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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Now Is The Time Of Favor

Sunday, 26 September 2021
 

These are notes on the sermon, Now Is The Time Of Favor, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 26 September 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: Fear not—even in perilous times, God is working everything out for good
  2. Start living in the “now” for now is the time when the free favors of God abound in your life
  3. Speak forth by faith and believe that what you prayed for shall manifest in your future
  4. All that your heavenly Father has is already yours right now through Christ
  5. Be conscious of your identity in Christ, and you will live with a spirit of fullness and humility
  6. God is your ever-present help in times of need
  7. Learn to enjoy the present moment, and find yourself perpetually flowing in God’s grace
  8. God supplies you daily with fresh grace and favor
  9. Salvation prayer
  10. Closing prayer

Introduction: Fear not—even in perilous times, God is working everything out for good

There are many things in life that seem necessary and needful, but we need to remember that the one thing needful is to receive God’s Word (Luke 10:42). And as you hear His Word, His Word will set you free from worries and anxieties.

The Bible prophesied that the world will grow darker and darker (Isa. 60:2), and we can see this happening as live in a time when evil is called good and good is called evil. While we may experience situations that cause fear and despondency, these are signs of the end times, which point to our Lord Jesus.

We are still in the midst of the pandemic and we hear of earthquakes occurring in various places. But as these things are happening, know that the rapture is near.

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; 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. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
— Matthew 24:6–8 NKJV

See that you are not troubled” — If a message you hear causes fear to arise in your heart, then forget about it and look for Jesus-centered messages that bring hope. The word “troubled” means to have “a riot in your mind; troublesome thoughts, worries and anxieties,” and this is not how the Lord intends for us to live. The Lord’s desire for us is to live life untroubled.

the end is not yet” — The Bible says that though you see these signs, it is not the end yet.

pestilences” — Right now, one of the pestilences is COVID-19.

the beginning” — These signs are only the beginning that signify Jesus’ return (the rapture). While this is the beginning of sorrows, we can pray for revival to happen. Let us rise up to pray for the leadership of nations, to bring them to salvation and bless their health and their families.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.”
— Acts 2:17 KJV

I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” — During these last days, the Lord is pouring out His Spirit on every tribe and nation, and we can look forward to a worldwide revival (Acts 2:18, 20)!

In the midst of the immorality in our world today, people have become jaded. But because of that, they are ready for the good news of Jesus Christ, and we can share the gospel with them. There is no better time than now.

As we see everything happening around us, Jesus does not want us troubled or worried, for fear only gives rise to physical ailments in your body (Luke 21:26). Jesus came to give us the abundant life (John 10:10)!

Start living in the “now” for now is the time when the free favors of God abound in your life

Today we are continuing from the last sermon Pastor Prince preached, Answers for a Hurried Life.

“For he says,
‘In the time (‘kairos’) of my favor (‘dektos’) I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
— 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV

now” — The word “now” is emphasised twice: now is the time of God’s favor, and now is the day of salvation.

time (‘kairos’)” — The word “time” is “kairos” in the Greek, which means “a seasonable time, one of opportunity.” Note that this is not the usual Greek word used to indicate time, that is, “chronos.”

favor (‘dektos’)” — The word “favor” is “dektos” in Greek, meaning “acceptable, favorable.”

“To preach the acceptable (‘dektos’) year of the Lord.
And he closed the book. . .”
— Luke 4:19–20 KJV

acceptable (‘dektos’)” — Jesus used the Greek word “dektos” before He closed the book of Isaiah He had been reading from. This tells us that Jesus has come to preach the free favors of the Lord, and not “the day of the day of vengeance of our God,” which how that portion of scripture in Isaiah continues (Isa. 61:2).

“The day of vengeance of our God” in Isaiah 61:2 speaks of the time of the millennial rule on earth, which is when the Lord will recompense all the enemies who oppressed His people and tried to obstruct the gospel. But we are not in the day of vengeance, and that is why we don’t see adverse things happening to those who persecute believers today. Jesus tells us to pray for them and to bless those who curse us. This is how we exemplify grace toward others today.

In Luke 4:19, Jesus closed the book and ended His sermon after declaring the acceptable year of the Lord. This signifies that we are people who are still in the acceptable year of the Lord, in the dispensation of grace, where the free favors (“dektos”) of the Lord profusely abound toward us.

Don’t have the mentality that what happened to others in the Bible (in the Old Testament) will happen today. Those people were under the law, but we are now under grace. While there is discipline and correction today, there is no punishment for our sins imputed to us because Jesus has been punished in our place at the cross.

