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Stormproof Your Life, Part 2 (cont'd)

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

Stormproof Your Life, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 8, 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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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. Jesus wants you to hear his words and put them into practice.

And do you know how you can do it? You just decide to. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Today, Pastor Paul takes us once again to the parable of the two houses, one built on the sand, the other built upon a foundation of solid rock. Along the way, he'll offer some practical ways to build your life on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.

Stay with us now. But remember, you can always stop by pastorpaul.net to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. Again, just go to pastorpaul.net. Now let's join Pastor for today's Destined for Victory message, Storm Proof Your Life. Vengeance is the Lord's. He will take care of your enemies. He doesn't want you praying against them.

Pray for them that God will change their lives. Do you know how Saul came to be the great apostle Paul? Because the early church prayed for him when he was persecuting them. I know that because prayer characterized the early church. In Acts chapter 2, at the end of chapter 2, after the day of Pentecost, it says the early believers continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and in prayer.

They developed a habit of prayer in their lives. And part of what they prayed about was persecution when it began to take place. We know that from Acts chapter 4, when persecution was first threatened, Peter and John went back to the company of believers and said they are now threatening us that if we continue to preach in the name of Christ, they are going to get us. So the church prayed.

You read it right there at the end of Acts chapter 4. And God gave them supernatural boldness so that they could continue to preach the word of God. So the church was praying for their enemies. And it was in that context that while Saul was persecuting the church, the Bible says that he was on his way to Damascus.

Armed with papers that when he found followers of Christ in Damascus, he could extradite them and take them back to Jerusalem where they would be persecuted. And on his way to Damascus, he met the Lord and it changed his life. Do you know your enemies are only one encounter with God from being completely different? And so you want to pray for them.

Now understand, if they refuse to submit their lives to the Lord, God himself is going to deal with your enemies, but he calls us to love them. He calls us to pray, to have a life of prayer. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6 verse 6, Jesus says, When you pray, go into your room, close the door, pray to your Father who is unseen, and He who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 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. So I'm going to develop a prayer life. I'm going to learn to talk to God.

In my closet, then I'm going to learn to talk to God while I'm driving in my car. Sometimes you can have some good time, not only in your prayer closet, in your time of dedicated devotion, but even as you go through your day, you can practice the presence of God through prayer. And you can talk to the Lord about the stuff going on on the job and in the home and in your community and whatever is happening in our nation, you can talk to God and have an active ongoing prayer life.

The Bible says the Lord sees in secret and he rewards openly. So you got to understand that prayer matters. Prayer counts. And so we have to make the decision to pray.

It is not going to happen accidentally. It's going to happen as a result of us putting prayer into practice. He said that about giving. He said that about giving right here in Acts chapter 6, beginning at verse 19, he says, do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. He says, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And if you are going to be a worshiper of the Lord through the giving of your tithes and offerings, it has to be, Jesus says, as a result of you setting the decision that I'm going to invest my treasure in heaven.

What does that mean? He doesn't mean don't open a bank account when he says don't store up here on earth. He simply means do not allow that to be where your heart is. And if your heart is in what you accumulate for selfish purposes, you are building your life on sinking sand.

Because think about the economic environment that we live in right now. If your hope is built on your portfolio, oh my goodness, you will be of all people most miserable. But when you realize my hope isn't in anything except the Lord himself, I worship him because he is the one at work in my life to willing to do of his good pleasure and so when I give, I give my tithes and my offerings as an act of worship. What you're doing, Jesus says, is you're putting your treasure in heavenly places. I'm investing my tithes and my offerings in the kingdom of God because I love God and I look to him as my source.

It's a decision you make. You can't say, well, you know, as soon as I get financially set, I'm going to be a better giver. As soon as I get set, I'm going to become a tither. No, no, you don't start tithing when things get right. I start tithing because 100% is the Lord's and I begin to recognize that by giving him a tenth, 10%. I move the decimal.

I keep saying, do not get spooky and spiritual. I pray about what to give. You don't have to pray, just move the decimal. You put his words into practice.

You move the decimal. If God blessed me with 100, I'm going to begin by worshiping him with 10. Then I recognize that 90%, he still asks me to manage it in a way that pleases him, to make sound decisions and to trust him that he'll use this to glorify himself. But I begin, when he gives me 100, I give him 10.

I don't pray, I give it. When he gives me 1,000, I give him 100. When he gives me 10,000, I give him 1,000. When he gives me 100,000, I give him 10,000.

It's going to get tight. When he gives me a million, I give him 100,000. When he gives me 10 million, I give him a million.

If he's giving you 100 million, call me. I can help you invest it in the kingdom of God. But we do it as an act of worship. We do it as an act of worship. I'm setting my affection on things above. And so I'm a tither as an act of worship.

Why? Because it all belongs to him. It's the way I communicate that my value and my trust is placed in God.

And so I begin with being a tither. The problem is many of us think that what we have is ours. We don't understand it belongs to God in the first place. You're not taking anything with you because it's not yours. You're managing what belongs to him. You're going to leave here and leave it here.

