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Learning How to Forgive (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2020 7:00 am

Learning How to Forgive (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 31, 2020 7:00 am

The mandate to forgive; what forgiveness is and is not.

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What I do with the people who I think will die before they ever say to me, I'm sorry. I release them in my heart.

What's that mean? I don't express forgiveness to them because they haven't asked for it, but to God, I say, Lord, I want to send them to you so that I don't carry them around or their offense around. It's too heavy a burden. Forgiveness, it's not a suggestion, it's a commandment. Hello and thanks for being here for today's Destin for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Jesus said that if we don't forgive others, God won't forgive us. Today, Pastor Paul reminds us that those weren't just idle words. Christ modeled forgiveness for us many times, most notably on the cross. Father, forgive them, he said, for they know not what they do. Well, today's message comes your way next, so stay with us or stop by to hear any recent Destin for Victory message on demand. That's

Now here is Pastor Paul with today's Destin for Victory message, learning how to forgive. Some folk are in denial. Some people, you tell them how and when they offended you, they say, no, I didn't. No, no, I don't know what you're talking about.

I never said that. Have you ever had the crazy making experience of telling somebody what they said, what they did, and they look you right square in your eyes and say, no, I didn't. You know the day that happened? The time of day.

It was about 9.17 in the morning because I remember I was at the stove scrambling some eggs. Time of day, you know what they had on, and they said, no, I didn't. You had this mixed up. I never said that.

I never did that. Denial, defiant denial, and then you have people who know exactly what they did, exactly what they said. They are the blatant disregard, folks. They have blatant disregard for your feelings. They could care less. They know exactly what they did. They're glad it happened. They wish they had hurt you worse.

If you haven't met them, keep on living. They have folk who wouldn't think of backing up off of you when you tell them you did something. They wouldn't think of deflecting or denying. They'd be like, what's the problem?

They know what they did, glad they did it. What do you do with that category? Pastor, you said, I'm not supposed to forgive them, but what am I supposed to do?

Here's the answer. You release them in your heart. You release them in your heart.

You say, what's the difference? The difference is, I don't express or extend forgiveness to them because they haven't acknowledged wrongdoing. I can't release you because God hasn't released you. The only way you get released is you acknowledge you've been wrong. Then God and I can release you. Until you acknowledge that, you are going to judgment with your sin against me counted against you. You got to ignore the devil when he tells you, you better not forget these people. You better not even release them in your heart because they will have gotten away with something. Nobody's getting away with anything. I'm a child of God.

My daddy said, if you mess with me, you're going to run into him. You don't have to worry about holding them. I better hold them because they don't think they got away with it. Who cares what they think?

They are marching toward a judgment that they better repent and get prepared for because believe me, their sin against you is going to catch up with them in judgment. Nobody gets away. We look at our justice system. He got off. He did not get off. He might have gotten acquitted when he was really guilty, but he didn't get off. It just means he got off with our injustice system. That's what it is, the injustice system. Folk who are guilty get off sometimes. Folk who are innocent are sitting up in jail right now, didn't do a thing, but the system said they're guilty.

I don't call it a justice system if it gets it wrong that much. See, when I talk about the rare exception, everybody knows somebody who's innocent, who's in jail, and everybody knows somebody who's guilty who walking around, but don't think because the system missed it that God missed it. What do I do with the people who are defiant and denial have blatant disregard for me? What I do with the people who I think will die before they ever say to me, I'm sorry, I release them in my heart. What's that mean?

I don't express forgiveness to them because they haven't asked for it, but to God, I say, Lord, I want to send them to you so that I don't carry them around or their offense around. It's too heavy a burden. You got to understand, when you hold people, that's a great big job. It taxes you emotionally. It taxes you physically. It'll mess up your life. It'll wreck your health. It'll mess up your family, your marriage. It'll mess with your head. It will keep you from working the way you ought to work on your job. When you carry folk around, it is destructive.

