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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Distracted And Depressed? Help Is On The Way!

Sunday, 30 August 2020

These are notes on the sermon, Distracted And Depressed? Help Is On The Way!, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 30 August 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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  1. Introduction: Feed on God’s Word and receive Spirit-directed answers for every situation
  2. The Holy Spirit in you will provide, equip, and minister to every need—your part is to rest and receive His supply!
  3. Overcome every distraction and depressive thought when you look to Jesus and depend on His grace alone
  4. Closing prayer

Introduction: Feed on God’s Word and find Spirit-directed answers for every situation

Pastor Prince begins the service by encouraging the church to continue feeding on God’s Word, for it will bring answers for every challenge and situation we are facing.

Pastor Prince shares that as a minister of God’s Word, he continuously seeks the Lord by reading and spending time in the Word, for that is how the Holy Spirit speaks to him. As he does so, he is able to deliver the rhema word (the timely word in season) for the congregation every Sunday.

The Scriptures are called the “logos word.” The word “logos” means “the Word of God.” When you choose to spend time in the logos word and meditate on it, the Lord will reveal to you His rhema word. The rhema word refers to the now word—the word you need to hear for whatever you’re going through.

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart . . .”
— Jeremiah 15:16 KJV

Thy words were found, and I did eat them” — When you open up God’s Word, just come and eat. You don’t have to worry or go around looking for the rhema word.

thy word” — This phrase in Greek is translated as “rhema word”—the word for your present situation. When you feed on God’s Word and meditate on it throughout the day, the Spirit will speak to you the rhema word. For example, a phrase or a word will “jump” out at you and the Spirit will unveil truths that will give you direction, wisdom, or encouragement about the situation you’re in. You might find that as you are simply reading God’s Word, what you are reading speaks to your exact situation. Meditate on those words, and hold on to the rhema word that God is speaking to you about today.

We have this blessed enjoyment in God’s Word.

When we are hungry for answers in life, sometimes we run to all the wrong sources to get them. But God wants you to have healthy food that will nourish your faith, and that is found by feeding on the Word.

The Holy Spirit in you will provide, equip, and minister to every need—your part is to rest and receive His supply!

We are continuing the series from last week’s sermon, “Win the Battle Over Sin-Consciousness.”

“Who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end.”
— 2 Corinthians 3:6–7 ESV

the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone” — The only letters carved on stone were the Ten Commandments, which is the law. The law is regarded as the ministry of death because it condemns sin in our flesh, and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). It is only through the ministry of grace that we live, for it is the Spirit of grace that gives life.

God never intended the law to be man’s justification, to be man’s way of finding sanctification and holiness. The reason God gave the law was to show sinful man how much we needed His grace, and that we cannot be justified or made righteous by our own works (Rom. 3:20).

Some people think that without the law, there will be lawlessness. This is not necessarily true. Under grace, the opposite happens. As believers, we all have the Holy Spirit inside us, and the Holy Spirit causes the glory of the Lord to shine forth from within us.

While the law is holy, it cannot make you holy. The law demands everything and gives nothing; grace gives everything and demands nothing.

The now word for us today is to be truly and effectively under grace and not under the law.

An example of how the law ministers death and grace ministers life is seen in the way 3,000 people died when the law was given on Mount Sinai, while 3,000 were saved when the Spirit was given on Mount Zion.

The law is perfect, and when it cannot find perfection in the one trying to keep it, it has no choice but to confer the condemnation of death. The law is the ministry of death. When someone is under the law, death is constantly being ministered to the person.

Today, because of Jesus’ finished work, we are under grace. As believers, you can choose to be under the law or under grace. Under grace, not only do you live, but you also receive health, wholeness, zóé life, and eternal life.

To live the zóé life means to live by the highest form of life that God Himself lives by, and to enjoy all that life has to offer under His grace.

Jesus wants you to have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). The more grace is preached, the more the zóé life of God will quicken within you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our Helper in all things, and He only flows through grace.

Pastor Prince illustrates the Holy Spirit’s flow with this example: Imagine the Holy Spirit as electricity, which flows through us. Now imagine the law as rubber, which is a good insulator and bad conductor of electricity. When we try to live our lives under the law, the Holy Spirit cannot flow in our lives. He can only flow when we are living under grace.

