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Prove It! Part 5

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 12, 2020 7:00 am

Prove It! Part 5

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 12, 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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Here he says, add to your faith knowledge, a knowledge that will bring wisdom, insight, and discernment into our lives. This is a knowledge where you are coming to understand how to live your life better than you've lived it in the past. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Well, if you're a believer in Christ, you will one day leave this earth and spend eternity with God in heaven. But between that day and this, your mission is to go about the business of living your life in a manner that brings glory and honor to Him. For the past several days, Pastor Paul has been encouraging us to live lives that make our Christian faith evident to everyone around us.

It's a job made easier when we devote ourselves to the pursuit of godly wisdom. Stop by to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's

You can also listen or download the podcast at Stitcher or wherever you get yours. Now, here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message. It's entitled, Prove It. 2 Peter chapter 1, let's look at verses 5 through 11. 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've been looking at this passage, this opening passage in Peter's second letter to establish the fact that we are called to make our calling and election sure. That is to say, Peter's premise here is if you belong to the Lord, prove it by the way you live your life. Don't be a person who says he or she belongs to the Lord. Don't be a professed Christian without a being a possessing Christian. Peter says prove it by the way you live your life. There are tens of millions of people in America who say they are Christian. If they are to fill out a form under religion, they will put Christian.

Tens of millions. But while I can't judge the eternal soul of anyone, neither can you. God alone is a judge. We do see from this passage and others that there's some fruit you ought to be able to inspect.

So you're not a judge, but you can do a little fruit inspecting. And Peter says if you belong to the Lord, you ought to bear the evidence that you belong to the Lord. And we're looking at what he means by that and allowing the Lord through his word to help us establish a pattern of Christian living that would bring God glory and honor.

Now we've covered a lot of ground in the previous installments in this series. We're currently looking at this list of spiritual fruit that Peter gives us as a mere sampling. Certainly neither this passage nor Galatians 5, Paul's passage on the fruit of the Spirit, nor any place else where spiritual fruit or characteristics are mentioned, are meant to be definitive lists.

They're just samplings of the kind of character traits and disciplines that God once developed in all of our lives. We're currently looking at Peter's list, if you will, and he has said that we need to add to our faith. Now faith is the foundation for your Christian experience. Faith is the vehicle that brings grace, the grace of God, into your life. And that grace brings salvation. Paul said in Ephesians 2, 8, 4, by grace are you saved through faith. That means faith is the vehicle that brings grace into your life. That grace of God saves you when you recognize you're a sinner. All of us have sinned and come short of God's glory and that you need salvation.

And when you recognize that Jesus Christ died on a cross nearly 2,000 years ago for your salvation, when you put your faith and trust in what he did, then that faith will bring his grace into your life and that grace will save you. But Peter says faith is not enough. So he says we have to add some ingredients to our faith. The first ingredient he talks about here is he says add to your faith goodness.

That's virtue. In the previous message we talked about that calling to live the kind of life, the good life, the virtuous life, the walk of excellence that will bring God glory. And he went on now to say and add to goodness knowledge.

That's where I want to pick it up. Add to goodness knowledge. Now this isn't the knowledge spoken of earlier in the passage where he talks about getting to know God. That's one Greek word, getting to know God very intimately and thoroughly was what he said earlier in the passage as the key to experiencing all that God has for us.

This is a different Greek word. Here he says add to your faith knowledge not about God but this is a knowledge that will bring wisdom, insight, and discernment into our lives so we will know how to live a higher quality of life. This is a knowledge where you are coming to understand how to live your life better than you've lived it in the past. Do you know that you don't get better at living just because you get older? Are we all there?

Do I have to pause and make the case? You don't just automatically get wise with age. There are some old fools. Am I right about it? There are some old fools absolutely positively.

I know you're thinking to some now. I don't call their names. They are some old fools. You don't get wise just with years. Some people seem to get dumber with years. Age doesn't bring wisdom automatically. Education doesn't bring this kind of wisdom automatically. Now education, all things being equal, education is wonderful. We ought to be pro-education.

