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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Answers For A Distracted World

Sunday, 7 February 2021
 

These are notes on the sermon, Answers For A Distracted World, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 7 February 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: God’s Word contains the answers the world is looking for
  2. As you meditate on God’s Word, you will find the answers you need
  3. Meditating on God’s Word produces godliness and profit for every area of your life
  4. When you meditate on God’s Word, you are occupying yourself with Jesus
  5. Instead of being distracted with social media, fill your heart and mind with God’s Word
  6. Being occupied with Jesus produces peace and sets you free from worry and anxiety
  7. When you feed on God’s Word, you will experience life and health to all your flesh
  8. Closing Prayer
  9. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: God’s Word contains the answers the world is looking for

The Bible holds the answers to many of the questions we have today. We can see throughout the Bible that the solutions God gives are often simple yet profound.

Have you ever wondered, What is the one thing I can do that will produce success and prosperity in every area of my life?

As you meditate on God’s Word, you will find the answers you need

The key is found in meditating on God’s Word.

Last week, we talked about meditating on God’s Word and how this one simple act that the Bible encourages us to do “day and night” (Ps. 1:2–3) brings about many benefits and good success. It is not a one-off activity but a lifestyle.

Make meditating on God’s Word a lifestyle!

“ . . . in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
— Psalm 1:2–3 KJV

whatsoever” — When you meditate day and night on God’s Word, every area of your life prospers—whether it is the area of parenting, work, ministry, relationships, or health.

Prosperity is not just about wealth or the amount of material possessions we own (Luke 12:15 KJV). For the world, the amount of money you have determines how successful you are. But these things can become a bondage in your life. While you can have money, God doesn’t want money to have you.

But if there’s one thing worth seeking and pursuing above anything else, it is the kingdom of God. When you seek it, everything else, which includes material blessings, will be added to you (Matt. 6:33 KJV).

Money isn’t evil on its own, but the Lord doesn’t want money to possess you. Money shouldn’t be the sole reason for working in your job or serving the Lord. If your single motivation is money, everything will become a chore in the end.

Even at work, you can ask the Lord for His vision and make it a mission instead of a chore, knowing that you have been placed in your workplace by the Lord and you are working unto Him and not unto man (Col. 3:23 KJV).

God is not against you having material things, but He wants you to live an abundant life that has much more than just material possessions!

“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds . . . supposing that gain is godliness . . . But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
— 1 Timothy 6:5–6 KJV

In these last days, there will be people who share that material gain is godliness or that financial success is what determines how much God has blessed you. But that cannot be further from the truth. The Bible calls godliness with contentment “great gain”!

Meditating on God’s Word produces godliness and profit for every area of your life

“ . . . exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.”
— 1 Timothy 4:7–9 NKJV

exercise” — This is the Greek word “gymnazo,” where the English word “gymnasium” comes from. While there are benefits in keeping yourself physically fit, the Bible says that physical exercise is only profitable for a little (it only affects your physical body), but godliness is profitable for all things.

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
— 1 Timothy 4:8 NLT

Godliness does not just produce spiritual benefits. As the Scriptures have shown, godliness will produce benefits in all areas of life—including your health, parenting, relationships and work.

Godliness profits you physically, mentally, socially, and materially.

To teach that financial prosperity is the main indicator that God is blessing you is not scriptural. Above all things, God wants your soul to prosper.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
— 3 John 1:2 KJV

even as” — In the Greek, this phrase means “exactly in proportion to.” The Bible teaches us that our outward prosperity is in exact proportion to our soul prosperity. It is therefore important that we make sure our soul is prospering!

If somebody’s soul is prospering but their health is not, we ought to pray for them, just like John did for Gaius in 3 John. For many of us, our souls are prospering but even then, we need to pray for God to affect the other areas of our lives. Parents, you can also pray for your children, e.g. that their studies will prosper, even as their souls prosper.

Now that we know godliness is key to prospering in all areas of life, the question is: What is godliness? What does it look like in daily life?

The word “godliness” is the Greek word “eusebeia,” which is made up of the words “good” and “worship.” It is something we ought to be involved in that will bring profit to our lives. But how do we exercise it?

