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Why Throw a Praise Party Here?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2022 7:00 am

Why Throw a Praise Party Here?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 27, 2022 7:00 am

Drawing insight from the ministry and imprisonment of Paul and Silas in Philippi; based on Acts 16.

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Rejoice in the Lord always.

Again I say rejoice. That is Philippians 4, verse 4, and this is Destined for Victory. In just a few moments, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Why Throw a Praise Party Here?

Before we get started, he has been kind enough to join me from his studio in California. Pastor, your ministry to us each day on the radio and with the various online sources for Destined for Victory is so encouraging. One more thing that you do, and you feel strongly about this, is the monthly encouragement letter that goes out to everyone. Do you want to talk about that for a moment?

Yeah, absolutely. The one letter I feel strongly about making sure we produce every month is an encouragement letter. And so I take some time and based on some teaching of that month, and occasionally it's not related to the teaching, just something that God's put on my heart in that particular time, I write a letter to let people know not only are we preaching messages, but we're really trying to impact your life and help you with application. Because again, our ministry exists to help people know God's Son, apply God's Word, and fulfill God's purpose. And my encouragement letter is designed to help you know Him, apply His Word, fulfill His purpose. And so I feel strongly about it, and I want to encourage people who are not on our mailing list to please take a moment and let us know, hey, I'd love to get the letter. It's absolutely free of charge. There's no obligation for it.

No obligation at all. We will take care of the stamp and everything. All you've got to do is let us know. We can reach you. We'd be happy to send it to you. We can also send it to you by email, and it's important for you to be encouraged month by month. And so please let us do that. Get in touch with us. Give us your email and your mailing address so we can get in touch with you on a monthly basis.

Well, the word encouragement means to give someone support and confidence or hope, sometimes all three. And that's what Pastor Paul seeks to do each month with these letters of encouragement. Sign up today and you'll be glad you did. And here's something else for you. When you send a generous gift to Destined for Victory today, we'll gladly send you, by request, Pastor Paul Shepherd's DVD message, Influencers for Christ. Did you know that less than half of all Americans identify themselves as members of a church, a synagogue, a mosque, or any other religious organization? That may sound discouraging, but Pastor Paul believes it should actually excite us.

He'll tell you why in his DVD message, Influencers for Christ, our gift to you for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Again, that address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. That's what I'm trying to tell you. You still need partnership. You still need companionship. So find the partners God's going to raise up. Oh, they used to be my best friend.

Well, they're not anymore, clearly. When people show you who they are, believe them. Do yourself a favor. Believe them.

Don't you just love that? When people show you who they are, believe them. And there's more great advice from Pastor Paul Shepherd coming your way next here on Destined for Victory. Today, Pastor Paul takes us to Acts chapter 16 to share the story of two men, two missionaries, who went their separate ways because they couldn't agree on who should go with them. As you'll see today, God took this conflict and worked it together for the good of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Why Throw a Praise Party Here?

Acts chapter 16, verse 25, but at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. My subject, why throw a praise party here? Why throw a praise party here?

They're in prison at midnight. What up with the praise party? Now, this verse is in the middle of a chapter, and so you know if you want to really understand any passage in any book, you can't just grab something out the middle of a chapter and expect it to make sense.

So let me just walk you through the larger context. In the chapter before, when you get a chance, read Acts 15, and you'll see in the latter part of that chapter that Paul and Barnabas, who were called by the Holy Spirit in Acts 13 to begin a specific work of doing missions work and reaching people in other locales, and they had done that successfully together as a team, Paul and Barnabas. And so now here in Acts 15, the latter part of 15, Paul and Barnabas said, okay, it's time for us to go back out, check on the churches that we established in certain cities, and let's go to some new places and reach more people. And so Barnabas said, oh yeah, good idea, all right, let me go get John Mark so we can get together and go. And Paul said, no, no, no, John's not going, because he left us the last time, he's a mama's boy, and he got rough out there, and John's mom hosted one of the churches in Jerusalem. You know, the early church didn't have buildings like we have, they met in homes, and so one of the homes where the church met was John Mark's mother's home, and he used to the saints around here eating and singing and what have you, and he was used to those comforts, he out there where the unbelievers are, and they were threatening them and stuff like that, he said, oh, I'm going home. And Paul reminded Barnabas, he left us, and so I'm not giving him a chance to do that again, I need folk who are soldiers, folk who can be troopers and do what needs to be done. And Barnabas said, but how's he going to learn if we throw him away, because he showed us what a rookie he was, he's got to be able to recover from that. Paul said, I don't know the answer to that question, how he's going to do it, I do know he's not going to do it with me. And so the bottom line is Acts 15 tells you those guys were contentious with each other, Barnabas said, well, I feel strongly he's got to go, and Paul said, well, he's not going with me. And they went back and forth, I love that about the Bible, you all quit thinking Christians are supposed to grin.

