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Do You Have the Time? Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2021 8:00 am

Do You Have the Time? Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 20, 2021 8:00 am

The true value of time; keys to developing good habits, eliminating fruitless activities, and maximizing the limited time we have.

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The first thing I want you to know is, just as with money we're called to sew generously, the same principle applies to the use of your time. What does sewing generously look like with my time?

Glad you asked. It means sewing quality time into what I call the seven habits of highly effective Christians. Have you ever wondered what made the First Christian Church so effective? Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Well the early church had bold charismatic leadership and the power of the Holy Spirit given to followers of Christ on the day of Pentecost.

But the church we see in the book of Acts had something else in its favor. Today Pastor Paul Shepherd takes an in-depth look at the First Christian Church and highlights what he calls the seven habits of highly effective Christians. Stay with us now, but remember, you can always stop by to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's Let's join Pastor Paul now for today's message.

Do you have the time? I want to get you to frame your thinking around what Moses said, teach us to number our days. Teach us to number our days. Okay, Lord, teach me to put my days in perspective so I can make them count. Father, you're giving me 24 hours every day.

I like to think in terms of weeks. I like the fact that even the Bible gives us that sense of weekly living. It talks about for instance, you know, the Sabbath day under the Old Testament covenant, the Sabbath day, which was the seventh day of a week. And then after Jesus rose again, before too long, in a matter of decades, the early church began meeting rather than on the Sabbath when the church was distinctively Jewish. Eventually the church began meeting on the first day of a new week.

Why? Because that was the day that Jesus rose. So don't get into it, by the way, with Sabbath keepers and fuss and fight. I just tell Sabbath keepers y'all need to know the Lord of the Sabbath.

If you know Jesus as your savior, then you're good to go. But let's not have a knockdown drag out about whether I'm supposed to worship Saturday versus Sunday. Because if I read my Bible right and I've studied it most of my life, my Bible tells me that in Christ it's not about the day.

In Christ it is about the reality of serving and worshiping the resurrected Christ. The law was never given to me anyway, I'm a Gentile. Don't hem me up with the law of Moses. I don't even have to worship on the first day of the week.

The church did that traditionally in celebration and honor of the resurrection of Christ. But to be perfectly honest, if we all decided weekly worship was Wednesday afternoon at 2.42, we'd show up Wednesday at 2.42 if our work schedules allowed it. And guess who would show up with us? The Lord Jesus. Because He said, if you're gathering my name, I'm right there with you. God said, what time y'all having church?

Wednesday 2.42, I'll be there. So let's think in terms of a week. God gives us 24 hours a day.

Multiply that by seven. What do you get? You get 168 hours every week. How much time do I have? I have 168 hours every week, except my last week on earth.

I don't know how many I'm gonna get that week. But every other week, I know exactly how much time God's gonna give me. He's gonna give me 168 hours.

You got it? That's the way I want you to frame your thinking as we answer the question, what does God want us to do with our time? Teach us to number our days, Moses says. So then Father, I want you to teach me to maximize that 168 hours because you're gonna give it to me every week except my last week on earth.

So teach me to use that well, use that wisely. So how am I gonna use my 168 hours wisely? The first thing I want you to know is just as with money, we're called to sow generously, the same principle applies to the use of your time. You say well pastor, I know how to sow generously with money, that means give my tithe and my offerings. What does sowing generously look like with my time?

Glad you asked. It means spending quality time, sowing quality time into what I call the seven habits of highly effective Christians. For years, I've used this language. Back in maybe the early 90s, I first read Stephen Covey's book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Any of you all read that back in the day when it came out? It was a very, very popular book. Not written by a Christian per se, but certainly a man of faith and a man who had a clear moral sense that was obvious as he wrote, although the book references no Bible scriptures or anything like that. I found a lot of the concepts helpful and it was easy for me to interpret them in the light of scripture.

And I also liked the language, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and he talked about seven things that he noticed highly effective people do and that it was a consistent pattern and so he taught on those things in that book, best selling book, great. What I did at a certain point in my pastoral life was realized as I was studying the book of Acts one time. When I got to Acts chapter two, I said, Lord, what made the early church so effective? Then I started focusing on what did they do after the day of Pentecost? See, we all talk about the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 that were in the upper room and they spilled out into the streets of Jerusalem speaking the wondrous works of God, speaking in languages they never learned and revival broke out and 3,000 people got saved in one day.

Wonderful. But I said, Lord, then what did they do? And he helped me focus on verses 42 through 47 of the book of Acts.

I want you to look at them real quick with me. Acts chapter two verses 42 through 47 and you're going to see these seven habits that I talk about. Acts chapter two verses 42 through 47.

Here's what they say. This is after Pentecost. This is the postlude to Pentecost. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with all many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common, selling their possessions and goods they gave to anyone as he had need.

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Now, when you look at those verses, what you find are, I grouped all the information in those verses into what I've called over the years seven habits of highly effective Christians.

Here's what those habits are. Number one, learning God's word. Learning God's word. Number two, building Godly relationships. Learning God's word, building Godly relationships. Number three, praying with authority. Learning God's word, building God's relationships, praying with authority. Number four, giving sacrificially. Giving sacrificially. Number five, praising God. Praising God. Number six, influencing the world.

Influencing the world. And number seven, leading others to Christ. When you look at verses 42 through 47 of Acts chapter 2, you find that after the day of Pentecost, the early saints devoted themselves to practicing seven habits. One more time, they are learning God's word, building Godly relationships, praying with authority, giving sacrificially, praising God, influencing the world and leading others to Christ. So when I say to you, God wants you first and foremost to sow generously your time, what I mean is God wants you to make sure that quality time, it's less about quantity, it's more about quality.

Quality time is spent in your life developing and practicing those seven habits. 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 any time to listen on demand. That's

There you can also contact us for prayer or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry online. It's one thing to know about God, but to really know God, you need to spend quality time in his word and with his people. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message.

Do you have the time? Make sure that there's quality time in your life where you're learning God's word. That's why you ought to be at church on Sunday.

It's a place where you're gonna learn God's word. The church where I passed is a place where every time you leave, you will have heard a word from the Lord. See, I don't believe in going to church and it's just poems and nice thoughts and feelings and gospel light, less feeling, tastes great. I believe when God's people come together, there ought to be a word from the Lord. And if there's an exception, it should be because the glory cloud fell and we praise and worship God so much, I never got to preach. That's happened a couple times in the history of my pastor. We had it happen here at Destiny once or twice where I never got to preach that Sunday, but show up the next week, I'm preaching.

Why? Because we're not gonna sing and shout our way to heaven. We're gonna have to know the word of God. It's a word that's gonna set you free.

You will know the truth and the truth will make you free. I don't go somewhere where you don't preach so long. Pastor Paul preached 45, sometime 50 minutes. You sit up and spend more than 50 minutes watching the Housewives of Atlanta. You fool with me, I'll mess around and preach up in here. More than 50 minutes, they're on a solid hour of nonsense, of foolishness and mayhem, of people who ought to be ashamed of themselves, people who ought to be embarrassed for themselves and their families, and they're just as proud as they know how to be.

You sit up and watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. And you want to fuss about the 45, 50 minutes, I'ma hold you. The devil is a liar, you better be glad.

I'm gonna feed you something that'll change your life for the better. I'ma go somewhere where they don't know how to preach 20 minutes and let you go. Why do you have church for 90, 95 minutes? No, question is, why do you sit up and watch a football game? Oh, I'm coming for you, I'm coming for you.

Don't even ask the question, I'm coming for you, I showed up to come for you. You gonna fuss about my 90, 95, every 90 and 100 minute service, but you gonna devote, forget the three and a half hours of the actual span from opening kickoff to the last bell, forget that if you go to the game, tack on two to three hours getting there and coming back. So now, instead of three and a half hours, if you tack on, say your commute's only an hour each way to the game, now you're five and a half hours vested in a game that's only played on the clock for 60 minutes. Do you know that football game is only 60 minutes of play time? Do you know that of the 60 minutes of play time, the amount of time where they are actually moving, where they're actually hitting one another, is probably about 20 minutes. Do the time elapse when you get a chance, just put a clock on it. Every time they actually snap the ball to the time the whistle's blown, then stop it. And then don't push it back again until it's snapped again. You'll probably end up with 17 to 20 minutes of actual football.

The rest of the time they're walking around, the man laying out there hurt his leg. Oh, I told you I was ready for you today. What you fooling around with? So your whole experience is if you go to the game, you've invested five and a half, six hours in a 60 minute play time that only has 17 to 20 minutes of actual action. And you are happy. And the only thing you're mad about is if your team loses the game. And you think I ought to be worried about what you think about how long the service is and how long I preach. The devil is a liar. You better be glad I can get you to heaven in less than an hour every Sunday. That's what you ought to be glad about.

Boy, for less than an hour a week, pastor going to priest me into the kingdom. It's a matter of priorities. It's a matter of priorities. Folks spend big money buying season tickets. Know that team going to lose about half the games. They don't care.

They're going to be there to root. Celebrate anything you can celebrate. So y'all that have a bad football team, you celebrate when they get a first down. Hey man, I got a first down and God forbid they get a touchdown. You screaming and howling and running. It's a matter of priorities. That's why I tell you, you ought to discipline your time to say, Lord, if I can give football five and a half hours when I go to the game, three and a half hours when I don't, if I can give housewives of this city or that an hour of my time, if I give Kardashians, if I get, and then now they just making up new shows, reality shows, just making up Hollywood husbands and what kind of spirit is on this country where somebody sit around and say, what stupid show can we come up with next?

