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The Story of Us: Why We Need Strong Relationships (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2022 7:00 am

The Story of Us: Why We Need Strong Relationships (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 10, 2022 7:00 am

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

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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 a notice. That means sometimes there's going to be friction.

That's the way we can do it. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. That's Proverbs 27, 6, and this is Destined for Victory. Coming your way next, Pastor Paul Shepherd moves ahead in his teaching series, Cliff Notes for Successful Living, with a word about the importance of building strong relationships with other like-minded believers in Christ. No one can walk successfully through this life alone.

Not even our Lord Jesus Christ attempted it. As you follow along today, keep this in mind. As the admonishment of a good friend is necessary to take us from wounded to well. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay right here, or visit to listen anytime on demand. That's

Or subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcast, at Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, the story of us. We need strong relationships. I spent some time and talked about the fact that you can't afford to tie your happiness or personal fulfillment to this idea of getting married. You need to be responsible for your own happiness in Christ, and I talked about that.

I hope you were blessed. As I said, you've got to be your own CEO, and I mean that by saying Chief Enjoyment Officer. If you enjoy your life, can't be up to somebody else.

You've got to decide, I'm going to enjoy my life no matter whether I'm married, no matter whether I'm single. I am my own CEO. I talked about finding the fillers that you need so that you can handle your drainers. All of us have drainers, but God wants to make sure you have fillers to supply you so that when your drainers pull on what's in you, you still have resources. Those are in the previous messages.

Check them out if you happen to not be with us. Now, let's consider a couple of additional pitfalls in this message. Pitfall number three, believing that you don't really need strong relationships and accountability. Keep that on the screen for a moment.

Somebody might need to write that down. You need strong relationships and accountability. There are some people, and perhaps you're one of them, who say, well, you know, I'm really not into people. I'm pretty much a loner. I kind of do my own thing, and I'm very happy with me, myself, and I. We hang out together, and we, the three of us, are very happy. Listen, let me tell you.

If you want to live your best life according to the one who designed you, then you are going to need to open your heart and mind and spirit and develop strong relationships with people who can help you get where God is taking you. Oh, I know. I've heard the songs. All I need is Jesus. Long as I got King Jesus, I don't need anybody else. I've heard all that all my life.

Yeah, that can sound funny. I'm singing, but that's not the way to live your life. You need more than Jesus. I know somebody just said, one of you super religious people said, ooh, that is so sacrilegious. You don't need anybody but Jesus, and I'm saying Jesus said you need more people than him. The word of God is clear that God has made us for interpersonal relationship. It is God's idea.

You see it way back in Genesis. It is not good for man to be alone. Now, that spoke of God giving him a partner in Eve and all of that, but you'll continue to see that theme run all the way through to the book of Revelation. God has made us people who are to live together with others, not just share space, but to intersect our lives one with another. We all need other people. God is not coming for your alone time and your quiet. He's just saying you can't live a full life, an effective life, when nobody inputs to your life except you, and God doesn't want you to be your own company.

Because when you are left to your own devices, and some of you just need to be honest and realize that things don't go well, you say, well, I've been hurt by people. I get it. Some folks have messed over you.

I get it. The answer is that God is always left behind. That's what God is all about. The answer is not to say, so I'm done with people. The answer is to say, Lord, help me to learn from the mistakes of relationships in the past and help me to not close out everybody. See, when you close yourself in because you're shutting out the abusers of your past, the mistreaters of your past, the people who did you wrong in your past, yeah, get them out of the house of your life, but don't shut in so that there is no handle on the outside that the right people can't turn and come in.

You've got to allow others to come in to your life. There are seven benefits I've talked about over the years, but in this context, I want to revisit them. Seven benefits, there are a lot of benefits, but seven of them I want to just remind you of that I've talked about from time to time for strong relationships. The first one is they increase your fruitfulness.

They increase your fruitfulness. There are certain things you don't get done well until you partner with other people to do them. Some things you just can't do by yourself. I often illustrate it saying this podium that I'm standing behind, if you say, Pastor, we need to clear the stage, well, I can pick this up on this stage and I can walk away, and I helped with the clearing, but there's an organ over there. You can't see it, but there's a Hammond B3.

I know because I bought it. I'm a musician before I'm a preacher, and when I knew God was gonna give us his worship center, I went online and found myself a good B3 and had it shipped to Northern California. Every now and then I jump on it and play a tune because I wanted an organ on my platform, and if you say we need to clear that Hammond B3 off this platform, I can't do that by myself. Save, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, all of that, I'm not moving an organ by myself, and there are things in your life that you just can't do alone, and you can't do well alone, so God's gonna partner you up if you open your heart, not only in marriage, yes, you wanna be a partner with your spouse, don't just be married, y'all should be partners and actually do some things in life together, but besides that, in terms of friendships, in terms of covenant relationships, God wants to make sure there are other people. Ecclesiastes 4.9 says two are better than one because they have a good return for their work or their labor, some translations call it, so I'm calling that point, strong relationships increase your fruitfulness.

