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It's a Wonderful Life, Part 4

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
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December 22, 2020 7:00 am

It's a Wonderful Life, Part 4

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 22, 2020 7:00 am

Practical lessons and insights drawn from Luke chapter 1.

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When you are pregnant with divine purpose, you can't talk to any old body because not a lot of people can handle what God is saying to you, what God is doing in you.

Don't expect everybody in your crew to understand it. When she was young, unmarried, and pregnant, would anyone in their right mind believe she was also a virgin? Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Well, Mary needed someone to talk to, someone who would understand her and believe her. She couldn't tell her fiancé Joseph, at least not yet.

Instead, she paid a visit to her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with a miracle of her own. Today's message comes your way next. Stay right here or visit to listen on demand.

That's And now here is Pastor Paul Shepherd with today's message, It's a Wonderful Life. Luke 1 beginning at verse 39. Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste to a city of Judah and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the babe leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. But why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord. In the last message, we were looking at the fact that this passage that tells us the circumstances under which both John the Baptist and then six months later Jesus came to earth.

And we're learning practical lessons about our own lives along the way. But the fifth point in the series was when you're pregnant with divine purpose, choose your company carefully. And we noted that when Mary heard from Gabriel, the angel Gabriel, that she had been chosen in eternity past by the wisdom of God to be the vessel through whom Jesus Christ came into the world, she knew that this is such an outstanding thing. This is such an unbelievable thing that she dare not even tell her fiance, Joseph. So she went to Elizabeth's house.

Why? Because Elizabeth is more pregnant with a miracle than Mary is. Elizabeth's pregnancy is now and it's six months when Mary shows up at her house. And it's because when you are pregnant with divine purpose, you can't talk to any old body because not a lot of people can handle what God is saying to you, what God is doing in you, the changes he's bringing about in you, the things that he's leading you to think about and begin to focus on.

And expect everybody in your crew to understand it. And if you're not careful, you will fool around and talk to people who will help you abort what God is doing in you. And you can't afford to have an abortion when divine purpose is at work in your life. And so you've got to learn what Mary shows us, which is to choose your company very, very carefully. Now I want to pick it up from there and I want you to look at verses 57 and 58 of Luke 1. Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered and she brought forth a son. When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. I want you to see, now here's what's happening in terms of the chronology of the passage. So Mary went to Elizabeth's house and Mary has just heard that the Holy Spirit has overshadowed her. She is now pregnant. She's not showing, she literally days into her pregnancy when she gets to Elizabeth's house. Elizabeth is six months pregnant with her own miracle of divine purpose. It's a different type of birth in that there was no human male who was involved in Jesus' birth, but there was a human male, Zacharias, who was involved in John the Baptist's birth. The power of that is that both of them were old. We're not expected to be able to have children at all, especially at this old age, but God is able to do exceeding abundantly.

Above all, we can ask or imagine. So this older woman, Elizabeth, is six months pregnant when Mary comes to her house. And I told you in the last message that when God's at work, it has nothing to do with human thinking and all of that. The baby leaped in her womb because something spiritual was happening. And the pregnancy in Elizabeth's body resonated with that holy thing that was going on in Mary's body.

And this preborn child leaps in the womb because God is at work. So Mary stays for three months with her cousin Elizabeth. She goes from, I just got pregnant as a result of the word from the angel Gabriel. She's now three months pregnant, and Elizabeth has gone from six months pregnant to nine months pregnant. So when Mary leaves, it's cause Elizabeth is getting ready to bring forth that child.

And look at what happens. When her time has come, she delivers this child, this son that God gave them. Verse 58 says, when her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. That brings me to my sixth point in this series.

Write it down if you can. Identify your MVPs, pull them into your inner circle, and allow them to help you get where God is taking you. Identify your MVPs. Pastor, what's an MVP? All the people in sports know that stands for most valuable people.

They are in sports. I want to say your MVPs are most valuable people in your life. Identify your MVPs, pull them into your inner circle, and allow them to help you get where God is taking you.

Let me read this again. When Elizabeth's ready to give birth, she has this son, word gets out not only that this old woman got pregnant, she has now delivered the child, but the word that was sent out was this was a God thing. When they heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her and her husband Zacharias, and when they heard about the supernatural work in her life, they rejoiced with her. There are people who can weep with you when you weep because weeping with you means you're having some sort of tough time. And there are a lot of folk who can handle your tough time because it's not their tough time, and they can say, oh, that's too bad, whether they feel it or not. You ever run into some folk who try to act like they're sympathizing with you, and it's real clear they don't care one way or the other? Have you ever met any of them?

If not, I got some I can introduce you to. They don't care about the tough time you're having? They got other things to do than to sit around with you. And so they'll give you a quick patronizing, oh, that's too bad.