Under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit is promised to us. Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit when He was in the Upper Room with His disciples (see John 14–17), and He revealed that while He would not be physically present in the days ahead, the Holy Spirit would be given to us as a Helper to help guide them (and us) in daily life.

Be conscious of how much the Lord loves you. The more conscious you are of His love, the more you can love on others, your spouse, and your children. God’s love is always greater than your love for Him.

In Matthew 22, Jesus answered the Pharisee who asked what God’s greatest commandment in the law was. Jesus revealed, “You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:34–37).

We know that only Jesus fulfilled that commandment when He was on earth. Jesus was the only Man who loved the Father with all His heart, soul, and mind. He was the only Man whose perfect walk on earth pleased the Father. Wherever Jesus went, He brought healing, restoration, blessings. Wherever He went, there was jubilee, freedom, and victory for those who encountered Him.

Let’s not focus on our love for God, because that’s self-righteousness. Instead, let’s focus on how much God loves us, and let Him do a wonderful work in our lives under grace.

One example is Abraham, who did not stand before the Lord as a doer but as a believer—a recipient and depository of all of God’s blessings.

Trust that the Lord is always ministering to you the Spirit and equipping you with His wisdom.

Whatever you might be doing as part of your daily responsibilities (i.e. cooking for the household, parenting, or working), believe that the Holy Spirit is constantly supplying you with the wisdom, words, grace, and the right measure of what you need to do and whatever needs to be done.

For example, in parenting, when you’re disciplining your child and feel as though all of life’s responsibilities are weighing on your shoulders, you'll be frustrated and the end result won’t be good. Instead, focus on the one thing needed, which is relying on the Lord’s supply.

We look at the story of Martha and Mary when Jesus came to visit their house. Martha, who was focused on serving the Lord well, ended up getting frustrated when Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear Him instead of helping her sister (Luke 10:38–42).

“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (‘merimnaó’) and troubled about many things.”
— Luke 10:41 KJV

careful” — The word “careful” is the Greek word “merimnaó,” which means to be torn apart by distraction or worry.

This is the same word that Jesus used in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6) when He encouraged the people, “Do not worry.”

“Which of you by worrying (‘merimnaó’) can add one cubit to his stature?”
— Matthew 6:27 NKJV

worrying” — The word “worrying” is also the Greek word, “merimnaó.”

“Therefore take no thought (‘merimnaó’), saying . . .”
— Matthew 6:31 KJV

thought” — The Greek translation for “thought” is also the Greek word, “merimnaó.”

Jesus’ heart for us is to see us stop worrying and to stop toiling.

In Matthew 6, the Lord describes the lilies of the valley, which grow beautifully not by the effect of toiling, but by God’s power that works from within (see Matt. 6:28–30). This is a picture of how the Lord wants us to be at rest on the inside, and let Him do the work through us because that will always produce glorious results.

When you stop worrying, health will spring forth speedily. You can speak against your cares, worries, and anxieties because you have that spiritual authority in Christ. When you speak, the shalom peace of God will garrison your heart.

To live under grace is to believe that God is always supplying you with every good thing.

We see Paul emphasizing strongly to believers on living under grace and not under law in this passage:

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
— Galatians 3:1–2 NKJV

obey the truth” — Obedience today refers to obeying the truth of grace—where we receive our blessings because of grace and not because of our own works.

receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith” — When God gave us the Holy Spirit, our lives were not in perfect order. The Holy Spirit is not given because of our good works, but because Jesus has been glorified. We are justified because Christ was crucified. He became the substitute for all our sins which is why God justifies us as righteous today. We have been filled with the Holy Spirit because of Jesus’ finished work.

In the days of the Old Testament, the high priests had the Holy Spirit on them, but not in them. Under the new covenant (grace), where Jesus is glorified, we have the Holy Spirit in us today and forevermore. It is a promise from the Lord (see John 14:16–17)!