Sometimes you grin, but sometimes you shake your finger in somebody's face, and you try to keep the words proper. Come on, I'm trying to help somebody, and some of you all succeed, and some of you fail. We about to have communion, just go ahead and say, I said a few things. And the bottom line is, they separated. Sometimes you got to agree to disagree, and go your separate ways. And that's what they did. That's the first thing I want to mention to you on my way to the point about the praise party.

On my way, I want to make a few points. One is, even when disagreements prevent a partnership from continuing, don't go it alone, recruit others and move forward. It's important for you to understand, just because you have a fallout with somebody who used to be a bestie, used to be somebody who you wrote, that was your road dog, you all rolled together, and all like that, yeah, sometimes that goes away for disagreements or whatever. Seasons change, and people's priorities sometimes change, and if you're used to rolling with somebody who no longer is feeling you, you're going to have to let them go their way, and you're going to have to continue on, but don't continue on alone.

That's what I'm trying to tell you. You still need partnership, you still need companionship. So find the partners God's going to raise up. Oh, they used to be my best friend. Well, they're not anymore, clearly. When people show you who they are, believe them. Do yourself a favor, believe them. When they don't have your best interest in heart anymore, believe them.

Don't make them prove it over and over again. I'm learning that. See, in these 60s, there's some wisdom up here in these 60s that I didn't have in my 30s, 40s.

I got to California, I was 31. I'm worried about playing ball on the weekend. Where the brothers at? We out there hooping and carrying on. Nah, I don't hoop anymore.

What would I look like standing out there, sneakers going by my head while they're going in for... I can't do that no more, but I got wisdom that I didn't have in my 30s. And I now know when folks show me who they are, I believe them.

So you're going to need partnership, you're going to need companionship. And just like Barnabas had to go with John Mark, which was something from God, by the way, number one, because they were able to go to cities that Paul and his new companion Silas didn't go to. So actually, the disagreement allowed the gospel to spread. See, sometimes God will take something that was meant for evil, could have been disastrous, but if you love God and submit it to him, he'll work it together for good. Some of y'all had a man in your life, oh, that was my man.

I just, oh, I love that man. Well, because he's somewhere else now. And you quit pining over him and say, Lord, I'm available to you. Should you have somebody else that's supposed to come into this time in my life, I'm available to you. Now, don't catch any old train coming down the track.

Wait, now, let me help you real quick for somebody to get too happy too soon. Let me help you understand, not every train on the track is yours. Some trains, you got to let them pull into the station. You look at the engineer, you look at who's on there, say, nope, that's not mine.

You stand right there on the platform and let that thing move on down. Y'all are crazy, so sometimes your companionship changes, but you got to decide God still has other people who will come alongside to help me, to help me get through this season of my life. Because some people are there for a reason, some people are there for a season.

When their reason is fulfilled, when their season's over, they may go. And don't worry, just entrust yourself to God and say, Lord, I'm looking for the others that you'll raise up. Barnabas had to do something else, thank God, because he was successful in helping John Mark come to maturity. We know that even Paul later came to attest to John Mark's maturity.

When Paul's dying in 2 Timothy 4, the last words of Paul written for us are in 2 Timothy 4. Before he was beheaded, he wrote to his spiritual son Timothy, he said, come see me. And he said, and when you come, bring John Mark with you. And then was his testimony, he said, because he's been helpful to me, beneficial to me in the ministry. See, he wasn't fit to go on the second trip with Paul, but as Barnabas worked with him and helped him grow up, eventually Paul saw his maturity, began to use him, and he testifies before he dies. That young man really became something, and he helped me so much.