“For he says,
‘In the time (‘kairos’) of my favor (‘dektos’) I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
— 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV

time of my favor I heard you” — In this time of God’s free favors, He hears and answers your prayers, and will grant your requests.

I helped you” — God says that during this time of favor, in this day of salvation, He will help you. God’s help is supernatural and practical—if you need healing, His help will be in healing you. If you need transformation from bad habits, He will help you break away from them supernaturally.

Isaiah prophesied this and Paul also said by the Spirit that NOW is the time when God hears you with His favor to deliver you from all curse, sickness, and disease, and supernaturally intervene in every trouble.

What used to be a “kairos” season is now our ever-present reality. We cannot enjoy it if we’re living in the future, by thinking often of negative things happening in our future and having mind games play out in our heads. Start enjoying your life now and know that although unforeseen things may happen in the future, God will surely deliver and save you from it. The time of God’s favor is “now,” and you need to live in the now to experience His favor.

salvation” — Salvation is not just Jesus saving us from hell. Salvation also includes being rescued into preservation, health, and wholeness. The root word of “salvation” in Greek is “sozo,” which means “to save, heal.” The day of salvation and His shalom peace is happening now.

Speak forth by faith and believe that what you prayed for shall manifest in your future

Faith is the lifestyle of the new covenant believer. In the Bible, we read about people whose faith made them well (Mark 5:34) and how our hearts are purified by faith (Acts 15:9). Faith is the way we live our lives as Christians, but faith is also about the “now.” We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
— Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

the evidence of things not seen” — This verse is the definition of faith, where we don’t go by sight (our five senses). Faith is not pretending that your problem is not there, but it is about seeing and believing a reality that goes beyond our natural sight. Our natural sight is very limited.

Science tells us there is a force that holds atoms together, but they cannot comprehend what it is. But we know that all things are created and held together by Him (Col. 1:16–17). He is the unseen but ever-present force that holds your marriage, your mind, and your wholeness together.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
— Mark 11:24 NKJV

when you pray, believe that you receive them” — When Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered the next day, He used the incident to teach His disciples what faith in action looks like. Before you see something happen in your life, pray and speak what you want to see first, and believe in that moment that you have received what you asked for. When you believe that you have received it, you will have it!

Faith is about believing what is true but unseen and expecting it to manifest in the future. Right now, if you are experiencing symptoms in your body, believe that you are the healed of the Lord, and healing shall come to pass.

“For to every one having shall be given, and he shall have overabundance, and from him who is not having, even that which he hath shall be taken from him.”
— Matthew 25:29 YLT

he shall have overabundance” — The word “have” is in the present active tense. It means to actively have or own something. This means that when you actively believe and say that you have whatever you have prayed for, you will have an over-and-above abundance of it! But when you say you don’t have it (e.g. healing, provision, restored relationships), even though you have it in Christ, it will be taken away (the enemy will steal it from you).

“Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”
— Luke 8:18 NKJV

how you hear” — Take heed of how (the way) you hear God’s Word.

When it comes to healing, know that It’s not about you trying to get healed, but believing by faith that you are healed because of Jesus’ finished work (Isa. 53:5). As believers, we are to function in a greater reality beyond our sight and senses, for faith is our reality. Just like how we cannot see God, but we know and believe He is real and eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).

overabundance” — The Greek word for “overabundance” is “perisseuó,” meaning “to be over and above.” If you say you have it, then it will come your way in overabundance! But if you say you don’t have it, then it will be taken away. So say you have what you ask for by faith, and see the manifestation of God’s goodness in your life!

All that your heavenly Father has is already yours right now through Christ

“And seated (present tense) us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
— Ephesians 2:6 NASB

seated” — Today, because of Jesus’ finished work, we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. The word “seated” is in present tense, which means that we are now seated with Christ. And because we are seated with Christ, His life flows through us, and what we speak happens!

The parable of the prodigal son

Backstory: A father had two sons. The younger son had asked his father for his share of the inheritance and squandered it all during his time away from his father’s house. Left in the pits and hungry, this son decided to go back home and become one of his father’s hired servants so that he could eat. However, before he could say a word upon nearing his father’s house, his father ran toward him and embraced him, throwing a celebration to welcome his son home.

When the son chose to go home, he didn’t do it because he missed his father but because he wanted to eat. Yet all his father cared about was that his son was home. Even if you were to accept Christ purely to receive salvation and nothing else, God accepts you at that level of faith (Rom. 10:13). When you come to God’s house, there is bread enough to spare (Luke 15:17), where there is more than enough supply for you and your family.