“And without controversy great is the
mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.”
— 1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV

mystery of godliness” — This mystery was once hidden but it is now revealed through the finished work of Christ. What is this godliness that is now revealed? It is the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Godliness is not something that you exercise to become. You exercise yourself unto godliness when your thoughts are on the redemptive truths of the Bible, when you’re studying the life and the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Whenever you spend your time meditating and reading on the life and the work of Jesus, you are exercising yourself unto godliness. Godliness is not about dressing or acting in a certain way. It is when you are engaged with the life of Jesus and the redemptive truths of Scripture. This is considered an exercise in godliness.

The importance and value of meditating on God’s Word

The next chapter tells us:

“Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”
— 1 Timothy 4:13–15 NKJV

that your progress may be evident to all” — The King James Version puts it like this: “that your profiting may be evident to all.” This can mean two things—(1) your profiting is evident to all, and (2) this profit is manifested in all areas of your life (as the ASV translates it).

Pastor Prince believes that both interpretations are true. When you meditate upon God’s Word, your profiting will appear to all and it will also be evident in all things—everything that you put your hands to.

Even Potiphar, someone who did not believe in God, could see that the Lord was with Joseph because all that was in Joseph’s hands prospered (Gen. 39:3).

Like what was shared last week, when you meditate on God’s Word, you will save both yourself and those who hear you (1 Tim. 4:16 KJV). The word “save” is the Greek word “sōzō.” Besides referring to eternal salvation, it also means “healing” (Mark 5:34a NIV), which applies to us believers as well who are in need of healing in our bodies, minds, and emotions.

This is an area that is often neglected today—healing for our bodies, minds, and emotions. All these things are gifts from God. If they are gifts from God, He must consider these things important. The Bible encourages us to covet earnestly God’s gifts (1 Cor. 12:31a KJV). This refers to an intense longing for the gifts of the Spirit.

Before Pastor Prince preaches, he prays for the gifts of the Spirit and one such gift is God’s “gifts of healings” (1 Cor. 12:9b). God has gifts of healing for every kind of ailment that the world is experiencing today. We are to covet earnestly for the best gifts and also walk in love (1 Cor. 14:1 ASV). They are not mutually exclusive. Walk in love and continue to ask God for His spiritual gifts!

When you meditate on God’s Word, you are occupying yourself with Jesus

Pastor Prince speaks to budding preachers and people who want to grow in the gifting of preaching and teaching. He shares this verse from Psalm 39:

My heart was hot within me;
While I was musing, the fire burned.

Then I spoke with my tongue:”
— Psalm 39:3 NKJV

My heart was hot within me” — One of the ways that Pastor Prince prepares for each Sunday’s message is by considering what has been burning in his heart (what the Lord has written on his heart). When you preach what the Lord has been imprinting on your heart, there will be a prophetic anointing on it.

while I was musing, the fire burned” — How do you stoke the fire God has placed in your heart? By musing. The word “musing” is from the Hebrew word “hagar,” which is to mutter or to meditate (as we learned last week in Joshua 1:8).

To muse is to meditate. As you meditate on God’s Word, let your heart burn with the revelation of Jesus that you are seeing in the scripture. And as you preach and teach out of that burning revelation, God anoints the words you speak.

Muse VS Amuse

A word that looks and sounds very similar to “muse,” but is very different in its meaning, is the word “amuse.”

“Musing” involves contemplation and muttering under your breath. On the contrary, being “amused” involves being entertained. We see a widespread search for amusement in the world we live in today.

We live in a world that is fueled by the release of dopamine, where people are constantly pursuing the next best thing to satisfy their cravings for pleasure and entertainment.

Because of this, there has been a rise in anhedonia, which is a condition where a person is unable to experience pleasure. This condition can sometimes be attributed to cognitive impairment, but recent studies have also shown that the more we indulge in dopamine-releasing activities without control, we can come to a place where we become numb to them and unable to experience the pleasure we once felt.

This is why God’s Word instructs us to exercise self-control. God doesn’t instruct us to exercise self-control in order to stifle our joy or pleasure but in order for us to be able to experience it fully and in the best way! For instance, eating is not a bad thing, but an addiction to eating is harmful to you. In a similar way, an addiction to social media brings more harm than good.

Instead of being distracted with social media, fill your heart and mind with God’s Word

This is a rhema word (timely word in season) from God:

Be set free from the bondage of social media.

Social media is meant to be a tool to help us. It is not inherently bad, but being addicted to it is destructive. God does not want you to be controlled by it, to be constantly occupied and scrolling through your feed for that dopamine hit.

