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Making the Most of What You Have, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2022 8:00 am

Making the Most of What You Have, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 4, 2022 8:00 am

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R.C. Sproul
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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

The Bible says if you want to please God with your resources, you begin by giving first and giving generously. The tithes and generous offerings are job one for the child of God. To say to the Lord when you are doing that, I trust you. Are you listening online, on radio, on our free Destined for Victory mobile app?

We're glad you've made us part of your day. Well, tithing and giving are a matter of faith, aren't they? When you obey God by giving Him 10% of your income and by giving generously when you can, you're telling God you trust Him, that you believe in the promises He's made for all those who obey Him in this area. Pastor Paul has more on this subject coming your way next, so stay right here or listen to any recent message online on demand at

That's But right now with this message, making the most of what you have, here's Pastor Paul. Read Acts chapter 5 when you get a chance. You ever read the story of Ananias and Sapphira? The early church was in a revival of giving. They had some great needs among them as people were being disowned by their families because they were coming into the family of God and following the way Christianity was called the way in the early portion of the book of Acts. And they were following the way and their families were disowning them and there was all kinds of upheaval, but God was blessing the church. And so a revival of extremely sacrificial giving broke out.

People began to sell other properties other than the one where they were living. If you had a second, third piece of land properties, they were selling that and bringing the entire proceeds and saying here, use this to bless the lives of other people. And the Lord was pleased with what was going on. Now Ananias and Sapphira saw this happening and they wanted to appear to be part of it.

But when they had closing on their property deal and saw how much money they got, they said, if you think I'm giving all this, you got another thought coming. And the Bible says they held back some of what they received and gave the rest, pretending that they were doing what the others were doing. Their hypocrisy caught the eye of God. God sent Peter to their house, gave him a word of knowledge about what was going on. Peter walked in and asked Ananias one simple question. I'm sure with the hope that he would repent. Did you give all the proceeds of the sale?

Now, how politically incorrect is that? A preacher ask you why? Because it wasn't about Peter. This is the Lord's work. Did you give all the proceeds? And Ananias, instead of repenting, said, yeah, yeah, we gave it all. Drop dead. After Peter told him, you didn't lie to man, you lied to God. And the judgment of the Lord came on him and he fell dead.

The brothers picked him up, carried him out. The Bible says there in Acts five a little bit later, Sapphira comes in. I always picture her coming in with Macy's bags and stuff, but that's just my mind. She didn't really have that. But, you know, she came in and had the same opportunity to repent. Did you all give all the proceeds of the sale?

Yeah, yeah. Gave it all. And Peter said, the same men who buried your husband are on their way back to the house. Sapphira said, for what? That's not in the text, that's just my mind again.

And she dropped dead under the judgment of God. Listen, giving is a holy matter. We are accountable to God.

It's not you. Don't fuss with the church. That's why I don't go because they talk about money.

You don't get mad when your mortgage company talks about money. You're showing that there's a defect in your heart. This is a holy matter. It is about you and God.

He is the source of every good and perfect thing that comes into your life. It is about honoring God. Giving is a holy matter. So holy that Jesus looked at an offering in one setting.

The Bible says he was sitting by the place where they deposited the offerings when he noticed that rich people were coming and he watched what they were giving. I'm telling you, this is politically incorrect. Imagine me.

Suppose we had, you know, old-fashioned basket passing and I just stand there and watch what everybody gives. You know how many emails I would get? Now, see, you need to get up out of my business. That's one thing for us to come to angry, but you don't give none of your business what I give. It's a holy matter. The Bible says Jesus noticed people giving and it said wealthy people, it's recorded in the Gospel of Mark, wealthy people came on this one occasion and gave large sums and then he noticed a widow come up and put in a couple of coins and go back to her seat. And Jesus said to his disciples, you know who gave the most in this offering?

That widow. He said because the other people were giving out of a lot of resources and they had much left when they got through giving, but compared with her, this woman gave everything she had. It was very little, but she wanted to say to the Lord, I'm trusting you for more and she gave. Giving is a holy matter. The Bible says if you want to please God with your resources, you begin by giving first and giving generously. The tithes and generous offerings are job one for the child of God. To say to the Lord when you are doing that, I trust you. The pattern of tithing makes it so simple.

