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We Are a Family, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2021 8:00 am

We Are a Family, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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July 27, 2021 8:00 am

Similarities between functional families and healthy churches/Christian relationships; based on 1 Timothy 3:14-15. (Included in the9-part series The Power of We.)

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We, the people of God, are a family. God brought us together when we got saved. He brought us into a family. And all I want to do is make sure you understand the implications of God referring to us in His Word as a household or a family of people. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

Wherever you are and however you may be listening, thanks for spending part of your day with us. Well, the Church of Jesus Christ is not kind of like a family. It's not sort of a family.

It is a family. And today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul has a great reminder for us about what this family of ours is supposed to look like. So stay with us now or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, We Are a Family. Now, so far, looking at the fact that we are a flock, we've noted the fact that a flock of sheep need a shepherd. And therefore, God has arranged the body of Christ and called some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists. But then He's called some of us to be pastors as well as teachers because pastoring is shepherding. That's what the word pastor comes from, the Greek concept. And even in the Old Testament, the Hebrew concept is a shepherd, one who guides and one who guards, one who is kind of a caretaker of God's flock. So we who are called of God to be shepherds, not everybody who's a pastor was called a god.

Some people were sent and others just went. You know, and so I'm well aware of that. Not everybody who wears the title has the actual calling. But those of us who have the calling, God gives us the heart of being a spiritual parent, if you will, of guarding and guiding God's children. So we are under shepherds. He is the great shepherd. He will always be the great shepherd. We will always work for Him.

That's why we have to give an account. We who lead God's people, we don't get to just skip through the gates of paradise one day. We have to give an account according to the word of God, and the Lord is going to call us into account. And so I talked about the fact that we're called to gather God's people, we're called to watch for their souls, and we're called to lead and feed the flock. But I also want us to see that not only are we a flock in that we need an under shepherd who serves our needs, we need to learn the dynamics of taking care of one another in the flock as well. And what I want to do is talk to you about the fact that God has made us sheep because we are prey if we're not careful. Sheep are not predators.

When you look in the animal kingdom, there are animals, and their very nature is to prey on other animals that's in their DNA. Sheep are not among predators. There's nobody on earth, no being on earth, that says, oh, the sheep are coming.

Oh, my Lord, let me get out the way. Nobody is worried that sheep are coming because they don't have predator in them. That's why when you find predator saints, something is wrong. Because it's not in the nature of a sheep. So not everybody that has sheep clothes on is actually a sheep. I'm going to get away from that.

I just threw that in. Sheep in our nature are prey, not predators. That's why we need the covering of an under shepherd. We need the devotion of the great shepherd. That's why the Bible says the Lord is my shepherd, David said in Psalm 23. I shall not want, not because of who I am, but because of whose I am.

So what I want to do is just kind of talk you through the fact that our victory, our being successful as we live our lives, is married to our dependency upon the Lord and upon each other. I need you to understand God has made us sheep because we need him, we need the under shepherds he puts over us, and we need one another. Sheep are better off, much better off in a flock than straying around. Why? Because if they're all by their cells just walking off, minding their business, any old predator can come along. They don't even have to be hungry. But you see a sheep, you say, oh, I might as well go on and get a snack.

Why? Because sheep are prey. That's why you can't be wandering around spiritually and wondering what's wrong with your life. You're not supposed to be by yourself.

You're supposed to be connected. You're supposed to be under an under shepherd and under the great shepherd, and you're supposed to be connected with other sheep. So I just need to make sure you understand that you have no business being alone in the family of God. We are called to be connected. So let me just walk you through Psalm 23.

You all learned it. We who were Sunday school children learned it as kids. Even if you're new to faith, this is one of the Psalms that you need to memorize.

If you never went to church growing up, of the passages I want you to memorize, Psalm 23 is one of them. The Lord is my shepherd. That's the first thing I want you to understand, that he wants to be your personal shepherd. When you got saved, you got saved so that he could be the one who leads you and guides you through the rest of your life. That's why you need to get saved for two reasons.

One is because you're going to die and you need the Lord in judgment. Second reason you need to get saved is because you got to live in this world till you die. And in this world, you're not going to make it well on your own. You'll only make it well when you have a shepherd guiding you. That's why Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. And if you want to know how to live your life, follow me because I'm the way.

I'll show you how to live your life. The Lord is my shepherd and the benefit of having him, David said, is I won't want. I won't have needs that are gone unaddressed.

Why? Because God has promised to supply every need in my life. At the end of the day, we need to be taken care of. We need to be kept, men and women, boys and girls. How am I going to be kept? I'm going to be kept by my shepherd.

I need to be kept by him. Don't ever try to outgrow God. Well, you know, I've heard people say, well, you know, it's just weak people who need religion. First of all, this isn't about religion. Unfortunately, Christianity gets lumped in with all the so-called world religions.

I beg to differ. Jesus didn't come to establish a religion. He came to bring life. So he didn't come to give me a religion.

