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You're in Training, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2022 7:00 am

You're in Training, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 15, 2022 7:00 am

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The thing that excites me really about Hebrews 11 is that these people are not special people at all. And what that tells me is that to be in God's Hall of Fame, you don't have to be anybody special.

You can be jacked up and be in the Hall of Fame. And guess what? That means we all qualify. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Well, looking back through the pages of history from Moses to King David to the Apostle Paul, you'll find great men and women of faith, but they were also human.

They made mistakes, and so have we. But as believers in Jesus Christ, each of us has the potential to be a great person of faith. Pastor Paul is a great reminder for you today. No matter how many times you failed, you still have a chance to be a member of the Faith Hall of Fame. Stay with us now, but remember, you can always visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, You're In Training. Hebrews chapter 12, beginning with verse 7. Endure hardship as discipline. God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we all had human fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the father of our spirits and live? Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. If you mark or underscore in your Bible, I want you to mark or underscore for those who have been trained by it.

Tell your neighbor, look at your neighbor and tell them you're in training. Most of you are Bible readers and familiar with Hebrews chapter 11. We often call it the faith hall of fame and those sorts of things. Because in Hebrews chapter 11, you learn a basic definition of faith, that it's the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and you learn some concepts of faith and some of the workings of faith. Without it, it's impossible to please God. Those who come to him must believe that he is and that he's a reward of those who earnestly or diligently seek him. And then the rest of the chapter is dedicated to giving us examples of faith from the Old Testament dispensation. And the writer to the Hebrews just runs us through, as it were, a hall of fame, faith all stars. And the thing that excites me really about Hebrews 11 is that these people are not special people at all. And what that tells me and what it ought to tell you is that to be in God's hall of fame, you don't have to be anybody special. You can be jacked up and be in the hall of fame. And guess what?

That means we all qualify. You can be messed up. And when you see that, you're not looking at perfect people. You're not looking at people who came from the right side of the tracks, who had everything going for them, who you would expect to just land just the right place. That Hebrews 11 is full of messed up, dysfunctional, crazy, you got to be kidding people. And yet God commended their faith. And what we got to understand is faith isn't a prize given to great folks. Faith is something God gives to people who are quite ordinary, but who dare to believe God to bring his word to pass so that what is ordinary gets touched by his extraordinary power. And great things happen when we simply reach out and say, Lord, I need you to come into my life and make the difference. And it is full of examples of faith.

And so when you move into chapter 12 of Hebrews, what we call chapter 12, the writer didn't write in chapter distinctions. But when he moves into what we call chapter 12, he then says, therefore, on the basis of this great cloud of witnesses, he says, you and I have to learn to run our race with perseverance because these folks, as it were, are looking on. And I believe that to be literal, not all theologians do, but I happen to believe that God is allowing the patriarchs of old and even our parents and grandparents who have gone on to be with the Lord. I believe that God is allowing them to peek in and to see what's going on. And from glory, they are rooting you on in your race. And they are saying, I made it. And if you put your hand in the Lord's hand, you will make it, too. And I'm excited to know that my daddy, who's gone on to be with the Lord, is rooting for me, saying, son, go on and finish this journey.

And I believe that they are looking on. And he said, therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses, he said, run with perseverance the race set before you and set your eyes on Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith. And then he describes the example Jesus set.

And here is where I want to park for this message and the follow-up message. He says Jesus is our example. And he is there to show us how to handle difficult things. Look at verse 2. Back up and look at the middle part of verse 2 of Hebrews 12.

It says, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. I want to focus on that as much as I have read this scripture throughout the course of my life. I never really focused on that until my most recent study of this passage in which I said, wait a minute. I've always rejoiced in looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

And I've always locked in on how Jesus started it and he's going to finish it. And that's a wonderful revelation in the passage. But when you go past that, we are told now Jesus set an example of how to endure hard things and he didn't do it just for him. He did it so that we would learn to not grow weary when we have to deal with hard things.

I want to unpack this with you. I want you to know that what I see in this passage is that God is saying to us, you can't get where I'm taking you without the journey leading you through some hard things. That's the kind of preaching you're not going to hear a whole lot in 21st century American pulpits, at least not the variety that many of us tend to enjoy, because we got a whole lot of folk out here who have just sold out the gospel and have put the American dream and their fantasies to scripture. And all we're hearing is that God wants you to be healthy, wealthy, sexy and wise. That God wants you to be a multimillionaire who never gets sick, who never goes through hard things, who just speaks things and everything leaps into existence and all of that stuff.

