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The Best Gift Ever (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2021 7:00 am

The Best Gift Ever (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 21, 2021 7:00 am

Four reasons that make the advent of Christ the greatest gift ever given to mankind; based on John 3:16-18 and other passages.

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Jesus came looking for unworthy people.

Hallelujah! And I don't know if you figured it out about yourself yet, but I was one of those unworthy people that he came to save. And he said the condition isn't that you're worthy or that you're special.

The condition is you know you desperately need what I have and you're willing to let me bless you by grace. Jesus came to save us not because of our goodness, but in spite of our badness. That's the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hello and thanks for stopping by for today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. In Romans 6 23, the Apostle Paul says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. And that's what salvation is, a gift, one based on mercy, not merit, on willingness, not wealth. Today, Pastor Paul delivers a special Christmas week message about the greatest gift the world has ever seen, the salvation of Jesus Christ. It's a free gift, an eternal gift, and it's available to anyone who asks for it. Stay with us now, but remember you can always visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net or subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, the best gift ever. Romans 5 and 7 says that the father gave his only son and the son then in turn gave his life. Romans 8 32 tells us, he who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Jesus was willing to give his life and the father loved you and me so much that he was willing to give his son. Now, why is it that Jesus can save us when no one else could?

Glad you asked. It's because the savior had to be sinless and had to be willing to become sin in exchange for our sins. You know what happened on the cross?

You could call it the great exchange. On the cross, the sinless God-man, Jesus Christ, he who knew no sin became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in him. If you ever read about Jesus on the cross, one of the things you'll notice that he says is, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Never before had Jesus known what it is to be separated from God the father, but because he loved you so much, he said, I tell you what, I'll take all your sin upon myself and I'll become the sin sacrifice and then in doing that, I'm going to put all of my righteousness on you.

Isn't that marvelous that a perfect God came down to earth, lived a sinless life, and then on the cross, he took all of your sins and mine upon himself so that we would be free to serve him and have a real relationship with him. One of my favorite movies of all time is a movie called Seven Pounds. And when that movie came out years ago, it starred Will Smith. The movie was about this character played by Smith who was created through his negligent driving and horrific accident. He's in the car with his girlfriend and they're playing around.

She's saying, why don't you put that phone down? They were going to some social event, some special event, but he's still kind of in work mode. And so they're laughingly talking about him driving and texting, which is something you should never do.

Then let me throw that in right now. And so the fact of the matter is, with his negligent driving, he creates an accident that was so horrific that seven people died in this accident, one of which was his girlfriend, his fiance, who was in the car with him. And so she died, six other people in that accident were killed because of Will Smith's character's poor decision-making and negligent driving.

And there he is alive. And so you don't know this until you get all the way through the movie. It's well put together at the beginning.

You see signs, you see every now and then flashes of what happened, but you can't put the whole story together until you get through it. What you see most of the movie is this man finding seven people that he wants to give an extraordinary gift to. As the movie develops, you find out that the gift requires him to sacrifice things about himself. He gives away parts of his body that he can give away and still be alive. And then at the end of the movie, as it moves toward a climax, you see that he has been setting things up, so eventually he is going to literally give his life. And in giving his life, he is going to give the remaining gifts that he couldn't live while staying alive, and those are going to be donations after his death. And he looks through the movies looking for seven people to bless.

Now here is why I love the movie. Because you find out at the end that he is a tortured soul. He lives the rest of his life just tortured with the guilt of having taken seven people's lives.

And he wants to atone for it. And you find out at the end that he was looking for seven people to give seven very precious, extraordinary gifts to. But here is the problem. He was looking for people that he thought were worthy of the gift. Now, I understand that in its context, you see that this character is looking for people who he considers worthy. Here is the problem.

At a certain point, it dawned on me as I sat in the theater, I almost blurted it out. I didn't, but I could have said, oh, this is the antithesis of the gospel. This is the exact opposite of the gospel.

You know what I mean by that? Here was a tortured man, tortured by guilt, trying to find seven worthy people to give an extraordinary gift to. But in the gospel, Jesus didn't come looking for worthy people. Jesus came looking for unworthy people.

Hallelujah. And I don't know if you've figured it out about yourself yet, but I was one of those unworthy people that he came to save. And he said, the condition isn't that you're worthy or that you're special. The condition is you know you desperately need what I have and you're willing to let me bless you by grace.

Grace means you couldn't earn it if you tried. And God gave me and gave you the most expensive gift he could give in giving us his son. It was an essential gift.

It was an expensive gift. Number three, he gave an eternal gift. He gave an eternal gift.

What does the Bible say here in the text? That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Everlasting, eternal.

