Joseph Prince - The Confidence That Brings Great Rewards
Turn to your neighbor, smile and say, "I'll be sitting next to you for the next three hours so be nice to me". Look at somebody else and say, "Something good is going to happen to you, something wonderful, something good". Amen? Look at somebody else and say, "Don't forget the commandment, thou shall not sweat," amen. Rest in the Lord. Praise God, hallelujah. "Grace Revolution," why did I write this book? When I went through the book, I have an advanced copy, by the way.
All right, it's the first time I saw it a few days ago and I went through it, of course, during writing and all that, during the when I preached the sermons and all that, it's amazing how it all comes together in this one book. The teaching of restoration, for example, is a teaching that is, that you don't hear in the body of Christ all around. For example, the teaching that Jesus taking the place of the perpetrator, the one who has done wrong would be the one to restore what he did not take away, all right? That's in the book, amen?
What an amazing thing that even though the Lord Jesus did no sin and committed no wrong, we are the ones who robbed God of his glory, but Jesus taking our place at the cross has restored to God on behalf of you and I and our families. He has restored to God 120% more worship praise, glory, and honor than all that we have robbed God by our sins. Not only that, we have who have been robbed, we who have been cheated, we who have been wronged, Christ took upon himself as the one who is guilty but though he did no wrong because at the cross he became our sin. He restored to us 120% more health, amen, wisdom, favor, protection, family well-being, then all that we have lost through our sins.
No wonder in Romans chapter 5 it says five times, Romans chapter 5, "much more, much more, much more, much more, much more," Amen. Why 120%? We share that in our sermon on restoration, and I was reading the book and I tell you every page has an amazing testimony of someone who has been transformed either in the area of healing or deliverance from bondage. When I read it, I was so blessed and I'm sorry I have to confess to you that I said to myself, this is probably the best book that I've ever written, all right, because I was so blessed by it. I was so blessed by it, just going through it.
And, you know, I even shared a story of Frances Havergal that I forgot completely about, you know, the lady who wrote the song, "Like A River Glorious," and how her life she was full of sin consciousness and all that. And one day she found out in her Greek, she understands Greek and Hebrew, and she read it in her Greek Bible that the blood of Jesus Christ is there in the present tense, constantly cleansing us from every sin and that made a radiant Christian out of her. And how I read that she's able to read simple books at the age of three years old.
And as I was reading that, I called my wife in and I told my wife, "Three years old, can a child read at three years old, a simple book"? Because my son is reading at three years old and he's reading simple books at three years old. And I'm thinking to myself, you know, so the book is blessing me as I'm reading it but these are stories I've shared, all right, down through the years, these are examples, but it all comes together and it's probably the best book because it really gives you a consciousness of the person of our Lord Jesus and his love. And then you read testimonies of people of how they applied it, and perhaps you mind someone in the same condition as you are in and find encouragement as to what they did, amen?
So, definitely it is a book that is gonna bless many people, amen. So, I gave God praise and glory. There is a revolution going on, a grace revolution. If you hear people, you know, coming against grace and all that, let me tell you that their voices are getting smaller and smaller, and the voices of grace are getting stronger and stronger, why? If this is of man, it will overturned in a number of years, all right? But years have come and gone, it's gotten stronger, why? Because grace is all about Jesus. It's all about the Lord. It's not about you and I, amen? Can I have a good amen?
And church, I want you to know something, I am your pastor, all right, your pastors here are undershepherds, we are all undershepherds. We are not above you, we are under you pushing you up to God. We are here for you. So, anything that God gives any of us, it is to serve you better. If God gives someone charisma, favor, it's to have more impact on more people than just Singapore, all right, it's because he wants that Word to go out to the four corners of the earth, amen?
So, let's give Jesus the praise, the glory, and the honor. One testimony from Carrie, a lady called Carrie, I was about to pronounce her family name but I think I'll keep that confidential. And by the way, we change the names of people as we produced the book, the latest book, "Grace Revolution" because many of them, we have their permission, but we still feel that it's best that we change their names, okay? But they know who they are and I've met many of them.
During my book signing, last two years, there was a child that was reported to have a disease and... no, he has a disease but he was given a prognosis that he will not live, all right, for long. We received a message not too long ago that this child is still alive after I prayed for him at the book signing. So, even the book signing is anointed, amen? And, you know, it's sad for me because when it comes to children, you know, my heart really goes out to children and that's why we have a strong work in Cambodia among the children. And as I speak right now, Pastor Darren is there with the team ministering in Cambodia. This lady is from Australia. She shares:
I have been a Christian for 12 years now. When I was saved, I was a drug addict and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which led to severe depression and anxiety. On many occasions, I tried to end my life. My first church taught me that I was blessed by my good works and I would suffer bad consequences for my sins. I love the Lord and tried my best to keep the law, yet the more I tried, the more I failed. I tried to give up my drug addiction only to find myself taking more drugs. Every time I missed the mark, I would punish myself by cutting my arms deeply. I felt so guilty, condemned, unworthy, and unloved. My teenage son also became violent towards me and my two younger children. I had to ask him to leave and move in with his father. I felt I had failed as a mother. Within days of that, I awoke in a mental hospital as I had completely lost my mind. I was there for a month, and I did not know who I was or what I was doing. It was very frightening. I was on eight different types of medication, but they only worsened my condition. I almost gave up until I was given a copy of Pastor Joseph Prince's teaching titled, 'Condemnation Kills, But The Spirit Gives Life.'
You know, I preached this sermon when we were still at Suntec at the Rock Auditorium and this particular series has blessed more people than I can, you know, share with you because every time I hear a testimony, every seventh, eighth testimonies is gonna be someone who was touched by that teaching and that teaching came to me during that time through a hard period, not just what I went through, but also my pastors and leaders. Seems like all of us had a period of time that we felt guilty, we felt bad, and then we didn't see that it was connected to something bad happening a few days later. And every time the devil comes to you, notice he's called the accuser. He accuses you.
Long before he can take away your health, rob you of your relationships, whatever blessings he wants to rob you of, long before that, he comes as the accuser, not as the killer, not as the robber. He comes as the accuser and that's why this ministry is about grace, the gospel of grace and there's a grace revolution happening, amen? So, she had eight different types of medication that worsened her condition. You know, she was on drugs, and she went to the mental hospital, lost her mind. And she said that, "I almost gave up until I listened to this teaching titled, 'Condemnation Kills, But The Spirit Gives Life.'" Or rather, she had the video of that teaching and it's available on DVD. Listen, listen, "I watched it every day for four months". Talk about persevering.
