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Who Cares About Poor People? (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2021 8:00 am

Who Cares About Poor People? (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 5, 2021 8:00 am

How God feels about the poor and how they are treated; the consequences of practicing favoritism; based on James 2:1-13.

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Whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me. Coming your way next, Pastor Paul Shepherd encourages us to help those in need in his message, Who Cares About Poor People. But first, he joins me from his studio in California to talk about a very important role that you can play in the ministry of Destin for Victory.

I guess people hear that a lot, but it is really true. Without partners, we simply can't get the gospel out to the world. The gospel is free, but the plumbing costs an awful lot of money, and we want to continue preaching. As I've said in times past, we've got generations to reach that have never heard the gospel, and they misunderstand us. When they hear people talk about things like serving the Lord, and we need to make it plain to them, the only way I can do it is with my partners helping us reach them through their generous gifts.

I'm so grateful for every single partner, and I'm praying in 2021 that God will give us thousands more. There are many more outlets and many more opportunities we could take advantage of in our ministry, but the only thing that holds us back is lack of income. So I'm praying that God's going to touch the heart of many more people to realize that with just your gift of $20 or more, you can help us remain strong on the stations and outlets we're on and reach many more with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Pastor. That's what it's all about, reaching more people with the gospel. And if you make that commitment by pledging $20 or more per month to help us do that, we'll send you with our thanks a couple of great gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. It's a compilation of some of pastors most humorous illustrations and stories, something that we know will be sure to make you laugh and learn at the same time. Call 855-339-5500 or mail your gift, letting us know you wish to become a partner.

The address is Destined for Victory, post office box 1767 Fremont, California 94538. You can also sign up by clicking become a partner right at the top of the homepage at And if you're already a partner, Pastor Paul and I both want to say a heartfelt thank you and challenge you to consider becoming a legacy partner. These are special ministry friends that are able to support us with gifts of $2,500 or more each year. The details are available at the website or by calling 855-339-5500. Now if you can't become a partner today but would like to make a generous donation to Destined for Victory, we'd be glad to send you a DVD from Pastor Paul called Get Your Hopes Up.

That's Get Your Hopes Up, our gift to you by request for your gift to Destined for Victory. He says if you really keep the royal law found in scripture, love your neighbor as yourself, you're doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin. That's the third point favoritism is sin, period. It's not a weakness. It's not an issue.

It's not something you need to work on. Favoritism is sin. James has much to say about our behavior in his New Testament epistle and today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd takes us to that letter to give us a practical guide for treating one another, in particular those who are less fortunate. Right now is Pastor Paul with today's message.

Who cares about poor people? We've got to care about what the kingdom cares about. And the fact of the matter is, James says, we have to learn not to practice favoritism. Look at what he says now, as he continues this passage. Look at the rest of verse six, and then even beyond that, because I want you to understand that this teaching is really important. He makes a second point, which is that not all wealthy people honor God or live by godly values.

He's just making the point. Look at the rest of verse six and verse seven. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you?

Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? And are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? Now, be real clear about what James is and is not saying. He's talking about a particular type of wealthy person that he knew were the very oppressors of the saints who were scattered because of persecution. He's writing in the first century church, he's writing in a particular context, saints are scattered, have been oppressed and persecuted because of their newfound faith, and he says some of that persecution has come at the hands of certain wealthy people. He did not say all wealthy people are persecutors or oppressors. He didn't say all wealthy people are dragging the saints into court. He didn't say all wealthy people are dishonoring the name of God. So, I got a word for you not yet wealthy folks. Don't cop an attitude with everybody who's financially blessed. Because some of y'all have a habit of just taking the rich and throwing them into one category, and it's a very unflattering category as if James were suggesting that to have wealth is to dishonor God and to dishonor people, and that's not what he said at all. You see how the word balances out?

Because some of y'all got a problem. You get attitude when you see somebody forget wealthy blessed, you get attitude when somebody get a car better than yours. You get attitude when somebody moves into a house nicer than yours. And you have to learn that you can't put all people in the same category because of what they have, just like they shouldn't put people in a category because of what they don't have. This is good.

I'm going to get this CD myself. You got to learn not to do that. Some of you all have to get rid of your wealth phobia because some of you all don't know it, but you're pushing money away by your very attitude. You're pushing open doors away by your very attitude. Some of you all people can sense your resentment that they're in a different place than you're in. You got to learn how to honor God and respect people without practicing favoritism. Because not all wealthy people are bad people. I met some of them. I have some kingdom first wealthy friends.

