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Enjoying the Favor of God

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2021 8:00 am

Enjoying the Favor of God

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 26, 2021 8:00 am

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

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Music playing Pastor Paul Sheppard.

You've heard it said before right here on this program. If all of us were alike, only one of us would be necessary. I encourage you to take that message to heart today as you listen to Pastor Paul talk about the dangers of comparing ourselves to others. As long as you're trying to become something you're not, you won't be all that God designed you to be. Stay right here or visit pastorpaul.net anytime to listen to Destined for Victory On Demand.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Google Podcast or wherever you get yours. Let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, Enjoying the Favor of God. Revelation chapter three beginning with verse seven to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.

Right. These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens, no one can shut and what he shuts, no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews, though they are not, but are liars. I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.

Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God, and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. In this message, I want to talk about enjoying the favor of God.

Enjoying the favor of God. We have taken a look at five letters written to churches in Asia Minor, and we come now to the sixth letter, written to the church in Philadelphia, not my hometown. But Philadelphia, the city that was some 25 miles southeast of Sardis in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. This was a church that in a lot of ways seemed to itself and perhaps to others rather insignificant. It wasn't one of those popular churches. It wasn't a church that had a lot of fanfare surrounding it. It was just a band of believers in the city of Philadelphia who were in the midst of people who were godless and people who did not serve the Lord, and there they were being a light in a dark place. Not a lot of fanfare, not a lot of splash, not a lot of popularity, not a lot of clout.

But nonetheless, you see by this letter that they are on God's radar. It was a rather small church in number. They didn't have much in the way of resources, and they didn't have much in the way of clout. The mayor didn't stop by and visit them.

They weren't on the news. It was just a band of believers who loved the Lord and who were standing true to His word. But I want you to notice that while they weren't particularly popular among men, they were a church that was in the view of God, and God sends a letter to them through John to say, I want you to know that though you seem rather small and you may feel rather insignificant, I want you to understand that I am looking at you and I want you to know that I like what I see.

I want to preach this word for people who might have a little bit of the Philadelphia complex going on in your own walk with God. You seem rather insignificant. You're not necessarily in the popular bunch. You're not in anybody's who's who list. You don't have a lot of clout.

You don't know a lot of high-powered people. You may not have a whole lot of money, may not live in the greatest of neighborhoods and what have you, but you do love the Lord with all of your heart, and you are seeking to please Him. I came to let you know that while other people might get the attention and the headlines, God has you in His sight, and He likes what He sees. You know, we've got to make sure that we understand what biblical values really are versus the world's values. In the world, bigger seems to be better. In the world, the things that get attention and the people that get attention are those things that are high profile and what have you. The people who make the biggest splashes tend to get the most attention.

And in the world in general, it's about who you are and where you live and what you have and who you know and all of that. But I want to let you know that in God's worldview, bigger is not necessarily better. In God's worldview, popularity is not necessarily a good thing because after all, when we stand before the Lord one day, He's not going to ask any of us who we knew. He's not going to ask any of us what click we rolled with. He's not going to ask you how many significant people knew your name or what neighborhood you lived in or what size your portfolio was or any of that. God is going to want to know, what did you do with my son Jesus? How true to His name were you? When it's all said and done, it's not about anything on this earth. It is about you being a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. And when you're a child of God, when you're a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, you already have the clout that matters. Jesus knows you by name.

In fact, He said to this church, if you overcome, I'll make sure that my name is written on you, that you are known to be a child of the most high God. I want to let somebody know that you may be feeling insignificant because you're comparing yourself with other people. That's always a mistake, by the way, when we compare ourselves among ourselves.

There's a scripture that says that is not wise. It's not a good idea to look around at other folk and compare yourself with them for a number of reasons. Number one, because God made you who you were. He knew what He wanted out of you when He brought you to the planet.

And He gave you whatever you needed in order to please Him. And so it's always a mistake when we compare ourselves to others because we are unique. You are an original. God doesn't want you to become a copy. Don't spend your time trying to be like other folk. Don't spend your time trying to get in a certain bunch and that sort of thing. Just be who God made you.

Don't worry about it. You may not feel as pretty or as handsome as some person you look at. You may not have as much money as some other person you know.

You may not live in a neighborhood that you wish one day you'll be able to afford to live in. But if you stay true to God, I want you to know that when you have Him as the one who is pleased with your life, you are far ahead of the game. When it's all said and done, it really is about pleasing the Lord.

When it's all said and done, it's not about other folk because they really aren't going to determine my destiny whatsoever. And so He writes to a church that is feeling rather small and insignificant, and He lets them know, I am pleased with you. As we've looked at these letters to the churches in Asia Minor, we have seen that most of the letters had both a word of commendation, some things that God wanted to affirm them about, and words of admonition. And then we also saw one church had no words of commendation. The only thing you could say about that church was you have a few people who are still true to me and faithful to me.

