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Conspicuous Gratitude (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2021 8:00 am

Conspicuous Gratitude (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 1, 2021 8:00 am

The importance of developing the heart and habit of gratitude; reasons we should express clearly visible appreciation to God and others; based on 1 Thess. 5:18 and other passages.

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The gratitude in your heart doesn't do anybody any good. That's like love in your heart. Oh, no, no, I have a heart full of love. Well, what's it doing in there?

It's not helping anybody in there. Love just hanging out in your heart. Love is a verb. Love has to be expressed in order for it to benefit anyone. Don't tell me you love me.

Show me you love me. Gratitude, like love, is an action word. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Thanks for spending part of your day with us. So let me ask you, is there anyone in your life to whom you're grateful?

A friend, a parent, a coworker? Not just think it, say it. And the time to say it is now. Today's Destined for Victory message is straight ahead. Stay right here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand anytime. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also listen to or subscribe to the Destined for Victory podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you go to get yours. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for his message, Conspicuous Gratitude. Some of you all, you close off because you've been hurt. People hurt you. A former spouse or whatever hurts you. And you got some people who abused you in your past, parental abuse and stranger abuse. And some of you people in key points in your life did you wrong. And so you've shut down and closed off and you've gotten suddenly angry and harsh and bitter and you are closed in. But when you close the doors and windows and shutters of your life trying to protect yourself from the harm, what you also do is shut out the help. And I came to tell you, God wants to release you. He wants to bring you to a place where you allow the right people to play the right role in your life so they can help you get where God's taking you. Pastor, I like the first half of the message better.

It was more cheery. Now you're all up in my business. Yes, but I'm not going to stay in there. I just need to let you know that you need to open yourself up, not to any and everybody, but the people who will demonstrate I'm here to help you get where you're going. And when they tell you the truth, do yourself a favor and believe them. They don't have it in for you. Just because they're not affirming you all day every day doesn't mean that they don't love you. Sometimes you have to hurt people to heal people.

Don't believe me. Ask a doctor. They can't perform many of the surgeries that people need without hurting them, but they'll give you as much anesthesia, knock you out, do whatever it is and do the deep work. And then as they bring you to, they'll give you pain medications to try to help you get yourself together. Don't try to live a pain-free life. The only way to live a pain-free life is to live a life where you shut out everything and everybody. All right, therapy's over.

I'm getting back to my message now. Gratitude demonstrates heartfelt appreciation for your MVPs, your most valuable people. Now, who are those folks in your life?

Well, they can come in a variety pack. Some of them may be blood relatives or adoptive relatives, people who have literally been family to you. Not all of them are MVPs, but God wants to raise up some who can be a blessing to you.

If your MVPs doesn't include relatives, perhaps it includes mentors, people who brought you along at key points in your life, who are part of your educational growth and that process in your life. Sometimes it's friends that God will just raise up for you. And sometimes you really don't have a history, but when you meet, you know it's a divine connection. That's what happened with Jonathan and David. The Bible says they met and as they got to know each other, God knit their hearts together.

The Bible says Jonathan loved David like his own soul. And those men walked together in real covenant. God will give you covenant partners. Again, if you open yourself up, God will bring some people. In a church, in a healthy church, God will connect you with folks so that you can not only do church together, but you can do life together. When you get outside of the sanctuary, when you close off the virtual service, you still need people in your life.

Monday through Saturday only works right when somebody who knows the Lord like you know Him will walk with you, will check in with you, will covenant with you, will hear you when you're hurting, will advise you when you are ignorant of what you need to do, will assist you in some practical ways and you need to be open and when God gives you those kinds of covenant connections, those kinds of people you need to learn to express gratitude to them. Now why do I call, and there are other categories, I can't go into all of them, but you probably know better than I, some of the categories of people who have made a positive difference. Simply sit down and say, who are the people that in these years of my life have made a real positive impact on my life? Some of them were in the past in a certain season.

If it hadn't been for them, you'd have never got through that season. Some are in your present and some need to hear from you that you really recognize them, you need to open up to them and you need to thank God for them. Now why do I call this message conspicuous gratitude? Glad you asked that question. You asked such great questions. Glad you asked, why is this message conspicuous gratitude? Here's why. Because gratitude is only valuable when spoken or demonstrated in a helpful and timely way.

Put that on the screen if you can. Gratitude is only valuable when spoken or demonstrated in a helpful or timely way. Let me say it one more time, somebody's not locked in, listen to what pastor's saying. Gratitude is only valuable when it's spoken or when it's demonstrated in a helpful or timely way. See, some people say, oh, I'm very grateful. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that. Oh, yeah, no, I'm very, very grateful.

Listen, the gratitude in your heart doesn't do anybody any good. That's like love in your heart. Oh, no, no, I have a heart full of love. Well, what's it doing in there?

It's not helping anybody in there. Love just hanging out in your heart. Love is a verb. Love has to do something. Love has to say something. Love has to be expressed in order for it to benefit anyone. Don't tell me you love me.

Show me you love me. And so gratitude is like that. Gratitude in your heart really isn't going to help anybody. It needs to express itself with words and actions.

