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It's a Wonderful Life, Part 1 (cont'd)

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

It's a Wonderful Life, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 16, 2020 7:00 am

Practical lessons and insights drawn from Luke chapter 1.

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And so you need to understand, when you say to somebody, if you walk in enough faith, you won't have trouble.

That's not biblical. In fact, faith is built for tough times. I don't need faith if everything is going right. I don't need faith if I'm having no problems. I need faith because I got to get through some tough times.

It's true, faith is needed most when you're in the valley, not when you're surrounded by green pastures and still waters. Hello and welcome to Destin for Victory with Pastor Paul Sheppard, Senior Pastor of Destin A Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Stay with us here or visit anytime to listen to Destin for Victory On Demand.

You can also listen to and even download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. But now let's join Pastor Paul for today's message. It's a wonderful life. Living right is important, but it doesn't guarantee an idyllic life. I got a lot of faith friends who say, if you're walking in the right measure of faith, you won't be sick.

What? That's not what the Bible teaches. But the Bible teaches God will not allow you to go through more than he will sustain you through. On the issue of sickness, for instance, and any physical challenge, because these people had a physical challenge that resulted in barrenness.

We don't know where this barrenness is rooted. Sometimes it could be a female issue, but not always. Sometimes it's a male issue. But in Bible times, the lady was always blamed. Oh, I knew I knew I'm not even surprised. I'm not even surprised the way that girl has carried herself. Oh, y'all know how it works. Don't even try it.

You know how that works. I'm not a bit surprised. It could have been not her at all. Not only for her, but all the women that you find in Scripture as barren. It could have been a female issue, in which case it was physiological, and it wasn't a curse necessarily. There are people who have been cursed in very specific ways, but that's not the normal pattern. And so it wasn't necessarily a curse on these women, but they were all charged in the court of public opinion, something wrong with you.

And it could have been Brother Blanks walking around. Come on. See, y'all. It happens. It happens. In this world, stuff happens. And these days, the medical science has so well advanced that you don't have the head of the kind discussions now that back in Bible days, they just sort of wrote it off as one or two issues.

And now you can go get it checked out and find out exactly what the case is. And so you need to understand, when you say to somebody, if you walk in enough faith, you won't have trouble. That's not biblical. In fact, faith is built for tough times. I don't need faith if everything is going right. I don't need faith if I'm having no problems. I need faith because I got to get through some tough times, because I got to pay bills and difficult days, because I got to get through what I got to go through. I need faith. Don't tell me my faith isn't good because I have problems. Encourage me your faith can be strengthened to get you through problems.

I need you to understand that. I want to make sure nobody under the influence of this ministry goes around saying crazy things, especially the other folk. Don't be one of Job's comforters. You know Job's comforter.

Read the book of Job when y'all get a chance. He's having the worst time of his life, literally gone from well to sick, gone from 10 kids to no kids, gone from very wealthy to very poor. And along come three friends. When they show up, he is mildly ill.

When they leave, he is gravely ill. You ever had those kind of friends? I was already bad off when you rang my doorbell. I was already having a really horrible time.

Now that y'all leaving, somebody better help me right quit. Why? Because some folk have the gift of making your life more miserable than it currently is.

There are people, it's got to be one of their gifts because they exercise it regularly. You're not miserable enough. Let me just see what I can do. So you need to understand, living right is important. Never let the devil tell you, see that? You should have been out there acting a fool because if this is all you get for living right, you might as well just go and be crazy. Don't let the enemy talk you into anything like that. No, because my living right is being monitored in heaven and I don't know what the end of this is. So I'm going to hold on to my faith and my relationship with God and see what the end is going to be.

That's what you got to learn to do. And so the first lesson here as we prepare to look at the circumstances under which Jesus Christ came into the world is to know that living right is important but it doesn't guarantee you an idyllic life. These folks were righteous but they were barren and they needed God to intervene in their lives.

Second thing I want to point out is prayer invites God to invade our lives in supernatural ways. Now keep reading, verse 11. The angel of the Lord appeared to them standing on the right side of the altar of incense and when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, do not be afraid Zacharias for your prayer is heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall call his name John. Skip down to verse 18 and Zacharias said to the angel, how shall I know this?

