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Assessing the S.H.A.P.E. You're In, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 27, 2021 8:00 am

Assessing the S.H.A.P.E. You're In, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 27, 2021 8:00 am

A practical way to take inventory of the gifts, talents, and abilities we've been given to minister to others; four practical points for being an excellent steward of our resources.

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Everything you've gone through, good and bad, God will take it and make it part of your testimony to share with the world. You need to understand that our experiences all count, positive and negative. Your future by way of the past on today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

Hello and thanks for tuning in. If you want to discover how God wants to use you from this day forward, you may want to start by looking backwards to the experiences, both good and bad, that have helped mold you into the person you are today. Did you grow up without a father? Have you gone through a painful divorce?

Did you suffer trauma as a child? Whatever happened in your past could be a clue to what God wants to do in you and through you today. Stay with us now or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net. And here is Pastor Paul with today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. Please don't get your theology mixed up. When you see horrific crashes and you see families trapped in a burning house and lose their lives, when you see horrible things, don't say, well, God must have wanted that. No, no, we live in a world that is fallen and so many unfortunate things happen. But here's the thing we who are people of faith hold on to.

In everything, God works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose. So I say that to say as you reflect on your experiences, some of them are wonderful, some of them you can clearly see God at work right away, answers to prayer and miracles He works for you and doors He opened and ways He made and positive experiences. But don't take all of your negative stuff, bag it up and throw it in the trash. Some of you experienced abuse. Don't throw that away.

Some of you experienced heartbreak at a deep, deep level. Don't throw that away. Some of you have experienced sickness, been near to death.

Don't throw that away. Everything you've gone through good and bad, God will take it and make it part of your testimony to share with the world. You need to understand that our experiences all count positive and negative. Look at this verse, 2 Corinthians chapter one, in fact two verses there, verses three and four. 2 Corinthians chapter one, verses three and four says this, praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the, watch this, with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Do you see what that says? Those verses say God will take the comfort He had to give you when you were going through your difficult seasons and He'll recycle that comfort and let you give it to somebody else in His name. You must understand that God is the ultimate recycler.

He's the ultimate conservationist. God weighs nothing. If it exists, God says I'll use it.

We look at it as trash. God says no, no, wait till I work it around for good. God will take your junk and turn it into a treasure. God will take your mess and turn it into a message.

God will take your test and turn it into a testimony. He weighs nothing. So you must understand now that God is at work not only in the stuff you love. Didn't God answer that prayer?

God weighs nothing. Back in the days where churches had testimony service and you get up singing your little testimony song. Growing up in church, I heard more saints testify to one side of their experience.

They get up in testimony and say, woo, saints, I'm going to share your testimony. You know how stingy my husband is, don't you? When I came in from work, I was tied. I came into work and my old stingy husband hand me the keys to a brand new Mustang.

Hallelujah. I've seen that kind of testimony only weeks later to have that same sister, not in testimony service, but just talking to one of the saints. And one of the saints asked her, so how's that car riding? Do you know they repossessed that Mustang? I'm thinking he paying the bill and he not.

What she doesn't know is that too is part of her testimony. Your husband who you knew was stingy in the first place, I don't know why you got that excited. But when he lets you down, God is going to still get you where you need to go. He's still going to make ways for you. He's still going to bless you. So thank him when the job comes and thank him when the job gives you the pink slip. In everything, give thanks.

Why? Because he's not done yet. See, don't stop thanking God, Joseph, just cause you in jail. He said, but I've been here for years. Don't stop thanking him when you've been in jail for years. Keep on walking by faith. Keep on serving the other prisoners.

You don't have to understand why you there. I know there were days. See, the Bible just gives you the highlights, but I wish we could read Joseph's journal. I wish I could read his journal cause you know Joseph's in jail for what, 10, at least 10 years? For a crime he didn't commit. And all the Bible says is the Lord was with Joseph. He served other prisoners and the warden made him, put him in charge of the other prisoners.

Those are the highlights. What you need to know is in the seventh year, the third month, 23rd day, when this is getting good and old, Joseph is sitting somewhere writing, I don't believe this. You know he had to be like that. Why God going to tease me by giving me dreams of prominence and I'm in jail? You don't understand right in the thick of it where you're hidden. But when you can't praise him for what he has brought you to, praise him in advance for what he's going to bring you through. This isn't the end of my story. If you're in a bad place, that's not where it's going to end cause God's going to work it together for good. And on that seventh year, when Joseph was at that low point, all he had to do was keep on keeping on. See sometimes the saints give you those little cliches and you get mad when you hear them cause you've heard them all your life.