And then they're moving on. But there are people who can weep with you when you weep. Some folk will genuinely have sorrow because you're in a low place. Your low place doesn't threaten them. I'm getting you into the psychology of it. When you're in a low place, some folk are okay because that's not threatening to them.

You're down there, so I can afford to sympathize with you because I'm ahead. So don't determine who loves you by how many folk come to your time of sorrow. In fact, some folk show up at your time of sorrow so that they can capture all the nuances of your sorrow, at which time they will go blog about it, Facebook about it, Instagram live about it. I'm telling you what I have no idea.

I just hear these terms. I hear people are Instagram-living and all of that. And they say, oh, no, Facebook and Instagram is the best way to do the live. And I say, oh, really?

I don't know. But you all know. And everybody gets the word out, and then they'll tell their audience what they think about what you're going through. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. But first, we want to take just a moment 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 right now, with uncertainty still lingering all around us, your help is needed now more than ever because people are looking for a reason to have hope. Pastor Paul is committed to sharing the hope of the gospel all over the world. So prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. And when you give your best gift this month, we have a very special gift of our own to share with you. Visit to make your gift now.

That's Or stay tuned, I'll tell you all about it after today's message. We all need a few MVPs in our life, a few most valuable people, friends or loved ones who can weep with us when we're weeping and rejoice when we are rejoicing.

Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. It's a wonderful life. And some people will weep with you when you weep, but don't call those your MVPs. Don't decide they're valuable because they know how to cry with you. Your MVPs have to be the folk who can do what these neighbors and relatives did with Elizabeth, who can rejoice.

You see that word? They heard the Lord had shown great mercy to her. They heard the Lord had answered their longtime prayer to get pregnant. And their day was a shame for a married woman to not get pregnant and to not give her husband a child, especially a male child. That's just the way it was culturally. And so they would disgrace you as a married couple if you didn't ever have a child. God must have cursed you all. There's sin in your life somewhere, that sort of thing.

That's what went on in their day. But when these people heard God has had mercy and although they're older, God has given them a child, these MVPs of relatives and friends rejoiced. So I came to ask you, do you know who in your life will get happy when God blesses you? I don't mean that plastic grin. Do you know not everybody who's grinning is happy?

I'm trying to help you. Not everybody who smiles, some people have the fakest grin and they'll show teeth and everything, but trust me when I tell you that is not a grin of rejoicing. And with some people it's a grin of hmm.

It's not rejoicing. And I need you to understand your most valuable people are people who are worth pulling into your inner circle because they will get excited about you moving forward into the things God has predestined for your life. If people aren't happy about your progress, then you can't afford to have them in your inner circle. Now, here's what I need to help you understand. Everybody who's in your life has a place, but it's up to you to put them in their place.

I once preached a message entitled putting people in their place and it's from a different passage and the point I was making was that everybody has a place, but you can't let them pick their place. You determine who you are in my life. That's your job. You do the assignments.

Now I need you to think this through with me because it's going to bless you. There are different categories of people in all of our lives. You have drainers. You have drainers. What's a drainer, pastor?

Somebody who saps the very life and strength out of you. They are always taken, always getting something from you, always. They're always drawing on you, drainers, drainers.

You are always giving. They are always taking, but I'm here to tell you something. Some people are drainers by God's design. Some people, God has called you to sow into them.

Oh, this is going to bless you. If you let it stop trying to reap from folk, you're supposed to sow into. If I'm supposed to give to you, I'm not going to get anything good from you.

The good is going to be knowing I did in your life what God's called me to do. Stop presenting all of your drainers. Some folk are there to be a drainer, which means you have to stay built up enough so when they come, you have the reserves that they can draw on. See yourself as a gas pump. Trying to help you now. When you see them pulling up, stop saying, oh Lord. They're supposed, they're pulling into your filling station because you got what they need. Oh, I'm going to help you.

You have what they need. Stop getting mad. Look at your savior. Jesus is on the mountain, tired from a journey, sitting on a well and a lady shows up and Jesus says, that's why I'm here. I'm not just here because I'm tired. Need to sit down for a minute.

I'm here for her. And he strikes up the conversation and you know what happened. John chapter four, if you want to read about it, they started talking about water. He said, would you give me a drink please?

She said, how'd you come here? You don't even have a bucket. You don't have anything. What you're doing at a well and don't have any and you thought, what's going on?

It was all a setup, a divine setup. You got to watch your life. You don't ride with who you ride with and work with who you work with by accident.

Some people are in your life cause God brought them there and you are supposed to be the filling station for some dry, thirsty soul. And when Jesus got through, you know the story I preached the whole series on. I can't go through that right now. You know what happened by the time Jesus got through that lady ran down off of that mountain, ran into town. So y'all got to come see a man who told me everything I ever did. He didn't tell her everything he ever did, but when he knew about those men, she said he knows enough where I know he know the rest cause he knew about Bobby, Ricky, Johnny, Sam.

