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Substantial Penalty for Early Withdrawal, Part 1

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

Substantial Penalty for Early Withdrawal, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 1, 2022 7:00 am

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Sometimes we're guilty of trying to claim promises or claim blessings or claim a return from God when we haven't made the proper investment. And the thing that I realize is that with God it's much the same as even with financial institutions in as much as there are certain yields, there are certain returns that you only get when you make the right deposit. God will not be mocked. As a man sows, so shall he reap. Hello and thanks for stopping by for today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

We'll see if this sounds familiar. You can't do it without God, but God won't do it without you. It's a great reminder that you and I have a role to play in our own journey with Christ, in the blessings we receive and in the promises God brings to fruition.

God will at times bless us for no reason at all, but usually we have to do a little sowing first. Pastor Paul's message is straight ahead, so stay with us or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Spotify and Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Right now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Substantial Penalty for Early Withdrawal. Hebrews chapter 10, I'd like you to look with me at verses 32 through 39. Remember those earlier days after you had received the light when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution. At other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.

You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence. It will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay, but my righteous one will live by faith.

And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. I wanted to get on to some other matters in preaching as we bring this preaching year to a conclusion. But in this season where I am preaching topically, as a pastor over the years, I have developed the habit of preaching sometimes through a book or a section of an entire book of scripture. And that is typically called expositional preaching and also topical preaching. There are some pastors who do one or the other.

I think it is important to do both because the exposition gives us a good, a clear sense of what God said to us in a particular book or chapter of scripture. But at the same time, I think it is important to be somewhat prophetic as a pastor and to listen to the Holy Spirit during seasons between expositional series and to just speak those words that he would have the church to know. And in this season where I was hoping to kind of move on to some other things, I felt that the Lord wasn't quite done with us on this theme of what it means to wait before him and to believe him for those things that he has in store for us. If you'll notice kind of the preaching over the past several weeks, it's all been under the general theme of how important it is to be surrendered to the will of God, how important it is to stick close with God even when you're going through tough times because he knows what your end is.

And I thought we were done, but earlier this week I found out we weren't done, so we got to dig in some more. And that simply means that some of us are still in the process of saying yes to God. And as soon as we say yes, God will let me preach something else. I want you to know that whenever I preached from Hebrews 10 in the past, I've always started with verse 35, at least when I preached the latter portion of it. I've preached some other passages.

But whenever I preach the latter portion of the chapter, I've always started with verse 35 so don't throw away your confidence and talked about the importance of trusting God and hanging on and believing him for what is to come. But this time the Holy Spirit really nudged me and caused me to focus on the passage that precedes it because sometimes we're guilty of trying to claim promises or claim blessings or claim a return from God when we haven't made the proper investment. And the thing that I realize is that with God it's much the same as even with financial institutions in as much as there are certain yields, there are certain returns that you only get when you make the right deposit. There's an old saying, no deposit, no return.

And in the financial world there are certain investments that have a minimal requirement and unless you are willing or able to meet the requirement you simply cannot get that yield or that return. In fact earlier this week I didn't know the Holy Spirit was setting me up but I was talking to one of the brothers in our church who is in the financial world and we were just talking really, I didn't know much about what he did at all but as we began to talk he shared more of what he did and he is responsible for overseeing certain funds and what have you, real high powered financial job. I've got a lot of people in this church whose resumes just really intimidate me and he's one of them. And so I just thought it fascinating and he talked about the types of funds he manages and he said now there are certain funds that I manage that have a minimal requirement of $100,000 and I wanted to say right then it's been really nice talking to you but we don't have much to talk about.

Let's just go on to another subject. I couldn't even get my mind around that but he said there are certain funds I manage and if you want to get in you only get in at the $100,000 or more level and I thought that must really, really be nice but I can't relate. But it did later on I realized that the Holy Spirit says to us over and over and over again in the word that the same is true in the kingdom of God. We want a real big return from God. We want his choice blessings in our lives and I got good news. God has choice blessings for us. But sometimes we don't emphasize the fact that in order to get God's return you got to meet God's requirement. And so I want to just hang out in this concept long enough to help some of us get to that point where we don't allow the enemy to frighten us and see the enemy is good at telling you what you got to give up but he doesn't tie it to what God's going to give you. That's what happened way back in the garden. If you remember in Genesis the way man fell into sin is the enemy said to Eve now God told you that you could have the run of the garden and that you should stay away from this tree.

So what does the enemy do? He walks her over to the tree and says let's talk about this tree. Let's talk about what God is withholding from you. Let's talk about God's requirement. It doesn't seem fair, it doesn't seem right that you would have to meet his arbitrary requirement to stay away from this tree.

