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Prove It! Part 3

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2020 7:00 am

Prove It! Part 3

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 6, 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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God does what He does, not out of obligation, but out of a heart filled with love.

God is love. And one of the ways He expresses His love is He has made some promises to us. He didn't have to make them.

We didn't beg Him to make them. He just chose to bless us in some way. Every promise God makes is a promise God keeps. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Thanks for spending part of your busy Friday with us. Well, the weatherman may predict sunshine, your friends may say they'll meet you for lunch, but sometimes it rains anyway and sometimes you end up at a table for one. Your Father in Heaven doesn't make predictions, He makes promises. And when He tells you He's going to show up, He always does. Today, Pastor Paul takes you through some of God's best promises just to remind you what a beautiful thing it is to be a child of the living God. Stay with us here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand anytime. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also listen to the Destined for Victory podcast at TuneIn or wherever you go to get your podcasts. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, Prove It. 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 3 through 11. 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. We continue to explore this powerful and insightful passage in the early part of Peter's second letter. We've established the fact in the earlier parts of this series that Peter is writing to those who are under intense persecution and saying to them in effect, this is the time in your life when you have got to make your calling and election sure.

He has made the point that if you say you follow Christ, don't just have a spoken faith. But this is the time for you to prove that you know the Lord by the way you live your life. He had said in his earlier epistle in 1 Peter 2, you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people and you're called to show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into the marvelous light.

In dark times like those days in which he wrote and in these days, that's when the light of the gospel and the light of God's presence in our lives should shine brightest. So Peter is saying, if you really know Jesus, prove it by the way you live. And he has given us some great insight in the just the early verses that we have already covered showing us that it is through the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we can have grace and peace in abundance.

And in fact, we can have everything we need for life and godliness. And in the last message, we established the fact that everything you need in order to live the way God's called you to live is in the knowledge of Jesus. When you get to know him on a personal basis, when you spend real time with him and allow him to transform your life, that everything you need, Peter is saying, will come to pass in your life. I want to pick it up and look more closely at verse 4 with you. I'm taking my time through these early verses because there's so much meat there that we've got to get this foundation laid so that when he begins to talk about the fruit that's to be added to our lives, we have the solid foundation of what God has made available to us. Look at verse 4. He says, through these, that is through God's glory and goodness, 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.

Here's what I want to establish in this message. I want you to know in no uncertain terms that God has made you some promises. Our God is a God who has made us some promises. It is absolutely amazing that we serve a sovereign God who doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to do. See, sovereignty, the sovereignty of God, theologians make a big deal about the sovereignty of God, so much so that many lay people have no idea what it means.

Here's what it means in a nutshell. God's sovereign nature means he answers to no one. He is the final cord of arbitration. When he speaks it, it is so. He is above all and so his word is truth. What God says is established forever.

There is no one who can second guess him. And so God is truly sovereign. You and I, God gives us the ability to be volitional in our actions.

We can make some decisions about what we will and won't do. But please, never think you're sovereign. You're not sovereign.

You will answer one day to a sovereign God. You have choice. Choice doesn't make you sovereign. Choice gives you some decisions to make.

But make the right ones because one day we will all give an account, Romans 14 says, of our lives to God. And so you are not sovereign. No one who says, well, I don't believe in Jesus Christ and I refuse to go to church. I refuse to get saved. I don't believe in that.

That's all right. One day you will. One day you will.

The Bible is very plain. The reason why we preach the gospel, throw out the lifeline and say come to Jesus is because one day every knee will bow. See, the sovereign God's given you a wonderful privilege to bow now. He says to us, you can bow now. You can submit to my lordship now.

That's what I want. I'm standing at the door of your heart and I'm knocking. I want to come into your life. I want to be your savior. I want to walk with you.

I want to give your life eternal and abundant. But know this, that one day the sovereign God will judge everyone. And on that day you won't have any more choices. On that day every knee will bow.

On that day everyone will confess that Jesus is Lord. Bow now and enjoy his lordship or bow later in judgment. But all of us are going to bow. Hitler's going to bow one day. Everyone who has ever done that which was not the will of God is going to bow one day. You're worried about Saddam and all of that.

Now you're worried about Osama. They're going to bow one day. One day every knee will bow. Every religious leader will bow. Confucius will bow one day. Mohammed will bow one day to a sovereign God and confess that Jesus Christ is who God said he is. He's King of Kings and he's Lord of Lords. Our God is sovereign. But here's my point. The sovereign God could do whatever he wants and yet he chooses to give you and me promises.

That's amazing. God doesn't have to promise you anything. Not like he has to get on your good side.

I mean think about it. God's under no pressure, political pressure. He doesn't have to get on our good side. So when he says in his word, I've given you very great and precious promises, it's because that's how much he loves us. God does what he does not out of obligation but out of a heart filled with love. God is love and one of the ways he expresses his love is he has made some promises to us. He didn't have to make them.

We didn't beg him to make them. He just chose to bless us in some ways. I want you to know God loves you ridiculously. He loves you. Don't ever question the love of God in those moments when your life seems to be going backwards.