For I'm an old man and my wife is well advanced in years. And the angel answered and said to him, I'm Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God. I was sent here to speak to you and bring you this glad tidings.

Pause right there. I love that passage because you see Zacharias though he and his wife have not had a child. He is still serving. He is still doing what he can. He is fulfilling the calling on his life to be a faithful priest among the Israelites and he is diligent in that he's not walking around moping. He's not on a strike. God didn't answer my prayer.

When we were younger, we wanted to be parents and here we are still don't have a child. I'm not serving God. I'm not going to do all this. He doesn't have that idea because his heart is toward God and it's not a conditional surrender to God's will. You got to learn to have an unconditional surrender. You got to learn to say I'm doing the will of God no matter what come hell or high water.

I'm going to do the will of God. This man is serving God and he is at his post of duty and an angel shows up. Gabriel, they even give us witch angel Gabriel shows up and Gabriel says I have come and I want you to know that you are not to be afraid.

I'm not here with bad news. In other words, because you know, have you noticed how much you see the phrase fear not when you're reading your Bible? Fear not whenever there's an encounter with the supernatural. We're so used to dealing with the natural only that when the supernatural shows up, especially in the end as they're coming out of the Old Testament about to experience a change and and and understand who God is through Christ. They're not used to pleasant news from heaven. So when an angel shows up by all Lord.

Now what I do. Angels are they they're not don't be afraid. I got good news. Your prayer has been heard. Now here's what I want you to see your prayer has been heard suggest that some point in the past. He was asking God, Father, let me be a father.

Let me be a parent. I want a child my wife wants to bear a child bless us bless the fruit of our womb Lord. At some point, that's been their prayer. While he's doing his work of serving as a priest and he's offering at the altar incense while the people are outside praying that's part of his duty as a temple officer. But he is not in this moment, doing any praying about that. It shows you that when you ask God is not like your prayers are not bottled up. The angel says your prayer was heard.

Zechariah prayer. Oh, you mean what I used to pray about. I need you to know God hears prayer. The answers aren't always what we want the answers aren't always when we want the answers aren't always how we want but God answers prayer and Gabriel shows up and says your prayers been heard. And God sent me to tell you that he's going to give you a son.

And I need you to understand this second point. It's extremely important for you to understand that God is in the business of having us invite him to invade our lives in supernatural ways. That's what prayer is. When you're praying, you're asking God to do what only he can do. I don't pray for things I can do.

If they're right, I should do them. Lord, help me to pay my bills, go get a job and pay them. I don't have to ask God, Lord, help me help me to not be late on my mortgage. I don't have to pray about that. He's blessing me to be able to earn the income.

Now it's up to me to get in touch with the folk who lent me the money and get them the money on time. So when I look on credit karma, y'all do what you do when I look at all mine credit karma. I want to see a high number. Amen. That's not up to God. That's up to me. I don't pray for excellent credit. I discipline for excellent credit.

Come on, somebody. I'm trying to help you. I don't have to pray about that. Pastor is a great place to learn more about the ministry and all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. And to watch selected video clips by Pastor Paul, be sure to subscribe on YouTube. And for links to all of his social media, be sure to visit Well, there are some doors only God can open and when we pray, we're inviting him to come and do what we can't do on our own. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message.

It's a wonderful life. Now, if you are an imposter spender, you might have to pray, Lord, help me to remember that when I go to the store, just cause the sign says everything must go does not mean everything must go to my house. Come on, somebody. You might need pray that. Okay, Lord, help me because you know how I forget when I get at the mall. So if you got to ask the Lord that the Holy Spirit give you a little gentle nudges, I'm like, that's fine. But if you will discipline yourself, you won't need to involve God in that. Just make up your mind to do right. Get some accountability in your life. Amen.

You need somebody who holds you accountable. And so my wife recently got an author, Michelle Singletary. She writes books on that and they were talking and she said, Michelle, I want you to hold me accountable on a certain thing.

And so I said, what did you do? Michelle has the gift of being incredibly frugal. She takes great joy and frugality. She loves not spending. I mean, it's just something she just so gets into. And I said, what did you do to yourself to let her hold you accountable?

But that's what they worked out. Michelle don't have to worry about me. I will never ask her. Oh no. No way Jose. I mean, cause she's the type, you know, is that gum on your, you know.

