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Making the Most of What You Have, Part 3

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2022 8:00 am

Making the Most of What You Have, Part 3

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 5, 2022 8:00 am

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The kingdom of God is at times paradoxical. The way to victory is through surrender. The way to be exalted is to lower yourself. In just a few moments, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares today's Destined for Victory message, making the most of what you have.

But first, he joins me from his studio in California. Pastor, as part of this month's celebration of Easter, we've prepared a booklet which will encourage everyone with the hope and power of the resurrection. It's called He's Alive, and I'll give the details and how everyone can get a copy in a moment. But right now, why should the fact that Jesus is alive be so important to those who claim to follow him? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the truth that distinguishes our faith from all other religions. When we think about it, if Jesus was only an outstanding leader and teacher while on earth, and many people, even non-Christians, realize that he was, but if that's all he was, then he is to be named among great men. But we who are Bible believers, we who are followers of Christ, we proclaim, because we believe it is absolutely true, that the historical fact is not only that he lived and died, but that he rose from the grave on the third day.

Amen. He lives now. And he still lives.

So that's a different message than you'll get from any religion anywhere in the world. He's not just a great man. He's the God-man. He is the Redeemer. He is the one who, Revelation says, was dead, but he's alive. See, Wayne, you got me preaching, who was dead, but he's alive, and he is coming again for his church.

I'm excited because Easter is something we need to all rejoice about, because it is what makes our belief system different than any other in the whole world. And I praise God that that day is approaching, and once again, we're going to rejoice in the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, our address, Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. 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. In the kingdom of God, the best way to receive blessings is to give blessings away. Coming your way next on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd reminds us that tithing and giving generously comes with some wonderful promises from God. He has blessings in store for you that you would have never seen coming, but first, he wants you to trust him by giving your tithes and offerings.

So let's join Pastor now for today's message, Making the Most of What You Have. We are looking at what it means to be excellent stewards of God's property. Our treasure, our time, and our talents are in fact the property of our God. And it is our job to please him by the way we use those resources. We're currently looking at what it means to please God with our treasure, with the money that he has entrusted to us.

And in the last part of the series, we were looking at this business of giving generously. There are three ways that we can please God with his financial resources. The first is to give generously. The second is to save strategically.

And the third is to spend sensibly. I want to get to those other two in this message, but before I do, let me finish making sure that we understand that when God calls us to give, he is really not taking from us, but he is setting us up to receive all that he has for us. A lot of people are sort of slow in the business of learning to give generously because they think it is the release of things, but actually when you give, the biblical paradigm is when you give, you're setting yourself up for God to bless you in some wonderful ways.

And so you've got to see the connection. Now, in biblical order, we don't give to receive. That is, our motive is not to receive. Well, let me give so God will hear and give me back something. That's not my motive. I don't give in order to receive.

That would be a selfish and self-centered motive. I give to advance the kingdom of God. I give to worship God. I give to acknowledge his lordship over my life and all that he has entrusted to me. I give to bless the needs of others and to minister to them in the name of Christ.

That's why I give. But 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. And so I want to hurry up and make sure you understand before I get to spending and saving that giving of tithes and offerings is a setup for God then to know he can entrust us with anything he has in mind for us. So look at the connection between giving and receiving that you find right in Scripture. Proverbs 11 24, one man gives freely yet gains even more.

That doesn't make sense in the carnal mind. But biblically, the Bible says when you give freely, you actually position yourself and Proverbs says you gain more. Watch this, another withholds unduly but comes to poverty. Have you ever noticed that stingy people don't enjoy the blessing of the Lord? They might have a lot of money. I know some stingy rich folk, but they don't have the blessing of the Lord. They come to poverty and if not financial poverty, certainly spiritual and emotional poverty. I know some people who are rich and miserable, while all of us know some people who are poor and happy.

Why is that? Because the principle, the truism you find here in Proverbs is when you give freely, that is part of God's plan. The reason why he puts things in your hand are not all for you. And so when you release it, you release also the blessing of God because God is saying that's right.