And so you've got to understand, things change. Don't go away, we're only about halfway through today's Destiny for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Be sure to subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube to watch some video clips. For more details on this and all of his social media, be sure to visit That's, where you can also listen on demand to recent messages, or find a variety of resources at our online store. Now, here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destiny for Victory message.

Why throw a praise party here? Now, the Holy Spirit then led Paul and his new partner Silas and the rest of their team. They always traveled in a team. Don't be a lone ranger, be with folk who can help you get where God's taking you. They eventually go to the city of Philippi, where we are in Acts 16.

And I want you to notice a few things. Look at verse 13 of Acts 16. On the Sabbath, we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.

Pause right there. Paul and Silas and their team are in a city that doesn't have any believers, anybody who's a follower of Christ. They're there as missionaries to teach people who Jesus is and how good he is.

And they get to this city, and what do they do? They say, we got to find somewhere to pray. Let me help you all understand who are still praying for loved ones, people who haven't yet come to Christ, people who are still lost in their sins and all of that.

Let me help you understand something. Talk is not going to get it by itself. You can talk to people about their need for the Lord all you want, until you intercede in prayer, until you bombard heaven and say, God, I want you to show them what I haven't been able to show them. It takes prayer. Evangelism and prayer ought to go hand in hand. Don't go to any school of evangelism that doesn't teach you how to pray, because prayer is the fuel of evangelism. And prayer is essential to evangelism, and you can pray anywhere. You can pray anywhere.

That's the thing I need you to know. That's why I stopped here at verse 13. You can pray anywhere. You don't need to have a chapel. You don't need to have a certain place. You can pray anywhere. You in your home, you in your apartment, you in your rented bedroom, wherever you are, I don't have a lot of room.

I don't have a lot of privacy. Find a way to pray. If too many folk around you, go outside and pray. Go walk to a park and do prayer walks.

I have a lot of friends. Sometimes they'll call me, and I'm on my prayer walk, and I was just thinking about you. I said, I'll be praying for you. They're out walking, getting exercise, but they're thinking about me and say, I want to pray for you while I'm walking. And so I tell them whatever's going on, hey, pray, so and so. All right, I'm going.

They hang up, and they walk and pray. Listen, you got to get creative. Get your Starbucks and pray.

Do what you got to do. Sit in your cubby by yourself, whatever it is. You don't need a certain place. You need a heart, and prayer is essential to evangelism, so look at them.

They're outside the city gate. They go by the river expecting to find a place of prayer, and while they're there, keep looking at this verse. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there, and one of those listening was a woman named Lydia.

Look at this. She's a dealer in purple cloth. She's a worshiper of God. She doesn't know about Jesus, but she's a worshiper of God. You know, some people don't know the Almighty, but they know there is an Almighty, and to their extent, to their ability, they worship the Almighty, and that was this woman. She said, I don't know God, but I'm a worshiper of God, and so she doesn't know yet about his son Jesus Christ and the good news of salvation, but when they began talking to the women, they're allowed to find out a little more about them, and that is the inroad to sharing the gospel, so let me help you understand something.

Evangelism often starts with friendliness. Now, church folk got to get this. Church folk got to get this. Church folk are some of the meanest people I know on earth, on earth with an F, on earth.

These people are just, I mean, have you seen these mean folk? Even when they say praise the Lord, they sound mad. Praise the Lord. Who do you think you're representing? Why would anybody be interested in your God?

He doesn't even have no power to give you a smile. Church folk got to get it. Evangelism starts with friendliness.

Look at these dudes. They are by the river looking for a place to pray. They see some women, and they begin to strike up conversation.

They're not hitting on them. They want to find a way to let them know about Jesus, and it starts with friendliness, and guess what? This is the first century AD. In the 21st century AD, we are right there again. Y'all got to understand, some of y'all are still in denial talking about America's a Christian nation. Wake up. Wake up. Gallup recently did a poll.

