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Assessing the S.H.A.P.E. You're In, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2021 8:00 am

Assessing the S.H.A.P.E. You're In, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 28, 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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Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman
Destined for Victory
Pastor Paul Sheppard

How can you discover your spiritual gifts? We'll find out today on this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. In just a few minutes, Pastor Paul shares his message, Assessing the Shape You're In. But before today's message, Pastor joins me now from his studio in California with a word of encouragement. Pastor, even though we are starting to see some promising signs as it relates to the pandemics, the effects of what's happened during this year kind of left us weary. When 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. I'm reminding myself, 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 so much for those words of encouragement, Pastor Paul. You know, Jesus never promised that we'd avoid life's storms, only that with his help we could survive them. And 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, CA 94538.

One more time, the address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. 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. It's never a bad idea to improve your weak areas, but when it comes to your spiritual gifts, the unique talents God has given you for Christian service, spend your time perfecting the strengths you already have. On today's Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd encourages you to find your strengths and devote your energy to getting even stronger at them so that you can be the best you, you can be. So now here's Pastor Paul with today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. 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 say you 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. I grew up around a great preacher, lived in the home of a great preacher, through his ministry were exposed to other great preachers. So I knew what it looked like and sound like. I knew how they operated in public. I knew how they talked in private.

They came to our house, spent nights, and I just was, I absorbed a lot of that. Couple that exposure with the fact that the saints would pat me on my head and say, you're going to be just like your father. And I said, and I didn't know to say it. Plus you couldn't say it back in old days. You couldn't talk to adults any old kind of way, but in my heart it was like nine. Because I didn't want to be a preacher. I wanted to be a regular Christian. I wanted to be a regular Christian. I did when growing up.

I wanted to be a regular Christian. I loved my daddy, loved my daddy. Always wanted to hang out with him. I always wanted to go hear him preach. And my mom wanted to punish me. She said, all right, you can't go with your father when he go to New York to preach.

I was straightened up right away. Because I wanted to hang out all the time with him, but I didn't want to do what he did for a living. Because I thought he was my only example of what a pastor was, and he was almost never home, always out serving, always out with people. He was sanguine.

I thought that was pastor and that was just sanguine. I never knew when he was coming home for dinner. And I said, no, one day I want to grow up and get married and have a wife and children, and I want them to know I'm going to be there at dinnertime.

So what can I do whether to get me home at dinnertime? And that was the way I was trying to process. But the gift God wanted to use the most, he had to force me to see it was going to be preaching. And so I started speaking as a young person in youth meetings and what have you, and I wouldn't let the pastor say I was a preacher. I said, no, no, I'm not a preacher. I'm just a youth speaker. I did, and I made them announce me as the speaker for the youth. Don't use the word preacher.

They was all right. And so I would go speak for the youth, and the youth would get the word and get saved. And I've told some of you before, but others haven't heard it plus I want to hear it again. Then I went to Kansas City, invited there to speak for a youth weekend, told that pastor, I'm a speaker, don't call me a preacher. All right, fine, come on. He said, I want you to speak to the young people Friday night, speak to them Saturday, two times Saturday, then speak to them Sunday in our little youth weekend. And by the time I got through speaking Sunday morning, he had me, he said, now Sunday morning you got to preach for the whole church, but it's a youth weekend and we're just helping to celebrate what's going on with the youth, and you'll speak.

I said, all right. And so by the time I got through speaking Sunday morning, had already spoke Friday, Saturday, and I close out the meeting Sunday speaking, I think all, if it wasn't all, it was all but a couple of young people in that church had gotten saved. They were saved by the time I left, cause the gift of God had reached into their hearts and God used it for his purpose, that's what the gift is, so he can use you for what he wants to do. This pastor was driving me to the airport Sunday afternoon, catch my plane from Kansas City back to Philly. He was driving me and I guess he held onto it as long as he could. And finally at one point in the drive to the airport, he looked over at me, shook his finger in my face, he said, I don't care what you call yourself. He said, you are called to be a preacher. He said, and the quicker you agree with God and surrender, the better off you're going to be. And he kept on driving. He was right.