Look like to me you ought to be able to eat from any tree you want. And isn't the enemy good at making us focus on what God requires rather than to focus on what God says will be the end of those who meet the requirement. So the enemy loves getting you to preoccupy yourself with the tree of his requirement. That's what he did in the garden and again don't blame it all on Eve because yes she was listening and the Bible says she was beguiled or deceived. But when you talk about the act of the sin there in Genesis look at it very clearly.

It says she ate from the tree that God said to leave alone and she gave to her husband who was with her. So I don't just beat up Eve. In fact I tend to be a little harder on Adam because if he's with her that was the perfect time for his macho to kick in. Are you feeling me? That's the perfect time. You know how we guys every now and then we like to get real macho and some of us live in Machoville. But even those who don't often live there every now and then you'll see it rise up in them. And that's the perfect time.

That was the perfect time for him to say, Hey, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You got anything to say to this family? I'm your boy. I'm your boy. You talk to me. Go on baby. You step aside. You go on down there. You run on down by yourself something. I got this.

I got this. See that's what he should have done and macho is right there. And he's standing there all wimpy man. And she listens and is enticed and she eats and she hands to him and he says, Okay. So never beat her up without throwing him in. But that's what the enemy did. He preoccupied them with the requirement. I want to let you know that the requirement is nothing short of a setup for God's blessings in your life.

And so when God requires us to surrender our will to His, He is setting us up because only He knows what lies ahead of us. And so I want you to look at this principle that there is no return unless and until we have made the proper requirement. In the financial world, there are plenty of accounts you can open with a very, very minimal deposit. Some accounts, checking accounts, whatever, they'll say, Oh, $100 will open it. $200 will open it. And you can go ahead and get started. There may be some that are less than that.

I don't know. But I know there are some that have a very, very small requirement for you to open the account. But there are investments. There are certificates of deposit that where the institution tells you, Here is the minimal requirement.

If you don't have that, you can get into something else, but you cannot take advantage of this CD offer or this investment offer without meeting the minimal standard. My brothers, my sisters, I'm here to tell you that God says the same thing about our lives. And that's why when you get into the gospel record, you see Jesus calling people to a full investment of their lives in the kingdom of God. People notice Jesus had a very high standard for discipleship.

Let me have you look with me at some examples. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support. These are gifts that help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. Destined for Victory is a listener's support of ministry. So as God leads, please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. You know, to be a disciple of Jesus very often means following Him into the unknown, and it won't always be easy. With the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Substantial Penalty for Early Withdrawal, here's Pastor Paul. Go to Luke chapter 9, Luke chapter 9.

I just want to kind of walk through this concept because I'd like to preach something else, and as soon as we get this right, I can. Luke chapter 9, let's begin at verse 57. As they were walking along, that is Jesus and his disciples, along the road, a man said to him, I will follow you wherever you go. Jesus replied, foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. What was Jesus saying to this man? He says, now, if you say you're going to follow me, understand that that is going to be a situation where at times you don't know where we're going to end up.

It's not predictable when you follow Jesus. He said foxes have holes. They know where they're going every night. Birds have nests.

They have built them. But the Son of Man, Jesus says, by virtue of the calling on my life, the Father may have me anywhere. And if you're looking for a predictable, comfortable life, I can't guarantee you that. So if you want to follow Jesus, the question is, can you pass the nest test?

Can you pass the nest test? Can you follow Him even when He takes you out of your comfort zone? And how many know that Jesus likes taking us out of our comfort zone?

He loves it. In fact, it looks like to me God waits until you get good and settled in. And that's when He'll shake up your life. He'll do it with regard to where He sends you to work or to minister. You've heard my story of that's what happened to me.

Things were going well in Philadelphia. And just when they're going well, just when I've earned the respect of the people, you know, I ended up being the associate pastor of a church where I grew up. I ended up pastoring people who taught me in Sunday school. And so it took me a long time to gain that respect because people who've known you all their life, they don't impress easily. You know, they've seen you. They know you. You can't be an overnight wonder just popping into town and people just think you're anointed. They saw me through all of my stages and my teens with my big afro.

They saw all my girlfriends, all that stuff. And now I'm wearing a new title, but in their minds that's the same old Paul. He can wear a title if he wants. And they were so familiar with me, the senior pastor, my dad had to get up and say, Would you all please call him Pastor Paul? He did.

He did. He got up in church and said, Please, he's a pastor now. Give him that respect. Call him Pastor Paul.

They were just so familiar with me, it was like, Oh, yeah. And so God taught me and trained me for what I'm doing now in the crucible of having to earn the respect of people who knew me all my life. And just when I got there, God said, Now it's time to go. I said, But this is working out now. And he says, It's time to go. And you got to go somewhere where the nest costs more.

Oh, my Lord. I had a nice little two hundred dollar nest. Two hundred a month nest.