It needs to be a combination of what you say along with what you do to prove that what you say is legitimate. And I don't want to wrap this message up until I help you understand that God wants you to learn to practice gratitude that is conspicuous. The story is told of a woman who went to a funeral just minutes before the service started. People had been viewing and gathering and what have you. Now they're in their seats and in just a moment the minister's going to walk out and the service will begin and this woman got there just moments before the official start. All the flowers and the sprays were up front along with the casket and she walked in with a big pot of soup and she put the soup up there right next to one of the flower sprays. And then she walked and viewed and she went to her seat.

The family was outraged, incensed. How dare that woman come in here with soup? How dare she mock this sacred environment by doing such a thing? And somebody just spoke out to her and said, lady, you are wrong for bringing soup to this service.

How dare you mock our loved one? You know Sam is dead. You know Sam can't eat that soup. The lady said, excuse me, but if Sam can smell those flowers, Sam can eat this soup. Let me tell you something.

It's true. We will fly clear across the country to attend the funeral of somebody we never bothered to pick up the phone and speak to while they were ill. What you doing getting on a plane coming to see me? I'm dead. We need to learn that gratitude must be spoken and expressed in a helpful and timely way. Sometimes you're grateful, but it's too late. What do you mean too late? Too late for it to benefit the person you're grateful for. I need you to understand. I need you to think about it.

Look at what we do. Have you ever been to the kind of funerals I've been to? My dad was a pastor. I grew up going to funerals all my life. I was one of those kids that just loved hanging out with my dad. Sometimes he'd have to do a funeral or something and my other siblings weren't necessarily interested and I wanted to hang out with him. I went to more funerals with him just really to hang out, but fact of the matter is I've seen people put on flat out floor shows at funerals just carrying on. What in the world is the matter with this family? There were whole families we knew if one of them died, oh, you've got to go because it's going to be a serious floor show. People will just go crazy just laying out on the floor trying to get in the casket.

All kinds of stuff. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. First, we want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the Gospel all over the world. This past year has presented us with new opportunities for ministry, so your support is critical today. Although we see hope on the horizon as it relates to the pandemic, we do need your help to be able to continue to share the hope that only can be found in Jesus. So as God leads, we would ask you to prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today.

You can do that by calling 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. If you're grateful to someone in your life, make sure to say it out loud, but don't just be grateful for them openly, be grateful to them consistently. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, conspicuous gratitude.

Listen, fact of the matter is if you treat folk right while they live, you won't have to put on a floor show when they die. And we need to learn that gratitude is at its best when it's spoken constantly throughout one's life. Don't tell me you're grateful for me. Well, let's see, when's the last time I had learned? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Three years ago, you did express how grateful you were.

No, no, I need to know. If I'm still blessing you, let me know from time to time, you'll appreciate it. And we need to learn, saints of God, that gratitude is part of how we give honor to God, how we express humility toward other people, and gratitude also helps us demonstrate heartfelt appreciation for the MVPs in our lives. Because God has given all of us some folks who have been nothing short of a blessing, and you need to demonstrate it. So don't make the mistake of waiting too late. Don't make the mistake of waiting until a person is dead and then doing the nicest things for them. When they're alive, that's the time to do it. Don't make the mistake of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

You say, who are they? Look in your Bible when you get a chance. I won't turn to it in the interest of time. In your Bible, I want you to notice what the Bible says post-Jesus crucifixion about two gentlemen. One's name is Nicodemus. You can learn about him, and you can learn about a man named Joseph of Arimathea. Let me just mention two passages you'll want to look at if you're not familiar with what I'm saying. John's Gospel, chapter 19, verses 39 through 42. Again, I'm not going to walk you through them. And Matthew's Gospel, chapter 27, verses 57 through 60. Just note those. John 19, 39 through 42, and Matthew 27, 57 through 60.

Why do I point them out? Because after Jesus died, we found out these men loved him and were grateful for him. Both of them were Pharisees. Pharisees were the council that actually condemned Jesus. The Pharisees among the Jewish religious leaders were in the highest council in their religious organization, and they condemned Jesus. Jesus' greatest trouble came from Pharisees. But two of them secretly admired him. Two of them secretly followed him. You know about Nicodemus because you found out about him way back in John chapter three.

And again, we won't walk through that in the interest of time. But you know about Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night. And then later on, you find out after the crucifixion about a man named Joseph of Arimathea. He too was a Pharisee. Both of them were secret followers of Jesus. Both of them loved and admired him, but neither of them went on the record until after he died.

Both were on the record as doing something nice for him after he died. You'll find when you look at those passages that Joseph of Arimathea said, I tell you what, I am going to donate my personal tomb, the one that I had hewn out of rock. He was a rich man, the Bible tells you. He was rich, and so he put him in a lavish tomb that he himself expected to be married in.

But he said, I'm going to give this to this man that I love and admire. And he gave him his own tomb. That's nice gesture, although the fact was Jesus would only need it for the weekend.

Because come Sunday morning he was getting up going on. But it was wonderful that Joseph donated an expensive tomb to him. And we find out that Nicodemus was the one that made sure that he was wrapped properly and buried properly and all that.

