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It's a Wonderful Life, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2020 7:00 am

It's a Wonderful Life, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 15, 2020 7:00 am

Practical lessons and insights drawn from Luke chapter 1.

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Calls us to a standard one wants us to live according to that standard so that he can bless our lives as he has ordained to bless them and so we need to make it our aim to please God don't prepare to go into yet another year with the same mass. If you want God to bless your life you've come to the right place. Today's destined for victory starts now hello and welcome to another great day of teaching with pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor Podesta, the Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California living right is always matter to God wants to bless you. But more often than not, there's a condition attached today. Mr. Paul reminds us that obedience almost always precedes blessing will guarantee you a perfect life free from pain or challenges, but it will be the most blessed and joyful life. You could possibly have stay with us. Now remember you can always swing by Pastor Paul.net or any recent destined for picture messaging on demand. That's Pastor Paul.net now here is Pastor Paula.

Today's destined for victory message.

It's a wonderful life. Luke chapter 1 verse five there was in the days of Herod the king of Judeo, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abbaye.

His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth and they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless, but they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and they were both well advanced in years, so it was that while he was serving as priest before God and the owner of his division according to the custom of priesthood Hislop failed to burn incense when he came into the temple of the Lord, and the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incidents will pause right there. The first point I want to make it all want to do is walk through this part of the Christmas story and make some points along the way. Here in Luke chapter 1, the first point is this living right is important, but it doesn't guarantee you an idyllic life living right is important, but it doesn't guarantee you an idyllic life notice that this text tells us about a priest named Zacharias, his wife named Elizabeth and it is interesting that Luke tells us that they were righteous people walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless fashion, whatever you see blameless in the Bible.

It doesn't mean perfect. It means good as far as you've gone when the Bible says, for instance, talks about Joe so I think King James uses the word.

He was perfect and upright or some translation about King James. One of them calls him perfect. Never think that words like that are saying here is a person who had nothing wrong with them at any point in their life. That's not what's being conveyed in Scripture blameless perfect doesn't mean you have no sin, you never come short. It simply means you're getting these but you got more growing to do you know if you're in school, you can get A's in this great way to get to the next one you got some new test to take, see what I'm saying.

That happens in what the Bible describes as a blameless journey.

A perfect journey. It simply means they are walking uprightly before the Lord. Their life is not characterized by some perpetual sin and disobedience. So that's the case for Zacharias and Elizabeth, we are told they are walking upright before the Lord, the Lord is pleased with their liberty and it is important for us to understand. In today's world that sin is not being reimagined and redefined by our culture.

Sin is coming short of God's standard for our lives and that doesn't change just because the culture is changing. If something is not God's will for us.

According to the word of God. There is no that anybody can ever take to make it okay. We need him cynical right now. The public opinion is what carries the day in so many circles and what people think. I think, well, nice that you shared your thoughts. Now the question is what does God have to say about it because at the end of the day we're all going to stand before him, and he's not bless you what you thought he was going to say what did you do with my word for your life wanted to do with my plan for your life. And so it's important for us to understand. In today's world there is such a thing as righteousness and righteousness as defined by our righteous God. These people were living uprightly before the Lord were all called to walk uprightly before the Lord. First John two is an important verse. I think diversity to be memorized by believers every bit as much as John's Gospel 360 nobody knows for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that was her believes it should not perish but have everlasting life does good while you memorize and memorize first John chapter 2 and find out that John's as I write these things for what purpose that you send out God's plan is for us to send God will never change that standard that you sin not. It does matter to God that we walk in obedience to his word and his will. It doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter that we seek to please God. Paul said in second Corinthians 5 so we make it our aim to please God. If you want to live all right. You gotta make it subject payment.

There are some people not to put somebody on your role even aim at living right down the road.

Seaweed is not even aim them at living right at play the role strategy plans seem to me that every now and then they'd have a little personal retreat and decide what foolishness do I want to get into my that I don't even aim at living right but living right matters to God. The one that calls us to a standard and he is the one who wants us to live according to that standard so that he can bless our lives as he is ordained to bless them and so we need to make it our aim to please God don't prepare to go into yet another year with the same old mess, somebody don't prepare will just ended here. I love this season yeah but don't love your foolishness in this season don't love your debauchery in this season don't love your sinful vices and hold onto them like their friends because you'll never please God. If you keep on making friends of those things God calls an enemy. I'm pretty good.

