborah Smith-Pagay called 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety. You can't avoid circumstances that have the potential to make you anxious, but there are effective ways to deal with the stress they can cause. In 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety, you'll discover how to experience joy, achieve clarity, evaluate expectations, and prevent unnecessary stress.

And it all comes your way from a biblical perspective. Again, that's 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety, and it's our gift to you by request for your generous donation 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, California 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website,

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. A lot of us think Christianity comes in a do-it-yourself kit, and we think, well, I got saved, and so my job now is to try to live the right kind of life. I want to let you know, the Bible says, no, you are not asked to try to be a godly person, because if we could be godly on our own power, Jesus would have never come. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message. Prove it. 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 / 2024-01-31 01:57:34 / 2024-01-31 02:07:02 / 9

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