Share This Episode
Destined for Victory Pastor Paul Sheppard Logo

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

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 435 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

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.

CLICK HERE to ORDER this 2-part series on CD!

Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Grace To You
John MacArthur

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. The difference between joy and happiness on today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Hello and thanks for spending part of your busy Christmas week here with us. Well we're just three short days away from celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There will be 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, the thing that brings us joy that exists beyond our circumstances is the gift of God's grace. Stay with us here or visit to listen to this or any recent message on demand.

Now with today's Destined for Victory message, the gift of grace, here's 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 get your mind in gear and go back down memory lane. Think about Christmas days in your past. And here's why I'm doing that because I want you to think about maybe some special childhood memories you had of Christmases. Perhaps you're going to think of some Christmases in your childhood when you got that special toy or game that you so wanted and you weren't sure you were going to be able to get it. But lo and behold, you got it either under the tree or however 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 they were going to get it. You made arrangements, got them what they wanted. Maybe you surprised them and made them think they weren't going to get it. But come 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 games, 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.

It's 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 tunes were associated with the numbers and once you listened then you had to try to imitate what Simon did and you pushed buttons and when you got it wrong you heard a buzzer that let you know no you didn't get it. And so it was a simple game back in 1978 and today y'all would look at it you modern high-tech folks say what is this? But back then it was a big deal and it was one of the most popular Christmas gifts of that year and some years to come starting back in 1978.

Simon took the world by storm. Couple of years later, 1980, something called Rubik's Cube came online. Rubik's Cube, a Hungarian sculptor, invented a 3D handheld puzzle that began to be marketed that year. By 1983, by three years after it first hit the market, more than 200 million Rubik's 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 the news here in America told us that one of our citizens flew clean to London, England because he found out a 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 a 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 1989, 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 were sold, 118 million of them. Don't you wish you had invented that?

Let me just mention one more, then I need to get on to the whole point here. One more, 1996, something came out, three words, Tickle Me Elmo. All the folk who knew what the deal was, they are already laughing and smiling because you know what happened. 1996, Tickle Me Elmo hit the stores and America and I'm sure other parts of the world but I can only testify to America.

America lost its collective mind in 1996. During the 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're getting 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're getting the final shipment that we'll get in before Christmas and we will put it out the night before and they named a day that week.

We're going to have them available. Once these are gone, they're all we're going to have until sometime after Christmas and I will never forget the line of people. This was somewhere in like Minnesota. This was one of those cold cities and people were lined up hours before the store was going to open. So say the store was going to open at nine or whatever, people were lined up hours before because they knew this is the last opportunity to get Elmo before Christmas and you would have thought that it was too cold but those people were bundled up and they're standing out there and they were having fun. They were having Elmo fellowship.

They're out there standing and talking and laughing and what have you. They were just enjoying themselves at the thought and sure enough, the time came when the people in the store opened the doors and the poor man that opened the doors almost got knocked over. The people rushed in and the camera, they had a camera already in there because they wanted to see this frenzy and people went running down the aisles. They knew where the toy section was and you saw these people scattering down the aisles, racing down the aisles and they hung a left and went down to the aisle where Elmo was supposed to be and I will never forget one lady got to the aisle first and she saw where Elmo was and she didn't just grab one Elmo. She grabbed an arm full of Elmos and she danced around with joy and happiness at the privilege of paying too much money for Tickle Me Elmo. The fact of the matter is we have seen some crazy stuff. In fact, that year it was rumored, I don't know if it was true but it was certainly rumored that year that one parent had paid somebody who had one and they bought it really just because they wanted to make a little extra money and they knew folk who wanted it were going to be asking to do them.

This is before you had all the kinds of opportunities to buy that you have online now but this one person that made it known, I got an Elmo, I don't need it but I do want to make good money on it because I got some other needs in my family and it is rumored that one parent paid that individual $7100 for a single Tickle Me Elmo. That's crazy but all that kind of stuff was happening. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd who is Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to the broadcast on demand at

That's where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. And stay with us after today's message when Pastor Paul joins me from his studio in California. But right now let's discover or perhaps rediscover where true joy comes from in the second half of today's teaching, The Gift of Grace. Now we took this quick trip down memory lane simply because I want you to contrast those happy, joyful memories of Christmas has gone past with Christmas 2020. This one doesn't feel like much fun at all that we're approaching.

This one doesn't feel like there's much to be excited about. We're losing loved ones and friends. Hospitalization rates are at an all-time high in terms of intensive care units. They're 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 we're 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 really been ravished by this thing. Families. But let me tell you something. At the end of the day, although we're not having the kinds of fun we've had and Christmas has gone past, we who know the Lord are people who can rejoice in Him. See, you got to 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 unhappy things happen such as we're 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 gift giving.

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's the basis for that. Go with me to 1 Corinthians 1 and I want you to look at verse 4 where the apostle Paul says, I thank 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. I'm not going to get to have my family gatherings. I'm not going to get to, I love going to my jobs, social events or parties or whatever. I love, we had traditions in our family where people would get together. There are so many things we're not doing this year and let me remind you, please don't do them this year if they have to do with gatherings outside of 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 didn't come from this world. It's not based on what's going on in this world. That gift came from heaven down. I gave it, 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, a plan that cannot be interrupted by anything that happens in this world. It can't be interrupted by the horrors of being in this sinful environment that we live in. We are people whose lives have transcended the things of this earth 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 why it is important to understand grace. And that's all I want to do, just help you understand what grace is. Because we use the word all the time and Christians even have these nice little cute ways of defining grace. If you ask 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, right, not inaccurate at all. Grace is God's unmerited favor. And there are some Christians who have an even fancier answer if you ask them define grace. Some of them say, well, grace is an acronym, G-R-A-C-E and it stands for God's riches at Christ's expense. Good, great, nice and fancy.

I'm proud of you, really nice. Now here's the fact, yes, grace is God's unmerited favor. Yes, grace is God's riches at Christ's expense but those 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 I want to do, spend the rest of this message and 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 way I want you to understand grace. Here's point number one, grace is not a singular gift, it's a variety pack of blessings. First thing I want you to know, when you're talking about grace, you're not talking about a single gift, Tickle Me Elmo, Simon or whatever it is. No, no, grace is way bigger than any little one thing. Grace only comes in a variety pack. When you get grace, you get a lot of stuff. It's not a single thing, well, grace saved 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 it, let me just take some of 1 Corinthians 1 and just take some samples right from the very chapter that this verse was taken from. So go back to verse 1 of 1 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.

You say, where's grace in there? Paul was called to be an apostle. Do you have any idea who Paul is? You say, yeah, he's an apostle. No, no, who was Paul before grace got to him is the question you got to answer. Paul is a guy who single-handedly took upon himself the effort and the mission to try to destroy the first century church. When you talk about the apostle Paul, we call him the apostle Paul, but when you talk about him, this man, he said, I'm going to get rid of this mess called Christianity if it's the last thing I do.

And he took upon 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 demand at

That's And I'm pleased to welcome Pastor Paul back, who 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 their most generous gift.

And this is one of those times as we approach the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. 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 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 we're 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 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. Well, again, this brand new book from Pastor Paul is called Lessons from the Vineyard. And it's our gift to you for your best Christmas gift of $25 or more to Destin for Victory. Please call us at 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, the address is Destin for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. If 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 hearts. So I want you to keep praying for people, keep loving people, keep preaching the good news. Now that's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-06 15:42:59 / 2023-07-06 15:50:56 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime