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The Gift of Grace, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2021 7:00 am

The Gift of Grace, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 22, 2021 7:00 am

Reminiscing about great Christmas gifts we’ve received in our lifetimes; understanding why God’s grace is the greatest gift anyone can receive; based on various passages.

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Remember, rejoicing is something you make a choice to do just that happiness is exclusively on what happens when happy things happen. You should be happy, but when happy things happen. You might not have much reasonably happy but you got a lot of reason to have joy. The difference between joy and happiness on today's destined for victory with pastor Paul Sheppard hello and thanks for spending part of your busy Christmas week here with us well were just three short days away from celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the family gatherings. The giving of gifts, stockings and stomach stuff beyond capacity pastor Paul wants to remind you that these are all good things, happy things, but the best thing thing that brings us joy that exist beyond her circumstances is the gift of God's grace stay with us here or visit pastor to listen to this or any recent message on to me. Today's destined for victory message the gift of grace is pastor Paul I want to ask you to do me a favor, I'd like you to take a mental trip down memory lane.

Specifically, I want to ask you to think about Christmas days in your past. So just just get your mind in gear and go back down memory lane. Think about Christmas days in your past and here is why I doing that because I want you to think about maybe some special childhood memories you had all the Christmases. Perhaps there you're going to think of some some Christmases in your childhood when you got that special toy or game that you sold wanted and you weren't sure you will be able to get it. But lo and behold you got it you under the tree or help your family celebrated and that was a special childhood Christmas for you. Some of you parents may be thinking about some Christmases where you knew what your kids wanted and they weren't sure never going to get it. You made arrangements got them what they wanted. Maybe you surprise them and made them think they were going to get it but calm Christmas morning they went down the stairs. If you have upstairs. Whatever came out sometime in their pajamas and all that and you can remember the smiles and the squeals of joy as your kids enjoyed receiving those gifts. Some of us old heads.

Remember some of the years when certain products, certain game. Certain toys came online as I prepared this talk I thought back as well and I thought about some of the popular games that I've seen come down the pike. Let me take you back to 1978 when a game called Simon was one of the big Christmas gifts is called Simon. It was inspired by the children's game Simon says, and it had a simple premise.

It was a device with four colored buttons on the top of it and you listened to what the tune was that Simon gave you in this little electronic box and the tombs were associated with the numbers and once you listened then you had to try to imitate what Simon did and you push buttons and when you got it wrong you heard of a buzzard and let you know know you didn't get it. And so it was a simple game back in 1978, and today y'all would look at a new modern high tech folks that what is this but back then it was a big deal and it was one of the most popular Christmas gifts all that year and some years to come.

Starting back in 1978 Simon took the world by storm. Couple years later, 1980 something called Rubiks cube came online Rubiks cube Hungarian sculptor invented a 3D handheld puzzle that began to be marketed that year by 19 83 x 3 years after it first hit the market.

More than 200 million Rubiks cubes had been sold worldwide in 1983 Cabbage Patch kids were the obsession of America not only America but Western society in general. I know that to be true because I will never forget that all the news here in America told us that one of our citizens flew clearly to London, England because he found out store there had one. He called ahead they promised to put it in the back and hold it for him got on a plane flew to London. Went to the store, bought a Cabbage Patch doll got back on the plane came back to America so he could give his daughter or granddaughter. The Cabbage Patch kid that he had purchased 1983 was that year in 1999 Nintendo game boys came out this was a simple 8-bit handheld cartridge based console.

But in the years following more than 118 million units of Nintendo's Game Boy war sold 118 million problem. Don't you wish you had invented that, let me just mention one more than I need to get onto the whole point here one more 1996. Something came out three words tickle me Elmo all the folks who were who knew what the deal was already laughing and smiling because you know what happened, 1996. Tickle me Elmo hit the stores and America and I'm sure the parts of the world, but I can only testify to America. America lost its collective mind.

In 1996 during the shopping season, Christmas shopping season. That particular year. Frenzies broke out all over America in stores that were known to have tickle me Elmo in stock, they would clean out those stores quickly and they would tell folks we think we get the shipment so check with us Friday or whatever. And people were lining up I will never forget watching a news story just a couple of days before Christmas, 96, when a store said we are getting the final shipment that will get him before Christmas and we will put it out the night before and then they named the day that week would when I have them available. Once these are gone there all we going to have until sometime after Christmas and I will never forget the line of people. This was somewhere like Minnesota. This was one of those cold cities and people were lined up outdoors before the storm was going up open so say the store was going to open at nine or whatever. People were lined up outdoors before all because they knew this is the last opportunity to get Elmo before Christmas and you would've thought that that was too cold.

