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Prove It! Part 5 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
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November 13, 2020 7:00 am

Prove It! Part 5 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 13, 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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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. The Bible tells us that if we don't have faith, it is impossible to please God. But to live an effective Christian life, faith alone is not enough. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

Thanks for spending part of your busy Friday with us. In 2 Peter chapter 1 we find seven qualities God wants us to add to our faith. Today we come to number three on the list, self-control.

This covers a wide range of areas, everything from what we put into our bodies to the way we spend our time. Pastor Paul has more on the subject coming your way next, so stay with us. You can also download the podcast on demand at, at Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Right now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message entitled Prove It.

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 your 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 are 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. And for many people, they don't have to get up earlier.

They just have to decide to spend some of that time with the Lord. You got to make up in your mind to do it. And if you pray first, you get it done.

Everybody has something to do first. And so if you don't want to set an actual time, then say it's the first thing I'll do when I wake up. If you wake up at various times, when I wake up, I'm going to a place of prayer, take my word in there, I'm going to read, I'm going to meditate, I'm going to talk to God, I'm going to get my heart set on Him. I'm going to pray my day, I call it.

I'm going to get focused on being in the will of God. Give us this day our daily bread. God, you know what I need today. You know the people I got to deal with today. So I worship you today. I practice your presence today.

I want to get into partnership with you today. And so you got to establish that discipline of prayer or Bible reading or fasting. Spiritual disciplines come under self-control.

Physical disciplines. You ever had the Lord deal with you or you just set the goal in your own mind? I want to get my eating under control.

Well, many of us can't do that on our own. That food just calls. Especially if you're eating partially out of some issues and it's sort of comfort and it's sort of congratulations and it's going to be alright. Sit on down here, just eat me up. Come on, we have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. You know, you got a good choice here.

One that's better will help you meet whatever goal you set for yourself. You got some comfort food over here. The comfort food talks louder than the good food. Isn't that right? Comfort food says, no, no, no, don't look over there, come to me.

Let's hang out. So if we're going to pull off our goals and it's an out of control area, we may need the Spirit's assistance. Peter says, add it to your faith. Ask God to add that area of self-control to your life. Perhaps you've never thought about praying about getting eating under control or exercise. How many times do we join gyms and alright, I'm going to do it?

Only to fizzle. Well, Peter says the Holy Spirit has a vested interest in helping us bring out of control areas into our lives. It might be something that we need to then begin to pray about very regularly. Mental intellectual discipline. Some of you, in order to do what God's called you to do, you're going to have to go to school.

You're going to have to go back and take another course or get another degree. And bottom line is, you don't feel like it. I've been to school.

I'm old. I don't feel like it. But if God's put a business on your heart or God's put a ministry on your heart and you are not at this point prepared for it, you're going to have to go get prepared for it.

And God, if that's an area where you say, you know, I just don't feel like it. I've got to work full time. I have responsibilities. It's not like I was a teenager or my whole job was going to school.

Now, I'm older. I have responsibilities. But I've got this nagging desire to start a business or to get involved in a ministry or God's put a new calling on my heart. And in order to pull it off, I'm going to have to go to work and go to school.

And you don't feel like it. Well, the Bible says add to your faith the ability to bring your mind back into discipline so that you can study, so that you can learn, so that you can be prepared for what God has called you to do. And when you go to school, when you accept this challenge, ask the Lord to give you the self-control not just to show up but to actually learn something. You know, some folks go and their only goal is to get the paper.

You don't need the paper. You need to know something. Told you many times before, you don't want to go to a doctor who crammed.

You don't want a doctor who crammed. You're sitting up there on the table. Your life is in limbo and they're over in the corner flipping through a book. Let's see. I don't remember this.

You know that make you want to jump down off that table. That's all right, Doc. Bill me. I'm out of here.

You're not fooling with me in that book. You want a doctor who said, oh, yeah, yeah, I've seen this. Yeah, well, sit down. Let me explain to you what happens. Here are the three possible scenarios. And here's what we do under this circumstance.

And they just rattle it off. You say, thank God. Know something.

You don't want a lawyer who hopes things will work out. Well, you know, we'll take a shot at it. There's probably been some other case like yours.

I don't know. No, no, you want one who says, oh, yeah, yeah, well, here's the approach we're going to take. Here's the precedent.

Here's the legal precedent. And they're just laying it out and running it all down to you. You say, all right, let's go. See what I mean?

And so when you have a discipline, whatever it is, you need to know something. You don't want to plumb over your house, fiddling around. At those rates, fix the thing. You don't want somebody with your computer. You know how we are our lives. Our whole brains are in our computers these days. You don't want some computer tech fumbling around. When they get through, say, all right, try it.

Now it's worse than before you start fooling with it. I want somebody who knows. So ask the Holy Spirit if you feel called to get into a new discipline. For some who are praying about additional income, the additional income, the answer to that prayer, may be tied to a new discipline. And you're going to need self-control in order to do it. Just one more example on this.