What's the second reason I've often talked about? Strong relationships help restore you, the benefit, number two, of strong relationships. They help restore you.

Look at what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4 and 10. If one falls down, his friend, watch this, can help him up, or a companion can help him up. If you fall down, they will lift you up, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Now, of course, Solomon was talking about physically you can have falls physically that would prevent you from getting up.

It's not like you just tripped on something. Sometimes you injure yourself and fall. Sometimes you have an accident and you're down and you can't get yourself up. You need someone to help lift you up. And so in the same way that you can fall physically, you can fall emotionally, you can fall psychologically, you can have all kinds of falls into depression, into despondency, into discouragement. You can fall down and you need someone to help you up. So the second benefit of strong relationships is they'll help restore you.

Number three, strong relationships provide comfort. Provide comfort, that's the next verse in the Ecclesiastes 4 passage. Verse 11 says, now if two are lying down together, Solomon's painting a picture of a cold environment and two people, if they're lying together, they can help keep each other warm.

Get the picture, that's what Solomon's saying. You can't keep yourself warm nearly as well or effectively as if you have somebody you can cuddle up. If you're cold enough, it doesn't have to be romantic at all just two shivering folk need to huddle up so they can help each other. You know, I don't care how macho you are, brother. If you get cold enough and there's another brother there that say, yo man, let's hold each other. We don't have to tell anybody when we leave here that we was hugged up or anything like that. But the fact is, I need you right now and I need us to do this, then we can be macho when we get back somewhere else.

And that's the fact, you just gotta realize that it provides comfort. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. The second half of today's message comes your way next so stay tuned. Listen to Destined for Victory wherever you go by downloading our free mobile app. The app allows you to select from any of Pastor Paul's recent messages, you can order resources from our online store, you can even take notes from the daily messages right on your mobile device and they'll be waiting for you the next time you stop by.

Search Destined for Victory at the app store and download our free mobile app today. Jesus said that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. That should be our guiding principle in human relationships, including our dating relationships. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, the story of us, we need strong relationships. There are times when we get lonely and we need somebody to comfort us. There are times we get discouraged and we need somebody to comfort us. There are times when we are bereaved and we need someone to comfort us.

I can't comfort myself as nearly as well when I'm bereaved as when somebody comes and throws their arms around me and hugs me or whatever, gives me words of encouragement and they give me some actual comfort. And so that's the third benefit of strong relationships. So single or married, you got to build some strong relationships. Number four, strong relationships provide protection against enemies.

Look at what Solomon says in verse 12 of Ecclesiastes 4. Look at how he talks about this business of protection. He says, though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.

A threefold cord is not quickly or easily broken. And I need you to understand that God wants to have other people in your life so that you walk with them through life. My brothers, my sisters, I need you to think about something. You have enemies. You have spiritual enemies. We all have spiritual enemies. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. We wrestle against principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in high places. And we all have enemies. And Solomon's principle is, yes, one can do a lot, but two can do much more.

And so you got to understand, in order to deal with your enemies, and not only do you have spiritual enemies, you have psychological enemies, you have sometimes cultural enemies, you have natural enemies, and you need to walk with someone. Jesus didn't send his disciples out one by one. He always sent them with at least another companion.

When he was training them for ministry, he didn't let them go out on their own. He sent them with companionship because that's the principle. You need protection. You need, while you're doing something, you need somebody who can watch your back. And so you need strong relationships for protection.

Then the fifth principle and the fifth benefit comes from the book of Proverbs, chapter 17, verse 17. A friend loves at all times. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Now, it doesn't matter. I'm not saying that the people in your life have to be folks you call friend, per se. I'm just saying they have to be meaningful relationships, whether you refer to it as a friend or a covenant partnership. However, that's not the issue. I'm not going for nomenclature.

I'm going for the reality. I have, in my life, I have covenant brothers. I have several men, and we walk together as brothers. We are intentionally in each other's lives for the purpose of providing unconditional love and support one to another.

They pastor churches. They're all successful in their own right, doing what they're doing. None of us are competing with one another. None of us are jealous of one another. I'm excited.

The great successes they enjoy, I'm truly excited about it. And when God blesses me, they're excited about it because we walk in covenant. So I'm flanked. I have multiple brothers who have my back, and I have their back. In the lowest season of my life, when I was at my lowest, had hit what felt like rock bottom, they were there to make sure I didn't stay on the bottom. And they lifted me up and helped me get through a very tough and difficult season.

And here I am today by the grace of God and because of the unconditional love of some covenant brothers. And so I'm flanked by people who provide unconditional love. Who in your life operates like this friend that Proverbs talks about?

Who loves you at all times? See, if you have people who only love you when you're on top, don't you dare call those people friends. In fact, don't call them covenant brothers or sisters because covenant means I'm with you because that is my pledge to you. I'm not with you because of your circumstances. I'm not with you because I love everything about you. You don't have to like everything about your covenant brothers and sisters or your friends.

