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Jesus' Prayer for You, Part 4

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2021 7:00 am

Jesus' Prayer for You, Part 4

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 26, 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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He said, I want the world to see a church that loves itself, believers who are so connected to each other until the world envies our unity. The world ought to look at us and say, boy, they sure have it together. They sure walk in unity.

They have tight ranks. Hello and welcome to this Friday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Wherever you are and however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day. You know, in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing he would be tortured and crucified the next day, Jesus still found it in himself to pray for you and for all of us. Earlier this week, we looked at his prayer for our protection and our sanctification, but Jesus also prayed for a third area of our lives, unity in the body of Christ. And that's where Pastor Paul takes us today. Stay with us here or visit to listen on demand anytime. That's

You can also listen to or subscribe to the Destined for Victory Podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your programs. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, Jesus' Prayer for You. To be in the ABCs of sanctification is our behavior. And the Bible is crystal clear that God wants to clean up your life. He doesn't just want to save us and make us positionally righteous. A lot of theologians love talking about positional righteousness.

Well, I come to tell you, your Bible talks about more than positional righteousness. It is true that the first thing he does is makes you righteous because he swaps your sin for Christ's righteousness. The Bible is very clear, 2 Corinthians 5 21, he that is Christ became sin for us who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him. So the Bible is very clear that when you get saved, what happens is God takes all of your sin, past, present and future, bundles it all up. And because they were heaped on Christ when he died, then he exchanges that sin for Christ's righteousness. And he clothes us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ so that when God looks at you, he sees that you're righteous. And that's what the Bible means when it says in Romans 8 1, therefore, there is no condemnation to those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Our sins don't condemn us because our sins were cast on Christ. Now that's positional righteousness.

And that's a wonderful thing to rejoice about. But too many Christians rejoice about that while continuing to live in sin. And what you got to understand if you're going to be sanctified, the truth has to sanctify you.

Well, what's the truth of the word? 1 John 3 7, Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's works. Verse nine, no one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him. He cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are. Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God, nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Now, you can try to find all the translations you want to know to get that to say something else. But it's right there in your Bible, it just told you that it's more than about positional righteousness. In fact, positional righteousness sets us up so that we can now enjoy experiential righteousness. And the Bible is very clear that ultimately the righteous do what is right. The righteous don't keep doing what's wrong and just thank God that it's covered by the blood. That's the way a lot of people want to live. Well, I'll keep on, since grace abounds where sin abounds, let me give God a lot to work with.

No, no, no. What you do is when I'm a child of God, I want to do the will of my father and he's called me to live right. And so I yield to his word and I yield to the power of his spirit so that he can teach me to live right.

Now, you can live right on your own if you try. That's why Jesus had to come and he died for your sins to make you righteous. And then he gave you his spirit so the spirit can empower you to do it. And so our behavior is to be sanctified, not just our affections, but our behavior. You're a child of God, you're supposed to act like one. You're a child of God, you're supposed to do your father's will. See, old-fashioned parents were those who said, by virtue of the last name you wear, there are things you don't do because you belong to me. You came out of us. See, none of this nonsense, you do your thing and your parents just accept it and say, I just don't know what in the world I'm going to do with them. I know what you can do with them. Let's have a private consultation.

I'll be glad to help you out. Acting like you are a helpless prisoner trying to raise children. I don't have a frame of reference for that. I grew up around folks who they didn't care how big their children are. They could be towering over them.

They just didn't care, they didn't play that. You wear my name, there are certain things you don't do while you live in this house. And if you do them, you're moving. We had a lady in the church I grew up in, her son got big and tried to sash her one day.

She said, boy, I know you're big, but I will climb a ladder. I know, let me get back to my message because I know it's disturbing your spirit. And you'll miss the word because your spirit is so disturbed. But I'm telling you, when you're a child of God, he has a standard for his children and his children are to live the way that he's ordained for them to live. And the Bible says you won't go on sinning. It means you will not continue the habit patterns of sin when you're a child of God. Sure, a child of God commits sin, but sin is not to be the natural habitat. Sin is to be the exception, not the rule in the life of a child of God. Sin is the rule in the child of a sinner. Don't beat sinners up for sinning. Point them to the Savior because there's no hope except we go to Christ and receive his forgiveness, his grace, his righteousness, and then his power so that we can live right. So your behavior is to be cleaned up.