I understand that trouble can hit us that way and trials can make you wonder. It can turn all of your old acclamations into questions but please understand that God's love is a constant. He loves us ridiculously. He loves you so much it doesn't even make sense.

We can't fathom the love of God, that we should be called children of God. That's amazing but that's how much God loves you. And one of the ways he has demonstrated his love is Peter says he's given us very great and precious promises so that we can participate in his divine nature. I just want to take a little bit of time and walk you through just a few, just several promises that are found in scripture. The fact of the matter is there are so many things God has promised us that I couldn't do a single series on them if I wanted to. He's made you a lot of promises.

Let me just give you a sampling. First he has promised salvation for all who come to him. He has promised you salvation.

He didn't say I might save you, I'll think about it. He said for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him, whosoever puts your trust in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. That's God's promise. God promised that if you come to him and realize that you are a sinner in need of salvation, realize that you have no hope of being right with God unless you trust that Jesus made you right with God on that cross. When you come to him, he guarantees that his response will be to save you.

Isn't that good news? That salvation is pre-approved. Stay with us. We're only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. And as we find ourselves living in a period of uncertainty, your support is even more critical today because in times of crisis, people are looking for a reason to have hope.

Well, Jesus is that hope. So please, prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website, pastorpaul.net, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, the number is 855-339-5500. And when you give, we have a gift of our own to share with you. I'll tell you all about it after today's message. When you come to faith in Christ, you're not only approved by God, you're pre-approved before the foundation of the world. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message.

Prove it. You ever gotten a pre-approved notice in the mail for a credit card? Pre-approved. See, once you get your credit kind of in order, you'll start seeing signs that things are coming around because, folks, you didn't even ask to borrow you money or extend you a line of credit. They'll just show up in your mailbox, capital one.

We don't say no. Just show up in your mailbox. You didn't ask them, but they've been checking you out. You didn't know it, but they've been checking you out behind the scenes and they see that you are a worthy credit risk.

And so they will send you opportunities. And if they really want to entice you, they say, you have been pre-approved. All you have to do is just fill out just a couple of lines here and sign, but this is not to determine whether you get the card. This is just the documentation we need in order to give you the card.

You have been pre-approved. Now, because we're getting our finances in order, don't take it. Don't take it unless that's going to be the one card.

You all have taken seminars. I don't have to walk you back through all of this, but sometimes you want to have one card that you can use. It's more convenient than money, but that's a card you're committed to paying off at the end of the cycle, not carrying the balance over. Carryover is not of God. I know we've all been through seasons where you carried over and you were believing God for the day when you could stop carrying. I understand that.

Sometimes you're snowed under in debt, and so you get yourself a plan to eliminate your debt, but you got to make the decision. God, I'm going to believe you to help me get out, and then I'm going to believe you to help me discipline my finances so I don't get back in. I wish I could get a better amen than that. Hallelujah. Pre-approval is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to salvation. If you come to Jesus and say, I know I'm not good enough to be a child of God on my own merits.

I know I come short of your glory. That's the word sin. All have sinned.

The root of the word has to do with archery, aiming your arrow at a target in the distance and firing your best shot. But not only doesn't it hit the bull's eye, it doesn't even hit the target that the bull's eye is on. It falls short of the target, and that's sin in archery and it's sin in our lives. And the Bible says all have sinned and come short of God's glory. But when you come to him and acknowledge, yes, Lord, I am a sinner.

Yes, I need your grace and your mercy and your forgiveness. If you come to him and trust that when Jesus hung on that cross almost 2,000 years ago, he didn't do it because he had done anything wrong. He did it because you and I needed a substitute on the cross. We needed someone to die in our place, take our penalty upon himself and the perfect Lamb of God, the sinless Lamb of God became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

And if you believe that that's what happened on the cross and you trust him for that salvation, having turned from your sins, the Bible says you're guaranteed salvation. Why? Because God promised it to you and God's not like some shaky, flaky relative who makes your promises don't come through. You ever, as a child, had a relative say, I'm going to come by Saturday morning, pick you all up and take you to the store or take you to the park or do something that got you all excited. And there you are, kids sitting by the door waiting. And there's whichever flaky, shaky relative it was never showed up. And after a while, it dawns on you always not coming and you start crying and what have you. Later on in the day, your mama gets a call from whoever it was and they got some old lame reason. Listen, let me tell you something.

Some of us have experienced some things like that. We've experienced that from some friends and various people who just don't come through. Their word means nothing.

They tell you something and you hardly even hear it because you've had enough track record to know. Their word means nothing. But I want to let you know, God doesn't say what he doesn't mean. The Bible says God is not a man that he should lie. He is not the son of man that he should repent. God doesn't say, oops.

God doesn't say, I really meant to be there, but something came up. No, no, God means what he says. His word is forever settled in heaven. The Bible says heaven and earth will pass away, but not one word from God shall ever fail. You'll never live long enough to see God's word fail because his word is holding up the world on which we live. If God's word ever failed, you'd never be around to see it because this earth, all the universe that is being held up by the word of God would disintegrate. But of course, that's impossible because God's character is immutable.