When you carry people around, do you know what you have to do? You have to construct a prison in your heart. You become the judge, the jury, the prosecuting attorney. You're definitely going to find them guilty on all counts, and when you find them guilty on all counts, then you sentence them to jail. Guess where that jail is when you practice unforgiveness?

It's in your own heart. You have to build a jail, and some of y'all know you don't just have a single jail cell. Some of y'all know you have a full-blown prison with a whole bunch of folk up in your heart. You're carrying around.

Oh, you know it's the truth. Some of y'all, you got cell blocks full of people. Oh, yeah, see, he's over in cell block C. Whole cell blocks. This one I got in solitary confinement.

I don't even let them out to see the light of day. You got folk in solitary confinement. You got them all locked up in your heart, all messed up in your heart, and you have to be the warden. Guess what? That means you have to be in jail yourself.

The warden works in jail. The reason why unforgiveness makes no sense is because it messes up your life, and the real sad thing is some folk holding people in unforgiveness, thinking they're doing something, you are bound because you have to construct this prison and keep them fed and always in your mind, last thing you think of when you go to bed, first thing you think of when you wake up. You're always focused on what they did, what they said. It's always impacting you. Meanwhile, in the case of some of the folk, especially the ones with blatant disregard, they have never lost a moment's sleep thinking about you, and you waking up after two and a half hours traumatized over them, and they snoring.

You're killing yourself. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for them to die.

So what does Jesus say? Release them in your heart. Release them in your heart. Give them to me. They haven't acknowledged their need, so you can't extend it to them, but transfer them to my jail because God says vengeance is mine.

I will repay. Transfer them to my jail. Today, God calls for you to load up everybody in your prison. Just bring the buses, line the buses up.

You 30, you and bus A. Y'all and bus B. Load them all up till the jail is empty. Send them all to the Lord's jail. Shut yours down.

Make yours like Alcatraz. Shut it down, and this is so important because forgiveness, releasing them to God, frees you again. Now I can go on with my life. See, when you're holding people in unforgiveness, you say, well, I don't forgive them because they ruined 15 years of my life. Do you realize as long as you hold them in unforgiveness, they're about to ruin the next 15?

But if you load them up, put them on the bus, send them to God's jail, you now have the chance to experience what Jesus said he came to give us, freedom from captivity. I'm not holding people anymore. They did me wrong, but they got to deal with my daddy. I'm going on with my life. Now you, some of you say, but I feel like I'm too hurt, too angry, too bitter to forgive them. Here's a word for you. You are not too hurt, too angry, too bitter to forgive.

Why? Because forgiveness is an act of obedience to God. Forgiveness is not a function of my emotions. I don't forgive my offenders because I feel like forgiving them. I forgive them because my Heavenly Father said, send them to me. And that's what I'm doing.

I take them and I send them away. Now, I'm still hurt. I'm still angry.

I'm still bitter. Just because you're saved doesn't mean you don't have those emotions. Please understand real Christianity. A lot of Christians love pretending like, soon the moment I got saved, I looked at my hands and my hands looked new.

I looked at my feet and they did, too. I've heard people with that kind of testimony. Thank God if you had such a startling, wonderful, transformational experience of coming to Christ, that is great.

I promise you though, sooner or later, your hands aren't going to look new. Sooner or later, you're going to come back down off of that high and you'll find yourself wrestling with hatred, with bitterness, with anger, with the temptation to hold them in unforgiveness. You're going to wrestle with that as a believer. The only time you can wrestle with it is as a believer.

If you're a sinner, you're not wrestling with that. You hate them, bam, it's over. I hate you. I plan to always hate you.

If I could hate you from my grave, I would hate you. The believer, though, is called to a higher level of living. We're the ones who have to wrestle.

We're the ones who have to say, God, you don't want this from me, so I need your help. And let me tell you, the only time you can get the healing and help you need is after you load those buses up and send those jokers on. You'll never get healed as long as you're holding them. You'll never get better as long as you're holding them.

