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Building a Strong Spiritual Legacy

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2022 7:00 am

Building a Strong Spiritual Legacy

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 1, 2022 7:00 am

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But your eulogy is being written right now and you are the author. The truth about you is being written. But I need you to know it's possible to edit your eulogy before it's presented to an audience.

What about you? What kind of eulogy have you written for yourself so far? Hello and welcome to this edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Well, it may sound a little morbid to talk about our eventual demise, but Pastor Paul has a very good reason for doing so. He's here to help you write the best possible story you can. As Christian apologist C.S.

Lewis once said, you can't go back and make a new beginning, but you can start right now and make a new ending. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay with us or visit PastorPaul.net to listen on demand. That's PastorPaul.net.

We also encourage you to subscribe to the podcast at Spotify or at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Building a Strong Spiritual Legacy. If you have a Bible with you, go with me to Psalm 90. And we're going to look at verse 10 and verse 12, the 90th Psalm. And this is a psalm by Moses, not by David. Many people think David wrote all the psalms.

He did not. There are a few psalms. One of them is Moses. And here in Psalm 90, we're going to look at two verses that he gave us, verses 10 and 12. If you don't have a Bible with you, we'll put it on the screen.

Thou shalt not sweat it. You can read along with us. The days of our lives are 70 years. And if by reason of strength they are 80 years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut off and we fly away.

Verse 12, so teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Now, I enjoy opening messages in a way that grabs people's attention and piques their interest. I was taught to do that years ago in Bible school and all that, and those who are professional speakers have been taught. And what you say early on is important because you want to arrest people's attention and pique their curiosity or their interest.

And typically, I like doing that. But as a preacher of the truth of God's word, I don't always get to do that. And this is one of those times when what I'm about to say will bless some of you right at the start. It will pique your interest and capture your attention. Others may be turned clean off by what I'm getting ready to say. If you're in the turned off category, I just want to ask you to stick with me because what I'm going to talk about over the next several minutes is important even if it's not fun.

Here goes. Your life here on earth is coming to an end. In case you haven't thought about it, the mortality rate for human beings is 100%. Know what that means? We all going to die. Now, that's not fun for some folk to hear. Some of y'all are tempted to just turn me off.

You're watching on streaming and you want to click over and watch somebody else. Hang in here with me for just a little while. And if this is my last time speaking to you because I got on your nerves today, then at least give me a chance to thoroughly get on your nerves before you go. Fact of the matter is one day all of us are leaving this earth.

You know it as well as I do. We are in an earthly house of this tabernacle. Paul said this earthly house of this tabernacle in 2 Corinthians 5.

He said it's dissolving. It's going away from here. And he said when this earthly house is dissolved, thank God we have another building. We have a house not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens. Now, you don't have to want to go now, but you just need to know sooner or later you're going. Therefore, I need to talk to you about that time of you transitioning from the here to the hereafter.

In fact, here's what I want to ask you to do. I want you to imagine the day when there is a funeral service or a memorial service. Some folk don't like the body, so they don't want a funeral. They don't want the body down the front to church and all that, people coming by. So some only want a memorial service. That's your call to make.

But imagine whichever one you want to have, a funeral or a memorial, but there are people who have gathered because you are gone and they're coming to pay their respects. Think about it. I know. It doesn't have to happen anytime soon, but just think about it because it's going to happen. Think about that day.

Here's a question. What are the people who are giving remarks saying about you? Think about it because that day is coming. They're going to say something and you don't get to edit it. You won't get to say, ah, I object. They're going to say about you what they're going to say about you. Some may weep, some may not.

What are they saying about you? Perhaps you've heard me tell the story, but I'm sure many haven't heard me tell the story, plus I want to tell it again, so let me tell it real quick. There's a story told of a man who died and it was a funeral. His body was there in the front of the chapel. The eulogist, his pastor got up and began to give the eulogy. Talk about this man and as is the custom of a lot of Christian ministers, we're accustomed to eulogizing people, which means to say praiseworthy things, positive things about people, affirming things, whatever we can say that is good and paints them in a good light.

That's what we're accustomed to doing, but sometimes you run into a funeral where you say, okay, Lord, you're going to have to give me something because the person didn't live a wonderful life. And it was one of those occasions that I'm speaking of and the eulogist began to say, oh, this man was such a wonderful husband to his wife who sits here on the front. He was a caring, loving, thoughtful husband in every way. She sat there and thought, I never knew when I could depend on him to do right by me, to take good care of me, to pay the bills, to be sensitive and kind and caring, to just do the things that I would have expected. The day I got married, I thought I was getting something good.

I thought I was getting a prize and I ended up with a booby prize. She sat there and just thought, no, he wasn't a good husband. And the preacher went on and on. He was a great father to his kids and the kids sat there on the front next to their mom and he was attentive to them and made sure that they did well in school. He supported them in their extracurricular activities and all of that. When time came for them to go to college, he made sure that they had everything they needed and he just went on and on. The kids sat there, thought he never came to any of my events.