It was this year, 2021. Gallup did a poll that revealed that only 47% of Americans attend church, synagogue, mosque, or any other place of religious practice. You know what that means? Less than half of Americans have any desire to be involved in any religion. So that means more than half the people you encounter on your job in your neighborhood, more than half of them have no current interest in seeking the Almighty. They either don't know, don't believe, don't care.

And you know what? That's the way it was in the first century AD. That's where the church was born. Church wasn't born in a religious place. It was born in a society where there was all kinds of idol worshipers. If people worshiped, it was false gods. Some of these cities that you read about, Corinth, they had temples of prostitution that they said were places of worship. You went there and you quote, unquote, worshiped. I'm telling you, what's in the history of how the church was formed in that environment? So what are y'all doing crying about, we're not a Christian nation anymore? That's a wonderful thing, you know why?

Because we never were. Now we get a chance to tell people about Jesus. I'm not interested in telling them about church. I'm interested in telling them about Jesus.

They'll only have any interest in church once they get to know the head of the church. This is good. And you just got to realize we're back there again. So it's time for us to evangelize. And it starts with being friendly. Y'all be nice to your neighbors. Be nice to your coworkers. Quit having a big Bible and a big attitude.

Be nice to people. I don't like their lifestyle. So what? It's not your job to police people's lifestyle. God knows how to change people.

Let him do it in his own way in his own time. Oh, my niece, I can't believe my niece is laying up there with another woman. And? What that got to do with you being nice and friendly? Now, if you want to set a standard when y'all come to visit me, just call it. And be nice to her when you tell her. Say, now, baby, I know you're coming to town, and I'd love to have you.

Now, you know, I wouldn't feel comfortable with y'all staying in the same bedroom, and if it's the same to you, I'd love to have you, but I'm going to need you to ask her to stay also. Is that all right with you? Be nice. What's coming through is the niceness. No, you're not going to mean people into the kingdom.

Nobody got saved because you worry you're going to hell. Well, you sound excited that I'm on my way. Please.

Please. So we got to decide to be friendly. Ask God to baptize you with friendliness. Just get to being friendly. Be nice to the folk. They start striking up these conversations, and they found out Lydia's a worshiper of God, and she is a businesswoman, a dealer in purple cloth.

Lydia was a boss, and she is doing her thing, and they are cool with that. They just wanted to know Jesus too, and as a result of them sharing Jesus, look at what it says. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. See, that's what we need to do.

Pray, Lord, as I talk to people and as I'm nice to people, open their hearts. He does the opening. You can't pry it open. You... It's not your job.

He does the opening of hearts. If somebody walks away from you and says, look, get out of my face with all that. I don't believe that. I'm a proud atheist. Get out of my face.

Don't pronounce them to hell. Say, well, look, I love you, and I just want the best for you, and I'll be praying for you. I know you don't believe in prayer.

You don't believe in God, but I'll be praying for you, and if there's anything I can do to help you. See, you've left something that is attractive. If they want nothing to do with you, welcome to the party all through the Bible.

Every time the apostles went places, there were some folk that got saved and some folk that tried to kill them. You just got to see which one is which. Oh, he got a knife. Let's go. You know what I'm saying?

You got to figure this out. You're not going to be fruitful everywhere you go, but you do have to share with folk how good he is. That's when they need to know how good he is. Don't ever forget what David said. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.

That's what they need to do. They need to see that the Lord is good, and the best way for them to see he's good is them see his goodness in your life. Let us not hide the light of Christ within us under a bushel. Instead, let us shine it brightly to all people, even to those who have grown comfortable in the dark. That's all the time we have today. If you'd like more information about Destined for Victory or how you can request your copy of Pastor Paul Shepherd's DVD message, Influencers for Christ, be sure to visit our website, which is

That's These people are in the worst condition of their lives. They are wounded. They are hurting. They are bloody. They are bound.

And what did they decide to do? They said, let's start singing. Let's start praying. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Why Throw a Praise Party Here. Until then, though, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-17 07:08:52 / 2023-06-17 07:18:59 / 10

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