Joseph Prince - Wisdom To Possess Your Possessions
Praise God. Praise God, praise God, hallelujah. 2016 is gonna be a special year, a year of possessing our possessions, and no longer are you asking the question, "Lord, you know, how long I have prayed for my healing". Even just now, someone was telling me this about some people that she knew about, you know, in our greenroom, about people that are suffering certain conditions and all that, and they're asking, "How long"? Well, this is your year. Now is the time. Today is the day of salvation, amen? One of the Sundays, I'll be teaching on healing, all right, some fresh things that God has revealed, and then we will pray for the sick in a concentrated way. We'll make sure that this is your healthiest year yet, amen?
And the thing is that, you know, we have people coming from... I don't know where. I have given up trying to find out, but the thing is that I'm just glad, you know, but what is important is that, for this precious people that came and joined us on Sunday, it's not a one-Sunday sermon. It is actually, God can speak, all right, and still about the theme, especially the first month, you know, the following Sundays, we had three Sundays already. This is the third one. God can still speak.
In fact, today I have a word for all of you in regards to your health, all right? And I believe that some things God will reveal as time goes on, you know? "So don't forsake the assembling of ourselves together, so much the more as you see the day approaching," when our Lord Jesus Christ is gonna return for us, amen. "In a twinkling of an eye, we'll all be transformed, and our bodies will be transformed," like his body, glorious, amen, incorruptible forever. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, hallelujah. And the gospel of grace and peace, there is no other gospel. There is no other gospel.
I wanna read to you a testimony before I start sharing on what God has for us today. This is from a certain brother from Oklahoma, United States, and he says, "I'm 24 years old, and I was bound to viewing pornography since I was about 14 years old". So, parents, you got young teenagers and all that. Don't assume, don't assume that they are not having challenges in this area. So all the testimonies you hear down here has worked for these people, and that's one thing about the gospel of grace. Whatever you hear your colleagues, your friends, your relatives, and people telling you about the danger of the gospel of grace and all that, they don't have the testimonies that we have. "Show me your faith by your works, and I'll show you mine," amen.
And another thing is that have you noticed that a lot of people with this kind of problem will not write even after they are delivered? I have this man's name up here, but I won't be reading his name. The entire name, plus his family name is there. You know, in our ministry, we have had people writing to us unashamed, unabashedly telling us how they got delivered from pornography. In the first place, not everyone writes in. Secondly, there are people writing in, and there are so many of them already. Every other week, we are receiving testimonies such as this, amen. And the thing is that, when people start getting into theology and start arguing and start saying things, all right, just one testimony settles it all. If this is really not from God, if this gospel of grace is not from God, all right, then pray tell me how come these people are delivered?
"I'm 24 years old and was bound to viewing pornography since I was about 14. In November 2014, I heard a testimony shared by Pastor Prince". So, obviously, he's sharing, in fact, this one came in last year, 2015, but that means he took some time before he sees whether this deliverance holds. And many of them will write, whether they're addicted to drugs or alcohol or pornography, when they write in, when they write in, they write after some time has passed, and they know that the testimony is real, amen? Praise God. "In November 2014, I heard a testimony shared by Pastor Prince. It was about a man who was completely freed from his smoking addiction. Even the desire to smoke was gone, just by confessing that he is the righteousness of God in Christ".
And I wanna say something at this point in time because pastors are watching this as well. I just wanna say this, that, in the New Testament, people ask, "Pastor Prince, are there commandments in the New Testament"? Yes, of course. I just preached on that last year, amen, from 1 John, about the commandments there. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another, as I have loved you". But the new commandments, all right, in Scripture, you must understand, it's not like the law that came from Mount Sinai, amen. The commandments is like saying to a hungry man, "I command you, 'Eat,'" telling a man who is tired, "Sleep". "I command you to sleep". Don't do it now, amen?
So these are what is called in the New Testament, in theological terms, all right, those in Bible school and all that, they know it. It's called "imperatives". Imperatives, all right? Are there imperatives in the Bible? Of course there are, but those who insist on the imperatives forget that, most of the time, before there's an imperative, there's an indicative. An indicative tells you your wealth in Christ, who you are, what you have, what you can do in Christ. Then it tells you, amen, "Because Christ loves us, love your wife, even as Christ loves us". "Love one another, even as I have loved you".
That's an indicative. Our position in Christ, we are forgiven, therefore we forgive. And if you don't preach the indicative, you are in no position to preach the imperative. That's only for the pastors and Bible students and all that, those kind of things. We sometimes think I don't know this kind of thing. I don't preach, you know, theologically because the Lord said to me many years ago, "Feed my sheep, not my giraffes". So I don't wanna preach over people's heads, amen. You know, all theology, all theology, I'll tell you this: whether it's Calvinism, whether it's Arminianism, whatever group you subscribe to, let me just tell you this: all theology boils down to this: "Jesus loves me, this I know". If you don't know that, all right, your theology is no good. That's the bottom line, okay?
So what's the indicative here? The indicative is that believe that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. This is the gospel. I said this is the gospel, amen. So an indicative is indicative, You are the righteousness of God in Christ because Christ was made sin with your sins. He, who knew no sin, he who did no sin, in him is no sin, hallelujah. He never have to recall a word, never have to retrace a step. In him, all things are beautiful and lovely, and all moral excellencies converge in him. Everything about him is equal proportion. When he is kind, he is not soft. When he is authoritative or like, casting out demons and all that, he's not hard. He loves the sinner, casts out the devil, evict the demon, praise God.
He knows how to calm the storm and calm the storm in the disciples' hearts. He is altogether lovely. His name is Jesus. The more we look at him, the more we become like him. Can I have a good amen? Holiness, my friend, is not your standard. It's not your standard, not your denominational standard. It's not my standard. Holiness, to God, is Christ. He is our standard. And you know something? My standing before God is not measured by me, thank God. According to New Testament teaching, because of what Christ has done at the cross and today at the Father's right hand, it is no longer what you are before God. It is what Christ is before God. In other words, God is not looking at you to assess you. God is looking at Jesus to assess you. It's not a question of what I am before God. It's a question of what Christ is to God.
And you may say, "Pastor Prince, that's a cop-out". Take it to God. That's New Testament teaching, amen. But, see, you cannot believe the right thing and not live the right way. Can I have a good "amen"? The Bible is very clear that, before you can put on the new man, I have the passage here real quick. I just wanna show you this, and we are still on the teaching, okay, praise God. And let's look at Ephesians 4: "Therefore, putting away lying," now, that's a imperative. "Put away lying". I hope you have done that. Have you all done that? Yes. Okay, that's a lying. No, no, I'm just kidding. No, no, of course, we are supposed to say yes. "Therefore, putting away lying," all right? It's an imperative, "putting away lying," but have you noticed, it starts with "therefore"?
