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The God of the Comma, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 3, 2021 8:00 am

The God of the Comma, Part 1 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 3, 2021 8:00 am

Four challenges we face in the course of doing God's will; understanding God's provision for each challenge; based on 2 Cor. 4:8-9.

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They said Paul was not the real deal. He persecuted the church. He's done too much.

He doesn't deserve your loyalty. And he can't be a real apostle because he didn't walk with Jesus when he was on the earth. They had a half truth. You always got to watch half truths.

A half truth is sometimes worse than a full blown lie. Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Sheppard. The Apostle Paul was all too familiar with his own past. But that made him the perfect man to lead the church in Corinth whose members had a checkered past of their own. The message he preached to the Corinthians is the same message Pastor Paul wants to share with you today. In your marriage, in your friendships, in all your relationships both inside the church and out, learn to show love and compassion even to those who are opposed to the Gospel. Because the people who ultimately embrace Christ are often the ones you least expect. Stay with us here or visit to listen to Destined for Victory on demand.

Of course you can also download the podcast at Google or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. But now here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, The God of the Comma. I've had over the years, I've had every now and then some husband bring his wife, drag his wife into my office for counseling. And if the husband asks for the session, I know that it's only going to be one of a few things because brothers typically don't want to roll up in the office.

Typically, there's exceptions. But as a general rule, I've been pastoring since 1982 as a general rule, when a brother show up, some stuff going down. But one of the things that happens sometimes is they're coming in as a pastor, you know, I'm not getting enough sex and she got to understand that, you know, and he mad. And he said, and I've been reading the Bible to her. I've been reading about right here in 1 Corinthians 7. It say that you're supposed to render to your spouse due benevolence.

And it does. Paul was very clear in that in 1 Corinthians 7. Now he's very clear on that. He said, God gave you one sex partner. That's the only one you're supposed to be with. And he says, and you're supposed to not deprive each other. Don't hold out.

Don't use that as a weapon. Don't say I'm closing. All right, you're gonna act like that. I'm closing up the shop. Closing shop down. Putting the sign on the door.

Shop is closed. You gonna act like that? Fine then. Don't do that. Don't do that. You're out of God's order. Paul said you don't do that.

You have one sex partner in the will of God. That's the one you're married to. You're supposed to get your whole supply from that one store. You don't go shop at Home Depot and they don't have it.

I'm going over the Lowe's now. Come on, I'm trying to help somebody. If you've been wrong, repent. That's what repentance is for. I repent.

I didn't do this right. But now that I'm under the word, now that I'm saying yes to God, I'm gonna do it right. So since he's supposed to be coming to the one store, don't shut the store down, Paul said, over nonsense. In fact, he said the only reason you can legitimately shut the door down is when you are fasting and praying and want to be totally focused on God. You don't have to shut it down during fasting and praying. That's not what he said. But a lot of devout people, especially in the first century, fasting and prayer was a time they wanted to be fully set apart from all normal activities.

So get your Bible straight. You don't have to fast from that. Yeah, pastor's back, pastor's back.

I've been gone two weeks, but I'm back. Trying to help you now. You don't have to fast from that. And Paul said the only way you should do it is if you get the agreement of your spouse, I want to go into a time of consecration and would you please cooperate with this?

And your spouse ought to be able to support your spiritual growth. Say, sure, I'll go for it. Just don't fast too long.

And Paul was clear. He said, and when that fast is over, get on back to your job. Open up the shop. Flip that sign over. Shop is open. Door is open.

Come on in. He taught us how to do it right. And if we, and so the man coming there and he fussing about that and he said, one brother told me, I've been reading this to her about rendering do benevolence. And so I talked to them a while and then I, and I let them lead.

They'd come together. So I didn't want to pull him aside, but I saw him at church the next time I said, come here, let me, let me chat with you. And I said, yo man, let me, let pastor help you a little bit. I said, reading first Corinthians seven is not exactly foreplay.

You're not going to get the results you want. Putting the Bible up in her face, making her feel that God said you supposed to be. I said, no, try talking with her through the day and asking about her and spending time. Take her out, get us something good to eat. And used to do that when y'all were single.