I was in college when this happened. I was trying my best to do something other than preach. And at that point I said, you know what, I gotta shift my mind and start preparing myself even academically for the ministry.

So you've gotta look for your strongest gifts and sharpen those. If you write well, quit trying to sing and start writing. In my case, I preach well. My writing is very plain.

I'm choleric. So when I write, my writing is not nearly as entertaining as speaking. I know how to do that. I've learned over the years. I've honed this craft. I keep people's attention. That's why you all think I act stupid. There's a method behind it.

I'm Ivy League educated, went to Penn, got a master's degree later on from a school of ministry, got an honorary doctorate. I'm not ignorant. I'm dis is purposeful. Cause it helps me to engage people. Humor is a strong point. I caught it from my daddy. My daddy was a cracker. He had people laughing one minute, crying the next as he preached the word. So I got it honest. People all around the country say, I'm listening to you, and I was cracking up one minute.

Next thing I know, I was under conviction and crying. I said, yep. I know. That's how the gift works.

So you do what works for you. When it comes to my writing, I have a writing partner. He's gifted in writing. I'm gifted in preaching. So I send him my sermons, say put this with your flavor.

Send it back to me. Let me do my edits and all of that. And then I put out my book. And on the announcement page, I always acknowledge him.

Thank you to my collaborator. Why? Cause I'm sticking with my strength, and I find other people who have their strength, and we partner together. You gotta learn to do that in your own life. Stop fooling with your weakest gifts. Let them be a little hobby sometime when you got 20 minutes on the weekend. Don't give good quality time to stuff that's never gonna produce a lot of fruit.

Find your strengths and work them. Do you know some of the best food companies can't cause somebody to cook something well? They did one thing well, and all their friends wanted it and wanted to make that for me Christmas, make that for me Thanksgiving. And I do what they figured out.

You know what? I can sell these. And then they found somebody who could help them market. And they found somebody who could help them do this. And next thing you know, they started a little business. Then later on, you find somebody who has the distribution contacts. And you find somebody, and next thing you know, your stuff is sitting up in the supermarket. And you being paid.

Why? Stick with your strength. You listen to this word, some of y'all mess around and be millionaires. Cause there's a seed in you that'll not only bless other people so you can cook and give some things to the homeless, some things to the poor, but you can take the rest of it and make a living on it. Some of y'all could be multimillionaires if you stick with your strong points. And when you do, don't forget this message, bring the tide to the storehouse. Where am I? Oh, I'm on point two. Okay, so give your most time and attention to sharpening your strongest gifts rather than strengthening your weakest gifts.

Two more points. We'll be right back with more of today's Destin for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's where you'll find a host of great resources in our online store. Sometimes God may want to stretch you to take you out of your comfort zone. Here's Pastor Paul now with the rest of today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. Here's number three. Use your strongest gifts in both ministry and vocation if you can.

In other words, see if you can double stream your strengths. If you're not much of a people person, some of y'all, bless your heart, you saved, you love Jesus, but we can't put you in front of people or have you interacting too much with people because you're not good at communicating the goodness and the love that's in your heart. It doesn't get in your face, it doesn't get in your words.

Are y'all hearing what I'm saying? Do you know not everybody could be, for instance, an usher or a greeter? They saved just like ushers and greeters, but some of y'all be like just handing them the bullet, here you go, hey.

That's not going to work. I need folk who are anointed to smile. Good morning, how you doing?

How was your week? God bless you because you're using your gift of connecting with people. So you might be an usher or a greeter in the ministry, but you may also be able to find a job that pays well that will use your nature and your friendliness. So see if the Lord will bless you.

