These are notes on the sermon, The Kairos Year Of Right Time, Right Place, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 8 January 2023, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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God works with times and seasons. Every year, God gives the church a theme, a specific word that has a strong emphasis on what He’s doing in that particular season/year. When we lean into God’s word in season for us, we will be more conscious of what He’s doing in our lives and give glory to Him when we see the blessings and breakthroughs manifest according to His Word!
“I returned and saw under the sun that—
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time (‘eth’ – ‘kairos’) and chance
happen (‘qarah’) to them all.”
—Ecclesiastes 9:11 NKJV
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
—Psalm 91:1 NKJV
The number 911 occurs in the two verses above. The number 911 is a significant number for our times. It’s a date that marks one of the largest terrorist attacks the world has seen. Even more so, Pastor Prince believes that the prayer of protection in Psalm 91 marks the times we are living in. This psalm gives us assurance that we don’t have to live in fear because as children of God, we can believe God for His divine protection.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High” — This refers to us believers, we are today seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
Although the convention of using chapters and verses in the Bible was not original with the Hebrew/Greek text, God can still use them to show us His hand/ways in our lives. For example, when we study Psalm 118, we notice that it is sandwiched between the shortest psalm (Ps. 117) and the longest psalm (Ps. 119) in the Bible. What’s more interesting is that there are 594 chapters from the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1, to Psalm 117, and 594 chapters from Psalm 119 to Revelation 22, the last chapter of the Bible. When we add the numbers together, it gives us 1188. And in Psalm 118:8 it says: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” All these seemingly insignificant details reveal and highlight to us this central theme in the Word of God.
Going back to the first portion of Ecclesiastes 9:11, it tells us that success, favor, and victory do not come by our intelligence, skills, and accolades. They come by time and chance happening to us. And only God is able to put us at the right time, at the right place.
“. . . But time (‘eth’) and chance happen (‘qarah’) to them all.” — The Hebrew word for “time” is “eth”, which means “the right time”. On the other hand, the Hebrew words for “chance happen” are “pega qarah”. Together with “eth”, this phrase refers to right happenings orchestrated by the Lord.
Being at the right place at the right time this year could mean having divine protection, being positioned for success, having opportunities to meet the right people, and being a blessing to others.
2023 is the “kairos” year of right time, right place.
The Hebrew word for “time” is “eth”, but from the Septuagint, we understand that the Greek word for “time” is “kairos”.
According to Bible scholars, “kairos” is defined as:
“Kairos” is best understood when contrasted against “chronos”, which is another Greek word for “time.” “Chronos” refers to the quantitative nature of time, or the chronological order of time, while “kairos” refers to the quality of time in a season we can have in a season.
To further understand the significance of the word “eth” or “kairos”, let’s look at the first mention of this word in the Bible. There is a principle in Bible interpretation known as the principle of first mention—when a word is mentioned for the first time in the Bible, there is usually a special significance and lesson that we can learn.
The word “eth” was first mentioned in the story of Noah in Genesis 8. After the flood, Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.
“Then the dove came to him in (‘eth’) the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.”
—Genesis 8:11 NKJV
“in (‘eth’) the evening” — This first mention of “eth” or “kairos” happened after God’s judgment through the flood. In our dispensation, this is a picture of God’s favorable time for His people under the new covenant. We get to enjoy God’s blessings of grace and favor because our Lord Jesus took all of the judgment we deserved when He bore our sins at the cross.
“Then the dove came to him” — The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16). In this “kairos” year, it is the Holy Spirit who will lead us to the right places at the right time. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit in us—let’s listen and be led by Him!
As an aside, Pastor Prince also shared how the ark in this story is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. Noah and his family were protected and saved from the flood because they were in the ark. Even though there were times the storms were huge and they may have lost their balance—they were always in the ark, and they never fell out of the ark. Likewise, we are in Christ today (Gal. 2:20), and nothing can cause us to be separated from His love for us (Rom 8:38–49). As believers, we can also trust the Lord for His divine protection because we are in Christ today!
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times (‘kairos’) of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
—Acts 3:19 NASB
“Times” — The Greek translation for this word is also “kairos”. In this “kairos” year, we will also get to enjoy seasons of refreshing—favorable and enjoyable times. Notice how these times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord.