So a lot of people, they wanna cease on the putting away lying, but they don't realize that New Testament Scripture is not just about don't do this, start doing this, don't do that, start doing that. It tells you who you are and tell you, "Walk accordingly". It tells you that you are risen with Christ. Live a princely life. Live worthy of the calling of God. You are from the royal family. You are not petty because you are princely, princessly, amen. You forgive because royalty forgives. And royalty is generous. Royalty gives. Royalty is not stingy, amen. So you are royalty. You belong to the royal family, amen. Just like Jesus, he didn't have to dress like a king to exude the mien of royalty. Wherever he walked, people sensed they're in the presence of a Prince, amen. When he touched the leper, diseases depart. That's princely authority, amen? Praise God. And that's what you are.
So, long before we can tell people to live like a prince, live worthy of the high calling, holiness, if you would, we need to tell them what they have, who they are, and what they can do in Christ. Indicatives are important. It is almost like today, justification by faith, which is the essence of the gospel, has been forgotten. And among those that say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, we are not saved by the law, I understand that," I'm talking about sanctification. So they wanna use the theological word? All right, "sanctification," all right? Same word, "holiness," "sanctification". Sanctification is not just separation from. It's separation unto. We don't tell people what they have been separated unto. In fact, our sermon these past few weeks has been: separated from Egypt, but don't stay in the wilderness. Enter into all that God has for you. These are the indicatives. Can I have a good amen? Can I have a good amen?
This one here is the book of Ephesians. And the book of Ephesians, in fact, can be divided two ways. Some will say, the first three chapters, it is on "sit". The key word is "sit," all right? We are seated with Christ in heavenly places. What does it mean to sit? "Sit" means what? Everything is finished. You see, you are sitting. You are resting, amen? I'm standing. I'm preaching. I'm not sitting down yet, amen. My preaching is not yet done. You are sitting. And when you sit, the seat carries your weight. Am I right? So "sit" is wonderful. "Sit" is that you plunk yourself. You rest, amen? Jesus has done everything pertaining to your standing before God, amen. He has done everything pertaining to... I know what's bothering you. Your indwelling sin.
If you love God, what bothers people is flesh, the indwelling sin, but even then, the Bible says Christ has taken care of it, all kinds of sin, root and branch and all, amen. Root and branch, everything is taken care of. The sin that produces the sins have all been taken care of. The sin is not forgiven, it's crucified. But the sins are forgiven, the actions are forgiven. So the thing is that we need to know that we have been crucified with Christ. We are risen with Christ, praise God. These are indicatives that cause us to live the imperatives. Can I have a good amen? Spare me a bit for a while because I need to speak to some of the theologians out there, okay? So if you can, I hope you can just bear me a little bit, because now our reach has been to all over the world, amen? So it's important for sincere.
Now, there are those... haters will hate. There are those, no matter what you say, they decided to hate you, okay, and these people will hate us. If our church is 100 or 120 people, all of a sudden, they don't hate us anymore. They will tell us, "Can I help you"? Something to do about being big that makes haters hate. Big doesn't mean something is wrong. Small doesn't mean something is bad either, all right? It's time for us to assess things in the spirit and not by our sight. Can I have a good amen, people? Can I have a good amen? Some companies are growing because excellent management is going on, amen? There are excellent leaders at the top. The reason Singapore is no longer a third world country, amen, is because of our excellent leadership. It's not the resources we have. Come on, what do we have? Meager resources. It's leadership, amen.
Okay, so, "Put away lying". But it starts with "Therefore". No one starts with "therefore," so you must understand that, in book of Ephesians, it's "sit," the first three chapters, then chapter 4 starts with "Therefore, brethren, I beseech you, walk. Walk worthy of the calling". So once you know you are seated in all that you have in Christ, then walk, amen? So chapter 4, chapter 5, is all about walking. Then chapter 6, "Stand against the principalities and powers". We are in a war. I said we are in a war. Can I have a good amen? God doesn't make your children sick, all right? That's an attack on your family. Don't learn those kind of theology that says, "Well, we just have to accept it," and all that. "Maybe it's God will," and all that. No, stand in faith. Take Communion, fight the good fight of faith until the fever breaks, until the healing comes. Can I have a good amen?
So until then, all right, the trial of faith, the Lord will be with you, and the battle is the Lord's. Keep on saying, "The battle is yours, Lord". That's your part. Learn to rest, amen. That's "sit," "walk," "stand". That's "stand," okay? Another way of dividing the book of Ephesians, there are three W's, the book of Ephesians. The first three chapters is the wealth, the wealth of the believer, the first W. All right, chapter 4, chapter 5, is the walk, all right, see? And chapter 6 is the warfare, amen. Are you listening? So you're not ready for warfare until you learn to sit and you learn to walk, amen?
The devil attacks people that he knows is a... He doesn't care about those who are not making an impact, those with profanity in their mouth and people who are cheating in their business, that kind of thing. He just leaves them alone, amen, because he wants them to succeed because they are bad testimony to the kingdom of God, amen, but he goes for people who know how to rest, and they are joyful. Their lives are a testimony, amen. There's a sparkle in their eyes, a joy that can be felt when you are in their presence, amen, and whether they are man or woman, you sense like you are in the presence of royalty because they carry the mien of heaven. They are heavenly people, amen. The devil hates that. Once you are in that place, there's gonna be warfare.
But it's a warfare we win. We don't have to wrestle. In fact, "We wrestle against", the emphasis is not "wrestle". "Wrestle" appears one time in Ephesians 6. "Stand" appears three times. "Stand therefore," "Withstand," all right, "Having done all, stand". "Stand" is mentioned three times. You know what's stand? You're already on victory ground. The devil is trying to take your blessing. The devil is trying to take your healing. The devil is trying... you are standing on victory ground. "Stand therefore". You know, it's one thing to be down there trying to get the ground. No, we are on victory ground. We don't pray for victory. We pray from victory, amen? We don't come to church to come to God, amen. We come to church because we are close to God. It's the desire in our hearts, and nothing about indicatives that, it changed the reason why you do the imperatives. You can actually do the commandments for all the wrong reasons.
"But, you see, Pastor Prince, don't you know the Bible says, 'Thou shalt love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength"? Yes, even Jesus quoted that when he was asked the question by the lawyers. "And the next one is 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" I agree. But has anyone done that? Even during Jesus's time, has anyone under the law done that? And the Lord Jesus said that because they asked him the question, "Which is the greatest commandment in the law"? But he came so that we love because God first loved us, amen. John, who was there, who heard Jesus talk about the greatest commandment and all that, he wrote later on, amen, that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved, because he knows that he can only fulfill love for God and love for man if he's conscious of God's love for him.
So what I'm saying is that, when I'm teaching people and unveiling the love of God in the pulpit, I'm actually producing the results of the greatest commandment, love for God, and love for one another without even the people realizing it. This is the ministry of the New Testament, y'all. It is not, oh, "We got Pastor Prince is saying the greatest commandment is not the greatest commandment anymore. It's less great now". I never said that. But the reason, the reason... why do you pray? "To get close to God". Wrong. I'm sorry. By the blood Christ, you are made nigh to God. And all your crying and all your begging and all your moaning and all your pleading cannot bring you close to God, but the blood that was shed brought you so near to God.
