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

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
July 28, 2021 8:00 am

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

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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July 28, 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 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. Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Well the family of God is bound together by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It's a blessing to be in that family, but it also comes with certain duties. God wants us to be a functional, healthy family that builds one another up and draws other people in. Today's message is straight ahead. Stay with us here or download the podcast on demand at, at Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.

Now with this message, we are a family. Here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. You who are living in a fog all the time, that's not God's will for you. You need to get out the fog, get into the clear.

But Pastor, are you being unrealistic? Life does have trouble. Of course it has trouble. But keep reading. It's through.

Did you notice it's through, not to? Some of y'all live in the valley of the shadow of death. That's where you are. Every time you turn around, you in the valley. That's not God's will. Yeah, there'll be times he leads you through it.

That's life. You don't jump from mountaintop to mountaintop. And sheep don't jump all that well anyway.

So he has to get them to get them to the next mountaintop. Sometimes he's got to lead them through the valley with some very dangerous things in it. But yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I, the sheep, will fear no evil.

Why? Because I got a shepherd with me. I got a shepherd going for him.

And if I learn to stick close, do you know that's the key to getting through your stuff? Is how closely tied to the shepherd you are. People love that scripture in Isaiah where it talks about those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They'll mount up with wings like eagles. Run, not be weary.

Walk, not faint. But the key is they that wait upon the Lord. Now, English is one of them. That's one of those unfortunate translations. Because English gives us wait upon the Lord. Look in the Hebrew. The Hebrew says, not waiting like pacing, waiting on the Lord. I don't know where he is. I'm standing here.

I wish he'd come help me. That's not what Isaiah 43 means. It uses a Hebrew word for weaving. Weaving. Those whose lives are woven to the Lord shall renew their strength.

Why? Because they're drawing strength through the weave. I'm drawing from his strength. It's like a tree.

It's getting strength from outside of itself through the nutrients coming up into the tree through the roots. Weave. I've said it for years. Some folks used to get offended by it.

They'll get over it. When a woman has a good weave, you don't know where she stopped and what she bought starts. It's connected. Come on, somebody. I'm just trying to help you. I'm not hating on you.

They made it. Buy it and enjoy it. Nobody hating on you. I like natural hair. Good. Look in the mirror at your own. When she decides she needs a little help, they got help for her down at the shop. I just tell people when you need help, make sure you get the proper help at the proper time.

Some folk go out and buy a pack of help they really don't need. But anyway, that's getting me off. Stop, stop. Those whose lives are woven to the Lord shall renew their strength. So when you go through the valley, thank God, because I'm following the shepherd, we're not going to camp out in the valley. It's a season, but I'm going to keep moving because the shepherd doesn't make me lie down in the valley. The shepherd won't let me lie down until I get to green pastures. So I got to keep walking through the valley. Lord, get me through this.

This is the valley season, but God, I'm believing it. I'm telling you to bring me out. You're my shepherd. I'm going to follow you. I'm going to stay woven to you.

You're not going to shake me any kind of way. I'm staying with you the whole way. Either I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I won't fear evil because he's with me.

His rod and staff are there to comfort me. So I don't have to worry about the predators because the predators got to go through the shepherd to get to the sheep. I am going to make sure the enemy can't get to you the way he wants to get to you. It's my job. Your job, sheep, is to stay with me.

Everybody get that? And then as you let him lead you through the valley, what you find is when he brings you up out the valley, he takes you to a place that's prepared. He takes you to a table that's prepared. It's of your enemies. The predators looking.

I tried to take them out. Now they're getting ready to sit down and eat. And notice, they don't get to sit at the table.

It's just in their presence. They don't have reservations at your table. The enemy doesn't have a reservation at your table. If the Lord makes one of your enemies sit down, sometimes the Bible says things like he'll make your enemies your footstool. Sometimes you go through a season, you see your enemies become your footstool, but that's really not the joy of it. The joy is that this table is mine.

It was reserved for me. If my enemy gets to be around, they're just to help me in some way. If your enemy sits at your table, it's just because they got to pass you the rolls. So don't sweat the enemy. Some of you all are enemy preoccupied.

Your problem isn't your enemy. Your problem is your lack of connectedness to the shepherd. If I stay with the shepherd, the enemy can do what the enemy does.

The predators are all around, looking for opportunity. Now that brings me to the last thing I want to make sure to drive home, which is you can't afford to be a sheep who wanders. Sheep only get in trouble when they wander.

You see what I'm saying? A shepherd can't protect a wandering sheep. And sometimes a sheep is so clueless, so grazing over here, not realizing the shepherd's still over there, not praying, not reading the word, not going to church.

Shepherd over there, I need a word. I just, I'm so dissatisfied in my life. I got such trouble in my life. How come you're not at church? How come you're not in touch with God? How come you're not in touch with the rest of the sheep? Because see, I'm going through a whole lot.