And the devil don't even come down your street because he's scared to death for you and all of that stuff. Listen, it sounds good. I know I've heard those messages and it sounds good till you get to the word. The only way you get to preach like that is you got to lock in on certain passages and you got to ignore the whole rest of the Bible.

And I showed up because God told me that I am to preach the whole counsel of God. I can't just tell you what you want to hear. I got to tell you what you have to hear. I cannot tell you that you're always going to have a smooth journey.

Everything's going to be wonderful. All you got to do is speak it and proclaim it, confess it and possess it and blab it and grab it and all of that stuff. I wish I could tell you that and it'd be true, but that's not what the Bible teaches. Yes, the Bible teaches we have power. Yes, the Bible teaches we ought to keep our confession straight. Yes, the Bible teaches that God will do exceeding abundantly.

Yes, the Bible teaches that God often prospers his people, even financially. All of that is true, but the journey to where you want to go is going to lead you through some hard places. And what I found out when I studied the passage this last time is that we are told Jesus who for the joy set before him endured. Because of what he was going to, he was willing to suffer what he had to go through. You missed that, I got to say it again. Because of the joy that he was going to, he had to endure the suffering of what he was going through.

You and I have to be willing to go through before we go to. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men. Jesus, the only begotten son of God allowed people to put him through pure hell.

Why did he do that? For the joy set before him. He knew he wanted to make you and I sons of God along with him. The son of God became the son of man so that the sons of men could become sons of God. And ladies, please understand when you see son of God designation in New Testament, do not say, oh, that's sexist language. They need to write a Bible that says sons and daughters.

Don't miss the revelation. Sonship means inheritance, means authority. You got to remember the cultural context in which this is written is one where sons inherited the blessing.

The daughters got the benefit of what their brothers received firsthand. And you got to understand that when the Bible calls you ladies a son, don't put your feminism in that and miss the revelation. You ought to be glad you are a son. That means you first in line. Lord, give me everything you got for me. I'm ready to receive. I'm ready to be the beneficiary of your blessings. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support. Gifts that help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. Destined for Victory is a listener supported ministry. So as God leads, please perfectly consider making a gift to Destined for Victory. And are you going through a season of suffering?

If so, you're in good company. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. You're in training. He came to his own, his own received him not, but as many as received him to them gave he authority to be sons. Be sons of God.

Don't miss the revelation. It's a wonderful thing to be a son. But Jesus went through what he went through so that he could bring you an eye into sonship.

And he was willing to go through suffering in order to experience that which was set before him. Here's what I want to tell you as I set up this message. I came to tell you that what you're going through now is training for what lies ahead. And you and I have to pay more attention to the way we're going through what we're going through now. And not just pay attention to where we're going. See, everybody wants to go to the next level.

That's all we've heard for a decade, more than a decade now. Everybody going to the next level, next level, next level, next level. I'm taking it to the next level. I'm taking my business to the next level. I'm taking my finance to the next level. I'm taking my church to the next level. Get it.

We've been saying it for a long time. Here's what I need you to leave here understanding. That your preparation for the next level is how well you handle this level.

You cannot say this level doesn't matter. All that matters is the next one, not according to scripture. The scriptures are telling you that what you're going through now is your training ground. Where you are now is training you for where you will be. What you have now is training you for what you will have later. The people you're dealing with now are God training you for the people you will deal with later.

So if you're mishandling where you are now, don't worry about the joy set before you. You're not going to get there anytime soon because God isn't like a bad educational system. He will not graduate you anyway. He won't put you through uneducated.

He won't put you through unprepared. When we grew up, we called it being left back. Some of y'all didn't grow up like I grew up. We said, well, where Johnny when we got September? We got to the new class. I'm now in fourth grade and all my third grade friends, we now in fourth grade.

We look around. Somebody said, where Johnny? And then Johnny's friends say, he got left back. Johnny got left back.

Why? He failed to learn what he needed to learn in the third grade. There was no point in putting him through to the fourth grade.

He wasn't ready for the fourth grade. And I came to tell you, God refuses to put you through to your next level until you've learned everything you're supposed to learn, until you've handled right everything you're supposed to handle at the level where you are. You got to remember, you can't fool with God because he is not pressured by time. God's not pressured by time.

God's not saying, well, you know, time getting short, so I'm going to have to put them through anyway and hope for the best. We serve a God who lives outside of time. Time doesn't matter at all to him.

He got all the time in the world. You fool around and you'll be just like Israel. Israel had a journey from Egypt to Canaan that would have taken them a matter of weeks. And they fooled around and it took them 40 years.