Now that you're near to God, why pray? Because you are near to God. You have influence with Jehovah, the one who moves heavens and earth. I'm telling you, that's the reason why we pray, why we worship, because we are close. It changes everything. It's not a question of you gotta preach on holiness. And whose holiness? Your denominational standard? This church standard? So, at the end, if someone is holy, who judges if the person's holy? The only one who can judge, the only criteria for holiness must be God's own definition. Number two, it must be God who judges whether one is holy or not. Can I have a good amen? So "Therefore, putting away lying," look at that verse before this, all right?
Let's read the context. This is the verse before "Putting off lying". "You put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts," now, how do I do it? How do I put off the behavior, the conduct of the anger, the bitterness, the unforgiveness, the lusting, the coveting? How do I get rid of that old man's behavior? Now, the old man is gone, by the way. He's not talking about old man. He's talking about the behavior of the old man, pertaining to the old man. How do you put it off, all right? Verse 23 gives you the answer, "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind". "In the spirit of your mind," right believing. "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind".
I pray in Jesus's name that God raise preachers and teachers that will preach to people in a way that will renew their minds to who they are in Christ. "The way you put off your former conduct, which is corrupt, all right, is by being renewed in the spirit of your mind," it's all context, comma, "and that you put on," put off, put on, put off, put on, in between right believing. "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind". Put off, put on. How do you put on? "In the spirit of your mind". Think of yourself this way: "Put on the new man, which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness". You see "righteousness and holiness" there? God is saying, "You already are. You already are righteous, truly righteous, and truly holy".
In fact, the Old King James says, "created in righteousness and true holiness". In other words, that's who you are. And what I'm trying to say is that I'm telling people what the Bible says they already are. God is saying, "Put it on, see yourself as a new man created," past tense. You cannot create yourself in holiness. You cannot create yourself in righteousness. God has created you in Christ righteous and truly holy. Next verse, this is 24: "Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying," now you can put away lying because that's not your royal character. That's not your heavenly character, and you're a heavenly people.
Now there's power to put away lying. Why? I don't wanna lie. I live in the presence of God. I'm so close to God. Lying is not his thing and lying is not my thing, amen? I don't wanna lie. Why do I lie? Because I'm afraid of man and what they think of me. Hey, forget man. Think of God, amen. I'll trust the consequences. If God gives me favor, what can man give me? Amen, so notice how the imperative is preceded by all the indicatives, how the walk of holiness is preceded by the wealth that we have in Christ. Can I have a good amen? To God be all the glory. Give him praise. Come on, hallelujah. What a wonderful salvation that we have. What a glorious redeemer. What a price he paid. No one can improve on God's plan.
So that's why Pastor Prince encourages people to confess. I'm trying to have them renew their mind. When you're addicted, confess, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ," and there are those whose minds are not renewed, even Bible teachers and leaders, who are saying, "Well, well, you know, there are people teaching that, telling people to confess they are righteous, and they are saying you can do whatever you want". No, the other part they add, they always put some truth that I'm saying, and then they add the other part, "You can do whatever you want. The Bible said, 'You can do whatever you want,'" but in fact, when you know how wealthy you are, all right, you can do what you want.
Once upon a time, you wanna take out that family that's poor. The father has died. The mother is struggling with three children, and you have no money to help them. Now you have money. Now you are able to walk out what you really wanna do to help that family because you know your wealth. Praise God. Can we finish this? All right. In November 2014 I shared that already, all right? The guy who got delivered from smoking by confessing that he's the righteousness of God in Christ.
What's this guy doing that he heard about? Putting on a new man, which is really who he is, because everything the devil will throw at you is that "no, you're not that. See what you just felt just now, your feelings? Is bad feelings. Look at your thoughts. Hey, you just had that thought just now. How can you say you are created in righteousness and true holiness"? It's got nothing to do with experience. Faith has got nothing to do with experience, all right, emotions or whatever, amen? Many children have died looking at the swimming pool, seeing, thinking, feeling that it is shallow. They jump in. It's not. Your eyes can deceive you. Your experiences can deceive you.
I was watching the other day a documentary on JFK's son, you know? John Kennedy, Jr., the handsome one. He died in a plane crash with his wife, and it was a documentary on air crash and things like, which I normally don't watch. I had nothing to do that night, so I was on a short holiday during Christmas, so I just watch it, all right? And finally, the conclusion was this: the experts said, according to the trend of the way it flew and all that, he just passed, he just became a pilot not too long ago, okay? And he never fly when it's dark. He was flies when it's light. But for the first time there was a storm coming and his radio was not on the right frequency. And it got darker and darker, until it became so dark. He never flew in the dark, and they said he experience what many, many, many, many other pilots who have died experience, all right? They feel like they're going straight, when actually they're going down.
That's where the saying comes, "flying by the seat of your pants". You go by, you know, you go up and down. You feel like you're going up. You're going down, all right? He felt he was going straight. That's the conclusion. This was in the documentary recently. Nat Geo or one of them. He felt he was going straight, when actually he was going down, until he realized too late. But his instrument was telling him, "Pull up. Pull up". His instrument was saying that he's going down, but he look at his instrument and he cannot believe he's going down because he felt like he was going straight. And here is where the experts and all that they were commenting to say that we have to trust our instrument. We have to trust the instrument that God has given us, regardless of how we feel.
"I don't feel righteous". God's Word says I am. Who we gonna believe? Hmm? Our little peanut brain, or God's Word? Amen. Are you gonna trust the so-called guy who's accomplished in his field and all that but still makes mistakes, or still involved in conjectures and perhaps and maybes, or the God whose Word is infallible because he created all things? Amen. So, God says we are created in righteousness, and it's not Pastor Prince's revelation, you know? But sometimes when you have gone into the Promised Land and you look behind you, you realize your people are not coming in. You go outside and you bring the people in. There are people dragging them out. They don't want, "No, there's no such thing. No, it's too good to be true. Over this side of heaven, there's no such thing as healing. One day, when Jesus comes again, all of us will be well".
Of course. Common sense will tell you that, amen? But what's the problem with the children of Israel when they were outside? They cannot believe that God has given them a land full of good things. God never say, "All right, I'm gonna give you a land. Just letting you all know the giants eat people, all right? The giants are bad, okay? The land is bad, but I want you to know that I'm bringing you to this land, you understand, to endure trials". God never say that. I'm not going through that again, but God instead said, "I bring you to a land flowing with milk and honey. I bring you to a land where you will dig coppers and iron and brass from the mountains and the hills. I bring you to a land full of olive trees and, and vineyards and figs and pomegranates. I bring you to a land you will live in houses you didn't fill with good things, drink from wells you did not dig, eat from vineyards you did not plant. It's a beautiful land".