He came to give me a relationship with him as the shepherd. But some folks say, well, you know, it's only weak people that need that. You know, I've heard folks say, well, Christianity is just a crutch. Well, a crutch is what crippled people need. And in case you haven't thought about it, you have some areas where you are seriously crippled.

Has nothing to do with your education, has nothing to do with your upbringing, your ethnicity. Everybody has a limp. Everybody limping. All the folk, they think they have it all together. They got wonderful cars in the driveway and a beautiful house they live in and great job. And they have a profit sharing and all of that.

They got wonderful perks in their life. But just watch them after a while, you'll see the limp. So don't tell me, well, that's just for weak people.

Everybody has a limp, so you need a crutch. And Jesus said, I will be exactly what you need. Every need in your life I'll take care of. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.

And then watch this. He makes me lie down in green pastures. One of the problems with sheep is they need to be guided sometimes because the shepherd needs to take you somewhere and make you lay down. Stop all of the busyness that isn't fruitfulness. Sometimes you busy yourself because you're distracting yourself from what's wrong with you. Sometimes we are busy in ourselves because we need to lie down in green pastures in a healthy place.

We need to chill out and lie down and stop stressing. God wants you to be blessed, not stressed. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destin for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. You know, friends and partners like you are the lifeblood of this ministry. Your prayers and your gifts help Pastor Paul share the Gospel with a worldwide audience. Destin for Victory is and always has been a listener-supported ministry.

And right now, during the busy summer months when donations tend to decline, your help is very much needed and appreciated. So as God leads, please perfectly consider making a gift to Destin for Victory today. Now, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been born into a new life and a new family. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message.

We are a family. Sometimes there are seasons where you go through a little time on your job or whatever, and this is one of those times they're just killing us on it. It's just a season, and even in the midst of that, if you will still your soul, you will recover much better if you don't have somebody and somewhere to lie down. If you don't have the Shepherd who say, just chill out, cast your cares on me, I care for you, I will lead you where you need to be. Lie down in green pastures and lead them, the Shepherd does, besides still waters. Still waters that you can drink when you're thirsty.

There's no rushing water, nothing scary, nothing that's going to raise a negative issue in your life. The Shepherd wants to make sure our lives get balanced and properly nurtured. And God will help you do that. And a lot of us, especially in today's world, we are so out of sync, out of touch with the way God wants you to live your life. You're not supposed to be getting older and getting worse.

Have you met these people? With every birthday, there's new dumb stuff. There's new regrettable stuff. There's new stuff we say, huh? You ought to be getting better at this thing called life the more you let the Shepherd guide you.

Now, here's the problem. A lot of us are just racking up birthdays, but we're not learning how to follow better. If you follow him better, he'll take you to some green pastures, he'll take you to some still waters.

He will lead you in ways that will give you a higher quality of life. These days, the older I get, the more I'm concerned about life quality. See, when you're young, you're thinking quantity. You want a lot of stuff. You want bigger and better, and you got all these pipe dreams. And one of these days, I'm going to do this, and I have this much money, and I'm going to do that.

Okay, those are young folks' dreams, and fortunately, not all young folk are stuck on those, which means you're better off. And one of the things the millennials will teach you is that it's not about stuff. I'm watching these millennials live their life, and I'm seeing that they get that. They got that revelation. I don't know how they got it, but thank God they have it, that it's not about the rat race.

A lot of us older folk, I'm in the baby boomers generation. We were taught it's about that rat race. You got to get out there and chase that carrot.

Do this and do that and do the other. And a whole lot of folks spent their lives trying to make a living and never did stop to make a life. Now you ought to be at a place where you see, I need a life. I would love more stuff or more money, but that's not a need. That's a greed. If God blesses you with more stuff, use it for His glory. But for God's sake, don't make a living and forget to make a life.

Don't buy a nice house and by the time you've ruined all your relationships, there's nobody living there with you. Or the folk that live in there, you wish they'd go somewhere. Or better yet, they're wishing you would go somewhere.

Why? Because you haven't taken time to look at what's important. And so the shepherd keeps the sheep centered and doesn't let them get scurried and hurried and busting all over the place. He'll take them somewhere, nice wonderful pastures, just graze.

When you're hungry, just reach down and graze a little and then lay down. When you're thirsty, go over there by the still waters and just drink and chill out. I need to call you as an under shepherd in the body of Christ to just chill out. Do me a favor, look at your neighbor and say chill out. It's not all that important.

At the end of the day, the stuff you're fussing and worrying about is not all that important. But I have problems, I have concerns. Give them to Him. He's the great shepherd, give them to Him. Lord, you said I shall not want, now here's what I need now.

I need you to take care of this for me. And so let the Lord help you chill out. Jesus, do you remember what Jesus said about the fact that He said come to me all of you who are weary and heavy laden. That means just weighed down with all kind of stuff. You ever just felt weights on you and you just said why am I so heavy?

