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Prove It! Part 6

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2020 7:00 am

Prove It! Part 6

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 16, 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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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. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Hello and thanks for stopping by for this Monday edition of Destined for Victory. Well, for the past two weeks, here's the question Pastor Paul Shepherd has been exploring.

Would a court of law find us guilty of being a disciple of Jesus Christ? To help us see what that kind of life looks like, Pastor Paul has taken us to 2 Peter chapter 2 to show us seven qualities to which every Christian should aspire. He's covered the first four of these in previous messages, but today he takes a look at the last three beginning with the one he mentioned at the top of the program, Godliness. Stay with us here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen anytime on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net or you can download 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, let's look together at verses 5 through 11 as we bring to a conclusion the series we've been in from this important passage of Scripture.

2 Peter chapter 1 beginning with verse 5. 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 to discover how it is that God would have us be people who are on the grow. Peter's premise as he opens this letter is if you are called of God, if you are truly a Christian, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, there ought to be some evidence of that fact in the way you live your life. We live in a country where tens of millions say they belong to Christ but there ought to be evidence, there ought to be fruit of the fact that we are indeed followers of Christ. And so Peter has been helping us to understand that we are to make our calling and election sure that we are to in effect prove or verify that we are believers by the way we live our lives and by the way we grow. And in the previous installments we have covered a lot of ground as we have looked at this passage.

We're currently wrapping up our examination of the eight spiritual fruit or character traits that Peter mentions here. He said we start out at a place of faith. It is by faith that you come to Jesus Christ and receive salvation.

He says but then you must add other ingredients to that. Faith alone is not going to cut it. Or in the words of James, faith without works is dead. We're not saved by our works but our works ought to be an indication that we are saved. And so faith without accompanying works is a dead faith. And so Peter is saying add to your faith. What do we add to our faith? He began by saying add to your faith goodness or virtue. And we talked about that in a previous installment, learning to live life on that morally excellent level. Then he said add to your goodness knowledge. And in the last message we talked about this knowledge. This is not a knowledge of God but this Greek word means getting to know how to live life better.

It's a word that speaks of living by wisdom, by insight, by discernment. You ought to be learning as you live your life. We talked about the fact that just because you're getting older doesn't mean you're learning anything.

There are some old fools. We talked about the fact that there are some educated fools. Having an education is good for what it's good for but that doesn't necessarily mean you're walking in wisdom or discernment or insight. And so we've got to add to our faith the right kind of knowledge and we expounded on that point in the previous message. And then he goes on to say and add to your knowledge self-control. And we talked about the fact that the Spirit of God has a vested interest in helping us get any out of control areas of our lives in control. And all of us have or have had at least some out of control areas of our lives. You might as well admit it.

I know you look spiritual and cute, got your big Bible but come on let's be honest. We have some out of control areas. And so whether it's your time management or whether it's the spiritual disciplines you need to develop, if God's dealing with you about physical disciplines or if God's dealing with you about getting your money in order, some of our money is out of control. You can't walk past a store with a sale sign and keep on going. You are out of control.

Something calls you, beckons you in. And don't let the sign say clearance. Oh, that's it. Cancel Christmas. It's over. I got to go in and see. Everything must go.

It doesn't have to go to your house. Get under control. Get under control. That's not in my notes.

That's free. Some of us have to get our minds under control to go back and study or get a new degree or go through a course because God's put a new business on your heart or there's a ministry you need to establish or whatever it is and you've got to get some more learning and training done. And we've got to add to our faith, self-control, whatever the areas that God's dealing with you about, get it under control by the help of the Lord.

We talked about in the previous message, add to self-control perseverance. The fact of the matter is you have got to stick with what God has you doing. He's begun a good work in you. But how many know when you're about a good work, so is the enemy about the work of trying to bring you down. In fact, sometimes you can verify that you're on the right track by how much hell you're going through. You can know I must be doing something right because the enemy is fighting me on every hand. And when you are doing something good just like Nehemiah on the wall, you've got to make up in your mind you're not coming down for silly stuff.

You're not coming down for the tobias and the sambalits and the people who want to lure you away from the things God is doing in your life. So you've got to have stick-to-itiveness. And that's what perseverance means. And we talked about the need to persevere, to press through, to outlast your trouble, to outlast the trial, to outlast the enemy's onslaught so that in the end you receive what God has promised. Add to your self-control perseverance.

Now let's pick it up and look at the last three. And he says you need to add to your perseverance. That's great, but it's not enough.

What else do you need? He says add to that godliness. Add to your perseverance godliness.

