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Rekindling Your Spiritual Flame (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2021 8:00 am

Rekindling Your Spiritual Flame (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 13, 2021 8:00 am

An examination of the message God gave John for the church at Ephesus. (Included in the 7-part series You’ve Got Mail.)

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What they did was they said, Well, since we're saved by grace, which is unmerited favor, then God doesn't mind if we continue to live in sin, because His grace will just keep on covering.

In fact, all we're doing is just giving God a lot of sin to cover. Today's message is straight ahead. Stay with us here, or stop by Pastor Paul Sheppard, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. When the Apostle John took pen in hand to write the revelation of Jesus Christ, part of his task was to pass along messages to seven first-century churches in the surrounding areas of Rome. But each letter could have just as easily been written to the church today, a testament to the wisdom and omniscience of God who knows the common struggles we all face.

Today's message is straight ahead. Stay with us here, or stop by PastorPaul.net to listen on demand. That's PastorPaul.net. From the Book of Revelation, here's Pastor Paul with today's message, Rekindling Your Spiritual Flame. We got people today who think you can go up, pray a prayer, ask Jesus into your life, and then proceed to live the rest of your life in blatant disobedience to His word. I got a word from the Lord right from the Scriptures for you. God says, I hate the practice of the Nicolaitans. I hate it when people turn my grace into disgrace.

He didn't say He hated you, but He hates what you're doing, and He calls us to repent. And I'm telling you, as long as the Lord gives me breath, at times I feel like one of the very few messengers, because these are days when people want you to preach what they want to hear, and they don't want to sit up under hard doctrine. But as long as you sit under this ministry, you're going to hear the truth.

You're going to hear the truth. You can't live any old kind of way and be a follower of Jesus Christ. You can't do what you want to do and be a follower of Jesus Christ. He called us to follow Him, not follow our own whims and desires and sinful passions. And you cannot be a follower, a true believer, and practice disgrace. It is true that God's grace covers our sin.

It's true that all of us are imperfect. But it is not true that you can continue in blatant, deliberate sin and disobedience and call yourself a follower of Christ. Read your Bible, 1 Corinthians 6, verse 9. Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? He goes on to say that there are things you can't practice, and He just runs down a list, sexual immorality and this and that.

And then He says, and such. Anything that you know according to the Word is outside of God's will. He says you can't practice that and think that you're going to see the Lord one day. So we are called in the Word to line our lives up.

Yes, you're imperfect. Yes, we stumble and we fall. But a fall is different than a plan to live low. See, if you fall, that means you're walking, you're living, you're doing what God wants you to do, and you trip up. You fall down. And you say, oh, my goodness.

And you brush yourself off. Thank God for grace. I'm sorry. God, give me help. Help me, Lord.

And you go on your way. But you know as well as I do, we have some folk who aren't falling. This is called predetermined, premeditated, living low. And I'm here to tell you the Word of God says, God said, I hate the practice of the Nicolaitans. I hate those who want to make a mockery of my grace because grace does cover our sins. But grace also teaches us.

Titus chapter 2. The grace of God that appears to all men teaches us that denying worldliness and ungodliness, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. That's God's plan.

And he gives us his spirit so that he can live out that plan through us. And then when he gets through commending them, he says, but I have something against you. I have something against you.

Interesting language. And the Lord says to them and says to us, I'm glad that you're doing some things well, but he says, I got something against you. And look at what he says. He says, what I have against you is that you have forsaken your first love. Now the construction of that phrase in the Greek tends to suggest that God wasn't saying that you have forsaken necessarily the object of your first love, but that you have forsaken the expressions of your first love. In other words, God is saying, you don't love me like you used to. God says, you used to show your love for me in ways that you no longer demonstrated. You used to have a passion for me and a fervor for me. And now it's like you take me for granted.

I'm here to tell you that the word of the Lord to them and to us is we need to rekindle our spiritual flame. He says, you don't love me like you used to. You have forsaken the expressions of your first love.

In fact, that is underscored by what he says after that. He says, remember the height from which you've fallen, repent, watch this, and do the things you did at first. Now think back, if you want to get the message on the spiritual level, think in your own life.

Truth runs parallel and you can learn a lot of truths by looking at natural things and then applying them in the spiritual. You remember the first time you fell in love or thought you were in love? You remember some of those early, early girlfriends, boyfriends? You remember some of those years when you just thought you had, oh man, you had found love and it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. In fact, some of you can think back to times in your life.

Maybe you never married the person or whatever the case, but for that little season, y'all thought y'all were the bomb couple and you had different little ways of expressing that love. You spent a lot of time on the phone. You remember those days where you were on the phone and you didn't even have to be talking?

You know, you talked for a while. Now y'all got to think back in the day because these days folks text all day. People talk, but how many of y'all are old enough to remember back when you got on the phone? Back when you're on the phone, you're in your room on the phone. You didn't have cell phones back then, so you had to get your mother to buy an extra long cord so you could drag the phone into your bedroom. Y'all remember that? We need a long cord because the phone don't reach in here and we got to buy one and you could drag the phone into your, and you knew when your brother or sister was in love, you needed to make a call about school or call a schoolmate or something and you saw the line going into that room and you said, oh my goodness, I don't know when I'm going to get that phone because they in there talking about nothing.