And then third, your character. The ABCs of sanctification are affections, behavior, and character. Ultimately, God wants to teach us how to be people of character. Don't you see that our world is suffering for lack of character? I mean, see, it used to just be moral talk that you need to have moral values and ethics. Now it's beyond morality. Now we're just seeing the impact of an immoral culture in everyday life.

You're seeing it in your financial portfolio. Don't you know that you're not worth as much as you used to because people don't have character? Don't you know that some of the stocks you used to rely on to help you get your kids through college are worth little to nothing now because some folks in boardrooms in high places in America showed us that they had no character, that they spiked energy bills for their own sinful pleasure, that they changed the bottom line on financial reports and got into collusion with accounting firms for their own sinful pleasure and to your detriment?

We're not just talking about some theory. We're talking about the impact on a culture of people not having moral values. We've got systems gone awry. The financial system's gone awry because of lack of character. Justice system's gone awry because of lack of character. People can be paid off.

Police forces can be paid off. All kinds of things going on in our world every day. We're not just talking theory, folks. You live a higher quality of life when you get your moral values straight, when you have a moral compass, when you know where north is.

You can get somewhere that if you're just trying to figure it out on your own, you'll never get there. And we're a society that's lost because we've thrown away the compass thinking we're better off, thinking we're better off if we throw the Bible away, better off if we take the Ten Commandments off of courtroom walls, better off if we take God off the money. And the sad thing is poll after poll shows you that that's not the majority will of the people, but we don't have enough backbone to stand up and say we won't let it happen.

And so if those of us who claim to know what's right refuse to stand up and speak out, then the minority will rule the day. And they've done it. They've already kicked praying Bible reading out of schools. Now they're going for bigger things. They're going to take God completely out of public life. And I'm telling you, we have lost our way. So the Bible calls us to be people of character. And you know the word. You know Galatians 5 22 says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Against such things there is no law. Those are the kinds of things the sanctifying process bring to our lives. God sanctifies us by making us people who have genuine love.

And I want to talk about that in the few minutes that remain. Genuine love. But let me just show you some of these others before I get back to love. It says joy. Some of us need joy because especially when you can't always have happiness and no one can always have happiness, then you need a deeper quality that runs your life. And the joy of the Lord, Nehemiah said, is your strength. And so if you don't have joy, then you're subject to moments of happiness followed by moments of great unhappiness.

But when you have joy, joy stabilizes your life. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to take a moment to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. As we find ourselves living in a period of uncertainty, your support is even more critical today because in times of crisis, people are looking for a reason to have hope.

We believe Jesus is that hope. So please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website,, or simply give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, that number is 855-339-5500. And when you give, we have a gift of our own to share with you. I'll tell you all about it after today's message. On the night before he was crucified, Jesus prayed that his followers, his church would be unified. To find out how you can help foster that unity, stay with us now for the rest of today's message, Jesus Prayer for You.

Once again, here's Pastor Paul. I have joy when I don't like what's happening. Happiness depends on what happens. Bills paid, happy. Kids acting right, happy. Spouse said some nice things about you, happy.

Things going well on the job, happy. But you can't always count on that. So when the bills aren't paid, when there's too much month at the end of the money, you can't count on happiness, but if you let God bring you sanctified character, you'll have joy. It says not only love and joy, but peace. You need peace, peace of mind. Peace is not the absence of troubling circumstances. Peace is the presence of God who keeps us in the midst of them. So you can have peace in the midst of a storm. Things can be going wrong in your life, but God's peace will anchor you.

The Bible says thou shall keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. And so you got to understand that peace is part of your inheritance and it's part of the fruit of the spirit that will be cultivated in our lives. Look at just one more in the interest of time. Patience. You know as well as I do that we're in an increasingly impatient society, increasingly impatient. People just don't have patience.

And the child of God, God's called us to be sanctified. We shouldn't be as impatient as the world. The child of God shouldn't be the one standing in the grocery line showing out. My Lord, why don't they open up another one of these lines? Well now wait a minute.