I'm so glad he gave me a gift that doesn't have an expiration date on it. Aren't you glad to know your salvation isn't going to run out one of these days? Aren't you glad to know that you're not going to, well, it was good for as long as it lasted, but it expired now, so I'm back to my sins.

No, no. I'm eternally saved by the grace of God. Grace will sustain me throughout eternity. You and I who are in Christ can live with the absolute assurance that one of these days when we leave this earth, and trust me when I tell you, we all checking out of here. The reason why you're doing the right thing, listening to the word of God, the reason why you're right to go to church, the reason why you're right to invest in eternal things is because all of us are on our way into an eternity. Question is, are you going into a Christ-filled eternity, or are you going into a Christ-less eternity? But all of us are eternal beings. Your spirit will be alive a million years from now. The question is, how you going to spend eternity? Well, we don't have to worry about it in Christ because he gave us a gift that is eternal, and it will last for all eternity. Oh, I'm so glad to know that I'm saved now, and a million years I'm going to be saved in the presence of God, and the reason will be the same.

Because of the gift I got on the first Christmas, it had the ability to carry me all the way through eternity. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Sheppard, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayer and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the Gospel all over the world. Destined for Victory is a listener-supported ministry, so please prayerfully consider making a generous year-end gift today. Donate online at pastorpaul.net, pastorpaul.net. Well, up next, Pastor Paul Sheppard reminds us of the priceless gift Jesus came to give us.

So let's join him now for the rest of today's message, the best gift ever. Somebody ought to be excited about the fact that when this earthly house is dissolved, you got another building, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. You'll never have to worry. Do you know you're not going to backslide in heaven? You know you're not going to be up there carrying on the way Jesus said, you got to get out of here, you're just too crazy. Oh, I'm glad that salvation's going to have us covered. We're going to be saved by grace through faith. That's why we're going to sing a song that the angels can't sing. We're going to be able to sing some songs in heaven the angels cannot sing because they can't sing about being redeemed. They were created to glorify God.

That's all they do is glorify God and do his bidding. But when we get to heaven, we're going to be the first folk there who were first jacked up. And then because of the gift, we got eternal leave from the Lord.

We have his life going on inside of us. So it's an eternal gift that outlasts your sin. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. I'm not going to die physically. We're going to die in these bodies, but let's be technical. We're not going to die at all because of Jesus. The day that you hear Pastor Paul's gone, don't believe it. Well, I'm gone from this existence.

That's what they'll be talking about. But I'm very much alive that moment. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I'm glad anybody glad that some glad morning when this life is over, I'm going to fly away from here. But get away from all this crime and terrorism and craziness going on.

You go to the mall and folks shooting all over the place, acting like they got no sense. This world is insane by sin. But thank God that whether you live or die, you belong to the Lord. And one day when you check out of here, folks going to be crying over you. That's why you want to live well enough for folks to cry when you go.

You all should be working on that now. Make sure you're doing right by people and blessing people and helping people, ministering the folk, and leave some good insurance for your loved ones and all that. You want to do some stuff that will make them want to cry when you're gone. Don't live so that they say, oh, he gone? Yeah, good enough for her.

All right. I'm working hard so that folk actually miss me. It's practically part of our new members' orientation. When the pastor goes, you're supposed to fall out. I won't be around to see it, but I just want to die knowing the saints, they're just going to stretch out.

I just want to believe it's going to matter when I'm gone. I don't want you all talking about, oh, Pastor Paul, he died this morning? Oh, well, what you all want for lunch? Uh-uh, no.

No. Ain't no lunch fast the rest of that day. You can't get yourself together.

You'd be sitting up at the restaurant crying anyway, so you're just not even going to eat. You're just, I don't believe, pastor's gone. And some of you all who work me the hardest, I want you to fall out. Pass all the way out. What? He gone.

Well, they got to put stuff under your nose. Again, it's my fantasy. You all leave me alone. But I'm glad to know some glad morning when this life is over, I'm going to fly away from here. We will be more alive in our glorified body than we are right now. Because in this body, you start feeling the fact that this one wasn't built to last forever. You all who are in my generation, you all know we're starting to have stuff happen that you say, oh, where'd that pain come from? I know some of you all that, oh, I never felt that. Never felt that crook. You can't make some moves like you used to make.

Come on, some of you all getting old like me. You got to make arrangements. For so many years, you just wake up, jump out the bed, bam, you gone. But after a while, you say, wait a minute, hold on. Have you ever had something hit you, something twist inside of you somewhere?

You can't even find where it is. All that is is your body telling you you're not in this one to stay. This house wasn't made for eternity. But we got another one coming because of the goodness of our God. It's an eternal gift. Let me tell you one more thing and I'm done.