And I know you catch attitude when you're in the thick of it and they just give you something like keep on keeping on, you feel like you're right. But it's still true because if you just ride out that season, no matter how long it is, if you have a tenacity that is longer than your trial, after a while you're coming out of that valley of the shadow of death. And when you come out, he's going to take you to a place prepared. Oh look at what happened to Joseph. He gets called out of jail one day, in the middle of the day, has no idea what's been going on. What's been going on is in the throne room, the king says I need somebody to interpret this dream I had. And the cup bearer, who was supposed to remember Joseph two years prior, says oh king I know somebody, next thing you know they're calling him. And he's up in the throne room interpreting a dream.

Why? Cause he's kept bitterness out of his heart. He hasn't been down there plotting on how to kill Potiphar and his wife. He'd been letting the Lord bless him and use him while he's in a place he doesn't want to be in.

What do you do when you're in a place you don't want to be in? You got to bless the Lord and you got to let the Lord use your gifts and abilities. That's what Joseph was doing. He was using his ability, his gift, to interpret dreams and blessing people. Now God's ready to bring him out. He tells the king what the dream was all about.

King said well if that's going to happen, it's going to be seven years of great abundance followed by seven years of tremendous famine, I'm going to have to have somebody to oversee that. And he said I don't know anybody as wise as you. And the king took a prisoner, a felon. He's in jail for attempted rape.

He took a felon and turned him into a prime minister. So your story's not over. And your experiences all count. Still ahead the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the gospel with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is a listener supported ministry and right now during these uncertain times and in the face of many challenges, your help is needed now more than ever. So as God leads, please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. Do you want to know God's plan for your future?

Start by looking at what you've gone through in the past. Here's Pastor Paul again with the rest of today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. So here are some questions I want you to ask yourself. I want you to list first your spiritual gifts and callings. That is those that you're already aware of. And those that you're not aware of, Lord, I'm not sure what my gifts are.

Then you want to make that a matter of prayer until you know. List your spiritual gifts and callings. I want you to list the people, needs, or type of work you feel called to. The people, needs, or type of work that you feel called to. Next is the causes you're passionate about.

I want you to list the causes you're passionate about. Then I want you to list the things you excel at. The things you excel at. We talked about that earlier when we were looking at the A, the abilities, the things you excel at. Then I want you to list the abilities you're most known for.

The people around you, family and friends, who have complimented you on a particular ability. List the things you're known for. Then I want you to list your favorite areas, subjects, or areas of study.

List your favorite subjects or areas of study. Then a list of the strengths that go along with your temperament. I don't want you to list your weaknesses. We already know them.

We're just praying about them. List your strengths that go along with your temperament. List your most powerful and life-shaping experiences. Your most powerful and life-shaping experiences. Then I want you to list the significant things you've caught from mentors and influencers.

Remember at one point I said some things are caught, not taught. The people who have influenced your life the most. What are the positive things you've caught from them? Then jot down the painful experiences that you've come through. Those are the kinds of things I want you to create a list about in the coming days.

On that page is your blueprint for serving God and serving the needs of others in His name. Now, here's the way I want to wrap up this series. I want to give you four practical points for being an excellent steward of your gifts and talents. Four practical points.

Here's the first. Use your gifts on earth in ways that matter in heaven. What's the first practical point? How am I going to be an excellent steward of my gifts? Number one, I'm going to use my gifts on earth in ways that matter in heaven. Remember I talked about four principles earlier in the series for being a good steward. The same four principles apply to any area of stewardship.

They are sow generously, shrink debt systematically, save regularly, and spend wisely. So this is sort of sowing generously when it comes to your gifts and abilities. Make sure you don't use all of your gifts and abilities doing things that don't matter in heaven. What would it profit a man if he gained a whole world and lose his soul?

That's why you should never give your strength and your abilities only to pursuits that are natural and don't have any spiritual implication. In the Lord's Prayer, Matthew chapter 6 verses 9 and 10, Jesus said, this then is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. So he said, give the Lord's name praise. Reflect on who God is and praise and reverence, hallowed to reverence.

It's sacred to make sacred his name. Then the next verse he says what? Your kingdom come, your will be done God on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus said, pray that God's kingdom come and his will is done in earth just like it's already being done in heaven. In heaven there's nothing going on that's not the will of God. But on earth there's plenty going on that's not the will of God.

So our job as his followers are to make sure that a little bit of heaven's agenda comes to earth every day through us. So when you go to work, you really don't work for the man. You work for God in the man's company, in the man's business or the woman.

Sometimes the women lost it. You don't work for that person on earth. You work for God in heaven and you are to bring a little bit of heaven's agenda to earth as you live your life. So make sure that you're using your gifts on earth in ways that matter in heaven.

Whatever you do in using your abilities and gifts, make sure that there is some way that it can result in giving God glory and giving people spiritual hope. See, it's one thing and it's a good thing to feed the hungry. Jesus taught us we should do that. But if I only feed your body and I'm not feeding your spirit, I'm only meeting a temporal need. Now that need should be met because if I don't keep you alive, I can't tell you about Jesus. Don't walk up to a person dying of hunger saying, do you know Jesus?