You'll never get over it as long as you're holding them. You'll never experience soul healing. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepard, senior pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. To listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent broadcasts, visit

That's, where you can also contact us for prayer or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry online. Pastor Paul joins me in the studio after today's message, but first, let's join him for the rest of the message, learning how to forgive. What did Jacob do back in the Old Testament? Jacob said, Lord, I am sick of being tricky. I'm sick of being a deceiver. I'm sick of getting over on people. I got over on my twin brother.

How jacked up is that? Then I got over on my uncle because he got over on me. You remember that story? He went down to Uncle Laban's house, saw Rachel, wanted to marry her, worked seven years thinking he working for Rachel. His uncle gives him leia. He didn't want leia, but he had worked the seven years. Went to the uncle, said, when I was introduced into the wedding chamber last night in darkness and laid with this woman all night, you know I thought that was Rachel in there. I wake up in the morning and that's leia. And his uncle said, oh, you mean I didn't tell you?

Tricky folk. No, no, you can't have her without having the oldest first. Said, those seven years you worked, that was for leia. Now you want Rachel.

That's another seven years. See, it's all in the family. And Jacob got sick of being tricky and being in a tricky family. And he went to God and said, Lord, I need you to change me. And folks, the best thing that can happen to us is when we bring our bitterness, our hatred, our anger, our dysfunction, whatever it is, and say, Lord, I'm sick of me. You're used to getting sick of other folk. God's waiting for you to get sick of you.

The best help you can get is when you get sick of you. Because at that point, God can change you. Jacob wrestled until God changed his very name. He said, you're no longer Jacob. Now you're Israel. Jacob means trickster, supplanter, deceiver.

Israel means prince with God. You can get before God with your anger, your bitterness, your resentment, so that God will change it, replace it with love and peace. You'll start sleeping better. You'll start, the memories God will heal over time will heal so that the memory doesn't have the hurt attached to it. You can remember wrong and never like it. But God can get you over the pain, the debilitating pain of it so that it doesn't hurt like it used to.

Now let's be real practical. Do I have to trust people who have wronged me? No, I don't. In fact, until they have a true time of getting sick of themselves, true repentance and true transformation with God, you better not trust them. See, a lot of Christians think, well, if I forgive you, that mean if you stole stuff from me because you used to have the key to my house because I trusted you and then I found out you were stealing from me and so I confronted you and you admitted it and said you were sorry. And so to forgive you, give them back a key. No.

I can forgive you and lock you out. Here's why. Because if there's been no change, why would I give trust to someone who has a proven record of not being able to handle it?

I have to wait and see if there's change. I have to wait and see if you go before God and get your stuff straight. That's when I can trust you again when I see that God has been at work.

Let me give you a biblical example. Remember Peter? Peter told Jesus the night that he was betrayed. He told Jesus minutes before the betrayal, you know, it looks like things are not shaping up to be too good tonight and I just want to let you know, Jesus, that when all the rest of these jokers forsake you, I'm with you.

I'm your boy. Jesus says, Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to shake up your life, to sift you as wheat. He said, but I prayed for you. I prayed and I didn't pray that you wouldn't get shaken up. In fact, it's going to happen before tomorrow morning.

You will have denied even knowing me three times. He said, but when you are converted, strengthen your brothers. He said, I'm going to use your failure to make you sick enough of yourself where you surrender to me in a way that I can change your life. He said, and when you're converted, I'm going to use it as a ministry platform. That's who preached six weeks after telling people publicly, I don't know who Jesus is.

Talk about a failure. The worst failure you can have is to deny the only one who can save you and Peter did it three times. It's on the public record for the rest of history. Six weeks later, he's preaching the signature message on the birthday of the church, the day of Pentecost. You say, how did he get to do that? He should never preach again, denying Jesus.

How he gets to do it? Because the Lord used it as an altar call. The Lord uses your failures in ways people don't know anything about. People think your failures define you. God says, I'll use your failure to start a brand new chapter in your life. I will take you at your worst when you are converted, when you will repent.

