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Set Yourself Up for Success

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2022 8:00 am

Set Yourself Up for Success

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 28, 2022 8:00 am

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Biblically speaking, in terms of the principles and precepts we learn in Scripture, here is the best simple definition for success that I can give you from the Word.

Discovering your God-given purpose and fulfilling it with excellence. The world has its own definition of success, but God has the only one that matters. Hello and thanks for being here for today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. In Mark 8, verse 36, Jesus said, What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but forfeit his soul?

And the answer, of course, is that it does him no good at all. Today Pastor Paul talks about what God's brand of success looks like and shows us some of the practical ways we can achieve it. Stay with us now or visit pastorpaul.net where you can listen in your recent Destined for Victory message on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net. And here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Set Yourself Up for Success. Now I want you to go to 2 Kings chapter 2 and we'll read several verses there beginning with verse 1, 2 Kings chapter 2, verse 1 says, And it came to pass when the Lord was about to take Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel. But Elisha said, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel.

Skip down to verse 4. Then Elijah said to him, Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho. But he said, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.

So they came to Jericho. Verse 6, Then Elijah said to him, Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan. But he said, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.

So the two of them went on. Now skip down to verse 9. And so it was when they had crossed over that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask, What may I do for you before I am taken away from you? Elisha said, Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. So Elijah said, You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I'm taken from you, it shall be so for you.

But if not, if you don't see me, it shall not be so. Then it happened as they continued on and talked that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire and separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it. And he cried out, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen.

And he saw him no more. This message is designed for me to talk to the older generations about our need to help the younger generations succeed. And I want to also talk to the younger generations about setting themselves up to succeed. In fact, that's what I am calling this set yourself up for success. And so I want both groups, the older generations, I'm in the third oldest generation alive in America right now.

Perhaps you've heard me talk about that. There are seven generations alive in America right now. First time in our history we've had seven named, identified generations all living on earth together here in America. The oldest generation are called the greatest generation by social researchers. Those are people born in 1927 or earlier. Then you have the silent generation, people born 1928 to 1945. The silent generation they're called. I'm in the third generation.

Don't leave me by myself. Some of y'all in there, too. Baby boom generation. We were born 1946 to 1964. They called our generation the baby boom generation because after World War Two, let me just give you a little quick history. After World War Two, the soldiers came from various places around the world because, you know, some were in Europe and some were in different places and they came home and had fellowship with their spouses.

And as a result of the fellowship, we all showed up. And so we're the baby boom generation. But there are four generations younger than us baby boomers. There's Gen X. There's Gen Y, also referred to as Millennials. There's Generation Z. And then there is a budding, still developing generation known as Generation Alpha. Those are the very young children right now because those are people born 2016 to the present. And that generation will continue to add members to that generation. My point is since there are four generations younger than me and younger than my peers, we need to speak to them and we need to also invite them into a kind of relationship where we can help them succeed. And so I thought this is a good place as we are studying Elisha and learning life lessons from his experience on Earth.

This is a good place for me to stop and deal with that. Now, first of all, if we're going to help you set yourself up for success, I want to make sure to define success the Bible way. Biblically speaking, in terms of the principles and precepts we learn in Scripture, here is the best simple definition for success that I can give you from the Word. Discovering your God-given purpose and fulfilling it with excellence.

That's my biblical definition, discovering your God-given purpose and fulfilling it with excellence. If you do that, according to the Scriptures, you are successful. You've got to understand, the Bible doesn't call success what the world calls success. The world calls success having a certain amount of money or having a certain amount of property or having a certain amount of fame or something like that. Those are not definitions for success from a biblical standpoint.

Because what does it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lose his soul? You didn't succeed if you aren't ready to meet the Lord one day. And so the Bible says success really is doing the will of God, making sure you fulfill the purpose of God and doing that with excellence.

And we want to speak to that in the minutes that remain here. Now, God's purpose for Elisha, of course, was for him to be the successor of the prophet Elijah. You're talking about a dispensation where God used the prophets to give people direction.

One of the New Testament gifts is a gift of prophecy, but it doesn't operate with the same kind of authority that the prophets of the Old Testament had, because they were uniquely gifted to bring their generation into doing the will of God, and they spoke to them for God when they failed to do the will of God. But I want to let you know that was his unique calling. Now, you younger generations I'm speaking to, you aren't called to be full-time in ministry. Ninety-nine point something of you will never be in ministry in a vocation like I am. My job is to serve the people of God and to serve the Lord, and it takes up my whole life in terms of my vocation.