You don't have to be excited about everything. You just have to make the covenant. You just have to say, we are in it together. Our job is to help each other get from here to glory. That's the job of these people. Their job is to make sure when they get to heaven, you're there too.

And your job is to make sure when you get to heaven, you're there too. And so you need people who provide unconditional love. Fair weather friends, you ever heard that term, fair weather friends?

Well, that's a contradiction in terms. Fair weather and friendship should have nothing to do with each other. Because fair weather happens every now and then.

That's fun, but I can do fair weather all by myself. But when it's crazy out there, when it's storming, when it's dangerous, I don't need you who were with me in the sunshine running away. But when my life gets stormy, that's when I need somebody to say, how can I help you get through this? And they're going to provide unconditional love. Conditional love doesn't help human beings.

Because none of us can always have the conditions that would be preferable for us. So you need to know that strong relationships will provide you unconditional love. Proverbs six, strong relationships provide redemptive correction, redemptive correction.

Proverbs 27 and six, I want you to learn this verse and let it be a theme verse in your life. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. We're not used to thinking wounds, friend, wounds, covenant, brother or sister. Why you going to hurt me if you're my friend? Because there are some ways you don't heal until you're hurt first.

There are some ways you don't get better till you feel lousy first. There are some ways that in order to heal you, I've got to cut you. You think cut, enemy, because you're thinking of being stabbed. And yes, enemies will try to cut you and they're certainly not trying to heal you, but not all cuts come from enemies. That's what Solomon said in this proverb. Not all cuts come from enemies. Some of them come from friends.

I would suggest my brother, my sister, you make sure you identify the people that you will allow to love you enough to redemptively correct you. You see, you're not always right. You're not always right in what you say. You're not always right in what you think. You're not always right in how you're living a certain area of your life.

You're not always right in your decision making. Somebody needs to say amen right in your home because you know I'm telling the truth. Sometimes you are tripping for real and you need somebody who loves you enough to look and explore, look at you, explore that area of your life, say let's talk about this. Let's talk about what you've been doing up late. Let's talk about what you just said. Let's just talk about how you're thinking right now.

You are into stinking thinking and it is smelling up the whole place. Let's talk about it. You need to understand that correction is part of covenant living. You don't get where you're going until sometimes somebody tells you something that'll hurt your feelings. You've heard me say it many times before.

Some of y'all can't even take somebody handing you a mint. You get all offended, what you trying to say? I'm not trying to say anything.

Just put this in your mouth because we're having a conversation. If you want to continue the conversation, I need you to have this. Not trying to get, oh, you're trying to tear me down.

No, I'm just trying to help you out. And so we need to understand that sometimes you can't always be affirmed. Sometimes you have to be corrected, but the correction from a friend is meant to help you get to a better place. I'm not correcting you to tear you down.

I'm correcting you to build you up. Wounds from a friend can be trusted. They are faithful, but it is an enemy sometimes who does the kissing. See, y'all think kissing is all romance. No, no, sometimes the person kissing you is flattering you, setting you up so that they can stab you in your back, so they can send you in the wrong direction. Don't get impressed with everybody's kisses. In fact, some folk, you see them coming with their mouth puckered, you say, no, that's all right, I'm good.

I'm good, see you. No, no, I don't need an enemy trying to flatter me. I'd rather have a friend correct me, rebuke me than an enemy flatter me because the friend has my best interest at heart. The enemy is trying to set me up. You do remember Jesus got set up with a kiss, right? And if it happened to Jesus, it can happen to you. And we need to learn to make sure that we don't put ourselves in that position. So don't think everybody with something sharp is trying to kill you.

A doctor cuts you to heal you. And don't think everybody who kisses you has your best interest at heart. Marriage is a beautiful relationship, the only one of its kind on earth. Make sure you and your potential spouse have the right vision, the right values, and the right view of marriage before you say, I do. As Pastor Paul said today, romantic love might be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

Better to have your eyes wide open before you walk down the aisle. Thanks for being here for this Monday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Sheppard's message, The Story of Us We Need Strong Relationships. Listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand at

That's We're almost out of time, but before we go, I want to thank you for all you're doing to help Pastor Paul share the love of Jesus through the Destined for Victory broadcast. Your prayers and gifts have helped turn this into a worldwide ministry with a growing audience. In appreciation of your generous gift today, Pastor Paul will send you his DVD message, Influencers for Christ. We live in an ever darkening world that needs the people of God to shine his light upon it.

As Jesus said, we, his church, are that light. In this message, Pastor Paul encourages us to make it a priority to show others the goodness of God, to tell them all about his love for them and their need for him. That's Influencers for Christ, a DVD message from Pastor Paul, and our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Please call 855-339-5500, or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift. Our address is Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You gotta deal with how you feel. You gotta look at it. How are you feeling really? Are you weary? Are you famished? Are you jealous? Are you feeling insecure?

Doesn't matter what people think you are, sometimes you can act confident and inwardly you're very insecure. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, how much can one meal cost? Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you, God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-30 07:53:24 / 2023-06-30 08:04:02 / 11

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