These are notes on the sermon, Answers For A Hurried Life, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 5 September 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”
— Colossians 2:5 KJV
“in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ” —
Even though we are in the midst of a pandemic, we don't have to wait until we are gathered physically to enjoy being a church. Once we are born again, we are not just physical beings but spirit beings.
As you behold things in the spirit, you can see things that are not visible in the natural, which are the things that are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18b KJV). Pastor Prince shares that as he beholds us in the spirit either during his personal prayer time or while preaching, there are times that he sees people responding in the spirit to the word that he is sharing receiving their breakthroughs.
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,”
— 2 Peter 1:2 (KJV)
“through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” — The Greek word for “knowledge” refers to “accurate and full knowledge,” not partial knowledge. As you increase in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and know Him more and more, God promises that unmerited favor and shalom peace (total wellbeing in every area) will be multiplied in your life.
Martha & Mary
“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.”
— Luke 10:38–42 NKJV
“sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word” — It is important to not only hear God’s Word, but to also be in a position of rest, illustrated here by the word “sat.”
As believers, we are meant to live a life of rest. Under the new covenant, our promised land is a place of rest.
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
— Hebrews 4:11 KJV
“labour therefore to enter into that rest” — Jesus has done a finished work for us. The only “labor” for us to do is to enter into the rest that He has provided.
“but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
— Hebrews 4:2b NKJV
“not being mixed with faith” — Here, God is telling us to labor to enter the rest, lest we fall into this example of unbelief. When you are not resting, it means you are in unbelief. Rest is a posture of faith.
In this season, the Lord is healing people of a sickness called hurry. In our society today, there is a prevailing culture of hurriedness and busyness. Many people see being busy as an achievement or sign of success.
During this pandemic, people have been forced to slow down. God did not send the COVID-19 virus, but He is teaching us something during this time—how to slow down and start to really live.
This does not mean that God wants us to be lazy in our jobs. He wants us to produce fruits but do so without stress, anxiety, or hurriedness on the inside.
Jesus said that when you abide in Him, you will produce fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:5). If you want to see fruits in the various areas of your life, such as your Christian life, marriage, parenting, or career, you simply need to abide in Jesus. “Abiding” is the opposite of being hurried, running around, and trying to achieve things.
“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.”
— Luke 10:40 NKJV
Martha had a guest of honor visiting her house—the Creator of the heavens and the earth—and her response was to busy herself preparing food for him.
“Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” — When Martha became angry that her sister, Mary, was not helping her with the preparations, she not only did not speak to Mary directly but even blamed the Lord. This happens to us too when we are stressed and hurried. When we feel like no one is helping us and we are doing the task all by ourselves, this is a sign that we are not functioning or doing things the way God wants us to.
Martha was so concerned about feeding Jesus, the One who had fed more than 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish (John 6:1–14). She did not have to get flustered about bringing Him food. Jesus wanted her to be fed and served by Him first.
The Bible says God always leads you with peace (Isa. 55:12a). Whenever you are stressed and anxious, this is an indicator that you are not being led by the Spirit on the paths of peace that God has for you.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”
— John 14:27 KJV
“leave” — Peace is something that Jesus has left or bequeathed to us. The world is waiting for the pandemic to be over so that they can have peace and enjoy life, but God is saying that He has given us peace to be enjoyed right now. His peace is not like the peace that the world gives, which is dependent on external circumstances. His peace is a peace you can enjoy even while you're going through the trials of life.
“Peace” — This is the Greek word “shâlôm,” which is not just peace of mind, but also an all-inclusive word that means “wholeness, wellness, prosperity, and completeness.”
Jesus gave His peace to us. The disciples never saw Jesus sick, anxious, or in a hurry. He always had time for everyone, and He moved in a rhythm of grace. No one has ever been more effective than Jesus was in His three years of earthly ministry, and no one has ever been more restful either. In the same way, the Lord wants us to live life unhurried and receive wholeness in every aspect.
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
— 2 Corinthians 6:2b
“now is the accepted time” — In Hebrew, “accepted” is the word “râtsôn,” while in Greek, it is the word “dektos” (as seen in Luke 4:19 KJV, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”). This is a time when God's favor profusely abounds. This time is not a specific year or season in the future, but it is now. Instead of waiting for a future event or goal to be achieved to be happy, enjoy the journey!
