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We Are a Flock, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2021 8:00 am

We Are a Flock, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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July 20, 2021 8:00 am

Understanding some of the key reasons God’s Word refers to us as sheep; based on Acts 20:28; Psalms 23; and other passages. (Included in the9-part series The Power of We.)

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Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much more as you see the day approaching. That's Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25 and this is Destined for Victory. And coming up next, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message we are a flock.

But first, he joins me from his studio in California. In doing so, how quickly we will forget about some of the things we've learned over the past year plus. So let me ask, what are you thinking about? What is the hope that us as followers of Jesus will remember as we emerge from all of this? I'm committed to taking no day for granted. That's what I learned during this pandemic.

There's a passage in James chapter 4 actually that has really spoken to me in a fresh way. Now listen, you who say today or tomorrow will go to this city or that, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Then he said, why you don't even know what will happen tomorrow. And he asked the question, what is your life?

And he answers the question, you're a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Boy, if that was never driven home before the pandemic drove it home because we saw loved ones, friends who we expected to live long, prosperous lives. They're now with the Lord. And it reminds us that there is no guarantee for longevity. We all hope to live long and fruitful lives. But the reality is we've got to take each day for what it gives us, the opportunity to listen to God's voice, to do his will, to follow his Spirit, because that's what's most important day by day. And even making daily plans, we ought to preface everything by saying, Lord willing, because none of us know what's around the corner. Yes, sir. I grew up around saints who when they would hear you say you were going to do something, they would just tell us, especially when we were kids, they say, if the Lord wills, and then we'd have to put that in the sentence before they let us go. I think we've relearned that this year. Yes, sir.

Absolutely. It's only going to happen if he blesses us with the life, health and strength to do it. Well, in light of everything we've been through, and because we know life will bring more challenges in the future, Pastor Paul has a booklet to share with you this month, Finding Strength in Tough Times.

You'll discover three lessons from David's years as a fugitive that will help you handle life's troubles in a way that prepares you for the promise God has ready for you. That's Finding Strength in Tough Times, a booklet from Pastor Paul, and our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory today. So call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. Or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

That's Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Now let me say this. We live in days where there are wonderful tools we can use. Many churches live stream their worship services. Those resources are necessary. They're helpful in their proper place. Technology has made it possible for you to listen to Destined for Victory on demand or watch live telecasts right from your computer or mobile device. Today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares some practical reasons why this is so important.

So let's join him now with this message, We Are a Flock. You can't take life for granted. You can't take a single day for granted. You can go to work thinking you got plans for the rest of the day, rest of the week, rest of the month, rest of the year, and never make it back home. That's the world we live in today. That's why we got to be ready to live and ready to die at a moment's notice.

Oh, come on, somebody. You got to be ready to live and ready to go if you got to go. You don't want to go yet, but you got to be ready. And that's why we need shepherds who are called of God to gather God's people for worship, for instruction, and for the utilization of all of our gifts for us to encourage each other and admonish each other and do whatever we need. And the shepherds are called to do that. So we must gather people regularly.

Now let me say this. We live in days where there are wonderful tools we can use. Many churches live stream their worship services. Those resources are necessary. They're helpful in their proper place, but we have to be more committed to what God has ordained us to be and to do than anything else. You can't be more committed to your convenience than to God's purpose. So we are supposed to gather as the people of God as often as we can.

Look, y'all got it made in today's world. We typically most churches gather weekly. Gather the people in weekly services. Read Acts chapter two.

The end of Acts chapter two said they got together every day. They didn't even have church buildings, big church buildings. So they got together in homes, in houses, and that's how the church multiplied. And then the shepherds, the elders, the pastors of the church checked on the health of all of the gatherings to make sure the people's needs were being addressed. And so when you see Acts chapter four and all that, and the people had financial need, the apostles got together and told the saints, y'all got to give. Don't just come up in the house and sing and shout and worship and go home and leave us with no resources. The church began putting their money together.

That's how they fed one another cause we're a flock and we got to take care of one another. So we had somebody join our church and say, now I'm joining, I'm happy to be here. I'm experiencing God here and I just want to make sure I'm coming from another city. And in that city, there was a church that was good, but the pastor got up and said, y'all need to give your tithes and offerings, but if you ever need anything, don't be coming here asking.

I said, I'm glad to be here. So I just need to know just for my information, where you stand on that. I said, where I stand on that is where the new Testament church stood on that.

When there are needs among faithful people, we take care of them to the best of our ability. And I don't do that just cause we have a growing church. I did that when I first got to California in 1989 to, and I came to a church of 34 people, the whole church's budget was $60,000 a year.

When I got to California, the whole thing, 60,000 a year. And I said, now, wait, y'all going to pay me, right? And they said, yeah, yeah, we want you to be full-time.

In fact, they made me commit. They said, now, we want to call you to be our pastor, but you got to know our church has had for, I think for 10 years, their last 10 years, they had had only full-time pastors and they were a small church. They had gotten down to 34 cause they split. How does a small church split?