See, I know folk who love to get spooky and subjective. You know, I just believe in just I just kind of pray and ask the Lord what he wants me to give every week. Don't you have other things to pray about? Why do you want to get all spooky about giving? You got a clear biblical pattern starts in Genesis, runs all the way through.

You got a clear pattern of giving. All you got to do is take the money God gave you and move the decimal point one to the left. Makes life simple.

You got to pray about that. When we were kids, I'm glad I was raised in a household of faith. My mother, when I was a little boy and got a dollar for allowance, she taught us get three quarters, two dimes and a nickel. And she said, when you go to Sunday school, put that dime in because that's the Lord's. Taught us that the 90 cents was ours. The dime was the Lord's. Now, I didn't understand then that the 90 cents was the Lord's too. But she was teaching us the importance of referencing and honoring God first before we went to the store.

Because when we went to the store with that 90 cents, business was about to pick up. You know, we had a store and between Sunday school and morning service, I grew up in that, you know, traditional 930 to 1030 was Sunday school. And then 11 o'clock was when Jesus showed up for morning service. And so we had a half hour and our church right around the corner from our church was a little candy store run by an Asian man.

It was in the hood, but as an Asian man had a little store in there. And so all of us, you would see Sunday school let out and a bunch of us would walk down the street and round the corner. And he opened up on Sunday just for us. My man was smart.

He knew how to do that. Little Sunday school kids coming in there with our little church clothes and what have you. And we had our money, our post tithe allowances. You know, back in that day, man, 95 cents, I'm talking about, you know, back in the 60s, 95 cents you could OD on 95 cents.

All the little penny candies and nickel things and what have you going there and mess yourself up. But they taught us that dime belongs to the Lord. All you do is move the decimal point one to the left. God give you $100. You move it over 10. Thank you, Lord. Give you $1,000. You move it over one and give him 100. Thank you, Lord. He gave you 100,000.

You move it over one and give him 10,000. See, we down the moans now. Patterns the same, principles the same. You want God to bless you. You want God to get you through challenging times. You want God to get you through recessions. You want God to sustain you.

You got to learn to honor God. Some of us believe in God for not just 100,000. We believe in God for seven figures. If you're believing him for seven figures, you better honor him with what you have now. So that if he blesses you with a million, you move the decimal point over and give him 100,000 and say thank you, Lord.

Don't get spooky at the wrong time. I'm praying about what to give. You pray about what to give out of the 90. That's where your generosity, your subjective prayer can get you. Lord, what else of this do you want me to bless somebody with? And that's the way you honor God biblically.

Our goal is to please him. And I'm here to tell you, if you will practice that from this point on, the one thing about getting in the will of God is you can always start now. I've been out of the will of God for years. I've been given inappropriate offerings for years.

I can always change now. I thank God for the ability to get in the center of his will now. Because the statistics are the average churchgoer in America gives between two and three percent of his or her income. And so that means there's a whole lot of folks who haven't understood or understand but disobey the principle. Once God gives you light, you've got to walk in the light.

And here's what you must understand. What God is really doing is setting you up to be blessed. Because Malachi said if you do it, he'll open the window of heaven. He'll pour out the blessing. Jesus said in Luke 16, if you can be trusted with the little you have... See, a lot of folks say, well, pastor, I'm in debt to my eyeballs. And so as soon as I get my ducks in a row, as soon as I get out of this mess I created, I'm going to start tithing. No, no, you don't do it that way. You obey God now.

In fact, he's the one that's going to help you get out the mess you made. You do it now. And you ought to teach your children from small. Teach them now.

Let them be blessed from their early existence. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. The second half of today's message comes your way next, so stay tuned. Remember, you can 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 sermon right on your mobile device. Search Destined for Victory in your app store and download our free mobile app today.

You can also download or subscribe to the Destined for Victory podcast at Apple Podcast, at Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your programs. Jesus said, he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. Pastor Paul has more on giving generously next, including a story from his early life as a young boy.

Let's join him now for the second half of today's message, making the most of what you have. I'm glad I was taught the tithing principle early on out of my one dollar allowance. Then in junior high, I never get in seventh grade, got my first, no, my second, my second job. I had a paper route first. Paper route.