Nothing wrong with getting the best education you possibly can. Christians needn't fear that because there doesn't have to be a conflict between the natural and the supernatural. They can coexist because our God is the God of the natural and the supernatural. All wisdom comes from God. If something is true, that truth was ordained by God or else it would not exist. So you don't have to fear truth. You don't have to fear knowledge. I contend that truth runs parallel. We are saved by the spiritual truth of Christ's finished work on Calvary. And truth has correspondences in the natural world.

So you don't have to worry about truth. Pursue a good education. But education will not bring this kind of knowledge automatically. There are not only some old fools, there are some educated fools.

Am I right? Don't you know people who are smart and dumb at the same time? Simultaneously. Smart and dumb. Academically smart. Academically brilliant. I know some people who know what they know and they know it. But when you look at them live their lives, you say, wait, I don't get it. How can you be that brilliant academically but make such stupid decisions?

It's because they lack not an education, it's because they lack what Peter says here, knowledge. This is the wisdom, the insight, the discernment as to how to live a better life. How to make better decisions as you go along. How to learn from your mistakes and failures of your past.

And so Peter's premise here is add to your faith, not only virtue or goodness, but add the ingredient of knowledge. Be a life long learner. Don't just live, but learn as you live. What do you know that you didn't know a year or two ago? I'm not talking about academic knowledge. I'm talking now about the wisdom of living, the wisdom of dealing with day to day affairs, dealing with others, dealing with yourself, your issues.

What do you know? Let's start with you. What do you know about you that you didn't know a year or two ago?

What have you learned about yourself? See, some folks spend all their time focusing on other people. Not you, but people I know spend all their time focusing on other people. And so they can tell you a whole lot about other people. Some folks observe other people as a pastime.

That's what they do. Have you ever met them? There are people who say, you know, I've been checking you out. I've been checking you. You didn't know it, but I've been checking you out. Well, my question is, have you been checking you out? I would submit that you need to spend more time checking yourself out than checking other people out. Because Jesus said on one occasion, if you're preoccupied with the speck in somebody else's eye, perhaps you ought to spend a little time, watch what Jesus said, dealing with the log in your eye.

And of course, he used that kind of language for emphasis. And so what are you learning about you? What are you learning about your issues, your idiosyncrasies? What are you learning about the things, the quirks, the tendencies, the propensities of your life? You know, I tend when I'm feeling a certain way, I tend to do this. What's that about? What up with that?

Is this helping anybody already? You got to get into you. You got to figure out what's going on with you.

Dain some new insight into yourself. 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 good news of salvation in Christ with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is a listener supported ministry. And as we find ourselves still walking through a season of uncertainty, your support is even more critical today because in times of crisis, people are looking for a reason to have hope.

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

Again, that number is 855-339-5500. Contrary to popular opinion, people actually can change, but we are not the ones who can change them. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message.

Prove it. What have you learned about yourself? Have you learned from past mistakes? If you don't learn from them, you're subject to repeat them because, you know, life has that tendency to come back around. You tend to have tests and you fail them and so you got to take the makeup. And if you haven't studied, if you haven't learned anymore, you're not going to pass the makeup. You fail the test, you say, oh good, I get a makeup.

Well, you better study. So what have you learned about yourself that you didn't know? What have you learned about your decision making?

Are you making better decisions now than you used to make? What have you learned about other people? Do you know that you can't change people? Have you figured that part out yet?

If you haven't, you better pass this test. You can't change other people. Some of you have been nagging somebody for years about something you don't like about them and you are trying your best to make it change and you think if you fuss long enough, if you have a big enough attitude, if you can punish them in some sort of attitudinal way, you will finally get them in line with what you want and you don't realize that you're not the change agent in somebody's life. People change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of the perspective change. People change when they say I can't take this anymore. The other way they change is when God motivates them by His Word and gives them a vision of what their life can be, gives them a vision of a higher plane and they say I can go to higher heights.