Y'all remember those days. In there just talking. Sometime late at night, we could do it at least on the weekend, during the weekend, the mother said, get off the phone, you got to go to school in the morning. But during Friday night, Saturday night, you could talk on and you're on the phone in there all late at night, sometimes falling asleep. Some of y'all remember I heard that, falling asleep, holding the phone, late at night, you talk to your little small talk, for a while now you're tired and you're just holding the phone but you don't want to let it go. Sometimes one person says, you sleep? You say, uh-uh. I mean, I'm sleepy but I'm not asleep. The other thing you associate with those days, you remember songs?

See, see, see them people witnessing? There were some songs. You can think back to your little puppy love days where there was a song that represented that particular time in your life when you were infatuated with that one person. In fact, to this day, if you hear some oldies, it takes you back to a time. Don't play it too much because it might not be the person you ended up marrying. But you can think of some of those oldies and you have to learn to translate it now to your present love so that you can live right and please God.

So you're going to have to make a transfer. This used to be my song with her but I didn't hook up with her. Now that I'm with you, this can become one of our adopted songs.

And you have to make the translation so that you live right and do what God has called you to do. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. To listen to our program anytime, ask Alexa to play Destined for Victory. The program also is available at Google Home or on demand at pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net where you can contact us for prayer or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry online. Remember that toy you begged for every day for a month before Christmas?

When you got it, you played with it for a week and then forgot about it. Sometimes we do the same thing to God and he wants to help us rediscover our passion for him. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, Rekindling Your Spiritual Flame. But listen, sometimes, you know, we act like kids and, you know, what have you, in those early seasons that that's the little petty stuff, that's puppy love.

It's real to the puppies. And here's what God is saying, you used to have a fire, a flame, a passion for me that you have allowed to die now. You're not that excited about me like you used to be. That's what he's saying to that church and to the church today. When you come to worship, you used to be where you couldn't wait to get around some other folk who were going to worship me too. Now the fact of the matter, if you're going to be a true worshiper, you have to worship Monday through Saturday. You don't just wait till you show up on the Lord's Day, think you're going to worship.

That's not what you do only once a week. That's not worship. You wouldn't have thought back in puppy love days of just talking to that person you were crazy about once a week.

You couldn't wait to talk to them. And God is saying, I want you to rekindle the flame of love, your spiritual passion for me so that you learn to worship me every day. And when you finally get the opportunity to come together with others, then it's just a blaze of worship because everybody has their own fire lit and together we are magnifying the name of the Lord.

And he's saying, that's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for people who will worship me with passion. You don't have to worship like somebody else, but you ought to worship him in spirit and in truth and put your heart in it. The great commandment is what thou shalt love the Lord, your God, how with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength. He's saying, worship me fervently.

And let me tell you something. There are blessings that come to people who love God with passion that don't come to just any old body. See, you got to understand, God has emotion. He's not a man.

He's not human. But in God's nature, he has emotion. When you read your Bible, you clearly see there are things that God delights in.

There are things that make God happy. There are things that also trouble God. You see the wrath of God. You see the anger of God. You see the displeasure of God in Scripture. So God is not human, but he is emotional. And our goal has to be to bring, as it were, a smile to God's face.

Because there are blessings associated with that. When the Bible says we should love the Lord, it's talking about the passion. What is God's love language? You know, years ago, that book came out, The Five Love Languages.

And you know, a lot of us have read those. And you got to find your love language, find your spouse's love language, so that you love them in a way that they can appreciate. See, the worst thing you can do is love somebody in a way you appreciate. Because that means something to you. But if you're trying to do something for me, that doesn't work for me. Like in that book, one of the love languages was gifts. My wife and my children and close friends, they know that's not a love language for me. Because my taste runs expensive.

Runs expensive. You know, I'm not a trinket kind of person. You know, some folk are down for the trinkets because they say, oh, it's just a thought that counts.

My wife's like that. If she knows I was thinking about her, the littlest thing can mean so much to her. And I'll get something that brings, I just saw this thought about you, and she'll light up. And I'm thinking, man, that was only seven dollars. I didn't know I could get all that for seven bucks.

Yeah, that's a pretty good investment. You know what I'm saying? But for her, it was the thought that you were somewhere and you thought about me and you picked this up as an expression of the love that you had in your heart.

She loved that. But she knows, don't trinket me. I'm not a trinket brother. People give me some, I say, what's this?

Come on, y'all make me feel bad. How many of y'all are like me? You're not into trinkets. Not into trinkets. Do not trinket a brother. If y'all say, look, your birthday coming up, what do you want? Be prepared. So I tend to just get my own stuff.

I save up, get what I want for myself because it's expensive. Y'all going to have to get a whole lot of people together if you're going to bless me. But everybody has their love language.