Not one word about the giants, and they focus on the giants. And they did not mention one syllable about God in their speech. Choose which side you want. I'll take God's side, amen? And God is not saying he's indifferent to the problem. God knows the problem, but God always prophesy your victory long before. God sees you overcoming the giants already. What is addiction, smoking, like this young man? Lemme finish this. "When the desire to look at pornography came", memorize that. I'm pointing this direction, so memorize that. "When the desire to look at pornography came, I did not try to stop myself". I'm going home. I'm sorry I got the wrong testimony. What he's trying to say is that his own effort cannot. This will blow people's minds, all right?
And some people, what they do is that they get this part of the testimony me sharing, right, I just, what I've shared, right? What I just shared now, they'll take that. They cut off the rest of the testimony. They say, "This is what he said. Lemme give you a clip". That's how they write books against me, against grace teachers, and all that. What they do is that there are certain funny grace teachers saying, "Everybody is saved. Nobody is going to hell," all right? They call it ultimate reconciliation. And then, there are those saying all kinds of funny things. "Jesus on the cross did not endure the Father's wrath. I mean, God's wrath," you know? Weird things, you know? But I'm not part of them. That's why God never gave them the platform the way God gave me. You can only say that in humility, 'cause God gave me, I said. I didn't work for this.
So, if there is a lot of error, God will not give the platform. And those people that you listen to, ask yourself, "How come God didn't give them the platform"? So, what these people do when they write about grace is that they put my teaching on one page, which is true, and then they bring somebody else's teaching, all right, which is wrong. I myself will say is wrong, amen? But they'll put you on the same page, but they didn't say I said it. They'll put it together so that when you read it you will think I said it. That reminds me of someone in Genesis chapter 3. There was Adam and Eve and a third party. I'm not referring to God. I'm not referring to God, okay? That's how you leave impressions, but do you think that I bother about that? The battle is the Lord's, amen? Praise God.
I'm just saying that so that you will not be affected when you read stuff like that. If what they teach is really from God, let them produce people's testimonies who are delivered from bondages. Hey, I think if you're delivered from pornography, I will call that holiness. I think if you're delivered from drugs, I will call that holiness. I think if you're delivered from beating up your wife and your children from anger and resentment, I'll call that holiness. I think if you really love God because you love him and not because of a commandment trying to keep, amen, I think that's holiness. What do you think? Amen. So, he says that "when the desire to look at pornography came, I did not try to stop myself. I confess, 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ, and I cannot, but Christ can.' Even when I look at pornography".
So, two things he did. He says, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ," even while he's watching. And he says, "I cannot, but Christ can". Look at the result, all right? "Two months later, I had no more desire to look at pornography". And he wrote this. He experienced that in 2014. He wrote this in 2015, all right? "I was also told that I have become better at my job. I was not even trying to be better but was just allowing God's grace to operate in my life". You know, I have a teaching whereby I can show you in the Bible that if you're indulging in sexual promiscuousness and all that, if you give your body all the time to this kind of things and you don't have self-control in this area, God gave sex, number one. But if you are letting this area go out of control, it will warp up your mind.
I can show you in the Bible where it says whoever commits adultery destroys his soul. They become zombies. They can't think straight at work. They can't think through. They can't concentrate. They become like, and you can sense in the presence of someone, anyway, Joseph was able to dream dreams, but not able to interpret. But the moment after he resisted the sexual advances, all right, the allurements of his boss's wife, the next chapter tells us that he had ability to interpret. He never had it before. Wisdom, amen? The more you say no, all right, with the wealth that you know, from there you proceed to say no, something happens to your mind. You become sharp, sharper, and sharper. Your sexual energies go to your mind, and you become very sharp. And also, you don't grow old too fast, because strength is lost.
I can show you all these verses from Bible. "Give not thy strength unto". It's talking about strength. And, guys, when you lose that reservoir, oh, you grow old very fast. You see your testosterone gone. Of course, you waste it like crazy. All right. "I was also told that I'd become better at my job. I was not even trying to be better. I was just allowing God's grace to operate in my life". "I was not trying to be better". See the result? "Thank you, Pastor Prince, and everyone in Joseph Prince's Ministries for allowing God to move through you in the work that you do". Give God the praise and the glory. Hallelujah.
"But, Pastor Prince, have you heard of, 'Be ye holy, for I'm holy?'" You must say in that tone. "Be holy, for I'm holy". Of course. But can you tell me the verses before that? See, you know the imperative. They always come with the imperative, but do you know the indicative before that? "Uh, yeah, be holy". No. "Be holy" is there, but what are the verses before that? All right, I'll show you. 1 Peter 1. "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind". You know your loins, all right? Your loins is your reproductive area. That's where, you know, descendants, your seed, come from. Well, your mind can also reproduce. When God says gird up the loins of your mind, tighten the loins, in other words, watch what you think. Watch what you hear. Watch what you see. Tighten up the loins of your mind, because your mind reproduces.
Whatever you think today, you're gonna say, "Ah, you know, I'll be strong tomorrow". No, it will reproduce at the wrong time. You will come out, you know, live and in color, so gird up the loins of your mind. Watch what you see. Even the world says NC16. Is that what they say? Even the world has a standard. So, if you allow your children to watch whatever they want, don't be surprised later on you're crying one year later, two years later. You have allowed seeds to come in. "But if I say no to them, I'm afraid that they will leave the house". Then see who sponsors them. No, my friend. Don't be afraid. These are your children. They need you to say no sometimes. They need you to say no so that they have the courage to tell their friends, "My father say no," amen?
I told my daughter a long time ago, and I told her that "if a guy disturbs you and pesters you for your phone number you don't wanna give, one easy way out is just give him the number, but it's my number, all right? Let him call. Let him call". But later on, I realize that if I share that, there are parents who will tell their son to call me to get my number, so that doesn't apply anymore already. Maybe I'll send my wife's number, okay? Or Pastor Lawrence's number. Praise God. "You wanna speak to Jessica? Okay. Okay, praise God". But take care of your children. These are your kids. Not the devil's. Not Hollywood's, okay? These are your kids, amen? Praise God. I love you all. You know that. That's why I'm sharing this. Praise God. All right.
Now, look at verse 16 first. Verse 15, "As he who called you is holy, so be holy in all your conduct". Verse 16 we don't have here. He says even as God said, "Be ye holy, for I'm holy". But look at the context before that. "Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ". Hope fully for the grace, the favor. Hope fully for that, all right? The revelation of Jesus Christ here may mean his coming, but don't forget the revelation of Jesus Christ, usually when his coming is referred to, is not just revelation. It is the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the word "at" actually is the word "in" in the Greek, "en".
