These are notes on the sermon, See His Love And Receive His Power, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 21 July 2019, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Pastor Prince greets the congregation after returning from Hillsong Conference.
He reminds us to remember that this is the year of the latter rain (in other words, the year of harvest). This is the year we are to take, possess, and receive our inheritance from the Lord!
In today’s sermon, we are looking at the nature of God.
How you see God affects how you live. For example, if you are a fearful person, it is because of the way you see God.
The Parable of the Talents
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”
—Matthew 25:14–15 NKJV
After giving his servants talents of gold, this man went away for a long time. Later, he returns to his servants and asks for accountability.
Out of the 3 servants, 2 of them reaped good results. The last one did not.
The servants who reaped good results said to their master:
“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’”
—Matthew 25:20 NKJV
“He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’”
—Matthew 25:22 NKJV
Both of them were conscious that their talents were not theirs, but delivered to them, given to them, by the Lord. They gave the Lord the credit.
The servant who did not reap any results said to his master:
“‘Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.’”
—Matthew 25:24 NKJV
This servant indicts the Lord for reaping where He did not sow. He didn’t realize that his talent came from the Lord in the first place. In other words, he was saying, “Lord, you are taking from me what belongs to me.”
“I knew you to be a hard man” — He saw the Lord as a hard man, and the word “hard” in Greek is also the word for “harsh, violent, and stern.”
If you see the Lord as a harsh and violent God, it will affect the way you use your gifts, your money, your resources for Him. It will affect the way you serve Him.
This servant was also afraid of the Lord.
“‘And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’”
—Matthew 25:25 NKJV
Fear came in because of a wrong belief of God. If you see God as angry, harsh, violent, stern, you are going to have fear in your life.
Your fears might not be related to God. They could be fears of old age, fears of not having enough, fears of losing someone you hold dear, fears of losing your health, fears of losing your finances.
There are people who say that the world needs a dose of the fear of God.
But actually, the “fear of God” that God wants us to have is defined by Jesus as the “worship of God.” When Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 which says, “You shall fear the Lord your God,” He quoted it as, “You shall worship the Lord your God.” (see Luke 4:8).
It is this fear of God—the worship of God—that prolongs days and lengthens your life (see Prov 10:27).
Every time you come to church to worship, you have days and years being added to your life.
How we see God affects how we steward our giftings.
Notice how this servant who had a wrong opinion of the Lord treated his talent:
“‘And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’”
— Matthew 25:25 NKJV
He didn’t use the talent God had given him. He hid it.
How you see God affects everything. It affects how you conduct the affairs of your life.
Jesus came to manifest God in the flesh. He said that “he who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9).
In the Old Testament, God was blessing, forgiving, pardoning, healing, and providing for His people—but He did so from a distance.
So God would provide—but from a distance.
When Jesus came, He did the same acts of grace and love, but this time, He was right there with the people.
He was right there with the people He loved.
That caused a problem with the religious leaders, e.g. the Pharisees. They wanted to keep God in the Holy of Holies so that people would have to go through them to get to God because they were the only ones with access.
When Jesus came, God in flesh, doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38), the middlemen became unnecessary. So they wanted to kill Jesus.
God came in the flesh and they wanted to destroy Him.
Their hearts were not for the Lord but for themselves.
Jesus came with the full resources of heaven and He moved among people with needs.
God is never turned off by your need.
Your need is the very thing He responds to. Just like positives are attracted to negatives, His supply is attracted to your need.
But some of us are trying to say we’re not needy, not depressed, not addicted. And when we come to God with the pretense that we’re not needy, His supply cannot flow into our lives. Because His supply is attracted to your need.
Look at Jesus in the gospels: He came with all the resources of heaven, and every time He found a needy person, His heart opened up to them.
The woman with the issue of blood simply touched the hem of His garment and she was made whole. Immediately, divine power went into her and she was healed. Because she came to Jesus with a need.
When your need meets His supply, all His supply is poured into your need. And there is always more supply than need.
In 2 Kings 4, Elisha the prophet visited a widow who cried out to him for help because her late husband had left a debt she could not pay, and the creditor was going to take her 2 sons away as slaves.
Elisha — In Hebrew, his name means “my God saves,” and he is a picture of Jesus.
“So Elisha said to her, ‘What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?’ And she said, ‘Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.’”
—2 Kings 4:2 NKJV
“what do you have in the house?” — We are never so poor that we don’t have something that the Lord has already provided. The widow told Elisha that she had a small jug of oil.
“Then he said, ‘Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few.’”
—2 Kings 4:3 NKJV
“do not gather just a few” — Elisha told her to borrow many empty vessels. She could get these vessels from her neighbors; they were not hard to find.
“‘And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.’ So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’ And he said to her, ‘There is not another vessel.’ So the oil ceased.”
—2 Kings 4:4–6 NKJV
Elisha told her to pour the oil she had into the empty vessels. The oil speaks of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Prince encourages people who feel like God is not using them to start “pouring the oil” into the empty vessels around them, i.e. start praying for someone who is sick, start praying for someone in need. As you pray for these people, the Holy Spirit will keep pouring into them.