Overcome every distraction and depressive thought when you look to Jesus and depend on His grace alone

Pastor Prince shares a story about a time when he was joyfully praising the Lord with a song he was writing, but after hearing that the lack of confessing every sin could be a barrier to receiving the Holy Spirit, doubt came in and took all the joy away from him that he had before. After reading a book that said Christians can lose their salvation, he became fearful and full of self-condemnation, which even led him to think blasphemous thoughts toward God. Because of that wrong believing, he suffered depressive thoughts.

This is why it is so important for believers to understand and know for sure that Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption for all our sins—past, present, and future.

We all want to do the right thing, but the only way we can serve God well is by first acknowledging that everything has been fulfilled by Christ and that the blood of Jesus has made us righteous through His finished work.

When you make a mistake, don’t be consumed by how you’ve fallen short and be hounded by guilt or regrets. See yourself as the righteousness of God in Christ, and move forward in grace.

Like how a prosecutor’s job is to argue all your wrongdoings, Satan (whose name means “accuser of the brethren”), is constantly trying to accuse you of all the sins you have committed. The more you look at yourself, the more you’ll be in despair. The more you look within yourself, the more you’ll get depressed. But when you look to Jesus, when your eye is on Christ who is altogether lovely, Christ who cannot impute sin to you but accounts His righteousness as yours, you will overcome every negative thought that tries to take you down.

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:17 KJV

ye are yet in your sins” — The fact that Christ was raised from the dead means that today, no more sin is imputed to us, and there is no more sin debt on our consciousness.

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
— Romans 10:4 KJV

Christ is the end of the law” — When Christ died for us, all our sins were paid for. The law ended when Jesus died for us. We know that His sacrifice covered our past, present, and future sins because when He died at the cross, we were all not born yet so every sin was “future”!

Imagine your sin debt like a credit card payment: once that payment is fully paid, the debt is over, so you don’t need to pay anymore. What Jesus did at the cross is outside time—God took all our sins in the future and put it all on Him at the cross. The sum total of all our sins have been fully paid for.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
— Romans 3:20 NKJV

by the law is the knowledge of sin” — Man’s prideful self wants to work, but we cannot be justified by our own righteousness. Only Christ’s righteousness can justify and sanctify us.

Paul speaks to the Jewish believers who were going back to the law despite being saved by grace:

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
— Galatians 3:10 KJV

Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law” — Paul was telling the people that the reason they were seeing curses in their lives was that they had gone back under the law, which demanded perfection and ministered death to them because they could not fulfill all of it.

When the law was given at Mount Sinai and the Jewish people agreed to it, they were in analogy being married to the law. In Jewish culture, the only way a married woman can break free from her husband is through death. So Jesus has provided a way out through the cross by dying for us righteously at the cross. Today, we are no longer married to the law, but we are married to the resurrected Jesus (grace).

We see it in this passage:

“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
— Romans 7:4–5 ESV

to him who has been raised from the dead” — Today, we have been raised together with Christ, and we belong to Jesus.

bear fruit for God” — When you are under grace, you will bear fruit for God.

bear fruit for death” — When you choose to live under the law, you will bear fruit for death (i.e. sickness, depression, etc.)

“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:56 NKJV

How does the law arouse our sinful passions? The law carries religious bondage. The more you try to keep it, the more you fail.

You cannot be married to the law and run to Jesus when you fail to keep the law’s holy standards. Likewise, you cannot run back to the law and try to keep it again after receiving the Lord’s grace. You cannot live life under both law and grace, for you will never have peace in your heart.

Be Jesus-conscious, not sin-conscious.

“Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.”
— Hebrews 10:2–3 ESV

having once been cleansed” — The Greek word for “once” is “hapax,” which means “once and for all.”

no longer have any consciousness of sins” — Under grace, there is no more consciousness of our sins.

The Lord wants you to be conscious of Jesus. Whoever you are conscious of, you give power to.

Pastor Prince uses circus lions as an illustration. During the circus act, the “lion tamer” holds a chair up to the lion and constantly moves it around so that the lion’s attention is on the chair. The lion is distracted by the 4 legs of the chair, and so does not attack the tamer. While the lion thinks the chair is the problem, the problem is actually the one who is moving the chair. The lion is far more powerful than the tamer, but it is distracted and cannot use its power.

The devil tries to distract us today. He distracts us with many things, just like Martha was distracted with many things.

To be distracted is to be torn in many ways or directions, as opposed to being whole.

