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We Are a Family, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2021 8:00 am

We Are a Family, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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July 29, 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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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, nothing. Everybody has a limp. If you want to walk with Jesus, you will need someone to take you by the hand from time to time. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Believers in Christ are compared to all sorts of things in scripture, a flock, a body, an army. Today Pastor Paul reminds us that we are a family too, brothers and sisters in Christ who need to lift one another up every now and then. Stay with us now or stop by any time to hear today's message or any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's

You can also subscribe to or download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Let's join Pastor Paul now as he shares today's message. We are a family.

We are a family. The power of we is a biblical concept and one of the ways the Bible describes us is that we, the people of God, are in fact a family. Let me just take you back to 1 Timothy 3 verses 14 and 15. 1 Timothy 3 verses 14 and 15.

Here's what you'll find. These things I write to you though I hope to come to you shortly. This is Paul of course talking to his spiritual son Timothy. He says, but if I am delayed I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God. And I noted in the first part of this message that house there doesn't mean a building or a domicile. House there means household, the people that live in a family unit, both an immediate family and an extended family of people. And the Bible describes here, Paul says, I want you to know how you ought to live in the family, not just the household but the house of people, the family of God. We are a family. We who are believers, followers of Christ, we are a family.

And I'm currently pointing out some simple but very important things to keep in mind about a family. We've established the fact that you get into a family by birth or by adoption. But naturally you get in by birth and spiritually you get in by the new birth. I want to make sure you understand how do I become part of God's family? I have to be born again. I have to be born again. Getting saved is what becoming spiritually reborn is all about because that is the way we go from darkness to light is by accepting the finished work of Jesus Christ, realizing that when he hung on the cross, he died for your sins and mine and when I say yes to him and accept him, he causes me to be reborn, born again. I was born first naturally but what you need now is a second birth which is your spiritual birth. And I'm born again by becoming a part of the family of God through trusting Jesus.

So you don't get saved and you don't become a child of God by hanging around children of God. You get saved and that makes you a part of the family. I talked in the first part of this message about the fact that my natural, the family I was born into naturally, my parents had four children relatively close together and then they waited 10 years and came up with another one. And we were so confused. I was 14 when we had this emergency family meeting and my mother said, just wanted to let you all know the four children who at that time we were, my older brother was I guess 17, my older sister 16, I was 14 and Gwen was younger.

And so she called us into this meeting, said you're going to have a new brother, a new sister. I was confused. I talked about it in the previous message in this part of the series about the fact that I looked at them and said, what's the matter with you people?

That's what I thought. You didn't say that back in those days but you thought it. I said, what's the matter with you people? Because they were old in my mind. Y'all remember when you were teenage? Remember when you thought your parents were old? Now look at you, you older than they were. Look at you right now, you older than they were when you thought they were old. When I was sitting there with my 14 year old self saying, I don't believe these old people.

My dad was in his mid forties and my mother was pregnant at 40 and I could not believe it. Have we taught you all nothing? Here's my point though, it wasn't a voting meeting. They can call us together to vote, see if we wanted a brother or sister. They were letting us know in a matter of months you're going to have a brother or a sister. That's how you get into the family of God through the new birth. We don't vote you in, we don't approve you. You come in because Jesus shed his blood that you could come into the family of God. And we are saved by grace through faith.

Now here's what I need to pick it up and help you discuss. When you are born into a family you're in, you know why? Because you pick your friends but you're stuck with your relatives. You are stuck with your relatives. Have you noticed that you got some relatives you actually like and you have others?

That's right, you're all feeling me. You got to help me all the way through this part of the series because that's the nature of a family. You don't get to pick family.

You're in the same way they're in. And what we have to then learn to do is get along as the family of God. So I just want to talk you through the practical side of becoming a strong family unit because if we will become strong, if we will become close knit, if we will really pull our resources together as the people of God and make positive difference in each other's lives, we will see God bless and God use and God change us not only for time but for eternity. So I want to talk you through this business of how to become a functional family. You do know that your family, if it has dysfunction, I won't have you raise your hand, but I'll bet there are a good number of people who if I were to call for a show of hands, hands would go up. If I were to ask you, do you come from a family which has a significant amount of dysfunction in it, there would be some definite witnesses in the house. I'm not going to embarrass you with your kinfolk, but we know that that's the truth.

Disfunction is nothing new. I ended the last message in this part of the series by saying just look at your Bible. And you don't have to go to the middle. Go to the beginning. Genesis chapter four, you see dysfunction already. Cain and Abel, brothers, blood brothers, and one killed the other one. What'd he kill him for? He must have been something horrible.

