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The Story of Us: Why We Need Strong Relationships

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2022 7:00 am

The Story of Us: Why We Need Strong Relationships

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 7, 2022 7:00 am

Seven benefits of building strong relationships with other believers; based on various Bible passages.

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There are some people who say, I'm very happy with me, myself, and I, and we, the three of us, are very happy. Listen, let me tell you, if you're going to live your best life according to the one who designed you, then you need to develop strong relationships with people who can help you get where God is taking you. Happy Friday, and welcome to this edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Well, we're in day five of Pastor Paul's teaching series, Cliff Notes for Successful Living. So far, we've learned that there are a few pitfalls, several untrue ideas we may sometimes believe that can keep us from our destiny in Christ. The first two were covered in earlier messages, and you'll find them on demand at

That's Today, he takes a deep dive into pitfall number three, the false belief that we don't need other people at all. Let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, The Story of Us, Why We Need Strong Relationships. You need to understand that strong relationships are beneficial to all of us. And the sixth benefit that I'm mentioning is this business of redemptive correction.

Please know you only get better by letting somebody show you things about yourself that aren't always pleasant to have to look at. But when a friend rebukes you, Solomon says here in Proverbs 27 and 36, you can trust it. They're not coming for you because they don't like you, not trying to tear you down.

They're coming for you because they want to see God's best in your life. One more of these benefits. Again, there are many throughout the pages of Scripture.

I'm only pointing out seven in the interest of time. The seventh benefit of strong relationships that I want to point out is they help you become your best self. Iron sharpening iron is what Proverbs 27, 17 talks about. Look at Proverbs 27 and verse 17. As iron sharpens iron, so a man or a person, it's not gender specific, sharpens the countenance of his or her friend. Just like iron sharpens iron and it makes both elements are better as a result of, and notice that means sometimes there's going to be friction. That's the way we can help each other.

So don't ask people to help you only by affirming you because we can't help you if all we get to do is affirm you. We got to be able to rub you sometimes away that hurts, sometimes create friction. We recently, in a recent MOD gathering, when our men gathered twice a month, we gather in group, in a large group, and then we break into life groups of three to 12 men. And sometimes in those groups, we just had it at a recent MOD, there is friction and there are folk that get angry. And when they came back together and they mentioned pastor, we got into a fight. They're on Zoom, so it wasn't a physical fight, thank you Jesus. But they got into a real heated discussion and argument. And I said, you're good.

Why? Because if you're really doing life together, sometimes you're going to get mad at one another. I know some of y'all practice sloppy agape, you grin all the time. Always grin and always praise the Lord, God bless you, love you so much. Don't come for me, that doesn't sound Christian. Tell it to Paul and Barnabas. Tell it to Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15, get ready to take the second missionary journey. And Paul said, all right, let's go. Barnabas said, let me go get John Mark. And Paul said, he's not going with us, he left us the last time. He is definitely not going with us.

No, read my lips, he's not coming. And they got into it, the Bible says it was sharp contention. Don't tell me that the only way to prove you spirit filled is you're grinning all the time.

It's simply not biblical. So they're going to help you become your best self. And sometimes that involves that you're going to have friction in the process. That's why you can't just have strong relationships without some accountability built into some of those relationships. What is accountability?

That I don't get to just do my own thing without somebody else's eyeballs on it saying, here's a problem with what you just said, problem with what you just did. Absolutely means you answer to other people. It's not so much a hierarchical thing as much it is yielding to the wisdom that someone else provides. I said, pastor, where'd you get that? Well, first of all, it's built into New Testament living. Go for instance to Ephesians chapter five. Let me show you how the church, how the apostle Paul taught the saints to live together. Go to Ephesians five, put that on the screen for me. Verse 17, I want to go down through verse 21. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

All right? Don't be unwise. Go to 18, just keep them moving. And do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation. That means excess.