First of all, do you have a sandwich or something? That's the first thing, you know. Find ways to be good to people. It's about people. See, you don't want to be a church person who's trying to tell people about pie in the sky by and by and you won't even give me a slice of pie here. That's inconsistent with who God is. And so we as his people need to use our gifts in ways on earth that matter in heaven. So even if I'm blessing people in their temporal needs, their everyday needs, I'm also making sure that through a word of witness or through sharing the love of God or anything like that, I am also caring for the more important part of them, which is their soul. See, if I feed you only bread, I'm going to keep your body alive, but what about your spirit? Your spirit needs to know who Jesus is. And so use your gifts on earth in ways that matter in heaven. So when you look at that list that you're going to create, say, God, how do you want to use me to do some of these things in your name to bless people?

Now, here's the second of the four points I want to give you about being an excellent steward. The first is use your gifts on earth in ways that matter in heaven. Number two, give the most time and attention to sharpening your strongest gifts rather than strengthening your weakest gifts. I'll keep that up on the screen a while so you can jot that down. Give the most time and attention to sharpening your strongest gifts rather than strengthening your weakest gifts.

As you're jotting that down, listen to why this is so important. There are a lot of people who never become extremely effective in doing anything because they're busy giving time and energy to things that will never become but so proficient in their lives. A lot of folks love being a jack of all trades, but here's the problem with being a jack of all trades.

What are you the master of? God doesn't want you to take all of your time and energy and money and gifts and abilities and give them to a cause that will never produce but so much. Let me show it to you in parable form from the mouth of Jesus. Matthew chapter 13 verses 3 through 8.

Look at what Jesus said. He told them many things in parable saying, a farmer went out to sow his seed. You know this parable. It's the parable of the sower. Verse four, as he was scattering the seed, some fell among the path and the birds came and ate it up. Verse five, some fell on rocky places where it did not have much soil.

It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. He put the seed but it put it on ground that was too shallow for it to go down and really produce roots. Verse six of Matthew 13, but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root. Verse seven, other seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked the plant. So the seed fell in a place where it could grow except that the thorns around it choked it. Some of you all got thorns around you.

That's why you're not growing. That's another sermon. Verse eight, still other seed fell on good soil where it produced a crop 160 or 30 times what was sown. Now of course we know that Jesus went on to explain that that parable means he's the sower and the seed is the word of God. And it talks about the word of God, what it produces in four different types of people. And of course the idea is if you and I are good soil for the word of God to fall onto, then God will use it to produce a lot of fruit.

So we know that that was the primary meaning. But I want to now show you the principle of the parable as it applies to your life. It also can teach you don't waste good seed in poor ground. And in your life, you have some areas that you'll never get but so proficient, never become but so gifted. It's just not your primary calling. So don't spend your time and energy trying to develop a weak gift. When you have other gifts, you're already strong and you need to sharpen those because those will produce 160 and 30 fold.

Those will give you a good return. Don't say I always wanted to be a singer. You can't sing. Let pastor help you now. I know it's going to hurt your feelings. I've come to church for him to hurt my feelings. Yes, you did.

You just didn't know it. But sometimes your feelings got to get hurt for you to get on the right track. So I love you enough to hurt your feelings. Baby girl, bro, man, y'all can't sing. If they would just let me up on the praise team and let me develop my gift on the praise team. No, you can't come up here. Up here singing in the key of Q. You need to look at your list and say God, which of these things do you want to turn into a way that I can truly glorify you and bless other people? You can't sing want to make a CD for what?

Nobody want to hear that. Ain't nobody got time for that. You need to find your strong gifts and sharpen those. What do you already do? Well, what do you already see evidence of God at work in you?

Sharpen that. If past experiences have left you disillusioned, if you've lost your joy in remembrance of your own personal history, God wants to help you to learn from those experiences to find healing and deliverance so that you can use them to help others. Draw from your past.

Don't just let your past draw from you. Well, partnership has always been essential for every great work of God. He designed us for a relationship, for partnership, both with him and with one another. And today, Pastor Paul would like to invite you to partner with him as he seeks to share the gospel all over the world. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. Call 855-339-5500 to find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner for as little as $20 a month. Or mail your gift, letting us know you wish to become our partner.

The address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also become our partner from our website, PastorPaul.net. Now if you can't become a Destined for Victory partner, but would like to make a donation today, we'd love to send you Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Built on a Solid Foundation. You can't avoid life's storms, but with God's help, you can survive them.

This booklet tells you how. Again, that's Built on a Solid Foundation, a booklet from Pastor Paul, and our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. And in your life, you have some areas that you'll never get but so proficient, never become but so gifted.

It's just not your primary calling. So don't spend your time and energy trying to develop a weak gift. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. So until then remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-24 23:45:54 / 2023-11-24 23:54:58 / 9

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