Many times when I preach the first time and you hear it for the first time, you didn't hear what I preached. A lot of things we 'cause our minds start thinking, "Well, today, last week, you know, I've been eating noodles. I think this week chicken rice. Chicken rice not very nice. Okay, I think I'll try". So, you missed that part when you listen second time you say, "Hey, I didn't know he said that". I said it. And the third time you hear something else that you didn't hear the first time or the second time. She watched it. "I watched it every day for four months. I also started taking the Holy Communion three times a day together with my medication. My eyes were opened for the first time to see Jesus and his love for me".
That's what it's all about. That's what this ministry is all about. Joseph Prince is all about helping people see Jesus and his love. It's not about me. It's not about the church. It's not about the ministry. All these are just functions, and tools, and instruments to that end and purpose that people see Jesus and they fall in love with him. "The Lord led me to a church where the gospel of grace is preached by leaders changed by Pastor Prince's teaching. I also listen to Pastor Prince's weekly sermons. Praise our amazing father God, it has been three years since I started listening to the gospel of grace, and my mind has been completely restored". Amen. Amen? Praise God.
Turn to your neighbor and say, "There's hope for you". "My mind has been completely restored. God has also healed me of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. For the first time in 20 years, I am totally free of medication. I can share with great joy that I have been clean of any drug use for more than two years". This is the gospel that people warn you about that's dangerous. "God has also restored my relationship with my elder son". Remember, she threw him out of the house. "Most importantly, I have a loving relationship".
I love this and this is most importantly, I agree. "I have a loving relationship with my beautiful Savior Jesus Christ. Truly amazing grace saved my life. Thank you, Pastor Prince, for sharing the true gospel and what Jesus has done for me on the cross. I have stopped punishing myself because I know Jesus took my punishment on the cross for every sin, past, present, and future. May God bless you, your wonderful family, and your beautiful church". Praise the Lord, a life transformed.
Now, if there is a difference between grace and reward? So, people are saying, I should say it like this, is there a contradiction between grace and reward? We know there is a difference, but is there a contradiction? Some people feel like if you're under grace, you know, we believe that it's not our works, amen, it's not our merit, it's not our deserving, it is the unconditional, undeserved favor of God, which is grace. Grace is defined as unmerited favor. Can I have a good amen? All right, but on the other hand, what about rewards? What about rewards?
Well, you know, I'm a strong believer in rewards and I shared a few weeks ago, and I think I'm gonna start off from that basis to the message that God has for us today. And you look up here in 1 Corinthians 15 it says Paul is writing and Paul says, "By the unmerited favor of God, I am what I am. By the unmerited favor of God, I am what I am. And his unmerited favor," grace is defined as unmerited favor, "towards me, was not in vain". In other words, God may release favor in your life towards, for example, God released favor in your life towards working with children. In our case, your church, children's church is called Rock Kids.
So, God released, number one, if God releases a favor in that area, you will love children. You cannot say, "I hate kids, but I think God is telling me to work among kids". All right, please, the kids don't want you and we don't want you working there, amen. If God anoints you and grace the favor in your life, there'll be favor with the kids as well, amen. Doesn't mean that it's smooth sailing. You'll learn some things about children and all that, but the favor is there. The grace is there. Can I have a God amen? But it's possible to say, "No, I don't think I got time. I'm so busy as it is, you know. I'm on a career track and my boss expects a lot from me".
Then, that unmerited favor towards you was in vain. But Paul says, "In my life, his grace towards me was not in vain". It's possible to let it be in vain. Now, "But I labored more abundantly than they all". And he's referring to the other apostles. "I labored more abundantly than they all. I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the unmerited favor of God which was with me". So, in other words, Paul says, "Whatever favor God has released in my life towards any particular ministry, I flowed with God. I didn't let it be in vain. And you know what? I labored more abundantly". In other words, "That power inside me caused me to be like the burning bush, burning up but not burning out," amen? Praise God. And how people come and watch him burn, praise the Lord.
So, the thing is this, God gives you an anointing for something. I always say it like this, God gives the favor you to do something, it's still grace. God gives you the favor to something. When you do it and don't let it be in vain, you flow with that grace, God rewards you for accomplishing the grace, for doing the grace, for working out the grace that he first gave you. Isn't that cool? Amen. When we stand before heaven, no wonder everyone who will receive a crown, the Bible tells us in heaven, they cast the crown before the lamb and said, "You are worthy because without you, hey, we won't even have breath to breathe or to pray the sinner's prayer," amen?
We won't even have eyes to see, you know, who are we that we should see the things that we are seeing from God's Scriptures? There are so many blinded, so many lost out there, amen, and their age is catching up, you know? And man is not forever. Fallen man is not forever. So, the thing is that blessed are your eyes for you see. Have you ever thanked God for that? Amen. You are numbered among the elect of God. Aren't you glad for that? Aren't you glad you're enjoying? You truly have true riches. It's not about having more houses, more cars. Hey, if you are defined by that, you are truly poor. You are a poor man having plenty of money, plenty of property, amen. Your true wealth is your knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen?
Now, having said that, rewards is something that God wants us motivated by. Are you listening, people? Don't forget, when you are rewarded, it's always because God first gave you the grace, amen? And when you do the grace, and this is a good message and reminder for all pastors, and Christian companies, and organizations. Sometimes they wonder, "How do I reward my, you know, my staff? If I reward all of them based on grace, everybody gets the fullest month bonuses," amen, the highest in all that. But, of course, it's still grace. Grace is shown by how diligent the person is. If you see a person accomplishing fruits, that means he is working out the grace that has been worked in him. He should be rewarded. If somebody who's a Christian working in a Christian organization, all right, is lazy, amen, guess what. Grace is flowing towards him for some area of his expertise, but he's not flowing with it and it's showing in no fruit.
So, as a boss, just like Jesus in the Book of Revelation among the seven churches, you don't look for grace within, you look for grace manifested without in fruits, in works, that's how you reward people. Let's say if I run a company, an organization, okay, and they come and say, "You preach grace. How come this guy got, you know, more bonus than I did"? Then we say, look, your works does not show, all right, the way that his does. He's diligent. His fruits are good, amen? He's an achiever. But how? He carries out the grace. It's still grace, but there's grace that can be seen, grace that has been flowed with, amen, that you have used, utilized. Praise God. Are you following me so far?
Now, when you are saved, you are saved, listen, without any merit on your part. Nothing you are of yourself, nothing you can do can merit God's favor. God loved us when we were sinful. God loves us still now that we are saved, how much more, in fact, amen? But there are people that God prized, that God values, and such things needs to be preached in the church. There are people that God values more than others. Precious in the sight of the Lord are the death of his saints and many a times it's quoted in such a way that oh, you know, when you die, you're so precious to God. No, no, no, precious means it's costly when a saint dies. You know, we all want to die and go to heaven. Some Christians, okay, they want to die and go to heaven. We need every believer we can on this earth. This is where it matters. So, when a believer dies, it's costly. It is precious. Are you listening, people?
