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Jesus' Prayer for You, Part 3

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2021 7:00 am

Jesus' Prayer for You, Part 3

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 24, 2021 7:00 am

An examination of the prayer Jesus prayed for our protection, our sanctification, and our unity as believers.

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See, he's talking about the fact that we're called to be extraordinary, not ordinary. We're called to be different. Jesus didn't make the trip all the way from heaven down just to forgive us. He came to save us and to create a people who were set apart and who are not like everyone else in the world. 2 Peter 3.9 tells us God wants all people to be saved, but He also wants us to be sanctified.

Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Sanctification can be a tricky subject. We may not always understand it, but it's a crucial part of the Christian experience. In fact, it was so important to Jesus that He prayed specifically for His followers to be sanctified, to be extraordinarily set apart for special service to God while we remain alive on earth.

You might think about it this way. Salvation is for the hereafter. Sanctification is for the here and now. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay with us here if you can, or visit any time to listen to Destined for Victory on Demand.

You can also download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, Jesus' prayer for you. John chapter 17, beginning with verse 14. Jesus is praying and He says, I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth.

Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them, I sanctify myself that they too may be truly sanctified. I want to continue to examine with you Jesus' prayer for us. We established the fact that Jesus has prayed for each of us. He made it clear in verse 20 of this text that I'm not just praying for these original disciples, but I'm praying for everyone who will believe through their message, which means the succession of saints down through the years as the gospel has been preached and souls have been saved. Jesus prayed for every believer. And today in the 21st century, if you have trusted Christ for salvation, you can be assured that the prayer of Jesus reached you, that he prayed for you. Well, we've established the fact that he prayed, first of all, for our protection. And in the interest of time, I cannot do any major review, but we talked about God's keeping power, God's ability to not only save us, but keep us. And I talked about the fact that I grew up hearing the saints thank God for his keeping power, and I didn't understand as a child what that meant.

Oh, but I got it now. And some of you do too, that God, it's one thing to be saved, it's another thing to be kept. Another thing to be kept by the power of God and to see God's power sustain you through all that you have to go through. And Jesus prayed for our protection, that we would be kept in perfect peace, and that we would be kept from falling to begin to live a lifestyle characterized by spiritual stability.

He prayed for our protection. Now currently we're looking at this second area in this prayer, which is that Jesus prayed not only for our protection, but number two, for our sanctification, for our sanctification. And we identified the fact that sanctification is the will of God for every believer. Now that sounds like one of those theological words that you can just dismiss out of hand because you don't know what it means. But I cannot afford to allow you to move on in your life without knowing what sanctification means, because it is an important teaching in Scripture.

And so in the second part of the series, we established the fact toward the end of that second message that sanctification is the will of God and that you understand it more than you think you do. For most of us grew up in a home where our mothers had some sanctified dishes called China. That gives you a picture right now, doesn't it, of what sanctification means.

At least a general ballpark, you're there. Sanctification means cleansed and set apart. The China was not in the cabinet where the ordinary dishes were.

In some cases, your mother had a China cabinet dedicated to the China. This is for nothing but sanctified stuff right in here. See? And you got to understand that God said, I'm not going to just save people in their sins. I'm going to save people from their sins, and I'm going to clean up their lives, and I'm going to set them apart from the ordinary so that my kids don't live like everybody else's kids. Now folks, this is where the rubber meets the road, because one of the problems we have in American Christianity is that we do a whole lot of talking about grace and getting to the blood and getting our sins forgiven, but we don't understand that grace has more dimensions than the saving of our souls. Grace also teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. You got to understand that there used to be a time when many folks would make fun of sanctified folks, but I wanted to let you know that sanctification isn't the property of some little band of churches. Sanctification is a teaching of scripture that is to be applied in the life of every single believer. We are called to be sanctified, that is cleansed by God and set apart from the ordinary so that we are dedicated, our lives are dedicated to His plan, His will, and His purposes.

So I need now to begin to dig in, having defined sanctification and help you see how that is to be applied to our lives. Go with me first to 1 Peter chapter 2. 1 Peter chapter 2, and I just want to walk with you through some important scriptures here as we establish God's will with regard to sanctification. 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 9, you will find the apostle Peter saying, but you are a chosen people.

Now before we move on, he says but, which means he is contrasting what he's about to say against what has been said. In the verses leading up to that, he talks about the fact that Christ is the living stone, the chief cornerstone. To those of us who believe he's the chief cornerstone, and we are built up into a spiritual house because of him. He says, but to those who don't believe, he's a stumbling block. And today, people stumble over Christ. You get up on a talk show and say Jesus is the way, and they stumble.

Now see, that's your reality. See, somebody just stumbled. The Bible says he's not to be a stumbling block, he's to be a cornerstone for every one of our lives. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by him.