The widow kept pouring oil from her jar and filling vessels that were much bigger than her small jar. As she poured, the supply kept flowing.
Only when she ran out of vessels did the oil cease.
The law of scarcity in economics doesn’t apply to the Lord. He wants you to learn a new kind of economics: His supply is always greater than your demand.
God is love, perfect love. Love always wants to give, always wants to share. And He has endless resources; He is the richest being to ever exist. His greatest pain is to be unable to share, to be unable to love, to be unable to pour out.
When Jesus went to the synagogue in His hometown, Nazareth, He read the Scriptures (the book of Isaiah) concerning Himself:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
—Luke 4:18–19 NKJV
He stopped short of declaring, “The day of vengeance of our God,” because His first coming was only to “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” The acceptable year of the Lord is the time when God’s grace profusely abounds. We are still living in this time.
Jesus stood in Nazareth in front of the people, ready to bring all of heaven down to earth. Ready to heal the brokenhearted, heal the sick, set the captives free.
But they rejected Him.
They pushed Him out of the city until He was at the edge of a cliff, then finally He passed through the midst of them and went on His way (see Luke 4:28–30).
Jesus didn’t walk away till the very last moment. It’s as if He didn’t want to leave.
If you keep refusing to avail yourself to His resources, He will go to the next person.
When He walked away, the people of Nazareth remained brokenhearted, sick, and oppressed.
Do you see God as a God who is sometimes happy with you, sometimes angry with you?
God is not like that. He wants us to see Him as a good, good Father.
“And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.”
—Mark 3:1 NKJV
“a man was there who had a withered hand” — In the original Greek, this verse says, “the man’s hand became withered.” He wasn’t born with it; he likely had an accident.
“So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.”
—Mark 3:2 NKJV
The Pharisees watched to see whether Jesus would heal on the Sabbath, not whether He could heal. They already knew He could heal.
If Jesus was not the Son of God like they said, they would not have expected Him to heal. Their evil thoughts toward Jesus were an unconscious testimony to the fact that He is the Son of God.
Even Jesus’ enemies didn’t expect evil from Him; they knew they could count on Him to do good.
Similarly, people of the world expect a higher standard from us—and they have the right to. We are heavenly people. They are also giving an unconscious testimony to God’s glory. If our Christianity was not true, they would not expect us to walk differently from them.
“And He said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Step forward.’”
—Mark 3:3 NKJV
Jesus didn’t surrender to religious bondage. He didn’t leave the man alone then find him later to heal him privately when the Pharisees weren’t around. He healed him right there and then.
There are 2 types of people represented in this story:
“Then He said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.”
—Mark 3:4–6 NKJV
The Pharisees were anti-grace. They went out and plotted how they would destroy Jesus, who just made a man well.
As Jesus was healing the man, He was angry and grieved at the hardness of their hearts.
Pastor Prince starts praying for people with:
Pastor Prince emphasizes that all the healings that take place are not by his power, but Jesus’ power. The Jesus who healed the man’s withered arm is the same Jesus who comes to us today. He is omnipresent through the Holy Spirit.
See Jesus loving you. It pains His heart to be unable to give to you.
Pastor Prince leads the rest of the congregation in a prayer to receive healing from the Lord.
There is a wrong belief that all anger is sin. Anger is not sin.
Ephesians 4:26 NIV says, “In your anger do not sin.” The problem is that most of the time, our anger is selfish and leads to sin. But anger itself is not sin.
Some people are shocked when they find out Jesus overturned the money changers’ table in the temple because they were corrupt. People shouldn’t be shocked by that.
Jesus is a man’s man.
He worked 30 years in a carpenter’s workshop without modern tools or machinery. What do you think that does to a man's biceps and shoulder muscles? Jesus was strong.
He carried the cross which was sharp and jagged even after He was beaten, scourged, and tortured.
When He first called His disciples, He did so with 2 simple words: “Follow Me.” And they dropped everything to follow Him.
This wonderful Jesus is God who became man. He came to Earth to be with us. He came so that He could die on the cross. His death wasn’t a murder—He laid down His life.
When soldiers came looking for Him to arrest Him, He stepped forward and said, “I AM.” And they all fell to the ground. Jesus was not murdered; He chose to lay down His life.
He had no sin in His blood, no sickness or weakness in His body. He was the most radiant man who ever lived—the perfect man.
The only time He became ugly was at the cross so that His beauty could be upon us.
Back to the question of anger. There is only one time the Holy Spirit records in Scripture that Jesus was angry. It is in this verse:
“And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.”
—Mark 3:5 NKJV
Jesus was angry when He saw the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts. The Bible doesn’t even record that Jesus was angry when He saw the money changers’ tables.
This anger that Jesus felt was born out of love.
It’s the kind of anger you feel when someone you love is going down the wrong path. Maybe your son or daughter whom you love is going down a path that you’ve been down before, and you don’t want them to make the same mistakes you made. You get angry and grieved not because you hate them but because you love them. Because you want the best for their future.
That is the kind of anger Jesus felt when He saw the Pharisees’ hardened hearts.