Now, the Bible says that we ask ourself the question, but sit right to serve out of reward motivation? Is it okay to serve, all right, looking to the reward? Well, my Bible says the faith that pleases God is like this, Hebrews 11, verse 6, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God". Say, "Impossible". But, what is that kind of faith? Let the Bible answer. I know many of you have teachings on faith but let the verse on faith, the famous verse on faith, talking about pleasing God with faith, let it show you what kind of faith it is. It is a faith where without faith it's impossible to please God. "For he who comes to God".
And by the way, that's presence tense in the Greek, keep on coming to God and that's why the teaching of grace is so important because it gives you boldness to come into the boldness of God as shunning him. He who comes to God must believe that he is, God is, amen? I mean, many believers know God is, of course, but the thing is that the second part, and he is a rewarder. The faith that pleases God, without faith it's impossible to please God so the faith that pleases God is the faith that believe that God exists, God is, and that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. I said, God is a rewarder. Yeah, he rewards you, amen? Even the grace he gives you, the hunger you have.
One time Jesus had 70 disciples and 12 apostles, right, around him and 70 disciples. You can read about it in John, in Luke, and all that. One time he said, "No man can come to me unless the Father draws him". And the Bible says from that time onwards, the other 70 did not walk with him anymore, why? They felt slighted. "I followed you because I have wisdom to know that you are the Messiah". No, no, friend. If you have any heart towards Christ, God drew you. All of us are saved because God drew us, amen? They didn't like it. They didn't like the message of grace, amen? Then Jesus turned the 12 and says, "You guys want to go also"? And Peter says, "Lord, where can we go? You have the words of eternal life," amen?
So, the faith that pleases God is the faith that believed God is a rewarder. I'm telling you, church, many of you are about to get rewarded. Are you listening? It's the year of his restoration. You're about to get rewarded. And you are saying, "But Pastor Prince, I've been believing God for this. I asked God for this, and it's such a long time coming". Then the chapter before Hebrews 11 here is for you. Before it talks about faith, he tells us in Hebrews 10, "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward". Which has what? Not just reward, great reward.
Hey people, keep on believing. Keep on taking Communion. Keep on trusting God. "But I lost this baby". Keep on believing God, I lost one too, all right? Keep on believing God for the restoration is amazing in Justin. Keep on believing God. Keep on believing God. Cast not away your confidence. The devil wants you to throw away your confidence. Don't throw it away, it has great reward. "But I don't see it". It's in the future. Next verse is for you, "For you have need of endurance". Endurance means what? You gotta persevere, you gotta hang on, you gotta, you gotta go through it. Endure, don't give up. Don't throw in the towel. Don't cast away your confidence. You have need of endurance that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
So, it's future tense, right? Yes. And what it needed now? You see, between the part you say, amen, at the end of a prayer, and then between the part you say, "Wow, thank you, Father, I see it, I feel it. It's the endurance part. It may take one month, may take a week, may take one year, may take two years, but do not throw away your confidence, it has great reward, amen? Even in holiness, Moses, for example, you know, back to Hebrews 11. "By faith Moses," verse 24, "By faith Moses, when we became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin". He gave it up, gave Egypt up. "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt," watch this now, "for he looked to the reward".
So, even Moses walking holy, giving up all the treasures of Egypt, he was in line to be a prince and most likely could have been the next Pharaoh down the line. But he gave it all up. Don't forget, he was adopted by Pharaoh, Pharaoh's daughter. So, he was in line, he gave it all up. And today, if I bring you by the hand and I was just there last month at the British Museum all by myself going through, and I love to be in museums. You know, I'm one of those, yeah, I'm a museum guy. "Pastor Prince, you're so boring". No, I tell you, you are missing.
If you have eyes to see, you know, there is even a statue, a carving from the Assyrian period showing King Jehu of Israel, a king of Israel. And if you, you know, it's small that you can just pass by, but I look at it and it shows the king bowing down before the king of Assyria, and you can see his features, his Jewish features and all that. And I'm looking at the face of a man whose name is mentioned, King Jehu, in the Bible, and all the world is not even aware. And I'm looking at it, and I'm just like, "Wow". And it's not even an Israelite carving inscription. It is from the Assyrian.
Anyway, I'm not here to promote British Museum. I'm just here to tell you that in the British Museum, you see a lot of mummies. You don't see many daddies, but you see a lot of mummies, a lot of mummies. Okay, the Egyptian part, you see a lot of mummies, and many of them are princes and princesses. But I tell you one thing, in Cairo Museum in Egypt, they still have the Ramses that hardened his heart against Moses. And I'll tell you this, the guy is rotting slowly, all right? Even you mummify, it's gone, he's corrupted. His soul is in hell. Moses gave up everything.
And you say: Well, you know, treasures and all that. But look, Moses is alive and well in heaven. Moses is alive and well in heaven. Where is Pharaoh? Where are all the glories of Egypt? Moses was there appearing in person when Christ was here on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses was there. Moses will return one day, all right, to preach to the people of Israel, the two witnesses is Elijah and Moses, the law and the prophets. And the Bible says, in fact, no one can find the body of Moses when he died because God buried him. He died to be raised again from the dead the way Lazarus was, not the way Jesus was. Jesus was raised in the power of resurrection life, never to die again. But Lazarus was raised to die again, right? The natural raising and descent.
So, Moses was raised, and now he's in heaven. Elijah went up to heaven without death. So, there are three persons in heaven who never died, Enoch. In fact, this Hebrews 11, verse 6, look at it. "Without faith, it's impossible to please God". The example before this was Enoch. "By faith, Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found because God took him," wow. Before he was taken, he had this testimony that he pleased God. How many want to please God? So, he was taken away from death. He never saw physical death, God just pick him up.
All right, before God took him up, he pleased God. How did he please God? He had faith. What is the faith that pleases God? You must believe that God is a rewarder, and that's what makes you give up this, give up that, and you don't even feel it because you know that there's a reward waiting. Moses looked to the reward. And yet there are people saying, "You know, we should be looking for rewards and that kind of thing". Hey, friend, come on. By the way, Moses will come with Elijah, and they will die after they preach.
In fact, you can tell there's Moses and Elijah because they will stop rain, that's what Elijah's ministry is. And then they'll be turning the water to blood, Moses's ministry. And then the Antichrist will kill them, and God allow them to be killed to demonstrate something on television. All the world will see, the Bible says, and that's where television can be seen. All the nations of the world will see their dead bodies for three days, and on the third day, God will demonstrate before all the world the resurrection power. Now, they are raised the way Jesus was raised, never to die again, and the whole world will see their bodies raised from the dead. They got up and said, "Yo, what's happening, man? I'm back". It's amazing, people. I wish I can camp there, but moving right along. Are y'all learning, people? So, even Moses looked to the reward.