Now y'all cheap. And you want her to hook you up on a empty stomach. Feed us sister, get her her favorite food. Be nice. Be attentive all through the day and then let's see if God will bless you at night. He took my, he took my advice to next Sunday came in that granny said, God bless me.

Where am I? First Corinthians seven. That's right. So we talked about marriage and divorce and remarriage and on and on. Just talked about a number of other things. Then when he gets over first Corinthians 12, he talks about spiritual gifts. Again, he's answering their questions cause this church had gifts, but they know how to use them.

Everybody speaking in tongues, nobody speaking in the native language. They didn't know what in the world they were doing. They know how to handle prophecy.

They didn't know about the other gifts and, and all of that. He covers all of that. He's very instructive in first Corinthians. When he gets to second Corinthians, he still gives some instruction, but it's not written based on a bunch of questions. His main heart in second Corinthians is to address the fact that this church between the time he wrote them the first time and is about to write them now, they have been under the attack of people who want to discredit their spiritual leader in order to lead them astray. So the Judaizers have come to town and said to them, well, y'all got two things going wrong for you.

The first is you have an illegitimate spiritual father. They said, Paul was not the real deal. He persecuted the church.

He's done too much. He doesn't deserve your loyalty and he can't be a real apostle cause he didn't walk with Jesus when he was on the earth. They had a half truth. You always got to watch half truths because when you accept the half truth, you always have to also accept the half that isn't true. They had a half truth. The half truth was Jesus didn't walk with Paul, didn't walk with Jesus when he was on earth. It is true that he was one of the greatest persecutors of the early church before he got saved. They had that much right, but what they missed is that God's hand was on Saul and long before he got saved, he was one of the people the Lord looked at and said, I know he's acting crazy now, but when I get through with him, he's going to be the greatest blessing to the church. And he did meet Jesus. He didn't walk with him for the three years in earthly ministry, but he did meet him on his way to Damascus so that he could persecute the saints. The Lord met him in the middle of the road.

They had a conversation that changed his life forever. And Paul wants to let this church know I am legitimate because God called me. Man doesn't make me legitimate. God makes me legitimate. If God called me, if God before me, it doesn't matter who's talking against me.

God's purpose will prevail in my life. So he wanted to straighten them out and let them know I am legitimate and don't let these people trouble you about the man that's leading you. And then he said, secondly, you need to understand that you need to apply the law and not just faith. They said salvation, the Judaizers believed that salvation could not come by faith alone.

It had to be trusting in Jesus and keeping the law. And so Paul writes them to straighten out both of these errors, but you can tell he's rather agitated when he writes. He is, he is righteously indignant when he writes second Corinthians. It's got that little edge on.

It's got that little twist on. He is sick of people distorting the gospel, sick of people with a false agenda and he wants to get things straight so that the church can be as healthy as it ought to be. You know, I've, I've come to learn it, especially in this season of life and in ministry, it's all right to get sick of some things. I am, I am so out of the sloppy agape business.

I can't even tell you. I'm tired of grinning Christians who don't handle their business right. It's time to tell folk when they're right and tell folk when they're wrong and don't let the wrong ones trouble you.

Know that you're doing the will of God and keep on keeping on and let everybody who has another opinion have it to themselves. Don't even let them trouble you with it. I don't read certain mail.

I don't read certain emails. You can't get to me at a certain level cause I'm insulating myself from junk, been through too much, seen too much. It's time to do the will of God and you ought to do the same thing in your life. Quit letting everybody have a piece of you. Quit letting everybody say any old thing they want to say to you. Do the will of God.

Surround yourself with folk who will tell you the truth, but speak it in love and keep on keeping on. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, the God of the comma with pastor Paul Shepard, senior pastor at destiny Christian fellowship in Fremont, California. Now, if you've never stopped by our website, pastor, I invite you to do so today. You'll find all of pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources in our online store, including books and DVD messages from pastor Paul. You'll also learn more about the ministry and about all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. And also don't forget, you can watch pastor Paul's best video clips on YouTube. For more details and links to our social media sites, be sure to visit pastor Well, how can you know if you're in the will of God? Answers come your way next and the rest of today's destined for victory message, the God of the comma. Once again, here's pastor Paul. Time for us to get out of this business of letting everybody have a shot at you in the name of love.