That means just over the top, going way out of bounds. But be filled with the Spirit. So we are to be Spirit-filled. Then it says, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. See, the early church, before we were able to get ourselves organized, had these great praise and worship teams like minister Joy Turner Hill leads here at Destiny and get our music all tight. Before that, the saints had to gather there and have a ham and B3 or nothing. But they were taught sing and make melody in your hearts to the Lord and worship together. Keep on going. After that, it says, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and watch this next element, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

See, it's just doing life together. Part of that is submitting. What does submission mean? Submission means I voluntarily yield. Submission is not I'm inferior to the person I submit to.

It just means I voluntarily yield. I don't make decisions without accountability. Somebody takes a look at what I said I want to do, and they weigh in on it, and I yield to the wisdom. Wisdom can come from people who haven't been saved as long as you. Wisdom can come from people who are younger than you. Wisdom doesn't mean, well, I'm the oldest one, and so what I say counts. No, some folk are old and dumb. Come on, somebody, you ought to know I'm telling the truth. You ever met a, there's no fool like a old fool, so we got to learn to walk in accountability so that as we get older, we don't become more foolish.

Somebody need to be saying amen right from your house, because you know I just told the truth. And so submit to one another is a safety. You know what submission is. It means to yield. When you're on a ramp that's going to lead you onto a freeway, and you see a yield sign in the lane that you're on as you're about to merge, yield means don't just jump out there. Look at the traffic that's already out there, and if there's a vehicle that's too close so that if the two of you intersect right now, you would crash if you don't make a change.

And the yield said, guess who has to make the change? You do, because you're the one entering the freeway. So you back off, let that car go, and then you tuck in behind them. You need to live your life tucked in. You need to live your life where somebody can look at what you say and say, hey, let me help you. Let me help you, because what you just did is not right. And you yield to that wisdom. Say, okay, what should I do?

You need to call them up and apologize. And they're not being lord over you. They are using their relationship with you in the family of God to help you be your best self.

Those are just seven benefits. There are many, but my brother and my sister, especially you introverts, I want to tell you, you got to have people in your life. And singles, you got to have people in your life that you don't have that boo that you've been dreaming of. Before boo comes, you better have some folk who walk with you. In fact, when you are interviewing boos, you better have somebody who is already playing the good roles in your life so that when you come all trying to fall in love, you have a friend, you have a covenant brother or sister who is not in love who can put objective eyes on it and tell you what's really going on there from their perspective. All right, now that leads me into the fourth pitfall, and this one is specifically for you singles, but I want marriage to check it out, because you all got to help me preach this message to the singles that are your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, whatever, friends, covenant friends, you got to help them. Those who are looking to get married, now not all singles are looking to get married, but those who are looking to get married especially need to pay attention to this. And even singles who date not necessarily expecting to marry, I'm going to say some things that are going to help you.

So married folk, tune in so that you can help me say this to folks who aren't with us in this service. Be clear about why you're dating, because here's the way I worded the pitfall number four, dating without evaluating. That's pitfall number four, dating without evaluating.

Did you get that? That's a pitfall. If all you do is date but you don't evaluate, that is a problem. So let me walk you through that and make sure you understand why. Why you've got to be clear about why you're dating. See if you're looking for a marriage partner, dating is interviewing.

That's really what you're doing. If you're looking for a marriage partner, then when you go on a date, it really is an interview. Now you don't want it to feel like an interview to the other person. You don't want to be sitting there with your pen and paper and all that.

Okay, now. No, no, you don't want to do that. But in effect, when you're dating with marriage as a possibility in your head, I'm looking for a potential life partner, then you can't just date. You've got to evaluate. First thing is you've got to be clear in your own heart about why you're dating. I'm dating because I'm looking to see is this a person I can link my life to? Is this a person I can do that? If it is, then it's a form of interviewing.

You want to be, you want to make sure it's a fun time, an enjoyable time, but it really is a type of interviewing. If that's why you're dating, be clear. And if that's not why you're dating, if you're dating to say, no, I'm not looking for, I don't think I'm going to marry. Some of you single say, I don't think I want to get married.

I'm not sure. Some of you have been previously married and it didn't work out well. You're divorced and what have you. Sometimes you have some horror stories and you say, I'm not even sure I want to get married again.

Okay, you don't have to. You don't have to get married again. You may choose to be open and available for marriage or you may choose to stay in the single status, but you want to keep covenant relationships as I've just described or build them in your life. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Sheppard, senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to this broadcast on demand at That's, where you'll also find a host of great resources at our online store.