Now, have you ever wondered, "I gave this up, I gave that up for Jesus. You know, I gave that up, I gave that up. You know, what will I have"? Well, the same question was asked the Lord by the disciple, and who, guess who? Peter. Peter is the one that asked questions that we all like to ask, but we are too refined to ask it, you know? So, we are grateful that Peter asked so it's in the Bible. Peter asked this question in Mark 10. "Peter began to say to him, see we've left all and followed you".
Now, this is Mark's version, actually Mark left out. The idea here is that what will we have? In Matthew, it tells us in Matthew. Peter says, "We left everything, therefore what shall we have"? To go back to Mark again, because I want to preach from Mark's account. So, he says, "We have left all and followed you". Okay, "What shall we have therefore"? Come on. Now, the traditional answer in the church is this, "Don't expect anything on this side of your life. One day in heaven, you will see your house is bigger than a cow's house, so until then". You really think that I'm excited about the mansion in heaven? I'm excited about Jesus, seeing him face to face, beholding his lovely face.
So, we have this idea, don't expect. Did Jesus say, "How can you ask that question, Peter? What shall we have therefore? You have me". The thing is this, you see how Jesus answered? That's why I didn't give you the answer so I can talk first, okay? This is the answer, "Jesus answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one,'" that means everyone is included, "'There is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my sake'". It's gotta be for his sake. "And the gospel's who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time". Houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and land, Singaporeans, property, lands with persecutions! Receive that, hallelujah, amen? If you're gonna prosper in this life, amen, you will be persecuted. Aren't you glad that Jesus put that in?
So, what do you say, "Bring it on, I'll take the hundredfold"? Yeah. They'll say all kind: prosperity church. We don't believe in materialism, living for, "I, me, and myself". We believe that the poor cannot help the poor. Would to God that more money flow into your hands so you can be a blessing and bless those children in Cambodia where Pastor Darren is right now, all right? So, and in the age to come. eternal life. So, whatever you give up, you'll receive back a hundredfold, which is a complete, in the Greek, a hundred times more. All right, some people say, "Quality relationship, Pastor Prince, it's only quality". Well, that's how you explain lands, quality lands, lah, maybe. Don't limit God, okay?
By the way, he did mention you'll receive back wives. The first part, wife is mentioned. You see, wife is mentioned there, right? But in a second part, he didn't say you receive 100 wives. Okay, guys, just in case, just in case, there are someone here claiming for that, it will not happen. Look, I'm handling one, and one is all I can handle, okay? She's all woman to me, and she's every woman in the world Okay? Praise God. I don't need 100, and I'm worth ten sons to her. You know who said that? Elkanah, right, which is Samuel's father's through his wife. The wife was barren. He told his wife, "I not better than ten sons"? You don't say that to a woman who wants a baby, all right? Guys are egoistical, huh? "Am I not better than ten"? Okay anyway.
So, you see the answer, the response, the question was asked, "We've left everything, what shall we have? Traditional response should be, "Do not expect anything now in this time but in that age to come, you'll be sitting on the throne". Right, he didn't say that. He says there's no one who have left. "Whatever you leave," now notice, "for my sake". There are people who do things for their parents' sake, for their wife's sake, the wife, you know, instigate them or whatever. The thing is this, it must be for his sake and for his gospel's. Whatever monies you give up for the gospel's sake, to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will get back hundredfold now in this life.
Now, some people don't like that teaching. They say that, "Wah, they promise people, that kind of". Sorry, they did not promise, Jesus did, okay? In reference, please write it down. Critics, Mark 10:28 to 30, all right? And underline, "Now in this time". So, you take up with him. My part is: I'm a delivery boy. You know not the delivery boy when the bread is bad, all right? You order like, you know, you order in, right? I don't want to mention any particular company because... but when it comes in, you don't blame the delivery boy.
By the way, be nice to the delivery boy, amen? They gotta pay for their own motorcycle and all that, okay? And you know what, if you can, give them an extra tip and tell them it's for them. Do it with style. And the Lord prompts you to say it, say, "Jesus loves you," amen? Be a great testimony, praise God, and whatever you give up for his sake, even your tip. "What tip? Sometimes the food no good". Don't blame the boy, amen? Okay, praise God.
Now, we have an example of this. What about, what about children, having children? Now here is a beautiful, beautiful, divine paradox, if I want to say it that way. If you see at first, you think it's a paradox, all right, but when you look at it with the eyes of the Spirit, you realize that it's both. For example, children, our children are gift of grace, or are they a reward? Psalms 127 says, "Behold, children are a heritage". You know what's a heritage? It's a gift. When you inherit something from your parents, let's say a man inherits large fortunes from his father. He doesn't have to be, the son does not have to be smart or stupid, even though he is ugly, or he's attractive, fat, thin, whatever it is, because he's the son, he'll receive. In other words, it's by grace, by gift, am I right?
So, children are a heritage from the Lord, but look at the next line, "The fruit of the womb is a reward". Hmm? It's both. It is both a gift, and it's also a reward. "How do you reconcile the two, pastor"? You don't try to reconcile, you just accept. In some cases, it's still grace, by the way. Even the reward is grace for believing God. Sarah believed God, even the fact that she's old. She believed God, it's a reward. Are you listening, amen?
We have a story of, during the time of Elisha, Prophet Elisha, a Shunammite woman saw Elisha passing by her house frequently, and then she told her husband, "You know, this is a man of God that's passing by. Why don't we do something for him? Let's build him a room in our house on the roof". And she said that, "Every time he comes by". And by the way, they go up to the roof by the outside stairs. "And he can go up, and he can retire anytime he wants. Let's put a table there, a chair there, a lampstand, and a bed, so he can rest and refresh himself".
And then when Elisha would visit that city, he will spend the night there, he will sleep there. And then the time came that Elisha said this, he said to Gehazi his servant, which is Elisha's servant, "'Call this Shunammite woman.' When he had called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, 'Say now to her, Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. You have been concerned for us with all this care?'" Can you see that? "'What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?' She answered, 'I dwell among my own people.'" Verse 14, "So he said, 'What then is to be done for her?' And Gehazi answered, 'Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.' He said, 'Call her.' When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Then he said, 'About this time next year you shall embrace a son.' And she said, 'No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!'"
Her faith wasn't altogether there, was it, initially? "But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha told her". What is it, grace, reward? Both. She used the grace. She can say, "Very inconvenient to we have extra room built and all that, cost us money, you know? We need all the money we can, you know, man of God, yeah, just blessing, lah. Bless you, man of God, Elisha," you know? Built a room, spent money on table, you know, but she didn't think that way. So, she flowed with the gift of grace, and Elisha says, "You've been concerned over us with all this care. What shall I do for you"?
