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Developing an Honorable Lifestyle, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 24, 2021 8:00 am

Developing an Honorable Lifestyle, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 24, 2021 8:00 am

Practical disciplines followers of Christ are called to live by, such as truth-telling and anger management; based on Eph. 4:24-32. (Included in the 6-part series "Embracing Newness".)

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When you speak, tell the truth. It's the first thing Paul is challenging us to do. If we are going to walk in the holiness and righteousness that God has ordained for our lives, we must decide that when we speak, we will tell the truth. What does an honorable lifestyle look like? Find out next on Today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

Hello and thanks for stopping by. Today, and for the next few days, you'll discover seven practical ways to put on the new self, seven key attributes that demonstrate an honorable lifestyle. Along the way, you'll be reminded that coming to faith in Christ doesn't guarantee a long list of immediate and permanent changes.

True and lasting change is very often a process. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay with us or visit PastorPaul.net to listen on demand. PastorPaul.net.

You can also listen and subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Developing an Honorable Lifestyle. Now, we've been looking at the process of spiritual development that Paul mentioned in Ephesians 4 verses 22 through 24, and then we're going to begin to look at the passage immediately following that. You were taught with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. In verse 25, the verse right after those three verses we just referred to, he begins to lay out for us what I see as seven of the practical ways that we should put on the new self. There are many throughout the Bible, but in this immediate passage, he calls our attention to seven practical ways that we are to put on the new self.

I don't have time today to get into more than two at the most. I hope to get to the second one, but let's start with the first of the seven ways Paul mentions here in Ephesians 4. Look at verse 25. Look at what he says, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Wait, Paul, wait, wait, wait, wait. You're talking to the saints. You're talking to folk who are saved. Some of them say they're saved, sanctified, have the blessed Holy Spirit. Why are you talking about lying to the saints?

Glad you asked. You know why he's talking about lying to the saints? Because the saints can lie until they put on the new self of telling truth. Here's the first of the seven points I'll be making as we explore the rest of the chapter. Here's the way I worded this first point. When you speak, tell the truth. The first of seven points.

I'll only get to at the most two in this message. When you speak, tell the truth. It's the first thing Paul is challenging us to do. If we are going to walk in the holiness and righteousness that God has ordained for our lives, we must decide that when we speak, we will tell the truth. Now you need to get this really, really clear. The fact that you got saved didn't immediately and permanently deliver you from lying. Let's just be practical.

No future in fronting. I say it all the time. People used to always testify. I've heard those kinds of testimonies. When I got saved, I was an immediate change. Every now and then, people are blessed with some immediate changes.

I've heard of testimonies. I stopped drinking the moment I got saved. Never took another sip. I stopped smoking as soon as I got saved. I stopped this and stopped that. Wonderful. If that was your experience, praise God.

But for some other folk, they got saved, but it didn't show up in their lifestyle immediately. I know I'm telling the truth. I'm saying my own amen. Joe's not here anyway physically to help me, so I'm pushing myself. Preach, doc.

I'm saying that inside. Preach, doc, just like I'm in a black Baptist church, and I'm going to get on through this by myself. Just because you got saved doesn't mean you automatically and permanently stop doing some things that God doesn't want you to do.

You must learn to put on the new self. So when you speak, Paul says, tell the truth. In other words, quit lying. Saints, we're being called to quit lying.

Why? Because truth matters in the kingdom of God. It might not matter in this world. Lying is commonplace in this world, but in the kingdom, even though we're in this world, we are not to be of this world. In the kingdom, we are called to be truth tellers. John 1.17, the law was given through Moses, but what? Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

The law came through Moses, but when Jesus showed up, he brought us grace and truth. God is a God of truth. Truth matters in heaven. Truth matters in the kingdom of God. Truth is part of the currency of the kingdom, and we are being called up when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. So saints, we just got to deal with some stuff. We just got to look at our lives and let the Holy Spirit help us do self-examination so that we can become the people God has destined us to be.

That's the whole point. You got saved to start the journey of becoming who God wanted you to be, and so you and I are called to walk with the Lord who brought us grace. Thank God for his grace, but he also calls us to be people of truth. Back in 1991, I remember a book that came out back then. The authors were James Patterson and Peter Kim. The book is entitled The Day America Told the Truth. It was the result of a huge national survey on private morality, and what they did was they surveyed many, many Americans, and they guaranteed them absolute anonymity. Nobody would know that you participated in the survey, or if they knew you were in the survey, they certainly didn't know what you shared, and they had a way of guaranteeing people that so that they would be free to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. And I got that book. I, like so many other people, I was just floored by the results. They made confessions about things like their sex lives, crime, punishment, rape, and I remember one section of the survey that the results were published in the book spoke to what people were willing to do to get $10 million, and they had a series of questions.

