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Developing a Lifestyle of Faith, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2021 7:00 am

Developing a Lifestyle of Faith, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 3, 2021 7:00 am

An insightful series of messages on practical ways to build a faith-driven life; learning from key Old Testament patriarchs what it means to live by faith; based on Hebrews 11.

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Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

What is using this program? Yeah, I would love to hear from our listeners. You know, Destined for Victory exists to challenge and inspire people everywhere to know God's Son, to apply God's Word, and to fulfill God's purpose. That's our mission statement. We're serious about it.

And I want to know that all three things are happening. So if you're a listener, and as a result of listening to Destined for Victory, you have come to know Jesus for yourself, or you're finding your purpose in life, what God wants to do in and through you, I would love for you to drop us a line and share your testimony. It can be one or two paragraphs.

It can be a full-length letter, and then we'll just pare it down. But please share with us what God's done as a result of your being a listener, and give us permission to share it, because we may find ways that we can share your story. We don't have to call your name if you don't want, but we can share your story, and by doing so, others can be blessed as well. So please consider getting in touch with us, letting us know the difference that Destined for Victory is making in your life. We look forward to hearing what God has done. If you want to reach your destination, you've got to do more than start your engine.

Sooner or later, you've got to get moving. Faith is a journey, one that takes drive and determination. If you want to have the kind of faith that pleases God, it has to become a lifestyle, a pattern, one that comes from a heart of worship. Today's Destined for Victory message is coming your way next.

Right now, let's join Pastor Paul Shepherd for his message, Developing a Lifestyle of Faith. When you get saved, you're at the starting line. See, salvation isn't the end of anything. It is the beginning of a journey.

The Bible sometimes describes it as a race. And if you are running a race and you enter, but you never get in the starting blocks and take off, you don't know the joy, the thrill of the race. So I want to encourage you to get moving. Don't just be saved, pack your bags, sit by the door and wait for Jesus to come get you, take you to heaven. You're supposed to live a life of quality and a purpose and do the will of God here on earth. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven and you are part of that.

God's will ought to be done in you. Jesus said, you are the light of the world. What's the point of having the candle and having matches but not lighting it up? And he said, once it's lit, don't put it and hide it somewhere. Lift the lid, let your light shine. That's what I want to encourage you to do, to live this thing.

Don't just believe it. I want you to live it. I want to lead and influence a generation of people who are not going to believe things they don't live.

We need to live this thing. So we're talking about lifestyle, not just little practices here and there but a lifestyle. So let's look at Hebrews 11 and I want to look at the characters there and point out things about them that will help us know here's the lifestyle God calls me to develop. The first person mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 is a man named Abel, Abel, A-B-E-L. Look at verse 4 of Hebrews chapter 11. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain through which he obtained the testimony, obtained the testimony that he was righteous. I'm reading from NASB by the way. God testifying about his gifts and through faith though he is dead he still speaks.

Let's look at it in NIV. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous when God spoke well of his offering and by faith Abel still speaks even though he is dead. How's he speaking even though he's dead? He's speaking by his example. You do know that when you die what you leave behind is your example. For better or for worse your life will still be speaking long after you're in your grave. So since our lives are going to speak we need to be all the more motivated to make sure what is said through our lives. I'm not worried about what's said about me.

I'm worried about what's said through me. It's the example that counts because you know folk will say whatever they're going to say. The folk who didn't like you in life aren't going to like you in death.

They're going to talk about your worst in death. That doesn't matter, shouldn't matter to you. What should matter is what is God saying about you and then what did your example say whether people properly received it or not. And Abel is still speaking because of his faith. What is the element of the lifestyle of faith that we learn from him?

Let me give you this in a sentence. Living by faith means giving generously with a worshipful heart. Living by faith means giving generously with a worshipful heart.

The example, the element of the lifestyle of faith we learn from Abel is to make giving generously with a worshipful heart my lifestyle. Now here's where I really want to help you turn a corner. Some of you have been stuck on financial issues for all of your life to this point. You have mishandled, you have misunderstood money from day one. Some of us have never looked at or handled money correctly.

