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December 20, 2021 7:00 am
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Hello and welcome to Christmas week here on destined for victory.
Thanks for stopping by in this busy Monday as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ coming your way next Pastor Paul Sheppard shares his message. The best gift ever.
But before we get started, he joins me now from a studio in California. Pastor here we are the Christmas season so easy to get distracted though with how the world positions Christmas and even the circumstances of the last many months we've been through now, but I thought ask you what's on your heart this season Pastor and how do we center our minds on the real meaning of Christmas.
Well I'm thinking about the grace of God. In fact, last Christmas and the two Sundays before Christmas. I preached about the grace of God as it related of course to the gift of Jesus coming into the world and as we move toward Christmas on the broadcast. This month I'm going to share those messages about grace. I started this series by asking people to reminisce with me. I said let's think about some of our most memorable Christmases in years past, and then as a true baby boomer.
I walked down memory road to places the young people said what in the world are you talking I started in 1978 and talked about a game called Simon that came out that was the big Christmas I remember the 78 and then I said 1980 there was the Rubiks cube and only a few folks knew what I was talking about them and then I said in 1983.
There was Cabbage Patch kids overboard. More folks came alive as I talked about that and then I talked about 1989 and I said by then stuff was becoming more technological. There was an 8-bit handheld cartridge based console called Game Boy. Before you know it more than 118 million units have been sold while in America, and then I said, just allow me one more man memory I said in 1996 I was pastoring and I was amazed by this phenomenon called tickle me Elmo unbelievable that people lost their minds over tickle me Elmo. In fact I talk about the fact that one of the rumors was that one parent page $7100 so someone who had wanted next to one just to make money off of it and somebody who said what I gotta get it for my kid and the guy chart $7100 on the audit Elmo are you kidding me. $7100 for Elmo and so I just told people, you know we've been through all kinds of things.
But let's always remember at the end of the day and especially dealing with a worldwide pandemic that hasn't gone away. Gotta deal with the rest of this. We've got a remember in the midst of all of this the one true thing we can rejoice in is the real meaning of Christmas and is not about our gifts not about our toys. It is about what Jesus did and the grace that gave us that blessing of salvation. Pastor Paul, thanks for those words of encouragement about the reason for Christ's coming. And the reason we celebrate this Christmas season. Well we have a wonderful Christmas gift to share with you today. Introducing Pastor Paul Sheppard's brand-new book lessons from the vineyard, you know, even though not all of us are blessed with the same gifts and callings. We can bear the same fruit of the spirit and lessons from the vineyard. Pastor Paul inspires believers to use their gifts to glorify God and bless others to become attractive as we bear godly fruit that brings honor to Jesus Christ and leads others to him. That's lessons from the vineyard a book from Pastor Paul in our thank you Christmas gift to you by request for your generous donation of $25 or more to destined for victory. So, call 855-339-5500 or visit Pastor Paul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to destined for victory PO Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. Again, our address is destined for victory.
Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538 I came to tell you in the midst of the feelings of it, there is a truth that undergirds it that Christmas is really about Christ.
You can't even say the word without talking about Christ. It is Christmas. It is Christ mass.
It is because Jesus came to be the sacrifice for our sins that we have the right to be saved. For God so loved the world that he gave he gave us life's joy and when sin entered the world he gave us himself, so that as many as believe in him will find eternal life today. Pastor Paul Sheppard shares with the Christmas season means to him tells us about the best gift God ever gave to the world with his message. The best gift ever hears Pastor Paul John's gospel chapter 3 let's read verses 16 through 18 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. People believes in him that is in Jesus is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God this Christmas season I decided to not preach one of the classic passages that tell us about the birth of Christ there all wonderful and over the decades of my pastoral preaching. I've certainly covered many of them in doing the AdVent messages this year. I thought you know what I don't need a classic AdVent passage took talk about the fact that Jesus came to earth and was in fact born in a manger, of all places.
He was born in an inconspicuous place. He was born in a less than ideal situation. He was born into a world troubled and full of sin and strife into that world.
Jesus came because of what were going to discuss because he came to be and to give the best gift ever. And that's what I decided to entitled this message. The best gift ever. Nothing like getting a good gift, especially at Christmas time. I love this time of year for so many of its trapping so many of the things that make you feel good at Christmas time. Looks like even mean people get a little nice at Christmas time. Have you ever noticed that something doesn't usually come take a risk will stop long enough to kinda get a little cheerful, as long don't last long, but I came to tell you in the midst of the of the feelings of it, there is a truth that undergirds it that Christmas is really about Christ.