You don’t have to be constantly updated about everything that is happening all the time. Instead of intuitively reaching out for your phone to check out what’s happening on social media or to play a game, look up a scripture verse and muse on it.

“All things are lawful unto me . . . but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
— 1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV

All things are lawful but not all things are profitable or edifying. It is one thing to be using social media but another thing to be brought under its power and to be controlled by it. Don’t be so occupied with what is happening on your social media feeds that you miss out on living in the moment with your loved ones.

Being occupied with Jesus produces peace and sets you free from worry and anxiety

We have seen how the pervasive influence of social media has resulted in a rising tide of anxiety disorders among many people today. God has an answer for this in His Word as well:

The story of Mary and Martha

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."”
— Luke 10:38–42 NKJV

distracted” — This is the Greek word “perispao,” which means to draw away, to be distracted, or to be driven about and around mentally. While Jesus was in her house, Martha was drawn away by everything she felt that she needed to do and was distracted from the one thing she actually needed to do—sit at Jesus’ feet and draw from Him.

worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed” — God’s ways for us are simple. He has not given us a long list of things that are needful to do. He has made it so that only one thing is needed.

In our daily lives, there is only ONE thing needed—to sit at Jesus’ feet and draw from Him.

worried” — This is the Greek word “merimnao,” which means to be drawn away in different directions. Martha was so caught up with the many other things she thought she needed to do that she could not even enjoy the Lord. Jesus was right there with her, yet she could not enjoy His presence and listen to His words.

This is a picture of many people today (even believers), who are being distracted by their phones and social media that they miss doing the one thing needed—sitting at Jesus’ feet and enjoying Him.

The constant pursuit to be relevant and to always be updated with the latest news will pull you away from the one thing needed. There may even be a legitimate reason for being occupied with these things but Jesus’ loving correction towards Martha says it all: “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

There is only one thing truly needful amid everything else that you need to do.

Jesus said this same thing in the Sermon on the Mount:

“ . . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put . . . ”
— Matthew 6:25 NKJV

“do not worry” — This is the same Greek word “merimnao. Do not be drawn into different directions and miss out on what really matters—the kingdom of God. The Lord wants us to savor and enjoy His righteousness, peace, and joy, and enjoy His presence.

A mind that is distracted cannot focus on the Lord. When you catch yourself instinctively reaching for your phone to scroll through your feed, why not pull out some scriptures to muse and ponder on instead? It can be as simple as a short portion of a verse you enjoy.

When you feed on God’s Word, you will experience life and health for all your flesh

VIDEO: A cow chewing on the cud.

A cow has four stomachs to digest the food it eats. To fully digest the food it consumes, a cow has to chew, swallow and regurgitate it again, and repeat the process many times before the food is properly digested and becomes nutrients and strength to its body.

This process of rumination (chewing the cud) is a picture of meditating on the Word of God. As we meditate on God’s Word, it becomes nutrients and strength to our bodies. We become healthy and strong!

“My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh
.”
— Proverbs 4:20–22 NKJV

they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh” — God’s Word is life and health to all our flesh. Modern medicine may only be able to target one part of the body (and also cause some side-effects), but God’s Word is the only “medicine” that can bring health to all our flesh.

Just as it is necessary for us to eat every day, it is as important that we feed on the Word of God every day because life is in it!

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow . . . ”
— Hebrews 4:12 KJV

piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” — Have you ever wondered if the voice you’re hearing or the vision you’re seeing on the inside is from God or yourself? When you spend time in God’s Word, you will be able to differentiate between the two. As you read His Word, you familiarize yourself with the voice and nature of God, like you would after spending time with a friend. As you continue doing so, you will be able to discern between the spirit (where God dwells) and the soul (yourself).

As you meditate on God’s Word, you’ll become familiar with His voice and be able to tell whether the voice or visions you’re sensing on the inside are from Him or not.

joints and marrow” — God’s Word also brings life to our joints and marrow. Healthy joints are important for our mobility and movement. The marrow of the bone is very important to our immune system. God’s Word can bring life to even your immune system.

“My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.

— Proverbs 4:20–22 NKJV

give attention” — In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, this phrase is one used in 1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” God is telling us to prioritize His Word and prioritize reading His Word.

