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Choose to Re-Engage

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
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August 16, 2021 8:00 am

Choose to Re-Engage

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 16, 2021 8:00 am

Making the decision to respond in a positive and proactive way after unfortunate things happen in our lives; based on Gen. 4:25 and Gen. 21:14-21.

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We do have heartache.

We do have sorrow. We go through all kinds of trouble, and I came to tell you, despite that, God said He's going to bless you to come through it. God is not going to leave you in the state you're in now, but you've got to cooperate and you've got to choose to re-enter.

It's easy to stay engaged when you're on top of the world, but what about when the world is on top of you? You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Wherever you are, however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day. Well, Satan wants the people of God to isolate themselves, to allow their past wounds to result in disappointment, depression, and ultimately withdrawal. But when we choose to persevere, to cling to our faith in spite of our trials, God can take us from broken to blessed.

Today's message is straight ahead. Stay right here, or you can visit to listen anytime on demand. That's

The podcast is also available at Apple Podcasts, at Spotify, or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Choose to Re-Engage. Now, last Sunday I began talking about the significance of the choices we make, the choices we make. I looked at the first eight verses of Genesis chapter four, and let me just remind you quickly of the three basic points I made. The first was, often life calls for each of us to make choices.

If you were with me, you remember that. Choices aren't new. Everybody has choices to make.

Two, when you make a poor choice, you should own that fact. Of course, we were talking then about Cain, who made a very poor choice in the way he gave. He gave casually. He gave in a way that really was offensive to God. Some folks say that, you ought to just be glad I gave anything.

Well, no. When you're talking about giving to God, he shouldn't be glad that you're giving anything. He is the owner of everything.

It is our job to let him know how much we love and appreciate him. Cain gave, but he didn't give properly, and it was a poor choice. He should have owned that fact.

Of course, he did not. Then the third point I made is, when you're wrong, God wants to help you get right. I love that about God. God doesn't beat us up when we're wrong.

He will discipline. He will convict, but God gives you the opportunity to get right. Thank God for a kind of grace and mercy that is available to us to get right whenever we've been wrong. Now, as I was wrapping up that message, I was pointing out the fact that instead of repenting, Cain allowed sin to control the circumstance, and Cain ended up making the worst possible choice and killing his brother, whose offering had been acceptable to God. It never fails to amaze me that folk can get mad at you and all you did was the right thing, but sometimes for doing the right thing, you can catch all kinds of trouble with people, and that's what happened, and Cain killed his own brother, Abel. But before getting away from Genesis 4, I realized that there was another point from this chapter that I need to make, and so what I want you to do is go with me again to Genesis 4. Let's look quickly again at the first eight verses just to give you the context from last week, and then I'll move on and point out another verse and talk about another important issue when it comes to the choices we make.

So let's just read through the first eight verses. The Lord respected Abel and his offering. He did not respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry. His countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, why are you angry? Why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted, and if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.

Its desire is for you, but you shall rule over it. Now Cain talked with Abel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Now I want you to think with me how Adam and Eve must have felt that awful day. Think about these parents.

Put yourself in their position. What would it be like to wake up one day with two kids? We don't know if they're teenagers, if they're in their 20s at this point, we don't have that info.

We know that they are working. They have responsibilities, one a tiller of the ground, one a keeper of the flocks, and all of that. But despite their age, you wake up with two children, and that night you go to bed, one of them is dead.

Not only just dead, but he has been killed. Perhaps they taught these young men both how to make clear, positive, responsible choices in their lives. I'm sure they put in them right from wrong, and what any parent would do as you raise your children. Perhaps they told them about their own failure. Perhaps they shared with them that God had instructed them one way, and they made a very bad choice and went in a different direction. Perhaps they made those boys familiar with their own failures. Perhaps they stressed to the boys the importance of honoring God with their first fruits of their substance, of their increase.

We know the boys knew it because they both brought an offering to the Lord. So perhaps the parents had done all they could, having failed themselves in their own past, they did all they could to raise Abel and Cain in the training and instruction of the Lord, did everything they possibly could. But despite their best efforts as parents, one of the sons, Cain, kills the other son, Abel.

Imagine, you're their parent, and that's what happens in your own family. He kills his brother. He kills your other son. He doesn't just decide to stop hanging out at Abel's house. He doesn't just decide, all right, I'm disowning him. As far as I'm concerned, he's not my brother. If you're mad at somebody, you've got all kind of choices. First of all, make sure you have a legitimate reason to be mad, which Cain did not. But even if you think you've got a legitimate reason, you can make a measured decision, well, I just don't want to hang out this time.