He killed him because God was happy with his offering. And jealousy and a man who had the same opportunity to please God that his brother had. Do you know there are some people, not you, but people I know, who rather than say, Lord, I want your favor just like my brother Abel had your favor. Instead of saying, Lord, teach me to have your favor, they just get mad at Abel. You ever had anybody get mad at you because you did right? You ever had anybody on the job get jealous of you because you're working well?

You ever had anybody who wants to get the promotion you got, you earned it, they didn't, but they mad, you got it? That's what you see in the Bible in family. So your family isn't the first dysfunctional family.

And it runs all the way through. Just keep reading your Bible. Stay in Genesis, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, every generation dysfunctional in some way or another. Abraham and Sarah, supposed to have the child of promise first. They end up with a fleshly child first and end up years later getting it right.

By the time they got it right, they were senior citizens for real. So your Bible is full of it. Isaac, then Jacob, Jacob is a twin, comes with his brother Esau, tricks his brother Esau out of his blessing and out of his birthright. Dysfunction throughout the Bible, so yours isn't the first. But now we need to talk about dysfunction in the church because the church has got to learn to be functional.

Why? Because if we will come together in agreement, we'll see God work supernaturally, whereas if we don't get in agreement, we're going to miss a lot of miracles just because of dysfunctional mess. So I need to make sure. I'm jealous for you to experience miracles. How many of you all could really use a miracle in your life? The way we get them is we learn to lock ourselves in agreement because one can chase a thousand, but two can put 10,000 to flight. One person can get great things done, but two can get many more things done.

Ecclesiastes chapter 4 has a verse in it that says two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. You can get more done when you get in agreement with other people. So let's talk about just some practical things to make sure we are functional as members of the kingdom of God. First of all, functional families practice agreement. They practice agreement.

What do you mean by that? Go to 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and here's what you'll see. You'll see a verse that says, now I plead with you. Go to verse 10. Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Now what is Paul talking about there when he's saying, I want you to be perfectly joined together, same thing, having no divisions among you.

What is the issue he's addressing? When you keep reading, you see that he says, I heard from Chloe. The way I read it when I see it, Paul says, I heard from Chloe and them.

I heard from Chloe and them. Paul's not able to be there in Corinth all the time. He's traveling. He's an apostle. He said, but I heard from Chloe and them that y'all have such division in the family.

You're divided based on the leaders you like. He said, for instance, some of y'all say I am of Paul. Others say I am of Apollos. Others say I am of Cephas. He said, and then there's a super spiritual bunch say I'm of Christ.

The problem was the church was dividing over which leaders, which spiritual leaders they liked and the ones that they felt personally joined to, but they didn't want to have anything to do with the other folk. 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 joy 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 your best gift to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website,, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, the number 855-339-5500. The Lord is your shepherd, but he can't lead you to green pastures and still waters unless you follow him. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message. We are a family.

I need to tell you something. In the family of God, everybody called of God has a role to play, and you need to be open to letting them fulfill their calling in your life, even if there are some things about their style that are not your favorite. So in my pastorate, I have a certain way of ministering the word. I use my gifts. I use my abilities. I use my personality.

I use my experience. I bring all of that to the table when I preach. You can like Pastor Paul's style of ministry. I just love the way he ministers the word. Nothing wrong with liking.

He wasn't rebuking folks for liking. He's rebuking them for saying, I am of Pastor Paul. And if somebody else is up there instead of Pastor Paul, I wish I had known before I got to church. Oh, I just hit something. I just hit something because there are some people that, in fact, some of them are on your row.

Look down, see if you can find out who they are. There are some people sitting here right now who say, I'm so glad he's here this Sunday because I wanted to hear from him. Nothing wrong with enjoying the way I minister the word, but you've got to be more married to the truth than to the truth bearer. You've got to be more married to the word than to the one who brings the word.

Yes, I have my style. I don't apologize for it. It is what it is. God has used it in wonderful ways across the years. I preached in places I would never imagine I'd have been able to preach in because my style isn't good for everybody. Some folk love it and some folk are like, Oh Lord, there he go up there clowning again. Do you realize some folk do not appreciate we, I had a radio listener who said, you know what? You really need to stop all that clowning because the Bible says that you need to be serious as a man of God.

Yeah. And rebuke me for having fun at church. And I said, Oh God bless you. And what I thought is you really need to turn because there's plenty of folk on Christian radio and television. If you want to make sure to not even smile, there's a whole lot of folk you can listen to because there's a whole lot of people who sound like they got baptized in lemon juice and they just as sour as they know how to be.

And if you want stern and you want austere and you want people who make everything, uh, you know, just real tough and real, you can knock yourself out. I'll give you a list of broadcast. You can listen day and night. I guaranteed to never smile a single smile, but I have a sense of humor. God gave it to me and so I need to use it to help draw your attention in so I can feed you truth. I'm not, I'm not up here having folk laugh just because I'm actually telling some important things while you're laughing.

