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Making the Most of What You Have, Part 3 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 6, 2022 8:00 am

Making the Most of What You Have, Part 3 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 6, 2022 8:00 am

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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? He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Wherever you are, however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day.

Well according to one of Christ's most famous teachings, the parable of the talents, it's not about how much you have, it's about what you do with what you have. Today Pastor Paul breaks down this teaching to show us how we can apply it to our own personal finances. So stay right here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen to Destined for Victory On Demand.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Google Podcast, at Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Right now here's Pastor Paul with today's message, Making the Most of What You Have. 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, a 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 as soon as you get down in there, it'll shut up. Where the pillar of 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. Because you're looking to please God with his resources. Which means you're developing a personal financial plan. First, to live within your current means. Second, to eliminate your current credit card debt systematically. Depending on the level of your debt, you might not eliminate it immediately, but you want to systematically be cutting it down. And third, you then want to begin to move into saving strategically.

Why should I say strategically? There are a number of reasons that all of those who help us with finances, Crown Financial Ministries and many other Christian organizations will help you understand. You need to have savings for emergencies, those things that come up that are genuine emergencies. You need to have savings for major purchases so that down the road you don't have to finance everything. You need to be saving if you've got kids or grandkids that are headed toward college. In fact, some now are going to private schools well before college that have big tuitions.

And if you want to help them get a good solid education and you want to fund them through certain kinds of schools, you're going to need to be saving for that. And then you'll want to save for things like retirement. One day, if the Lord blesses you with long life, you won't be working.

The healthier people are staying, some are choosing to work well beyond traditional retirement years, but that ought to be your option, not your necessity. You shouldn't have to work till you drop. If you choose to, God blesses you with health.

That's wonderful. Blesses you with health and energy and the passion to keep on doing it. You ought to have that option, but it shouldn't be, I go out of here because I have to do it. And so all of that is going to require saving. You know, there's a verse in Proverbs that says a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children. You're going to leave something, you're going to have to save something. Because, you know, right now some of us, I'm going to leave you a blessing, leave you a note, you know, a card. And, you know, spiritual inheritance, I think, is the most important inheritance.

Don't overdo that thing. When it says a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children, please understand, as far as I'm concerned, that starts with a spiritual inheritance. Most important thing I can leave my kids and future grandkids will be a legacy of faith. Because if they know God, they've got it made. And so I have to walk with God, then I have to show them what walking with God looks like, then I have to teach them the precepts and principles of the Word of God, teach them to love God, teach them to serve God, teach them to trust God. And that's the most important inheritance, but it wouldn't hurt them if you gave Jesus and some change.

You see what I'm saying? So all of that is going to have to be saved for. So, again, we want to assess the money God's entrusted to us now and what we're currently looking at it, get a good clear picture of your finances and your financial habits through the 30-day boot camp. And then you want to create a financial plan with the goals of living within your means, eliminating credit card debt without establishing new credit card debt, and saving strategically. Now, the first two of those goals are rather short term, to live within your means and to eliminate credit card debt rather short term. Now, again, that's relative because it depends on how much credit card debt you're in as to how long it's going to take you to get out. But for those two short term goals, let me just give you some practical information so that we can line up with what these guys did in the parable and prepare to give God a good return.

I want to encourage you that if you're going to live within your means and get out of credit card debt, the first thing you got to do is look at how you are spending and reduce or eliminate some non-essentials from your current spending and redirect that money toward the elimination of debt. In other words, if I'm trying to get out of credit card debt and I want to please God, this might not be a season where I can do Quiznos and Subway and Marie Calendar and all the other places your co-workers are going. Thank you, Jesus. It might be a season where it's baloney.

My baloney has a first name. Trying to help somebody now. I know you're tight and I'm trying to work with you, but I'm trying to bless you. It doesn't feel like a blessing, but it's a blessing. One day you're going to say, Lord, thank you for empowering the pastor to preach that series that got me out of debt and got me on my feet. It might be your season where you brown bag it in Jesus' name.

And look, don't have any pride. If you want to be in the fellowship, take your brown bag on in there. That's tacky to eat. Brown bag with the other folk ordering. They're ordering so the restaurant's going to get something out to deal. They're ordering from the restaurant. You're just sitting there for the fellowship.

You get water. You say, pastor, that's so tacky. All right, then eat by yourself. That's fine if you're too sensitive or whatever to do that. I'm telling you now, if it were me, I wouldn't mind at all.

If I want to be in on the fellowship, just pull out my bag and dare somebody to say something to me. If you're not paying my bills, this is not about you. This is about me and getting out of debt. Get yourself a little sandwich, a little salad that you brought from home.

You can still hang out with all the big spenders and high rollers. And you can enjoy a meal because, again, that's the essential. The essential is that you have a meal. The essential isn't that you eat out.

The essential is that I eat. God is going to give me bread to eat. Never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed beg bread. He's going to give you bread to eat. So you just take that, thank God for it, and you redirect that. You don't have to have Starbucks. Now, see, he doesn't stop preaching, going to meddling now.