He didn't care about me, never even checked to see if I was doing my homework. He just was an absentee dad in every way. And the eulogist went on and said, and he was a wonderful employee. He had his job. Co-workers who sat in the audience said, well, he was always late. And when he got there, he still wouldn't give you a full day's work. He goofed off a lot and did not do his job well.

And the preacher said, and of course, as a member of our church, he was just an outstanding, wonderful man. And the people said, well, he didn't work in any of the ministries. The folks who did the stewardship part of things said he wasn't a good giver.

He rarely gave at all. And on and on. And finally, the wife just couldn't take it anymore. She leaned over to her oldest son who was sitting next to her and said, baby, go up there, lift that lid up and see if that's your father in there. I think we came to the wrong funeral. So my question for you, what's going to be said about you and will it be true? Now, if I'm your pastor, let me tell you now, I love you and all, but however you live your life, that's how you live your life. I am not going to lie for you. Just know that up front. So just forgive me in advance. Past up there tripping, telling them all my business. No, I'm not going to tell all your business. As a man of God, I can't tell any of your business. Your secrets are your secrets.

And you've confessed them and all that. I'm taking them to heaven. Some folk are going to be so glad when I'm dead because they said, now I'm sure. I'm carrying more people's stuff. That's part of being a man of God.

I got all kinds of stuff. I'm taking to my grave with me. Some folk are going to be relieved. They're going to hardly cry for being relieved. Fact of the matter is, you don't have to worry. I'm not telling any of your secrets or any of that stuff, but neither will I lie for you.

Here's my point. We're all writing our own eulogies right now. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destin for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. And we want to take a moment and thank all of you who sustained Destin for Victory with your prayers and financial support. Gifts that help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. Destin for Victory is a listener supportive ministry. So as God leads, please prayerfully consider making a gift today. You can give online securely at PastorPaul.net. That's PastorPaul.net.

Or simply call us at 855-339-5500. Consider the law of the harvest. God's word says that as a man sows, he shall also reap. If you're reaping the consequences of some poor choices today, there is good news coming your way next in the rest of today's Destin for Victory message. Building a strong spiritual legacy.

Once again, here's Pastor Paul. You're writing your eulogy right now. You don't know it.

You never really thought about it. But your eulogy is being written right now and you are the author. The truth about you is being written. But I need you to know it's possible to edit your eulogy before it's presented to an audience. So this message is an opportunity for you to begin to think about some things you don't usually think about. And make some decisions you probably need to make. Not a hooping message.

I'm not going into E flat. We're just going to stay right here and talk through this because all of us need to know the day is coming when we are going to leave this earth. And therefore it pays to do some work now. Today's harvest is the result of what was sown in your yesterdays. Today's harvest came from what you did before. A harvest is the reaping of that which was sown. So whatever you sown is already in the ground and it's already producing a harvest. And your harvest is the result of what you've done. So thankfully the harvest is still going on. Sowing and reaping continues. So this is an opportunity for all of us now to do some sowing perhaps in different ways and better ways. There's some stuff that has been sown that needs to be dug up and we need to sow some new things.

And thank God that's possible. Your tomorrow and your today are directly connected. When we came to California in 1989 as a family, when we got here, Alicia was about to turn five. She was just days from turning five when their flight landed and I picked them up at the Oakland airport. I remember that day picking up my wife and two children. Alicia was four, about to turn five.

And Aaron was three. In those days, you know, those first few years of being in California, you've heard me tell the story. You know, the church didn't have much to give me and so I would preach. Whenever I was invited to preach somewhere, I would preach and that was the way I supplemented our income and what have you.

So I would take trips from time to time ministering. And my son missed his dad when I would be out of town. And one particular time, Meredith told me that every night Aaron's asking me, now when's dad coming home, and she would tell him and he would say, okay, so that's three more sleeps. Three more sleeps, yeah, yeah, three more sleeps, daddy will be home.

And then two more sleeps, one more sleep. One day he asked again, now when's dad coming home? And she said, tomorrow. And one morning he woke up and she said, he said, now mommy, is today tomorrow? Now you said tomorrow he's coming, I want to know, is that today? I want you to know, today is tomorrow. What you do now, what you say now, really matters.

So we've got to build our legacy very intentionally. So when you get where you're going in your life, where will you be? What do you want to do between now and the day you're checking out?

What result, what harvest do you want to be in place? Think about every area of your life. I don't have time to cover them all. I want you to begin to think about all the areas of your life. I talk often about the seven pillars of our lives.

And so I want you to think about all of the areas of your life. I want you to think first and foremost about your spiritual legacy. Your legacy is what you leave behind. Well, technically a legacy is often a financial inheritance, but legacy goes beyond financial. Legacy is everything you leave in the hearts and minds of people, everything as a result of your life they carry forward. That's your legacy, you're building your legacy now. So let's look at your legacy. Spiritually, do you have a sound, a strong spiritual legacy?