But it did. And so when they called me to be the pastor, they said, we want you to come. We've had a split. There are now 34 of us, but we want you to come. But the commitment you have to make is you will be full-time with us.

You cannot get a second job. We know you preach around the country. We've heard you at conventions. That's how we came to know you cause of your traveling ministry. We know you travel and preach from time to time.

That's fine. We will be happy to support you as you do that. But when you're here at home, we are used to having a shepherd who is available to us. He will counsel us. He will pray for us. He'll visit us.

We're used to that. So we can't have you on your other job. That's what they told me back then. And I said, all right, now, now how big is the budget? It's a $60,000. I said, all right, now, how much of that is mine? And they said, we have budgeted $24,000 for you, pastor. We know you're coming from a church in Philly of 1,000 members. And so we would imagine they take much better care of you than that.

I said, they certainly do. Oh, I had a package. It was nice. But these folk didn't have a package. They had a check. And whatever you're going to do, you got to get it done out of that check. You're going to get one on the first, one on the 15th. And it was 1,000, 1,000.

That's it. And I said yes before I had come and figured out what it cost to live here. And I made the commitment.

All right, I'm coming. This was in January 1989 when they officially extended the call. But I hadn't been out here house shopping yet.

And I got out here and the trustees took me. They said, we're going to take you to the East Bay. I said, what's the East Bay versus the West Bay? They said, no, not the West Bay. It's the peninsula. The little church was on the peninsula in East Palo Alto. But they had me over in Fremont looking for a house.

And they explained, because we want to get you the nicest house for the money that you'll probably be able to spend. And so we're going to take you to the East Bay. But you get right over a bridge and you be at the church in 15 minutes, pastor.

I said, okay, that's good. And the bridge back then, Dumbarton Bridge, was 50 cents. I'm telling you, I remember 50 cents to go across the Dumbarton Bridge. Some of you all remember 50 cents? Some of you all probably remember past that. I can't go there.

I'm in 1989. It was 50 cents. And I said, and you got to pay that boat weight. And they said, no, no, you can come back for free. I said, all right. So I get over there at 50 cents. I come back for free.

All right. Praise God. Then they had me over here looking at houses. And I said, oh, that's wonderful. Beautiful.

Praise God. Look at how sharp we're going to be living, because the houses, the neighborhood was nice and it just didn't look like where I came from, because I was coming from the hood. I found out there was a house in the hood right next to my mother-in-law that I could get, and the mortgage would be $200. Because it was in the hood, not a whole lot of folk were moving in, folk were moving out. So I said, oh, $200 right next to my mother-in-law?

Yeah, that sounds like God to me. And we bought that in 1986 and lived there until 89 when we moved. I've now gotten used to the past three years. I've been paying $200 a month for a house I'm buying. And I get out here and I say, wow, look at these beautiful houses in Fremont.

This is going to be nice. And I heard the trustees over on the sidewalk saying, now, we're asking God to give the new pastor a house for under $1,000 a month. I walked over to them. I had been admiring the little garden and the little flowers. I remember there was Bird of Paradise. And I said, oh, look at this, Bird of Paradise.

The way I come from, you've got to be out in the burbs to get that. And I said, but I heard this $1,000. I said, let me walk over and correct them. I said, y'all stop laughing at me. And so I walked over to them.

I said, let me clarify. I'm going to be here. I'm not going anywhere. I thought they were scared I was going to move, so they wanted me to buy a house so I wouldn't leave. And I said, I'm going to buy a house one of these days, but right now I'm just looking to rent. They said, yes. And I said, but see, I heard y'all say something about $1,000, so I just want to get it straight. They said, what's the problem? I said, well, $1,000, you're talking about a mortgage. They said, no, we're not. I said, wait, wait, wait, let me get this straight. Y'all are actually praying and asking God to give me a house to rent that belongs to somebody else for under $1,000 a month.

Is that what y'all are saying? They say, yes, and if it happens, it will be God. Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destin for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Be sure to subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube to watch some of his best video clips. For more details, be sure to visit us at

That's where you can listen on demand to recent messages or find links to all of Pastor Paul's social media. Right now, let's return to the message with Pastor Paul, the rest of today's message, We Are a Flock. I didn't know what I had gotten myself into, and I've already told them I'm coming, and they praying. God answered their prayer. My first house was $9.95, and that was a mistake made by somebody in the property management company, because the owner rented several houses that she owned in Fremont, and she told them what she wanted for them, and they hadn't gotten the proper word to the proper person.

She wanted $12.50 for that house. And somebody in the office had messed it up and put $9.95 because God was answering the prayers of those trustees. And of course now, that was 1989, now folk are praying for something under 2,000, 3,000, 4,000. But I got a witness over here, but the Lord heard their prayer and honored their prayer. So here I am to be the shepherd of this flock. We believe it's going to grow, and they said, Pastor, you said when you came to do the interview, when you were a candidate for our pulpit, you said that the Lord had shown you that thousands were going to be under your leadership before it was all over. They said, now Pastor, when those thousands come, we're going to hook you up.