This year, we will experience many more “kairos” moments of God leading us to the right place at the right time as we are found in His presence. There will be some instances where we might find ourselves in seemingly inconvenient situations. But Pastor Prince encourages us to be aware of what the Holy Spirit is doing through us. For example, the Holy Spirit might lead us to “coincidentally bump” into a friend, so that we can minister and encourage them, to be an extension of God’s love to them. And when we follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, these God-orchestrated moments shall be times of refreshing to us!
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
—Galatians 6:9 NKJV
“In due season” — The Greek translation for the word “season” is “kairos.” For those of us who have been trusting God for a breakthrough for a while, take heart! We will receive our miracle at God’s appointed time. And we are entering into a year where God will orchestrate many “kairos” moments for us!
Genesis 18 records God’s promise of a son to Abraham and Sarah. When God appeared to Abraham and prophesied Sarah’s pregnancy, He said:
“And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time (‘eth’) of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)”
—Genesis 18:10 NKJV
When Sarah was doubtful, God assured the couple saying:
“Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time (‘eth’) of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
—Genesis 18:14 NKJV
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” — In Hebrew, this word actually translates to “wonderful” or “miraculous.” In other words, God was assuring Sarah that there was nothing too wonderful nor miraculous that He could not do, and Sarah will bear a son according to His promise!
“Time of life” — The Hebrew word for “time” here is “eth.” This also means that the promised son would come at the “kairos” time (Rom. 9:9).
Pastor Prince encourages those of us still trusting God for a breakthrough, that just like Sarah, we will see God’s promises manifest in our lives this “kairos” year. Whether you are trusting God for a life partner, a family member’s salvation, or an opportunity in your career, there is nothing too miraculous for God. Whatever you are trusting God for, know that He is willing and able to bring them to pass!
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
—Galatians 6:10 NKJV
In Greek, the word “opportunity” means “kairos” as well. This “kairos” year is an opportune and favorable season where we will reap many blessings. When God’s blessings manifest in our lives, let’s use it as an opportunity to do good, and bless others!
“And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap (‘qarah’—noun) was to light (‘qarah’—verb) on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.”
—Ruth 2:2–3 KJV
“I shall find grace” — Ruth believed in God’s grace even though there was a law of Moses against Moabites, which says that no Moabite can enter the Lord’s congregation (Deut. 23:3). This means that under the law, Ruth did not qualify to receive any of God’s blessings. However, because Ruth made Naomi’s God—the God of Israel—her God (Ruth 1:16), she was able to receive God’s grace and favor in her life! In this story, we see that God over-answered and caused Ruth to be at the right place at the right time to meet Boaz. Ruth ends up being included in the genealogy of David, and even our Lord Jesus.
Just like Ruth, we are non-Jews (Gentiles) who have been received into God’s kingdom through Christ (Gal. 3:26–29). Even though we do not naturally deserve His grace and blessings in our lives, we get to because of Christ’s finished work at the cross.
“hap was to light” — “Hap” is an old English word and it means “to happen.” The Hebrew word for “hap” is “miqrê”, which is the noun for “qarah.” The Hebrew word for “light” is also “qarah”, which means “right happening.”
In the natural, it might seem like a coincidence that Ruth happened to be at the part of the field that belonged to Boaz. But this was in fact a God-orchestrated happening because Ruth had prayed to find grace!
“Qarah” is all about right happenings—being at the right place at the right time. To be at the right place at the right time is something that we cannot manipulate with our skills, talents, or intelligence. It is something that only God can cause to happen in our lives and it will happen to us this year!
The following chapters in the book of Ruth expound on the favor that Ruth had found in Boaz’s eyes, how he became her kinsman redeemer and married her. According to Levitical law (Lev. 25), if someone is in trouble, a relative can redeem them if they are willing and able to pay for their redemption. This love story is a beautiful picture of the Lord’s redemption for us—He is our most willing and able Kinsman Redeemer.
Genesis 24, the longest chapter in the book of Genesis, records the story of Abraham’s servant searching for a bride for Abraham’s son.
The servant who is unnamed typifies the Holy Spirit, who came not to draw attention to Himself but to point to the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And just like how the servant went searching for a bride for Isaac, the Holy Spirit is searching precious people out, so that they will become a part of the many-membered bride of Christ i.e. the church.
Before the servant went out searching for a potential bride, this was what he prayed:
“Then he said, “O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success (‘qarah’) this day, and show kindness (‘hesed’) to my master Abraham.”
