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We're Stronger Together

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2021 8:00 am

We're Stronger Together

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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July 15, 2021 8:00 am

The importance of getting and remaining connected to others as we follow Christ; based on Romans 8:28,31, and 37 as well as other passages. (Included in the 9-part series The Power of We.)

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I could take you all the way through the New Testament and point out all the one another passages, all the each other passages, all the passages that you can't fulfill unless somebody else is in your space and you're in theirs.

You are not called to be what we love to be in too many cases, which is just me and Jesus. Proverbs 27 verse 17 says this about the power of partnership, iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Modern technology may give us the illusion of togetherness, but if we're not careful, it can lead to a less personal, more isolated existence. Today, Pastor Paul reminds us that the Christian life is meant to be lived in tandem with God and with other like-minded believers in Christ. Stay with us now or stop by anytime to hear today's message or any recent Destined for Victory message on demand.

That's and you can subscribe or download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you enjoy your programs. Let's join Pastor Paul now as he shares today's Destined for Victory message, We're Stronger Together. Romans 8, here's what verse 28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. Now, before you leave verse 28, I want you, if you highlight or underline in your Bible, I want you to highlight or underline the word we. And we know, highlight we, that all things work together for those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to his purpose. Be sure to highlight that word we, because we're going to come back to that. Verse 31, what then shall we underscore or highlight the word we there? What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, highlight or underscore the word us.

If God is for us, who can be against us? Highlight or underscore that word. Then go to verse 37, yet in all these things we, highlight underscore there, are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Highlight and underscore that word as well. Notice the apostle Paul says that we're called according to God's purpose, but I want you to focus on the we-ness in those three verses. And this is just a very small sampling of the greater truth that we-ness runs like a thread throughout the scriptures. Romans 8 is just one example, I could take you all the way through the New Testament and point out all the one another passages, all the each other passages, all the passages that you can't fulfill unless somebody else is in your space and you're in theirs. As you read your Bible in the coming days, notice every time it says we or us or one another.

You'll be shocked that you are supposed to be involved in the life of others and they are supposed to be involved in your life. You are not called to be what we love to be in too many cases, which is it's just me and Jesus. We even sing songs like that, I'm sure the authors meant well, but now I'm saying those songs are messed up. See, it's fine if you say you can have a whole world, but give me Jesus. I get it, but I'm just saying there needs to be another phrase in there. Just give me Jesus and the people Jesus is bringing into my life. Because Jesus said I'm going to build a church before I leave the earth. I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against that church. Now what does church mean?

The Greek word is ekklesia or ekklesia, some people pronounce it. And it means called out, sought out, separated from something, but separated into something else. We're called out of darkness and delight, but we're also called out of a solitary life into the life of the church.

The called out group of people who are to walk together, worship together, fellowship together, learn together, grow together, cry together, rejoice together, help each other accomplish God's purpose. So here's the way I want to drive this home. You can do the will of God, but you cannot do it alone. And I need you to understand that because we in America, we celebrate independence to our detriment. Even when we have Independence Day, what we're supposed to be celebrating is God made us independent from British rule.

Look at our history. That's what Independence Day was about. We are free from British rule. We're no longer colonies that were established by the English. We are our own people. We have our own country. We established our own constitution. All of that is what you're supposed to be celebrating on the fourth.

The independence that happened historically, not independence from everything and everybody. And I came to share with you, you are not supposed to live an independent life and think you're going to accomplish God's purpose for your life. We were called, but we are called together. We are called to be connected with people who are going where we're going, who have the same spiritual life in them. And together we're going to see the will of God accomplished in our lives. You can do the will of God, but you cannot do it alone. You are not supposed to be a lone ranger.

Even the lone ranger wasn't alone. Come on. Think about now. I just said something that young folk might not know about.

I just gave my age away again. Yes, I remember the lone ranger when that was one of the main Saturday TV shows for kids. Oh, we'd be sitting in front of the television with our high water pajamas on. Y'all didn't have high water pajamas. Y'all don't know what I'm talking about.

High water pajamas on. Looking at shows like the Lone Ranger. Come on old folk. Don't leave me by myself. Lone Ranger. He was riding up and down those hills and they called him the Lone Ranger. But let me tell you, he wasn't alone.

If you ever saw it, you will know he had a brother with him. Tonto was his name. I found out later that's a derogatory term. You know, I found out in days of political correctness and some of my Hispanic friends said, no, pastor, you need to know that was a derogatory term.

OK, thank you for enlightening me. But little kids sitting in front of the TV, we didn't know it was derogatory. We were thanking God that he had somebody with him. He had somebody. He wasn't riding up and down those hills by himself. He had somebody with him.

So when he got in trouble, he could send Tonto down into town and get some help. And you cannot be a Lone Ranger, especially when you realize even the Lone Ranger knew better than to be alone. You need to have some folk with you, not just some folk with you.