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
— John 14:27 KJV
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” — The only thing Jesus tells us to do is not to let our heart be troubled or afraid. This is your responsibility, your part.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
— Proverbs 4:23 KJV
“Keep thy heart” — Instead of guarding the various areas of your life such as your health, family, or finances, the Lord says that the most important thing to guard in your heart.
By guarding our hearts, we are guarding everything else. This is because all the issues of life flow from the heart.
One of the ways to guard your heart is to not let your heart be troubled (John 14:27).
There are two major things that make the heart troubled:
The Bible says, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11), which means that the provision, favor, and grace that God gives us is for one day at a time. This is because God wants us to live in the now with Him. “Now” is the favorable time to live in, instead of in the past or in the future where there is no favor as it is not the “acceptable time.” Now is the time of favor!
Pastor Prince recounts the time when his daughter, Jessica, was a baby. Each night when she cried, he would wonder when this stage would end as he did not enjoy the late-night feeds. However, all too soon, she grew up into a young woman, and he cannot help but wish he could turn back time. In fact, later when his son, Justin, was born, he was ready to enjoy every moment and even found Justin’s crying music to his ears—now sees waking up at night as a privilege.
Beloved, be present in the now, and love your loved ones in the now. Don't worry about the future, but instead savor the present and enjoy what the Lord has blessed you with now!
Some people are afraid that if they don’t hurry or busy themselves, they will miss opportunities and success. On the contrary, many times it is precisely your hurriedness that is causing failure. Often, you will find that when God’s people abide and rest in Him, they become more fruitful.
“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 (‘merimnaó’) and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part (‘meris’), which will not be taken away from her.””
— Luke 10:40-42 NKJV
“worried” — “Worried” is the Greek word “merimnaó” which comes from the word “meris,” which means “a part.” It means “to be divided into many parts, or to be drawn apart in many areas and distracted.” Worry occurs when you have been distracted and pulled in many different directions. It then leads to you feeling impatient. It is very difficult for us to be kind or patient when we are in a hurry.
“Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
‘Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’”
— 1 Peter 2:6 NKJV
“therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a
foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste (‘chuwsh’).’””
— Isaiah 28:16 NKJV
This verse quoted in 1 Peter 2:6 is from Isaiah 28:16, but the original phrase “will not be in haste” is quoted in 1 Peter as “will by no means be put to shame.” This tells us that those who are believing on Jesus, who are not in haste, will not be put to shame! They will not experience embarrassment or failure because they trust in the Lord and are at rest.
Pastor Prince shares about Dr. Hans Selye, a heart specialist who made discoveries about stress. He noticed that many of his patients who came to see him would sit perched on the edge of their seat, park their cars tail-first so they could leave as quickly as possible, and were generally in a rush. Though they were often successful in their careers, their success came at the cost of their health. Pastor Prince urges us to slow down and enjoy life because in doing so, the life we are saving may well be our own. Stress can have a very negative effect on your heart!
“And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled (‘thorybazó’) about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.””
— Luke 10:41–42 NKJV
“troubled” — This is the Greek word “thorybazō” which comes from the word “týrbē,” which means a “tumult, riot, or crowd.” This tells us that there was a lot of noise in Martha’s mind reminding her of all the things she had yet to do and pulling her in many directions.
This is the reason why Jesus told Martha to focus on just one thing. The Lord was not rebuking Martha for being busy on the outside, but rather for being troubled on the inside. To society, a busy person like Martha may have been admired. But the Lord is more concerned about what is going on on the inside.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”
— Matthew 12:35 NKJV
“out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things” — Out of the good treasure on the inside, you produce good fruits on the outside. Conversely, if a person experiences negative things on the inside, they bring forth negative results.