I'm not going over there for Super Bowl. Whatever it is, you can make choices. You can make a different decision.

You can make a better decision. You can disown him if you want to. You know, people say, you're dead to me. All right, if you want him to be dead to you, still keep him alive while he's dead to you. But no, this boy kills his brother. All Abel did was offer that acceptable sacrifice to God. And somehow the Lord allows Cain to kill him. So you all need to realize the Bible does not teach that God tells everyone to do everything. God's being sovereign doesn't mean God makes our choices for us. Sovereignty doesn't mean we have no choice. God has all the choices. Sovereignty means that we answer to him. He can do whatever he chooses to do.

He can insert and interject things that go over and above people's will. But the general rule of living in this world is God has given us free choice and holds us accountable as to how we exercise that choice. Don't blame the worst stuff that's ever happened to you on God because many things that happen to us in this fallen world are neither God's will nor God's fault. You need to keep that in mind because that'll help you to not charge God foolishly. When you say, Lord, if you love me, he does love you. Don't say, if you love me, God loves you. And yeah, bad things happen although God loves you. Evil is real although God loves you.

People are crazy although God loves you. And we need to reconcile them because that's the way the Bible makes it very clear to us. Now, imagine the pain of Adam and Eve that day finding out that Abel is dead at the hands of Cain. Imagine the incredulity, I can't believe that has actually happened. Imagine the devastation. Imagine how long that would hurt their hearts. You know, you got to understand, when people say stuff like, time heals all wounds, that is not true. It's not taught in scripture and it's not factually true.

Time doesn't have a healing agent in it. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. He'll be right back with the second half of today's message.

And by the way, today's message, as well as a number of other messages and resources, can be found online at Destined for Victory is always available right in the palm of your hand by downloading our free mobile app. The app allows you to contact us for prayer, make a safe and secure donation, order books and audio content. You can even take notes within the app.

Search Destined for Victory in the app store and download it today absolutely free. They say time heals all wounds. Well, don't believe it. Find out why next as we kick off the second half of today's message, Choose to Re-Engage.

Once again, here's Pastor Paul. So time doesn't heal wounds. If the wound was not severe, over time it will heal itself, certain kinds of wounds, even on your body. There are certain things that happen and you don't have to treat them and eventually you would get over it from certain minor wounds. But major wounds, they don't heal themselves. Time can't heal them and some wounds, if you ignore them, not only won't they heal, you'll get worse. Time doesn't heal wounds. So here these people are living through weeks, months, years of the pain, the incredulity, I don't believe that boy killed his younger brother. Imagine living through that.

Most of us have experienced one or more instances of great loss and pain in our lives. I'll never forget, as a 23-year-old, my best friend, who was a year or 11 months older than me actually, dropped dead December 23rd, 1980 was the year. He was a basketball player, had just signed a contract to play for the Atlanta Hawks. He had a heart condition that he had just gotten clearance to play, although he was being medicated for this and we thought he was going to be on the up and up, everything was going to work out.

He plays pickup ball with some friends the morning of December 23rd, 1980. When they leave the gym and are walking home, he collapses and dies on the street. I got the call while I was at work.

I wasn't in vocational ministry. Got the call at work, just go to the hospital. What happened?

Just go to the hospital. I walk into the hospital and see my best friend lying on a gurney dead, his mother weeping, falls on me. I'll never forget it.

I'll never forget the pain. I'll never forget that Christmas of 1980, I don't even remember what happened because I was busy planning a funeral. I was busy consoling a mother. I was busy preparing to preach the eulogy and officiate the funeral of my best friend. He died on Tuesday.

I funeralized him and we buried him on Saturday. I'll never forget it. Some of you have had the pain of shocking deaths. Some of you know what it is to wake up one day thinking life is a certain way and by the end of that day, your world has changed.

You know what that's like. Some of you have never experienced the death of a close relative, a parent, a friend, a child, a sibling. Some of you haven't done that yet. You will if you keep living. Oh, don't speak that over me. It's just life.

It's going to happen. Some of us already know. We've already experienced the loss of a parent, both parents, child, multiple children, sibling, multiple siblings. We've been there. We know what that's like. Life can be tough.