Number four, not only is it an essential gift, not only expensive, not only eternal, but number four, it's an exciting gift. You know what I mean by that? Jesus said in John 10, 10, the thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. Not only do you have eternal life in Christ, but before we leave, you're supposed to have abundant life right now. You're supposed to enjoy your life in Christ right now. I don't get these sour saints. You're not supposed to be a sour saint. You're not supposed to be somebody who can't enjoy your life, so that's why you're waiting for heaven because you can't stay in life here.

That's not supposed to be it. You're supposed to just look forward to the upgrade, but God will allow heaven to invade some of your life here and now. That's what we're doing when we believe in God for healing, believe in God to give us jobs and get us through tough times. You're asking God, just send me a little heaven, get me through this crunch I'm going through. Invade my life with the supernatural.

I feel sorry for people who don't believe in the supernatural. I believe that a supernatural God will bless me above and beyond that which is normal. If I walk with him, he will invade my earthly experience with his heavenly truth. And so you ought to enjoy your life. He said you're supposed to have life to the full, life abundantly. Some Christians, when they greet you, you can tell they don't have any joy because Jesus said he was leaving us. Read John chapters 14, 15, and 16. He says a lot of things as he's preparing to depart. One of the things he says to his disciples is he's going to leave us peace, his peace, and his joy.

Now, let me ask you a question. If Jesus left you and me his peace and his joy, why aren't we walking in it? I've decided I'm not going to have any unopened, unclaimed blessings. He left me peace and joy. He said I say these things to you that your joy may be full.

I want full joy. Don't be one of these Christians walking around, praise the Lord. You ever had fun telling you praise the Lord sounded mean?

Praise the Lord. That means you're supposed to be praising him. You're supposed to be excited. You're supposed to be happy.

You're supposed to be joyous. You're supposed to have a peace that passes understanding. Even when you go through tough times and we all go through them, there ought to be a peace that passes understanding.

Lord, I don't know how I'm getting through this without losing my mind. You're so aware that God's carrying you through a bereavement or through a difficult season. You don't even know yourself how God's getting you through it. But somebody here can tell you there's something within me that is holding the reins. There's something within me that vanishes pain. There's something within me. I cannot explain all that I know.

There is something within. That's part of your heritage as a child of God. Just go on and say, I don't know how I'm making it, but I'm making it by the grace of God. I ought to be stark raving mad by now, but somehow I feel God holding on to me.

You know, sometimes you don't have to hold on to God. You feel Him holding on to you. Sometimes He's carrying you through. Just like when your kids were little.

Every now and then they'd get in a situation they didn't feel comfortable and they would put their arms up. Pick me up. Sometimes God sees where you are. He says, I'm not going to make you walk by yourself. And He'll scoop you up in His arm and He'll walk you through what you got to go through. And He'll make sure that the test doesn't get too much for you. And He'll give you sufficient grace to get you through what you got to go through.

Because what we got on that first Christmas was an exciting gift. I'm excited about Jesus. I'm excited about salvation. I will not be one of these saints who is a secret agent saint. I'm going to tell everybody I know Jesus.

And if you give your life to Him, He'll change you forever. Everybody's out the closet. You all get out the closet too. Go tell it on the mountain, over the hill, everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born. He came to find us and to lift us out of our sins and to give us His life, His joy, His peace. Nobody can do you like Jesus. I said nobody can do you like Jesus.

He's in a class all by Himself. When nothing else could help us, love came and lifted us out. The great paradox of the life of Christ is that dying was His reason for living. Every day of His life, He laid it down to serve us.

And on the last day of His life, He laid it to save us. Blessed be His holy name. If you need prayer today, if your story has taken a wrong turn, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to help. Visit pastorpaul.net, click contact us and share your prayer request so that we can join you in prayer. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. We have a great resource we want to share with you today, Pastor Paul's brand new full-length book, Lessons from the Vineyard. God has called all of us to go out into the world and bear fruit. Now it's true, each of us has different gifts, so we will bear fruit in different ways, but all of us have been called and equipped to lead people to faith in Christ and to help them grow in that faith. Pastor Paul shows you how in his book, Lessons from the Vineyard, and it's our gift to you by request for your most generous donation of $25 or more to Destined for Victory. So please 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, California 94538.

Again, the address is Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You've got to remember rejoicing is something you make a choice to do. Joy is different than happiness. Happiness depends exclusively on what happens. When happy things happen, you should be happy. But when unhappy things happen, you might not have much reason to be happy, but you've got a lot of reason to have joy. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd explains the difference between joy and happiness in his message, The Gift of Grace. 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 / 2023-07-06 23:36:53 / 2023-07-06 23:45:43 / 9

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