But those people were bundled up in their stead and out there and they were having fun they were having Elmo fellowship that out there standing and talking and laughing and what have you that were just enjoying themselves at the and sure enough, the time came when the people in the store open the doors and end the man that opened the door the most got knocked over the people spin and the camera they had a camera already in the Wanda see this frenzy and people went running down the house. They knew what it story section 1 and you salty people scattering the race and are now in the house I left and went down to the house where Elmo was busy and I will never forget one lady got to the house first and she saw where Elmo was and she just grab one Elmo. She grabbed Leo mold as she danced down with joy and happiness of pay into much money for tickle me Elmo that the matter is we have seen some crazy stuff. In fact, that year it was moment I don't know if it was true but was certainly rumored that year that one parent had paid somebody who had one and they bought it really just because they they wanted to make a little extra money and they knew who wanted it going to be asking to do them. This is all before you had all the kinds of opportunities to buy that you have online now but there's one person that made it known. I got an elbow.

I don't need it but I do want to make good money only because I got some of the needs and my family and it is rumored that one parent paid that individual. $7100 for a single tickle me Elmo that's crazy, but all I got was happening will be right back with more of today's testing for Victor message from Pastor Paul Sheppard who senior pastor destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California listen to the broadcast on demand and Pastor that's Pastor will find a host of great resources at our online store and stay with us after today's message Pastor Paul joins me from a studio in California right now.

Let's discover, or perhaps rediscover the true joy comes from in the second half of today's teaching. The gift of grace, that we took this quick trip down memory lane simply because I want you to contrast those happy, joyful memories of Christmas is gone past with Christmas 20 1:20 done. Feel like much fun at all that we were approaching this one doesn't feel like there's much to be excited about losing loved ones and friends. Hospitalization rates are at an all-time high in terms of intensive care units there building them outside. They have all kinds of triage units being built one hospital took their parking part of their facility and made a triage. It is sadly ridiculous. The pain that were going through not only in our nation but around the world because of this heinous virus.

Not much to be happy about. So it would seem, but I came to let you know very, very simply, yet very profoundly. Despite the challenges and heartaches. This worldwide pandemic has created it hasn't changed a single thing about the true meaning of Christmas. That's what I want to share with you. I want you to know that yes, there are untold challenges and heartaches.

We all have sad stories. We know really really gory details of some people who have all really been ravaged by this thing families but let me tell you something. At the end of the day, although not having the kinds of fun we've had in Christmas is gone past Marie who know the Lord our people who can rejoice in him. See you gotta remember rejoicing is something you make a choice to do I make the choice to rejoice and joy is different than happiness. Happiness depends exclusively on what happens when happy things happen. You should be happy, but when happy things happen, such as when dealing with today. You might not have much reason to be happy but you got a lot of reason to have joy and why is that. That's because Christmas primarily isn't about shopping.

It's not about giftgiving Christmas is not primarily about family gatherings or parties or social get-togethers or any of the other trappings usually associated with this season. Christmas is about the greatest gift ever given in the history of mankind. That gift is the gift of grace. Now it is the gift of salvation, but salvation only gets to us by grace.

So what I want to do is focus today on grace I want to talk to you about the grace of God and here is the basis for that go with me to first Corinthians chapter 1 and I want to look at verse four, where the apostle Paul says I think my God always concerning you for what the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus.

There it is. I'm trying to get you to get your mind off of all the stuff you don't get to do this Christmas. Michael get to have a family gathers I'm not going to get the why I love going to my my jobs social events or parties or whatever. I love we had conditions in our family where people get there so many things were not doing this year and let me remind you, please don't do this year if they have to do would gatherings outside your immediate household. Please be safe. But the bottom line is you don't get to do those things, but you do get to enjoy the greatest gift ever given in the history of mankind. Why, because that gift income from this world is not based on what's going on in this world that gift came from heaven down David Paul said it is the grace of God that was given to you by Christ Jesus. I need you to know that God has a plan that cannot be interrupted by a virus plan that can not be interrupted by anything that happens in this world, it can't be interrupted by the hot worries of being in this sinful environment that we live our people whose lives have trans scene did the things of this because God himself came down through Christ and brought us a gift and that is the grace that he freely gives us in Christ Jesus. And so what I want to do this week and next is simply talk to you about the grace of God and let me share with you all. Why it is important to understand grace and that's all I want to do just help you understand what grace is, can we use the word all the time and Christians even have these nice little cute ways of defining grace.