Lemme see. Grace will come to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ. When you listen or you read and you get a revelation of Jesus Christ, a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ, more grace comes to you. You cannot have more grace by doing more, amen? You get more grace, grace and peace multiplied, by the way, peace. I can show you that peace is also inclusive of shalom wellness, wholeness for your body. Grace and peace be multiplied for you and all of you watching in 2016. How? Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, so what we want is knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And all of a sudden you find you have more grace than you ever had before.
So, he's saying, "hope fully for that revelation, for grace to be brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ, as obedient children". Only when you have grace can you be obedient. And then, as he who call you is holy, so be ye holy. Don't forget the indicatives. Don't forget the wealth. Grace leads to holiness. Grace will cause people to say no to ungodliness, but it's not teaching people, "You gotta say no". Teach them grace, and grace will teach them to say no. Can I have a good amen, people? So, back to the Promised Land. Another key I want to put in your hands right now is this, the key of walking.
Now, we say that the children of Israel, they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, all right, and that's right. Many Scriptures says 40 years of provocation, 40 years in the wilderness, but God includes the two years that was not actually wandering. The wandering happened after two years. They came out of Egypt, went to the Red Sea, went to the other side and received the law at Mount Sinai, went over. When they came to the border of the Promised Land called Kadesh Barnea, that's two years. That was when they failed. I won't be going into that because we covered a lot last two weeks already. That's when they didn't believe God. They didn't believe God it can be that good. It's a sin of not believing God is good.
Today is the same thing. It's the sin of not believing your sins are forgiven or thinking when people think that their sins are forgiven, they'll go crazy, you know? Assuming that God should not have given this provision, they think they are better than God because God gave people this provision, people are sinning. I'm telling you, it's for the lack of preaching how forgiven they are that people are sinning, that sin has the dominion and the mastery, amen? It's very quiet here in this Presbyterian church this morning. Are y'all learning, people? Okay so, God says, "I've given you a land flowing with milk and honey". They didn't believe and that was at Kadesh Barnea.
Now, they have gone into the wilderness two years already but they were walking with God. I said, they were walking with God, that means they were with God. They were not fully perfect, but they were walking with God, okay? But at Kadesh Barnea from then on is 38 years. Deuteronomy 2, Moses in recollecting talks about the 38 years of wandering and all the generation died, okay, 38 years. Can you see the 38 years there, right? Okay, now I bring you to the New Testament. In John chapter 5 the Bible says, and many of you have been there to Israel, where you have been to the pool of Bethesda. It's all dried up now but you still can see the porches, some parts of it broken down and all that. You still can see the structure that was built on the porches and it's called Bethesda.
By the way, it means bet, y'all know, house, and it's hesed. Hesed means grace in Hebrew. Bet hesed, house of grace, house of mercy. And the Bible says there were all kinds of people during Jesus's time. It's near the sheep gate. All kinds of people who are impotent, and people who are diseased, and people who are dying of all kinds of illness. They were all gathered there because at a certain season, an angel will come down, stir the water of Bethesda, and the first one in will be healed. Now, a lot of people are waiting for the move of God to be healed, but today we are no more under law. Under law, that was the thing, must wait for seasons. You must wait for the feast time or the timings of God but today, now is the day of salvation. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the time of favor. Now is the accepted time. Are you listening, people, amen?
So, they were waiting. And by the way, if you are impotent in your feet, you can't walk. How to be the first one in the pool? So, the first one in the pool usually has a bad back, or arm withered, or whatever, at least they can walk. So again, that pool speaks of what? The law. The law is good, but it depends on your strength. The law demands and assumes that you have strength to keep it. No one can keep it. By the law, we know we are impotent. So, Jesus came in the midst of this sin of misery and suffering. Jesus walked right in the midst of the pool of Bethesda and there, there was... let's follow the story. The Bible says, "Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years".
Interesting, 38 years? The children of God walked with God two years, but they wandered for 38 years under judgment because they didn't believe God, altogether 40 years. And this man is a picture, that's why all the miracles in John are called signs. All the miracles in John is called signs. What is a sign? A sign means it's not just superficial. There's something deeper, a lesson for us to learn. Can I have a good amen? So, another sign, the first sign was turning water into wine, that one y'all know already. I've preached a lot on that. But here, this man represents Israel like Israel wandering in the wilderness for 38 years. This poor guy was down there. The pool is so close, but he cannot walk. He's impotent in his feet.
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well"? What a question to ask, you know? You see the guy down there near the pool, obviously he can't walk. He has all the trappings of someone who is not well. Okay, you can see that. And the question asked is this, "Do you want to be made well"? I want to ask you a question for 2016. Do you really want to be well? Do you really want to be well? Because when you are sick, people call you up, they come and fast over you, you know? Mommy makes chicken soup, comes all the way down. It's kind of comforting to be sick sometimes, don't have to go to work, the sicker the longer. Don't have to go to school. Are you sure you want to be well?
So, you have to decide, you want comfort or you want to be well? When you are well, you go to work. When you are well, you help others who are not well. Do you want to be well? What kind of question is that? No, I didn't ask you that. Do you want to be well? That's the question Jesus asks. "Will thou be made whole? Do you want to be well"? The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no man". Not an answer, isn't it? So, we are all famous for excuses. We don't answer the question. He says, "Do you want to be made well"? "Sir, I have no man. I have no father. I got no mother. I got no wife. I got no one to love me, to take care of me. I got no one to provide for me. I got no sugar daddy. I got no rich man. I got no education. I got no, I got no, I got no".
Did Jesus ask you that? Jesus knew, the Bible says, that he was there like this for a long time. "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me". Next. Are you tired of people stepping down before you, getting their miracle first? This message is for you. Again, I'm pointing down there. It's those guys at the console, the one with the hat. Looking good, bro. "Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your bed.'" Jesus went right across, "Oh, you have no man, huh? I can be the man". No, he just, you, know sometimes Jesus just gets to the point, praise God. Not sometimes, he always does. He says, "Rise, take up your bed and walk". You want an imperative, this is an imperative, an imperative of goodness, an imperative of healing, an imperative of wellness, amen?
"Rise, take up your bed and walk.' And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath". It was a rest day. But you know what's the problem right after this? The same problem today. People are not able to take good news so of all the things that's happened, this guy's been sick for 38 years. You know, they saw him carrying the bed and they say, "How can you carry the bed? It's a Sabbath day"? And the man says, "The one who made me well said, 'Take up your bed and walk.'" "And who is this man"? They are more concerned, they just heard the guy says, "I was 38 years impotent in my feet, this man made me well". They're not concerned about that. They're more concerned about religious rules and regulations. Are you listening, people?
That's how dangerous people who know the Bible and the one who accused him are people who know the Bible. It's not knowing the Bible. It's not knowing the letter. It's knowing the Lord of the Bible. It's seeing Jesus in every part of the Bible, in every page of the Bible and seeing his heart. If your theology doesn't show you his heart like Caleb and Joshua said, "Since the Lord delights in us". They know God's heart. They know they are people that God delights in. They are conscious of his heart then they are able to say about his hand, "The Lord will deliver us. The Lord will deliver the giants into our hands". Can you see that? Okay, all right, in other words, so close to the Promised Land. That's what happened to Israel.