But as a church, they had no words of commendation, only admonition. But I want you to note that here, when He writes the church at Philadelphia, He has no words of rebuke for them. The only thing He wants to do is tell them, I like what I see in you, and I want you to remain faithful. And because you have pleased me, there are some things that I'm going to do in your life. I am going to bless you with my favor. And I want to tell somebody in this message that if you have the favor of God, man, I'll tell you something, you've got something worth being excited about. You think you want to be more pretty or more beautiful or more popular or more wealthy or whatever it is, more recognized, but let me tell you something, what you really need is the favor of God. If you have the favor of God, God's liable to bless you with anything.

And more importantly, when you have the favor of God, even when you don't have certain things in the way of this world recognizes, when you have the favor of God, there is nothing that will stand between you and the destiny that He has purposed for your life. Coming up next, the rest of today's message and join the favor of God with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website, pastorpaul.net, I invite you to do it when you have some time. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources at our online store, including books and DVD messages from Pastor Paul. Pastorpaul.net is also a great place to learn more about the ministry and all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. And listening to Destined for Victory is as easy as asking Alexa to play today's program.

Just enable the skill and say, Alexa, play today's Destined for Victory to get the program anytime. In the book of Revelation, the church at Philadelphia was far from popular. Few members, very little fanfare, a tiny light in a godless city. But this body of believers had one thing that every Christian on earth would want. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, enjoying the favor of God. And so here is a church that he has no rebuke for. He just wants to let them know, because you have pleased me, I'm going to bless you with my own favor.

Now look at what, just let's come through here and just lift up a couple of things. I want you to note that he addresses them as the one who is holy and true. He's used different titles to describe himself throughout the early part of the letter of Revelation. And here he says, I am the one who is holy and true. God, throughout the scriptures, is lifted up as the holy one, the one who is holy and true. Please understand, we're living in days when people want to be very ambiguous about who God is. And you hear on these talk shows and what have you, when they're trying to talk about something spiritual, they say, God, whoever it is, you believe that to be, as though being God is negotiable. Listen, I want to tell folk who are determined to live by the will of God as revealed in the word of God, I don't care how ambiguous the world around us gets, we serve one who has revealed himself clearly in creation, in conscience, and in Christ, and in his word he lets us know, I am the holy one and the one who is true. There is but one true God.

If you serve anybody other than him, you're serving a false God. I know people don't like to talk that way. Some of y'all are nervous because I just said that.

I don't know why you're nervous. I'm not. The Bible says he is the holy one and true. Paul said in 1 Timothy 1.17, Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, to the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever.

Amen. He's the only wise God. If you've got another God other than the one revealed in Scripture, you've got the wrong one. You need to trade that one in because yours is a false God. I resent you saying that your God is the only God. He said it.

I didn't. I'm just an echo. He's the voice. And he who is God has a perfect right to tell us who he is and we ought to believe him. He is the holy one and true. And then he says he is the one who holds the key of David, the key of David. I love that because that simply hearkens back.

It's metaphoric language. It hearkens back to the fact that just as David, the king that God raised to the throne from being a little shepherd boy, had him ascend all the way to the throne and he was king over God's people. Just as he reigned with authority over an earthly kingdom, he says here God identifies himself as the one who holds the key of David.

David was just a type or a shadow. But Jesus Christ is the one who came as a descendant of David and he doesn't just reign over some earthly kingdom. He reigns over heaven and earth. In fact, what we call the Great Commission was preceded by a verse, Matthew 28 and 18, where Jesus said, all power in heaven and in earth is given unto me. That is all authority. King James uses the word power, but it's the Greek word exousia and it means all authority has been given to me. Not power in terms of dynamite, but power in terms of legal right.

And Jesus said, I have legal right over all things in heaven and in earth. I want to let you know he holds the key of David. When you hold a key, you got some authority. Key is a symbol. It means authority. It means right.

It means entitlement. And the owner of a property or the owner of a vehicle, whatever it is, holds that key because they own what the key opens up to. See, when you have a key, you have one of two things. You either have the key by virtue of being the owner or you have delegated authority. The owner who had the keys, you know, when you buy a property or a house or whatever, or cars, whatever, they give you the keys. Those are supposed to be the keys to the place and you get those at the point of closing the deal. Now, if you so desire, you can identify relatives or friends who you give a key to. Theirs is delegated authority.

Yours is absolute authority. You can take your key back when you want to because you own the key. Some of us remember as children, you knew that you were hitting a sort of rite of passage when your parents finally gave you a key to the house. Some of you all remember that like I do. I remember when I got my first key. And that meant my mother said, if I happen not to be home, I was old enough now where I didn't have to be babysat and what have you. If you happen to not be home, you can let yourself in. Some of you all remember that the first key you got, she put it on a string and put it around your neck.