God said, your choice, not mine. I could have taken you there earlier, but you got left back. They got left back. What did they do? They murmured. They complained. They got over that. First, they had a shout.

That's why I'm pretty sure they were black. They had a shout. They got over there.

Look at it when you get a chance. The women got the timbrels. That's the tambourines. They got the timbrels and they went to dancing and singing and shouting and praising God because they got across the Red Sea supernaturally and God got them away from the Egyptians.

Pharaoh's army drowned in the sea. All of that's wonderful. Had a big shout. Soon as they got through shouting, they said, I shouted myself in the thirst. Where's the water over here? Somebody drank the water and said, it's bitter.

Oh, no, he didn't bring us over here and now we got bitter water. And they started right in. Started right in complaining.

Started right in murmuring. God told Moses, all right, come on, we're going to make the water sweet. And so you know the story.

He did that. So now they got some water. Now they start complaining about that. They had to watch somebody say, I'm hungry, where's the food over here?

Complain about food. And in fact, pick it up in Deuteronomy 8 and here's what you find. Deuteronomy 8.

Be careful to follow every command I'm giving you today so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the lamb that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers. Then Moses takes them back. This is at the end of the 40 day 40 year period, and he's positioning the people to get ready to hand off things to Joshua so that the next generation can go into the promised land. But I love the way Moses rehearses the last 40 years.

Look at what he says in Deuteronomy 8 to remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 days to humble you and to test you. God wastes nothing in our lives. He wastes. He is the ultimate recycler.

He wastes nothing. I'm amazed that this says God led them all the way in the desert. God's plan for them had nothing to do with a desert. God's plan was Canaan.

They threw murmuring and complaining and bitterness and unbelief. They sentenced themselves to the desert and God said, fine, I can train you in the desert too. Some of you all are not where you ought to be in your life right now, and it's not God's fault. I said it's not God's fault. You broke as a joke and it's not God's fault. Your family's jacked up and it's not God's fault. Your attitude stinks and it's not God's fault. Your marriage is messed up and it's not God's fault. Your kids are acting like the devil raised them and it's not God's fault. Some of us are where we are because we chose to be where we are.

Our actions planted us firmly where we are. I'm standing on this stage because of me, not God. You are where you are because of you, not God.

But you know our God says, I can train you there because I'm still going to get you where I'm taking you. Now, I could have got you there to direct route, taking a nonstop flight. I fly a lot and I always make my own arrangements. And over the years, as much as I fly, I have never handed off my flight arrangements to any executive assistant or anybody.

I make my own. You know why? Because I know where I want to go and I know how I want to get there. And if I can't get there nonstop from one of these airports to where I want to go, I know the right connection cities and the wrong ones. And I don't let anybody hand me it because you hand it off to them and they don't usually fly and they don't understand geography or whatever the case might be.

And you mess around. I've had people try to send me, you know, I'm in Chicago and I'm trying to go to the West Coast. And, you know, you let the wrong folk fool around and make your arrangements and they'll fly you from Chicago to Atlanta to catch a flight to the West Coast.

Homie don't play that. If I look down and see that, I say, what in the world am I going southeast when I'm supposed to be going west? Uh-uh, re-bump that. If you can't get me nonstop in the SFO or one of the Bay Area airports, at least get me to Denver, at least get me somewhere on the way. I'm not going back, well, this flight take you back to Philly. I've been to Philly.

Grew up in Philly. I'm not trying to stop off there today. And some of us are on those kind of crazy journeys. But I came to tell you, God said, that's fine. I'm going to use it as your training ground. Thanks so much for joining us for today's Destin for Victory message, you're in training. You know, Jesus gave us two great commandments and one great commission and the three work together. If you love God and you love people, you'll share God's salvation with people. A great way to do that is by praying for the Destin for Victory ministry and sending a generous gift today. We depend on listeners like you to share the gospel all over the world. And as our thank you, we'll send you a booklet that goes hand in hand with the messages from earlier this month, creating a relational legacy. Pastor Paul and Meredith Shepherd spent several days talking about what God says about how we can improve and strengthen our personal relationships. This booklet highlights the major themes in that message.

It's called Creating a Relational Legacy. And it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destin for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net 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.

Once again, our address, Destin for Victory Box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. What do you do when you hit your crisis? Whatever the crisis is, what do you do? If you do something other than call on God, if you do something other than get in the Word, if you do something other than say, Lord, what would you have me do? Then you haven't yet finished training. And that's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, You're in Training. Until then, remember, though, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. You are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 16:52:08 / 2023-06-04 17:01:07 / 9

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