Would you do blank for $10 million? I remember one of the things was, would you kill a stranger for $10 million? And so the book just has shocking percentages of people who just talked about their own personal confessions, their own lifestyle, and the vices and sins, and hideous things in some cases that people admitted to once they knew it wouldn't get out. There were people who just would do extraordinarily evil things, especially when it came to money, and so this shocking book gave me a statistic that, that's why I thought of it when I was crafting this message, because in the book, they said 91% of the Americans surveyed admitted that they lie regularly. 91%, more than 9 out of 10 people, admitted when surveyed with anonymity that they lie on a regular basis. Now, say well pastor, you know, everybody can fill out a survey, but how many people in America call themselves Christians?

So if you just go with those percentages alone, X number of percentage, whatever percentage you use, you think is what Americans think that they are when it comes to religion, if that's true in the overall society, you can safely assume that was true in the survey, which means of the 50, 60, 70, whoever, whatever percent you think Christians are in America, that means they are among the 91% of regular liars. So saints, we're on the word, you're looking at the Bible, I didn't write this, you wrote, you see it, it's in your Bible too. God says through the apostle Paul, quit lying, tell the truth, you're called to righteousness, true holiness, you're called to be like your father, you are called to walk in the truth of Jesus Christ, which means embracing newness, I got to embrace being a truth teller. I got to embrace telling the truth because that is what honors God, just because I'm saved doesn't mean I automatically tell the truth, so I've got to take, I've got to put off the old lying, you know, some of us were lying, we were lying as soon as we could talk, we were lying. You know it's true because we're born in sin, shape, and iniquity, you've heard me over the years, you who have listened for years, you've heard my classic example, babies learn how to lie pretty quickly, pretty easily, and they, you know, did you eat the cookies? Because you know you weren't supposed to eat cookies until after dinner, and I left the room or whatever, and came back, and you see the child, and first you know they lied because it's in their face, before they start talking, it's in their face, you know something wrong, and you say, did you eat a cookie?

And once they have a pretty good vocabulary, they learn to sophisticated, I didn't even know we had cookies, crumbs right still on there, still right there by their mouth. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to take a moment and thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the Gospel with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is a listener supportive ministry, and right now, during the busy summer months when donations to the ministry tend to decline, your help is very much needed and appreciated. So as God leads, please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. As children, one of the first things we learn to do is lie, and as we get older, we become experts at hiding and rationalizing the lies we tell.

Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, developing an honorable lifestyle. We learn sin, we learn various types of sin from a very young age. We tell all kinds of lies, and as you grow up, they get sophisticated, and the reasons for lying multiply.

Come on, let's be true, let's be true. The reasons and the rationales, it amazes me the rationales people have. As I studied it, I found that there are several rationales people often give about why they lie. To avoid punishment or consequence, of course, is one of the main reasons people lie. To conceal the benefit they received from the lie, they don't want other people to know about the benefit because they know they lied to get it. To protect someone from harm or embarrassment, to maintain privacy, the thrill of having people believe what is not true, and to be polite. Now, some folks, in establishing their rationales, they would say, well, you know, sometimes you just want to be polite. You don't want to hurt people's feelings, and they have a nice little cute rationale for that. I get it.

Yeah, you don't want to hurt people's feelings, but are you willing to practice a lifestyle of flat out lying to spare someone's feelings, watch this, when your Lord and Savior has said you need to be a truth teller? Okay, I know you got questions popping up in your mind. I'm going to address some of that in a minute because I hear you. I hear you in the spirit. Yeah, but. I hear some of you all, yeah, but, right away. And yeah, but doesn't change the Word of God.

So we have to figure out how to change our lives and our lifestyles and our habits and our verbal communication to line up with the will of God. There are times when people lie to protect someone physically from danger. I get that. But that's not what most people are doing when they're lying because, you know, I've read those ethical studies like you probably have. Well, yeah, but what if a killer is looking for an individual?

You know where the individual is because you're hiding them, and the killer comes and says, where is so-and-so? And you know where they are, so you're going to tell me that you're going to speak the truth and tell them where they are and let them get killed? Okay, I get the ethical dilemma there, and yeah, that's worth a discussion because, no, I'm not giving up somebody so that they can be killed. But that is not what we are doing, saints.

Let's just be honest. Y'all ain't lying because you're protecting somebody from dying, so let's just be true to ourselves so that we can be the people God has destined us to be. No, I would not give up someone, and if I got a lie to protect them, I'll do that, and I will believe that God's going to have mercy on me and bless me because I took care of them. Very much, watch this, very much like, y'all remember what happened in the book of Joshua, Sister Rahab? Y'all remember Rahab was hiding the spies that came from the people of God, and they came to Jericho, and they're hiding out at Sister Rahab's house, and when the town's men said, where are these visitors? We heard they came to you, and we want them, and she told a flat-out lie. Oh, yeah, they were here, but they left, and y'all better go.

You can still catch them. And then you know the story. Afterwards, she said, all right, now, I took care of y'all. When Israel comes back, when Joshua and the army comes back to take Jericho, and we know y'all are coming, she said, remember me, and you know the story. She had to put out the scarlet thing, all of that.