And the man of God says, and I'm telling you right now, many of you listening to me right now, many of you, at this time next year, you shall em, don't worry, you don't want it, it's okay. It's not for you. At this time next year, you shall embrace a son, you shall embrace a daughter this time next year, amen. I believe that's a now word for many, amen, for many. Even those watching, all right, by way of television, it's a now Word for you. This time next year, whenever you're watching, you shall embrace a son, a daughter. Even though people say it's impossible, you have tried and tried again, this is for you, amen. Praise the Lord.
Now, this is an example of how the fruit of the womb, it says to reward, and still children are heritage from the Lord. Are you with me so far, people, amen? You see all those people giving time to God and all that? I'll tell you, God multiplies time back. Those who give their youth, God multiplies back youth. God keeps them young. Those who give their career opportunities to God, God multiplies back the boat, but this time the boat that have toiled all night, caught nothing, becomes a magnet to attract all the fishes in that lake, same boat, same lake, same location, but now blessed, hundredfold anointing blessing on it. Whatever you give up for his sake. But it's possible to be serving the Lord, it's possible to be preaching, hey, preaching for wrong reasons, for fame, for fortune, all right?
It's possible to be serving for self-recognition, when you're not recognized, it shows. You are bitter, you are angry. "It was never for my sake and the gospel's," the Lord said. So, I'm not talking about Christian ministry means you are serving the Lord, does not mean that. You know yourself, no one, and the Lord knows. Whether you're serving the Lord, it's possible to be serving your interest, amen? Are you listening, people? And pastors, don't use your church for you. Let the church use you for their blessing. When you think about it, all the men of God in the Bible, they are reward motivated, hmm?
David and Goliath, the famous story of David and Goliath. Goliath had been challenging Israel at the Valley of Elah for 40 days. This time, this particular day, David came in obedience to his parents. Is there a reward in obeying your parents? The father said, Jesse said, "David, come here". "Aww, I was playing on my iPoo". In those days, iPoo is, you know, kicking the poo of the sheep as football. Again, "take all this cheeses and loaves of breads for your brothers who are fighting in the frontline".
All right, he has older brothers. He's the youngest. "And bring all these cheeses to the of captains of the Israelite army". "Can you ask our servant over here"? He didn't, he went. He obeyed his parents. Who would have thought that one simple step of obedience would lead him to the throne? 'Cause he was there to hear what Goliath was saying on the last day. Forty days, the Bible says, Goliath showed himself. The last day was David's opportunity, and David didn't even know what was going on in the battlefield.
And so David heard the challenge of that Goliath, that ugly Goliath. And when Goliath appeared, look at the reaction. This is the macho, strong Israelite army, the Bible says. "All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled, fled from Goliath and were dreadfully afraid". When they saw Goliath appear, all of them ran! So, David ran after them. And the Bible says, "The men of Israel said, 'Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man'", watch this, the three benefits you get in killing Goliath. "It shall be that the man who kills him the king, which is Saul, will enrich with great riches," first. Second, "Will give him his daughter," hopefully she's good looking. And the third, "And give his father's house exemption from taxes in Israel".
So, as they were running away, all right, they gathered somewhere and this guy was saying, wah, the guy who kills this guy, there are three benefits the king is gonna give. And look at David's response. Next, "David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, 'What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine? Oh, say that again. Run that by me again.'" Come on, people, he was reward motivated as well. Seventeen-year-old boy, come on.
And we hear people saying, "You gotta do it with no thoughts of reward". No, it's okay to be reward, Moses looked to the reward. And the Bible says, David had this attitude, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel"? The accusation. "This is my heart, my heart from years ago when God showed me that reproach has come on the church, shame has come on the church, condemnation has come on the church". And God says, "Son, remove the reproach from Israel".
The accusation. "This is my heart, my heart from years ago when God showed me that reproach has come on the church, shame has come on the church, condemnation has come on the church". And God says, "Son, remove the reproach from Israel," amen? "'Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?' And the people answered him in this manner, saying, 'So shall it be done for the man who kills him.'" They repeated it to him again. In other words, this is what's gonna happen for the one who kills him. Can you see that?
Now, we go to David's great grandmother, her name is Ruth. Amen, Ruth. You all know the story of Ruth, right? Ruth is not a Jew, a Jewess. Doesn't belong to the people of God. She is a Moabite. Moabite is present-day Jordan on the east side of Israel. She came from there. She worshiped, when she was growing up, she worshiped idols. Her family were all idol worshipers. But then, the Bible says Naomi, a Jewess from Bethlehem, went with her husband because there was famine there but she should not have left Bethlehem, she should cast not away her confidence which has great, now she left Bethlehem, settled down in a foreign land, all right, surrounded by all kinds of idolatry, and then her sons one by one married the women of Moabite. One was Orpah and one was Ruth and in time, her husband died, then her son died, then the other son died and left two widows.
And she heard news that Bethlehem, God is visiting them with bread. There's a harvest now. She should have stayed, amen? There's only death where God has not planned for you. Always flow with God, amen? Don't just relocate because of career opportunities, relocate only because God tells you to and all the signs and indicators from God after you prayed point you to that direction, amen. There's too much to lose. Whatever you compromise, you will ultimately lose. Now, she went back but the two girls who are now widows, Orpah and Ruth, they came to her and says, "We want to follow you". "Well, I don't have any more children. I'm sorry. Go back to your people. Go back to your gods". And Orpah left, started her TV show. No, no, her name is not Oprah. That is Oprah. This is Orpah. Who was left? Ruth, Ruth.
So, Ruth says, beautiful, beautiful, I mean I have a whole teaching called, "The Love Story of Ruth". Ruth says, "I will not leave you. Where you go, I'll follow, and your God will be my God". What an amazing, God heard it, your God will be my God, and she followed him, amen? They went back, they have lost their property, they have lost their inheritance. They've been gone for sometime and then Ruth said, "Let me go and work as picking up grains, a menial task behind the harvesters". It was barley harvest. "When they, whatever they harvest and they leave behind whatever is dropped, I'll pick it up". It's back-breaking job.
So, let's follow the story. "There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth". Naomi is the mother-in-law of Ruth. There was a man of great wealth. This is like Korean drama, ladies. Korean shows always have guys who are always rich. It's so sad. It gives the impression like rich means you'll be secured for life. The thing is this, that's not true, amen? It's not true, that's all I'm gonna say. With all due respect to all the Korean movies and dramas. So, his name was Boaz. Boaz means in him is power, strength. "So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, 'Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.'"
She didn't even go yet to her job. She didn't even know who her employer's gonna be but she says, "I want to find favor in his sight. I will find favor. Let me go, I'll find favor," amen? "And she said to her, 'Go, my daughter.'" Let's follow the story. "She left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come, happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech".