Friend, the Lord doesn’t want you to be distracted by worry or fear, but to do the one thing needful—focus on Jesus and not the problems surrounding you.

Don’t worry about tomorrow, for grace comes one day at a time. Attack the problem one day at a time, and you will find that the Lord’s grace, favor, wisdom, and supply will be there.

Allow yourself to be present as you are hearing God’s Word. Don’t be distracted from receiving it. Just like Mary who chose the good part, we can choose to sit at Jesus’ feet and receive His words (Luke 10:42).

In Romans 7:4–5, we see what it means to “bear fruit for God”:

“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.”
— Romans 7:4–5 ESV

bear fruit for God” — When you are married to Jesus (grace), you will bear fruit for God. Your life will bear good fruit when you look to Jesus because grace (unmerited favor) is the result of union with Christ.

A biblical example of bearing fruit to God is seen in the story of Ruth and Boaz. In order to redeem Ruth, who had become a widow after her first husband (Mahlon) died, Boaz had to be her kinsman redeemer, which means he had to be her relative, he had to be wealthy, and he had to be willing. This is why Jesus came as a man to identify Himself with us. He came as a kinsman of the human stock, in order to redeem us from our sins and unrighteousness. Jesus is our heavenly kinsman Redeemer, who is wealthy and willing to redeem us.

When Ruth was married to Mahlon, whose name means “sickness,” she bore no child, which is a fruit of death. When she was married to Boaz, who is a picture of Jesus and His grace, she bore a child whose name was “Obed,” meaning “service.” In this manner, she bore fruit for God when she was married to grace.

Today, we can bear fruit for God by taking our eyes off ourselves and looking to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). The more you look to Jesus, the more your life will be transformed from glory to glory.

“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
— Philippians 2:13 NKJV

to will and to do” — “To will” means both “delight” and “pleasure” in Greek. God is the One who will work in you the desire and ability to do His good pleasure.

Look to the Lord for His supply and anointing, and live a life full of rest.

In everything we do, the one thing needful is His Word.

“He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
— Galatians 3:5 KJV

by the hearing of faith” — The Lord will dispense, confer, impart, and bless you with healing, spiritual breakthroughs, wisdom, and creative inspired ideas for work. These all come by hearing the Word of God which causes faith to arise in your heart.

Pastor Prince closes the service by going into a time of ministering and prays for a specific brother-in-Christ:

If your name is Shawn/Sean/Shaun, and you are going through a financial challenge in your life right now, the Lord wants you to know that His abundant supply is coming your way. It will be a great, profuse restoration for the large sum of money you have lost. The Lord’s favor is shining on you!

Pastor Prince prays for the following conditions/situations:

  1. Growth in the throat
  2. Muscle damage in the right leg, experiencing pain from the thigh down to the knee
  3. Watery eyes
  4. Strife and disagreement in marital relationships
  5. Right shoulder blade pain
  6. Pain underneath the left armpit that causes sleeping discomfort
  7. Joint problems (elbows, wrists)
  8. Ulcers in a child’s mouth due to a biting habit
  9. Financial breakthroughs for businessmen within the next two weeks
  10. Pain in the upper left arm
  11. Depression

Closing prayer

In the name of Jesus, Father, multiply Your grace, Your favor, Your mercy, Your shalom peace and mercy, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and Abba Father, if there ever be a root thought that is causing depression, evict that thought Lord, in Jesus’ name, right now, and replace that thought Lord with a healing thought from you, from Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.

Father, I pray for those who are in ‘merimnaó’ Lord, those who are worried and anxious because they are always distracted, they are being pulled on different sides. I pray in Jesus’ name, shalom, shalom, in the name of Jesus. Abba, impart Your aggressive peace that is beyond them Lord, that will so guard their heart and mind, Lord, that will so arrest their emotions, Lord, from being distracted and from being diverted, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Abba, grant them that shalom peace, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah.

Thank You Father for all that You are doing, Lord, and for that which we don’t see, Father I thank You that You are doing it anyway. Thank You Father for imparting healing. O Father, You are always supplying, You're always giving. Give us eyes to see, Father. Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness, in Jesus’ name.”

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 2020
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

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