It wasn't much to talk about. It was in the hood. You know, a little row house in the hood. I'm not saying it was a fabulous house. You wouldn't have wanted to come over. But it was home for us.

And it was two hundred dollars. And I get over here, taking a little tour to check the place out. I know God's spoken to me. I got to go. And I come and I heard Roy McTwire. He's gone. He's moved.

God sent him to another nest now. But he was one of the trustees back then. And Roy and a couple of the folks, the trustees back then, were talking. They were taking me around. And I heard them talking about praying that God will give the new pastor a house for under a thousand dollars a month. And imagine the shock of hearing them talk about that.

They were off to the side. And so I thought I would go over and clear them up. And I said, brothers, I hear y'all talking. You're asking God for a house under a thousand dollars. No, no, I'm not going to buy a house right away. I'm making a long-term commitment to the area. But I'm not trying to buy a house right away.

The church is small. My salary is small. This is no season to talk about buying a house. They said, we're not talking about buying a house.

And I thought, what are y'all talking about? You mean you're asking God? You got to ask God to give me a house to rent for under a thousand dollars? Do y'all know where I would be living on the East Coast if you gave me a thousand dollars?

Everybody would want to come over my house. They knew what I didn't know. This was 1989. You know what they'd be asking God for now. In 1989, they said, God, please. He's limited income.

We're doing our best, but this is a sowing season. Please give the pastor and his family a house for under a thousand dollars. And God answered their prayer. My first house was $9.95.

But instantly, pay cut from Philly, come across the country, pay cut, and instantly my family's monthly budget has shot up $800. And I thought, God, what up with this? He loves testing the level of our surrender. And you're going to find him, if you haven't found him already, putting you through some sort of nest test, just stick with God. He's going to put you through some sort of nest test where he shakes up your comfort zone and says, you have to redefine it out of surrender to my will. You've got to learn that home is in my will. Home isn't where you wish you could hang out. Home is where God has you.

The safest place in the whole world is in the will of God. And so you've got to pass the nest test. Look on. He said to another man, follow me. But this man replies, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. Jesus said to him, let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.

And you look at that and you say, wait a minute. Jesus won't let the man go to his daddy's funeral? No, no, you missed the point. The man didn't say his father was dead. He said, let me go and bury my father. And Jesus says, no, the calling is a present tense calling, not a future calling. The implication is the man wants to hang around so he can get his inheritance.

You know, if you let me get some ducks in the road, Jesus, line up some financial situations, I'll be glad to follow you. Jesus said, no, kingdom business takes priority over your desire to have a financially secure future. He says, you need to prioritize the kingdom right now. Verse 61, still another said, I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family. And Jesus states the principle he's getting at with all of these requirements. He says, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. In other words, he's trying to get us to focus on the priority of serving God, no matter what you have to leave behind.

He wants us to serve God fully, to focus fully on God's plan and God's purpose for our lives. Now, stay in the same book. Go over to Luke 14, and it gets worse. Luke chapter 14, verse 25, large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and so he wants to talk to them.

I love this. There are a couple of times when you study the gospels of Jesus where there are large crowds, but it is really clear that the crowds are there because of, in some cases, the miracles. In some cases, they're there because of the food. That's the reputation for feeding folk. And so between the food and the miracles, he could get a large following. But every now and then, you see Jesus shake things up. He thins out his crowd by talking about the requirement of Christian discipleship. And I think that even today, some of us in the church would do well to not just judge the health of a church only by how many we take in. Every now and then, we need to judge its health by how many go by the wayside because they're not willing to meet the standard set up not by us but by the Lord. And here's one case where Jesus kind of does that.

Look at what he says. If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Do you want to be a true disciple of Christ? It begins with the faith to follow him into the unknown. Build your ark before the rain.

Follow him even if he doesn't give you a map. That's what being a follower of Jesus is all about. If you need prayer today, if you want to follow Jesus more closely and consistently but you're not quite sure how to do it, the Destin for Victory ministry team would like to join you in prayer. So visit pastorpaul.net and use the contact feature to share your prayer request with us. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation.

Well, sometimes life can get scary. If you've let fear get in the way of your faith, Pastor Paul has a great new resource to share with you today, his booklet, Trusting God in Scary Times. If you find yourself focusing on what you see instead of what God says, if you're alarmed by the obstacles that stand in the way of living out your destiny in Christ, this booklet from Pastor Paul will be of great benefit to you. Again, that's Trusting God in Scary Times 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.

Again, as you make note of that, Destin for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. He says you've got to walk by faith. My righteous one will live by faith. Faith is that walk where you're not walking according to what you see, you're walking according to what you believe.

And what's the basis for what you believe, what God said? That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Substantial Penalty for Early Withdrawal. 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 / 2023-05-28 20:37:23 / 2023-05-28 20:47:04 / 10

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