And this man was so close to his healing. He was there 38 years. When the angel came down, he wasn't somewhere else in the Garden of Gethsemane or he wasn't somewhere else in, or somewhere else. He was so close to his miracle, just like Israel was so close to the Promised Land and yet not able to possess their possessions. So, how did Jesus make him possess his possessions? Well, first of all, it is Jesus that causes us to possess our possessions. Every word from his mouth is an enabling, is an empowering. Praise the Lord. When he says, "rise," you will rise above your discouragement, rise above your depression, rise above your addictions. Take up your bed, that's rest, all right? Take your rest, amen? Don't let it go. Don't leave someone else to clean. Don't let an auntie come and clean this, all right?
All right, you take it up. Take your rest, take your bed, take your rest and walk. God wants you to walk. When you walk, you possess your possession. In fact, the more he walked, the more he walked, the more he walked, the more he believed he can walk. Amen, amen? He's not been walking. True rest for this man who's been lying down is actually walking. So, true rest, let me tell you about rest, God wants you to rest. In fact, we read that Hebrews 3, Hebrews 4 last week, our only labor is to labor to enter the rest. Now, this rest is not rest of conscience. Come people say, "Well Pastor Prince, I'm trying to labor to get rest of conscience. My sins really bother me still, my indwelling sin. I see how far short I come".
Friend, the first thing about Christianity to you need to, the gospel, is that Jesus paid for all your sins and you are before God in Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ. You need to know it's not what you are before God. It is who Christ is before God, that's why we talk about Jesus so much, we study about Jesus so much. We look at the Bible to see Jesus because Jesus is our standing before God. We have a vested interest in knowing who Christ is, you know, all the beautiful excellencies of our Lord Jesus because God sees him as us. He is our true identity today before God. Can I have a good amen, people? Amen?
So, God says he wants you to walk. Obviously, the man is so close and the command is, "Rise, take up your bed and walk". Deuteronomy 11, "Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours". So, God promised Israel the land, but God required Israel to walk, walk, walk. Even though the whole land is theirs, God said wherever you walk becomes really yours, experimentally, practically yours, possessing your possessions. Healing is ours. Healing is our Promised Land but God is saying, walk, walk in it, amen? Praise the Lord. So, unless we learn to sit, we cannot walk. So, the first thing you need to know is rest, rest for your conscience.
So, Jesus said in Matthew 11, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden". Now, this is not referring to workers, okay, people working in a normal job. Labor and heavy laden are people laboring to please God, heavy laden with all kinds of yoke of the law. Jesus says, "Come to me. Come to me, not to a religion, come to me, and I will give you rest". Now, this rest is, what? Rest for your conscience knowing that all your sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus. It is not my estimate of how precious the blood of Christ is. It is God's estimate of how wonderful and how precious the blood of Christ is, and I'm forgiven according to that blood. I'm forgiven. I have forgiveness of sins, Ephesians 1, according to the richness of his grace. It's not my estimation of how rich his grace is. It's God's estimation. I am forgiven according to God's estimation.
So, first of all, it's given rest. Given rest is for the conscience. Every believer should have this. I know there are many believers not hearing the truth. They are still laboring. They are serving to get rest for their conscience from sins. They are even deacons, serving as deacons or deaconess. Some of them, you know, are pastors. D.L. Moody shared that he was a missionary before he was born again. There are people who are pastors who don't have rest of conscience. They are serving God, giving up sacrifices, live what you call a holy life, yet they are not saved. They are doing it proceeding from a wrong foundation. They don't have rest.
So, you must have rest of conscience. So, when you serve, you don't serve to get rest of conscience. You serve out of rest. So, this is rest given. Then Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, the yoke of the Pharisees is the law, my yoke is grace, and learn for me for I am gentle and lowly in heart". I love this. "And you will find rest for your souls". So, now it's a different kind of rest. It's rest that is found. First rest given. When you come to Jesus, there's a rest that's given. You are forgiven of all your sins, that's the rest that's given, a rest for your conscience deep, deep down where it really matters. And now, it's rest found.
Now, many believers have the first one, they don't have the second one. "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light". Many Christians don't have this rest. They have the rest that's given, all right, in their conscience, but they don't have a rest that is found. And it's found in here. "I am gentle and lowly. Learn from me, I am gentle and lowly". Though he's the King of kings and Lord of lords, though he came from heaven, though he has everything he, you know, everything, even the pinball winner in U.S. who becomes a billionaire will not be as rich as our Lord Jesus. He owns the universe, he owns everything. We cannot even choose which family to be born. Jesus chose where to be born, Bethlehem, the littlest of all towns, amen?
Jesus chose the family that he had was a poor family. And don't argue with me about prosperity and all that because they were a poor family. They brought dust during his dedication, all right, but they became wealthy because he came in. Gold came in. Now, he chose the land to be born in. He could be born in America. He could be born in Paris. He can be born, you know, in London. These are the cities that we say, all right, man, it's very modern and prosperous but he chose in humble ways. He's a meek and lowly. See, the thing is that one thing about people who are meek and lowly, when you're not competing for a position, you're not competing to be right all the time, you don't have to, you know, it's very restful.
When someone takes your seat and you say, you don't say, "That's my seat, you know? I've sat here from 20 donkey years. Okay, I'm saying you will take your... rise and run. That's my seat". All right, it's very peaceful. If you can be meek and lowly, and sometimes let people think they are winning. It's very peaceful. That's rest found. So, this is rest for your soul. You shall find rest for your soul, emotional, mental. That's the part that many people are, so you have rest for your conscience and your spirit but you have no rest that is found because you are still proud. Proud people are not restful. It takes a proud person to be insecure. And having plenty of money doesn't make you secure. In fact, a lot of people are more insecure.
So, whatever you are, money will make you more what you are. Nothing wrong with money, but it's no guarantee you will change. You gotta be secure in Christ. Be meek and lowly. "Have you noticed, he didn't call me pastor"? Big deal. You know something? Here's a newsflash for you. You don't call me pastor, you cannot take away my anointing. You call me pastor, you cannot add to my anointing because you didn't call me, he did. Amen? You are rude to me, my anointing didn't fall off, oh, you are rude, it fell off. There's no such thing. Let's kill pride in 2016. He had everything, but the Bible says in Philippians, the keynote says the emptying, he made himself of no reputation. He didn't have to, he chose. Many of us, we got no choice, but he had a choice and yet he made, with the choice, he made himself of no reputation. We look forward to make ourself a reputation. Took upon him the form of a servant. We take on the form of a, we want to be a leader.