“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
— Luke 10:40–42 NKJV

worried and troubled about many things” — There are many people who are worried and troubled, and this results in them being more irritable than usual. More often than not, this irritation and frustration is a result of them being distracted and being pulled in many different directions. Jesus’ answer to this is simple: There is only one thing needed, and it is to sit at His feet and hear His Word!

This goes against the grain of what we think is expected of us. When an honored guest enters our house, we think we need to make all the necessary preparations to serve him to the best of our ability. But when Jesus comes to our house, He wants to serve us. He came to serve, not to be served.

When Jesus enters your home, He's not looking for your service. He's looking to serve you. He wants you to take and receive from Him!

Mary is a picture of someone who meditates and muses on the word of the Lord. Would you believe what the Lord says? There is only one thing needful, and only one thing that is needed to effect change in every area of your life!

The devil’s scheme is to distract us from God’s Word. If you find that you have trouble finding enjoyment in the things that you once enjoyed or that you’ve grown cynical toward many things in life, find time to sit at the feet of Jesus and muse on His words.

Don’t be quick to pick up your phone and scroll through social media. Don’t be distracted by every piece of news or notification that pops up on your phone, but instead, spend time bringing up God’s Word in your heart, and meditate and chew on it.

As you chew on the Word of God, it will release health, life, prosperity, and peace to you. When you can’t sleep at night, take time to chew on the Word and allow it to bring peace to your mind. Take a good bite of the Word as you begin your day and chew on it throughout the day until it becomes nutrients and strength for your body.

We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly dangerous, but child of God, your only task is to sit at Jesus’ feet and to behold the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4 KJV) in His Word.

Make sure what you’re meditating on is all about Jesus and His redemptive work for us.

If you are experiencing pain or sickness in your body, spend time meditating on verses like 1 Peter 2:24 KJV and Exodus 23:25. The Bible is full of God’s promises for different areas of our lives. Whether you’re trusting God for a breakthrough in your health, finances, relationships, or work, His Word is full of His promises for these aspects of life. Find the verses for the areas where you want to see change in, and begin to meditate on them daily!

Receive His Word, chew on it, muse on it, and see God take care of every area of your life. As you take care of this one thing, He takes care of everything else for you!

Pastor Prince prays for these conditions and situations:

  • Joint conditions or difficulty in mobility
  • A man who is not able to turn his head to the side
  • A lady who is experiencing pain when she tries to lift her head
  • Arthritis
  • Someone with a huge financial debt, 6-figures
  • Supernatural cancellation of debt—even as you do your best to pay off whatever you can, continue to trust that God can redeem you from that debt

Every healing can stand the test of medical science. Please go back to your doctor to verify your healing. Only stop taking your medicine when your healing has been confirmed by medical reports. Then write in to share your testimony!

Closing Prayer

“In the name of Jesus, I thank You, Lord, for everyone under the sound of my voice. I thank You, Father God, that this week, You will make it a special week for them, filled with Your blessings.

The Lord bless you and the Lord keep you, preserve you, and protect you and your loved ones throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus, from every infection, from every disease, from all the power of the evil one. The Lord make His face shine on you and your loved ones. And the Lord make His face to be favorable to you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and your families and grant to you and yours His wonderful shalom wholeness, wellbeing, and peace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

OWN THE WORD

Check your weekly screen time report on your phone. Does your total screen time surprise you?

If you find yourself constantly reaching for your phone to scroll through your social media feed, if you feel the need to immediately respond to app notifications, or if you feel like something’s missing when you’re not checking for news or work updates, God has a better way for you to live.

His heart is for you to enjoy life to the fullest. Instead of living life distracted and pulled in many directions by an endless stream of content, He wants you to invest your time, your mind, and your heart in the things that really matter—the things that will cause your soul and every other area of your life to prosper (1 Tim. 4:13–16).

It’s time to make the shift from being amused by content to musing on God’s Word.

This week, choose a scripture verse from God’s Word that you enjoy—a verse that encourages you, speaks life into your situation, and reminds you of the redemptive work of Jesus. Take time to memorize this verse so that you can meditate on it throughout the week.

When you catch yourself subconsciously reaching for your phone to start scrolling, choose to bring up your memory verse and start meditating on it instead. Utter it under your breath, consider its meaning from different perspectives, and envision the verse coming to pass in your life.

As you take time to be more deliberate and intentional about meditating on God’s Word, you will see its nourishing and strengthening effects on your body and soul!

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2021
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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