You can't get help till you admit where you are. I didn't say all of us, I said some of us. In fact I probably will venture to say many of us.

I don't know what the percentage is, I'm not going to presume to know. But many of us, some of you never understood money because you weren't raised in a context where you could have it defined by the God who gave you the resource. If you were raised in a Bible teaching, Bible believing church then you were taught what the Bible says about it.

Hopefully if they were faithful to the word of God you were taught what the Bible says about it. I'm grateful that I was taught what the Bible says about giving. When I was a really little boy I got a dollar allowance. And my mother said to me and to my siblings, now when you go to church you are to give God a dime out of this dollar. That's what you're to put in the offering because that belongs to the Lord.

And so she tended not to give us a bill because you know where are we going to go and break it. So she would get to change herself and give me three quarters, two dimes and a nickel. That dime we lived across the street from the church, walk across the street on Sunday and take that dime to God.

They made it real, giving. It's an act of worship. You give it because God is the one who gave you the dollar and you give him the dime to say thank you.

That's what I was taught. The dime is my way of saying thank you Lord, you're so good that you bless me with this. Thank you Lord. And the saints taught us you're given to the Lord. And I told you in our church there at High Street Church of God in Philadelphia when I was a little boy the trustees counted in a room that had covered windows or some sort of stain on the windows. But there was a little place where it was clear and so there were times when I went knowing it's their counting time. I went and looked through there because I wanted to see the angels come get God's money. That's how real it was to me because they said it belongs to the Lord. So I figured the Lord must send angels down to make the collection, do the pickup.

And I'm looking through that thing, I want to see the angels come and they in there counting and then, you know, accounting for it and all that writing down stuff. But I never got to stay long enough to see the actual angel pick up because I was raised to know about giving as an act of worship. That God gave me that dollar and the dime is my way of saying thank you. Some of you weren't raised with that. You didn't get that revelation. You weren't taught that. But you need to know that's the way we are to do it. Now the tithe is just more a principle. It is a practice but the principle is generosity from a grateful heart. And I have said before in other messages, let me say it now, don't call yourself generous toward God and you won't even give the tithe. Don't do it.

Don't lie to yourself like that. You know what generous is? Generous is what you give your mortgage company.

That's more than a tithe if you haven't figured it out. Generous is what you give your landlord, you renters. Generous is what you give wherever you stay unless you're blessed to have paid it off. Generous is what you gave before you paid it off. Generous is what the government takes from you before you get the rest.

Have you noticed the government doesn't ask for a tithe? We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepard. Listen to the broadcasts on demand at That's where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. And be sure to subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube where you'll find some of his best video clips. More information and links to all of the social media can be found at

Now, here's Pastor Paul once again with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Developing a Lifestyle of Faith. Figure it out one day. Just look at your tax rate. I never knew what my tax rate was. Look on your stub next time you get paid. Look at the gross amount.

That's what you actually earned. And then you'll see a bunch of other stuff. And then you'll see net pay.

And look at that figure. And do the calculation and see how much the government took. They took way more than the tithe. So don't lie to yourself and say, I'm generous.

And you actually sit down and figure it out and you're given 2%, 3% of your money. Start your generosity. The Bible gives you the pattern with a tithe. Now, the tithe wasn't even established until later in Genesis. But here in early Genesis that talks about Abel and Cain, It just describes Abel's offering as abundant as from the heart he was worshipping as he gave to God.

From the first of his flock. While in comparison, his brother Cain, in the course of time, gave the Lord some of the fruit of the land. Clearly, Cain's lack of generosity and Cain's lack of a worshipful heart displeased the Lord. Whereas Abel's pleased the Lord. Please understand, brothers and sisters, that Hebrews 11 that mentions this, And Genesis 4, for that matter, where you first see the story of Cain and Abel, Wasn't written by a preacher trying to get your money. See, the first thing people do when they hear a preacher, there they go again.