Well, if you're a true servant, you will end up leading a lot of people, but you're still a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Seven steps down and then look at what God did. For every step of humbling yourself, wherefore God also has highly exalted him, highly exalted him and given him a name, which is above every name that at the name of Jesus, every knee bows, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Seven steps down, seven steps up. Every time you are humble, God exalts you. And I'm telling you this, friend, when God exalts you, no one can unexalt you. No blogger can unexalt you. No critic can do that for you. I'm telling you, God's hands is bigger, amen. Time is passing.
I even talked about walking, just starting on it. There's walking with God, which Enoch did and God took him, God raptured him. He was 365 years old when God raptured him. And the Bible says before that, he pleased God. He walked with God. Then we have Abraham. God says, "Walk before me and be thou blameless". And the verse there, "Walk before me is walk before my face, be conscious that I'm smiling at you. Be conscious". In front of God's face means always favor. "Be conscious of my favor". And he says in the Hebrew, "Be blameless". Be blameless there in the Hebrew. Tamim refers to your physical body, number one.
"If you are conscious that you're in the light of my favor, it will have an effect on your body". Tamim, your body become tamim. The New Testament, the language changes. God is no more outside, God is in. "I'll walk in them, and I'll be their God". We are told to walk in the Spirit. All right, Galatians 5:16, we are told to walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Many people are trying not to fulfill the lust of the flesh. I said, many people are trying not to fulfill the lust of the flesh. That's not a gospel. That's not Christianity. Christianity is focusing on walking in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill.
And do you know the word "shall not" is a ou' me, double negative. It's like a strong negation. No way can you walk in the flesh. No way can you fulfill the lust of your flesh if you walk in the Spirit. So, don't worry about trying not to do this, trying avoid that, trying not to focus on walking in the Spirit. I'm gonna teach you in the Sundays to come. And walking in the Spirit is not just, "I'm led by the Spirit. I'm led. Today, I'm led to wear polka dot shirt with striped pants, amen. I'm led". And it's so important for us to have a relationship in the local church because when you make major decisions, you need someone to bounce off, or else you become proud. God speaks to me, I don't need anyone else. I don't need anybody else. And we've seen all kinds of error because they think they're being led by the Spirit. And all the while, it's amazing.
When you think you're walking, you think that God is speaking to you, you can have all kinds of signs that seem to indicate that. But I'm not saying God can indicate, in fact, I'm gonna show you right now, God that's confirm with signs. But the thing is this, who do you answer to? That's why you need to be in a community of believers in the local church. And if you're a leader, you need another leader to have friendship with, a relationship with, so you're kept safe.
The first thing Solomon did when he receive wisdom, besides going back to Jerusalem and worshiping before the ark, was that the next chapter says, he surrounded himself with advices. The wisest man, he just received wisdom. I'm getting ahead of myself. But let me tell you this, one of the first things he did was to surround himself with counselors. A sign that you receive wisdom is that you become teachable. "Nobody need to teach me. I know. Everything he preached today, I know one. I know two. I know three". Okay, but let me just give you something to help you. God says, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise"... "circumspectly" means, "carefully, diligently". "Walk circumspectly".
2016 is not a year for you to go crazy and do all kind of crazy things and expect God to just protect you. You gotta walk circumspectly. Be wise. Learn to walk in rest, all right, and then, from rest, learn to walk. It's not a time to indulge your lust. It's a time to walk in the Spirit, and you will not indulge. "Don't walk as fools but as wise, redeeming the time", 2016, last year, we said, "Time passed so fast". Well, this year, let's buy back time. When you are wise, you'll buy back time or else you're doing things that is not necessary. Don't have time for the Word? Guess who is the one busy making you busy?
And I'm telling you, the hand phone is a blessing, but I can tell you, it can be a two-edged sword. The computer is a blessing but can be a two-edged sword. If you are not redeeming the time, all of a sudden, you find you don't have time. You've been robbed. You're no more in control of your time. Be very careful. Be wise. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is". "Don't be unwise," God says. In 2016, I believe God is saying to you, "Don't be unwise". A young man, probably about 17 to 20 years old, his father is a famous king. David passed on, and here's a young boy. He has brothers after him, and everyone is looking at him. "Why him? Why not me"? Well, one night, the Bible says, all right, he had a dream, and God came to him in that dream, and God says, "Ask what I shall give you".
The Powerball, the pinball, whatever ball is it, you know, Lottery in America, let me be the winner. It's now... what, 1.5 billion, is it? Let me be the winner even though I'm from Singapore. No, he said to God, "God, give me a wise and a hearing heart". "Shema" in Hebrew. "Give me a wise and hearing heart". I guess that's why I wanna, the next chapter says he surround himself with counselors because he had a hearing heart. In fact, the first example is that two prostitutes came to him, claiming that the live child is their son, all right? You all know the famous story, right? And he was willing to listen to prostitutes. The ability to listen.
Anyway, these are little nuggets I'm throwing because of time. He asked God for wisdom and a hearing heart, and the Bible says God said to him, "Because you asked for this", the speech pleased the Lord, the Bible says, "Because you asked for this, I'll give you what you never asked for, riches like no other king before you and no other king after you," but, of course, one came later who says that "Greater than Solomon is here," because it was the Lord that gave him wisdom, right? Then God says, "I'll give you peace". And, by the way, just to let you know, I have a teaching on this. I even give the value of all his wealth and all that, how much he eats every day. He built God the most expensive building, ever. I'll preach on that maybe another time. But wisdom is needed for 2016. God wants to give you wisdom.
Pray for your children. All right, in Luke chapter 2, pray this prayer for your children. In Luke 2, "Jesus increased in," okay, "wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man". Every day, pray. The very first thing is wisdom. Pray for wisdom for your children. You know, the very first gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the nine gifts, the word of wisdom. The very first thing mentioned about "Jesus being made unto us, righteousness," and all that, that verse in 1 Corinthians 1:30, is, "Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption". Wisdom always comes first. Wisdom is the principal thing. So walk in wisdom. I said, walk in wisdom.
Now, I didn't say, "Well, Pastor Prince, I consider myself a wise man, you know? I built a multimillion-dollar company and"... I'm not talking about that. You can be smart, but not wisdom. Read James one time, the "wisdom from above," and the "wisdom from beneath". There is a, "wisdom from beneath". It is self-aggrandizement, it is self-focused, it is... don't think that that's the wisdom of God. I'm talkin' about wisdom of God, y'all. Pray for your children that God gives them wisdom (I'll close with this) that God gives them wisdom, number one. Look again. Pray this for your children throughout this year that they "increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men".
By the way, recently I have a video that I wanna show you all because the people in America and especially around the world, they love to see my family, all right? And a few weeks ago, this happened to me. I brought Justin, just me and him, in a mall, and I'm thinking to myself, after this event, whether I need to pray for him to have more wisdom or not. He's only three years old, all right? He saw something he liked in the toy store. He took it, and he took two toys, and he look at me. Said, "Abba". I says, "Yes"? "Which one do you like"? I never even talked about buying anything. Okay, you watch.
Justin Prince: What do you want to buy? This one or this one?