I'll move on. Time management. How many have ever had difficulty getting your time under control? Now here's the thing. When you see people getting it done in their lives, I mean getting God's will done, just getting it done.

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. When you waste time, you are wasting the second most valuable gift God will give you. Second only to salvation. Salvation is the only gift more precious than time because it transcends time.

Salvation sets us for time and for eternity. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd, senior pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's, where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. Well, Pastor Paul joins me in the studio after today's message, so stay right here.

But first, let's join him for the remainder of today's Destined for Victory message, Prove It. But besides receiving God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, the most valuable gift you will ever receive is time, because you need time to enjoy everything else God's doing, everything else God's called you to. If God's called you to enjoy your career and build it, you need time to do it. If you've got friends you want to enjoy, family you want to enjoy, if there are projects you want to fulfill, if there are businesses you want to build, whatever it is, you need time to do it. You can't afford to waste time. You can't afford to kill time.

You have to talk to somebody, what do you know, oh, just killing time. No, no, you can't kill that. Too valuable, because time can't be replaced. See, you can replace stuff. God forbid you lose your home in a fire or some tragedy, some of these natural disasters that are occurring, and people say, oh, I've lost everything. Yeah, but God's blessed you with time, and with that time and God's help, you can do some rebuilding. But if you have all of the trappings and no time, you can't get anything done. And so you've got to value your time.

Psalm 90 says, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. What are you doing with the time God has given you? Are you wasting too much time? Are you succumbing to the tyranny of the urgent? There are some things that feel urgent, but what we've got to learn to do in order to accomplish God's will is to walk into self-control to do what is important, sometimes at the expense of what is urgent. A ringing phone might seem urgent to you, but if that's not what's important for you, you can't answer it right now. Let it go in that voicemail answering machine, because I've got to stick with what I'm called to do today, how I've called to use my time today.

There are wonderful resources that other people who have disciplined themselves in this area have established, and you can dig in there and say, I'm going to learn some time honored ways of maximizing the time God has given me. You have to learn to say no to some things so that you can stay focused on some other things. Have you ever seen anybody, not you, but ever seen anybody who is about a good work, but as soon as something else comes up, they just drop it and they go run and do something else.

And they drop that and go do something else. And you can stop at the end of a day and look at five dropped projects and none of them are completed because you didn't focus. And so you can't let any old interruption dictate your life. If you don't get your time under control, other people will control it for you.

Circumstances will control it for you. You ever found that to be true? There are people who know how to use your time if you don't.

What? I need you over here. No, you're not on my schedule today. I have some things to do. Let's see. I'll check in with you next week. See when we can get together.

No, not on right now. They might need somebody's help, but it might not be yours. And so you leave them. You have those spoiled people in your life who resent it when they have to go in the voicemail. You know there are some folks, I don't talk to machines.

Oh well. This is machine day, baby. I'm about a good work. I'm like Nehemiah on the wall. I can't come down. You ever had folk who, I need to talk to you. Oh, what's it about? I'll tell you when you get here. I'm not coming until I know what is it. See, and that takes self-control because it might pull on your heartstrings and some of you have issues with abandonment so you don't want to feel like you're abandoning anybody.

Because my mama wasn't there for me and I never liked that feeling of somebody. And so you got to add to your faith self-control. He says, and add to self-control perseverance. You know what perseverance is? It's the ability to stick with the good work God has you doing. Even when pressure comes, even when persecution comes, even when trouble comes, even when feelings change, you stick with what God has you doing. Perseverance, pressing through. Perseverance is that quality where you outlast your trouble. You outlast the opposition against the good work God is doing in you. Because when you're about a good work, there's going to be opposition. Pressure comes to bear against any good work.

It's just a supernatural law. When you're doing good, evil is present. When you're doing God's best, good and better show up to try to get you to demote yourself from doing God's best to just settling for something that's easier or quicker. And so when God has you fixed, you got to add to your faith that ability to persevere, to just stick with it, to press through what you got to press through, to go through what you got to go through, to say, I will not quit. I am a victor. We are not the quitting kind. Bible says in Hebrews 10 35, don't throw away your confidence.

It will be richly rewarded. You have need of patience that after you have done the will of God, you'll receive what he's promised. And see, we have to have that patience, that perseverance to press through until we get God's results till we get on the other side. Job said, I am believing to see God's salvation in the land of the living. I'm believing God to bring me out while I'm still here on earth. I know there's the coming out in heaven, but I'm believing God for deliverance and breakthrough on earth. I'm going through hell now, but I'm going to sit here and wait until my change comes.

See Joe model perseverance. He said, I don't like what I'm going through. I'm perplexed by what I'm going to. I don't get it. You walk with God long enough. You're going to get to a place where you say, I don't get it.

