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Stormproof Your Life, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2021 8:00 am

Stormproof Your Life, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 5, 2021 8:00 am

Understanding what Jesus taught about building our lives on a solid foundation; what it means to be a new creation in Christ.

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I want to begin by making sure no one here sets the goal of trying to live a storm free and stand it all together.

God did not say if you build right, you won't have to worry about it. Jesus never said you could avoid the storm, only that you could withstand it. Hello and thanks for stopping by for this Monday edition of Destined for Victory. Today, Pastor Paul Shepherd takes us to Matthew Chapter 7 to remind us that we all face our fair share of storms when the hard rain comes and the high winds blow. Your survival depends on your foundation, one built upon hearing the words of Jesus and doing them. Today's message comes your way next. Stay with us here if you can or visit to listen anytime on your schedule.

That's or subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Storm Proof Your Life. I want to examine this passage with you for the purpose of looking at what it means to storm proof our lives. That term storm proofing has to do with many building materials that are said to be built in such a way as to prevent major damage in parts of your home during the course of certain storms. So there are companies that offer storm proofing for windows and for doors and what have you. And of course, the idea is when certain storms come, if you have the right materials, your house will end up in better shape. And you can minimize damage.

In some cases, they suggest you can eliminate certain types of damage. Well, I want to look at this passage with you and I want to kind of serve as a building inspector, not of any physical property you own. But Jesus here has us examining our lives as if they were houses. And so I want to be, as it were, a building inspector and walk around the house of your life.

And let's examine whether or not it is built in such a way that it can stand the storm. Now, the passage opens with the word therefore. Whenever you are studying your Bible or in your time of devotion and you come across the word therefore, always stop and find out what it's there for. Because the word therefore is a word that is connecting what has been said to what is about to be said.

Therefore, let you know that the statements that follow are to be examined in the context of something that has been said. And in this case, you will discover when you look at the broader context that Jesus is wrapping up the Sermon on the Mount. That's what we've come to call it, the Sermon on the Mount. It is the longest discourse that Jesus gave in the pages of Scripture. And Matthew gives us the most exhaustive, comprehensive account of Jesus' teaching on the mountainside that day.

And so here in Matthew's gospel, you find the Sermon on the Mount filling up chapter 5, chapter 6, and chapter 7. So our text is located at the end of Jesus' teaching. And in the immediate context, he has been saying to those hearing him on that occasion, not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, is going to enter the kingdom of heaven. So he's letting us know, before we move into the passage we just read, he's letting us know I'm teaching this way because not everyone who has a stated faith actually has a genuine faith. There are some people who just talk the talk, but they really don't have a personal, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. He said, not everyone who calls me, Lord, Lord, is going to enter the kingdom of heaven.

My forefathers had a Negro spiritual, and they used to sing, everybody talking about heaven ain't going there. And the idea was the same, that just because you go off to church or just because you talk about matters of faith doesn't mean you have a relationship with Christ. It doesn't mean that your faith is genuine. So he is stating it's important for you to hear what I'm about to say because not everyone who has a stated faith has a genuine faith.

The other thing he mentions in the immediate context is that not everyone who practices religious activity has a genuine faith. He said there are going to be those who come to me on the day of judgment, and they give me their spiritual resume. He says some are going to say, well, I prophesied in your name. Well, I cast out demons in your name.

Well, I did many wonderful works in your name, and Jesus said, my response to them will be, depart from me. I never knew you. And of course, the word knew there is a word that speaks of intimacy. It doesn't mean I didn't know your name. It means I didn't have an intimate relationship with you.

You were involved in activity, but it did not come from a relationship with me where you were rooted in loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself. So Jesus says, therefore, because not everyone with a stated faith has a genuine faith, not everyone with religious activity really knows me. He says, therefore, I want you to understand how important it is for you to build your life on the rock. So he says everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice. Jesus said when it's all said and done, it's not about what you say.

It's about how you live with me, build a relationship with me, and how you do my will day by day. He said everyone who hears these words and puts them into practice is like a person who builds his or her house on a rock. And he says everyone who doesn't put the words into practice having heard them is like a person who builds his or her house on the sand.

Now, I want you to notice what Jesus did not say. He did not say if you build on the rock, you won't have to deal with storms. I want to take some time in this message and make sure you understand that you should not take storms in your life as an indication that something is wrong with your relationship with God. I want you to understand that God did not say in this passage if you build your life properly, you won't have to worry about the storms of life. Because the fact of the matter is he makes it plain that storms are going to come into your life no matter what your life is or is not built upon. In fact, the clear inference is all the more reason why you should be built on the rock is because storms are coming and God wants you to be able to stand despite the storms. So I want to begin by making sure no one here sets the goal of trying to live a storm-free life. Because you're on the wrong planet for that. If you want to live a life free from storms, free from challenges, free from things coming against you, pounding against the house of your life, you're in the wrong planet altogether. God did not say if you build right, you won't have to worry about it. Please don't take it personally.

Please don't take it as though it's a sign that something is wrong with your life because you're going through what you're going through. Jesus said the storms are coming. I know people even here in the natural world. I know people here in our country who are moving around trying to find a section of the country where they won't have to deal with any natural problems or disasters.