Joseph Prince: Which one. Show Abba.
Justin Prince: Which one?
Joseph Prince: Do I have to buy any of them?
Justin Prince: You don't have to buy any of them. The cars, you don't have these.
Joseph Prince: I don't have that?
Justin Prince: Because you must... now, okay, now you choose. Which one do you want? This, the green truck or the yellow truck?
Joseph Prince: Green truck or the yellow truck? I prefer green.
"The green truck or the yellow truck"? Now he changes. And I'm thinking to myself, "Thank God I had my phone ready", 'cause the moment he look at some things and he turned around, I just told myself, "He might be asking me to buy". Just for the fun of it, and I was so appreciative because, some moments, your children you have is gone, all right? He turned to me and asked me, "Which one do you want"? I said, "Do I have to buy any one"? Okay, "You want the green one, or you want the yellow truck"? I went home, and I told my wife. I said, "Do I need to continue praying wisdom for him, you know? Because he's using it on me".
No, actually, I took time as a proud father just for people. Periodically, they love to see my family, end of the year, beginning of the year, and all that but, honestly, pray for your children. Pray for your children. There's a wisdom of the world, okay? And I'll close with this. Show them 1 Kings 4. I know I said that, "final close," but I gave a final close, okay? Finaler. "And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Then Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt".
I wanna tell you something. I'm not saying that the people in the world don't have wisdom. People in, you know, in business, people in the political arena, people in science, in education, you know, the Bible calls that wisdom, but the Bible says that this wisdom that God gave Solomon excelled the wisdom", so it's still wisdom, but God's wisdom will excel the wisdom of all the men of the East. That include all the annals of Chinese wise men, sagacious sayings, sages of the past, all of them put together cannot compare with Solomon's wisdom. Even excelled the wisdom of Egypt. "He was wiser than all men". I think we can't go on anymore because of time. Have you been blessed?
The Bible says, "Don't walk as unwise. Don't be fools". Don't drive like a madman on the road 'cause, at the end, you might kill your child, and don't blame God after that. Don't keep on taking the drug that you know is no good for you, and then, later on ask God for healing. Don't be unwise. Be wise. Redeem the time. It's okay to have some pleasures and entertainment in life, but don't overindulge. It's okay to watch your... it finally came out again, your Korean drama, and you have seasons whereby you watch more of it because you're on holiday, but don't make it like it controls your life and your marriage. Redeem the time. The devil is a time bandit. He's gonna steal time from you. You gotta fight for it. Don't let another year go by and then you say, "Well, time passed so fast". No, everyone has the same time. Some of us redeem the time. Don't be unwise.
So the first thing, I'mma continue in the next few weeks and all that. First thing I want you to know is this: Walk in wisdom. Don't walk as fools, amen? When Solomon woke up, the first he did, I don't know if we have that, 1 Kings 3? "Solomon awoke, when God gave him wisdom, indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast". When God gave him wisdom, he was in a place called Gibeon, and Gibeon, the ark wasn't there. But the moment he received the wisdom of God, he got up and says, "Hey, what am I doing in a place that doesn't have the presence of God? I know people are dancing the night away. I know they are drinking. But the presence of God is not here".
And where wisdom comes in, he's saying, "This is not right. If they are blinded, I might be blinded. If they are wasting their time away, I'm not gonna be the one". And he got up and went to Jerusalem and stood before the ark. At that time, the ark symbolized the presence of the Lord. You wouldn't neglect coming to church. You'll come even more. You want to serve. I wish I have time more for this, but that's it for today. I want you to take this to heart and give Jesus the praise and the glory because he will cause you to walk in wisdom. Come on. Give him the praise and the glory. Christ is made unto us wisdom. I want you all to pray this prayer for 2016, with me, and we're gonna make sure that we walk in wisdom. Like I said just now, you can have a wisdom of the world, wisdom of the devil. The Bible says, "The devil is wise". "Cunning" is the word, "subtle".
So there are different kinds of wisdom, but I'm talkin' about God's wisdom. You know, there are doctors in clinics? I have seen them before. During break time, they're behind, and they're smoking. So they have knowledge. They have wisdom in their field, but they don't have wisdom knowing a lot doesn't mean you have wisdom. But when God gives you wisdom, all of a sudden you say, "What? What have I been doing? I'm wasting my life. I'm wasting my years". That's when wisdom comes into your heart, and you start prioritizing Jesus. That's when you have Jesus, you know you have everything. Can I have a good "amen"? Praise the Lord. Say this:
Heavenly Father, give unto me a wise, discerning, and a hearing heart. I will use it for your glory that Jesus's name will be made famous in my life, wherever I'm of influence, in my family, in my workplace, in my school, in Jesus's name, amen.
Now give him praise, say, "Thank you, Father, thank you, Father, for your wisdom". Remember this, wisdom from God is never selfish, but it does enrich you. I mean, Solomon became very rich, but he says, "Give me wisdom to govern your people". That was his heart motive, and God says, "I'll give you riches your never asked. So what pleased the Lord back then pleases the Lord today. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. And it's not just one time I'm asking. In Ephesians 4," keep on praying that the believers will receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation, continually praying, amen? Praise the Lord.
Now, bow your heads just one more time. If you are here today, my friend, you have never made Jesus Christ your personal Savior and Lord, I wanna give you this opportunity. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Put your trust in him. In other words, believe that on the cross, he took your judgment, he took all your sins and was punished for it, and therefore all punishment, all rough, is finished, and God designed it to be so, so that his legal and righteous and judicial side of him, pertaining to you, has been fully satisfied because the blood of Christ has met all, has met fully all the claims of God's righteousness and holiness upon your life. If that is you, pray this prayer with me now. Say:
Father in heaven, I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord. I believe that he took my place, died in my place, suffered all my judgment, and it is finished. Thank you, Father, that, from this day forth, my standing before you is in Christ, as Christ is that glorified man at your right hand. You are measuring me by him. Keep my eyes always focused on that. Give me grace to resist the temptation to be self-occupied. Keep my eyes looking at the glorified man. It is what he is, not what I am. That is my standing before God, in Jesus's name, amen.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord. Have you been blessed? Have you been blessed? Praise the Lord, hallelujah. Stand to your feet. Never, never, never, never take protection for granted, all right? Trust God to put you at the right place at the right time. All your smarts in the world cannot do that for you, but God can. Lift up your hands all across this place.
Precious people of God, wherever you're watching this, this coming week, the Lord bless you and the Lord keep you. The Lord preserve you and your families from all harm, from all danger, from terror, from sickness and disease, from all the powers of darkness. The Lord make his face to shine on you, be favorable to you. The Lord grant that you walk at the right place at the right time, amen. The Lord grant you multiplied favor everywhere you go, and the Lord lift up his countenance, smile on you as he did on Abraham and say, "Walk before me and be healthy, be blameless, be sound," in Jesus's name, and all the people said, "Amen, amen".