He's meddling all up in my business. You don't have to do that now. You want to do that now.

But most of our jobs have a little lunch room or something where you can just go in there and they have the little generic coffee, but if you just have to have coffee, you can get some much, much cheaper than going in there. Or better yet, if this is a season where you can get, because some of y'all are hooked anyway, this is a season where you can get delivered. If you're hooked, if you're not hooked and can use it reasonably fine, go for it. Knock yourself out. But some of y'all, you know as well as I do that you are an addict.

Your family won't even speak to you until you've had two cups. You're an addict. There's a problem there. And you need to get before God. Oh, Lord, deliver me.

You're passing judgment on folk who still hung up on nicotine and you hung up on caffeine. Bet you didn't expect this when you got up and put on your clothes. So I've got to redirect those discretionary funds if my goal is to get out of debt. Because you know, we all know about credit card debt. You can get in quickly. But getting out, you've got to be strategic about that. You don't get out quickly.

You got in quickly. You're one day flat. You can be thousands of dollars in debt. And so it takes some time. Don't take a vacation on credit. God will bless you to vacate when you need to vacate.

But you have to assess what He has truly given you and use those resources to the end that you enjoy some downtime. Don't fly now, pay later. That's not a blessing. That's a curse.

That's a delayed curse. Pay now, fly later. You pay for whatever you can do.

That's the proof. God's given me this money. I've honored Him with the tithes and offerings. That's the first thing. Secondly, I'm taking care of my bills and what have you. And so here are some funds and I need a vacation or we're planning toward one later. And here are some funds. What can I do with this amount of money that I have now and can set aside and use this for my vacating? That's the plan.

And sometimes you can't go far, but you don't have to go far to vacate. Coming up next, the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Making the Most of What You Have with Pastor Paul Shepherd. PastorPaul.net is the place to go to hear Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand.

There you'll also find a host of great resources at our online store, including books and DVD messages. Learn more about the ministry and about all the great things Friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. Go to PastorPaul.net. And also be sure to watch selected video clips by subscribing to Pastor Paul on YouTube. To find more details and links to all of his social media, visit PastorPaul.net. There's a reason why Jesus talked about money more than any subject other than the kingdom of God.

He knew we needed to hear it. So here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Making the Most of What You Have. When we first got married, we couldn't do a honeymoon. I had just started two months earlier in ministry as an associate pastor. My daddy wanted to prove to the church that I wasn't the associate pastor because I was his son.

So he practiced reverse discrimination. He didn't let them start me out high. He started me out low.

So I had to take low and see what can I do with low. When we were planning our wedding, talking about how much you're going to spend for the reception and what have you. I looked to my mother-in-law, how much you're spending.

That was the question, how much is she spending? Because Kaz is only marrying one person. I love all y'all, but I'm not marrying all y'all and not feeding all of y'all.

It's not my season for that. Y'all ought to be trying to bless the brand new associate pastor. And so they found out what they could do. I said, that's what the reception is going to be. Because we knew we were going to have hundreds of folks. And we did. We had a big wedding and what have you. And they got back there and if they thought they were going to sit down at tables and crystal and all that, they had another thought coming. We had a few tables for some of the family and some of the reserved folks for some of our senior citizens and the rest of them. We had tables along the side. You walk over there and put you a little something on the plate and walk around and fellowship.

Because this is about us, this is not about y'all. That's how we did it. And we told them how much time they had and all and we were going to be picked up again. We went downtown and spent a couple nights downtown and what have you. And we said, one day we're going to have a delayed honeymoon. But the two of us hanging out, that's all we need. That's all we need.

Don't need a whole lot of other. You know, got to go somewhere where the mountains and the ocean. No, no, ocean season was coming. But that was not ocean season. That was look out and see city hall season. That was William Penn. Sure enough, standing on the top of the building.

There he is. And the next year when we finally said we're going to take a real trip, kind of delayed honeymoon, the next year, right after our first anniversary, we still were looking at funds and we could get out of the country. We went to Bermuda, but we didn't have all the hotel money.

So I called a friend. He said, well, I got somebody who has a house and she loves blessing people with her house. And it's by the ocean.

It's very beautiful. And she's rarely home. And there's a whole section off away from her. And she said she would love to host you. She's heard you preach and would love to host you.

I said, bet. And we spent some nights in the hotel till the hotel money ran out. When that brook dried up, we moved on in the sister's house. And it was nice. Had our own little room and what have you.

And the ocean was right out there crashing against the rocks. Very romantic. Wonderful. We tried to give her a little appreciation money. She said, no, I wouldn't think of it. I'm being a blessing to you.

I said, well, I'm blessed. So you go trying to be cute. Go trying to have this big trip on a little budget is not going to work. So you've got to make some changes. You've got to stay in your season, run in your lane, stay in your season. Your season's coming where God's going to bless you to go where you want to go and do what you want to do. If you'll be faithful over these things now. So you have to plan to redirect those funds. As God blesses you with them. Divide essentials from non-essentials.