No, no. Some folk just have no business talking to you. Their hearts aren't right and their motive is impure. And it's time for you and I to say, I will not put up with this foolishness because I got a charge to keep. I got a God to glorify.

I got too much to do in a short time to do it. I got to do the will of God. And so Paul writes with that little edge, that little attitude and he makes the case in the first three chapters of second Corinthians. Some of the reasons why he is legitimate when he gets over to chapter four and these verses we just read, he says, and the other reason you can know I'm legitimate is because of all the hell I'm going through to fulfill God's calling on my life. And I came to tell somebody one of the signs that you are in the will of God is all the hell you're going through. One of the reasons we can know that God is at work in you because you're being fought on every possible front. Every time you turn around, there's something coming against you. I know I'm not by myself.

There's a whole bunch of y'all. Every time you turn around, something is coming at you. If it's not one thing is three things coming at you every time you turn around.

You know what that means? That means that we're on the right road doing the right thing. And I want to just walk you through the kinds of things that you are experiencing and give you a spiritual context for them. Paul said, I'm going through four different types of things and I want to let you know in this message that you and I who are doing the will of God can expect to go through those same things.

I'll just start down this road and where I end, I'll pick it up in the next message. He says, there are four things I'm dealing with as proofs that I am doing the will of God. The first is he said, I'm hard pressed on every side. That's pressure. We're going through pressure.

If you're going to do the will of God, I came to tell you, you can experience some pressure. One of the things I'm tired of is we're living in this world where people are preaching candy store theology. I'm just sick of it at this point.

I'm just tired of it. I love, listen, I appreciate the message of faith. I have, I've learned so much from many of my friends who are especially faith focused in their theology. I've truly learned how to walk by faith in my years of walking with the Lord and I appreciate principles of faith and learning how to believe God for miracles and stand on the word and learning how to keep a good confession in my mouth.

I'm not fighting any of that. I believe that I practice that, but having said that, some of us have just gone way overboard and acting like if you walk by faith, you're not supposed to be going through any trouble. You're not supposed to have challenges and pressures facing you. Your faith ought to just be whipping everything and you shouldn't have to go through that. Listen, that is not according to the truth. That is not according to the truth. The fact of the matter is you can get in a whole lot of pressure doing the will of God.

You can come under a whole lot of assault doing what God has called you to do. You can be dead center in the will of God and pressure is coming at you on every side. You can have tithes for years, but your breakthrough, your open window hasn't manifested yet in some of the ways you're expecting it to. Now God has been blessing you. The fact that he's been blessing you, one of the facts is you're still here. You're still standing.

I've never seen the righteous forsaken or God's seed begging bread. Somehow or another, he's gotten you through all of the tough times, but you haven't had full manifestation. You're looking for a kind of prosperity that hasn't happened yet and you're still holding on, but meanwhile you're dealing with financial pressure and you know, pressure wouldn't be so bad if it came one at a time.

You know, I wouldn't mind pressure if pressure just lined up on stage left of your life and God let one pressure come out. Financial. Okay, I'm dealing with financial pressures right now and things are real tight right now. I'm just believing God month to month right now. Oh God, I've been there. You've been there and if that was the only thing you had to deal with, well, okay, I'm going to fight this fight.

I'm going to keep on giving, keep on blessing God, keep on confessing the word and I'm going to do that. It'd be fine if that's all you had to do, but right while on one side you got the pressure of finance, then on the other side he come one of your crazy kids acting like the devil himself raised him. Suddenly you got a tripping kid. What in the world is the matter with you? Going out here making babies with people have no job, have no sense, have no teeth.

What's the matter with you? Now you got this tripping kid on your hand or a disobedient one in your house won't do what you say and now you living in this crazy America where you can't even do anything to them. You got a crazy heathen America now that will protect your kids from you. Oh, I know there are abusive people. I know there are people who would do real wrong to their children. I realize that there's some very angry people, some very dysfunctional people. I know all the slogans hurt people, hurt people and all that. I get it.