Love God, love the kingdom, would never think about dishonoring God, would never think about dishonoring poorer Christians, and they have been a blessing to me and my ministry down through the years. And I've learned that you just got to understand, wealthy people come in the same two categories that poor folk come in. Some poor folk are jerks and some are a blessing. Some rich folks are jerks and some are a blessing.

Say amen whenever you can. Same two categories. The category of jerks has everybody in it. Black folk in there, white folk in there, Asians, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Eastern Indian, everybody.

There's jerks in all of them. When I first started pastoring multiculturalism, when I first saw it happen in my pastorate decades ago, when it first began to happen, and my black pastor friend said, Oh, man, look at it. I went to his church.

He had white folk up in there and Asians up in there. And they were all impressed. And I had to tell a couple of them, Yeah, but you know what? They come in the same categories that I folk come in.

Come on, help me, somebody. Same categories. Some of them I was so glad to have them, it was a pleasure to pastor them. And some of them I said, Jesus, why did they come to this church?

Same two categories. And you know, now I find myself having to referee these fights based on cultural issues. And I'm trying to teach them the principles of the kingdom because it all boils down to that. When people started coming of different cultures and what have you, and some of them had certain political slants based on their cultural norms, next thing I know, I wasn't just a pastor.

I was a referee because I had to start refereeing fights. And I remember when I first started realizing that in American Christianity especially, there are people who think you can't be Christian and be a Democrat. And then there are other people who think you can't be a Christian and be a Republican because of their personal experience and their personal set of assumptions and their limited worldview. And I found folk going at it. One year I was pastoring and one of the elections, presidential elections was coming up, I forget which one. And one of the folk came to me with an urgent pastor, I got to see you right away. And I said, okay, all right. I told him it was on a Sunday between services or something. And I just had him dash into my office so they could tell me. And they said, pastor, I looked out in the parking lot and there are bumper stickers.

I forget which candidate it was, but a particular candidate. And they were incensed that I go to a church where somebody will call themselves saved and be pushing this candidate. And I said, Jesus, these people don't pay me enough money. They had to fool with this foolishness. I mean flat out knock down, drag out fights where you all but got to send a deacon to break it up over matters that have to do with cultural sensitivities and norms and presumptions. We got to learn to not put everybody in your category and let people be where they are.

It's not the end of the world. They have a political view you don't share. People used to write me when I first went on national TV, they would write me and they would say, why? One brother wrote me and said, why do all black Christians vote Democrat? I need you, Pastor Paul, you are a voice, a national voice, and I need you to explain this. I wrote him back, said there's no way on God's green earth that I'm going to try to explain to you why you presume something that, first of all, ain't true.

And secondly, if you think there's a preponderance in one direction versus another and you think you have statistical facts for that and you're asking me why that is, I said, what you need to do is take some of them out to lunch and ask them. I promise you that's what I told him. I said, if you wonder about why black Christians vote Democratic, I said, why don't you, forget what city he was living in, just pull up at a black Baptist church and go in there and grab a few of them. And say, after church, I'm going to take you to lunch, I'm going to treat you, because I want to know. And I told him to treat them. I did. I said, take them out to lunch, treat them to lunch and say, I'm having difficulty with this. Can you help me understand why you're doing what you're doing?

We have to learn to be careful not to judge people on insufficient grounds. Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destiny for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you enjoy listening to Pastor Paul, we know you'll love watching some of his best video clips. Subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube, or for more details on all of his social media, be sure to visit Jesus calls us to treat the poor with love and respect, but he also asks the poor among us to love and respect the people around them, even if those people happen to be wealthy.

Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destiny for Victory message. Who cares about poor people? Don't even judge all wealthy people to be what he talks about here. James is talking about a certain bunch that dishonored God and dishonored poor folks. But I promise you there's some wealthy folk who love God and love poor folks. And if you learn to walk with them instead of getting mad at them because of what they have, first of all, if you get mad, getting mad doesn't give you more or give them less. It's a futile emotion. What one of the kingdom values is learn how to celebrate people who have something good going on in their life.

Learn how to celebrate it, especially if they're Christian. Thank God. Thank God. I'm glad I got some rich Christian friends. I'm glad I got some. If I was ever in a certain kind of pickle and I went to some of y'all, all y'all could do is pray for me. You know you're my boy, right?

You know you're my man. But I'm going to pray for you. But I got some friends, if I went to them, they could do more than pray. They could say, oh, pastor, what you need? And they wouldn't have to pray. Some of y'all would say, oh, God, make a way. Oh, God, open the door. Oh, Lord, show us a plan. Give us a plan, Jesus. But there's some folk who wouldn't need a plan. They just pull out their wallet. Bam, it's done.