Look in those areas, but if there are people who aren't good at that, no need of you wanting to be a receptionist. Doesn't work for you. You don't know how to speak to people. May I help you? There are people I have hung up on just because of the first feeling I got. United Airlines, may I help you?

Uh-uh, not today, boom. I promise you I have. I promise you. Calling back because, you know, they got a lot of people working in that area. I'm going to call back, get somebody else. United Airlines, this is Sandy, may I help you please? Yes, Sandy, you can help me.

Now you tell Donna, who probably sitting over there in the same room, she need to go somewhere and find another job. See if you can find a way to maximize it for both ministry and vocation. On the ministry side, every church needs to grow its volunteer ministries.

So find your strengths. And if your church doesn't, we're young, we're a church plan essentially. We're early in the season as I bring this particular message. We don't even have our own building yet. And so we're very limited in what we can do, but we're going to be expanding ministries in the coming 12 months. Not only when, but even before we get into our building.

And that's got to start with some of you. Here are my strengths. How can we turn this into ministry effort? I want to serve. I'm not supposed to sit around and dream up every ministry. You all say, here are my gifts, I'd love to use them. Then you pray and come up with some possibilities.

Send me some possibilities. I'll talk it over with some of the other leaders who will pray, Lord, is this the time for that? Sometimes you have a good idea, wrong timing.

But it's not your job to figure that out. I'm called to lead the ministry, but you're called to help me think and pray. Come with me some things to work with. Pastor, I'd love to help you start this. Because for years people came to me with a complaint. How come the church doesn't have that?

I fixed that real quick. I learned early as a pastor to fix people. You come to me with a complaint, you leave me with a job. Run up on me wrong, talking about we don't have this, we don't have that, and I'm thinking about leaving because we don't have that. Why don't you start it?

See all this stuff I got to do, I'm trying to plug up 11 holes with 10 fingers. Find your strengths. See if you can use them in both ministry and vocation.

Find ways to serve, find ways to get it out there. Not just your resume, sell you to people. You're looking for a job, it's not just your resume, it's you. When my friends say your resume, get more than your resume out there.

It's one thing for them to see your resume, it's another thing for them to see you. Convince them I'm the person, I can bless your organization. I'll help you get this from here to there. Use your strongest gifts if possible in ministry and vocation.

Don't sweat it. If you say well I've tried so far, all you can do is what you can do. Then you pray and you lead the results to God. God's going to open doors and make ways and sometimes you need to develop some other strengths that you haven't thought about. There are some people who are busy trying to sell themselves for one particular type of job and what you don't realize is that something else you really ought to be developing.

It's already a strength, you just need to give it some time and sharpen it and head in another direction because maybe your provision is in that direction. See sometimes there's much more that we can't see beyond where we are right now. When Ruth and Naomi showed up in Bethlehem, Ruth had no idea that the field she was volunteering as a gleaner in just so that she and Naomi could eat everyday. She had no idea that what looked like welfare and picking up behind the harvesters, she was going to own that field because she was going to marry its owner.

She had no idea. You know one day I'm going to own this field, all these people out here working and I'm picking up behind, they're going to answer to me. That was the truth but she didn't know it.

But you got to serve well even when you're not being paid for it because it helps set you up and perhaps later on you'll get paid for what you're already doing. So just look at the possibilities, pray, let the Lord speak to you about it. There are a couple of biblical examples, let me just mention, I don't have time to expound them. But in Acts chapter 9, there's a woman named Tabitha called Dorcas and she was always doing good and helping the poor. If you jump down to verse 39, you see because what had happened, she died. Peter went and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room, all the widows stood around him crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Now that story ends well because the Lord uses Peter to raise her from the dead but the point was during her life, she helped people, she used her gift and she helped people, did it just as a volunteer and all the poor people. They ended up being used of God to get the woman raised from the dead because she served, she used it in ministry. Now over in Acts 16, somebody used a similar gift, a woman named Lydia used a similar gift and she made money on the Sabbath 16, 13.