They change because of some internal motivation or external coming from heaven. You can't make people change. You can inspire change by your example. You can encourage change by your words but you can't force change and some of you haven't learned that yet. That's a lesson to learn.

Learned it now so you don't have to bang your head up against that same wall this time next year. What are you learning about other people? You need to learn that you can't change them so what do you do as you deal with other people? God wants you to do a better job of dealing with other people so if you can't change them, you have to adjust to them and God can give you a knowledge, a wisdom, a discernment, an insight where you know how to deal with all the people in your life. You know the crazy folk in your life so let God give you wisdom, insight, discernment as to how to deal with their craziness.

If you keep reacting to it in a negative way, you won't get anywhere. So you got to say, Lord, help me to deal. I know what I'm dealing with here. I know what I'm in for.

You can be heading to their house praying. Lord, don't let me show up here thinking something's supposed to be different. I know they're going to be the same. They were insensitive the last time I saw them.

They're going to be insensitive this time. God give me the grace to smile, to not overreact in a negative way. Give me the right responses. Give me wise responses to the things they say. What are you learning about other people? You got to deal with other people and people change. They go through seasons and when you see new attitudes and new things happening in their lives because we're changing either for the better or the worse.

I'll talk about that a little as I wrap up the series. You're changing either for the better or the worse. And so if people are changing for the worse, you've got to keep adjusting. If you're dealing with aging parents that are going through different seasons, have some difficult issues, you have to adjust to them. If you're dealing with kids, your kids are going through different seasons. You may have had a preteen grace, but you got teens now. Somebody ought to tell you that's a new season. You need new grace for that.

Preteen grace doesn't work in the teen years. And so what you have to do is be on the grow in the area of knowledge. What are you learning about your dealings with other people?

What are you learning about how to get better at this business of life? Are you allowing wise, godly people to speak into your life? See, God will provide this wisdom, this insight, this discernment, but very often rather than to drop it supernaturally, now he can give it to you as you read the word and meditate on his word. The Holy Spirit can speak to you and can give you endowments in your prayer time. God can definitely do it.

I'm a witness and so are some of you. God can really bless you privately and personally as you get before him, lay before him. He can change your life as you gaze into his face. Paul said in 2 Corinthians, as you look upon him, you will go from glory to glory. But the fact of the matter is sometimes God speaks his truth and knowledge into your life through other people. And the reason he does it is because he took them through some things and taught them some things so that they could turn around and be a blessing.

See, whenever you're blessed, you're blessed to be a blessing. If God has taught you some hard lessons in your life, then just count on it. There are going to be some people that you have divine appointments with for the purpose of speaking that truth into their lives. So if you're the one in need of knowledge, wisdom, discernment, are you allowing God to bring godly, wise people into your life? And then are you in the Word so that you know godly wisdom when you hear it? Because there are some people who look wise, who sound wise, but they're not wise what they say. Have you ever gotten poor advice from someone? How do you discern whether it's good advice or not? You need to have your own working knowledge of the Word so that if they're giving you unbiblical guidance you know that that is not according to this knowledge of which Peter speaks.

Add to your goodness knowledge. He goes on to say add to knowledge self-control. God is interested in helping us bring under control any area of our lives that is out of control. Have you ever been out of control? Oh, you don't want to talk about it. None of us feel good talking about an out of control area of our lives, but we, come on, there's no future in front of us.

Let's deal with it. You ever been out of control, had some area or two or three or five or seven that were out of control? I just don't have a grip in this area of my life. Anybody know what it is to be out of control?