You need the right people. You're supposed to develop relationships with people and your job is to let them in and for you to be in their lives and let them help you get where God's taking you. I want you to know God's taking you somewhere and you are supposed to get there with the help, with the assistance, with the prayers, with the support, with the ministry companionship of other people.

And so you can do the will of God, but you cannot do it alone. Even the Lone Ranger was not alone. We've got to build the right relationships with the right people. Now, all of us have an inner circle. What's your inner circle? The people who you are closest to, closer to them than to the average person in your broader circle of acquaintances. All of us have an inner circle, whether you've actually identified it and you could rattle off their names right away, or if you haven't really established them, but when you think about it, there are some people you're closer to than others. That's great, but now I want to challenge you, if you're going to get where God's taking you, you've got to take a look at who's in that circle and find out are they playing the role God has called them to play in your life.

And are you playing the role in some people's lives that is very important and very necessary in order for them to get where God's taking them. It's time to begin to evaluate. Stay with us. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the hope of the Gospel message with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is supported entirely by friends like you, and this summer, when donations to the ministry often decline, your support is very much needed. So please, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website,, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, our phone number, 855-339-5500. If you want to be all you can be in Christ, you'll need a few good friends to help you along the way. But what does a good friend look like? Well, the answer comes your way next in the rest of today's message, We're Stronger Together. Once again, here's Pastor Paul. So the first thing I want you to do as I begin to unpack this theme is I want you to identify who is a friend biblically. When the Bible says friend, or when the Bible talks about fellowship, when the Bible talks about our covenant relationships, who's it talking about?

It's not everybody on your social media platform. Trust me, they're not all friends. Pastor, how do you know? Say, I like you judging people. No, the Bible says a friend loves at all times. Now, if a true friend, according to the Bible, is somebody who loves you at all times, all you got to then do is say, Do these people love me not only at my best, do they love me at my worst?

Fact is, they don't even know you in many cases. Come on, somebody. I don't have a personal Facebook page. I have a fan page.

And I have that because one of my listeners started it. And I'm preaching on the radio just thinking I'm ministering. At a certain point, he contacted us. He said, Pastor, you have thousands of followers on Facebook, and I need to turn this over to you. And I said, I got what?

Who? And he literally did. I said, well, hand it over to my son.

And he handed it off to Aaron. And when you see Pastor Paul's page on Facebook, some of the stuff comes from me. That's my son connecting with the friends or the fans on Facebook.

But you all need to kind of understand, I don't know those people. When I first heard about Facebook, I remember thinking, I don't want to have to decide who my friends are because the general public wouldn't like it. I want to be your friend.

Isn't that the way they send you a request? Can I be your friend? Because the truth would have to be now.

I don't think I want to know you. I'm messing around, but you get the point. You get the point. A friend, according to the Bible, is somebody who loves at all times. Do you know a lot of the folk who you have been calling friend are not real friends because they're only fair weather friends?

They love you when something really good or wonderful is happening in your life, when you got money they can spend, or there's something positive you can do for them, they call you their friend. A friend is somebody who is built for your trouble. Friend loves at all times, and it goes on to say a brother is born for adversity. Now, if somebody is born for your adversity, that means when you're in a horrible place in your life, those are the people when they find out where you are, they say, let's get this dealt with. They don't run.

A real friend is not going to run when you are in trouble. Oh, I'm preaching already. You're waiting for me to preach, and I'm preaching.

There are people born for your adversity. When my dad was alive, he talked about the worst season of his life. He said, I was up one night thinking the worst thoughts, I was in the worst shape of my life. We were kids, so we'd have been in the bed asleep, and he was tossing and turning so that he said, my mom said, honey, why don't you go to the back room? Because he was disturbing her, she couldn't sleep, but he was just wrestling in his heart, and so he said, all right, baby. And he went to the back room of the house, and he said, in there I cried, I wailed, and I said, Lord, I literally cannot make it. You're going to have to say something to me.

I need you to come in this room and do something supernatural. He said, while I'm doing that, I think it was like two something in the morning, my phone rang. I dried my tears, picked it up, said hello, and one of his closest colleagues, Bishop Benjamin Reed, he wasn't a bishop back in those days, just a pastor.

He pastored in Detroit in those years before he went to LA. He said, hey, man, what's going on? And I said, what do you mean? And he said, look, the Lord woke me up out of a dead sleep and told me to call you.

I like my sleep. Now, what's going on? And he said, I told him where I was and began to weep some more, and he ministered to me over the phone and prayed for me and talked to me and rebuked me for some things and encouraged me in some other ways. And he said, God answered my prayer across hundreds of miles. But here's why. Because they had connectedness. Most of y'all pray now, Lord, I need somebody.

You haven't nurtured anything. Now, sure, some stranger, I guess God could speak to him, but that's not God's MO. The reason he baptized us by one spirit into the body is so we would develop the relationships that he could just send the Holy Spirit into and the work gets done. And my dad averted suicide or whatever he was thinking about that night because he had somebody connected to him who said, I need to know what's really going on.