Some of y'all don't remember that. Back in the day, you would get a paper route, little kid, and you would work your neighborhood, go out in the morning and throw papers on the porches and what have you, run from the dogs and carry on. I had a paper route, and whatever I got out of my commission for the paper route gave God a tithe. Then my first job at a store, I worked at a little neighborhood store in seventh grade, I think it was, and the man was cheap. I didn't know it back then, and he, because I had never had a job, so I didn't know, and he said, I'm going to give you 85 cents an hour. I said, all right, bet. Later on, my friends were laughing at me, you're making what? I said, it sounded like a good deal at the time, and I'm in there working in his little store, and I remember when I got my first raise, he took me up to a dollar. You couldn't tell me anything, Jack.

Up to a dollar an hour. But tithing all along, so that later on when I had a full-time job, later on when I'm in ministry, later on when I'm blessing, that pattern is there. I'm blessed of the Lord. And I would position myself, I didn't know it, but God was setting me up so that later on when he would call me to California, and I had this great salary and great position in Philadelphia, associate pastor poised to be the heir apparent when my dad retires and all that, but the Lord said, no, that's not my plan for you, I'm sending you west. I said, all right, and I'm sending you to those 34 people that are asking you to come be their pastor. I said, 34 of them talked to them and said, what's the budget like? They said, well, our budget is $60,000 for the year.

When I got here in 1989, they had a $60,000 budget. They said, we've set aside 24,000 for you. We want you to be full-time. We don't want you to be bivocational, because we believe that vision that you stated to us. We want you to be full-time, dedicated to just making that vision come to pass. So we're going to ask you to not get a second job.

24k. They used my own word to get me. They said, but when those folk come that you say God is going to send, we're going to hook you up, pastor. I'm like, that's cold.

Use a man's vision against him. It was all God. Now, see, I believe that God will provide for my needs in Philly, but he provided through the church that was taking really good care of me. But when I got out here and started exploring, moving out here, and you know, these folk at the time, we had a trustee board and they took me, you know, to help find a neighborhood I might move my family to. And so I remember that exploration day and a couple of us were riding around the Bay Area and they were showing me the different neighborhoods I might consider living in.

And I knew now that there was this 24, so I'm thinking $2,000 a month is my whole budget for the foreseeable future. And so they drive me around and what have you. And I remember hearing them at one little stop. I remember hearing them talk about they were asking God to give me a house for under $1,000 a month. So I walked over to correct them. I walked over and said, listen, I overheard y'all and listen, I am going to buy a house eventually. I'm going to buy a house eventually, but right now, since the ministry is small and we're waiting on God and all that, I'm just going to rent for now. Fellas, I will buy it because I thought their concern was until he buys a house, we won't believe he's going to stay here. So I thought that they were worried about me not staying.

I said, no, I'm trying to allay their fear. I said, no, no, I will buy a house. I promise you, eventually I'm going to buy a house, but for now, I just want to rent a house.

They said, that's what we're talking about. Now, see, I had no frame of reference because I am moving from Philadelphia where I have a $200 a month mortgage in the hood. Had a little nice house in the hood, $200 a month, I was buying it. Mortgage. I mean, you know, it's in the hood, you wouldn't have wanted to come over.

You know, we had a crack house across the street, but they raided it and closed it down sooner or later. But what excited me was $200 a month. And now these folk out here asking God to give me a house for under $1,000 a month that I won't own.

I had no frame of reference. And I'm taking this pay cut and I'm down to $24K and instantly my housing has jumped hundreds of dollars because God answered their prayer. My first house in Fremont was $9.95. And it was answered a prayer because they said, if God gives you a house for under $1,000, it's going to be a God thing. We're telling you that right now.

I said, you got to be kidding. Out here, you all pray for things like that? They said, trust us, it's going to be a God thing if it happens. The Lord honored their prayer, gave me a house for $9.95 that the lady didn't want to rent for that low. She had turned it over to a property management place.

We went and checked in there. And the lady, at first she showed us some things that were over my budget and what have you because I started believing with them. She said, okay, let's believe for this. And so they showed us some stuff that was $1,200, $1,250. She said, can't afford it, can't do it.

Nope, sorry. And then the lady said, oh, no, no, wait, wait, something just came in. She said, this one you can have for $9.95. She said, what's the address?

We'll drive by. And we drove by, looked nice, went back to the place and said, yeah, we want that one. It turns out that they had miscommunicated or so they thought with the owner. She intended, because she had I think 1,400 square feet, 1,300, something like that. She intended to rent it the way the other ones were renting, $1,200, $1,250. But somebody in the office thought she meant $9.95 and gave me the rental agreement I signed.