Got it. Understand that in its context I get it and I've always stood against abuse. Always help people who have been abused under my pastorate and gotten them into a safe situation. We've had to intervene with parents who were out of control.

I know all of that. Been there, done that, got stock in the t-shirt company, but I came to tell you something. We have gone. We have gone berserk as a nation. If you think you need to protect kids from sensible parents who just want to raise them like they got some sense. And again, if our grandparents, great grandparents woke up and saw the craziness that's going on and you can't do a thing to your kids, they die all over again. Y'all know we were raised by sensible people. They weren't mad. They weren't angry. They weren't working out their dysfunction.

They just wanted you to get your act together. And so I don't buy, I know, protect them against abuse. I get it, but you will never get married. Now I get these emails, people trying to bring me over to the other side and get on the non-spanking and non non this and that. I'm never getting on that side. I'm just won't. I can tell you, I agree with you that there's some abuses and all that.

I'll stand with you on that, but I'm, you're not taking me all the way over there. You're not, when you hurt people, when you hit people, it's always wrong. No. I heard one person when, when you hit you teaching them to hit others. No, I, when I was hit, I was taught to sit down and teach me to hit nobody by spanking me.

They taught me to sit my happy hips down. Oh, y'all mad. Y'all go mess. Y'all see y'all go reject the rest of the message.

Now all the liberal people, their feelings are so hurt and you just, you done. You only want here part B of this sermon by by and don't send me an email. I'm not reading it. Our assistant gets the emails and she screens them and she's not even gonna send me any nonsense. If I ever hear about it, babe, well pastor, somebody was tripping.

I just didn't even bother sending it on to you. I don't hear all that because I know, I know it can happen, right? Our parents handled it right. I was not abused. Now I did have abused friends. I now know that you know, we didn't know it back then. It wasn't abused.

Then it was, he got it. They call it abuse when I grow up, but now that I'm grown and looking back like, Oh man, he, he straight up got abused. I did have friends and so I know the difference, but we weren't abused and so nobody had to protect us from our parents. We didn't even know there was a number you could call.

Come on y'all, y'all middle aged folk like me. You don't, we didn't grow up with a number we could call. We didn't know there was an agency dedicated to keeping our parents up off of us.

And it's just a good thing cause if there was such a number and if we did have the number, your parents would have said, come on y'all who are in my age bracket, your parents would have said, think carefully for you. Pick up their phone. You might not want to start dialing that particular number. You might want to find you a prayer line and dial that one.

One of them TV prayer lines and ask for prayer, but you might not want to dial that. I don't care how mad you could have said, they gonna come, they gonna arrest you. Our parents would have said, well, it's going to take them a while to get here. It going to take them a while. They're not right around the corner. It's going to take them a while. They got a big workload.

It's going to be a while and you have to be in this house until they show up. Of all the trials, the apostle Paul suffered for the gospel beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonment. It was the assault on his character that was perhaps the worst of all, but God was not finished with him yet.

And he's not finished with you. If you let him, the God of the comma will turn your mess into a message. One that will encourage others who are going through similar challenges.

Here's something else that can help you see this truth a little more clearly. For your generous gift to destined for victory today, pastor Paul would like to send you his booklet, turning your test into a testimony. God wants to use your challenges, even your mistakes to draw you closer to him and to equip you to help others who have trials and tough times of their own. That's turning your test into a testimony, a booklet from pastor Paul, our gift to you by request for your generous donation to destined for victory. Please 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, that address is destined for victory, box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. In Psalm 107, King David writes, then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. So if you need prayer today, the destined for victory ministry team would like to join you in prayer from the homepage of Use the contact feature to let us know how we can pray for you. Now, while you're there, be sure to ask for pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. The enemy wants you to put a period after your challenges, but I came to let you know you serve the God of the comma. You are going to go through the challenge, but God says, I'm not going to let that be the end of the story. I'm going to give you a divine provision so that you can go through it successfully. That's tomorrow when pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, the God of the comma. 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 / 2023-07-28 13:46:54 / 2023-07-28 13:56:33 / 10

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