This is not, you know, Showtime at the Apollo. I'm not just trying to make you laugh. I'm trying to feed you the truth. So just like y'all remember, I don't know if it still happens, but I remember back in the day, new parents would have a finicky kid sitting in that little high chair and they trying to feed them stuff to make sure they ate it all.

You remember what some of some of them would do. They take the spoon and said, all right, here come the airplane. Open up your mouth because here it comes in and child and then, and then, and you put it in.

Zoom. You're tricking them in the eating. Oh, I came to tell you, pastor Paul got serious stuff I got to deal with, but I don't have to be serious while I'm dealing with it all the time. In fact, sometime to make sure you eat it, I got to say, all right, here come another joke.

You understand what I'm saying? It's not joking just for the sake of joking. Sometime a visitor at church left there and one of my members overheard him say, wow, that's cool. Y'all got like Chris Rock for y'all pastor.

Oh Lord, I hope I said something. But if my style offends some folk, that's why there's not just Paul. There's also a polis and CFS and other people mentioned because no one person scratches everybody's itch. That's the nature of family. Have you noticed in your family, there isn't one person who everybody is just thrilled about everything that that family member does.

Couple of them like, I just really like, I just really buy. That's like my favorite sister and like my favorite brother and like my favorite cousin. Come on. And then you got some other cousins and you see them coming. You said, Oh Lord, Oh Lord, here they come.

Why? Because not everybody suits you in the same way. So there's nothing wrong with liking pastor Paul. There's nothing wrong with liking any minister of the gospel, any person who ministers to you, but you got to make sure you know in the spiritual family, you don't get to pick and choose who God will use in your life. When you look at the early church, one of the miracles you see is how God took disciples of Jesus who were very different in temperament, very different in background, but he made them all part of the original apostles. Have you ever read acts three, which tells you about the healing of a man at the temple gate. The first miracle in acts three is not the healing of the man at the temple gate.

The first miracle in acts three is Peter and John were going together to the temple to pray miracle. You say, why was that a miracle pastor cause Peter's temperament and John's temperament, two different things. Here is a rough call it like I see it. No holds bar kind of person like some of y'all. That's just the way some people are.

So you try to unsave them. They say they just saved and rough. How many of y'all come on? No, no. See y'all front. How many of y'all would just own the true pastor? Several people have told me I can have a little edge on the way I say things or do things and I put some people off. Let me see some honest hands.

Okay. There's some honest hands. There's some other folks pray for them cause they know they lying. Some folks just rough, just rough. Different temperaments have different rough sides to them. Peter was a straight shooting guy. Peter was the kind of guy. In fact, Peter is the one who Jesus had to say, Simon, Simon, call him twice. Simon, Simon, Satan has asked for permission to shake you violently like wheat and why did Jesus say that to him? Because Peter was in the middle of bragging about the fact that other folk were going to leave Jesus. See this is getting to the point where Jesus is about to be betrayed and they could see that things are, Oh, this doesn't look too good. And Peter wanted to assure Jesus. Now some of these people you picked, you've made a really big mistake because some of these wimps you picked when this heat goes down, they are not going to be able to handle it because they not like me.

They are not ride or die. Some of these people are wimps and they're not going to help you. Peter's attitude was, but you did one thing right. You picked me.

See, let's see. Y'all see, we got some Peters in here right now. They can relate to Peter. You picked me and when it all goes down, Jesus, I'm going to be there. The rest of them going to run away. We just go back to back and we just fight them off.

We got them all in the midst of that bragging. Jesus says, Simon, Simon, Satan has asked for permission to shake you violently like wheat. Jesus said, but I prayed for you and he implied, and I didn't pray that the violent shaking wouldn't happen because sometimes Peters don't get better till they go through a violent shakeup. Have any of y'all ever seen God let you go through some hard stuff, but at least you came out better than you were when you went in. Thanks for being here with us for today's message. We are a family. You know, the Destined for Victory ministry operates something like a family, one that has been made stronger through the years, thanks in large part to people like you. It's because of our friends and partners that Destined for Victory can be heard on more than 400 radio stations and all over 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 a month to Destined for Victory. And as our way of saying thanks for that 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. Call 855-339-5500 and find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner for as little as $20 a month.

Make your pledge over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. You can also become our partner from our website And if you can't become a Destined for Victory partner, but can make a generous donation today, we'd like to send you Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Finding Strength in Tough Times. That's finding strength in tough times. Life can be scary, life can be dangerous, but a sheep has the 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. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, We Are a Family. Until then though, 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 06:21:15 / 2023-09-19 06:30:24 / 9

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