What does he mean here? He's talking about that characteristic whereby we live a God conscious life and we represent God and God's plan and purpose and will everywhere we go. 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 not a Christian two hours a week. Godliness means I'm a Christian 24 hours a day. I'm a Christian seven days a week. I'm a Christian 365 days a year and 366 in leap year. I never take off from walking with God.

Godliness means I am a child of God. That's who I am. I represent Christ. I'm saved because he saved me.

I was no one. I was not belonging to him until he rescued me. Now that I belong to him, Paul often called himself the prisoner of the Lord.

He said he apprehended me for his own purpose. I belong to him. My life is dictated to by his will. That's what it means to be a child of God and that's what it means to develop a life of godliness. You got to understand that you are a Christian. That is who you are. That is your identity. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5, if anyone be in Christ, he or she is a new creation. The old you has passed away. Behold, everything has become new.

When I get saved, God has a brand new plan for my life and he calls me to walk with him and to live for him everywhere I go. 2 Corinthians 5 goes on to describe us as ambassadors for Christ. Do you know what that means? An ambassador is one who represents one nation or one kingdom while living and operating in another.

Did you get that? An ambassador, our ambassador, a friend of mine, a former member of this church, was recently appointed the ambassador to Bermuda. Beautiful island. I love it.

One of my favorite places in the world. I was so jealous when he told me he was that. Pastor, I just need you to pray for me. The president of the United States called me and asked me, would I be the ambassador to Bermuda?

I said, look at you. Came in my office, just want you to pray for me. I said, I'll pray if I can come to the ceremony. And actually he invited me to the ceremony. I, my schedule wouldn't allow me to go. I was so upset. He said, yeah, Condoleezza Rice is going to personally swear me in and I want you to meet her. I've been telling about you and what have you.

And I just, just come on. I looked at my schedule, couldn't do it. I saw, man, I'm not praying for you. No, I prayed for him. I prayed for him. 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 already know you're a Christian. The question is, do the people around you know it? Here's Pastor Paul with the second half of today's message.

Prove it. His job is to live in Bermuda, but to represent the interests, the values, the concerns of the United States. He is there to be in Bermuda, but not of Bermuda.

Did you catch that? That's where he physically lives. That's now where his family lives, but he is to represent us over there. He's not there to represent himself, and he's not there to do what Bermuda wants. He is there to say, here are the interests. Here is the will of the American people with regard to your nation. And he represents our nation while living in another.

Let me tell you something. When you got saved, you became an ambassador of Christ. And this concept of godliness that Peter mentions here means that you and I are called to represent Jesus in this crazy world. And how many know that's not an easy gig, which means you need to tap into the power of God and ask God to fill you with the spirit over and over again so that you can have the power to stand for God in an ungodly world.

You are an ambassador. You represent him in this world. I don't know if you realize it, but this isn't home for the child of God. We're pilgrims passing through here.

This is not home, thank God. Thank God there's a better place we're headed to. Thank God there is a day coming when you won't have to fool with what you're fooling with here. The old saints used to say, where the wicked will cease from troubling and the weary shall be at rest. Every day will be Sunday.

That's when they were starting to crank up. Sabbath will not have an end and on and on. Listen, that day is coming.

But in the meantime, we have to live in this crazy world. And yet the calling is to be godly, to represent God's plan, God's will, God's purpose everywhere you go. So you're a Christian every day of your life, every moment of every day. We are called to be in this world, but not of this world.

We are called to be on the record. I am a child of God. I tell you many times before, but I'm going to keep saying it, my goal is to preach some things so often and get them so far in your heart that years from now you'll hear me saying it in your head. And one of the things I say over and over again is that this is not the time for us to be secret agent saints, 007 Christians, on the down low, on the sneak tip, child of God, but nobody knows it. You are the best kept secret in town. No one on your job knows you're saved. You're trying to be politically correct and so you don't carry your Bible and you don't tell anybody about Jesus and all of that.

You are not living up to your calling. You're called to be on the record. You were on the record when you were in your sins. Make no mistake about it now, when you were in your sins, everybody knew you were a sinner because you sinned all the time.

Am I right about it? They knew you were buck wild. And it is amazing to me that God will save us and deliver us out of a life of craziness and out of a life of sin. Take away all your guilt. Take away all of your past sins and failures. Wipe the slate with his blood.

Cleanse you and give you a brand new start. And now you are saved and cute and not letting anybody know that you belong to the Lord. It's time for you to be on the record.

I'm a child of God. You don't have to get on people's nerves with it. I mean, I realize that there's that brand. I know there are some Christians I don't even want to see. You know, I know they are that type.

When you see them coming, you're like, Oh, Lord, no. They're that weird kind. You know, the Bible says we're to be peculiar. You're supposed to be peculiar, which means unique, not weird. You ever met weird Christians? Just flat out weird. Just strange.

Like what's wrong with them? You can't blame on Jesus. Right?

You're with me on that. That's not Jesus. And I want to tell people, I want to tell other heathens around, please, that's not Jesus.

That's just him. That's all that is. But we ought to be willing to be the peculiar people God's called us to be. You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. And what are we called to do?

He said to show forth, Peter said in his first epistle, to show forth the praises of him who brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Child of God, you are to be on the record. And I tell you, many times everybody else is out of the closet. What in the world are you doing still in the closet? You're the last one in there. Everybody is out.

Whatever they believe, whatever they celebrate, they're all out up and down the street parading and carrying on. See me, love me, affirm me, give me my rights. And what are you doing sneaking around on the job? Find another Christian whispering to him, want to have some prayer during lunch? You're the last one in the closet. Come on out of there in Jesus' name. Let the world know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I got nothing to be ashamed of. I'm like the apostle Paul. I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God under salvation. Why would I be ashamed?

What I have is what you need. It'll save your soul. It'll change your life. It'll cause your sins to be washed away.

Don't let people make you feel funny for being a child of God. It's so oppressive. It's not oppressive. It sets you free. Religion might oppress, but Jesus sets free. I'm free to walk with him. I'm free to worship him. I'm free to claim his salvation. I'm free to be justified by faith. No, no. The world will turn this thing around.

They'll make you feel bad. Yeah, but you all believe that Jesus is the only way. You mean to tell me that of all these other religions, you are the only way I just don't accept, and you get back down from that? Well, the good news is Jesus is the way. Yes, he said no man comes to the Father but by him, and if you want to get to the Father, you come through Christ who paid the price for you.

It's not like you got a price to pay. All he said is trust me for your salvation. Put your life in my hands. I will say it, you guarantee.

Whosoever will, let him come. Nothing oppressive about that. That's the enemy trying to make you feel funny.

Nothing oppressive. If your house is on fire and the fire is everywhere and a fireman runs in there and says this is the only way out of this burning house, come with me now. You're not going to stand there and say how do I resent the fact that this is the only way? You mean to tell me all the rooms in this house and you think you're the one who can tell me? You know what you do?

You get your happy hips out of there and follow that man. And let me tell you something, the child of God has the same message. What we preach is good news, not bad news. We all believe in hell. I believe that through Christ you don't have to go.

That's what I believe. And so it's time for the child of God to stand up and be godly and let the world know we represent a Christ who saves us. We're not self-righteous. We're not holier than thou.

The only difference between you and the sinner is that you have received the gift that we're trying to convince the sinner he needs to receive. We have our struggles. We have our problems, but we take them to the Lord. We go to his word.

We put our lives in his hands. You want to be like the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were in a foreign place, but they represented their God. They were away from the city of God, but they had the values and the relationship with the law of God that was precious to them. And although they were among heathens in Babylon, they were godly in their hearts. And they refused to bow. When Nebuchadnezzar built the statue and commanded everyone in the kingdom to bow, all bowed except these young men. They stood erect because they do not bow to false gods. They were godly. They stood up for righteousness and refused to bow.

And these men had prominent places in the king's cabinet. Let me tell you something. God wants to put you as a child of God in a strategic position so that you have influence over certain people and for all of us that will look different. But God is strategically placing his people everywhere in the world. See, we've got to understand, once you get this straight, God's liable to do anything with your life. And a lot of people are still trying to figure out, can you be saved and be this or that? You can be saved and be a whole lot of things if you truly represent Christ. God's liable to put you anywhere. You can be saved and be in Hollywood. Somebody needs to be saved over there. I hope you believe the words Pastor Paul said today.

God is able to put you in a strategic position of influence with certain people, and he will just as soon as you're ready to handle it. Here at Destined for Victory, we believe in the power of prayer, and we count it a privilege to pray for you, our listeners. If you have a request, please visit pastorpaul.net and use the contact feature to share it with us so that our ministry team can join you in prayer.

And while you're there, be sure to request Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. Well, more people than ever are listening to Christian radio programs like Destined for Victory. During this season of chaos and 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 Pegues 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 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, CA 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website, pastorpaul.net.

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. What would happen if we, the body of Christ, just decided we were going to commit random acts of kindness? What would happen if we just decided I'm going to go out and just nice people to death? 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 / 2024-01-27 11:35:03 / 2024-01-27 11:44:38 / 10

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