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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Inherit God’s Best—Don’t Settle For Less

Sunday, 21 October 2018
 

These are notes on the sermon, Inherit God’s Best—Don’t Settle For Less, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 21 October 2018, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

What stops us from receiving God’s best blessings for us? It’s settling for what the world has to offer, which might seem good at first glance, but is far less than God’s best.

We hope these notes will help you understand:

  • That what the world offers might seem good in your sight, but the inheritance that God has for you is far better.
  • How to parent your children so that they, too, walk in God’s best blessings.
  • The importance of identifying yourself with Jesus rather than the world.

In this sermon, hear Pastor Prince share about how identifying yourself with Christ instead of the world will cause you to fully lay hold of your inheritance in Him!

Introduction

Pastor Prince shares on his new 28-day devotional, Anchored: Finding Peace in the Storms of Life:

  • It’s a book written for our times. It deals with issues like depression and suicidal thoughts, and shows you how to be anchored on the peace of Christ that passes all human understanding.
  • It’s portable, beautifully designed, and meant to be given away. We have so many stories of how people have received books in times past that have helped them in times of need.

Today, we are still on the track of receiving wisdom from God to possess our inheritance in Christ (see related sermons: Give Me This Mountain!, The Key to Robust Faith, Believe He Wants to Heal and Provide, Boldness to Inherit Every Blessing).

In this year of Hesed Wisdom, God wants to give us wisdom to possess our possessions. Wisdom doesn’t come with knowledge or age. It is God-given. God is imparting wisdom to us every Sunday in church through His Word.

Wisdom doesn’t come with age. People can be old and still hold grudges—that’s not wisdom. Remember: When you harbor unforgiveness, it’s like concocting poison for someone to drink, but drinking it yourself.

With God’s wisdom also comes:

  • Riches
  • Honor
  • Length of days (which includes health)
  • Peace

“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding”
— Proverbs 2:6 NKJV

Keys to reading the Word and discovering God’s best for you

  1. Read the Bible to see Jesus. Discover who He is and what He has, because in Christ, we find ourselves. 1 John 4:17 tells us that “as Christ is, so are we in this world,” which means that all that Jesus has is ours.
  2. Recognize that Israel’s physical enemies represent our spiritual enemies today. Just as they had enemies like the Amorites, Canaanites and Jebusites squatting in the land that was rightfully theirs, today we might be facing anxiety, panic attacks, relationships that have gone awry. These are things that stop us from walking in God’s best for us.
  3. Know that everything in the Bible—even the topography of Israel—has truths for us to learn that will bring about breakthroughs and blessings. For example, Jesus did three-fourths of His miracles in Galilee, which is a valley way below sea level in Israel, fulfilling the prophecy in Isa. 40:4, “Every valley shall be exalted…” This gives us a lesson about humility and pride—that the humble is exalted and the proud made low. When we are humble, we allow the Lord to exalt us.

Has your inheritance in Christ been under attack?

If you are being attacked with symptoms in your body, anxious thoughts that have a vice-like grip on your mind, strife in your relationships, etc, be aware that it’s an attack from the enemy.

Just as Israel had to evict their enemies from the land that God had promised them, the Lord wants to remove anything that’s stopping you from inheriting His best today.

The trouble is that we give room to things we are not supposed to. What we give room to will grow.

King Saul refused to destroy the Amalekites, and it was ultimately an Amalekite who killed him (see 1 Sam. 15:1–9, 2 Sam. 1:1–10). Amalekites are a picture of the flesh—not our bodies, but the principle in us that makes us want to sin.

We might think we can indulge the flesh just a little, but one day it’ll rise up and destroy us. By God’s grace, we can put it to death.

What the world offers might seem good, but it isn’t God’s best

“Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock; and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock, the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Shebam, Nebo, and Beon, the country which the Lord defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” Therefore they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan.”And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here? Now why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? Thus your fathers did when I sent them away from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them.”
— Numbers 32:1–9 NKJV

when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock” — The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh saw with their eyes that the lands of Jazer and Gilead had verdant, green pasture and was good for their livestock. Thinking they knew what was best for them, they told Moses, “Do not take us over the Jordan,” rejecting God’s Promised Land for them.

why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel” — These tribes were about to commit the sin of discouragement because their decision meant that there would be 2.5 less tribes in Israel to fight off the squatters and possess their Promised Land. Later on in Numbers 32:23, when Moses said, “... you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out,” he was referring to this sin of discouraging the people.