Jesus is coming back soon—the devil knows that his time is limited and he is angry (Rev. 12:12b). The wars, rumors of wars, pestilences, plagues, and earthquakes that we see in these last days are all works of the devil, not of God. Yet, we do not need to be troubled by these events. God encourages us through His Word:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled (‘throeó’); for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”
— Matthew 24:6–7 NKJV
“troubled” — This is the Greek word “throeó,” which is the root word of “thorybazō,” which Jesus used when He told Martha not to be troubled in Luke 10:41. Here, the Lord is telling us not to be troubled by all the bad news around us because they are simply the signs of the end times. Instead, the Lord says that when these things happen, we are to lift up our heads and look forward to our new bodies that will be forever young and healthy, for our bodily redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).
“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 10:41–42 NKJV
“worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed” — Jesus said that Martha was worried and troubled about many things because she did not do the one thing that was most important. Beyond physical rest, which is important for us, the one thing refers to having an inward posture of resting and receiving.
Perhaps you are wondering, “How can I be at rest when the work is not yet finished?”
“ . . . although the works were finished from the foundation of the world . . . Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
— Hebrews 4:3,11 (KJV)
“although the works were finished from the foundation of the world . . . Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest” — In the mind and reality of God, all the works needed for our provision and our life have all been finished. What Jesus secured for us at the cross—every blessing, healing, and provision—has been done. Because the Lord already finished everything, He made the finishing line our starting post! We are complete in Christ Jesus, so now we are to rest in Him as we trust that we will walk in all that He finished for us (Col. 2:6 KJV).
When we fail to realize our completeness in Christ, we end up walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit. This is because we end up trying to become what God declares we already are. When you try to defeat an enemy who has already been defeated, this is an act of unbelief.
When it comes to your relationship with God, don’t feel like you have to earn closeness with Him. You don’t need to try to get near to God because you are already near Him, seated at His right hand in the heavenly places!
When it comes to healing, know that you are not trying to get the healing. God sees Jesus’ finished work and He is bringing the finished work to you and saying you are healed. As you thank God that you are healed, you can expect the manifestation to happen.
One of the ways the devil attacks you is through worry, troublesome thoughts, noisy thoughts, and a spirit of hurriedness. This happens especially when you are resting.
“Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”
— Exodus 17:8 NKJV
This battle was the first battle that took place after Israel had come out of Egypt and crossed over the Red Sea.
“Rephidim” — The name “Rephidim” means “resting places.” The devil cannot allow or afford for you to rest one moment longer because when you are in place of rest, you will produce abundant fruit (John 15:5). When you are living in the now, a place of faith and favor where you will not be put to shame, the devil will want to attack you.
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For He says:
‘In an acceptable (‘dektos’) time (‘kairos’) I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’
Behold, now is the accepted (‘dektos’) time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
— 2 Corinthians 6:1–2 NKJV
“not to receive the grace of God in vain” — This tells us that people might not receive the grace of God because they are not living in the now.
“acceptable” — This is the Greek word “dektos” which refers to the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:19 KJV), a year where the favor of God profusely abounds. That year of “dektos” is now encompassed in the “now” moment. Living in the now ensures that you don’t receive the grace of God in vain.
“time” — This is the Greek word “kairos,” which refers to a season of favor and good opportunities. It is different from linear time, “chronos.” This tells us that the profuse favor of God and good opportunities are in the now! Now is the acceptable time, the time of salvation.
So if we are constantly worrying about the past or the future (outside of the now), it is pointless as there is no favor, help, or blessing there. If you’re living in the past, filled with regrets, there is no favor there. If you're worried about the future, there is no favor there either because you are squandering your “now” moments. Live in the present because this is where God’s favor abounds!
How can we enjoy the now? We can do it simply by being conscious of the present. As you relate or talk to people, be present in the moment instead of distracted by other thoughts. Let’s constantly remind ourselves to enjoy the now, the favorable moment!
“Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.””
— Exodus 17:8-9 NKJV
“Amalek” — The name “Amalek” is from the Hebrew word “amal” which means “painful toil, wearisome labor.”
As Israel fought the Amalekites in battle, Moses stood on top of a hill, raising his arms. The Bible says that as Moses became tired and his arms drooped, the enemies began to prevail over Israel. Hence, Aaron and Hur stood beside him to support his arms and made Moses sit down. Only when Moses sat down did Israel prevail in the battle.