I feel so sorry. I know some people who would say, well, I'm trying to figure out where I want to live because I don't want to live where there's going to be problems. Listen, you're not going to find such a region. We have to deal with challenges of some sort or another. Here on the West Coast, we have to deal with the prospect of earthquakes. I've lived in California since 1989. I have friends who have never come to California and despite the fact that I live here and they would love to see me when we invite them, my family and I say, come on out, hang out with us for a little while. They say, no, we just wait for you to come back here. And in probing to find out what the problem is, they say, I'm not going out there with all those earthquakes.

And I have some people who are convinced that the moment their plane touches down, they're going to run into a major, they said that state's about to go into the Pacific Ocean. And you know, and it got worse because the year we moved, my family and I moved here in 1989. We got here in March of 89. I began to pastor this church Easter Sunday of 1989 was my first Sunday as pastor of this church.

Little church, 34 members at the time, little old building in East Palo Alto and we were setting the course of believing God to do a great and mighty work here in Northern California. We were all excited and we were getting settled into life in California. Things were going wonderful. We enjoyed the weather. Boy, this is nice. And seeing the mountains and all that.

Can't believe we live here. Look at this. Things were going well.

Then came the Loma Prieta earthquake. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. He'll be right back with a second half of today's message. But first, an important reminder. If you haven't already, be sure to download our free mobile app so that you can listen to Destined for Victory right in the palm of your hand on demand. The app allows you to take notes on the day's message, order resources and even make a safe and secure donation to the ministry.

Search Destined for Victory in the app store and download it today absolutely free. Well, not all of life's storms are created equal. Up next, Pastor Paul shares a story of a natural disaster that hit the San Francisco Bay Area more than 30 years ago. Let's join him now for the rest of today's message, Storm Proof Your Life.

The ironic thing is when the earthquake hit, I was in Philadelphia. Honestly, I had gone back, my dad had invited me to come back and preach several nights of revival. He said, son, I want you to come on back and run a fall revival and what have you, give the saints an update of what's going on in California. And I said, oh, that'd be great. So I had accepted the invitation. The church was all excited. They had banners up. And so we were going to have an exciting several nights of church.

People were looking for it. This was my first time back since moving, back in March of that year. And Meredith, because the kids were small, Leisha was just getting ready to start kindergarten. She said, I'm going to stay here. Just give everybody my love. I'll stay here and get her settled in the school and what have you.

I said, all right, that's fine. And so she and the kids were here. They took off, went to Philly and that Tuesday night was the opening night of the revival.

I am in service in Philly. It's an Eastern Times on three hour difference, three hours ahead of here. The earthquake hit here at five something in the afternoon.

So it was eight something there. We were in church singing and carrying on. And I got up and preached, but somebody who had come late to church heard on the radio about this earthquake.

They said they sat in the car for a while to get some of the details. Then they came in and found a couple of key people in the church and whispered to them, we're going to have to tell pastor Paul what's going on. They said, well, he's preaching now.

Don't bother him. Wait till the servant's over. And so I'm up preaching.

Don't know what in the world is going on. After the message, I gave the altar call, prayed over to people, what have you. Then I went and sat down and they were going to take an offering and do some other things before we close.

I'm sitting down having ministered and they have spread the word to two or three people. But the last person who got it was the one who was going to come and tell me. And she was one of these sisters who was gifted with not knowing what she's talking about. There are people like that in your life who just, the last thing in the world you need is for them to get a half of a story. This sister was gifted with not knowing what in the world she's talking about.

And that's the one they send up to me. So she comes up to me and she whispers, pastor Paul, I'm so sorry to have to tell you this, you're going to need to check home because there has been a major earthquake in the Bay Area. Now she had that part right. But then she went on to say, yes, in fact, it is so major that the Golden Gate Bridge has collapsed. Can you imagine how I felt, I'm sitting in Philly, 3,000 miles away thinking I have taken my wife and my two children to California to be buried under rubble.

I'm thinking how in the world could anybody have survived if the Golden Gate Bridge, if the Golden Gate Bridge fell in, who shall be able to stand? I thought all of y'all were done. I said, there'll be nobody to preach to, they're all done. But I knew this sister and I thought after a moment of panic, I said, wait a minute, I better get the real story because that doesn't sound like it has a ring of truth.

She means well, but I better check this out. So I slipped off the pulpit and went into the office and got on the phone, started trying to dial and all the lines were busy, the circuits were tied up and what have you. And in fact, it took me 90 minutes to get through to my home and I just hit redial, redial, redial and what have you. Get through at the church then finally I drove back to my parents' home where I was staying and got back on, started trying to dial and about 90 minutes going on two hours after I began trying to get through, finally the phone rang at my house and my wife picked up. I said, oh, thank God. Honey, what happened? And she said, oh, we had a big earthquake. I said, y'all all right? She said, yeah, but we shook a while. She said the kids were in different parts and I just grabbed, went to one room and got one, grabbed the other.

We went outside in the street, all the neighbors were out in the street. And she said, but we all right. I said, well, do you need me to come home? I'll cancel the meeting if y'all, no, I mean, she said, no, I think we're going to be okay.