Yeah, that's why you need to be in touch. When you're going through, the devil says, stay home. You don't feel like church. You don't feel like all that today. What they going to do for you?

Get there and find out. Get there and get in that prayer huddle and say, pray for me. Pray for me. I don't know how to pray as I ought, so you might not know how to pray as you ought. Let the Spirit give you intercession. Let the Spirit help you. You who have a prayer language, use it. Amen. I know not all the body of Christ is into the charismatic gifts. I get that.

And some folks fight them. That's fine. You know, I tell folks, tell you what, if you don't believe in speaking in tongues, don't speak in them. Problem solved. But those that have a prayer language, pray on. Pray on. That's all. I'm not fighting with anybody, but I got colleagues on the radio, some of the stations I'm on, and just before I am, he's preaching against this, that, and that, and the other.

Fine. That's his theology. That's where he is. God bless him.

I thank God for the good he's doing. Because somebody doesn't believe in it. Sometimes if you don't know how to pray as you ought, the Spirit will pick up an intercession and help you get through. And sometimes your mind is unfruitful. That's what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14. Sometimes your mind's unfruitful, but your spirit is in touch. Your spirit is connected.

Amen. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's, where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. Well, family dysfunction has been around almost from the beginning.

It began in Genesis chapter 4, and it hasn't stopped since. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, We Are a Family. And so you've got to learn God is going to get you through, but you can't be a wanderer. You can't be a wanderer. The enemy is the one trying to get you to stay away from people who know how to pray, from people who know how to encourage, from a pastor who has a loving shepherd's heart.

For people who want to lay hands on you, give you a hug, give you a word of encouragement, don't stay away from help because sheep can wander. I grew up in a hymn singing church. I'm so glad I grew up in a hymn singing church.

I'm so glad that I grew up around folks. In fact, when I was getting saved, when we were getting saved as young people, you know, that was back in the, you know, like the early 70s. And we were getting saved. We were so excited because by then, you know, there was not only Edwin Hawkins to give us music we could relate to, and Andre Crouch. I remember the days when Andre would have a bus tour, and he'd go around the country, and he and Andre Crouch and the disciples, and they were on a bus tour, and they'd come through Philly.

Oh, man, we knew we were into something. They'd come, and then we'd hear Andre and them singing a contemporary song, but back in 70, 71, the only way the saints let us go to those meetings is we had to learn all the hymns and sing them with them in church. They would say, y'all got it made now.

You can go to this all. Sometimes you have this contemporary service, and this is the traditional service. Y'all got it made.

Back in our days, the contemporary and the traditional was going to live together. My father said, before y'all start that rocking, you know, when we started our first youth choir, we wanted to, you know, rock while we sang. He said, before y'all start all that, I want y'all at prayer meeting. I want y'all in here singing. They made us lead some of the hymns, make sure they got them in us real good. One hymn was called Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Tune my heart to sing thy grace.

Streams of mercy never ceasing. Call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet.

See, you had to learn words. The Saints built your vocabulary by making you sing out the hymn book. Teach us some melodious sonnet.

We look at what's a sonnet. Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount.

I'm fixed upon it. Mount of thy redeeming love. Second verse. Here I raise my Ebenezer. Hitherto hath the Lord brought us. There by God thy great help I've come, and I hope by thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God, he to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

If you don't feel anything, that's because you weren't raised to appreciate that. I can have major church with a hymn book because the Saints made us do that. I don't need all the contemporary stuff. I love the contemporary and all that Hillsong blesses me and all that, but I can take a hymn book and wear you out. And here's the verse I'm trying to get to all to grace.

How great a debt or daily I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee. The him writer said, Lord, let your goodness keep me bound to you.

Why do you need that? Because the next word say prone to wander. Lord, I feel it prone to leave the God I love. So here's my heart. Oh, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.

Did you get that? The him writer said, I see that wandering tendency. So Lord take your goodness and bind me like a fetter. Tie me up with your goodness. Bind my wandering heart to thee. Because Lord, I see I'm prone to wander sometimes.

Oh, quit acting like you're not. There are times and sometimes you don't even know why. I just don't feel like going to church. What church ever do wrong to you? Oh, I know there's been church hurt. Some of the churches where you've been hurt.

I get that. That's why the Lord sent you over here in the greener pastures or some of you listening to this radio ministry. That's why the Lord sent you to listen.

Let pastor Paul be one of your radio pastors because you need to be somewhere where you're going to be fed well and you're going to be encouraged well. Because church hurt is real, but you don't have to stay in that mindset. They did hurt me.

They did me wrong. Now I'm better. Just decide you're not going to get bitter. You're going to get better because you can't change what you've been through. You can't unscramble an egg.