So the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said that they would fight for the Promised Land, but return to the eastern side of the Jordan afterwards (see Num. 32:16–23). They still chose to compromise on their portion of the Promised Land.

These tribes who decided to forfeit their Promised Land are a picture of Christians today who want only to make natural profit, and who have no heart for God’s inheritance. These are believers who don’t realize that God’s inheritance is so much more than what the world can offer.

When you compromise to get worldly riches, you’ll ultimately lose out. You’ll find that THEY'RE inferior in quality to God’s best for you.

Pastor Prince gives advice to parents about parenting: Listen to the Word of God rather than the latest teachings from the world. If you are buying books on parenting, make sure you buy books that give advice based on God’s Word rather than worldly theories.

God knows how to best raise your children. His Word teaches you how to parent them, how to love them, how to discipline them when necessary, how to raise them into men and women who are wise, respectful, and dignified.

Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh did not choose God’s way with regard to their land. They chose what they saw was good in their own eyes, and they forfeited the land that God had promised them.

Exodus 3:8 tells us that God’s Promised Land was flowing (not just filled!) with milk and honey. Today, we believers also have a Promised Land / inheritance in Christ that is flowing with milk and honey. The word “flowing” speaks of 2 things:

  • It is abundant!
  • We won’t be able to contain it. We are blessed to be a blessing—God’s blessing on our lives is meant to flow to others too.

From the time that Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh compromised and forfeited their Promised Land, no reputable prophet or warrior came from their tribes. In today’s context, they would be the world-bordering, neutralized Christians who miss out on God’s best.

YOU MISS ON OUT ON GOD’S BEST WHEN YOU SETTLE FOR WHAT the world says is BEST.

These tribes were also the first to be captured by the Assyrians because they were nearest to Assyria.

There are consequences God wants to protect us from when He urges us not to compromise for worldly gain.

When God talks about “the world,” what is He referring to?

It is not clothes, fashion, makeup, or even His natural creation. The answer is found in 1 John 2:15–16 NKJV:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes” — An example of this is what Eve did in Genesis 3:6. She “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes...”

The pride of life” — When Eve saw that the tree “was desirable to make one wise,” she took of its fruit and ate.

Jesus overcame all these things when He was tested by Satan in the wilderness (see Matt. 4:1–11):

When Satan told Jesus to turn the stones to bread (Matt. 4:3), He refused, and He overcame the lust of the flesh.

When Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said he’d give them all to Jesus if He would worship him (Matt. 4:8–9), Jesus refused, and overcame the lust of the eyes.

When Satan told Jesus to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the temple to prove He was the Son of God (Matt. 4:6), Jesus refused, and overcame the pride of life.

Where man failed in a perfect environment (the Garden of Eden), our Lord Jesus succeeded even when He was in a hostile environment (the wilderness, with no food). And Jesus is in us today.

Because Jesus is in us today, we have the spirit of sonship. It is a spirit that knows the Father’s love and has the ability to overcome the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life and go for God’s best instead.

How to overcome the desire for the world

Receive God the Father’s love for you.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
— 1 John 2:15 NKJV

Notice that the verse says “the love of the Father,” not “the love for the Father.” Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, saying, “If you love the world, then you don’t love the Father enough.” That’s not what this verse means.

It means that if you find yourself loving the things of the world, you just need to receive more of Daddy God’s love for you. Practice His love for you. See His heart for you.

When you know your Father in heaven wants only the best for you, you won’t compromise for less.

But when you compromise and adopt the world’s philosophies, you ultimately end up in a lower place than them.