And stay tuned after today's message when Pastor Paul joins me from his studio in California. But first, let's tune into the rest of today's message, the story of us, why we need strong relationships. So be clear about why you're dating. Pastor, why should I be clear about it?

Because if I'm not necessarily looking for a companion, when I go on a date with somebody, they need to know, maybe not on the first date, but if you're going to date them in multiple, you know, two or three times, by the second, third date, you want them to know, you know what? I'm really not sure I want to get married. I thought I would just make that clear. Where are you on that?

Are you hoping one day that you're going to be married? And have a discussion. Why? Because this is your brother or sister in Christ. If they're saved, if they know Christ, they're your brother or sister in Christ. You don't want them thinking one thing and you have a very another thing in your head.

So I want to be careful not to mislead my brother or sister in Christ. So if I'm not looking for a life companion, I'm just looking for somebody to go to the movie with. Back when we get to the place where we can do that. Again, right now, I ain't going nowhere.

I'm watching everything in my house. But when we get to the place where we get back to all of that, if all you want, I just want to see this film with somebody of the opposite sex. I can just have a fun time where we maybe go grab a meal and watch the movie or watch the movie and then eat afterwards or whatever. That's all you're looking for. Make sure by the second or third date, they know you're not looking for the ring. You're not looking for got to put a ring on it.

You're not looking for any of that. You're just looking for I want somebody's hand in my popcorn and we both sharing and all that. If all you're looking for is a hand in the popcorn, first of all, take some sanitizer with you, squirt this in your hand real, real good.

Now we both bought the big tub of popcorn and we both reaching in and watching and enjoying the movie. See, you got to be clear. You want them to know what you're doing and what you're not doing.

Amen. Now, if you aren't looking for a life partner and they're good with that, then y'all can date multiple times because you're not misleading them. Say, hey, you want to hang out? Hey, you want to hike together? Hey, you want to go to a movie together?

Whatever it is, then you go and do that. But if you are looking for a life partner and there's no point in you wasting the time of somebody who has a different plan, we want to be clear because we love one another in Christ. I don't want somebody going home crying when I'm going home happy. Let's be on the same page about what it is we're doing and what we're not doing. Now, for you who are looking for life partners, let me just give you three real quick principles and I'll be done. And the next message, I'll go on with some more things that'll benefit both singles and married. But if you are looking for a life partner, jot this down, evaluate the person's core values, evaluate their views on marriage, and evaluate their personal vision.

Keep that on the screen for another 30 seconds so somebody can jot that down. There are three things I want you singles who are looking for a marriage partner when you date to note. You want to know their values, that is their core values, their values that drive their life.

You want to know their views on marriage and you want to know their personal vision. Pastor, what's that about? Their values are what I call kingdom first. See, some folk aren't kingdom first. You know, Jesus said, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be added to you. Matthew 633, that's what I mean when I say kingdom first. Not every Christian is kingdom first.

Some people are just saved and that's it. They are bro cream Christians, I've said over the decades. Now, I realize I got to update the younger generations than me, but us baby boomers remember a product on TV back when we were young called Brill Cream and they had a slogan and the slogan was a little dab will do you.

It was a little gel that people would put in their hair and all that and they advertise the fact that you don't have to squirt a whole bunch and all that, a little dab will do you. Some people practice Brill Cream Christianity. Little dab of Jesus, little dab of church, little dab of. No, no, kingdom first living is this runs my life.

If you are looking for a marriage partner and you are kingdom first and you hook up with some kingdom casual, that's not going to work because they don't understand why you always pray and why you always reading the word, why you always listening to Pastor Paul. I don't understand all that. Yeah, I mean sure it's fine to be saved, but what's all this? And you hear a message and it changes your life and it brings conviction and then you say, oh Lord, I really, and they're like, what's that?

It's just what he said. You don't have to pay attention to that. No, no, kingdom first people say I'm not paying attention to a man.