I can't walk you through that. That was a rationale God blessed, so okay, I get it. There are ethical times, and in that case, there was a spiritual reason for her to tell an untruth, and God actually blessed it, but trust me, God ain't blessing this stuff we doing.

Come on, I know I'm, ooh, man, this is hitting, I feel it hitting y'all at home, but this is the word. It's supposed to be in our business. Don't go to a church that won't tell you the truth.

Don't listen to somebody who gonna stand up here and lie to you. My job is to preach hard truth, and I gotta walk it just like you gotta walk it. When I come short, I gotta repent just like you gotta repent. We all on the same journey of becoming the people God has destined us to be.

No, I am not your example in everything, but like you, I'm striving to do all that God has called me to do. So this message doesn't come from a place of superiority. It comes from a place where all of us have to check ourselves and say, Lord, how am I doing in this area of becoming the person you have destined me to be? So to avoid punishment or consequence is not a legitimate reason to lie. If you earned the consequence, you need to own the consequence. Pray for mercy, try to get a break if you can, but don't try to lie your way out of things because God won't bless that. Concealing the benefits you receive from lying, God's not gonna bless that.

To maintain your privacy, all of that, those are some of the rationales, the thrill of having people believe what's not true, you know God won't bless that, won't bless that. I remember when I was writing this part of the message, I thought back to second grade, I can remember when it was. Second grade, we came back to school that first day after summer break and I went into my second grade classroom and the teacher was meeting us and all that. And then she said, let me hear what y'all did during the summer and she went around the room and calling on people's names and wanted to know what they did if they took a vacation or whatever and some went to camp.

But some, several families took vacations, went out of town and different ones were telling theirs and some of theirs sounded better than mine. And we had gone to Ohio that summer, but some folk had gone farther than Ohio and by the time she got to me, I said, oh, I'm beating them, I wanna go past Ohio. And I remember, second grade, I remember telling them I went to Hawaii. My staff back there laughing, I went to Hawaii, I had never in second grade been to, first time I went to Hawaii was 1999 when I went there to preach, been preaching there ever since.

So sick of this pandemic because it made me, it missed a couple of Hawaii blessings, but anyway, we'll get back to it eventually. First time I went was 1999, but back in the 60s when I was in elementary school, I told that bold lie, I said, I'm beating these folk because I think somebody had gone to California. I said, ooh, I know that's far. I said, how can I go farther than California? And I said, Hawaii.

And I hadn't been, here's the problem. We were on the avenue shopping, my mama and me. Weeks after that, one of the students and her parent, and her parent ran into us and the student said, oh, that's Paul, he's in my class. And we were standing there and she had told her mother that I went to Hawaii. And her mother said, oh, Mrs. Shepherd, I heard you all went to Hawaii. I was busted because all we had done is, and my mother said, no, she must have misheard, we went to Ohio. And that little girl looked at me like, now you know you told us.

You all went to Hawaii. Bottom line, saints, you got to do this God's way. God is the one who has called us to be truth tellers because the new self described in verse 24 here in Ephesians is to be created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And so God has called us to be truth tellers.

Now, let me just stop because I know some of you all are thinking about some things that you need to resolve in your minds. Here's the thing, just because somebody asks you a question doesn't mean they deserve an answer. See, truth telling doesn't require you to tell everything. Sometimes the best response to a question is something like that's not something I'm going to discuss with you because that's the truth.

You know what they're asking. You can provide the information, but they don't need it. Whether it's because of your privacy or because of embarrassment or because of whatever, you can withhold truth without lying. Now, you say, oh, but that's awkward.

They don't know I'm hiding. What I'm telling you is I'm not discussing that with you. Now, you can draw whatever conclusions you want to draw from the fact that I won't discuss that with you, but I won't. Sometimes that's the answer somebody needs.

I'm not going to discuss that. You know, we can always find exceptions to a rule. We might lie to save someone's life. We might lie to spare someone's feelings. But the heart of God's instruction is that our lifestyle should be one of consistent truth telling. As Pastor Paul said today, if you want to live an honorable life, speak the truth.

Either that or say nothing at all. Well, we have a great resource to share with you today, Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, You're in God's Army Now. In his letters, the apostle Paul describes the church in various ways.

He describes it as a flock, a body, an army. And in this booklet, Pastor Paul reminds us that we are continuously involved in a spiritual warfare and explains what it takes for us to become good soldiers. That's You're in God's Army Now, a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your generous gift to destined for victory. Just call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Again, that address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. Do 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.

And while you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement which comes at no cost or obligation. Don't let anger fester. Don't let it go unresolved. Because when anger goes unresolved, it tends to take you into inappropriate thoughts and actions and what have you. Don't let it fester.

That's where the danger is when you're not properly handling your current present tense anger. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, developing an honorable lifestyle. 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 / 2023-09-13 14:28:24 / 2023-09-13 14:37:28 / 9

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