Now folk will tell you that's narrow. Well, I didn't write the book. I didn't write the book. It was here when I got here, and the Bible's clear. Jesus isn't one of the ways, he is the way. And so Peter has established the fact that he is a stumbling block to some, but he's the cornerstone in the lives of others.

And so he's comparing the saint to the sinner, and he says that they stumble and that they were in fact destined for that, according to verse eight. And then by contrast, he says, but you, who believe, are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy, uh-oh, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. King James says about that last phrase, a peculiar people. Not weird, but peculiar. If you're weird, don't blame that on God. God didn't make you weird. You're just weird. We are called not to be weird, but we're called to be peculiar.

That is unique, not ordinary. So look at the fact that the Bible teaches we are chosen, we are a royal priesthood, we are a holy nation, and we are a people belonging to God. And what's the purpose for all of this? That you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. And then when you get happier, the more you read, he says, once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.

Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. See, he's talking about the fact that we're called to be extraordinary, not ordinary. We're called to be different. When you come to Christ, know that he loves you like you are, but he's got plans to change you. Know that he's got plans. See, people want to get saved and stay the way they are and just celebrate the fact that they're forgiven.

No, no, no. You got to understand that God didn't just send his son, Jesus didn't make the trip all the way from heaven down just to forgive us. He came to save us and to create a people who were set apart and who are not like everyone else in the world. Bible says we're chosen, we're royal, we're holy, we are peculiar.

That is, we belong to the Lord. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, Jesus Prayer for You with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website,, I encourage you to do it today. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources at our online store, including books, MP3 downloads, and DVD messages from Pastor Paul Shepherd. is also 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 don't forget, now you can watch selected video clips by subscribing to Pastor Paul on YouTube.

For more details and links to all of his social media sites, be sure to visit Every saint is a sinner. Every sinner can become a saint. Let's join Pastor Paul for the second half of today's Destined for Victory message, Jesus Prayer for You. First John chapter two, verse six. First John, not the gospel, but the first of the three epistles.

If you're just getting familiar with your Bible, go all the way to the back and hang a left. First John is toward the end of the book. First John chapter two. First John chapter two and verse six. And you'll find the Apostle John saying these words. Whoever claims to live in him, that is in Christ, must walk as Jesus did. See, do you see now that if somebody told you that the only difference between a saint and a sinner is that the saint is forgiven and the sinner's not?

That's one of the differences, but that's not the only difference. We are not only forgiven, but we are now called and empowered to walk as Jesus did. Now get clear. Don't get off and misunderstand scripture. It is not suggesting you are going to become God, for Jesus was God and man. You and I will never become God.

You are not graduating from humanity. You will always be a human, but the point here is that you are called to be a sanctified human, a set apart human, a person who, yes, lives in this world and is not perfect in the sense that God is, but our walk is to model our savior, Jesus Christ. And your life is called to conform to his image and his example. The reason why Jesus spent 30 some years on earth was so that he could model holy living for us, so that he could show you what living right really looks like. And we are called, the Bible says here, don't try to find another translation. It says we are called to walk as Jesus did.

And this kind of teaching is important because we live in a world now where people are teaching down to the level where folks live. And I am sorry, but you have run into a ministry that refuses to bring the truth down because we have got to aspire to go up to where God wants us to be. And you can go somewhere where they water it down to the place where anybody can live it, but the Bible sets a holy and a high standard for us. Now the good news is we don't have to pull this off on our own power because if we were left to our own power, if we're going to try to live holy and the only resource you have is you, well, we're done before we start because none of us has the power.

I don't care. Find the most pious person you know. No one has the power to walk as Jesus did unless he received help from on high. But I'm just showing you the standard and then we're going to talk about how it is that God causes us to be able to live the way he's called us to live. So we are called to be sanctified. That means to be cleansed and set apart.

And it is a process. I know sometimes people talk about sanctification as if it's an event. Ooh, honey, I went to church and got sanctified. No, I beg to differ.

I beg to differ. You may have gone to church and had an encounter with God where you settled some issue in your life, where you surrendered some area of sin in your life. Those are very important and very real events where you hit the altar and you leave something there. But don't think now you're going to get up and just live the sanctified life the rest of your life without a process. Sanctification is not an event.

It may begin at a certain time. There may be a defining moment when you surrender certain things to the Lord that he's been dealing with you about. But now please understand there's going to be a process because there's much more than you even are aware of now that God's going to be dealing with you about. When you're a child of God, that's why the Holy Spirit is given to us as a personal comforter, one who walks with us, because there's a lot of stuff God's going to be dealing with over the years. And so it will be a process.

