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Stormproof Your Life, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 7, 2021 8:00 am

Stormproof Your Life, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 7, 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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Jesus said, if you are going to build on the rock, if your life is going to be solid in the will of God, he said you must understand that it's not enough to hear my word.

You must then make the decision to put them into practice. James chapter 1 verse 22, but prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves. Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

You can't build a house just by talking about it or by looking up a few things online. Sooner or later you've got to do something. Well today you'll be reminded that no one lives a godly life by accident.

The time comes when you've got to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Pastor Paul's message is coming right up. Stay with us here or visit pastorpaul.net anytime to listen to Destined for Victory on demand.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at iHeart, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Let's join Pastor Paul now for today's message, Storm Proof Your Life. Go with me if you will to Matthew chapter 7 verses 24 through 27. Jesus says this, Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house.

Yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house.

And it fell with a great crash. I want to continue looking at this business of storm proofing our lives because here at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord said not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord is actually going to enter the kingdom of heaven. He said that there is a difference between having a profession of faith and having a genuine life and lifestyle of faith. And so he said if you hear these words of mine and put them into practice, you will be like a person who builds his house on a rock so that when the storm comes, that house will be able to stand. He said but if you hear these words of mine and don't put them into practice, you're like a foolish person who builds his house without giving enough thought to the need for a firm foundation. He builds it on the sand and Jesus says that house is going to fall with a great crash.

He's not talking about physical houses, he's talking about our lives. And he says if you want to be able to stand the storms of life, you're going to have to build the house of your life on not only hearing my words, but on putting them into practice. In the last message, we took time and noted that the storm is coming to everyone's life. Do not ask God to bless you to live a storm-free life.

Fact of the matter is you're on the wrong planet for that. In this world, we're going to have trouble. In this world, we're going to have challenges. In this world, you're going to go through various difficulties and Jesus said all the more reason why you ought to build your life on hearing and practicing the words that I speak because they will enable you to stand the storms of life. Now in this continuation, what I want to do is focus on the phrase where he said, hearing these words of mine and putting them into practice. I want to talk about the importance and the power of intentionality as we look at this passage because Jesus said if you are going to build on the rock, if your life is going to be solid in the will of God, he said you must understand that it's not enough to hear my word, you must then make the decision to put them into practice. I want to talk to you about the importance and the power of intentionality. I want to suggest to you that you will not live a quality life by accident or by incident.

If you're going to improve the quality of your life, if you're going to live a better life in the next 12 months than you have lived in the past 12 months, it will not be by accident. It will be because you decide to hear the word of the Lord and to put his word into practice in your life. I want to make sure that you are not one of the people caught up in this sort of philosophical idea that I hear espoused by lots of people in today's world. There are a lot of folks who say things like, well, you know, whatever God wants to happen will happen.

In fact, people who don't even know the Lord have a brand of that where they don't put God in it, but they do put some sort of universal force in it. And you hear people say, well, you know, everything happens for a reason. I want you to understand in no uncertain terms that that is not a biblical concept. The Bible does not teach that there is just some sort of rhyme and reason to everything that happens in our world. The Bible does teach that for those of us who love the Lord, all things work together for good, but that's not for everybody. Romans 8 28 said all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose. So you have to be intentional about loving God. You have to be intentional about setting your affection on the Lord's will for your life if you want to see all things work together for good.

But don't get caught up in this idea that, well, you know, whatever is supposed to happen will happen because what that would do is keep you from understanding the importance of intentionality. There are some things God has called us to do. There are some choices God has called us to make.

There are some decisions that have got to start at the point of our will. God will bless us to fulfill those things. God will bless us to accomplish his purpose, but it is not absent your decision to put into practice what God said.

So I want you to understand that there is no silver platter ology taught in the Bible. God is not going to just drop all of these wonderful blessings into your life. The Holy Spirit is not some sort of cosmic UPS man where he just rings the door of your life and just drops off blessings and drops off everything. There are many things that happen in your life, Jesus is saying, only as a result of you putting the will and the Word of God into practice. So what I want to do is make sure that we have a working knowledge of what that looks like because Jesus says if you want to stand a storm, you must hear these words of mine and then he says you must put them into practice. The Bible teaches that there's this very interesting interplay between the work of God in our lives and the decisions that he blesses us to make. For instance, Paul said in Philippians chapter 2 verses 12 and 13. In fact, if you have your Bible, go there with me.

I'd like you to look at it while I review this important concept. Paul said in Philippians chapter 2 verse 12, therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed not only in my presence but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. That's a phrase that means soberly, intentionally, with a sense of somberness. He says work out your salvation. Then he says for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Now look at that. Paul said I want you to work out your salvation very soberly, very intentionally. He says and all the while that you're making those godly decisions, you can be confident that God is at work in you both to will and to act according to his purpose in your life. In other words, the Bible's not teaching either God's at work or you're making the right decisions.