When the older son heard the music and dancing in his father’s house, he asked the servants what those things meant, for they were foreign to him (Luke 15:25–26). The older son represents the Pharisees (religious people who try to earn God’s favor by their own works), while the prodigal son represents sinners who draw near to the Lord despite their failures (Luke 15:1–2). The older son was angered and didn’t want to join the celebration, and his father came out of the room to speak to him (for the father also loved his older son).

“So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.”
— Luke 15:29 NKJV

I never transgressed your commandment at any time” — The older son represents people who are self-righteous, who think they have never transgressed God’s commandments. However, we as sinners have all transgressed His commandments, and we are only made righteous through Jesus Christ.

you never gave me a young goat” — The older son had a hardened heart toward his father, thinking that despite all his efforts to please his father, he had not been given a young goat to make merry with his friends.

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all (‘pas’) that I have is yours.”
— Luke 15:31 NKJV

all (‘pas’) that I have is yours” — The father’s reply to his son was, ”all that I have is yours.” The word “all” in Greek is “pas,” which means “every variety of blessings and riches.” Instead of pointing out his older son’s mistakes, the father told his son with endearment that all he had was his. The phrase “is yours” is in the present active tense, meaning that all the father had already belonged to his older son—not in the past or in the future, but at that moment.

The older son was operating out of a sense of lack and emptiness, and even though he was a son at home, he had a servant’s mentality. On the other hand, the younger son who came back and wanted to be a servant was reinstated and given more than what he had lost (Luke 15:22)!

Under the law, we cannot stand before God (Exo. 3:5). But under grace, we can stand before God as a son. Let us have a spirit of a son, and not serve God with a slavish spirit that is fearful of the master’s displeasure. Instead, when we serve, let us serve because we have a heart for the Father.

The Bible says that we are joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). When you recognize your inheritance in Christ, you will carry out your affairs with the spirit of a son, with fullness and completeness, and you will see your Father’s blessing and supply in all your relationships and responsibilities (Col. 2:6, 10)!

Be conscious of your identity in Christ, and you will live with a spirit of fullness and humility

With the exception of going to the cross to die for our sins, the greatest act of humility that Jesus did was wash His disciples’ feet (John 13:5). Right before He did this, He acknowledged that the Father had “given all things into His hands” (John 13:3–4). With this sense of fullness, He could proceed to serve His disciples.

When you know you are a child of God, righteous in Christ and seated with Christ in heavenly places, and that your Father has given you all things, that is when you can afford to be humble. That is when you can stoop down to serve others and “wash their feet.” Proud people who always put themselves above others are actually insecure.

When Jesus came to Mary and Martha’s house, Martha saw Jesus in the natural—tired and needing her service. But Mary saw Jesus in His fullness—and she chose to receive from Him.

Joseph, whose brothers sold him off as a slave, later became the most powerful man in Egypt besides Pharaoh. But he didn’t use his power to get revenge on his brothers when they came during the famine to ask for food. Instead, he used all his immense power to forgive them. Because Joseph was conscious of the Lord in his life, he was able to forgive them from a posture of fullness and humility.

If we try to be humble out of inferiority or emptiness, we can never do it properly. There is a difference between being a prince and being a slave washing people’s feet. Likewise, when we are conscious of who we are Christ and live with the spirit of fullness and humility, we can extend grace and forgiveness to one another.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
— Hebrews 4:16 NKJV

throne of grace” — Today, we can come boldly to the throne of grace and ask God with confidence for what we need.

mercy” — When we receive God’s mercy, we do not get the bad things we deserve.

grace” — When we receive God’s grace, we get the good things we don’t deserve.

We get both mercy and grace at the throne of grace!

God is your ever-present help in time of need

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
— Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

Now faith is” — This phrase is in the present tense. Right now, faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead

Backstory: It had been 4 days since Lazarus died before Jesus arrived in Bethany (the home of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha).

“Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
— John 11:20–26 NKJV

Lord, if You had been here” — Jesus was standing in front of Martha when she said to Him, “Lord if you had been here...” Martha was consumed with the past and did not realize what it meant for Jesus to be presently right there with her.

I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” — This time Martha was only looking at the future. She knew Lazarus would rise again at the last day during the rapture, but she was not paying attention to Jesus in the now.

I am the resurrection and the life” — Jesus said to Martha, “I am,” which is in the present tense. He is here right now, the resurrection and the life!

We need to remember that there is no such thing as “an age of miracles” (where miracles happened once, but no more). Instead, we have a “God of miracles” who it the same yesterday, today, and forever! He is our ever-present help right now (Ps. 46:1)!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from . . . the Father of lights.”
— James 1:17

good gift . . . perfect gift” — Good gifts are for people all over the world, but God’s perfect gifts are reserved for His children (us believers).