I don't understand. I can't reconcile what's happening with my life than any previous understanding I've had of you, Lord. But when I don't understand you, when I don't get why you're allowing me to go through it, when I don't see my answers coming, I'm not getting quick answers to prayer. Job said, I'm going to wait. That's perseverance. Wait, wait until my change comes.

I'll be here when the change shows up. I'm not jumping ship. I'm not giving up. I'm just going to stubbornly by God's grace and help wait this out. Perseverance, that ability to press on anyhow, anyhow, I'm just going to go through by God's help and I'm going to wait on God. Perseverance. See the Bible says God is a reward of those who diligently seek him. There comes that time when casualness will not get it. You've got to be diligent, sold out, determined.

I'm not quitting. The Australian Open 2003, women's tennis. There was a semi-final match. Venus Williams had already won on the other side of the draw. She was in the finals. They were awaiting her opponent. And in the semi-finals, her sister Serena was playing Kim Clijsters and it was one of those matches I wanted to see.

I had some meetings or something but I saw on the guide that it was coming on and set my TiVo and said alright I'll be back and later on tonight I'll watch it. Got home and began to watch the match and each of them won one of the first two sets. They were in the third and final deciding set and Kim went up five games to one. Now you win the set when you get to six. Kim was up five to one and just when she got up five to one, the recording ended.

I tell you, no lie. I had not set it for extended time. You know how you can set it for extended time, 15 minutes more, 30 minutes more. I just assumed that they had blocked the ample time with the show and so I didn't think about it and lo and behold, right, I mean it was right five to one, boom, recording ended. I said oh no and then I said to myself well, it doesn't matter, you can see what's going to happen here. Kim's going to win, she'll play Venus in the finals. Next morning I got a paper and when I got to the sports section I saw on the front page of the sports section Venus and Serena in the finals again. I said what?

Can't be. Serena was down five to one. So I went to the article and began to read and they talked about this torrid comeback and they talked to Serena and said how did you pull that off? She said really when I was down five to one, the only thing I was thinking at that moment is you know what, you are the number one player in the world right now. It would be a shame for you to lose this last set six to one.

That's a little bit embarrassing. She said so I set out to win the next game and I won it. And she said I really don't want to lose six to one. She said so I focused on the next game and won it.

Now it's five three. And she said this would get interesting if I win the next game. I put a little pressure on her. And she focused and now it's five four.

She said by that time I said oh shoot I might as well go on and win this thing. That's what perseverance is. You feel down five to one. You feel like the enemy has all the cards stacked against you.

You feel like this isn't looking good. I'm working hard getting few results. I'm praying God isn't answering yet. I don't know what's going on but I dare you to say I am not a quitter. We are not the quitting kind. Don't throw away your confidence.

It will be richly rewarded. And God will give you the victory if you won't give up. So Paul said in Galatians six don't get weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faith not. Add to your faith perseverance.

As the saying goes life is difficult and it's during these tough times when perseverance is needed most. Crises will come to all of us and God allows them in our lives that we might be conformed to the image of Christ. Pastor Paul joins me again now from his studio in California. Pastor this current series prove it is proving to be a challenge to those of us who claim to follow Christ so let me ask you a question. Once we begin our relationship with Jesus why is it so important for us to develop these godly qualities we've been studying together? Well I think it's because as much as I enjoy the fire insurance aspect of being saved by that I mean you know he that believes in him won't perish in the fires of hell but will enjoy everlasting life. And as much as I enjoy the fire insurance the fact is I know from the scriptures that God has called us to live quality lives here and now. So while I'm grateful for eternal life we all need to be concerned about living the abundant life. Jesus said I've come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.

Now you know in these days when we hear abundance we tend to think the three C's, cribs, cars and cash. But the reality is abundant life in scripture doesn't have to do with those things. God might bless you with a lot of wonderful toys and gifts and provisions but the reality is it is the inner quality that gives us abundant life and that's what this series is all about teaching us to build the character that gives glory to God and will help us be a blessing to people everywhere we go. Thanks Pastor Paul. I'm reminded of the words of Jesus in John 9 verse 4. As long as it is day we must do the works of him who sent me. The night is coming when no man can work. You know as is often the case in seasons of chaos and uncertainty there's a growing number of people who want to be blessed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

They have questions that need answers. You can help by sharing that good news with those in your sphere of influence but another great way is through your prayers and financial support to Destin for Victory. As our way of saying thanks for your generous donation we'd like to send you a book called 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety written by Deborah Smith-Pagase.

This book is a great resource to help you discover how to deal with a stress life often brings our way. That's 30 Days to Taming Worry and Anxiety our gift to you today by request for your generous gift to Destin for Victory. So please call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone 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 California 94538. Godliness means I live with a consciousness that God is always with me. I live with the awareness that my Christianity isn't picked up at the church door and dropped off on my way out. I'm a Christian 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and 366 in leap year. 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 / 2024-01-28 04:17:13 / 2024-01-28 04:27:21 / 10

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