We can testify. Most of us haven't experienced the murder of someone close to us, but others of us have even experienced that. I've experienced the murder of one of the brothers in MOD several years ago, got out of his car late one night with his bag, had computer and other stuff from work. Somebody jumps out of the bushes and doesn't just demand his bag, which he could have easily done. Again, choices. He kills him and takes his bag, leaves him to die on the street.

He had just been with us in MOD the Saturday before. Life can be very tough. Very few of us, though, have ever experienced the unspeakable pain that Adam and Eve felt, the pain of losing a child to murder with the murderer being one of your own kids. Life can be excruciatingly tough.

Now, some of you might be saying, okay, pastor, it's the first Sunday of the year, and I was hoping a nice, upbeat message was coming, and you got me down here in Genesis 4 with Cain killing Abel. Love you, but what's up with this? I get it. I get it, and I'm going to answer your question.

What's up with this? The answer and the message God told me to give you as we kick off this time of talking about a lot of different choices, but if we make the right ones, going to make us stronger, wiser, and better. The answer is found in verse 25, so that's why we stayed in Genesis 4. Go to verse 25, and here's what you'll find.

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for God had appointed another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain killed. Operative word, again. I have called this message Choose to Re-Engage. It's a decision.

It's a choice you have to make. When life has hit you hard, knocked you down, tried its best to knock you out through no fault of your own, when things have gone the exact different direction that you hoped and wanted and expected them to go, when you've had all kinds of setbacks and breakdowns and this went wrong and that went wrong and I can't believe he did this and I can't believe she said that and I can't believe my job did the other and I can't believe, if God loves me, why all this hell has broken out in my life. I can't reconcile the loving God with the hell I'm going through.

The Lord told me to tell you that, yes, bad things happen to good people. Yes, we live in a fallen world, and just because we're redeemed, we're not redeemed yet from the things that go on in this world. We do have heartache. We do have sorrow.

We do have all kinds of vicissitudes. We go through all kinds of trouble, and I came to tell you, despite that, God said He's going to bless you to come through it and if you will make the choice to re-engage, He's got some seth for you. He has appointed some stuff on the other side of your trouble, on the other side of your heartache, on the other side of the death and the other side.

God is not going to leave you in the state you're in now, but you've got to cooperate and you've got to choose to re-engage. Adam made love to his wife again. They went through whatever period of time, when I told in the passage how long it was between the death of Abel and conceiving Seth. We don't know, and I know that in there, there was all kinds of healing, all kinds of crying, all kinds of going through changes, all kinds of heartache and heartbreak.

They went through stuff. Please stop believing. See, TV will mess you up. Maybe you can have the worst problem, but by 22-and-a-half minutes later, if it's a half-hour show, trouble's over.

That's TV. Fact of the matter is, in life sometimes, you don't know when, Lord, how and when are you going to get me out of this? I do know this, though. You serve a God who began a good work in you, and the work God began in you, my friend, he wasn't counting on Cain to not kill Abel. He wasn't counting on your job to stay strong and give you bonuses and raises on a regular basis. God wasn't counting on circumstantial prosperity to always dominate your situation. God knew when he called you, when he began the good work in you, God who knows the end from the beginning knew the hell you were going to go through. Don't say, well, then how come he let it happen? God lets all kinds of stuff happen, not because he's not in control, but because he has given us free will and because we live in a fallen universe and we feel and experience the effects of the fallen universe all the time. We live in a fallen world, but we serve a risen Savior, one who has promised that if he brings you to it, he'll bring you through it.

Are you facing one of life's challenges today? Stop by and use the Contact Us feature to let us know how we can pray for you. That's While you're there, be sure to ask for your free copy of Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. Well, our mission here at Destined for Victory is to lead people to faith in Christ and to help them grow in that faith. And because we know you feel the same way, Pastor Paul invites you to help by sending a generous gift to support the ministry. When you do, we have a gift of our own to share with you, Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, You're in God's Army Now.

In his letters, the apostle Paul describes the church in various ways, a flock, a body, an army. And in this booklet, Pastor Paul reminds us that we are continuously involved in spiritual warfare and explains what it takes for us to become good soldiers. That's the booklet, You're in the Army Now, from Pastor Paul, our gift to you by request for your generous 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, our address, Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. We're all going to die physically because of the fall. Sin brought death. Sin brought destruction.

Fact of the matter is, we live in a fallen world. Our God called us by his purpose, even in this fallen world. And if you will choose to re-engage, you're going to see that his purpose will prevail in your life nonetheless. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, choose to re-engage. 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 / 2023-09-15 07:19:06 / 2023-09-15 07:27:39 / 9

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