It was signed when the lady called and found out she hit the ceiling. But it was too late. You say, you were lucky. No, I wasn't. I was a man who learned to honor God, give him the first fruits.

Luck had nothing to do with it because when I got through with that, you can see I still had to trust God. $2,000 a month, gross. Out of that, I got to pay estimated taxes.

I estimated that God was going to have to pay them. I'm giving this lady $9.95, she's mad as can be, so I definitely got to pay her right on time because she's wanting an excuse to get me out of there so she can get more rent. I'm getting $1,000 on the first of the month, $1,000 on the 15th of the month. She wants her money on the first. I got that one check for $1,000, put it in the bank, wrote her a check, gave it to her. I got five bucks until the middle of the month.

Another $1,000 rolls in, $1,005. You know the devil was whispering in my ear, well, I bet you're going to stop tithing now. Why don't you just let your life be a tithe?

That's the kind of stuff he was trying to do. He was trying to make me miss my blessing. I said, no, I'm too broke to stop tithing now. I'm too broke to stop tithing.

Honestly, I got to trust God and if somebody doesn't get their money, it won't be him. So I wrote my $200 check quickly before the devil would talk me into something else, shot that in there. I got $805, a wife and two kids, five and three.

At least you're getting ready to start school. We got to pay utilities out of that. We got to pay phone out of that.

I had a $300 car note, the car I drove across the country. Got to eat with that. Got to pay everything else with that.

Got to start closing these kids growing up. Got to do everything and the church promised them I wouldn't take a second job. So every month, there was too much month at the end of the money. But because we were in the place of faith and obedience, we said, Lord, here's the rest of the expenses for the month and the checking accounts are awfully low, so we need you to come through. And we learned for the first time in our life what we always believed.

We believed it in Philly, but now we got to live by faith and we got to see God just send us through various means in various ways. Folks show up with groceries. Folks send in the mail, Lord, put you on our hearts. I'm praying, crying in the office one morning getting ready to preach because we don't have a week's worth of groceries at home and it's not a pay week. And I said, Lord, I want to go out here and preach your word. I don't want to be distracted by the thoughts of the fact that we can't eat the rest of this week.

We got food to maybe last us to Tuesday or Wednesday. I said, Lord, I don't want this weighing on my mind. Just help me to go on and preach your word and believe you. I started crying in the little office of the little church. Said, God, I'm just believing you.

I've never been in this state before, but I'm trusting you. And I got through praying and asking God to just anoint me and keep me from being distracted by our financial need. As soon as I said, amen, dried my tears, I looked and there was an envelope under the door.

I picked it up and opened it and there were five $20 bills. God had told somebody in the church. God had told somebody in the church, the pastor needs that offering.

That money that you had that you was planning on going to the mall with. Get that to the pastor and don't tell him who you are. And they put five $20 bills in an envelope, sealed it, no name, no nothing, and slipped it under the door while I'm praying.

Don't tell me God doesn't know how to take care of his children. Thanks for being with us for today's Destined for Victory message, making the most of what you have. You know, if you've put your faith in Christ, God has given you the gift of salvation, eternal life in the hereafter, and the joyful, abundant Christian life in the here and now. Pastor Paul's mission here at Destined for Victory is to share the hope we have in Christ with as many people as we can, and you can help. For a monthly gift of only $20 or more, you can become a Destined for Victory partner, joining Pastor Paul and sharing the gospel all over the world through these radio and internet broadcasts. As our way of saying thanks for becoming a partner, we'll send you one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile.

This is Pastor Paul at his very best, combining his great sense of humor with the timeless truths of God's Word. Call 855-339-5500 and find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner and make your pledge over the phone. Or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become our partner.

The address is Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also become our partner from our website, And if you can't become a monthly partner but would like to send a generous gift this month, Pastor Paul will send you his booklet, He's Alive.

Included in this great resource are four compelling reasons why Christians believe in the resurrection of Christ. That's, He's Alive, our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. While I don't give to receive, I must give knowing that God has promised to respond to my giving by blessing me. Not just financially, but blessing me in ways that go far beyond finances. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Making the Most of What You Have. 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 / 2023-05-12 13:12:52 / 2023-05-12 13:22:59 / 10

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