Recalibrate the things you think you need. You don't have to have bottled water. We all now walk around with just got it.

Well, if you can get it and it's in your budget, enjoy it. But if you can't, find you a spigot. Come on, y'all remember the old days? Nobody was going paying for water. I remember when they first started selling water in the supermarket. I said, y'all got to be kidding. Because all my life it was if you find you a water fountain or a spigot.

That was it. And so you don't absolutely have to have the best of everything. God will give you seed to sow. God will give you the essentials. And he is looking. If you don't have more, that's because he's testing you with what you have.

Testing you with what you have to see how faithful you can be with what you have. And so you have to recalibrate and look at true essentials. And then you want to designate those funds that had been going to all these non-essential things. And you put that toward that credit card debt, praying every month. Lord, bless me. Bless me. Bless me with some windfalls. As you see me doing this strategically, Lord, bless me with an unexpected check. That's how you got to pray. Lord, bless me.

Multiply this. Accelerate this debt reduction, Lord. Get me out of this mess.

I'm telling you what I did. Lord, get me out. If you get me out, Lord, oh God, I'm not getting back in anymore. Because debt is no fun. The Bible says that the borrower is servant to the lender. You're the servant. It's like you're a slave to your debt.

That's no fun living like that. And God wants to bless us and will bless us if we're faithful. And so you want to redirect those funds. Then you want to sell what you don't need.

One of the ways we can get out of debt is to sell what we don't need. You remember the story in the book of 2 Kings chapter 4 where there was a widow who went to Elisha, said, my husband's died and he died with debt and the debtors are coming after my sons. And Elisha, the man of God, instead of saying in the name of Jesus, he didn't try to get super spiritual. What did he say? He said, what do you have in your house? Right in your Bible.

2 Kings chapter 4. He could have said any number of things. See, we all want to just speak it. Speak it out of existence.

You didn't speak it into existence. So Elisha said, what do you have in your house? She said, well, nothing. And she said, except a little oil.

You all got it. You all been reading your Bible. A little oil. Again, look at how God uses the seed principle. He starts with what you have. Elisha didn't say, well, I would get your blessing, but you don't have the right stuff.

No, no. God will start with what you have. She had a little oil. That's all Elisha needed to hear.

He said, all right, tell you what you do. That's God's seed. You go out and borrow pots because you're going to believe God to fill them. Borrow pots from neighbors who aren't going to charge you for the pot for a few days. Just somebody, can I use a pot?

I'll get it back to you in a few days. Oh, sure, sure, sure. This isn't getting into debt. This is borrowing, getting ready for a blessing. He said, go get as many as you can. Why? Because God is going to take what you have and work the miracle of what you need.

And read it when you get a chance. She got every pot she could get, and she just took what she had and started pouring. See, you do your part and God will do his part. She started pouring, filled one up. Said, wow, still some in here. Started pouring, filled another one up. Started pouring, filled another. In fact, the Bible says that the oil didn't stop until she finished getting pots.

When it got to the last pot, when she poured that one, the oil stopped. And then Elisha said, all right, it's a no-brainer now, go sell the oil, pay the debt, keep your sons, get those folks back their pots, live on the rest. That's what you and I are called to do who are trying to get out of debt. What do you have that God can... Well, it's not much. If I sell, it's not much.

I can sell it on Craigslist, I can sell it on eBay, or I can do a garage sale, but it's not much. Start with it. If there are non-essential things that I have, non-essentials, and I want to get out of debt more, then I want to have some non-essentials still laying around, then I sell believing God.

Lord, it's just a seed, looks pretty pitiful, but I'm going to start with this. I'm going to show you, I'm going to be faithful to get myself in financial position to do your will. And once God sees that you're faithful, God only knows what's going to happen. When we study God's Word and find Him repeating Himself, we might want to pay special attention.

Jesus talked about money more than any other subject other than the kingdom of God, and it's important for us to learn how to honor Him in our finances, not only because we'll be blessed when we do, but because when we are free from debt, we are then free to help others in need. And that's what our journey in Christ is all about, investing in the lives of those around us. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. To hear any recent message on demand, including today's teaching, Making the Most of What You Have, visit pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net. Stop by anytime to find out more about this ministry, Destined for Victory, or to shop for resources at our online store, or to make a safe and secure donation.

Pastorpaul.net. And in appreciation of your generous gift today, Pastor Paul will send you his booklet, He's Alive. If you've ever wondered whether there is proof for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this booklet can help.

It offers four compelling reasons why Christians believe the resurrection is true, reasons you can pass along to friends and family members who may still have their doubts. Again, this booklet is called He's Alive, and it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined 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 Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Let me repeat that. Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You don't want to wait until you're already situated and in a better financial position in order to do the things God's called you to do. If the Lord tells you to do something with your finances, you do it now. You don't wait until later, you do it now. And 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 / 2023-05-11 05:40:23 / 2023-05-11 05:50:03 / 10

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