They're all the way down. Every time you turn around, there they go. I didn't write Genesis or Hebrews.

Get up off of me. I'm not after your money. God is after your heart. And your heart and your money are tied together according to what Jesus said. He said, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Oh, I'm preaching good. So, what we learned from Abel is part of the lifestyle of faith is to give generously with a worshipful heart.

Now, if you had the misfortune of not growing up with that understanding, And some grew up with the understanding, frankly, but you grew up and you got a taste of credit card living, And living over your means, and living to supply your wants and not needs, as many of us did, Then even though you knew tithing was what would please God, we're talking about pleasing God here. You knew it would please God, but you chose to be self-centered. Oh, that's rough. No, he didn't say that. Yes, I did.

Yes, I did. You chose to be self-centered. You chose to live way up if your income is 100% of whatever it is you make, And you chose to spend on a regular basis 98% of that. You chose that. It wasn't chosen for you. You made that decision. Wait, I had to have a car, so I had to have a car.

No, no you don't. Most of us remember a first car that got us from point A to point B. It wasn't fabulous, but it was ours and it was paid for. And I'm sure some of you never even knew the joy of that, because you jumped straight into credit living. As soon as you got out of school, as soon as you got your first job, you went and bought a car that you financed.

Nobody made you finance, you decided that. You could have looked in your paper back in my day, now it's Craigslist and then all the online ads, And you could have found a whole bunch of folk offloading a car that still runs, but they want something new. And in the day, that's how we did it. My first car was a Dodge Dart with rust on it, but it drove point A to point B.

Got me where it just put tires on every now and then, make sure the oil stays in there and all that, And it got you where you were going. So you didn't have to finance a car with God's money. You chose to. You didn't have to live where you live and spend God's money giving it to some human being.

But you chose to. So, if you want to develop a lifestyle of faith, then you want to develop a lifestyle of getting your finances back in biblical order, Because if you have any sense at all, you want God smiling on you when you give. You know, when people say, I can't afford the tithe, I can't relate to that.

I mean, I know you have overextended yourself, and right now you're trying to figure out what to do. But don't put that as I can't afford the tithe. It means you can't afford to keep living like you're living.

You got to make some serious changes. And there are ways, there are financial ministries, there are people who, that's their job, That's their calling in the body of Christ to help you figure out how to get from here to there. And there is where you can give generously with a worshipful heart.

Why? Not because it matters to Pastor Paul, but because it matters to God. It's part of a lifestyle of faith. Abel gave generously and with a worshipful heart.

Why do I point out both things before I move to the second example? Because you can give generously and not be worshiping God. There are people who give generously because they desperately need some tax benefits. And that's why they give generously.

They're not given to honor God. They're given because they need tax relief. There are wealthy people, I know we don't know it because we're not in that category, but there are wealthy people who are desperately looking for places to give their money, charitable donations to give so it can ease their tax burden. Pastor friend of mine said his phone rang one day in his office. A man said, I've watched your ministry on TV and looks like you're doing some good things. I need some tax breaks. I'm going to send you a check for a million dollars.

This is not someone who had ever been to his church, doesn't go to his church, never went to his church even after the gift. Given it because I need a place to dump a million dollars, charitable donation. And he said, don't ever call me. Don't ever get in touch with me.

I'm not trying to partner with your ministry. I just need to offload this million dollars. Check came in the mail. This pastor friend of mine said I got it. We were so excited and I called him to thank him. He said when he heard it was me, he said, didn't I tell you? Don't ever call me. I didn't give it to hear from you. I don't care how grateful you are. See, generous, but not from a worshipful heart.

Now, the ministry is still blessed by the mail. You understand what I'm saying? Don't get it twisted now. If you just need to offload some funds and you don't have a worshipful heart, I will still receive what you got because we will use it to the glory of God.