The Bible is teaching both. God is at work in you and you are to cooperate with what he's doing in you by working out of you through a life of faith and obedience. So I want you to understand the Bible teaches that God is at work in us but we are to work some things out of us.

There are some things only God can do and he does them faithfully. But there are some decisions you and I are called to make and to put some things into practice and as we do that, we will see the blessings of the Lord in our lives. So right here in Philippians where Paul gives us that concept, you can see a number of directives that he gives people that are very practical but yet your life won't get better until you put them into practice.

Let me just run several of them by you. In Philippians 1 verse 27, Paul says, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. If you want to live a better life in the next 12 months than you have in the previous 12 months, you got to make the decision, Paul says, to conduct yourself in a manner that's worthy of the gospel of Christ. Some of us are used to living like pagans because you grew up acting like a pagan. You've lived years of your life with disregard to the will of God.

You just did whatever you felt like doing, whatever you thought you wanted to do, whatever other people told you to do, you just made reckless decisions. Now that you're in Christ, Paul says, conduct yourself in a manner that's worthy of the gospel. In other words, now that I'm in Christ, I ask the question, is this a decision that would please the Lord?

And I live my life to please Him. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, Storm Proof Your Life with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website, pastorpaul.net, I invite you to do it today. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources in our online store, including books and DVD messages from Pastor Paul. Pastorpaul.net is 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 now you can watch selected video clips by subscribing to Pastor Paul on YouTube.

For links and details to all of Pastor Paul's social media, be sure to visit pastorpaul.net. Well, as Pastor says, you can't live a quality life by accident. You've got to be intentional about hearing the words of Jesus and then doing them.

Let's join him for the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Storm Proof Your Life. I live like a person who knows God as I live my life every day. People ought to come to see I'm a person who loves God. And I live my life in a manner that reflects the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I'm out at a restaurant, I pray over my food because I realize that every blessing comes from the Lord.

And I owe him praise. I can't take for granted that I live in a place where I can eat at will. There are many places in the world where people cannot sit down at will to a meal. That you and I can decide, oh, let's just run over there to Chili's or wherever you're going and just grab something.

What a wonderful opportunity. So when that food is brought to you, you realize the Lord has given you this opportunity. Everything good in your life, we give him glory for it. So what you do is you stop and you pray.

Yes, it's true. You may be the only person praying in the restaurant. Oh, well, I live my life in a way that is worthy of the gospel of Christ. So I stop and honor the Lord. Thank you, Lord, for this food. I ask you to bless it. And you pray. And listen, if folks look at you, oh, well, you just look over at that table and smile. Because I'm a child of God. I'm not a pagan. I praise God for every blessing he brings into my life. That's part of the way I live my life.

I don't do it to please you. And you're going to feel weird. One time a group of us were out to eat and so we stopped to pray and everybody bowed their heads and one person was praying verbally. And afterwards we say, amen, and the waitress was panicked. When we lifted our head, the waitress was panicked and she said, is there something wrong with the food? She thought everybody was looking down at their plates and that we were all examining something because she's not used to saying prayer. And we said, no, no, we're just thanking the Lord for the food. Oh, oh, oh.

It's all right. It might panic some folk around you when you just live your life in a manner that's worthy of the gospel. But you've got to say, I'm living to please the Lord. And so you conduct yourself in a certain way. You conduct your life and your lifestyle in a manner that is worthy, Paul said, of the gospel of Christ. In Philippians 2, same letter where he gives us his principle of God at work in us and us intentionally working out our salvation, he gives us more directives. He says in Philippians 2, beginning at verse 2, I want you to be like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Paul said, here's something that we're called to do. He said, be like minded.

In other words, practice unity among yourselves as the family of God. Quit having divisions and factions over non-essential foolish things. He says, get on the same page, be of the same mind, decide that you're tired of being dysfunctional and you're going to get along better with people. I want to ask somebody to make up in your mind, I'm going to get along better with people than I have so far. I'm tired of fighting the same old silly battles with people. I'm tired of making the same old issues, knock down, drag out fights. It's time to find points of agreement rather than points of disagreement.

Some of you just need to make up your mind. I'm going to get along better than I have in the past. Because you know what, if you allow it, you will have the same old disputes year in and year out. You'll always be fussing and fighting with people over some silly petty things. At some point you have to decide life is too short for this. And he's talking of course about the family of God getting along in the church fellowship. But this principle applies to all of your relationships. Some of us need to decide, I'm going to quit fighting with my family as much as I do. I'm going to quit it.

I know my sister in them, I know my cousin in them. If I allow it, we'll have the same old trouble all the time. You want to be a person that becomes known for being a peacemaker.

A person who doesn't make a big deal over non-essential. You've just got to decide, I'm going to be more like minded. I'm going to quit making everything a knock down, drag out fight. Now some of you say, yeah pastor, I would love to do that. But you don't know my family.

Let me help you. If there's going to be a fight, you have to participate. How many know a person can't argue by him or herself? So you're telling me about, you don't know the drama of my family. You don't have to win best supporting actor in the drama.