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.”
— Psalm 46:1 NKJV

A very present help” — In all the affairs of life, be it in the pandemic, in areas of lack, in marital turmoil or any other area, God is our refuge and strength. His help is timely and present, here to help you right now. It is not a future or past help, but a very present help in times of need.

Remember the stories in the Old Testament. The same God who delivered Goliath into David’s hand is the same God who will deliver into your hand everything that is besetting or concerning you!

All the salvation of God, all the answered prayers, and all the supernatural help of God is on your side today, helping you whenever the need arises.

Learn to enjoy the present moment, and find yourself perpetually flowing in God’s grace

When an athlete performs outstandingly while playing on the field, the sports terminology for it includes: “a state of grace”, “in the zone”, and “in the flow.” In the same manner, God desires for us to flow with Him so that He can do wonderful works in our lives. This happens when we are under His grace.

When we go by our own self-effort, we frustrate the grace of God. Law is demand-oriented, whereby the more we try not to do something, the more we fall into it (1 Cor. 15:56). But grace is about being supply-minded, acknowledging that God is supplying and working through us to bring about the best outcome in our lives.

When you participate in the flow of what God is doing, you will find yourself perpetually in “a state of grace,” where His grace flows into every area of your life. When you labor over something too much or overthink things, that is when you step out of the zone. Perhaps it’s a presentation at work. While you should be diligent and prepare for it, it’s important that you do not overthink or worry about it—just pray, step into it, and relax.

In 1998, football player Zidane took home the win for his team in Brazil after playing outstandingly on the field. When asked about how he managed to perform so well, he mentioned that he wasn’t focused on winning the game but rather focused on enjoying the game. Similarly, when we enjoy what we’re doing, we step into a flow with the Lord!

“. . . God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
— 1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV

all things to enjoy” — God has given us all things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). Whatever you are waiting on or believing God for, don't be anxious about the results, for the results shall be there. Believe you have what you prayed for, and more will be given to you!

Pastor Prince shares a word of wisdom for families: Don’t wait for the pandemic to be over to start enjoying your family, or by waiting for a future event to happen. Be present right now in your relationships with your family. You don’t have to worry about the future or postpone your enjoyment. You can see the good in the “now” and begin enjoying life. For parents, whatever stage of growth your children may be at now, enjoy it because it will pass. Show them love by listening to them at whatever level they are at.

Sin no longer has power over you when you are under grace (Rom. 6:14). Grace and the anointing from God is what gives us that constant flow that leads to success. Just like how creaky door hinges work smoothly after applying lubricating oil, when we are anointed with fresh oil (Ps. 92:10), we will not have to put in a lot of painful, toilsome effort in order to squeeze out some results. Instead, we can simply be led by the Holy Spirit to do the right thing at the right time—without worry or anxiety—and yield great results.

God supplies you daily with fresh grace and favor

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
— Matthew 6:34 MSG

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now” — Pay attention to what God is doing in the now! While it’s important to plan for the future in practical ways, God wants you to do it without worrying, overthinking, or projecting worst-case scenarios. When the future comes, there will be grace for your future. God always gives grace so that you can rest.

Just like how the Israelites trusted God for fresh manna daily, you can be confident in receiving God’s fresh supply of provision for every day of your entire life.

In this story that happened in Exodus 16:22–23, Notice that on 6th day, God gave them double manna so that they would have enough for the 7th day, which was their day of rest (on this rest day, they could not go out to collect manna). God gave them a double supply so that they could rest, knowing their “tomorrow” was taken care of.

Today, the Lord wants us to be at rest on the inside even as we are busy on the outside. When you start living in the “now,” you become a person who is constantly at ease, and someone who is healthy and whole.

“. . . What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.
— Matthew 6:31–33 MSG

not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving” — Grace is God giving to us His supply. Pay attention to what is happening right now, for all the favor you need today is here, and it will happen presently in the “now” for you.

While there are new struggles daily, don’t steep yourself in the bad news in the world, and don’t be a slave to what people say about the future. Instead, we can look forward with a confident expectation of good and live in the present, enjoying what God is doing now!

Salvation prayer

“Heavenly Father, thank You. Christ died for my sins and rose from the dead without them. Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Lord. Thank You, Father, that You love me so much. I'm now Your child and You have given me every blessing that You have. Teach me in these coming days more and more of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I may fall deeper in love with Him. Amen.”

Closing prayer

“This coming week, in the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray that you be protected—you and your loved ones will be protected completely from the COVID-19 virus and from the Delta variant, that God will place you at the right place at the right time. And that you will enjoy the free favors of God over you and all your loved ones. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people say right now: Amen.”

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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