You got that? So tell all your heathen, wealthy friends, your church will receive it and put it to good use. But you won't get the blessing if your heart isn't to worship God. And if you make 10 million and you can drop God off 1 million and say, Lord, thank you so much.

Now you're in a position for him to bless the 9 million that's left. And so never say you can't afford to give. What it means is you can't afford to stay in your current lifestyle.

You got to make some changes because you want to be an able. You don't want to be a Cain. Cain was rejected by God because God said that's not what I'm do. And people love grabbing one scripture in the New Testament.

I've heard these anti-tithing people grab one scripture in the New Testament and completely take it out of its context in 2 Corinthians chapter 9. You should give according to what is on your heart. Make up your mind what you to give. And that's why they say, no, no, no, I just give what I decide in my heart.

I said, look at the context. The context is Paul is telling this church, you need to be like the Macedonian church who out of their great poverty gave more than y'all gave. He's still talking about generosity. Decide in your heart how generous you want to be. But if it's going to start with generosity, you can't start with single digit. You have to start with double digit.

I just proved it to you why everything else you're doing is double digit. And then you will give God twos and fus. Don't call that generous. Don't lie to yourself. Don't be an Ananias and Sapphira.

It was the lie that made God mad. Just go and say, Lord, I'm stingy. Help me. Help me. Open up my heart. Help me to stop being stingy or selfish. Because I brought this on myself.

Nobody made me get in debt. I got undead. Now here come the e-mails. I see them already.

So I'm gonna cut them off. Mine was a medical emergency pass. You can't put me in that category. I was an emergency. The only reason I got into debt was because I had to pay some medical bills.

Let me help you. If you gave God the tithe before you paid the doctor, you position yourself to say, Lord, how am I going to deal with the load of this unexpected debt? You put yourself in a position to have a conversation with him. And be honest, the tithe is not what's going to keep you from being in financial trouble. When you owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, at a certain point you can't afford not to tithe.

And that's one of those points. When we first moved out here, making $2,000 a month, with a $9.95 rent, which we had never heard of in our lives in Philadelphia. You're talking about $9.95.

What's the matter with y'all? So I got $1,005 left. I got a wife, two kids, five and three.

They both getting ready to start school. I got a car note drove across the country with a car note, $320 a month car note. I still got to pay utilities in that house. I got to pay $320 car note. I got to put gas in it, insurance in it. The little church could not afford to give me health coverage. So we had to pay our own doctor's bills. Are you seeing what I'm saying?

I'm not telling you what I haven't lived. I know what that's like. To have too much month at the end of the money? But we learned the $200 that was God's was not up for negotiation. Soon I got the check. I wrote the tie check for the devil fooled with me. That's what y'all got to learn to do. Just obey God first. No conversation.

If you think about it, you will hear all kind of voices. Devil told me, if you're a full time ministry, let your life be a tithe. Oh, he tried to make it sound spiritual. Let your life be a tithe. If I had let my life be a tithe, I'd have been such a broke brother. Gave God his 200 quick fasts and then a hurry. And then I was able to say to the Lord, you see the rest of what we got to do. Bless us.

And he can do it. Living by faith means giving generously with a worshipful heart. I didn't come up with it. No preacher came up with it.

Nobody trying to get your money. God said, it pleases me when you are generous with a worshipful heart. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, developing a lifestyle of faith. Don't forget, for your generous donation this month, we'd love to send you Pastor Paul's booklet, Lessons from the Cocoon, a booklet from Pastor Paul that reminds you that God is at work in you even when you can't see it. Again, that's Lessons from the Cocoon, our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory.

Please call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. Living by faith means enjoying your walk with God. See, I know some of you all haven't really got started on your journey because you haven't started having fun yet. Walking with God is supposed to be a joyful experience. He walked joyfully with God on earth for 365 years and then he walked straight into heaven. His story comes your way next time when Pastor Paul Sheppard shares his message, developing a lifestyle of faith. 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 / 2023-12-28 14:55:33 / 2023-12-28 15:04:54 / 9

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