I'm buying gum cause I feel like chewing. But you know what I'm saying? You got to have your own course and do what you need to do.

Put the things in place so you can walk your and finish your course. But there are matters in all of our lives we've got to pray about cause only God can do that. Only God can open that door. Only God can make that way. Only God can heal that sickness.

Only God can help me get through this trouble in my life. When something calls for the supernatural, that's what prayer is about. Prayer invites God to invade our lives with the supernatural. And so don't pray over little things that really don't matter one way or the other. Pray about stuff that if it happens everybody will know that had to be God. See what I'm saying? So as a matter of routine, when I get in my car, Lord, I thank you.

I don't even pray out loud most of the time, but I'm already in the mode. God, I'm trusting you to give me journey mercies. You know why? Because these streets don't guarantee you anything. You can be driving right minding your business. Earlier this this week, somebody is working in a toll booth at the Bray Bridge. And an intoxicated driver slams right into the booth. Creates a major problem and snuffs this lady's life out. All she did was got up and went to work. Never made it back home. That's the world we live in.

And so you can't afford to just say, well, I'm a good driver. It's not about you, boo. Lord, I'm trusting you. I want to accomplish your will today. I want to get things done that will glorify you today. Bless me. Protect me. Place an angel of the Lord around about me. Don't take anything for granted. Well, I thought that's the problem.

It's not about what you think. I've had a member of this church a few years ago. Member of this church just get out of his car late one night. About to go into his house. And somebody on the street wants his computer, blows his brains out, takes his computer.

He had just been with us in men's fellowship the Saturday before. And I'm telling you, you can take nothing for granted. So you've got to learn to give God everything you can't control. Say, Lord, I'm asking you to please protect me. Watch over me.

Help me. Every day of your life, you've got to understand that prayer is vital because it invites God to invade our lives in supernatural ways. And so what Zacharias finds out is just because you don't get the answer in the season you expected an answer in doesn't mean your prayer wasn't heard. And so the angel shows up.

Here they are, old. And you say, yeah, God heard your prayer. He going to bless you with a son. And I'm sure Zacharias is like, you got to be kidding.

You got it. Why? Why now? Because there's such a thing in the Bible called in the fullness of time. Here's the problem. You don't have the time schedule. Fullness of time is according to God. You ever been to the airport, looked up on the monitor of all departures looking for your flight? There it is.

You see the airline flight number city of your destination, and then there's a column that says either on time canceled or delayed. You and I have to walk by faith because God won't give us the monitor. We walk by faith because I don't get to look up and say, oh, that prayer is going to be delayed and be an answer. Wouldn't that be nice if God just let you see? This is going to be a delay, so just relax yourself. Go on, take a seat in the lounge.

Wouldn't that be wonderful? God has never, I've walked with him since a young man. He has never shown me the monitor. So we say he's late, but on his monitor he said, no, it's on time. The story of Zacharias and Elizabeth reminds us of two great lessons from God's word. First, faith in God guarantees you a joyful life, but not a problem-free life. Second, prayer is an invitation for God to do the supernatural in our lives. We'll pick it up right here tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, It's a Wonderful Life. Well, in a year like 2020, with so much chaos and confusion, it can be easy to lose sight of our primary mission.

We may shift our focus to social issues, political issues, or the pandemic. None of these are bad in moderation, but our primary focus should be worshipping God, enjoying the gift of his salvation, and sharing that gift with as many people as we can. In his DVD message, Refocus, that's exactly what Pastor Paul encourages you to do. He put this sermon together to help you work through the challenges that have been borne out of this pandemic and some of the frustrations we've all experienced. As you follow along, he'll give you three practical steps as to how you need to address the events of this year and move ahead into 2021 with your faith intact, knowing that God is moving you ever closer to your destiny in Christ.

Again, that DVD message is called Refocus. It's our gift to you by request for your most generous gift to Destined for Victory in December. Just call us at 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,

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air both now and in the years to come. But never say God is late because when God shows up, he's always on time. It's late to you because you don't have the schedule. It's late to you because you were asking and you were expecting the prayer to be answered way back then. How many know, like the old song says, he may not come when you want him, but he's always on time when he shows up. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, It's a Wonderful Life. 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 / 2024-01-14 16:41:15 / 2024-01-14 16:49:15 / 8

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