You never saw a U-Haul follow a hearse. You can't take it with you. So we set our affections on things above. It's a decision we make. This doesn't belong to me. See, you feel differently when you realize you're managing what belongs to somebody else in the first place.

If you think it's yours, the tendency is to be hoarders when it's ours. Back in the 90s when I first invited Bunny Wilson to our church to minister. She's a wonderful Christian author and was speaking actively in those days. And so she came to minister at our church one weekend. We knew of each other but we had not met.

So this is our first time actually meeting. And so when she came to town, a group of us took her out to a meal. And we were fellowshipping there at the table. Everybody ordered what they wanted. Then while we were waiting for the food, in the midst of our talk and fellowship, Bunny said, Now, I just need you all to know that I have this habit of eating something out of everybody's plate.

Well, instantly I was stricken with a sense of panic. Because I have lived my life with a certain philosophy about eating out. That philosophy is you order what you want to eat because I have ordered what I want to eat. And when mine comes, do not look with lust and covetousness at my plate. All right, so I'm the only food hoarder. Come on, be honest now. Some of you all had that same philosophy. Let me see some honest hands past I'm with you. I don't want folk in my plate. Thank you.

A number of honest people and some dishonest folk. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. To listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent broadcasts, be sure to stop by pastorpaul.net any time to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net where you can contact us for prayer or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry online. And stay tuned after the message when Pastor Paul joins me in the studio. But right now, let's listen as he shares the rest of today's message, Storm Proof Your Life. Now, I know some of you all are really like that.

You just love, just say, oh, yeah, so try some. Oh, this is real good. Here, sample this.

And folk just kind of pass their plate around like it's a sampler. I'm not in that category. I ordered exactly what I wanted.

I suspect you did the same thing. So it's a problem for me when folk want to eat at my plate. When I first started hooking up with Meredith, I made sure she understood that very early on. Baby, I love you.

I will buy you anything on that menu you want. When mine comes, don't look at it. That's been my lifelong philosophy. So here I'm sitting with this brand new speaker, wanted to feel at home, get to know us and our church and feel real good. And she has announced that she has a habit of eating out of everybody's plate.

And I'm sitting there panicked because I'm thinking now I don't play that. But she's new to our church. She's going to minister this weekend. I wanted to feel at home, but I don't want this lady in my plate. And I'm sitting there thinking, what in the world?

Oh, my Lord, what shall I do? Meredith looked over at me because she knows me. She looked over. As if to say, what you going to do now? So I worked it through in my head. I said, well, you know, it's really important to me that she feels at home.

So I'm just going. But I had to get myself together. I'm sitting there having this inner dialogue with myself to say, OK, when her fork comes over there, don't get mad. And I worked it through and sure enough, at a certain point, she had a couple of other folks and then she said, oh, Pastor Paul, let me see what you have.

Bam. And I just mustered a smile and just. Now, that was funny because she was new at our church, I'm telling you all now, if you go out to eat with me, stay out of my plate. But you know why we had that feeling? It's because we feel like this is mine.

So I'm entitled to have total jurisdiction over this. It would have been a very different dynamic if she had bought everything at the table. If she buys it all at the table, then you kind of feel like, well, I thought you bought this for me, but she's picking up the tab. Hey, let her reach in.

You'd have a different frame of mind, but even that takes maturity. You don't believe me? Take your child, your small child or your grandchild or your niece or nephew or somebody through a drive through, let them, you want some fries? Yeah, yeah, I want some fries. And you go get them some fries. Watch what happens if after you get them the fries, you reach in and grab one. They cop an instant attitude.

Why? Because the feeling is, I thought you got this for me. You sure got your own fries. But it's very different when you don't have a sense of ownership. And I'm here to tell you the key to financial blessings and understanding God's plan for your financial resources is to understand it's not yours.

It's his. And when I give my tithe, I'm giving back to him what is his, the 90 percent he entrusts to me, and then he will bless me if I will be faithful. And many of us can testify that you can do more with a blessed 90 percent than you can do with a hoarded 100 percent. Because the Lord looks on our hearts, and where my heart is, Lord, I want to worship you. I want to bless you.

I want to see your kingdom come and your will done on earth. So it's a decision you make to be a worshiper through your generous giving of tithes and offerings. It's a decision you make to not worry. He said in Matthew 6 25, as he continued the Sermon on the Mount, he said, do not worry about your life. I want to tell somebody, God has a plan for your life, and it begins by saying, don't sweat it. He says, do not worry. Jesus said, don't worry, it's not going to change anything anyway. He says you can't solve your problems by worry, so do not worry about your life.

Folks, that's a decision we make. If you are one of those people who tends to worry about things day in and day out, the word of God says, Jesus said, put this into practice, stop worrying. You say, now that's impractical, what am I going to do with my problems and my challenges? That's what prayer is for. I take to the Lord everything that I would worry about. Instead of worrying, I choose to give those cares over to him. I say, Lord, here's something that I really want you to work out, there's nothing I can do about it. If there is something you want me to do, please make it plain to me as I read your word or meditate in your presence. Speak to me and show me if there's something I need to do to change this circumstance. But Lord, to my knowledge, I've done all I can do, now I've got to put it in your hands. And I want to call somebody to a life where you make the decision, I am going to stop worrying.

