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Making the Most of What We Have, Part 8

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2022 8:00 am

Making the Most of What We Have, Part 8

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 22, 2022 8:00 am

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Right now you just need to prove faithful over a few things. And I'm here to tell you that's the pattern, that's the biblical pattern. You serve God in the circumstances where you are. You do what you can do for God now because you are being tested in this season of your life to see if you will prove faithful. In Luke 16 10, Jesus told his disciples that he who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much. Hello and welcome to this Friday edition of Destin for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Always glad to have you join us. You know, sometimes we ask God to bless us with more before we've been faithful with what he's already given us. Today, Pastor Paul reminds us to be faithful to use our gifts and abilities for his glory, even in those times when it's not easy to do so. Stay with us now or visit to hear any recent Destin for Victory message on demand. That's You can also subscribe to the Destin for Victory podcast at Spotify, at Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your programs.

Now, today's Destin for Victory message, making the most of what you have. Here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. Matthew chapter 25, beginning with verse 14, Jesus says, again, it will be like a man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one, he gave five talents of money to another two talents and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. Master, he said, you entrusted me with five talents.

See, I have gained five more. His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness. The man with the two talents also came. Master, he said, you entrusted me with two talents.

See, I have gained two more. His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.

Come and share your master's happiness. Then the man who had received the one talent came. Master, he said, I knew that you are a hard man harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. His master replied, You wicked, lazy servant. So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed.

Well, then you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest. Notice verse twenty eight. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. Everyone who has will be given more and he will have an abundance.

Whoever does not have even what he has will be taken from him and throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In the previous message, we looked at what it means to give our talents back to God and to give him a good return on his investment. And we talked extensively about the fact that each of us has abilities that God has given us. Now, talents in this parable has to do with money, but talents in the way we typically use it has to do with abilities. And we've already discussed earlier in the series giving God the best of our treasure and our time.

And now I want to look at giving him the best of our talents. And we spent the last message talking about the fact that each of us has abilities, God-given abilities that are to be used in the Lord's service. I talked about taking inventory of the talents that God has given you. Don't be falsely humble and act like you can't do anything.

Of course, you can do some things. God created you with purpose in mind. Some folks try to be humble by playing down their strengths and their abilities.

Never do that. You can't glorify God with abilities that you don't acknowledge you have. And so you want to be sure to make the case that, yes, God has blessed me with abilities and gifts and I want to give them back to him. So you want to begin, we said, by taking inventory of your gifts and abilities.

And having done that, then you need to set aside time to utilize them. First, for the kingdom of God. And I talked about the kingdom first principle and the importance of dedicating some time and giving your talents in ministry, in service to the Lord. Our church and every other church has many more things it would do as soon as people say, yes, I will give my time for the kingdom of God.

You can dedicate some of your time. And we talked earlier in the series about tithing your waking hours and giving that tithe to spiritual development and to ministry. I defined in the last message, I defined ministry as everything we do out of love for God to win the lost, edify believers, and meet people's needs. And so all of us have ministries. That doesn't mean you ought to run out and get cards printed with reverend in front of your name.

But it does mean that you have a ministry. If you have gifts and abilities God's given you, then there are some ways that can be used to win the lost, to edify believers, and to meet people's needs. And so all of us must set aside some time in order to devote ourselves to that. I talked about the fact that in doing that you want to treat that like a real job because our goal, according to this passage, is to hear the Lord one day say, well done. And so when you give your time to service, when you come and say to the church, how can you utilize me? And of course in our church we put out booklets regularly to let people know, here are the things we need you to do.

And when you find your place, here's something that matches with my abilities and my giftings, then you give yourself to that. And although you are quote unquote volunteering, you really want to take that as a serious job because the goal is to please the Lord. And I ended the last message talking about the fact that I'm so glad I didn't start out in vocational ministry. I started out in volunteer ministry.

That's the way it was in all of our churches. And just like growing up, there was a very small church paid staff because they really leaned on people to be volunteers. And even though we now have a large growing church and a large growing staff, most of the ministry still has to be done by people who volunteer two, three, four hours, whatever it requires for you to do the work of service you've committed to.

And I want to encourage you to commit to that with all of your heart. If you're a volunteer, see it as just as important as what you do for your vocation. Don't play down the quality of what you do just because you're not paid for it. In fact, what you're working for when you serve the Lord is a far more valuable reward than anything you get in the way of a paycheck.

And so you want to take it very, very seriously. And we're trying to build that culture into our ministry and many ministries around the country are doing the same, helping people understand you work as unto the Lord. I'm glad that's the way I started in ministry. I'm glad that I started out learning that ministry isn't about what you can get, it's about what you can give. Your rewards come on the backside of your faithfulness. They don't come up front.

They come on the backside, and I was raised where you do the work and you get in there. I'm glad I didn't start out preaching. I started out teaching Sunday school, didn't even have a classroom, just some chairs set out and teach those people the Word of God. Later on, I ended the message talking about how as a deacon, they gave me the assignment of driving the lady who lived the farthest from the church. I had to drive her home every week.