Wouldn't you want to be one of them? Somebody come to you with a need and you don't even have to go into prayer. You just owe what you need. I know you're faithful. I know you love God. I know. Be encouraged. Bam.

Just shove a thousand dollars in their hand and walk away. Wouldn't that be wonderful? You can get there. I'm a witness. I've been the one needing to shove and I've been the shover.

You can get there. Some of you all had that same testimony. I once needed a blessing from wherever it was going to come from. And now God has blessed me and I can be a blessing to somebody else. So not all wealthy people dishonor God or his values.

Don't put them all in the same category. And then he makes a final point. Look at what James says beginning in verse 8. He says if you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, love your neighbor as yourself, you're doing right. He said but if you show favoritism, you sin.

That's the third point. Favoritism is sin. Period. It's not a weakness. It's not an issue. Not something you need to work on. Favoritism is sin.

Period. If you treat some folk nice because of what they don't have or have and treat other folk poorly because of what they don't have, you are in sin. That's what James is saying here. He says if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as law breakers. And then he goes on to make the point about law. He says for whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said do not commit adultery also said do not murder. If you do not commit adultery but you do murder, you become a law breaker. You see his point?

His point is you don't get graded on the curve. Well, I know I broke the law, but see I was only going five miles over the speed limit. And you going 25 miles over the speed limit, they need to pull you over where actually the law says both of y'all need to be pulled over if you're dealing with law, right and wrong. And all he's saying is so understand God's law is that if you favor one set of people over another set of people, you've broken my law. You might not be a murderer, you might not be an adulterer, but God says it matters to me that you have sinned by showing favoritism. Then James closes the passage as he warns us of the consequences of it. Look at the rest of the passage verses 12 and 13. He says speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. He's talking about the New Testament law based on love of Christ.

You know the great commandment is love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. He says all of us are going to be judged by that law. So speak and act like you're going to be judged by that law because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

What a way to wrap up that segment of his letter. He says don't be too hard and have a sinful attitude towards certain people. He says because the way God looks at that when you have a sinful attitude of favoritism, he says God says all right then you're showing me that I can't afford to be merciful to you because you won't be merciful toward other people. Saints instead he's saying make sure you put yourself in a position where when you need mercy there's a whole bunch of it waiting on you because you practice mercy as you deal with other folks.

That's what I want to be. I want to be a person who has a good account of mercy just sitting there. Little equity loan of mercy. You know just got a bunch just right there. If you ever had a line of credit waiting on you, you might not need it but you got a line of credit. If you ever needed well I got a $10,000 line of credit against my mortgage or whatever it is.

Nice to know that you have it if you need it. This passage said you need to be so merciful as it relates to other people that when you need mercy yours might not be in the form of you're broke but if you need mercy for any reason you want God to be able to look down on your life and your track record of treating people right. And God said oh yeah yeah go on and send him some mercy.

Just send them some. Cover that sin because they've been merciful to others. That's what you want to be Saints. We all need that. The day is coming.

You're going to need some mercy. So give it out to others. Now I know I know we live in a world where there are a lot of people who will stand at the corner with a sign and not all of them are legitimate. Not all are. Some folk that's how they make their living.

Come on. Some folk that's how they take care of some illegitimate desires. I know that there are scams and scammers but not everybody is. Some folk are in need. And you say but it's tough to know the difference.

I agree it is. But you know what I learned to do. I learned to go out saying Lord make me sensitive. If there's somebody I'm supposed to help tug on my heart when I see them. Holy Ghost just give me a little nudge.

Say go on and help this one. And it might not be the Holy Spirit. It might be me. It's an imperfect science. I don't always accurately know whether I'm giving in the will of God to somebody or whether I'm being taken advantage of. But you know what I have figured out that sometimes I'm just going to go with the nudge right wrong or indifferent because I can't be God given.

Can't be God given. You know what I said to myself recently when I gave to somebody and had second thoughts later said oh I don't think I feel good about that one. You know the thought I had after that was yeah I might have been scammed but how many times did I scam God.

How many times did I know I was doing what I had no business doing and I did it anyway. And God didn't kill me and knock me down. His mercy covered me. His grace sustained me.

And I finally decided that I have no business trying to figure out who's worthy of my help every now and then. I'll help you just because God has been good to me. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message Who Cares About Poor People. For more information about Destined for Victory, to contact us for prayer, or to find out about this month's special thank you gift for your support, be sure to stop by our website That's When you look at the church world now you see a little bit of everything and a whole lot of folk are naming his name but their life doesn't bear witness to that fact. And so we've got to make sure that there's real Christian living behind the profession of faith. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Faith on Trial. But until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 23:40:20 / 2023-08-13 23:49:02 / 9

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