You can't even say the word without talking about Christ. It is Christmas. It is Christ mass. It is because Jesus came to be the sacrifice for our sins that we have the right to be saved in the be redeemable to talk you through that in this message but you have every right to enjoy yourself during Christmas season. Now that a lot of people don't like the trappings there. I know a lot of religious folk who who are against Christmas trees in their gains.
So many of the trappings and forcing some Christians are more known for what they're against.
And what, therefore, have you ever met.
The type you know clearly what they stand against their whole church is all denominations that will preach whole during the admin season will spend all their time preaching that if you got a Christmas tree. Overall, if you got candy canes in your house, your all and all that that your and they'll tie it to some pagan celebration of centuries ago and all that I know I have to love everybody. So I love him but I still don't want to be with him the kind of people were just frustrated about things is no point get frustrated about the Christmas tree can easily be repurposed in your mind.
If you think it comes from another place. I don't even think Christmas trees and such come from a negative place, but if you look did some research and you found some pagan group and they and they use trees wrongly and in a way and so you're against a tree. Okay I get it I can repurpose it because it Jesus hung on a tray for my sin. The word came from a tree I was saying because of a tree across because of a tree, so I am troubled by the tree but it troubled by the tree. Then don't look up here on the stage. Hallelujah, because the tree if you troubled by candy canes.
Bless your heart a nice red and white candy canes I love them both about a taste good. And then secondly you got a red light stand for the book far as I'm concerned Jesus in the way of Christ. Who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him will send me any emails this week. If you come from that we shall not celebrate tradition. Don't send me any. I'm not reading it soon as I see is about you and trio the cane put Nick in the trash hallelujah I'll need you and your screws. Let's disagree right now to disagree you don't believe that it don't like the Pastor Paul believes in okay where there God bless you, but I can celebrate I love the trappings of the sixth of the season.
I knows about it must become so commercial we taken Jesus out okay. I'm not taken Jesus out I'm celebrating because of Jesus, and I can enjoy shopping and all that in its right moderation course where the season alive. My wife and I started several years ago saying we only given to each other for Christmas. We give each other all year long. We know we love each other all year long.
I'm not trying to prove my love in December.
Call somebody that the way I will try to talk your spouse into it. I'm not saying all you do that.
I'm just saying. As for me and my marriage we don't give to each other.
We give each other card I tell my adult kids now listen don't give me anything but a nice card because that way I get to hear the sentiments of your heart a nice card you put a little personal note in their desktops Christmas present a method that works for me and then what we do is find one or more families that are in need or facing a challenge and we get what we would get to each other we give to bless one or more families every year we go and I mean we will come up. Good either. My little trinket pastor and first lady said we want to bless you this year we come in with. That's how I roll because I don't give trinkets under summary all the trinket people.
God bless you your trinket person. I'm not going to offer your trinket don't just don't give him the me that's all I'm saying. Don't get me trinkets because I'm not about trinket side. Some people say you need to learn that it's about the what, what's in somebody's heart. Okay you gave because you have love in your heart for the past okay I get that. Practically, I'm looking at the trinkets and okay this comes from your heart and the real world role as a brother, so since I get myself what I want because I know I have expensive taste and I know what I want, no need of pledging you with the responsibility of doing that. If you determine the bless me at least do a little research to find out for my wife or somebody denies that some you know Pastor really and come correct as all alums and will be right back with more of today's destined for victory message from Pastor Paul Sheppard. Remember you can always listen to the broadcast on firstname.lastname@example.org that's Pastor Paul.net you find a host of great resources that are online store, including books and DVD messages from Pastor once again here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. The best gift ever time a year.
I love all the trappings and what have you and is a really really important thing and I can think of some of my favorite Christmas as I can think back to childhood and probably many of you can as well. You think of some of your favorite Christmas is somewhere in your past.
What was childhood, or a teenager or an adult unlimited days when we wake up real early on Christmas morning because we were young and kids and excited. We understand the joy of sleep. Back in those days don't remember when you didn't know how wonderful it is to sleep. Sleep was a nuisance Christmas more you want to get up as early as possible.