You've got to make the decision to do it. Worry will not leave your life instantly, it won't be absent your life unless you kick it out. You have to walk worry to the door of your life and say you are no longer welcome here. And what you do is pray instead, you invite prayer in, and guess what? Paul said when he wrote the Philippians, he said instead of worrying about everything, pray about everything. Cast those cares on the Lord, and then he said, and the peace of God that passes understanding will guard your heart and mind.

Do you know that if you will put worry out and bring prayer in, then you will also introduce peace into your life. And some of you can testify, this has been a rough season of my life, I've been through some crazy changes, I see God just holding me steady. The storm is beating against my house, but I see God just holding me. Anybody know what it's like to see God just anchor you through a storm?

You don't even know how you're getting through it yourself. And you look and you see what you're going through and you say if this had been two or three or five years ago, I'd be going stark raving mad, but now I've just seen God give me a peace. Paul said that passes understanding. You know what that means? That means a peace that blows your mind, a peace that doesn't even make sense, a peace where you just see God keeping you, but you don't even know yourself how it's happening.

I want to let you know that's a reality, but it's only available to those of us who will put worry out of our lives and replace it with prayer and trusting God to give us peace. Jesus said in John 14, let not your heart be troubled. You got to just make the decision sometimes. I'm not going to worry about this. I'm not going to sweat about this.

When I'm doing all I know to do, I'm going to put it in the Lord's hands. Some of us have to make the decision I will not worry about this. I will not let myself be troubled.

I choose to put this in the Lord's hands and to walk in peace. I'm not going to sweat it. I'm not going to be bothered by this.

I'm not going to get into it with other people. I've just decided I'm living a better life in the next 12 months than I did in the past 12 months. I can't predict all that's going to happen.

I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. So I'm going to put my hand in his hand. I'm going to rely on his grace, and I'm going to put into practice his word. So I want you to make up in your mind what's going to be better about your life moving forward than has been. What mid-course corrections are you going to make in response to his word? What things are you going to do? Simply because God says, here is my will for your life.

I want you to walk in this. What you will discover is that God will anchor your life through that faith and obedience so that when these storms come, personal storms, financial storms, family storms, family acting crazy, but the Lord has you in a better place. You see people making ill-advised decisions around you, but God has you in a better place. You see companies folding up and finances going crazy, but God has you in a better place.

And you're able to experience his peace and his blessing. And I want to let you know that God, when he sees that life of faith and obedience, he will respond by blessing you in ways that you didn't even know possible because where we act in faith and obedience, God responds in supernatural power and provision. And I want to let you know your best days are ahead of you if you decide to hear God's word and put it into practice. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, Storm Proof Your Life. We have a wonderful resource that goes along with the message you've heard today and to talk about that and the storms that life sometimes brings our way, Pastor Paul Shepherd joins me now from his studio in California. Pastor, if the last 12 months have taught us anything, it's that storms, yes, even pandemics, are going to touch our lives. And many listening today are dealing with the effects of a terrible time in our world and our heart goes out to them. But give us some encouragement. How can we navigate those storms?

Absolutely. In Matthew 7, and I know most Bible readers are very familiar with it, Jesus talks about the fact that there are two different ways you can build your life. And he says you can build like the guy who built his house on the sand, or you can build like the guy who builds on the rock. And the fact of the matter is I'm trying through this series and through this resource this month to help people understand storms are inevitable. And some people see that as unfortunate.

I don't know that I do. Jesus just stated it quite matter-of-factly. He said storms are coming. I noticed this time when I was putting this booklet together, Jesus didn't hint anything about if you live right, you won't have to worry about storms.

You know, when I hear people preach like that, I'm like, what Bible are you preaching from? Jesus said storms are coming. He said the storm is going to blow on both types of houses.

The difference is the impact it has. And so if we will build right, we're going to see the ability of God to keep us even in the midst of storms like what we're all going through. And the time to prepare is before the storm comes. Absolutely.

Absolutely. The best time to prepare for any war is in the time of peace. And the best time to prepare for a storm is right now. Because even if you're in one now, you need to retrofit and make sure your life is built firmly on the rock who is Jesus Christ because more storms are coming, but his plan is for us to endure and survive through them. It reminds me of the age-old question, when did Noah build the ark?

The answer, of course, is before the rain. Thanks for those words of encouragement, Pastor. We'd like to send you the booklet Pastor Paul was just talking about, Built on a Solid Foundation. It's our way of saying thank you for your generous gift to Destin for Victory today. At a time when our world has gone through a few storms, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ remains a source of hope for all who embrace it.

And now more than ever, many are searching for that hope. This is why your prayers and financial support of Destin for Victory is so critical. So be sure to request Built on a Solid Foundation, a booklet from Pastor Paul, when you give your generous gift today. Call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. God is making us people who when he gets through with us, you won't even recognize yourself. The people who knew you won't recognize you.

Your values are different, your style is different, your instincts are different, your desires are different. That's tomorrow 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 / 2023-12-03 21:44:26 / 2023-12-03 21:54:06 / 10

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