Some people it's time. Some people it is affection, touch. Well, God has love languages and one is to worship Him from your whole heart. God says I want you to love me until it's obvious to everybody else that you love me. God says I want you to love me and people who know you know you love me. Because you know when you ain't shown enough love, the people around you before you tell them, they tell you. They say you messed somebody, didn't you?

Because of that stupid look on your face. And God says now that I'm with you, just because we've had years together, don't let the flame die. Don't let the passion die. Love me because the Bible says there are things God will do. There are verses such as in 1 Corinthians, there's a verse where Paul said, the Lord said eye has not seen, ear hasn't heard, nor has it entered your heart what God will do for those who love Him. When you love God right, God will get so happy, He'll say what you want? That's the way you want to love God. You want to love God until He says, what you want? What can I do for you?

How can I bring a smile to your face? Don't you want to hear God say that to you one day? You want to get God so loved on until He just blesses you with something your eye hasn't seen, your ear hasn't heard, it hasn't even entered your heart yet.

There's another promise in Romans 8 28, we love to quote it, but will you live it? And we know that all things work together for good, not to everybody. If you are one of these people walking around saying, well, you know, everything happens for a reason, I challenge you, quit saying it. It's not in your Bible. The Bible doesn't say everything happens for a reason. What does the Bible say? And we know that all things work together for good to them, not everybody, to them.

Who's the them? To them that love Him with passion and are called according to His purpose. If you love on God, if you worship God, if your heart is filled with gratitude toward God, the Bible says, God in response to the way you love Him will take what the devil meant for evil, will take your negative circumstances, will take the economic downturn, will take anything, your raggedy family's actions, your mean enemy's actions, He will take anything.

And He said, no, no, that's my child. That's the one that loves me. And He will work it together. He'll work it together. No weapon formed against you will prosper because you love Him. The enemy will try to take you out, but the Lord will say, not so. That's my baby.

That's my son. You can't mess with them. They love me and I'm going to work all things together. Oh, I don't know about you, but I want to love God so well until He blesses me in crazy ways. I want to love Him so well until God just gets excited about doing something as I put the kingdom first. He said, if you take care of my business, I'll take care of yours.

That desire that's way down in your heart. You don't talk about it much because you're spending most of your time loving me. He said, I'll turn around and I'll bless you anyhow. I'll give you a favor, give you a favor. People don't even know why you're doing as well as you're doing. You can't earn it. You can't deserve it.

It doesn't make sense to them. But because you love me, I'm going to bless you real good. Oh, I want somebody to make up in your mind, Lord, I hear your word and I'm going to rekindle my spiritual flame. I'm going to throw some logs of praise and worship and adoration. I'm going to get involved. I'm going to serve you. I'm going to get involved in ministry.

I'm going to give more of my time. I'm not doing it for people. I'm doing it for God. I want the Lord to know that I want to please Him, that I want to serve Him, that I want to make Him as happy as I can. And I want to tell you something. If you do that, you won't be able to beat God giving.

Give Him love and no telling what He will do in your life because you love Him. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, rekindling your spiritual flame. Right now, Pastor Paul Shepherd has been kind enough to join me from his studio in California. Pastor, I love the name of this series, You've Got Mail, reminds me of AOL and that movie that came out by the same title. It's also the title of our series and it's a great one for this message. You're sharing about the seven letters that John wrote to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Now, we all understand that Revelation is so much about the future, but this is important mail for the church today. You believe that, don't you?

I do. I want people to get it that back in the first century of the church's existence, the Apostle John got direct mail for the churches in Asia Minor and he shared it when he was released from his exile on the Isle of Patmos. And as a result, we're able to be blessed because what I have found out is that those messages were not just for those seven physical churches. Those messages were for the church down through the ages. When you look at every message, there's something in there for each of us today. And so my attempt in this series is to unpack those things and help us understand that Revelation isn't a scary book.

It is a book to help you get your act together and become the person God has destined you to be. As we say often here on the broadcast, in Christ, you are destined for victory. Thanks for those words of encouragement, Pastor Paul, and for the series you're sharing the rest of this month, You've Got Mail.

As you may know, Destined for Victory is a listener support of ministry, one that depends on your prayers and financial support to keep these messages airing the whole year through. And for your generous gift today, we have a gift of our own to share with you. It's a booklet from Pastor Paul called Traits of a Virtuous Woman. He wrote this booklet to honor mothers in particular and godly women in general.

As you follow along, you'll discover several important traits that all women should embody. That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, a booklet from Pastor Paul based on Proverbs 31, and our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. So call us at 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net 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.

Again, our address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. I rose to tell somebody that God is particularly familiar with what you're going through. See, we don't serve a God who lives way out there and who just kind of has a large pan-out view of the world. We don't serve a disinterested, removed, impersonal God. But in Christ, God became very, very close to you and to me. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul's message, Richer Than You Think. 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 / 2023-11-19 03:30:48 / 2023-11-19 03:40:01 / 9

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