So do you understand what I'm saying? If you're like Jesus, you're supposed to be a filling station, which is why you got to get filled with the Holy Ghost and stay filled. Pentecostals always act like the filling this one time.

Ooh, I remember it was September the 23rd. That's great. You had that date that first time you were filled with the spirit, but how many know as you travel, the gas gets burned up and as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. And as you give out, you're going to need to go back to the Holy Spirit and say, fill me again every day. Listen, you say, is that too much?

No, that's the right thing to do every morning. Say, Lord, fill me with the Holy Ghost all over again. There's one baptism, some folk like to say, but many in feelings.

That's fine. However you want to characterize it, just know that the gas that the spiritual gas you had last year is not going to help you this year. And so you're going to need to get filled up all over again. And guess what? There's some new folk about to pull up in your filling station.

Their tank is big. Some folk drive up, you hear, and you don't even look outside. Oh Lord, what is that pulling up at my station?

All that rumbling and rattling. You look out and there's a big old diesel and you see the big multi gallon tanks on both sides. You saw my Lord, if they're coming to you as cause God said, I'm going to give you what you need to give to them.

And I came to tell you, you're going to have to identify the folk who are your drainers and stop resenting them and start having enough to give to them. Because look at what Jesus said in John four, when the disciples showed up and said, we came back with, you look like you, you must've had a meal or something. They were confused because they knew Jesus was tired, sitting on the well and they get there and he's charged up. And they said, did somebody give you something to eat? Jesus said, watch what he said in John four. He said, no, I just been eating a different kind of meat. My meat is to do the will of him who sent me.

I've been eating, but not what you think I had. I've been drawing on what God has given me to give to others. And that energizes you to do the will of God.

It drains you physically sometimes, but it energizes you spiritually. And so you've got to learn that because some of you all are resenting your drainers. And you need to stop that as of this moment, say, Lord, I will never resent somebody you sent because what you're doing is setting me up to be blessed. Cause as you do his will, you get his reward as you do his will, you get his sustenance as you do his will, you get what he has for you. You just do his will.

Let him take care of the rest. So you got trainers. Some people are there by God's designed to drain you. That is you are to give them what God gives you.

You are the conduit. Have you noticed being filled is not a spiritual bragging point. If God feels me, that's because somebody is supposed to drain me.

That's what the feeling means. I'm supposed to give it out in power, give it out in teaching, give it out in whatever I'm called and gifted to do and serving others. And so stop hoarding what you're supposed to be giving and stop getting mad at folk who are, they so needy.

We're good because you are going to be the need conduit. All the supplies coming from God, but it's coming through you. Notice the Bible says we're supposed to bear fruit. Bible doesn't just talk about the gifts of the spirit. It also talks about the fruit of the spirit. Fruit's supposed to be eaten. So stop getting mad when people are picking stuff off of you. Fruit's supposed to be eaten.

If you have good fruit, oh, I need that. And so I need you to know some folks are drainers by God's design. Now, let's be practical. Some folk are drainers just cause they are drainers. Some folk will drain you for everything good you got, whether it's spiritual or not. Some folk are just drainers.

Some folk have a mentality that somebody's supposed to do something for me. Some people live in that place of you gotta. You got any friends who live at you gotta?

Any relatives you gotta? Oh, it's a big city. You gotta is a big place. A lot of folk live in you gotta. You're supposed to.

Those are big cities. It's up to you to decide who's supposed to drain you because what you have, God wants you to give to them. Watch this. There's some other drainers who want what you have. God didn't send them. Their laziness sent them. Their lack of personal drive sent them.

Their sense of entitlement sent them. Why should I work when you got money? Why should I work when you got money? Just give me what I need. We good.

What's the problem? It's up to you to understand God's plan for them is to find out how to fish rather than come showing up at your house at dinner time. Thanks so much for joining us for Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, It's a Wonderful Life. Well, as we navigate our way through some tough challenges in America and all over the world, we're seeing the Destined for Victory audience continue to grow. Adversity very often brings with it a degree of spiritual awareness and growth and friends like you make it possible for Pastor Paul to minister to a growing audience. Thanks so much for lifting us up in prayer and making donations when you can. Today, we'd like to lift you up in prayer from the homepage at

Click Contact Us and tell us how we can pray for you. While you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. And here's something else, a DVD message from Pastor Paul Shepherd called Refocus. He put this sermon together to help you work through the challenges that have been born out of this year's pandemic and some of the difficulties we've all gone through because of it. As you follow along, Pastor Paul shares 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, this DVD message is called Refocus and it's our gift to you by request for your most generous gift to Destined for Victory today. 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 Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. It's up to you to understand God's plan for them is to find out how to fish rather than come showing up at your house at dinner time. Teach them to fish.

Some of y'all are steady giving out plates when you're supposed to be giving out fishing poles. That's tomorrow 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. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-13 02:01:35 / 2024-01-13 02:10:55 / 9

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