These men both went out of their way to take care of a dead Jesus. I want to tell you, don't wait too late. Don't wait too late. Don't do your best stuff to somebody after they're dead.

While they're here is when it counts. While they can see your love in action, while they can hear your words of affirmation, that's the time to demonstrate your conspicuous gratitude. Don't be a secret admirer. People don't need a secret admirer. People need a conspicuous admirer.

Somebody who's on the record, find the people, the MVPs in your life and go on the record. I love you. I appreciate you. Not that they did anything earth shaking all the time, but the fact that they care about you and they show it and they do right by you on a regular basis, that is worthy of your conspicuous gratitude. Don't be one of these people who can hardly get a compliment out of yourself. Don't be one of these people, somebody who cooks a great meal for you and you don't even have the decency to say, oh wow, that was great.

Thank you. You ever seen anybody so prideful? I'll never forget one of the missionaries that grew up knowing Mother Brazil said she was at the home of a man whose wife was just a fabulous cook and she really went all out and just made the most lavish, wonderful meals. She said, my husband and I were there with her and her husband and had this wonderful meal and my husband was going on and on. Oh my goodness, thank you so much. Boy, this is, and I was joining in, yes, and she said, but the woman's husband just sat there just grunting because we finally made him self-conscious because we were going on and on about the food.

Then he was like, yep, yep, yep, pretty good. And she said, I wanted to say, why don't you be a man and say, honey, thank you for this meal. And some people are so full of themselves that they don't even know how to be grateful, much less be conspicuously grateful.

Well, my brother, my sister, I pray that you and I will never be in that company. Look for how you can show gratitude. You know, some of the most helpful people will make you believe they don't need anything from you. Oh, I'm back in therapy. I'm supposed to be preaching.

Now here, here come the therapy again. Sometimes people who are the greatest care givers are folks who specialize in making you feel like they don't need anything. Don't be fooled.

They don't quote unquote need it, but they would sure appreciate it. That's what happened back in the book of second Kings chapter four when Elisha and his servant would stop by Shunem and the woman of Shunem, she was rich and she and her husband built a suite for them to live in, in their home. When Elisha and Gehazi would come through town, she acted like I just want to be a blessing. And she did.

But one day Elisha said, wait a minute, I can't stay in this lady's house all the time. She and her husband had been so good to me and I do nothing. So he said to his servant, ask her, what can we do to be a blessing to her? My brother, my sister, I want to tell you, find the MVPs in your life.

If you can find out without asking them even better, but if you don't know and you have to ask him, do that, say, you know what, what are some of the things I could do for you? You're such a blessing to me. I appreciate it and I know you're not doing it to get anything back, but I just want to find a way to bless you. And look at her response. She said, no, I'm good. He said, can I speak to the commander of the army on you? No, no, I'm good. My security is just fine. Can I speak?

Can I do that? No, no, I'm good. She couldn't even think of what she needed because she was giving just to be a blessing to him. But Gehazi said, well, one thing I know, she doesn't have any children. She's been married for a lot of years. She doesn't have any children and her husband is old. Now that is a problem, especially in those days.

It's a problem today, but especially in those days. And Elisha said, I feel the word of the Lord rising up in me. And he spoke to her and said, this time next year, you're going to have a baby boy. And she said, oh, man of God, please don't, don't, you know what she was trying to say? Don't, don't, don't just blow smoke. Just trying to make me feel good.

I don't, don't, don't do that to me. I've been walking in contentment. I want to stay content. Don't get me worked up over having a baby again, but he wasn't blowing smoke.

He was speaking the word of the Lord. And you know, like I do that next year, she had a bouncing baby boy. You need to find the MVPs in your life. And if you can find out apart from them, do it.

If you can't find out how can I be a blessing to you? Because we need to demonstrate gratitude to the folks in our lives. Who are the MVPs in your life? Your most valuable people. Be sure to express your gratitude to them and do it on purpose.

Tell them out loud, tell them openly and tell them consistently. You know, pastor Paul Shepherd launched the Destined for Victory program to help reach the world for Christ and also to help people grow in their faith. But he didn't build the ministry alone and he can't sustain it alone. It takes people like you, men and women from all walks of life who are committed to praying for the ministry and offering financial support when you can. As you give your generous gift today, we have a gift of our own to share with you. Pastor Paul's booklet, Built on a Solid Foundation. During his earthly ministry, Jesus told his followers that storms and trials are inevitable, but surviving them depends on how strong a foundation we're built upon. In this booklet, Pastor Paul describes the importance of building our lives on the rock, which is the word of God, and explains the blessings that come from doing so. That's Built on a Solid Foundation, our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call us at 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit pastorpaul.net 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. I want to ask you, are you in a crowd that's preventing you from seeing the glory of God? And if you are, you're going to have to make some special arrangements because Jesus is coming for you. He's looking for you, and you're going to have to be in a position where you can see Him and He can see you. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, He's Looking 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 / 2023-12-08 14:00:30 / 2023-12-08 14:09:32 / 9

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