I member running in my parents room earliest possible. And you wondered why so slow they still turn it over. I will be there, there, even as an adult I remember the Christmas of 1981 because that was the day I propose to my wife. Christmas 1981, I said Merry Christmas handed her a box when a diamond that I have been working hard I was working two jobs, two jobs back then and and I would take one of the checks from one of my wonderment jobs and that went in the bank was my living expenses in the bank went that other one for quite a while to I could save up to leave the first time and I bought her I wanted to bless her real good. I didn't want her sent herself. Domino is I'm sorry brothers about making the tough on you but I'm just saying that was my story that with my soul. I want to know and so I went got her this gorgeous starter diamond starter because it has been upgraded over the years. Hallelujah. But I*even when I started with one ask you when you get a chance. He came right from the job from the beginning. But anyway, it was joyous to see and that was no doubt heard favorite Christmas of all of her life. I don't know that that's a fact. But I'm the one preaching so I'm just going but the best gift ever was given on the best Christmas ever was the best Christmas because it was the first Christmas. It was when Jesus Christ was born and on that day we got a gift that is clearly the best ever. Why is the first Christmas day that they will receive the best gift ever. For reasons and I'll let you go number one because on that day we received any central gift we received any central gift notice. I will text totals for God so loved the world that he gave God is a giver best given stuff started with God himself.
He gave us an essential gift. Why is the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The essential gift. It is essential gift because it is the gift we all desperately needed and could not do without. I need you to understand you are listening to this message because my ministry is about preaching the gospel. What is the gospel.
It is that when we couldn't help ourselves. God gave us the essential gift of salvation. Romans 323 helps us understand why it's essential. Romans 323 says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of us have sinned, why is it essential because all of us need to be saved and none of us had the ability to save ourselves. We've all sinned. Please understand we are sinners on two levels. We are sinners first by nature. That is where born in sin according to the word of God were born in sin shaped in iniquity when you came into this. Are you already alienated from God. Paul said in Ephesians 2, you have to be made alive or dead in trespasses and sins are goodies that you would need to meet you because when you got to the planet you came from God came with no relationship with God, and you came with no capacity to have a relationship with God. Apart from this essential gift God saw us knew that we were sent sinners by nature, you have to start sending the Beale center. You are a sinner and then as you grow up you figure out what sins you want to really practice you start out a sinner that little cute baby your holding grandbaby whatever it is when you say hello. And for God that infant needs be essential gift of salvation. Why, because they will send all sin. We were all stamped with the stamp of the Adamic nature. We call them theology. We had better make a nature that means the nature that came from our forefather Adam born in sin shaped them in iniquity.
David said in my I was conceived in my mother's womb doesn't mean the act that produce conception will send it simply means the child that comes from that conception is already alienated from God and so that's why Paul says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Listen to what he says in Romans five verses six and beyond. He says quote when we were still without strength into time Christ died for the ungodly.
I love that language, we were without strength when we we needed to to be saved. We did know how to save ourselves. And so when we were without strength you sometimes you can know you have a problem and don't have the strength to do anything about it and he says that's the case for all of us who were born in sin, we were without strength to change it, but in due time Christ died for the ungodly folks scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone might even dare to die.
But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us so please understand that God knew our problem before we know our problem. That's why the Bible calls Jesus the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. God knew that we were going to fall into sin, and he already had the remedy and in being a giver. He gave his only son, and so the best ever gift was given on the first Christmas day because in Jesus birth we received the essential gift, our Savior came into the world. Not only is it an essential gift number two.
It is an expensive gift.
It is an expensive gift. The fact of the matter is the text John 316 says for God so loved the world that he gave what he gave the most expensive gift he could give his only be gotten son.
What did it take to save you and me. It took his only begotten son. Why is that what we needed because his only son was the only one who could save us.
If you read through redemptive history.
Every body needed salvation just like you needed salvation. When you read your Old Testament.
Don't think you're seeing folks who live better than you and Bible from cover to cover is full of folk just like you and me were jacked up ham jacked up ham no Jack the before no one can enable jacked up from their parents, Adam and Eve just when you read your Bible quit looking for people's name is Jesus. Thanks for being here for today's message. The best gift ever. If you'd like more information about Destin for victory in the ministry or how you can receive a copy of Pastor Paul Shepard's brand-new book lessons from the vineyard.
Be sure to stop by our website Pastor Paul.net once again that's Pastor Paul.net looking for people hallelujah but the people that hate to say anything that you will just as you know, you really need what I have and you're willing to let me bless you, by grace, that's next time and Pastor Paul Shepard's message. The best gift ever. Until then, remember he who began a good work and you will bring it to completion.
In Christ, you are destined for victory