Sometimes you got to let the shepherd take you somewhere where you lay down and then let him get that stuff off of you while you're laying down. I've told you before using a different analogy, I've told you a lot of us have a bunch of stuff. Our lives are like a tractor trailer and we got a big old 18 wheeler and our trailer is full of stuff.

Much of which we have no business hauling. And a lot of y'all, I'm so tired, pray for me, I'm so tired. Pull over. You ever driven over the road and seen a tractor trailer, flashes on, everybody else zipping by.

He was too tired, he said I'm sick of all these hills. At a certain point you got to pull over. And then some of y'all need to pull over, go to the back, open up the trailer and say this ain't mine. This is not mine. This is not mine. Some of y'all need to call some people your stuff. Because I've been hauling it around and some of you let people put stuff in your trailer and make you feel responsible for it.

Y'all need to live your life with a regular standard form that everybody in your life signs. I will not be responsible for your stuff. You who are now grandparents and all that, tell your kids I had my kids. You one of them.

Now you got your own. I will be happy to have them in my home sometimes. I will be happy to be a grandma, grandpa sometimes.

I will be really happy because I love their energy and all of that. But don't make the mistake of thinking I am an extension of you when it comes to raising your children. Somebody called me out on the radio and wrote to the ministry and said I'm so, Pastor Paul's just talking about our raggedy kids. They were really offended that I called, like I called their name on the radio or something like that.

They just took it to heart. I'm just playing around but all of y'all know that some folk got raggedy kids. So forgive me, that's just, let the shepherd help you manage your life. He'll take care of your needs but he'll make you lie down.

He'll make you drink besides still waters so that you can restore your soul. We're sheep, we need our souls restored on a regular basis. See some of y'all wait for crisis and then we got to help you and pray you through and fast and all that, get you through your crisis.

Listen, some of us don't need to go crisis to crisis. If we'll let the shepherd lead us in the green pastures besides still waters, we'll find that in the management of our living, he's helping us restore our souls. And he's leading us in paths of righteousness. He wants to lead you so that your life is getting better, more righteous, more pleasing to God. You're doing things, you're figuring out what's important and in those important areas you're pleasing God. We got to get it. Your job on earth is to please him because one of these days you're going to stand before him.

The only thing that will matter is not how much money you had or how much success according to the world standards you had, it's how happy did you make me. By the way, you let me lead you in paths of righteousness. Righteous living just makes sense.

It just makes sense. When you figure out living right means God wants you to have a life that makes sense. When you're outside of God's will, we've all been outside of God's will, you're doing things that appeal to a fleshly appetite but the end of those things are the ways of death.

They're the ways of death so you have to learn to let him lead you in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. He's your creator. He knows what's best for you. Quit chasing something God doesn't have for you. I want to be in a relationship. No, you ought to want to be in a relationship that pleases God and lets you be a blessing to somebody and them to be a blessing to you. You don't need a relationship that's killing you.

Spiritually, emotionally and in other ways. And some of you all are craving folk you need to run as fast away from as you possibly can and you're still craving going from one to the other just like the lady at the well. Jesus might as well have said to her, aren't you tired yet? Look at all these men you've been through. You had five of them, now you're working on another one. What are you doing? You got to stop the madness.

Your answer is not in a relationship with somebody just as broken as you. If they're not learning how to get to the shepherd, you don't need them. I know they got pecs. I know they got pecs. Sister, I know, yeah, he's fine and all of that and he can make them bounce and all of that. I know about all that. I've seen them. Trust me, you fool around with the wrong person.

You ain't going to want to see Nara bounce. You're going to want him to bounce out of here. I'm trying to help somebody if you will be helped. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Today's message, We Are a Family, as well as any recent broadcast can be found online on demand at pastorpaul.net.

That's pastorpaul.net. Stop by anytime to find out more about the Destined for Victory ministry or to shop for resources at our online store or even to make a safe and secure donation. Well, sometimes God is preparing a blessing for you, but more often than not, he's preparing you for the blessing. If you find yourself going through a season of waiting today, that time period between God's promise to you and the fulfillment of that promise, here's a resource that can help. Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Finding Strength in Tough Times.

As you follow along, you'll discover three lessons from David's years as a fugitive that will help you handle your season of waiting 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 donation to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. And you can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Again, our address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. And if you need prayer today, visit pastorpaul.net, click contact us and share your request with us so that our ministry team can join you in prayer. While you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. We have to learn then to be a functional spiritual family. We're born in, we get in through the new birth, now we have to learn to be functional. The New Testament is full of exhortations that when it all is said and done, it's just telling you for God's sake, learn to get along as the family of God. Learn to be functional as the family of God. Since you got in by the new birth and not by personal choice, learn to get along. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, We Are a Family. But 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 / 2023-09-19 18:34:25 / 2023-09-19 18:43:34 / 9

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