I'll let you know if anything changes, but right now you plan to stay there. Just tell everybody we're okay. And so we survived that and I got home of course to see. Now what this lady had heard a little bit of about a bridge collapse, you all know who live here, was that a section of the Bay Bridge, a section of the upper part of the Bay Bridge had collapsed down onto the lower roadway. And so that was what she heard.

But when she got it, the only bridge she knew was the Golden Gate. And she didn't hear about a section, she had me thinking the whole thing was in the ocean. And so I had to get that straight, but we have to deal with earthquakes out here. But listen, those folks who think that they're scared of this, they have to deal with things where they are. Their relatives in certain parts of the country or friends have to deal with tornadoes coming through there and just blow everything away. Down in Florida, folk love retiring to Florida, they got to deal with the hurricanes. Texas, I was scheduled to have a radio rally in Texas just a couple of days before one of those major hurricanes came through there and they called me up, said, pastor, we have to cancel your engagement because we are running for our lives.

And so we had to cancel that and everybody was getting out of Houston and surrounding areas because a hurricane was on its way in. And then if you don't deal with natural disasters, you have to deal with just the climate issues. There are parts of the country that are so cold in the winter and you got to deal with that.

And so, you know, some of us know what it is. See, here in California, we are so spoiled. When we call it winter, I know what we mean. It is technically that season, but trust me, when I tell you, many of y'all came, you migrated here from other parts of the country, we know what cold is. When California said, oh, we're having a cold snack, it's 40. You know, I know what we mean, 40 degrees out here is cold. And folks, you know, said, oh, isn't this cold weather, I just smile.

I know what we mean relatively, yes, according to the climate we're used to. But some of y'all know what cold is. Came from places where when it's winter time, you bundle up, you put on certain clothes, you put on a jacket or something, vest or something, then you put on a big old heavy coat and you get yourself a scarf because you can't take that cold even going down a little bit of your neck, and you bundle up and tie up the scarf, and then you get some old ugly hat. Listen, some of us know when winter hits, when show-nuff winter weather hits, cute goes out the window. Not even about cute, at that point in the year, I get cute in the spring, right now I'm trying to survive. Some of y'all waiting for a husband and wife, when you live back there, you say, God, send them in the spring because I don't look like anything now.

You get some old ugly hat fur all down over your face and tied up and all that, you look pitiful trying to survive the weather, wintry weather. I once got invited to speak in Alaska and I said, well, I've never been, I want to go. And then I had a moment where I said, wait a minute, what time of year do y'all want me to come? And because I heard about y'all's winters. And the brother said, well, actually, we would like you to come in the winter. I said, and for what reason?

Do you think that's a good idea? He said, well, pastor, because we want a large crowd here when you get here and so all of our people are here in the winter because we can't go anywhere. I said, so y'all want me to try to get in there and hang out with you because all your people are there. And when I did end up going, it was in May. And I didn't know at that point about how in that particular region where I was, the number of hours of daylight was determined by the time of the year.

Meredith and I went, she said, oh, I want to go. So we went up to Alaska in May. And I didn't realize that in that particular region, that meant that there was only going to be a few hours of sure enough nighttime. And when we went there, it didn't get dark until one in the morning. And so here we were 10, 10, 30 at night trying to get sleepy. And the sun was just looking at us. And we said, this is not going to work. I can't sleep in all this brightness.

And what happened? We were trying to close shades and put everything up and trying to make it dark enough to go to sleep. And he said, well, it's better than coming in the dead of winter. He said, because in the dead of winter, it's only three hours of daylight. He said the kids go to school in the darkness.

I said, oh, this is not my region. Listen, everywhere you go, you got something to deal with. And as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Don't try to live a storm free life. I mean, we're not looking for, we're not hunting for storms.

But you need to know. Do not take it as a sign that something's wrong in your life when you're going through various storms, because Jesus said, one of the reasons why you want to be built on the rock is because the storms are coming. Let the words of this well-known hymn be the anthem of your life. One Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Well, our mission here at Destined for Victory is a simple one. We want to take as many people to heaven with us as we can. And because we know so many of you share that desire, Pastor Paul invites you to help by sending a special gift today. Destined for Victory is a listener-supported ministry, so as God leads, please consider making a generous donation. And when you do, please be sure to request this month's special offer, Pastor Paul's booklet, Built on a Solid Foundation.

You know, Jesus never told us we could avoid life's storms, only that with his help, we could withstand them. The key is the foundation upon which your life is built. Teaching from Matthew chapter 7, Pastor Paul explains the importance of building your foundation on the Word of God, and he describes the blessings that come from that kind of life. That's Built on a Solid Foundation, our gift to you today by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone, or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation on our website,

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Well the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you. Here's Pastor Paul. Sometimes storms hit your life when you are dead center in the will of God. And I want to let somebody know, if you're going through a personal storm right now, do not allow the enemy to suggest to you that somehow God has forgotten about you or is leaving you on your own. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Sheppard shares his message, Storm Proof Your Life. 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 / 2023-12-08 14:41:54 / 2023-12-08 14:51:18 / 9

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