It is what it is, but I tell you what, you can take a scrambled egg and eat it. So you got to decide that you are not going to let your past hinder your progress. That's past ahead of me is progress. That's history ahead of me is destiny. My destiny doesn't have to be dictated to by my history, but God will use stuff in my history as he moves me into my destiny. God is the ultimate recycler. God will redeem junk.

Some of y'all been abused, messed over, betrayed, all kinds of horrible things happen to you. God will take that and recycle it and use it so that he'll put his victory in it and then he'll send you alongside some wandering sheep. And you'll say, no, no, I've been there. This isn't the way to do to go wandering off. That's where you're going to get picked off by the devil.

No, no. Come with me, baby. We're going to church. We're going to go pray. Amen. Because you're prone to wander sometimes. But the hymn writer said, take my heart, take and seal it.

Seal it for thy courts above. I want to let you know God is for you. He's got plans to prosper you.

He wants to give you hope and a future. Your past is real. Your pain's been real. The disappointments, the betrayals, all of that's been real. Some of you have been wounded by attacks of the predators, but now you got a shepherd in Jesus. You got a pastor who loves you. You got people, sheep who you need to stay with. They're not all fun to always be with. Let's just be honest. Quit looking for the perfect church.

If you find it and you join, there it goes. That pastor's so cold. I don't know if I want to.

That's fine. Go find a less cold pastor who will tell you the same truth. Don't look for the perfect church.

You'd mess it up. Fact is there is no perfect church. All of us are in progress. All of us are under construction. All of us are coming out of some stuff. All of us are going through some stuff.

All of us are heading to some stuff. Stay on the journey. Stay on the journey. Thank God for what they brought me through. Thank God for what he's helping me go through now. And most of all, I praise him for what he's taken me to. Tell folks in your life, take a good look now because you're not going to see me here.

I'm moving on. The upward way. New heights I'm gaining every day. See, there go my hymns.

Still praying as I'm. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. Lord, lift me up and let me stand by faith on heaven's table land. That's a high place.

A higher place than I have found. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. I'm sick of the lowlands, Lord. I've been low long enough. I've been in the valley long enough. I've been messed with by the enemy long enough. I'm sick of all of that now. If I have to go through some more trouble, that's going to be a season I go through. I'm not going to it.

I'm going through it. Because the shepherd is taking me somewhere. And he's preparing a table for me in the presence of my enemies.

He's anointing my head with oil and my cup is running over. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destin for Victory message. We are a family.

We're so glad you stopped by. Before you get on with your busy Wednesday, though, stay with us now as Pastor Paul joins me from his studio in California. Pastor Rick, now we're sharing this series, The Power of We.

And by the way, I love that title. Tell us about all these messages and speak to the fact that God never intended for us to live life alone. Living for Christ really is not an independent exercise. We are called from day one to be interdependent with, of course, our Savior, but also with the body of Christ. In fact, the Bible says that by one spirit we have been baptized into the body of Christ. What that tells me is the moment you got saved, whether you knew it or not, you were in a family.

And God puts you in that family because just as a child doesn't grow well if they're left to their own, neither does a child of God unless he or she gets involved, committed and connected with other believers who are going to walk with them as they walk with the Lord. So it's my determination to help the body of Christ through this series understand that we are a family and we've got to live together, we've got to serve together, we're also an army. I talk about the fact that we're a flock and I talk about the fact that we are a body.

All four of those analogies talk about we-ness. So I think it's going to be a great blessing to the listeners. I can't wait for everyone to experience the entire series and I trust that God will speak to us and remind us that we've got to stay connected one with another if we're going to be all that God has called us to be. And this is why the church is so important. This is God's vehicle for that togetherness, isn't it?

Absolutely. We are not supposed to be lone rangers and I've said it for decades, I won't stop saying it because it's always true, even a lone ranger wasn't alone. He had the good sense to have tanto with him and when he got in trouble, there was somebody who could ride to town and get some help or whatever was needed and we got too many Christians out here riding around with no tanto and their lives are the worst for it. So we've got to get back to Biblical Christianity which does not come in a do-it-yourself kit. It is meant to be lived with other people involved. The will of God has never been achieved by individuals operating alone.

It's always been a product of partnership. Thanks for that great reminder, Pastor Paul. Speaking of working together, Destined for Victory depends on the prayers and financial support of friends like you, especially during the busy summer months when donations tend to decrease. For your generous donation to Destined for Victory, we'll be glad to send you, by request, Pastor Paul's booklet, Finding Strength in Tough Times. This is a great companion guide to the messages you heard earlier this month, ones that explore the life of David during one of the greatest challenges in his life. That's Finding Strength in Tough Times, a booklet from Pastor Paul, and our gift to you by request for your gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit 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, the address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. So 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. It has nothing to do with your education. It has nothing to do with your upbringing, your ethnicity.

Everybody has a limp. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, We Are a Family. 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 12:48:52 / 2023-09-19 12:58:00 / 9

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