I will then use that as a platform to spring you into a new anointing. But the difference is Peter wept bitterly after he failed. See, God looks for broken and contrite heart.

When David failed miserably and Nathan came to him with a prophetic word of judgment and admonition, he went down before God was broken and repents said, I have sinned. God looks at your response to failure. People look at your failure. God looks at what you do after you fail.

What you want to look for is brokenness. Don't trust somebody who hasn't shown I'm broken. I'm admitting I'm wrong. I'm sorry. I blew it. I should have never been here. I should have never done this.

I'm so sorry. You want to look for brokenness. And sometimes when you see folk when they're truly broken, they can hardly get their head up.

I mean broken tears running sometimes, nose running pitiful, ugly, but God loves it because he can change a person like that. But when you see these folks stiff back, so sure of themselves, only you don't see any sign of sorrow except the sorrow that they got caught. Some folk are only sorry that they got caught. Don't trust them. That's no proof you forgave them that you gave them another key.

See they took a few things out your living room the last time. You give them another key and they haven't truly repented and been broken before God and truly shown signs and evidence. John the Baptist called it fruit of repentance. When they came out and said, we want to be baptized, he said, bring me fruit of repentance. Show me that you repented.

Show me that you have gone through some process where you have acknowledged you're wrong and you are determined to let God have his way. That's what God's looking for. And when you see people and you gave them another key and they haven't done that, they took a few things the last time. This time they're going to back a truck up. They go back a truck up. You'll be at work. You won't know it. You at work. They wait till you at work. Your neighbors will hear beep, beep, beep, beep. You come home, cleaned out.

You go in the house. Hello. Hello. Hello.

Hello. Don't trust them until they've proven they broken broken before God willing to do whatever it takes. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, Learning How to Forgive. Before we leave you today, Pastor Paul joins me to talk about a special gift he wants to share with you as you stand with us during this final day of 2020. Pastor, this is always a very important time for ministries like Destined for Victory, especially this year with all that we've experienced. But we have a great thank you gift for all those who can make their best gift this month. It's a timely message on DVD called Refocus.

So tell me about it. Until recently, I was going to present a very different message for our year-end gift and it was going to be a good one. But as the year began to wrap up, I was experiencing some things and I went to the Lord and said, Lord, I need you to help me get my focus back in order.

And as I processed and prayed and the Holy Spirit spoke to me, I ended up thinking, you know what? This isn't just for my benefit. I need to share this with my audience. And as a result, I have recently decided to change that message. And I'm presenting the message entitled Refocus that is going to help people work through the challenges that have been born out of this pandemic and some of the frustrations we've all experienced.

And I'm giving three very practical steps as to how we need to address these matters. You know, I'm learning in my life these days that emotional health is every bit as important as physical and spiritual health. And so this message is going to help, I think, a lot of people. And I trust that donors this month will not only be a blessing to us through their generous gifts, but they will be blessed by hearing me unpack this theme and help us all get ourselves refocused as we look ahead to the year to come. That's a great reminder, Pastor Paul, especially as we get ready to welcome in a brand new year. So as you give your best year-end gift to Destin for Victory today, we'd love to send you a copy of Pastor Paul's DVD message, Refocus. Today is the final day of this special offer. Remember, as you postmark your gift today or give online, your gifts are 100 percent tax-deductible for 2020, so there's still time to make your most generous gift before the end of the year. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone. That's 855-339-5500. Or visit to make a safe and secure donation online.

And of course you can also mail your gift, but postmark it today, to Destin for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont California 94538. The thing that makes Christianity eternally distinct from any and every religious belief and the thing that causes you and I to be saved by what we believe is that we don't serve a dead holy man. We serve a risen Savior. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, The Reality of the Resurrection. Join us for the first message of 2021. Until then, Happy New Year to you and yours, and remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-09 14:51:22 / 2024-01-09 15:00:27 / 9

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