Sanctification is a process and it is a process by which we are cleaned and set apart. One of the best examples I can give you would be the example of these days on TV they have a lot of these home makeovers. Have you seen some of these? And they call them extreme. In fact, they're doing extreme makeovers of everything. Now the people are getting extremely made over. And you go on a show and they will put, you know, all kinds of changes into your, I mean, plastic surgeons will just make people over and they break their nose and set it again. And they, and they, you know, I mean, they do all of this major stuff and they really do create a different look. And so our society is caught up in image and looking a certain way. And people will say, if I will just look differently, my life would be changed. And they think there's promise in external change.

So they do that. There's a show where they change your car, where they change your car and you drive a raggedy. The only reason why I won't name the title is because I'm offended by the title. I'm offended by the title because I don't want my car looking like what they say.

Because the kind of people they glorify need to be ashamed of themselves. But they will change your car, take it to a place that specializes in making cars over and they will pour 20, $30,000 worth of changes into the car. And it's a brand new car when they get through. And now they have the shows where it's extreme home makeovers where they will take your house raggedy though it be.

And they will go in there and completely remodel your home. Well let me help you understand something. Sanctification is God's process whereby He changes us, watch this, from the inside out. So talk about a makeover.

When God sanctifies us, when Jesus prays here for our sanctification, He says I'm not going to start with cosmetics. I'm not going to start with changing the appearance. I'm going to start on the inside and change who you are. Change your values.

Change your nature. And then I will also be working to make corresponding changes on the outside. Because God doesn't want us living in a house that looks great but in fact has a poor foundation, has rusty pipes, has walls that are about to fall, cave under an earthquake. What's the point of looking sharp when it's about to fall apart? In Matthew 7, Jesus said if you heed my word, you'll be like a person who builds his house on a rock. He said but those who don't heed my word are like people who build a house on the sand. Now you can build a very impressive looking house on the sand.

It can in fact look better than some people's houses on the rock. But the test will come when the storm hits. Because when the storm hits, the house on the sand, Jesus said, will fall apart.

He said it will crash and great will be the crash of it because it had no foundation. So Jesus isn't just doing cosmetics. He goes in and deals with our foundation. And then he begins to gut our lives, change things. The house of your life is going to be changed. When you come to Christ, you will not stay the same.

You will not. You cannot stay the same because it is his will that he does an extreme makeover of our lives. He's making us like Jesus Christ. Now what are the agents again?

What's going to pull this off? Well, Jesus gave us one in the text, John 17. There are two agents responsible for this extreme makeover in your life. One is the Word and the other is the Holy Spirit. The Word and the Spirit are the sanctifying agents. We know that because in John 17 in the prayer we just read, Jesus said, sanctify them through thy truth. Thy word is truth. So the first agent is the Word of God.

If you want to clean up your life, you got to get in this book. If you don't know your Bible, then you don't know the promises of God about your life. See, the Word of God teaches us that we don't have to stay the way we are. And so if you are biblically illiterate and all you know is John 3 16 and two verses of Psalm 23, then you'll never access the power of God and see your life transformed because the Word is the sanctifying agent, one of the sanctifying agents.

Jesus prayed to the Father and he said, sanctify them through your truth. People say, what you don't know can't hurt you. What you don't know can destroy you. What you don't know can wreck your life. What you don't know, look at in the natural, what you don't know can wreck your career. What you don't know can wreck your finances. What you don't know can get you in an accident.

What you don't know can bring all kinds of trouble in your life. And as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. If you don't know that Jesus has power to set you free, then you'll always stay bound. If you don't know that Jesus has provided you abundant life, then you'll only settle for eternal life. You'll just say, well, I'm going to live this raggedy life and hope I make it to heaven. No, you get in this book and you find out he didn't just come to give you eternal life, he came to give you abundant life.

That is life to the full. That reflects his glory right here and right now. You know, God loves you and he has a specific plan for your life, a plan made before the very foundation of the world. If you're struggling today to know what his plan for you is, if you're having trouble hearing and discerning the will of God for your life, the Destined for Victory Ministry team would like to pray for you. To send us your prayer request, please visit, click contact us and share what's on your heart today. The team here at Destined for Victory considers it a privilege to join you in prayer, so reach out to us today.

And when you send your request, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. And here's something else, a booklet from Pastor Paul called Lessons from the Cocoon. You know, butterflies don't start out as butterflies, they're caterpillars, grounded, earthbound. But later on, a transformation takes place and they take flight. Your life in Christ works the same way. In Lessons from the Cocoon, Pastor Paul reminds you that God is at work in you even when no one else can see it, including you.

And in his perfect timing, like the butterfly, you will take flight because you were born to fly. That's Lessons from the Cocoon, our gift to you by request, for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. So call 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. You may already believe in God's power to save you, but do you believe in his power to change you? Here's Pastor Paul. And please understand that this is going to be a journey where you will find God giving you power you've never had before. Because everything you've ever done prior to coming to Christ was on your own strength. No wonder you failed. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Jesus Prayer for You. 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 / 2023-12-22 06:59:17 / 2023-12-22 07:09:02 / 10

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