That lady lived so far out of town, I don't even know what that town was. And I'm standing there waiting for her to be finished, because we had these long services. So I've been at church, early morning prayer, Sunday school, long morning service, and then dinner afterwards, and she's sitting there until the bitter end. Food's all eaten and everything's all done, the folks just sitting there, just fellowshiping and chatting and what have you.

I'm a young man, single, trying to get my Mac on. Trying to see who I'm going to marry and what have you, my dating years, I'm trying to see what is God going to do here. And you're messing up a brother's flow. But I was proving the saints were making sure I could prove faithful over those few things. When I started preaching, pop would send me out to these little raggedy churches and go out there, just a little handful of folk, some Sunday afternoon service. They've gone down in that little dining hall and they eat and what have you, they're tired, but they're going to have an afternoon service. And they invited my pop to go and he said, no, I'll send my son, because he was training me in ministry. And I got to go preach for these sleepy folk on a Sunday afternoon, 12 of them sitting up there. And I get there and the service isn't even starting on time. Got to one place and I got there at the time it was supposed to start, walked in the sanctuary, nothing.

They're all downstairs still finishing up their meal. I said, Lord, what has he gotten me into? Got to wait for these folk to come up, but the Lord taught me in those years, preach like this place is full, preach like these people's souls are at stake. When he sent me to one church in New York, you know, I was excited because they were going to give me a love offering, but they took five offerings. And the fifth one was mine. I kid you not. I kid you I'm not telling a lie.

Five of them. Up next, the rest of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to take a moment and thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. Your donations do make a difference. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today.

You can give securely online at or by calling 855-339-5500. God's blessings don't usually come up front. They come on the backside of faithfulness. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. Making the most of what you have.

Tell you no lie. Five offerings and the fifth one, when they got through with the other one, the first was Tyler's offering, then a regular offering, and then there was some sort of special project offering. And they had another offering.

I forget what that was. And then finally they said, now we have a guest speaker and we want to be a blessing to him. I sat there and said, these folks don't have any more money. And Pop sent me there because he knew they were going to take five offerings. And he wanted to make sure here at the outset of my ministry that I understood that it's not about you. Your blessings are coming. God's going to bless you, reward you on the backside of your faithfulness. Right now you just need to prove faithful over a few things.

And I'm here to tell you, that's the pattern. That's the biblical pattern. You serve God in the circumstances where you are. You do what you can do for God now because you are being tested in this season of your life to see if you will prove faithful. And so God wants you to utilize your gifts.

And when you serve in the church, serve as a volunteer, you do it as though you're being paid. You're on the clock. You don't just drop away, oh, you know, I just, I don't feel like going out there today. If they're counting on you, we need to know we can count on your faithfulness.

When you can't be there, call somebody. Don't treat it lightly because the things of God are important. And the Lord watches what we do in secret. And your reward is tied to your faithfulness or your lack thereof.

And so it is important that we understand that. And the fact of the matter is, when you are faithful over the gifts and the talents and abilities God has given you, He will actually open doors for you as a result of you proving faithful. And so if you will simply exercise your gifts and use them first for the kingdom of God, God will bless your life as a result. Proverbs 18, 16 says, a gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great. King James says, a man's gift makes room for him. Your gift will make room for you. God will bless you.

God will give you some divine appointments once he sees that you will prove faithful over a few things. And so it is important that we learn to exercise our gifts and our talents by setting aside adequate time for them. Now I want to wrap up this look at the talents with a few final lessons. Here's the next thing I want to say to you.

Focus on what you have, not what you lack. I want you to notice in this parable that when the master returns to settle accounts with his servants, the first two servants come back with the report that, Master, we have given you a 100% return on your investment. The man who had five talents comes back with those five and five more, 100% return. The man who had two talents comes back with those two talents and two more.

Again, a 100% return. What that symbolizes for you and for me is God wants a full return on his investment in us. He wants us one day when we stand before him to be able to say, Lord, I use the gifts you gave me and I have given them over to your work and to your service so that you could be glorified and others could be blessed. And what these two had in common is they focused on what they had. They didn't look over and focus on what they lacked or on what anybody else had. There are a lot of people who don't do what God has equipped them to do because they are busy examining and focusing on something else. In some cases, we compare ourselves to other people. That's not God's plan for your life. God doesn't want you spending your time comparing yourself to someone else.

You know why? You don't have their calling. And when you don't have another person's calling, you need to stay out of that person's business. You don't know what it takes to be them and you have no business envying them because sometimes the very people you would be inclined to envy, if they had their druthers, they would gladly trade with you. Because the fact of the matter is, with everything that you are called and equipped to do, there are certain trials and certain challenges that go along with that calling. And we see the glory, but we don't always know the story. You see somebody's glory, you say, oh, it must be wonderful to be them.

Don't be so sure. That's why the Bible says don't envy other people. Envy is useless in the plan of God.