I was like, man, you take somebody's vision and work it against them. I'm saying all that to say a flock has got to be managed by a loving shepherd who cares more about the flock than anything else. And so we must gather in the name of the Lord. Number two, we are to watch for the souls of God's people. We are called to watch for their souls, not just gather them, but a shepherd watches for the souls.

Did you see that language in Acts 20, 28? We have a job to watch over. We are overseers because we're supposed to see over.

We're supposed to see what's going on in the lives of the people and watch for their souls. That's the God-given job. Church didn't hire me and hand me a piece of paper. You supposed to do this?

No, no. The word already gave me my job description. And I'm supposed to watch over the souls of people, pray for you on a regular basis and ask God to give me and other leaders discernment so that we can minister to you at the point of your need. Sometimes folks come to me after a sermon and say, who been talking to you?

Because the message hit them square between the eyes. One person said, so who you been talking to this week? I said, pardon me? He said that message, that was right for me.

Somebody must have told you something. And since they were bold enough to come to me like that, I'm bold enough to come back. You got to understand me. You come for me.

I'm coming back for you. That's just how it goes. And so since they went there, I said, yeah, somebody did talk to me. His name is the Holy Spirit.

And he told me to put this in the message and to make sure to put this in there. And clearly now I know why, because you standing here with an attitude. Watch for their souls. Hebrews 13, 17 says, obey those who have rule over you. People don't like that language, rule over me. It simply means God has given you the oversight, the jurisdiction of these souls, and you're supposed to watch for them.

It's not an ego thing. I don't think I'm somebody because God made me an overseer. That means he gave me a job.

That's what that means. I have a responsibility to watch over for the souls of people. Watch what it says. For they must give account. If I understand Hebrews 13, 17, that means that I can't just skip through the gates one day like you're all going to skip through.

I got to wait and give an account. God's going to want to know how did you take care of my flock? Did you tell them what I wanted you to tell them?

The way the word of God reads, whether they liked it or not. Amen. That's my job. So if I got to give an account for y'all, then you sure are going to know that I'm going to preach some stuff that's not going to make you happy. Because I got to answer to God. I won't have God stop me talking about how come you never told them anything hard? You only made them feel good every Sunday.

You only made them feel wonderful. Your church might as well be called Wonderful Christian Fellowship because that's all you did. I'm not going to have God dressing me down like that. I can't pass the Wonderful Christian Fellowship. Sometime I got the pastor, they are jacked up Christian Fellowship.

When they leave that church, they're bruised and they're beat up, but they're convicted by the word. It's the word that calls us up. I know what it is to be down. I know what it is to be out of God's will. I know what it is to be reproved by God, and so it's nothing new to me. So when you get reproved or jacked by the word, I know what that's like. Lick your wounds and say amen.

I don't care how much the message was hard. You need to leave just like Andre. Let the church say amen. Amen means so let it be. And so you need to know we gather God's people. We watch for their souls, and the other thing I want to mention is we lead and feed the flock. We lead and feed the flock. Psalm 23 talks about that. The Lord is my shepherd. It shows me as an under shepherd what my ministry needs to have as part of my job. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.

Take care of the needs of the people. The Bible lets me know that if I see my brother or sister in need, how can we shut up our bowels of compassion? Now we have to learn, every church has to learn how to give people a hand up and not a hand out. We have had to learn how to discern that because people will come because sometimes they'll play on your heart, play on your compassion. So I've been in ministry all these years since 1982. I know a story when I hear one.

I know what running game looks like before you get happy too soon. Oh, he said they help people. Let me call up. And he'd go up there and cry in front of him. I got tissue here, baby.

Dab your eyes. We help the needy. We can't help the greedy. But we do what we can to lift people up and all of that. But the point is you've got to know a shepherd's got to make sure the basic needs of the flock are taken care of. And then what does Psalm 23 says?

It says he leads me beside still waters, leads me into green pastures. We have to lead and feed the flock. We have to be a healthy church because there are sheep wandering around going somewhere where they're eating brown grass and drinking dirty water. So it's our job to provide green pastures and give them, lead them beside still clear water where they can drink and eat and be healthy. Don't go to a church where just because you know somebody who goes there, if you're not being fed the word of God, if you're not drinking from the fountain of living water, that's not where you need to go.

Don't commit yourself to a place that isn't committed to your spiritual health. And so I've got to lead and feed the flock of God. Make sure they have a healthy spiritual diet so that one day they too will hear the Lord say well done. Good and faithful servant. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message.

We are a flock. To find out more about Destined for Victory or the special gift we have reserved for you as a thank you for your support today, be sure to stop by our website, That's These days with technology you can watch the services of many live streaming churches at home and that's wonderful for the sick and shut in. That's not for the well and about to go out. The well and about to go out need to go out first to the house of God where you connect with other people. You connect your life. You pray for them. You minister to them through your hugs, through your encouraging words. Join us tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, We Are a Body. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory. We are a body.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-21 08:25:55 / 2023-09-21 08:35:14 / 9

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