If you asked the average Christian.

What's the definition of grace. You may very well receive a three word answer. And here is what many will say God's unmerited favor good night not inaccurate at all.

Grace is God's unmerited favor and are some Christians who have an even fancier answer. If you asked him to find grace. Some of them say well. Grace is an acronym GRA CE and it stands for God's riches at Christ's expense. Good great nice and fancy. I'm prouder you really nice guy has the fact. Yes, grace is God's unmerited favor. Yes, grace is God's riches at Christ's expense goals are broad definitions and the issue is I want you to drill down and think about what that favor what those riches do in your life in real time and that's all wanted to spend the rest of this message. In the next message just giving you some sampling of the kinds of things God does for people because of his grace.

So here's the first one I want to understand grace, his point number one. Grace is not a singular gift with a variety pack of blessings. First thing I want to know when you talk about grace is not about a single dip tickle me Elmo assignment.

Whatever is normal.

Grace is where you get any little one thing. Grace only comes in a variety pack when you get grace you get a lot of stuff that's not a single thing well grace save me. Yes, thank God for that.

But grace does much more than that God has blessed us with the greatest gift and it's not singular, it comes only in a variety pack and so I need you to understand this in order to understand, let me just take some of first Corinthians 1 and just take some samples right from the very chapter that this verse was taken from.

So going back to verse one of first Corinthians chapter 1 and you'll see this chapter beginning with these words Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ right there. Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ usually wears grace in their Paul was called to be an apostle. Do you have any idea who hold is he's apostle Nonno who was Paul before grace got to it, is the question you gotta answer Paul is a guy who single handedly took upon himself the and the Michigan to try to destroy the first century church.

When you talk about the apostle Paul. We call the apostle Paul, but when you talk about him. This man he said go get rid of this mass called Christianity. It was the last thing I do, and he bought himself the obligation to try to get rid of all of Christianity. Thanks so much for being here for today's destined for victory message the gift of grace look for any of Pastor Paul's recent messages online on that's Pastor Please welcome Pastor Paul Becker joins me now to talk about his brand-new full-length book lessons from the vineyard pastor just a couple of times a year we come to our listeners and ask them to help us by making a most generous gift and this is one of those times.

As we approach the end of 2021 the beginning of 2022.

But tell me about your book lessons from the vineyard which is our thank you gift right now to listeners who give.

I'm happy to be able to offer this particular resource because it allows you to understand that growing in the area of character is what makes us people whose lives are really making a difference for both time and for eternity.

I don't have to tell you that we have a world that is unconvinced about the reality of Jesus.

The reality of the need for salvation and things like that the best way we can witness these days is not only with our words but with our lives. And if we will become people who have a ripe fruit of the spirit in operation in us. If we are loving, joyful, have the peace that passes understanding have temperance and patience and all of those things that are the fruit of the spirit. If we are mature in those areas.

I think that helps us be much better witnesses than if all were doing is yapping the world really isn't impressed that much with what we have to say anymore.

They'll be more impressed by the way we live out our faith and so this book is written with the hope and prayer that it will help each of us really grow and mature in the area of developing Christian godly character. That's what it's all about. At the end of the day it's not what we say. But it's how we live. That's going to impress the world around us. Yes, let's remember how many people responded to Jesus when he lived on earth, not merely because of his teachings but because of the way he lived to serve all those around him.

Only in this brand-new book from Pastor Paul is called lessons from the vineyard is our gift to you for your best Christmas gift of $25 or more to destined for victory.

Please call us at 855-339-5500 or visit Pastor 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, the addresses destined for victory.

Box 1767, Fremont, CA 9458 God could save Saul the worst persecutor in the first century church. God can save anybody by his grace, your relatives, your atheist friends, agnostic community, whoever it is. Grace can reach them and change their heart to want to keep praying for people people loving people keep preaching the good news that's tomorrow. Would Pastor Paul Sheppard shares 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

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