It has no good value in the plan of God. Don't envy other folk. Pray for them. Pray for them because you don't know what it takes for them to deal with the calling they have. I have pastor friends who say, oh, it must be exciting to pastor such a large and growing church.

Our church is small. It must be exciting. I say, well, there are moments of excitement, but there are also many challenges that go along with it. When you see the more folk God is saving and sending, with people come their problems, with people come their baggage, with people come their issues. You don't just get to see the wonderful parts of people when you're going to shepherd them right. And our pastoral staff takes seriously shepherding. When you're going to shepherd them right, you've got to walk with them through all kinds of stuff. And so this is not all joy and happiness.

Sometimes it's tears and pain and walking with people through some difficult things. Some folk look at our church and say, wow, so multicultural. Oh, that must be exciting. All the races coming together. I say, there are moments of excitement.

And there are also some knock down, drag out, take no prisoners conflicts. Some people in this church didn't even know they were prejudiced till they showed up here because you never dealt enough with people unlike yourself to have your buttons pushed. But just get into ministries with folk who are unlike you and get into small groups with people who are unlike you and serve on ministry teams and what have you. And you will begin to see that with this diversity comes challenge and you can either focus on the obstacle or the opportunity. And if you focus on the obstacle, it becomes a stumbling block.

If you focus on the opportunity, it becomes a stepping stone. But not everybody is growing. Some folk are growing and learning and getting better and building character and learning how to love people and have a broader perspective and not think your culture is the only culture and your values are the only values and all that. Some folk are doing that, growing wonderful, beautiful things and other folk are tripping.

Just straight up tripping and still trying to make everybody like you. And instead of it being a growing opportunity, you're just stumbling all over the place. And the point is we're different by design. And when God has a calling on your life, the way to fulfill the calling is to focus on how do I please God where He has blessed me and with what He has blessed me. Don't focus on other people.

That will mess you up every time. Don't envy other people. Don't roll your eyes because you see them blessed in a way you are not. Pray for them. They're at a higher level.

I wish I was up there. With every new level comes a new devil. I'm not telling you what I think.

I'm telling you what I know. With every level comes a new devil. You have trials you didn't even know existed when God takes you to another place. And it doesn't always bring joy and happiness.

Sometimes it brings you to tears and makes you walk through difficult places. And so you've got to realize that all of us, if we're going to hear the Lord say, Well done, we need to focus on what we have, not what we lack. In other words, run the race in your own lane. Run the race in your own lane. If you ever ran track, you understand you're supposed to stay in your lane. If you're in a race that has, you know, everybody stays in that lane, you get disqualified if you try to get outside of your lane. That lane is for somebody else, not for you.

You've got to run the race in your lane. Be who you are. That's who God is looking for a return from. He knows who you are. He knew who you were when he called you. He knew who you were when he saved you.

And so you've got to run the race in your lane. Get comfortable being you. And present you as a living sacrifice to God.

Holy and acceptable to him, which is your spiritual act of worship. Don't spend your time imitating other people because God made you uniquely you. You were born an original.

Don't die a copy. Be who God made you and you'll see that he will bless you. I'm trying to encourage people to understand that you can hear the Lord say well done because he's not comparing you to other people. Therefore, you shouldn't compare yourself to other people. The Bible says in Second Corinthians, Paul said, when we compare ourselves among ourselves, that is not a wise thing. It gets your focus off onto something that really will not bless your life or the lives of other people.

Focus on who you are. Focus on the money God's given you. Your tithe won't be somebody else's tithe because your income is different. But you give your tithe to the Lord and say, God, I'm investing this in the kingdom as an act of worship, believing that you're going to make a difference.

You don't say, well, you know, it doesn't matter because my paycheck is so small that it really doesn't matter. God is looking to reward you and bless others through your gift no matter what your tithe might be. If I have a small income, God's not asking for a huge amount of money so you can measure up to somebody else.

The average person in America, the latest statistics I saw shows gifts between two and three percent of their income. Imagine what will happen when the entire body of Christ stops comparing ourselves and say, Lord, I'm going to give you my tithe. It might not measure up to somebody else's, but I'm going to worship you with what I have. Fact of the matter is, God will reward you and he'll bless others and bless you because of your faithfulness. Every challenge presents us with an opportunity. As Pastor Paul Shepherd said today, focus on the obstacle and it will be a stumbling block.

Focus on the opportunity and it will be a stepping stone. Thanks for joining us for today's Destined for Victory message, making the most of what you have. Stop by to hear any recent message on demand. That's 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, the 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. Please call us at 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online and receive the booklet. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, our address, Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. He's not asking you for what you don't have. He's saying, what do you have in the way of treasure? What do you have in the way of time?

What do you have in the way of talent? That's what I want to use for my glory. That's what I want to use to bless others. And you will find that in that is the key for your blessings as well. And that's Monday and Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, making the most of what you have. But 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 / 2023-04-28 21:41:04 / 2023-04-28 21:50:42 / 10

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