Trying to help somebody now. Some of you all are best supporting actor, best supporting actress. When they start it, you finish it. And look where it gets you, just arguments and discord and confusion. And you've got to make up in your mind, I'm not participating.

When they bring that stuff to me, I'm just going to squash it right where I am. Say hey, you know, I don't feel like getting into that. Let's find something that we can talk about and have a reasonable discussion. Enjoy ourselves. You've got to decide you're going to walk in unity.

Unity doesn't come by accident. It's intentional in your home. As a married person, you've got to decide we're going to get along better than we have. Because it's better to get along than not get along. It feels better. It makes life a little bit more worth living than for your spouse to have to go home every day. Oh Lord, all right now. Sitting in the car, all right, let me get my head together.

Nobody want to have to go home like that. So you can help it by deciding, you know what, I'm going to be a person that is not that bad to live with. I'm going to see if I can make life easier for the people around me, people on my job. I'm going to see if I can make life easier for them.

I might be the brightest point in their day. So Lord, help me to do it. Help me to put that into practice so that I can be a light in their world. Then look at what he says in Philippians 2 verse 3. He says, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. But in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Paul says, quit being stuck up. We can do that now that we're in Christ. When you're outside of Christ, you don't have his motivation, you don't have his power, you don't have his grace.

Now that you're in Christ, our goal is to reflect the grace and glory of God that has saved us. And so he says, I want you to stop doing anything out of the wrong motive and from the wrong point of view. So he says, no more vain conceit, no more selfish ambition, make some decisions that you will no longer live that way. So it's up to you to quit being conceited. We know you're cute. So what?

Doesn't mean the world revolves around you. It just means more people are going to look at you than maybe the average person. They look at you and say, wow, she is so pretty. Oh, wow, that brother is so handsome. He look a little bit like Denzel. So what?

Very nice. It does not a life make. Just means more folk are going to look at you, that's all. You still got to live a life of divine purpose in accordance with the will of God. That's what matters.

The goal is to please God, not to excite people. So you got to quit being conceited. You're not all that, you're some of that. All of us are some of that. Bible says don't think more highly of yourself than you are, but think soberly according to the way God has gifted and blessed you. Be sober in your self-assessment.

You got some strengths, you got some strong points, but you also have some weaknesses just like everybody else. So there's no point in being full of yourself. My daddy said for years, anybody wrapped up in himself is a small package.

It's absolutely true, absolutely true. So you got to make up in your mind, no longer to live according to vain conceit. You got to humble yourself. He said in humility, consider others better than yourself. Then he goes on to say don't look just on your own interest, but look on the interest of other people. In other words, the world is not just about you. It's about you and the people around you. The great commandment is to love the Lord and then to love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.

So it's to include other people in your priorities is the idea. And that's a choice we make to put into practice God's will that we not be conceited. Listen, the Bible says humble yourself. He is saying in humility, consider others better than yourself. Every now and then I hear people pray, Lord, make me humble. Are you so conceited that God has to humble you? If you are so conceited that God, now if you need him to, ask him to make you humble. But I suggest you humble yourself because I don't know what God will have to do. If God has to humble you, he might have to slam you into a casket. I suggest we do what the Word says, humble ourselves. Just get your own ego in check.

Put yourself on lockdown. Say, wait a minute, this is not about me. I am not the star of this show.

I'm part of what God is doing but I am not the star of this show. And humble yourself. And the Bible gives you wonderful promises. It says if you humble yourself, the Lord will exalt you in due time.

You don't have to make a big case for yourself. God will work out his purpose if you will put into practice his Word and his Word here tells us to humble ourselves and to make sure we're not acting in vain conceit or selfish ambition. You know, sometimes God will bless you for no reason. But most of the time there's a condition attached and it starts with humility. It takes humility to admit you need a Savior. It takes humility to hear the words of Jesus and do them. But when you do, God will take you through life storms and you'll be greatly blessed at the end of the rain. In Psalm 107, King David writes, Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

He made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were hushed. If you're going through one of life storms today, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to join you in prayer. From the home page at pastorpaul.net, use the contact feature to share your request with us.

We consider it a privilege to pray for you, so get in touch with us today. And when you do, 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 Shepherd called Built on a Solid Foundation. This is a great companion guide to the messages you're hearing this week on Destined for Victory. A timely reminder that building your life on the Word of God is the only way to survive the storms that will come. That's Built on a Solid Foundation, our gift to you by request for your very generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call us at 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 from our website, pastorpaul.net. And thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Prayer is something we have to be intentional about.

How many know? You're not going to build a prayer life by accident because prayer is not going to come easily. The enemy hates prayer. Circumstances militate against prayer. And so you're going to have to be intentional about saying, you know what, I need to draw on God's power every day and throughout the day. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's 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 / 2023-12-04 09:38:06 / 2023-12-04 09:47:40 / 10

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