That will not happen for 99 plus percent of you. But your job is just as important. You know why? Because you can do the will of God where he has called you to be, and it is just as important as the calling that God put on Elisha. I need you to understand you are no less valuable to the kingdom than this young man Elisha was.

I need you all to get it, because sometimes we think it's the big shots. It's the people on the pulpit. It's the people we see preaching on TV.

Hear them on the radio. Pastor Paul, I've been listening to you for years on the radio. That's wonderful, but I'm no more important in the kingdom of God than you are, because all I got to do is fulfill my calling.

Guess what? All you have to do is fulfill yours. I might have more notoriety than you will ever have, but when you get to the day of judgment, God's not going to ask you how many people you knew, how many people you ministered to. He's going to look at it and say, did you do what I called you to do? And if you did what he called you to do, guess what?

You're going to hear the same thing I heard. Well done, good and faithful servant. Most of you will work in one of 15 primary areas. This isn't an exhaustive list, but when I was writing this message, I just thought, and I jotted down 15 primary areas.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but most of you work in one of these very general categories in the world. I'm going to have them put the list up for me while I just kind of walk you through it. Well, Pastor Paul Shepherd will be right back with the second half of today's message, Set Yourself Up for Success. Listen to this broadcast on demand at pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net, and there you'll find a host of great resources also in our online store. You can also listen on your mobile device by downloading our free Destined for Victory mobile app. Search Destined for Victory in the app store and listen to Pastor Paul wherever you go. Well, you don't have to change careers to achieve God's brand of success. As they say, bloom where you're planted.

How can you do it? Find out in the rest of today's message, Set Yourself Up for Success. Once again, here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. Some of you work, are called to work in politics slash government. Some of you all have a government job. If you work for the post office, you work for the government. Politics slash government, that's where some of you all are called to serve. Guess what? You can do the will of God at the post office, and you're supposed to.

You're supposed to do His will where you are. Some of you work in the area of finance, very general area. Some of you work whether it's in banks or investment firms or whatever it is. Somewhere in the area, some of you are financial consultants. I have a couple of financial consultants in the church. God knows they can help us because the saints got to get their money together.

So we got to know. Finance is an area where you can do the will of God. Education, some of you are teachers. Somewhere in education, you're very important. If we raise a bunch of dumb kids, it's not going to go well.

So we need you all to do the will of God. Social media. Social media is now its own area, its own industry. We're talking about billions and billions of dollars in social media. Some of you work in one of the many, many aspects of social media. Some of you work in sports and entertainment, and so that's big.

Some of you are people who are not only professionals in those areas, but you reach a lot of people. Even when you are a child of God and you end up being an actor or an actress. I've met a few Christian actors, actresses. They are called to do the will of God in Hollywood or wherever they are based, just like you're called to do it in your life. And when they get their Emmy, their Oscar, whatever, if we have discipled them right, they won't get up talking about, I want to thank a higher power. They won't get up on the stage talking about, I want to thank the universe.

You all hear this kind of stuff that's going on today? What you thinking the universe for? The universe is created. People talk now like the universe has a personality. The universe gave you that. There's a Greek word for that, baloney.

The universe didn't give you anything. The God who created the universe. So, sports and entertainment. Six, news. Some people work in the news industry, whether it's the printed papers and that sort of thing.

TV news, we got a couple of TV newscasters in our church family, and I watch them from time to time, and they're doing the will of God, reading the news, but they serve God in all that they do. Seven, traditional corporations. Some of you all just work in, quote, unquote, corporate America. I grew up, that was a big thing, corporate America, and so that's a very wide range area of things, but some of you work in your office or in your cubby. Some of you all big shots got a corner office with a view, all that. Whatever it is, do the will of God in that corner office.

That's all I'm asking you to do. Eight, Internet-based corporations and technologies. Internet-based stuff. Some of you all, your whole career is now based on something that's driven by the Internet. Some people, their whole career is driven by apps.

You have all these app-based careers and people making a full-time living by the apps that are on smart devices, and so we got to get with the program. You can serve God if you are Uber driver, whatever you're doing. If you are bringing people their food, you can pray over the house while you drop off their food, whatever it is. You got to do the will of God wherever you are.

Number nine, transportation. Some of you are pilots or bus drivers or whatever and anywhere in the transportation industry, there are so many things you can do the will of God. Law, law is a big deal. Some of you work in legal services. Some of you are attorneys. Some of you are paralegals. Some of you work in the offices of various law firms, and that sort of thing.