You are handling my property the way I want you to. And so the Proverbs says you're setting yourself up to be blessed. The next verse there, Proverbs 11 25 says, a generous man will prosper.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. You want to be blessed? Be a blessing is what that means. Look at the connection between giving and receiving in Malachi 3. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Not just financially, but in things money can't buy. Look at the connection again in Jesus' words in Luke 6 38. Give and it shall be given to you.

See, a lot of us think keep and hope to get some more. No, no, that's not God's paradigm. Jesus said give and it will be given to you a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, which corresponds with 2 Corinthians 9. He who sows generously will also reap generously. Jesus said whatever measure you use, that's what you can expect back.

If you're generous, if you take care of God's business, he'll take care of yours. And so I want you to notice that correspondence, and of course you see it in examples in the Scripture. I often refer to the widow of Zarephath that Elijah went to. The Lord sent Elijah to her because God was perfectly capable of taking care of Elijah without any human assistance.

He did it for a period of time while he sat by the brook cherub, Elijah drank from the brook, and then God supernaturally wired some birds to fly in and bring him his food. And God could have done that indefinitely, but he wanted to bless a widow in the middle of a famine, and the only way he could bless this poor woman was to test her faith and obedience. So he sends the prophet to her with instructions, go and tell her to give you the last food she has. Man, that's a bold preacher to walk up in somebody's place and say, feed me.

Don't worry about your son, just hook me up right now. But it was a test of faith, and the widow passed the test, and as a result of her passing it, 1 Kings chapter 17, then the Lord blessed her and she and her son ate throughout the famine. And then we all know the story in John 6 of the little boy with the fish sandwiches. John chapter 6 verse 5, you never saw that in your Bible?

Read it. John's Gospel chapter 6 verse 5. Jesus wanted to feed the multitude, but he said, I'm not going to feed him out the clear blue sky. He's God.

He could have done it, but that's not God's MO. God says, what do you have that I can bless? So he said, what do you have?

What can I start with? And they said, well, all we got is this little boy, but he's willing to give up his fish sandwiches. You say, where's that in the text? It says fish and bread. That's fish sandwiches. He just hadn't put them together yet, but he had bread and he had fish. His plan was to sit down and put them together and hook it up. But when he saw that Jesus needed it, he released it into the hands of the master. And when he released it into the Lord's hands, God took it, he blessed it, and he broke it.

And then he multiplied it. We want to be blessed, but the first thing you got to do is break with your money. Part with it. Say, Lord, I'm sowing this into the kingdom, looking to you. I worship you as I give. I thank you as I give. I acknowledge you are Lord as I give.

It's not mine in the first place. And then when you do it, you set yourself up for the blessing. The Bible says God multiplied it in that place and thousands were fed from this little boy's lunch. That's God's M.O. So I just want to, before I get to spending and saving, I just want to encourage you. Honor the Lord with what you have now. Don't say one day I'm going to be a tither. No, no, tithe now. Don't wait.

Don't wait. I do it now because I do it in obedience. I do it as an act of worship. I do it trusting God. And I say, Lord, I'm going to look to you that you will indeed be my source.

Do it now. Don't wait because the enemy will talk you out of it. And so you have to honor God now. Say from this day forward, I'll use God's money first to honor him with the tithe and the offerings. And then I'll look to God to meet the need. So that's the first way I please God with my financial stewardship.

Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube to watch some of his best video clips. For more details, be sure to visit pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net where you can listen on demand to recent messages or find a variety of resources at our online store. Now, let's tune into the rest of today's message, making the most of what you have. Once again, here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. The second and third ways are to spin sensibly and to save strategically. Now we got to get down to nuts and bolts and real practical. Because the fact of the matter is, if you notice in the parable, the servants knew exactly what the master gave them and they knew what he expected them to do to maximize it.