—Genesis 24:12 NKJV
“Please give me success” — The Hebrew word for success is “qarah”, right happenings. When we experience the right happenings, we experience success! This is also the first mention of “qarah” in the Bible.
“and show kindness to my master Abraham” — In Hebrew, “kindness” translates to “hesed”, which refers to “grace.” This shows us that “qarah” is intricately related to grace—unearned, undeserved favor. This also means that God’s grace is what will lead us to be at the right place at the right time.
Like Abraham’s servant, let’s learn to pray for success! There might be naysayers who will try to dissuade you from praying for success but it is not wrong to do so. When we pray for success, it speaks of our dependence on God for success. If we do not pray to the Lord for success, we end up relying on our self-effort, someone else, or even new-age teachings to experience success in our lives. Let’s learn to trust the grace of God more this year.
For those of us who feel distant from God and sometimes it feels like God does not hear our prayers, Pastor Prince encourages us to pray from a posture and consciousness of our nearness to God—we are today seated with Christ at the Father’s right hand (Eph. 2:6). This is how close we are to God and He will surely hear our prayers!
“Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master. And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up.”
—Genesis 24:13–16 NKJV
“before he had finished speaking” — Before Abraham’s servant had even finished praying, God led Rebekah to appear before him. This shows how speedily God can answer our prayers, just like He promised in Isaiah 65:24: “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
“very beautiful to behold” — The Hebrew translation for the word “very” is “me'ōḏ”, which means “exceedingly.” This represents the quality and beauty of the blessings that God has for us! Whether it’s a life partner, a business deal, whatever these blessings are, God only has the best for us.
“Then he said, “O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success (‘qarah’) this day, and show kindness (‘hesed’) to my master Abraham.”
—Genesis 24:12 NKJV
“Please give me success” — This is the first mention of “qarah” in the Bible. Notice how the first mention of “qarah” is in the story about Christ and the church. This means that “qarah” or success is something that we cannot experience outside the church; nothing is of value to God except the things concerning the church. This is where He wants our hearts to be and what He considers true success in our lives!
Going back to the story of Isaac and Rebekah, let’s dive deeper into the qualities and characteristics of Rebekah, the chosen bride for Isaac.
“And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.” So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking. Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.”
—Genesis 24:17–20 NKJV
“I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking” — Camels can drink a lot of water, minimally 30 gallons of water at one time. Abraham’s servant had ten camels that Rebekah drew water for. That’s A LOT of water! Not only was Rebekah a beautiful girl, she was someone who would go the extra mile. Notice also how Rebekah was exactly what the servant had prayed for (v. 13-15).
“And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous (‘tsalach’) or not.”
—Genesis 24:21 NKJV
The word “prosperous” is ‘tsalach’ in Hebrew. This same word is used in Joshua 1:8 where it says: “. . . meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous (‘tsalach’), and then you will have good success.”
The world might try to explain such seemingly “random” coincidences to luck or serendipity. In fact, serendipity is defined as “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident, good fortune; luck.” But being at the right place at the right time is something only God can orchestrate for us.
This year, we will experience more of these moments. Many of us have already experienced them before, e.g. meeting our life partners at a gathering that we happened to be at. But this year, these happenings will occur even more, and more consistently so that we can give glory to God when they happen!
These blessings will manifest especially in the form of right happenings with people we can minister to and share Christ with! This year will be a year of right happenings not just for our benefit, but for others too. God might lead us to meet an old colleague or friend, and open doors of opportunity for us to share the gospel of grace with them. When God uses us to share the gospel, it’s because He trusts us!
As we have seen in Galatians 6:10, there will be many opportunities, “kairos”, for us to do good. God’s heart for us in this year of “kairos” is not to be self-occupied and being concerned only with the blessings He has for us, but to also be blessings to others!
“Father in heaven, I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. You sent Him to die on that cross because You love me. And on that cross, Jesus took all my sins, all my diseases, all my pains, and all my judgment, and finished them off. And you raised Him from the dead when You declared me not guilty, justified. Thank You Father, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“God of Abraham, Heavenly Father, this week, give me success, give me “qarah”, give me “kairos”—right time, right place. Let it happen to me, to my family, to my children, even in school. Thank You Father, in the name of Jesus’, 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 2023
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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