First of all, I'm paying attention to the Lord. And so you want to check out their values. Then you want to check out their whole view when it comes to marriage, their view of marriage. Not all marriages are the same. Some people are looking for a quite equal kind of partnership. Other people are looking for one to be the more dominant person, their career and all that drives what we do, where we go, where we live. And the other person is just there as a support and a companion.

And some folk aren't looking for that dominant and support. Some folk are looking for both of us are of equal importance in every way. And so you got to find out what are their views on marriage and you got to find out then their vision. What's their vision for living, for their life. When they get where they're going, where will they be is what you want to know.

If you're dating somebody trying to assess, is this potentially a life partner? When you get where you're going, where will you be? What is their personal vision for their life?

If they see themselves on the mission field, you plan to stay in the United States of America all the days of your life, lest you're going on a trip on which you'll enjoy a week or two somewhere and then come right back. And you're not trying to go to Africa to win the loss. You're not trying to go to Indonesia. You're not trying to go this place or that.

Oh, then that's not yours. If they see themselves on the mission field, if they see themselves just roughing it for Jesus and you want to be here making big money and living in a nice house and enjoying life here in the Western hemisphere, there's nothing for y'all to pray about. That's not your person because they have a vision and hopefully they believe that's from the Lord for them.

And if they have a companion, guess what? Then they need to find someone who is good with roughing it for Jesus. But don't try to take a roughing it for Jesus and a bougie person and y'all hook up. It's just not going to work. Bougie going to have to find bougie.

Ruffet going to have to find Ruffet some more. Thanks so much for being here today for Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, the story of us, why we need strong relationships. You know, every day on Destined for Victory, we ask people to stand with us financially. That's because we are a listener supportive ministry and let me underscore that for a moment. This means the only way we exist is through the prayers and financial support of people just like you.

And in 2022, our prayers that you might consider if you haven't done so already, becoming a Destined for Victory prayer. Partners are a special group of people that give a monthly gift of at least $20. If you can make that commitment today, we have some special gifts I'll tell you about in just a moment. But Pastor Paul joins me right now. And Pastor, take a moment and tell us why partners are so important to this ministry.

Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up, Wayne. Partners are really the lifeline of this ministry. Without those people committed to giving regularly, we literally could not continue doing what we're doing.

I guess people hear that a lot, but it is really true. Without partners, we simply can't get the gospel out to the world. The gospel is free, but the plumbing costs an awful lot of money and we want to continue preaching. As I've said in times past, we've got generations to reach that have never heard the gospel and they misunderstand when they hear people talk about things like serving the Lord.

And we need to make it plain to them. The only way I can do it is with my partners helping us reach them through their generous gifts. I'm so grateful for every single partner. And I'm praying in 2021 that God will give us thousands more. There are many more outlets and many more opportunities we could take advantage of in our ministry.

But the only thing that holds us back is lack of income. So I'm praying that God's going to touch the heart of many more people to realize that with just your gift of $20 or more, you can help us remain strong on the stations and outlets we're on and reach many more with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks, Pastor. That's what it's all about, reaching more people with the gospel. And if you make that commitment by pledging $20 or more per month to help us do that, we'll send you with our thanks a couple of great gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile.

It's a compilation of some of his most humorous illustrations and stories, something that will be sure to make you laugh and learn at the same time. So call 855-339-5500 or mail your gift, letting us know you wish to become a partner. The address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also sign up by clicking become a partner rate at the top of the homepage at And if you're already a partner, Pastor Paul and I want to say a heartfelt thank you and also challenge you to consider becoming a legacy partner. These are special ministry friends that are able to support us with gifts of $2,500 or more each year. The details are available at the website or by calling 855-339-5500. Now, if you can't become a partner today, but would like to make a generous donation to Destined for Victory, we'd be glad to send you Pastor Paul's DVD message Influencers for Christ. That's Influencers for Christ, our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. As iron sharpens iron, so a man or a person that's not gender specific sharpens the countenance of his or her friend.

Just like iron sharpens iron and it makes both elements are better as a result of a notice that means sometimes there's going to be friction. That's the way we can help each other. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Cliff Notes for Successful Living. 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 / 2023-07-01 05:52:25 / 2023-07-01 06:02:19 / 10

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