You just don't know if you figured out afterwhile be driving home thinking that was a good point. God wants us to live right to live right you got any matter how many know you are not going live right on accident.

Y'all have ever said what does the right to live in right because better opportunities to get in the foolishness all around us. Not only actions that are sinful but thoughts that are sinful impulses that are sinful reactions that are sinful. Sometimes the action would be bad, but the reaction was horrible and so you gotta make up your mind to live right in today's world, we might as well be back in Jerusalem the first century, when the church was born first century A.D. all, foolishness in the cities that were evangelized through the apostles.

I told you recently about Karen. Karen was such a city filled with about three other cities use that as a descriptive word that we can correct in my night Corinthian eyes Christmas been a bad place but we are back in the same predicament that the early church was in. We got a window that doesn't honor God in the least, and so we've got to make up our minds where going to live right.

Having said that though.

Having noted that these people were righteous, doing well in terms of obeying God know this, but they had no child.

She was barren, and they both old well advanced in years old. They just made a sound cue right mean that her pain is fruitful, but does mean he is producing some yes that yes exactly that many not shooting blanks. It simply means that it's all benefit because they were pleasing God.

If you want to be blessed. You don't want to ask God to bless you word you been totally disobeying put you in a position to say so I'm expecting God to come through for me. On what basis because you've never done it but there are some families who are disobedient children would all kind of stuff at Christmas time, and since we met season. Let me just mention it out over the years, I stop and fuss at this time a year.

I realize up front that is not going to change much, but I just need to get it out. If you are responsible parent, you have no business rewarding disobedience. It's a teaching time.

It's a time to say I've been asking you to do certain things all year long. I hear you come with a list and then you teach what grace and mercy is about will give you one thing on his list just to show you that I serve a God who is full of grace and mercy. I will be merciful toward you know them between grace and mercy graces when I get what I don't deserve mercy is when I don't get what I do deserve and so it's a teaching time sleep baby boomers and the generations before us.

We grow up in a world where you know our parents were cold, just straight up biblical results are limited by myself. They were just flat out cold. They would like to put out the trash your chore list every week you will put out the trash or do the dishes and clean up this letter and they would back in the day they put it on the refrigerator multiple kids and you knew what you were supposed to do and sometimes even hear about it throughout the day with us throughout the year when you come around Christmas time. He is the things that I want. That's when they take a friend on you know you to put out the trash all year long and you did it every now and then when you felt like it and then you went to bed when you felt like it and so that you put out the trash. How about you put this list in the trash.

How about that give you some little phosphors.

But now we just are in the pattern of disobedience. Don't do that you had to teach some remember to put something about put some put some so when you're gone.

They still hear the lessons that you were teacher you want your kids to hear you when they don't want to hear you out to get some fresh foolishness. Lord I hear my mama right now. That's what you now righteousness is important but notice these people still had problems, and in this context because what's about to manifest in their lives.

The writer Luke points out, they had no children bearing. This was considered a curse in their day and one thing worse than you having a challenge is folk commenting on the challenge and pontificating on their thoughts about why you are challenged so bad know that you got a problem of some sort. You got things going on. Going backwards, and in the wrong direction in your life alone come people who want to say in the case of John chapter 9 who send this man or his parents that he's born blind makes sense will send this man or his parents that he was born blind so they say this man's sin before he got here, but judgment will people have to make sense what they're doing is showing you where their own hearts are and so the fact of the matter is there is no correlation between how your living and your circumstances necessarily. Sometimes God will punish us in certain ways, but there is no one-to-one correlation every time you see a challenge every time you see a sickness every time you see a mishap you're looking at the result of someone specific sin.

That's not something you can correlate does everybody understand what I'm saying and so the fact that these people are living right. And yet there barren I need to point out, because to me we need to understand that people that your measure of righteousness doesn't guarantee you an idyllic life. Your measure of faith doesn't guarantee you an idyllic life I just lost a true portable member to death, but she's not lost in the ultimate sense could I know where she is.