They knew exactly what they were given. If we're going to save strategically, we can't talk about that without talking about spending sensibly because they go hand in hand. A lot of us don't save because we spend out of order. Now, I brought my own amens with me today, so don't worry about it.

Don't worry about it. I know when I got a plow to field and as I was preparing this series, I said, oh, this is plowing time right through here, getting in people's pocketbooks because, you know, folks can let you preach about Jesus, heaven, you know, all like that. But when you get in folks' wallets and bank accounts, they kind of draw up. And what are they up there talking about what I'm doing with my money for? Because it's in the Bible.

That's why I'm talking about it. I'm going to preach the whole word, not just the part you like. This isn't a smorgasbord.

You want a smorgasbord, go to Country Buffet, one of those kind of places. Here you're going to get the word and you're not going to get gospel light. Less filling tastes great. Because I'm preaching to the end that I can hear the Lord say, well done, and that means I have to ignore you all when you draw up on me. So just ride this on out and you might mess around and hear God say something to you along the way. Now, 1 Corinthians 4, 2, it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. That's my premise. That's why I'm in your business about finances before we get to time and talent.

That'll be a little more comfortable time and talent. But money is the rough one. But I'm in there because the Bible says it is required of a steward by God that he be found faithful. I've got to help you get ready to be faithful before God with your treasure. So that means we've got to talk about how we spend money and whether or not we save money. In addition to the giving of tithes and offerings, we now have to look at spending sensibly and saving strategically in order to be good stewards. Because remember, God doesn't just own the tithe.

He owns 100 percent. We start our worshipful giving with the tithe. But we say, Lord, you own all of this.

So it is your business how I take care of your property. Notice again in the parable that they knew exactly what they were given. So here's the first question I have for you as we look at assessing the money God has entrusted to us and assessing what we're doing with it. Do you know what God has really given you?

Have you really assessed what God has given you? A lot of us, we just get a check, put it into whatever the paycheck is or your source of income. If you sit home, get a check in the mail, whatever it is, you just pop it in the bank or it's direct deposit or whatever. And then you just go about the business of spending. But first question I want to ask you is, are you like the people and the servants in the parable? And you know exactly what the master has given you.

They didn't estimate it and round it off. They knew exactly what had been entrusted to them because that's what they had to answer for. So I want to ask you to assess the money God has entrusted to you and assess what you're currently doing with it. So that starts very simply with, and some of you already do this, just having a sense of writing it down, your income and your expenses. What am I really taking in? And then what am I doing with it?

What are my expenses? So begin with some assessment. Now many of you already do that. And of course, some of us do it on computers. Some of you all still aren't delivered from writing everything out.

So however you do it, that's fine. Whether you're longhand or whether you just get quickened or something on your computer, you need to know exactly what God has entrusted to you in terms of finances and what you're doing with it every month. So write out your income and your expenses because we want to be good stewards. That's just the general thing we all ought to do. But I'll bet there are some of us who are ready to go to stewardship boot camp. And really, we want to give God a maximum return on his investment in us. If you are down for boot camp, let me give you a special challenge.

This isn't for the faint of heart. These are for folk who want to get dead serious about their stewardship. For 30 days, whether that begins tomorrow or whether you want to wait till the beginning of a new month, 30 or 31 days, depending on that particular month, it's your call. You can do this across months.

You can do this from 30 days starting tomorrow for the next 30 days, whatever, because you're going to get the same kind of information. But for 30 days, whether it starts immediately or at the beginning of the next month, keep tabs of everything you spend. Your giving, your cash purchases, your credit card purchases, your payment of big bills, your payment of little bills, your buying lunch on the job with some friends. We're going to lunch.

Oh yeah, come on, I'll go with you all. What you bought at Quiznos and all that. Your gas, which is a big bill now, right down to buying chewing gum and mints.

Every penny that leaves your hand, jot it down for a 30 day period. And then look at, what am I really doing with the resources? It's not for the purposes of condemnation.