What is going on so urgent in your life? You can't stand there another ten minutes till they get to all the stuff that you didn't have to grow. You didn't have to grow it. You didn't have to produce it. You didn't have to plow. You didn't have to do anything. You just walked around with a cart, fussed about prices and threw things in a bag in a cart. And now you're in a line, cart full of stuff you didn't have to do anything to produce.

All you got to do is pay for it and you're fussing. The child of God ought to have more patience than that. Sure, there are times when all of us are in a terrible hurry. But you know as well as I do. Come on, let's be honest. If you're going to be sanctified, you got to be honest.

Let's be honest. Most of the time we're up there fussing and showing out. We don't have anything urgent we got to get to. Somebody dying and we got to get there before they pass out.

You don't have anything urgent. You're just spoiled and rotten. You're up in a plane flying 500 miles an hour fussing because there's no food.

I don't believe all they gave me was peanuts. You're going to get where you're going so fast, you can eat when you get there. The child of God ought to have more patience than a child of the devil. We ought to have the character of God in us.

So you want sanctified character. Jesus prayed for our protection. He prayed for our sanctification. Finally, he prayed for our unity. He prayed for our unity. If you noticed in Jesus' prayer in John 17, he said, Father, I want you to make them one.

Now, you might say, well, I understand the importance of protection and I understand the importance of sanctification. Why would Jesus pray for unity? Because unity is a powerful ingredient in our success.

If you're going to get where God wants you to go in your life, you'll never get there alone. He has raised us up as a body. The Bible says we are the body of Christ. You are not the individual expression of Christ. We are the body of Christ.

And so he said, my body must function as one. In fact, Jesus said to his disciples in John 13 verses 34 and 35, he said, a new command I give you that you love one another. And then he went on to say, by this will all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another. Notice Jesus didn't say the world will know that you're my disciples by the way you love them.

That wasn't a point he was making. We should love them. You can't win people you don't love.

You'll never even be motivated to win them if you don't love them. But Jesus wasn't making that point in John 13 35. He said, I want the world to see a church that loves itself. Believers who are so connected to each other until the world envies our unity. The world ought to look at us and say, boy, they sure have it together. They sure walk in unity.

They have tight ranks. You can't mess with one of them without consequence. Now, you know, we've got some growing to do to get to the place where our unity is envied by people who don't yet know the Lord. And we've got to learn to walk in this kind of unity that Jesus prayed for. He said, Father, make them one completely unify them.

Now there are two challenges we face when we look at teaching like that the first challenge when it comes to unity is misunderstanding compatibility. The reason why many of us don't walk in unity is because we misunderstand that we are not to be compatible in every little comfortable way. If you wait to be unified only with people who live and do everything just the way you live and just the way you do it, you won't walk in unity because being compatible in the kingdom of God means we all aspire to be like the Lord. We all aspire to do his will. It's spiritual growth. It's spiritual aspiration that makes us compatible in the family of God. If your heart longs for the will of God and my heart longs for the will of God, you and I can walk together. Now we're going to have to learn and grow and deal with things as we go. But we've got to have the same passion for God. I tell singles when you're looking for a spouse, don't just take these surveys and all this stuff and trying to figure out your compatibilities and finances and all that. You want to do that.

We do a thorough job of helping people look at all of those. But one of the main areas is spiritual compatibility. And what that means is not that you said yes, I got saved, but does your heart long to do the will of God?

Are you striving to be more like Jesus? Because if people have aspirations that are shown by their lifestyle, don't tell me you love God, you don't go to church. Don't tell me you love God and you won't let somebody teach you how to read the Bible. Don't tell me you love God and you won't begin to develop a life of prayer.

No, you don't love him. You don't treat anybody you love that way. And so we have to look for spiritual compatibility in other people, people who love God the way you love him, who are striving to be in his will. Bonnie Wilson, when she's teaching single women, she said, pray for a husband who doesn't want to break God's heart. Pray for a man who it just pains him to think he might be out of the will of God.

She said, that's a man you can trust with your life. But if a man doesn't care about what God thinks, what chance do you think you have? If somebody's going to take his chances with judgment, I'm going to do my thing and I'll just deal with God when I do. And then you want to drag him in front of us.