It cannot change. And God promised us that he would save all who come to him. If you're listening to this message and you have not repented of your sins, why are you carrying your sins around when Jesus died on the cross to carry them for you? Why are you headed to hell when you could be on your way to heaven? Why are you full of guilt when you could be justified by faith in Jesus Christ? Why are you lost when you could be found?

Why are you among the children of darkness when you could live in the kingdom of light? God made you a promise. He promised you salvation.

He made another promise. He promised us forgiveness. You say, well, I thought you just talked about salvation. I'm talking about forgiveness after you get saved. I hope I don't have to take a precious time and make the case to you that since you've gotten saved, there have been a moment or two when you have needed your Savior to forgive you because you didn't do what he told you to do. You're not responding to his word. You're not responding to his dealings with you in certain areas of your life. I hope I don't have to stop and make that point.

All of us needed salvation before we got saved, and now we need his grace and mercy to continue in our lives as he grows us up and makes us the people he's called us to be. So you've had actions. You've had attitudes. You've not done things he told you to do.

You hear her groaning and moaning as people have flashbacks and various things. Come on. And some of us don't have to think back that far. Isn't that the truth?

Let's just be honest. I know you've got your big Bible, but be honest here. We don't have to think back that far, and God's grace remains available to us throughout our Christian experience. Now the Bible is clear, and this passage in 2 Peter is making the point if you're saved, then it ought to show up in your life.

You ought to be a different person than you were. But we also know that's a journey into spiritual maturity. That's a journey into consistent Christian living, and from time to time you might hit a bump or a pothole in the road of life that kind of shakes you off out of the lane you're in, but God's grace is available to get you back on track. There are times when we need forgiveness, and He promised it.

1 John 1, He said, If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. God is faithful to forgive you for those times when you have not done His will. And you know there have been times when you didn't understand that God plans to change you, and you just kind of wanted fire insurance salvation. You just kind of wanted to make sure you were going to heaven, but some of us, until we really come to understand the love of God and the plan of God for our lives, that we just hope God will just take us on to heaven, and in the meantime we want to do our thing all the way there. But you come to find out God has a plan for your life, and the Holy Spirit will convict you and keep pointing you in the right direction and saying, This is the way, walk in it.

And every now and then we have had those stubborn moments where we said, I know the way, but I don't feel like walking in it right now. Come on, be honest. You've had those moments. You had them all your life. You had them with your parents as a teenager. You remember those times when they told you when to be in the house, but there was a party you wanted to go to. Come on, come on, let's be honest here for a minute.

You can get a breakthrough if you'll get honest. There was a party you wanted to go to, and you knew good and well that party wouldn't be over at midnight. And they said, I want you in this house at midnight. And you said, all right, because you wanted to go to the party. That's the only reason you said okay, so you could get out the door. If you had said what you knew in your heart, which is that I don't plan to be home at midnight, you'd have never gotten out the door.

So you said what they wanted to hear, all right, I'll be home. You went out knowing you weren't going to be home at midnight. And some of you even learned along the way that if this is one of my moments of disobedience, I might as well enjoy the whole party.

Come on, be honest, think back now, think back to where you were. You know, some came from various styles of punishment. And so, you know, I know there are different strokes for different folks, but some folks knew that what they were going to get in response to their disobedience was a spanking. Or some called it a beating. Some even called it a whipping. Do we have any whipping folk in the house who were whipped growing up?

I know, modern people just look at you like you're crazy. Whipping? Yeah, some folk right in this very room can testify.

And listening to this message on a broadcast or a CD or something can testify, hands in the air. I can tell you about a whipping. Well, God may never give us an old-fashioned whipping, but the Bible does talk about the consequences of sin. Like any good parent, God disciplines those He loves. But His discipline is perfect and always designed for our good, handed down not only to correct our behavior, but to draw us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him.

Well, right now it may seem like the worst of times, but from God's perspective, these could very well be the best of times, because it is in times of chaos when people are often more willing to embrace the cross, and God's will is that all would come to the knowledge of repentance. As we walk together through a season of uncertainty, let us be a safe place for the lost to land. Let's choose to love them into the kingdom the way God has loved us. One of the best ways you can do that is by becoming one of our Destined for Victory partners, a group of people who give at least $20 a month to keep these radio and internet messages airing the whole year through. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. Call 855-339-5500 to find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner and make your pledge over the phone. Another gift, letting us know you wish to become a partner, the address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also become our partner from our website, pastorpaul.net. If you can't become a Destined for Victory partner but would like to make a generous donation today, we'd love to send you a book by Deborah Smith-Pagay called 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety, a great resource that helps you learn to deal with life's most difficult circumstances in a way that won't cost you the joy and peace that God longs to give you.

Again, the book is called 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety, and it's our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. You got to know His word. A lot of folks try to exercise a faith that allows them to claim whatever they want.

You can't do that. Faith isn't designed to get you what you want. It's designed to get you what God has for you. That's next time 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 / 2024-01-29 21:51:06 / 2024-01-29 22:01:11 / 10

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