Oh, come on, somebody. She was trusting you with a little delegated authority, but she knew you lose things. So she put it around your neck and you're getting ready to go off to school.

She said, let me see your key. I'm just showing right there. There it is. Delegated authority. That means I trust you to let yourself in and out. The property is mine, but I'm sharing part of my authority with you.

I'm giving you a little bit of entitlement. And I remember the day when I had to turn my key back in. Oh, what a heartbreaking day that was for me. My parents gave me the privilege of remaining in their home until I got married. And I was so glad for that.

Their position was, once I was through college and all that, and now grown, they said, you know, you're not married. You're free to stay here. You just have to give us the money we need and help out in the ways that we need. And you are free to stay here. I counted that a great privilege. No need of moving out to my own place when I can stay here cheap.

You know what I'm saying? And so I really appreciated that. So I enjoyed having a key. I was all the way up in my 20s.

When I married, I was 24. And so up to that point, I was glad to be able to have my own key. But I remember the day when, having been married, I think about a week or so, I said, let me pop back into the house and just visit my parents and what have you. And so I went on over to the house.

I stuck my key in the door, walked on in. My father was sitting at the kitchen table. And he looked up and said, hey, son, how you doing? And we hugged and said, yeah, I'm doing fine, what have you. And so I figured we'd just stand there and shoot the breeze at two married men. So I'm standing there and we're just talking, what have you.

Then I went to the refrigerator, got a little apple juice out, and got a cup, poured myself some apple juice, and I'm standing there drinking my apple juice and talking to my dad, feeling real grown. A couple of minutes into the conversation, something dawned on my father, and a curious look came over his face, and he said, son, how did you get in here? To which I said, oh, well, you know, I still have my key, and so I just figured not to trouble you all, so I just come on in. He said, oh, oh, all right, all right. Now, son, when you leave, leave your key right up on that ledge.

Hurt my feelings. You know how long I've had this key. But the reason why I had to turn it in was because that was delegated authority. It was authority that he had given me, and it had limited access. And his position very clearly now, I believe it was triggered by the fact that he saw me go in his refrigerator and get some apple juice. And his position now was, you think you're a man, you got yourself a little old wife, got yourself a little old apartment, you go there and drink yourself some little old apple juice.

Don't come busting up in my house and I don't know you coming. And then I got my feelings hurt worse, then a little while later, a couple of months later when I went back to the house, he wasn't home. He was out doing something, and I was there with my mom for a while, and then I waxed nostalgic and said, let me run up to the third floor where my living quarters were in my single day.

Let me just go back up there and look around and just reminisce. I went up there, looked around, I dashed back down the steps, said to mom, what in the world is he doing? She said, oh, as soon as you got married, your father called the contractor. And my man had taken what was my bathroom and turned it into a sauna.

He was saying, I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a sauna. It's because it was delegated authority. But as the owners, they had absolute authority. Well, I want to let you know when Jesus says, I'm the one who holds the key of David, he's saying, I have absolute authority. I can bless who I want to bless. I can judge who I want to judge. No one can second guess me. There's no Supreme Court that can overturn my decision. I have absolute authority.

And he is saying to this church, I'm going to open some doors for you and nobody will be able to shut them because I have absolute authority. I come to let somebody know God has some blessings with your name on them and there's nothing the devil can do about it. There's nothing your haters can do about it. There's nothing the folk that don't like you can do about it.

And so don't worry about feeling insignificant, don't worry about feeling like you don't quite measure up and you're not in the clique and in the gang. God is looking at you and he said, I got a key and I'm getting ready to open some doors in your life. And I'm going to bless you with favor. Are you ready for God to open doors in your life?

Put your faith not on your own strength, not on your ability to measure up, but in Christ and Christ alone, because in him you are destined for victory. Today's message, Enjoying the Favor of God, is part of Pastor Paul Shepherd's teaching series, You've Got Mail. This seven-part series offers some keen insight into the letters written to seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.

That's You've Got Mail. Look for it online at pastorpaul.net. In Psalm 107, King David writes, Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. If you need prayer today, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to pray for you. From the homepage at pastorpaul.net, use the contact feature to let us know how we can pray for you. And while you're on our website, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. And here's something else, a booklet from Pastor Paul Shepherd, called Traits of a Virtuous Woman. This is a great companion guide to Pastor Paul's messages from earlier this month in praise of godly women. That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, a booklet from Pastor Paul based on Proverbs 31, and it's our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone, or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website, pastorpaul.net.

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Let me use the word favor, F-A-V-O-R, and just use each of those letters to let you know something about favor. When God gives them favor, first of all, he is giving them fruitfulness. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Enjoying the Favor of God. I hope you'll join us. 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 / 2023-11-13 02:05:47 / 2023-11-13 02:15:15 / 9

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