Every time you trust God's favor, there'll be happenings that happen to you. She happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz. She happened to come to the part of the field. There are other fields belonging to other people, but she happened to be at the field that belonged to the wealthiest man. The Old King James says her hap, H-A-P, where you get the word "happy," happiness, happening comes from. She happened. May you have a lot of haps in your life because she confessed favor.
"Now, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, 'The Lord be with you!' And they answered him, 'The Lord bless you!' Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, 'Whose young woman is this?' So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, 'It's the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.' And she said, 'Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house. Then Boaz said to Ruth, 'You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you?'"
Hey, hey, hey, hey. I think he's falling for her. "'And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.' So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him". Women love this, they confess favor. They know it's the favor of God, yet after he showed her kindness, she say, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I'm a foreigner"? Ladies are very sharp, guys, all right? Never mind. She confessed favor. Didn't she confess favor? So, this is a gift of favor from God because of her faith in God's favor, right?
Now watch this, verse 11, "Boaz answered and said to her, 'It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, you have come to a people whom you did not know before.'" Next, "'The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel.'" Wow, the Lord repay your work. What work? And a full reward, why? "A full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge". You flee to him for refuge and he says, "Because you have run to me for refuge, a full reward is waiting for you," to be rewarded, to be repaid for trusting him. This is goodness in its purest form.
I want you to know that our Lord is amazing. He's the Lord of loveliness. He's the prince of princeliness, king of kindness to reward you for putting your trust in him, wow, even that he reward. God will find every, every excuse to bless you, reward you. And she became the? What? The great grandmother of David, and you will find her name in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew. Praise the Lord. You want to hear another story? Want to hear another story? Stories in the Bible are the best, and the reason I read them is so that you get excited about reading your own Bible. It's more exciting that Korean dramas. Spend time in the Word. It will refresh you. God's words are health to all your flesh.
Let me share with you another story, and this is the story of Esther. The people of God, I told you a few weeks ago that the Babylonians came because of their idolatry, the people of God have committed idolatry. They exchanged God's literally. They don't want the God of Israel anymore. In spite of all their shortcomings, all that they have done wrong, all their sins of adulteries and lying and killing or whatever, they still offered burnt offerings before that, but the moment they exchanged God, they stopped the sacrifices that would have the blood atonement that could have covered them from this, from wrath and from punishment.
God is a holy God and they kept on worshiping other idols. And the Bible said God sent prophet after prophet Isaiah, God sent Jeremiah. They refused. Some of them, they even killed and they worshiped gods that they sacrificed their children to, like Molech, they throwed Molech is an idol with hands that are burning, bronze hands, and they'll put their children on the bronze hand when it's really, really hot, and then they'll roll them into the fire of the statue. And God says, "Stop doing that. Return to me. Return to me".
And God finally sent Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and the brought the people of Judah captive for 70 years. This story happened during those years when they were in captivity, and that's the reason why the Book of Esther don't have God's name. You don't find G-O-D, you don't find L-O-R-D, you don't find the name of God anywhere in the Book of Esther, because in this time they were supposed to be lo-ammi, not my people, yet God was still behind the scene. God was orchestrating things behind the scene for them.
In fact, you find God's name in the Hebrew in equidistant lettering which means in code form, amen? And every time God's name appear like, for example, you will say, J, then you find a few other letters, then four letters after that, E, then four letters later, S, four letters later, U, four letters, what is that? S. Jesus, that's how it's hidden. His name is hidden, all right? Elohim, Yahweh is hidden in the Book of Esther.
So, let's follow the story. There was a king, Xerxes, which all of you know in history, he was sitting on the throne. Your Bible calls him Ahasuerus but in history it calls him Xerxes. There are many titles like Pharaoh, king, and all that kind of thing, so they have titles. These are titles, not their names. So, King Xerxes was sitting on the throne, the king of Persia, and what happened was that he had a right-hand man, his name was Haman, and Haman is an Agagite, which is actually from the Amalekite. The Amalekite, when Moses brought the people of God out of Egypt, that was the first battle they had when Moses hands were raised by Aaron and Hur. And the battle took place at the valley below between the people of God and the Amalekites.
The Amalekites were so, so terrible, all right, so evil that they only fought against those who are lagging behind. The old people and young children who are lagging behind, they killed them. They came to attack them. So, they were about two million-plus, so logistic-wise, you gotta move slow on the last one, but that's where they attacked. And God says that's when they called God's name Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our banner. God gave them victory over the Amalekites. Well, Haman, the right hand man of Xerxes, is a descendant of Amalekite and God says he will always have war with Amalek. So, this Haman, he has all this trappings of royalty and have access to the king and all that, but he wasn't happy for one thing.
There was a man called Mordecai, Mordecai was a Jew, Jew in captivity. And Mordecai is much older than Esther. When Esther's father died, all right, Mordecai, who is actually a cousin of Esther, adopted her and raised her as his own daughter. Are y'all with me so far? Haman, every time he passes by Mordecai at the palace gate, you will see Mordecai and Mordecai refuse to bow, let other people bow to him, because he's an Amalekite, and he just cannot stand Mordecai not bowing to him, especially knowing that Mordecai is a Jew.
So, he devise a plan. He told the king, "You know, king, there's a bunch of people," and this is happening in Hitler's time and other times as well. It's still happening now some parts of the world against the Jews, and Haman said this, "You know, there's a bunch of people that really are trying to destroy you and your kingdom. They have different sets of laws from our laws. They teach their people to disobey your law so my suggestion, king, for your own, to protect your own interest, you have to destroy, exterminate these people. So, give me the assignment, all right," he says. And the king says, "Okay, give him the ring on the clay tablet, it's a go".
And the word of a king of Persia at that time cannot be reversed, okay? So, the date is set. On the 13th of the 12th month, Adar, it will happen. Thirteen is the number of evil in the Bible. It will happen, the extermination of the Jewish people. Then let's follow the story. The Bible says, his hatred for Mordecai, all right, the foster father of Esther, grew and grew. With all that he has, he only can think of the bitterness. Some people are so funny, you know? They got so much blessings around them, they got their wonderful children, their nice house, everything, but every day they are thinking about one person did something bad to them and they are rehearsing, rehearsing, nursing, nursing, rehearsing, rehearsing the bitterness until they end up in a hearse and there's no more rehearse after that. So, don't. Bitterness will eat you up, amen? Trust God for the 120 restoration, okay?
So, this guy got so bitter, and he said, "What should I do"? And he says this in Esther. "Then he added, 'But this is all worth nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew just sitting there at the palace gate.'" "All that I have," he says to his wife, his friends, "all this is nothing as long as I see Mordecai not bowing to me". "Then the wife Zeresh, his wife and all his friends suggested, 'Set up a sharpened pole that stands seventy-five feet tall, and in the morning ask the king to impale Mordecai on it. When this is done, you can go on your merry way to the banquet with the king.' This pleased Haman, and he ordered the pole set up," okay? "That night", Wow, talk about timing. How many know God may seem late, but he's always on time?