And they create a stupid show and put it on TV and apparently y'all watching it cause they come on for a second season then they come on for a third season. I'll never forget years ago, Barbara Walters interviewed the Kardashians very early on. She jumped in with both feet. She said, y'all don't sing. Say y'all don't dance. You're not actresses. It was the Kardashian girls and their mama.

You're not. And she just laid out what they weren't. And then she said, and yet you're famous.

Why? And when I'm said, I think it's all the more impressive that we can't do anything and we're famous. I mean, she didn't call it can't do anything, but she acknowledged that they didn't have those kinds of talents. And she said, it's all the more press. I talked back to the TV.

I did. I was watching Barbara talk to her and I talked back to the TV. I said, no, the problem really isn't y'all Kardashians. The problem is America is stupid.

We sit up and spend time watching folk who don't do anything of quality. And I told him I was talking to the TV. I know they couldn't hear me, but I was talking anyway. I said, y'all make all the money on all the dumb folk you want.

Go on, make millions on our stupidity. You ain't getting none from me. You got to prioritize things that matter and it's quality time. Things that matter, it doesn't require hours and hours and hours, but you need to invest every week. Am I given quality time in God's word? Number one, coming to church and hearing a timely word, then supplement it with my daily reading of scripture.

Cause just like you can't eat one meal a whole week and think you're going to be healthy. Neither do you show up for one service and think you're going to be spiritually healthy. I'm here to rightly divide the word line upon line, help you understand some things and then you go home and you feed on the word as you read daily. Lord speak to me as I read this scripture this morning and you feed on the word, put in some quality time, make sure you set aside some time every day, read the word, don't get up, wash and dress and jump out there in the streets and these roads and what have you didn't get to your job and let these people work your nerves and you don't have any word in you. Get up early enough to get your chapter or two read and say, Lord, help me to center my mind in you. Even if you're reading a chapter and it didn't particularly move you, the discipline of reading the word, of getting in the presence of God and saying, Lord, I want to hear from you.

It's the discipline. Not every day of devotion is exciting and wonderful and bells going off and angels singing. Someday you just read the word and it's just, okay, good.

I got it. Didn't really speak to me, but Lord, I'm in your presence, so I'm available. Should you want to say something to me today?

So I'm spending time learning the word. I'm spending time building godly relationships. Some of y'all are spending too much of your time on raggedy people, raggedy, no count people. You say, but aren't I supposed to win them? Yes, but in order to win them, you got to invest time in godly relationships where there are people who are strengthening you.

So when you go hang out with the raggedy ones, you have strength. Y'all feel me? Amen. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, Do You Have the Time? Before we let you get on with your busy Tuesday, stay with us now as Pastor Paul Shepherd joins me from his studio in California. Pastor, we are beginning to see some signs of encouragement in relation to the pandemic, which is so greatly affected this entire world over the last year. But truthfully, it's left so many of us weary in need of some encouragement. Would you take a moment and share your heart with us before we wrap up today? Wayne, I'm weary just like you are, and I'm sure many of our listeners, probably the best way for me to encourage them is to let them sort of eavesdrop on my self-talk. I'm telling myself things like, this too shall pass. That's one of my favorite things I'm saying to myself. Reminding myself this, I know it's been long and drawn out, and it's getting on my nerves. I'm down to my reserve nerve.

That's that last one. But this too shall pass. Circumstantially speaking, there are indications, at least from my vantage point, that there's light at the end of this tunnel, and I don't think it's a train barreling toward me. I really do believe that things are going to get better for us, even circumstantially. And so I just want people to remember, most importantly, something that's in the life-changing and timeless Word of God, which is, God is our refuge and our strength.

That's true in good times, and that's true in bad times. God is our refuge, and sometimes when you're in the midst of a storm, He will be your strength to get you through it. So I hope our listeners will remain encouraged and know that God is with us, and He is more than the enemy and the world and the pandemic against us.

That scripture is from Psalm 46, verse 1. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Thanks for that reminder, Pastor. You know, as I think about the pandemic, I'm reminded that Jesus never promised that we'd avoid life's storms, only that with His help we could survive them. We need to cling to that truth during times like these, and to help you do that, Pastor Paul would like to offer you his booklet, Built on a Solid Foundation.

It's a great reminder that when we build our lives upon the solid rock of God's Word, we'll be able to withstand any storm that comes our way. That's Built on a Solid Foundation, our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 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, California 94538. And I'll repeat the address.

It's Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. See, the church has got to become a place where people are safe to be who they are. I am so tired of Christianity that demands that you're phony. How in the world are you going to ever have God change you if you go to a place that refuses to let you be real? That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Do You Have the Time? 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 / 2023-11-28 09:24:39 / 2023-11-28 09:33:21 / 9

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