She is now with the Lord were about to celebrate her home going, but if I will keep you here and get your healing should be here in the service right now but your doesn't guarantee that you will get everything the way you wanted your righteousness doesn't guarantee that please understand that I want the people I lead and pastor not only here deathly, but the radio ministry. Love Josť, I consider you my past.technically you passed out. I have only met you yet but I did it on one of the main teachers and voices in their life and I praise God, I want you to know very clearly you can blame God to heal my sister and she died done everything you told me to do has to to give me the house and lost it in foreclosure, you can't. Things like that answer. Job Bible says he picked it up right. But showing the evil as old English word, avoiding the evil right these as far as he's gone, he's a straight a student. So far in golf school. Yeah him there's a dialogue in the habit lease about him and said the only reason he's last is because you won't let me get to.

And God said, tell you what I will show you that this man serve me because everything is perfect in his life, and when the had access.

He quietly brought that man from very wealthy as I see it would have been a multibillionaire in today's world.

He went from bad to poverty and he went from well to sick afflicted and he went from having 10 big strong wonderful children to being childless, all 10 of them died. Imagine a man who, on the one hand is right on the other hand has lost everything precious to him in one moment of time. And what does Job do we find him saying, the Lord gives and the Lord has taken away all my faith giant friends did not know say to you that done now with the bottle said the Bible shows us that the devil took it away. Okay, but he had to get permission we saw all that he got which means that the Lord allowed it to happen. And God lets his children go through something that he done first fortified them with grace to be able to handle what they have to go through what you wanted anybody here good, the bad things go from bad to worse. I know that's not in the dictionary, but I bet you. Some of us have experienced it. Thanks so much for being here for today's destined for victory message. It's a wonderful life before we send you off pastor Paul has joined me from his studio in California pastor. I think all of us feel at some level the Christmas and the Christmas season is become much more than just a celebration of the Savior's birth. So many distractions as a way of encouraging your listeners maybe you could share how you and your family keep the focus of Christmas on Christ.

Well I think when I can truthfully say that keeping focused on Christ has never been a challenge in here is why. Because I grew up in a home and so did my wife where Christ was the reason for the season.

Yes, there was giftgiving. Yes were good times to be had and enjoyed.

But Christ was always at the center. Now when we have our two children as they were growing up. We enjoyed sharing with them the fairytales you know 'twas the night before Christmas in the rain. The elves and of course Anna, but we made sure that our kids like we as children always knew that this season is about Jesus and we kept him front and center.

And even now in our 60s. My wife and I are seasoned citizens. I don't want to use that word senior hey I like that way for me as long as I possibly can.

But where are seasoned citizens in our 60s and in these days we don't give gifts to each other. We give each other cards and and all of that, but we decided some time back what we've rather do is give what we would spend on each other. We want to take that money and invested in the lives of families in need, or individuals in our sphere of influence. We do that every year and we bless a few folks and there always just amazed by that. But we find it just as fulfilling as receiving. In fact, a lot of ways it's more it's kind of what Jesus said it's more blessed to give than to receive. You can imagine that when your kids but once you get high, you realize that it really is true. We do we really do. I find that it's not so much keeping her focus on crisis a challenge. It's all the activities that get in the way all the things to do and you know is a pastor all the responsibilities you have so that that's the difficulty to overcome to this and we just have to make sure that our schedules align up with our priorities and so if our priority is to worship and if our priority is to spend quality time with family and with the Saints of God, then we just have to make that happen. You know, time is one of those things that if you don't control it.

It will manage itself in ways that you don't wanted to.

So we make sure to keep our priorities firmly in focus and we don't let the busyness drive us crazy. I don't like to see people lose all their sanity and their dignity because they're trying to enjoy the holidays. Take your time, paste your life. Enjoy what's important and let God be glorified because Jesus really is the reason for the season pastor thank you so much for those encouraging words focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. You mentioned to me that God is really impressed on your heart. The need to keep our focus on him, particularly during these challenging times, and friends. That's why were so pleased to offer you a DVD from Pastor Paul called refocus. It's a message I know will help you put the past year its proper perspective so you can move ahead and faith into 2021. Request your copy when you make your best gift to destined for victory in December. Call us at 855-339-5500 to give over the phone. That's 855-339-5500 or visit pastor Paul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to destined for victory PO Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538 and so you think you understand when you say to somebody if you walk in enough faith, you won't have trouble. That's not biblical in faith is built for tough times. Only faith that everything is going to write about having no problems because I gotta get through some type time. That's next time it pastor Paul Shepard's message. It's a wonderful life until then.

Remember he who began a good working you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory


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