So, the pole, 75-feet pole was already in place. He was about to impale. The next day Mordecai, at the command of the king, of course, is going to the king's presence to tell the king to impale. Your King James says hang, but the Hebrew actually is the word crucify, impale. "That night the king had trouble sleeping". I'm telling you, how events turn around over one sleepless night. Can you imagine how an entire empire was shaken because a baby cried in an ark by the River Nile? A baby cry is a small weak things no one think any thought of it. God can move with the smallest things to change great events. God can cause your boss to have a sleepless night and thinking about you. God can cause your wife that is going astray in her emotions, all right, to have one sleepless night and dreaming about you. God can cause you to have one sleepless, don't always think insomnia is of the devil.
That night, it says that night. Say "that night". The night after the pole has been set up. "That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him". That's boring, isn't it? "Bring the history of my reign". I mean you want some music or whatever. "Can you read to me". That he's maybe you'll bore him to sleep, all right? In those records, he discovered an account of how Mordecai, the Jew, had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king's private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes. 'What reward or recognition did we ever give Mordecai for this?' the king asked. His attendants replied, 'Nothing has been done for him, sir.'"
So one night of sleeplessness the records were read, and he heard that Mordecai the Jew saved him actually, when he overheard that two of the eunuchs tried to assassinate him. So, what's been done for him? Nothing. Next, "Who is this? Who is that in the outer court"? At the same time, who was coming? Haman was coming. Haman coming. "The king inquired. As it happened, Haman had just arrived in outer court of the palace to ask the king to impale Mordecai on the pole he had prepared. So the attendants replied to the king, 'Haman is out in the court.' 'Bring him in,' the king ordered". Talk about timing, okay? "So Haman came in and the king said, 'What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?'" Haman talked to himself, hmm. "Whom will the king wish to honor more than me"?
You know, when you are proud, okay, you think everything's about you. You really think everything's about you. It's not about you, people. That's a relief, actually. When you hear people whispering to one another, all right? It's not about you. It's beyond you looking at the handsome guy at the back over there. Let's be delivered of self, okay? See, when the king says, "What shall I do for the men I want to honor"? Says, "It must be me," all right? He replied, "If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king's own royal ropes". This guy is really pushing it, asked for the king's own royal robes. "King's own royal robes as well as a horse that the king himself has ridden". Your own sports car. "One with a royal emblem on its head".
Next verse, "Let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials, and let him see that the man whom the king wishes to honor is dressed in the king's robes, led through the city square on the king's horse and have the official shout, 'This is what the king does for someone who wishes to honor.' 'Excellent!' the king said to Haman. 'Quick! Take the robes and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Leave out nothing you have suggested!'" Is God a rewarder? I said, is got a rewarder?
You see, I can actually read all these stories to you just like that, but it will... I want to relish your Bibles. I want you to relish your Bibles. Enjoy the Word of God. It will lift you up. Listen to the Word of God on your way to work. Listen to the preaching. See what that lady, she was watching it for four months every day. Next verse, "Haman took the robes and put them on Mordecai, placed him on the king's own horse, and led him through the city square". Who is the official shouting? It's Haman shouting, "This is what the king does for someone he wishes to honor". Every few steps, "This is what the king wishes to do for the one he honors! This is what.". "Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated".
And friend, this is the beginning of Haman's fall. In fact, the next verse says the same wife and friends that suggested to him to build the pole, "When Haman told his wife, Zeresh, and all his friends what had happened, his wise advisers and his wife now said this, 'Since Mordecai — this man who has humiliated you — is of Jewish birth, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue opposing him.'" Fine advice at this time. And the very next verse, the king's servants came to bring him to the banquet, at the banquet, things turned around, and you know what happened, people? Haman was hung, was crucified on the same pole that he built for Mordecai.
And what happened to all the people Jewish people on the 13 of Adar? Esther made her appeal and the king says, "What I have decreased, I cannot change, but I can do something for your people. All right, I will tell all the people, the Jewish people, they can arm themself, okay, and they can rule and fight wherever their enemies, they are allowed to fight against their enemies". Previously they were not. And because Mordecai was promoted and Esther became the queen, all the people were afraid of the Jewish people. And that day, the 13 of Adar, until today is still celebrated among the Jewish people as the Feasts of Purim. Pur is the dice, the dice that Haman and his people threw to find out, "What day shall we destroy the Jewish people"? The pur became a celebration. The 13 of Adar became the day of Purim. Until today, they still celebrate it.
Do you know something? I'll tell you something, the first Gulf War, you remember Gulf War, the first Gulf War in the 1990s, '91? You know what happened? The Gulf War ended exactly on the Feast of Purim. There was another Haman out to destroy the Jewish people. He declared his intentions. God is repeating history, huh?
Let me close with this, so does God reward"? Even though sometimes it seems like you're forgotten, it's all in the record books, people. I said, it's all in the record books. Don't throw away your confidence, amen? Praise God. Even it takes the last night, God will come through, amen? Now, I want to tell you something, whenever good things happen to you, your position must never be, "It must be some reward I received. It must be". You know, there's a song that goes, "It must have been, you must have, I must have done something good". Yeah, "Sound of Music". Somewhere in my past, I must have done something good. Don't subscribe to that. When good things happen to you say, "It's by grace," amen?
It's all God's favor. It's not your place to say, "This is a reward". It's not your place to say, all right, "I'm rewarded, I'm rewarded". No, it's not your place. Chances are you might go into pride. It goes back into looking at your works. No friend, we do not know what God will reward, but is there a reward in the kingdom of God? Yes, there is. And I'll close with this, the greatest reward is found in the first mention of the Hebrew word "reward". And every time a subject is mentioned for the first time, there is something significant, something important. Do you know when the word "reward" was mentioned the first time? Right after Abraham met Melchizedek who brought bread and wine, Communion. And Abraham tithed to Melchizedek and then Abraham went back and the Bible says for some reason, maybe because of the war he had not, the reality set in, okay, and he was afraid.
And the Lord appeared to him, next chapter, "After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, 'Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, and you're exceeding great reward.'" When all is said and done, people, God, our Lord Jesus, is truly our reward. No, exceeding reward. No, exceeding great reward. He truly is our reward, and what did we do? Nothing, we ran for refuge to him and he says, "Thanks for trusting me, thanks". That's what the tragedy of the Jewish people, you know, he looked at Jerusalem and says, "O Jerusalem," Jesus wept. And the would "wept" there in Greek is crying out loud. He wept over Jerusalem. He says, "How I wish I would have gathered you like a mother hen would gather her chicks, but you would not. And now you're left on your own". Every demon in hell hates the Jewish people because they are God's called people. And now Jesus says, "You refuse to have made you're covering and now," he wept, "I have to leave you alone".