So you can do the will of God there. Some folks look on Judge Judy. I think she just taped her last season, but her bailiff all these years is one of my dearest friends, Petrie Hawkins-Berg. You've seen him standing there with Judge Judy every week. He's a man who loves God, was a member with me until he moved out. I think he left our church only because Judy called him. And he said, I got to go.

Judy called. But we're still in touch. He and I were born the very same day, November 29, 1957. So we call ourselves birth brothers. He was born in New York. I was born in Philadelphia.

I didn't meet him until I was here pastoring, but he's a good brother. Don't worry that he looks younger than me. Don't even worry about that. So just mind your business.

Don't just mind your business. Eleven, food, agriculture. Some of you work in food industry, agriculture, and all the wide-ranging implications of that. Some of you are military people, and we celebrate and honor your service, but you're not only serving the country, you're serving the Lord when you do that. Some of you work in retail, 13, retail, and that's a wide industry. Some of you work for various types of stores, various types of production, and so you can do the will of God there.

Fourteen, health care. Thank God for health care workers. And you all are valued and needed because you are responsible for helping to keep us straight.

You need some health in order to get the will of God done, you know, and some of us need you and thank God for what you bring to the table. And then the last, I just thought, well, let me just put a general, very general area, entrepreneurial enterprise. A lot of you all are entrepreneurs. You've done all kinds of things. You've worked in all kinds of areas. It's all important. I give you that full list just to say, and it's not exhaustive. I'm sure there's some other categories, and I'm sure some of you all will write me and say you left out this and that.

That's the way some of my members roll. They just always make sure I know what I left out. So pray my strength in the Lord. So yes, I know there are other things. You really don't have to write me about it.

There are many other things. But I just wanted to put this out there to say don't think of doing the will of God only as being an Elisha that you serve in some big spiritual kind of way. You've got to take spirituality everywhere you are. And you don't need to take churchiness there. God hasn't called you to be churchy. He's called you to be kingdom. Kingdom is different than churchy. Churchy is just you look a certain way.

You act a certain way. You turn your nose up at certain sins and all that. That's not the will of God. Jesus didn't go around turning up his nose at sinners. He came to redeem them. We have to learn to do the same.

I'm preaching better than you saying amen. And so the question is how can I set myself up to succeed? For those who are especially in the younger generations that I want to especially dedicate these remarks to, how can I set myself up to succeed?

Glad you asked. And I want to give you a simple answer from this story and I'm done with this message. The story of Elijah and Elisha offers an important answer to this question.

How can I set myself up to succeed? This story gives us a very simple yet profound answer. The answer is found in 1 Kings 19 and 21. It's the first verse we read at the beginning.

1 Kings 19, 21, then he, speaking of Elisha, arose and followed Elijah and became his servant. Wait, what? Wait, what?

Pastor, you were preaching so good. And then you just messed up the whole message. Talking about some servant somebody.

What you talking about? I'll read it again. Elisha arose and followed Elijah and became his servant. Here's a sentence I want you to write down, meditate on. You set yourself up to succeed by becoming or being a reliable student-helper to the mentor or mentors God places in your life.

If you want to be a success, learn to be a servant. Wise words from our friend and teacher, Pastor Paul Shepherd. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, Set Yourself Up for Success. Look for any of Pastor Paul's recent messages online, on demand, at pastorpaul.net. That's pastorpaul.net. Need prayer today? All of us at Destined for Victory ministry believe in the power of prayer, and today we'd like to pray for you. So from the homepage at pastorpaul.net, use the contact feature to let us know how we can intercede on your behalf. And while you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. You may already believe in the reality of the resurrection, but many don't. How can you help lead them to the truth? Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, He's Alive, is a great place to start. In this great resource, Pastor Paul offers four compelling reasons why Christians believe the resurrection actually took place.

We believe it may help you as you're talking to friends or loved ones that aren't quite sure what to believe. That's He's Alive, our brand new booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory this month. So please 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, California 94538. The most valuable life lessons are more often caught than taught. What do you mean, Pastor? Some things nobody sat you down and taught you verbally. They just showed you and they led you in it and before you know it, you had caught something.

When you catch stuff, you find yourself acting on it without even consciously knowing you're acting on it. That's next time when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Set Yourself Up for Success. 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 / 2023-04-25 23:39:58 / 2023-04-25 23:48:55 / 9

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