It'll never happen here. I've told you, many a person, I've looked at them, I've wanted so badly when they get out of the presence of this person, they dragged in front of me to ask him, are you on crack? Something must be wrong with you. We got ministries for people like you. And when it comes to walking together in the family of God, we have to look for spiritual compatibility.

Don't look for personality likes and dislikes. Peter and John ministered powerfully together because they learned to deal with the things about each other they didn't like. And so you and I have to learn to do the same. The Bible says, as iron sharpens iron, Proverbs 27, 17. So one man sharpens another, the person who's going to help you grow in the Lord might have very few things in common with you in the natural. But if you're in a Bible study with them, if you're in a prayer fellowship with them, if they become your prayer partner, they can help you through a many a storm, because they love God, they can speak truth into your life. They don't always make you feel good. But quit looking for folk who always gonna make you feel good. Find folk who know the balance between affirming you and building you up and also telling you about yourself. Get rid of those folk who always say nice things about you.

Anyone who doesn't have enough backbone to quit flattering you when it's not flattery time is not somebody you need in your life. And so one of the challenges is we misunderstand the issue of compatibility. The other challenge in becoming unified is we mishandle conflict. And the Bible is clear about handling conflict. The Bible teaches you clearly in Matthew 18 to be open and direct with people.

If you're gonna walk in unity in the body of Christ, submit to others, ask to the Lord, which is what Jesus prayed for us to do, then you gotta have a process for dealing with conflict, because you're gonna have conflict. Don't try to avoid it, you're gonna have it. What you have to do is learn to deal with it.

If you tend to be a flighter, you've got to understand you can't be a flighter. You've got to love enough to confront. And so you know what, there's an issue that threatens to rip us apart, and we can't let that happen. I got a problem with what you said. I got a problem with what you did. I have a problem with what I perceive to be something that I really am offended by in the way you dealt with me recently.

And you gotta be open and honest. Go to Matthew 18 when you get a chance, and you'll see that Jesus is very clear. He says if your brother trespasses against you, you've gotta go, beginning at verse 15, you've gotta go to him or her, and you've got to tell them, show them their fault. Don't stand somewhere and roll your eyes and say, they know what they did.

No, no, no, no. Jesus didn't tell you roll your eyes and say they know what they did. He said if somebody offends you and you need to be walking with them, they're your brother, sister in Christ, you need their prayer power, you need their support, then you can't afford to blow them off. See, some of y'all gotta get sanctified because you don't even have a three strikes program. Some of you are not sanctified and you have a one strikes program. Somebody offends you one time, you're through with them. That's it.

Over, game over. Jesus said no, that's not what you do. When your brother offends you, you go and show. Here's what you did, here's what you said, here's your attitude, here was your demeanor.

I don't appreciate it, I don't like it, I resent it. You go and show. Then the Bible says if they hear you, you've won them.

You can get back in sync. If they don't hear you, you need unity so badly that Jesus said go find somebody who can mediate. Say look, we're out of sync and we normally walk together, we need to walk together, we need each other, but we can't make heads or tails of this issue.

Can you help us? Go to a person on your church staff, go somewhere to someone godly who can look at the issues, who loves you both but doesn't need to flatter either one of you and help you work it through because unity is important to our victory. My brother, my sister, we won't make it unless we're unified. So Jesus prayed for our protection. He prayed for our sanctification and he prayed for our unity.

Protection, sanctification, and unity in the body of Christ. That's Jesus' prayer for you and he still prays that prayer today. You know almost every day someone writes to let us know how they've been blessed by the Destined for Victory broadcast and it wouldn't be possible without the generous and faithful support of people like you. If you believe God is leading you to make a donation, there are three ways you can give. Log on to and give online. Call us here at 855-339-5500 to make your donation over the phone. Or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

I'll repeat that, Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. In appreciation of your gift of any size today, we're pleased to offer you, by request, a booklet from Pastor Paul called Lessons from the Cocoon. We all 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 you can't see it.

And in His perfect timing you will, like the butterfly, 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 visit to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. That's all the time we have for today, but join us again Monday when we'll hear Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, The Fifth Law of the Harvest. 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 / 2023-12-21 03:23:20 / 2023-12-21 03:33:38 / 10

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