So, the tragedy of the history of the Jewish suffering down through the years, but all will come to an end when Jesus returns. And the Bible says they will say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, and he will cover them, he'll rescue them. They'll never be exclamated, but right now they are in partial blindness, okay? But there's a revival going on in Israel. And people, we like Ruth, have been redeemed by Boaz, amen? And we, although we are not Jews, but we marry the Messiah, amen. Naomi the mother-in-law is a Jew, but our union is with the Messiah, amen? And we take whatever our husband gives to us, and we bless our mother-in-law, amen? Praise the Lord. Have you learned something today? Have you been blessed? Give him praise. Come on, church, hallelujah. Thank you, Lord Jesus, amen. Keep on serving the Lord, people.
And when I say serve the Lord, truly serve the Lord. Jesus said, "If any men serve me, him will my father honor". Do you hear that? But are you serving him or are you serving your interests? Are you serving? I don't care whether it's a Christian organization or a church even that you are serving in, it's possible to be serving, but serving your interests, serving your own needs, serving your insecurities, amen. It's possible to want to be a leader because you are insecure. You want some power, you feel like it will define you.
Friend, these are all wrong reasons. It's got to be the Lord telling you, the Lord prompting you and you say, "Lord, for your sake, I'll do it. And that's why I don't mind waking up early on Sunday morning to go to church, Lord, it's for you. When things get difficult and I'm not being recognized like Mordecai, Lord, I did it for you anyway. Lord, it's for you. It was always for you. And people don't recognize your beautiful voice. I could have sung on stage but Lord, nevermind. I'm doing it for you, Lord. And if no one listens when I sing in the shower, it's for you", amen. No one cared when David wrote psalms like Psalms 23, "The Lord is my shepherd".
All that he had was the captive audience of his flock, and he played the harp, but God heard that boy's voice, and God took that boy and God said, "This is what I think of your songs. I'll put them permanently in the greatest book that the world will ever know. It'll be the heart of the book right in the center. And you know what? Because you care for this flock, you even killed a lion. You didn't say, 'Okay, one thing about the lion, all right, I gotta cut my losses.' No, you went after the lion, and you took the lamb out of his mouth and you killed the lion. I want kings like this over my flock, Israel". Amen. God sees. Don't you think for one moment God doesn't see. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of.
"I want Pastor Prince to put his hand on me. I want Pastor Prince to be the one to say well done". Forget me. See my hands? Quite nice but these hands are too small compared to when God blesses you, it will exceed what Pastor Prince can do, amen? Friend, he is with you. Have eyes just for him, not with eye service as man pleases, but unto the Lord. Do everything as unto the Lord, amen? Ask yourself, what is my", Jesus says, "If any man serve me," and just because you increased in service doesn't mean you are doing it. Serve him for him. It's for him, you don't need anyone to recognize it, amen, as long as he knows it. And your confession is always, "For you, Jesus". Every time you sacrifice, "For you, Jesus". When something is inconvenient, you gotta go, you're tired, "For you, Jesus," amen?
And I'm telling you, he's not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love. The fishermen worked all night and the crowds were coming in, and Jesus was preaching. And the crowds were coming in and Jesus, Jesus he said, "Can I take your boat"? Peter says, "Go ahead, nothing to do anyway". All night caught nothing and Jesus preached, "Push, push me just a bit away". And he used the acoustics of the water to carry his voice and everyone who lives by the beach knows they can hear a boatman, a fisherman, talking far away and it carries across the water. And Jesus preached. Did Jesus say, "Thanks, guys. Good, huh? Appreciate it, huh, for the free boat". No, what did Jesus do? After he told across the crowds to go back home, he looked at the fisherman who worked all night, caught nothing and he says, "Come, let's go fishing". "Lord, we worked all night, we caught nothing". And they saw the spirit of holy calmness as Jesus always is famous for. A slight smile on his face, the joy of the Lord Peter says, "At your word, I'll do it".
Jumped into the boat and that particular day, toiling all night before caught nothing, they caught a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fishes. Peter was so afraid, and Jesus says, "Don't be afraid. From now on, you will catch men," amen. This same Jesus is you're exceeding great reward. If you have eyes to see, serve him. Anyone who serve Jesus, him who my father honor, the word "honor" there, timai, is to put a value like no other person, as if you are the most valuable person, okay? Give him praise. Thank you, Jesus, amen.
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. Friend, if you are here today, let me just say this, and you have never made our Lord Jesus your own personal Savior, friend, he didn't just die for Christians. In fact, he died for sinners. There were not Christians when he died. We are Christians because we put our trust in his sacrifice for us in the blood that he shed for us. On that cross, he shed his precious blood. That blood has no sin in it. That blood is royal blood, kingly blood, and that blood was shed on the cross and when that blood was shed, my friend, that blood met, fully met all the requirements of God's holiness, and God's righteousness for you and I. God is satisfied.
We'll never die because of our sins because Christ died in our place. We'll never be punished again, ever again for our sins because Christ was punished in our stead. The Lord of loveliness, the king of kindness, died on the cross for you and I. If you believe that, friend, whoever you are right now, the Bible says the moment you believe that, you are justified, you are made righteous in God's eyes. If that is you, you say, "Pastor, I put my trust in Christ. I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord". Pray this prayer with me right now wherever you're watching this. Pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe he died on the cross for my sins, and rose from the dead. Thank you, Father, all my sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. I'm greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved. And Father, show me how I can live my life serving my Lord Jesus for the rest of my life. In the name of the Lord Jesus, amen, amen, amen.
Now, give your praise to the one who is not a hard taskmaster, but a kindly Lord. Give him praise, hallelujah, and stand to your feet. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Don't take the blessings for granted, amen. Many rewards are coming your way. Whenever the Lord has your pastor preach messages like this that's because he's telling you some of you are about to throw out, or cast away your confidence. God says, "Don't do it. It has great reward. Hold on. Keep on believing. Keep on believing," amen? "But it's more than a year, Pastor Prince". Keep on believing, amen, keep on believing. Don't throw away your confidence, amen.
The Lord bless you and everywhere that's watching this right now. The Lord bless you and your families this coming week. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Father Abraham. The Lord keep you, preserve you from all harm, from all dangerous, from every disease-bearing mosquito and parasite, from all the harmful effects of the haze, from every infection, from every disease, from accidents, dangerous, from tragedies, from evil people, from all the powers of darkness, from all the power of the evil one. The Lord bless you richly and the Lord reward you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and your families and grant you great favor, great peace, great health in Jesus's name. And all the people said, amen. God bless you.