We went outside the city gate to the river where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there, verse 14 of Acts chapter 16. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, a dealer, dealer, it was her business. She made her money using that gift. I just wanted to point those out to you and she ended up being one of the first saints in the church at Philippi by the way. And so she ended up being used of God to make her money so that she could be a believer, sow into the kingdom and all that. The other lady used those same gifts as a ministry. Perhaps you can do both.

So you prayerfully look at that possibility and here's the final thing and I'm done. Number four, fourth point for being an excellent steward, fulfillment and favor come from serving well. Sometimes what you just do passionately, God will later on give you favor for it. But fulfillment, a lot of people walking around looking for fulfillment. Fulfillment comes by being a steward of what God gave you. See, it's not first and foremost about money. It's first and foremost about fulfillment. Because if you're good and fulfilled, God will bless you to make you some money. But you got to find fulfillment.

You got to find those ways. In Acts 20, we're simply reminded, verse 35 of something Jesus said and everything I did, Paul said, I showed you that this kind of hard work that I've been doing is being a missionary. He said, because I've always remembered the words of the Lord Jesus himself who said, it is more blessed to give than to receive. You're blessed by giving. See, a lot of folks don't know that. I don't see how it's more blessed to give than to receive.

That's because you never tried it. See, if you have a consumer mentality, if you have a welfare mentality, you think it's all about receiving. The happiest people in the world, even secular researchers are coming up with this conclusion. Every now and then you see these reports and they finally figured out that the Bible was true. Of course, they won't give the Bible credit for it. But they say, we did research, massive research. The whole community is doing big research projects and they come back saying, people are more fulfilled when they enjoy helping other people than when they make a lot of money but don't have that same sense of connecting to help people. Really?

You don't say? Well, Jesus beat you all to that. He said, it's more blessed to give than to receive.

Give money, give time, and give your talent. You'll be blessed. Fulfillment comes from that. If you don't know that feeling, you need to go somewhere and volunteer and as you're helping people say, God bless you, Jesus loves you, whatever. That's why I encourage you if you can find a Christian organization or one that at least is an anti-Christian so that you can give people a word of hope while you're serving them.

Yeah, it's good to give them just food, let them eat, but it's better to give them food and say, the Lord loves you. What's your name? I want to be praying for you this week. What's your name?

How's your family doing? How can I be praying for you? And put some ministry element in it. You'd be surprised how fulfilling.

You didn't make a dime. You just spent two, three hours, half a day, but you walk away feeling I did something that mattered in heaven and it's fulfilling. Not only does fulfillment come from it, but so does favor.

See, a lot of folks quote Proverbs 18 and 16, but they don't understand it. A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. Some folks want to be in the presence of the great. Well, what you doing with your gift?

I don't know. I just want to meet them. You're not going to meet great people until you use your gift. I've used my gift and been shocked where I end up. I'd have never ended up there if I wouldn't use a gift. If I had kept convincing myself, I want to be a regular Christian, I ain't trying to be no preacher. I wouldn't have met some of the greatest people in the world. I've been blessed to walk in some rooms and say, wow, I don't believe I'm in here. I want to walk around with an autograph book. Excuse me, would you sign that, please?

That doesn't happen unless your gift makes room for you. Use your gifts and serve the Lord with gladness. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. If you'd like more information about the Destined for Victory ministry or this month's special offer, a booklet from Pastor Paul called Built on a Solid Foundation, be sure to stop by our website, That's He said, I want to let you know that now that I know you have not even withheld the most precious thing to you, your only child from me, I'm going to bless you in unbelievable ways. I'm here to tell you, if you will give God what you've been struggling and withholding from him, it will be the beginning of the release of the things that God has in store for you and your future. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Exalting the Lord's Name. 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 / 2023-11-24 15:52:26 / 2023-11-24 16:02:34 / 10

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