It is interesting that when Jesus met people with overt sins, He was never angry. Sin is wrong, but Jesus was never angry when He met and ministered to these people.
God has anger, but it is rare. Isaiah calls God’s anger “His strange work” (Isa. 28:21 NIV).
Psalm 30:5 says, “His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life.”
For us believers, God has promised that He will never be angry with us again (see Isa. 54:9). Because Jesus took the fire of God’s judgment on Himself at the cross, we will never have to bear it. But there will be judgment for unbelievers when Jesus comes again.
Yes, God teaches and corrects us through frustrating situations (e.g. He can teach you patience by placing exasperating drivers in front of you on the road). But God will never correct you in anger. And He never uses accidents, sickness, disease, or tragedies to correct you.
“‘For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’
Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.”
—Isaiah 54:9–10 NKJV
Isaiah 54 comes after Isaiah 53, which describes how Jesus carried our sins and took God’s judgment on our behalf. That is why in Isaiah 54, we see how God has no more wrath for the believer.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
—Romans 5:8–9 NKJV
“For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you” (Isa. 54:9) — Every time you see a rainbow, don’t think of Noah anymore. Think of how God swore that He will never be angry with you.
God doesn’t have to swear. His Word is absolute truth. But He chose to swear that He will never be angry with you—it’s like a double iron clad guarantee.
God does not have fluctuating emotions toward us. He is not moved by the ebb and flow of our actions and emotions.
Pastor Prince shares how he received this revelation from the Lord when he was on the way to Israel: The enemy’s #1 tactic is to make you feel like God is angry with you.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
—1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
“the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” — The devil cannot just devour anyone he wants. He has to “seek whom he may devour.” That’s why he goes about like a roaring lion.
But how does he go about like a roaring lion? How do we experience this “roaring lion” in everyday life?
The answer is found in Proverbs 19:12 NKJV:
“The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.”
The king in Proverbs 19 is Jesus. His wrath is like the “roaring of a lion,” but today He has no more wrath toward us.
So when the devil “walks about like a roaring lion,” it means that he is impersonating Jesus to make you feel like Jesus is angry with you.
Whenever you feel like:
Know that those are just feelings, not the truth.
We expect angry responses when we do something wrong in our human relationships. Even in our relationship with our spouse. But God is not like that; He is not swayed by the things we do.
Pastor Prince goes on to give some marriage advice on dealing with conflict.
Pastor Prince addresses how the phrase “the Holy Spirit is grieved” has been used erroneously by many people, e.g. “You don’t pray enough, you don’t worship enough. The Holy Spirit is grieved.”
But the Holy Spirit Himself tells us what grieves Him when He wrote the Scriptures:
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
—Ephesians 4:29–30 NKJV
The word “grieve” here is the same word used in Mark 3:5, “[Jesus was] grieved by the hardness of their hearts.”
In Mark 3, we saw that Jesus was grieved by the hardness of heart, which is a lack of grace.
In the same way, we see in Ephesians 4:29–30 that the Holy Spirit is also grieved by a lack of grace. Words that “impart grace to the hearers” delight the Holy Spirit, so we know that words that don’t impart grace grieve Him.
Praise your husband, your wife, your children.
“Not until my husband/wife does this for me.”
“Not until my children do well for their exams.”
That’s not grace.
If you say something good to people because they deserve it, that’s no longer grace.
But when you say something good to them when they don’t deserve it, that’s grace, that’s undeserved favor! And it delights the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit loves grace! That’s why whenever you hear grace being preached, your heart leaps. That’s the Holy Spirit being gladdened.
It is the lack of grace that grieves the Spirit. Don’t flippantly say, “The Holy Spirit is grieved,” about random things you’re not happy about.
Despite the amazing grace that Jesus demonstrated by going around healing the sick and raising the dead, some cities still rejected Him.
In Matthew 11:23–24, Jesus said that the rejection of His grace is worse than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah.
There are degrees of sin. It’s true that one sin is enough to send anyone to hell if they are not saved, but that does not mean that there are no degrees of sin, e.g. Jesus said to Pilate, “The one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:11).
There are degrees of sin, and the worst one since Jesus has come is the rejection of His grace.
Let's not be among those who see the Lord of glory with all of heaven’s resources and let Him pass us by. Tell Him, “Lord, whatever you have for me, count me in. I’m needy, needy, needy! I want all of it. Give me the blessings of forgiveness of sins, healing of diseases, and redeem me and my family from destruction. Renewal of youth like the eagles and long life—I’ll take that too, Lord!”
Jesus’ heart is to give to you. He is love.
“Father. I thank you for everyone under the sound of my voice. I thank you, Father, that through this week, no matter what happens, You are the God who has gone ahead of them and prepared the way. You have brought down the high places in the mountains and made it a straight way for your people. And Father, I thank You that You're making the crooked places straight as well. In Jesus’ name, protect everyone under the sound of my voice throughout this week from every danger, harm, accident, sickness, and from all the powers of darkness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I thank you, Father, that you have over-answered me and all of us. In Jesus’ name, 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 2019
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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