Not at all. God wants you to enjoy your life. God wants to bless you. He has blessed you with income and part of that is certainly to be enjoyed.

This isn't about condemnation, it's about examination. Because what we will find out is, we have more that we can redirect towards some higher purposes, if we choose to do it, than we think we do. See a lot of folks say, well I would love to get out of debt for instance.

But I just, you know, my income's limited. But you watch, when you do this 30 day boot camp, you will see that time you get through nickel and diming yourself with a lot of purchases and a lot of discretionary spending, that God has indeed given you the seeds at least, that he is going to bless through your obedience to help you get out of debt and get on your feet. God doesn't do anything without giving you the seed.

He doesn't give you a calling and then won't give you a seed to plant. And so, you're going to discover, if you take up this boot camp challenge, I'm not going to ask for a show of hands to see how many are going to do it, between you and the Lord, but I want to encourage you to take up the challenge so that you can get really aware of what exactly do I tend to do with the resources God has entrusted me. And again, it's not for the purposes of condemnation. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

This is not about condemnation. We are the recipients of grace, but with grace comes a privilege and the ability to go above and beyond and to give God a great return on his investment. So not only write out your general income and expenses, but if you're down, I want you to take up the 30 day challenge. Then the second thing, if we're going to be excellent stewardships, after we assess what God has entrusted to us and what we're doing with it, the second thing I want to encourage you to do is to create a financial plan for yourself with three goals in mind. Goal number one, to live within your means. To live within your means. I'm setting the goal by God's grace. I'm going to live within my means.

You say, well, I'm making it every month. That doesn't mean you live within your means. Because truth be told, if we were truly living within our means, then we'd have no credit card debt. But our society is full of credit card debt because we live by credit often.

We put it on the plastic and then we say we'll hook it up down the road and we don't have a real plan. So I want to encourage you to set up a plan with three goals. The first is to live within your means, which is consistent with Luke 16 10.

He who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much. The first thing is, God, can you trust me with what I have now? Instead of me belly aching about, I wish I had more income. I wish I was at a different tax bracket. I wish whatever. What am I doing now?

That's the operative question. What am I doing now? If God has only blessed me with this income now, I should not be living beyond it until God blesses me with the additional funds as a result of my faithfulness. Preach on, pastor. Just encouraging myself. That's all right. You're all good.

You're all good. In other words, I want to make sure that I begin to honestly actually live within my means. The second goal of my personal financial plan is going to be to eliminate my current credit card debt without creating new credit card debt. See, some of us, not you, but somebody on your row, will pay down a card or two. But as soon as something else comes up, you know, couch gets a little squeaky or something. Oh, I need new furniture. Then you run down to the store and you see something on sale. Oh, wow.

That's just what I need. Question is, has God blessed you with the cash to buy it? If the answer is no, it's not your new couch season. You don't whip out the card. You've been paying cards down. Now you whip out, but see, I need a new sofa.

No, you don't. You want a new sofa. You need somewhere to sit.

It's tight, but it's right. You'll need a new sofa. You need somewhere to sit. And God has blessed you with somewhere to sit. It squeaks, but soon as you get down in there, it'll shut up. Well, the pillow, the foam now is all messed up and it doesn't feel good anymore. Well, see if you can go find you some foam, tougher foam, harder foam. Investigate.

Somebody out there is making something that can help you out without you running down and catching a clearance. Everything must go. Doesn't have to go to your house. Thanks for being here for today's Destin for Victory message, making the most of what you have. For more information about our ministry or to find out how you can request your copy of Pastor Paul's booklet, He's Alive, visit pastorpaul.net.

That's pastorpaul.net. The first thing is, God, can you trust me with what I have now? Instead of me belly aching about, I wish I had more income. I wish I was at a different tax bracket.

I wish whatever. What am I doing now? And that's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's 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 / 2023-05-11 20:31:46 / 2023-05-11 20:41:17 / 10

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