Thank you for that honesty. The folk who didn't raise their hands, pray for them. They don't get it yet, but we believe in God. Sure, because there's a wide range of issues and areas in our lives and somewhere in your life there is something the Holy Spirit wants to target and because he comes in to abide with us for the rest of our lives, he's in no hurry so he tends to just target one area or two at a time, just kind of focus on that. Have you ever had that experience where you every time you're praying he's dealing with one or two things then you start hearing sermons sound like everybody's preaching at you? You ever dealt with that? You're like now what? Somebody came up to me not long ago say I really do not appreciate this.

I mean I'm talking about two weeks ago and straight faced, I don't oppress him. What are you talking about? You are in my business.

You need to get up off of me. Well that's what the Holy Spirit does. I'm the mailman.

Don't shoot me because you don't like the letter. That's the Holy Spirit's job to target areas of our lives that are out of the place where God would have them and so you will see the Holy Spirit working in your life to add to your faith, self control, the ability to pull into order, into God's plan, into God's strategy for your life, those areas that are out of order. They could include the overcoming of bad habits.

How many have ever had a bad habit? Thank you again. Sure. And God is interested in making us more like Christ. Christ had no bad habits so God has you on the road toward becoming more like Christ which means he's going to be targeting some of those areas that he wants to see change in. Could be spiritual disciplines.

Just throw some examples. Could be spiritual disciplines. How many have ever had a time developing a consistent and meaningful prayer life?

Sure. Most Christians have at some point even if you now by God's grace have it under control. At some point you said I can't get consistent with my prayer life to save my life. Well the Holy Spirit has a vested interest in saying no no you need to pray every day.

You don't need to be hit and miss. Prayer is too important. You need the power of God, the endowment of God. You need what God has to offer you in order to make it and this hit and miss prayer life isn't going to cut it.

And so he wants you to add to your faith the ability to bring that area of your life under control. To give you the ability to set a prayer time and then to meet God at that time. The best way to establish a prayer life is to have a prayer time.

If you missed it I'll say it again. The best way to have a prayer life is to have a prayer time. A time when you pray. It's like everything else in your life. If you know when you have decided to do it you are closer to getting it done than if you have no idea when you're going to do it. You know how it is. You don't establish patterns and habits in your life. Somebody said well when you going to do it?

I don't know. Well then chances are it won't get established. But if you decide for instance that prayer is going to be my first meaningful conversation of every day. If that's your call, that's your decision, many people that's the way they establish a regular prayer life.

Get it done very early in the day before the busyness begins to crowd in. And so for some they even decide well maybe I need to start getting up a half hour earlier because I know all the things I have to do before I run out to work or whatever the case might be. And so they might try to establish that half hour earlier and you're going to need the Lord to help you. If it's an out of control area when that clock goes off in the morning you want to hold on to those sheets in Jesus name. But if you've decided I need to establish a prayer life and this is my best time to pray then Peter says add to your faith self control.

Ask the Lord to help you discipline yourself to get up and pray. When you look back at the lives of men like Moses, Joseph and King David one thing is clear. They all had a consistent personal relationship with God. They spent time in prayer talking to God about their struggles and asking Him for help and guidance.

It didn't make them more worthy it did make them more effective and it will do the same for you. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message Prove It. You know our highest calling as believers in Christ is to share our faith with others.

We can do that through personal relationships, through conversations at work or on an airplane. Another great way to help fulfill the Great Commission is by giving a generous gift to make sure that more people hear the gospel through these programs. And as you give your gift today be sure to request the book from Deborah Smith-Pagase called 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety. If the circumstances of life have ever caused you to be worried and stressed out this resource can be of great help. Packed with truth straight from the Word of God 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety will show you how to manage life's stressful situations God's way. And when you do you'll have the kind of joy and peace He longs to give you. That's 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit to make a safe and secure donation online.

And you can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory post office box 1767 Fremont California 94538. Now here's the thing when you see people getting it done in their lives here's a secret they don't have any more time than you have. God gave them the same number of hours He gave you. The difference is they have learned to bring under control the time God's given them. Time is a precious gift. 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 / 2024-01-28 10:33:27 / 2024-01-28 10:42:58 / 10

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