Don't play with me. God woke me up. I want the whole truth. Now, here's what I need you to understand. He ministered to him, re-ministered to him. They talked and prayed and cried together and what have you, but by the time Pop got off that phone, he knew the Lord was with him. He knew God was going to get him through this.

He knew that, yes, this is a bad season, but day is coming. You know, weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning. And sometimes to get through your night season, you've got to be connected with the right people. But here's what I need you to understand.

That's a wonderful story, but it's because they had already built the relationship. See, you wouldn't see nobody ever call me. Well, who would you build a relationship with who would know it's their job to help you get where God's taking you, and if the Lord nudges them, they'll respond to him. And if you talk to them, they'll respond to you. You see what I'm saying?

If you don't build the relationship, don't get mad you don't have it. Who have you let in? I'm not talking about just somebody who's a Facebook friend or an acquaintance. A friend loves at all times a brother born for adversity, and that takes establishing a covenant. You've got to let folks know I'm not going to be spooky and make you get all your information from God.

Come on somebody. Some of y'all are super spiritual. Well, if the Lord would just put me on somebody's heart, you didn't put you on somebody's heart. You've got to put yourself on the right people's hearts to say, when you hear me having a wonderful time, rejoice with me, but when you hear me having a horrible time, I need you to take that as your personal job to help get me through my crisis. Because the right people are born for your trouble. The right people are born to help you at your worst.

The right people will not judge you at your worst, but they will enlighten you at your worst, and sometimes they'll have to hurt your feelings. Oh, y'all see? See? You were riding when I'm talking about the phone ringing in the middle of the night. Yeah, that's what I'm believing for. You're riding in, but now you're sitting there talking about, mmm.

That's because when you build the right relationship, you give those people not only the opportunity, but the obligation. When you hear me tripping, speak truth. Some of y'all are tripping, and you won't let anybody tell you you're tripping because you've surrounded yourself with fans. Your fans can't help you live life. Your fans are wonderful for the number on your social media profile.

Ooh, I got 5,000. Trust me, only about 100 of them could handle anything about you that's not wonderful. And then if you want to go deeper and talk about people who can identify and help pull you up, and they will spend their resources, time, money, energy, whatever, to help dig you out of your emotional ditch, now the number keeps going down, and you got about three, four, depending on what you developed.

Fact of the matter is your friends are the people God sent are your friends, not these people who show up at good times. They don't do the little stories we grew up as kids. We read the Little Red Hen story. Y'all got to understand, if you don't know the Little Red Hen, look it up.

I'm sure it's online. Read about the Little Red Hen. It'll bless your life because she was going to bake something. Was it a cake or something like that? Bread. She going to bake some nice, hot, wonderful bread, and she went on Facebook, and she tried to get folk on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I'm baking bread.

I need some folk to help me prepare. And all the social media folk were not interested in helping. I can't come.

I got other things I got to do. Nobody would help her in the various stages of preparing that meal, but all once it was baked, it's nice and hot right out the oven. Y'all know how y'all who eat bread, I know some of y'all don't do that anymore. God bless you. You're healthier than we are who still eat bread. God bless you, keep you, strengthen you.

I'm not hating on you. You are wonderful. You pray for us, bread eaters.

Pray for us. Now listen, when she had it ready to go, all the folk who wouldn't show up to help prepare, all the folk who wouldn't show up to do the manual labor needed, now here they come with a plate. You got that in your life. You got platers.

They're not friends, they're platers. I will help drain you of your resources. I will eat your food. I will do stuff that doesn't help you, only helps me.

I came to tell you those people are not friends. Thanks for being here with us for today's message. We're stronger together. You know, the Destined for Victory ministry has been made stronger through the years, thanks in large part to friends like you. It's because of our friends and partners that Destined for Victory can be heard on more than 400 radio stations and over all the world through our website, Should you choose to partner with us today, you'll be joining a special group of people who help share the gospel of Jesus Christ by pledging a monthly donation of $20 or more to Destined for Victory. And 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. Please call us at 855-339-5500 to find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner for as little as $20 a month. You can make your pledge over the phone or mail your gift, letting us know you wish to become our partner. Our address is Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also partner with us from our website, Now if you can't become a Destined for Victory partner but can make a generous donation of $25 or more today, we'd like to send you Pastor Paul Shepherd's book, Finding Strength in Tough Times. That's finding strength in tough times.

All the soldiers of Israel saw Goliath with their own eyes, but only one of them had vision. God wants to send people into your life to help you with your positive areas, to maximize your gifts, your potential, but also people you got to know, their job is to tell you the truth. You need some of those kind of friends that say, can I see you for a minute?

If you don't have any, can I see you for a minute? People in your inner circle, you got some developing to do. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, We're Stronger Together. 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 / 2023-09-22 11:00:41 / 2023-09-22 11:09:45 / 9

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