This is a picture of how we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. When you sit down (a picture of rest), victory will prevail in your life. Child of God, learn to rest instead of trying to fight all the time.
Conventionally, nobody sits down in a battle. Yet God’s art of warfare is for us to sit down and rest in His finished work.
Psalm 23:5 tells us that God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. You don’t stand at a table but rather sit at it. Naturally, no one would feel like sitting down and eating in the midst of their enemies. These enemies are the things that are causing you stress, whether a sickness or a challenge faced at home or at work. In the midst of these enemies, God tells you to sit down and eat.
The Hebrew word for “bread” or “feed” is “ lechem,” while the Hebrew word for “fight” is “lacham.” Both words are written using the same Hebrew letters. This tells us that we fight our battles by feeding.
As you rest in the Lord and are neither troubled nor in a hurry, your enemies will be defeated!
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry (‘merimnaó’) about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”
— Matthew 6:25 NKJV
“Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” — There is no point having food if you have a defeated or stressful life. There is also no point having clothes if you have a sick body. What Jesus is saying here is, “Is not quality life more than food and quality body more than clothing?” He cares about us having quality life and health, which is why He said He came that we might have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10)! In this passage, the Lord is giving us the secret to quality life and health.
“do not worry” — This is the Greek word “merimnaó.” Here, Jesus is telling us not to be worried (pulled in different directions) about our daily necessities. The secret to enjoy quality life and health is to live life unworried!
Worry harms our health and negatively affects our families, relationships, and careers.
When you let go of worry, you let go of anything that will hurt or destroy you and your loved ones.
Remember that the enemy comes to steal before he can kill and destroy (John 10:10a). What is he out to steal? He tries to steal away the Word that brings you peace.
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? "So why do you worry (‘merimnaó’) about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil (‘kopiaó’) nor spin;”
— Matthew 6:26–28 NKJV
“how they grow” — The growth of lilies here speaks of beauty and health. When a flower grows, it blooms beautifully and that is a show of the health of the plant. How can we grow beautifully into greater health in every area of our life? The answer is to neither toil nor spin. The word “toil” here is the Hebrew word “amal” (seen in “Amalek”) and the Greek word “kopiaó,” which means “to grow weary or tired; wearisome effort.”
Beloved, while it is true that we need to work in life, we were not meant to toil painfully and grow weary through tiresome effort. Instead, we work with inward rest and trust in the Lord’s blessings and supply, and that is when we will see our work become more successful.
Father, I thank You that Christ died on the cross for all my sins. And I thank You that His blood has washed away all my sins completely. And I thank You, Father, that You raised Jesus from the dead, where You pronounced me acquitted. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior now and forever in Jesus' name, Amen.
This coming week, the Lord Himself bless you with the blessings of father Abraham and all the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. May they all manifest even this week in your life. And the Lord Himself keep you and your loved ones from the COVID-19 virus, from the Delta Variant, from the Mu variant, from every sickness and disease. The Lord Himself keep you from harm and danger and from all the power of the evil one—you are kept by the power of God, hallelujah.
The Lord favors you, smiles on you, prospers your way and everything that you touch, He causes it to prosper this week. And the Lord lift up His countenance on you, smile on you and grant to you and your families His shalom peace, wholeness, and well-being. Friends, stay in His rest and enjoy the good life in Jesus' name, Amen.
Have you been living life at a frantic pace, with your thoughts pulled in a million directions by worries about your future or regrets about your past? Friend, the Lord wants you to slow down and enjoy the present—because this is where His favor, blessings, and opportunities abound.
In today’s sermon, we learned in Hebrews 4 that the promised land for the believer is rest, and the only labor left for us to do is labor to enter into rest. Because our Lord Jesus has already secured every provision we need for lives at the cross, today we can trust Him and rest in all He has done.
Many times, this is easier said than done (that is why entering into rest is called a “labor”!). How do we labor to enter into rest when the worries of life start pulling us in many different directions and we can’t seem to silence the stressful thoughts in our heads?
Beloved, slow down and live life unhurried and worry-free so that you don’t miss out on the present, where the Lord’s favor and blessings are—right now—abounding!
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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