So let's look at it. Matthew 6, 33, Jesus said, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be added to you. And all these things, you have to look earlier in Matthew chapter six to see what he's talking about. He's talking about your needs, your basic needs, what you eat and what you drink and what you wear and all the things you need in your earthly existence. And Jesus taught in Matthew six, don't worry, don't spend any time fretting and being frustrated about those things because being worried, for instance, doesn't help anything.

I hope some of you all know that, by the way, about your life. Worry has never served you well and it never will. I want to tell somebody who is a worrier. If you're here in the sanctuary, look around, see if you can spot a worrier. You say they just look like a worrier right there, right there. But listen, some of us are worriers and that's just sort of our natural habitat.

Some people just live in the land of worry. Jesus said in Matthew six, don't do that. He said it won't help you one bit.

It has never added anything positive to your life. He said do not worry. It ought to be, it's not, but it ought to be the 11th commandment, thou shalt not. Well, you all say worry, I say sweat it. Thou shalt not sweat it. Don't sweat it. Don't worry.

You can't help a situation by worrying about the situation. And he talked about things like that. He talked about how to handle your money, which I'll talk about in a little bit.

But he said you got to make sure to have the right priorities. And then he just wraps that whole chapter up by saying seek first the kingdom of God. What's the kingdom of God? It is where God is in charge, where God reigns and rules.

God is in charge. You know that he is the sovereign, but the kingdom is where his sovereignty is recognized and celebrated. I am a citizen of the kingdom because I not only know he is the sovereign, but I have asked him to be sovereign over my life, and I have asked him to reign and rule in my heart and in my life.

Some of you have done that as well, but I don't want to assume everybody watching this message has done that. So let me ask you, are you seeking first the kingdom? If you're seeking first the kingdom, then what he says here is going to be a promise you can latch onto, which is all the things you need, God will add them to you.

In other words, if you put him first and you let him reign in your life, then everything you need, he will see to it those needs are met. But not everybody is seeking first the kingdom. Some folk are seeking pleasure. Their existence is all about having fun. Fun is great, pleasure is fine, but it's got to be in the context of doing the will of God. If you are looking for pleasure at the expense of doing the will of God, you're out of sync, and it's time for you to rewrite your legacy. Seek first the kingdom and seek his righteousness.

Live his way. Do things according to the will and the way of God. So how are you doing with building that part of your spiritual legacy?

Or 2 Corinthians 5, 9. Paul says, therefore we make it our aim, whether present in the flesh or absent, I've died. My aim, he says, is to be well pleasing to God.

So let me ask you a question, since we're kind of going to rewrite our legacies here. Is that your ultimate aim, to please God? Or is there somebody else you're really looking to please? Come on, let's be honest with ourselves. Now, I know there's nobody here but me and you.

Let's just be honest. Is there somebody else, is there a name I could call? And that's who you really want to please. I mean, you hoping God will be I, but you really want somebody else to be happy. For some people, the happiness of the object, of their attention, their affections, is of utmost importance. Is that you? Is there somebody who when they don't look at you, when they don't want to be involved with you, when they are unhappy with you, that rocks your entire world? I've met people who are like that, none of y'all here. But I've met people, when somebody isn't feeling them, their whole world is destroyed.

You need to shift, you need to edit your eulogy and create a legacy where on that day, you're being memorialized or funeralized, people will be able to say, you know what? That woman sought to please God. That man pleasing God was everything for him. If people weren't happy as long as God was happy, then that person was doing all right.

We've all made poor choices and we've reaped the consequences of those choices. But isn't it great to be reminded that we can edit our own story, that starting today, we can begin sowing new seed and start changing our own personal narrative. Now, if you need prayer today, if you want to start writing a new story but you're not quite sure how to do it, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to join you in prayer. Visit pastorpaul.net and use the Contact Us feature to share your prayer request with us. While you're there, be sure to sign up for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, which comes at no cost or obligation. And we have a brand new resource to share with you today. Not that long ago, Pastor Paul and his wife Meredith conducted a fireside chat at their church, Destiny Christian Fellowship in California, and for three days, Pastor Paul and Meredith shared wisdom about how to improve and strengthen our personal relationships. Today, we'd like to offer you a booklet that highlights the major themes of their message.

It's called Creating a Relational Legacy, and it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Just call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538.

Again, the address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. Oh, you don't hear much about suffering in today's candy store theology world. We love talking about blessings. Oh, we just are a blessings generation. Yes, blessings are wonderful. God does want to bless us. But sometime before he blesses you, he's got to take you to Gethsemane. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message building a strong spiritual legacy. 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 / 2023-06-14 16:13:41 / 2023-06-14 16:22:47 / 9

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