God has unparalleled blessings in store for you

1 Peter 1:3–5 shows us how God’s inheritance for us is of greater quality than anything the world has to offer:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

3 characteristics of our inheritance in Christ:

  1. It’s incorruptible—not subject to death or the natural laws of this earth. God wants us to walk in divine health that is not subject to death. He wants us to enjoy blessed relationships that are not subject to death.
  2. It’s undefiled—cannot be stained/defiled by sin, or lost through sin. This means that sin cannot disqualify us from receiving it. But we don’t want to sin, because the love of the Father is in our hearts.
  3. It’s unfading—not subject to time, not diminishable.

God has an inheritance reserved for us in heaven that is available for us to enjoy today.

This inheritance in heaven is secure—it cannot be destroyed, it cannot be stolen, it is not affected by inflation rates or any worldly thing. Matthew 6:20 tells us that our treasures in heaven are “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

This inheritance is “reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” — The word “salvation” does not refer to deliverance from eternal death in hell. It includes it, but it also refers to salvation that is “ready to be revealed in the last time.” The word “time” here is the Greek word “kairos,” which refers to a special season of time: now, the end-times, the times we are living in.

This means that we get to see God’s salvation, His inheritance for us, manifest here and now!

Don’t identify yourself with the world and end up settling for less

“Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and by marriage he allied himself with Ahab. After some years he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria; and Ahab killed sheep and oxen in abundance for him and the people who were with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead. So Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” And he answered him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.””
— 2 Chronicles 18:1–3

King Jehoshaphat made a great compromise when he made an alliance with an evil king, Ahab.

I am as you are” — Whenever you identify yourself with the world, their fate will become your fate. King Jehoshaphat ended up being targeted by enemies in Ahab’s place (see 2 Chron. 18:29–34).

Even if you’ve identified yourself with the world and gotten into trouble, Yahweh is mighty to save

Ahab tricked Jehoshaphat into wearing his royal robes in the battle while he disguised himself—making Jehoshaphat a prime target. But God intervened and saved Jehoshaphat, and Ahab died by an arrow shot at random (see 2 Chron. 18:29–34).

“So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “It is the king of Israel!” Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him.”
— 2 Chronicles 18:31 NKJV

the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him” — The word “Lord” here in Hebrew is God’s name “Yahweh,” which speaks of the covenant-keeping God. It’s a name that always speaks of relationship. King Jehoshaphat could trust God to deliver him because he had a relationship with Him. The word “God” in the Hebrew is “Elohim,” the almighty Creator. The hand of Almighty God is moved by His heart of love for His people.

Even though God saved Jehoshaphat, he could have avoided this situation if he had not chosen to become Ahab’s ally.

Don’t fight a battle that isn’t yours.

The Bible tells us to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves (see Matt. 10:16).

What happens when you identify yourself with Christ: you inherit God’s best

If we don’t identify ourselves with the world, then who do we identify ourselves with? Our Lord Jesus.

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
— 1 John 4:17 NKJV

This verse does not mean that we should cut ourselves off from the world and become hermits. You can be a hermit and still be filled with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

What this verse means for us practically is that we can do business with the world, but never come down to their worldly principles (e.g. being dishonest).

Pastor Prince shares about a lady in New Creation Church who held on to this truth that as Christ is, so is she, when she went for a mammogram and the doctors found lumps in her breast. She had to return for further tests to determine if the lumps were cancerous, but she wrote on her medical report, “Does Jesus have lumps in His breast? As He is, so am I in this world.” Upon doing further tests, the doctors could find no lumps. Her testimony has spawned countless others.

Don’t identify yourself with anyone other than Jesus.

Being as Christ is means that you are under God’s favor, far above all principalities and powers (see Eph. 1:21), prosperous like He is, and so much more.

Closing Prayer

Pastor Prince prays for parents and business people whom God has placed on his heart in a strong way.

He encourages parents that it’s not too late to have a voice in their children’s lives. They have an authority that no one else has. He prays that they’ll have wisdom to lead and love their children, and govern their families.

He prays that business people will have the wisdom that God gave to Solomon—wisdom that’s peaceable, easy to be entreated, and makes good decisions. He prays that if there have been any compromises made for the sake of earning more money, they will cease. He prays God’s favor upon them wherever they go, whatever they undertake—that even if they might make losses in the natural for making a stand, God has something greater for them.

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 2018
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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