Joseph Prince - Disproportionate Grace For All Your Challenges
All right, you ready for the Word? I want you to turn to your neighbor, smile to your neighbor, and say, "I do not know about you, but I'm just too blessed to be stressed, okay? Just too blessed to worry, too blessed to be stressed". All right, praise God. I wanna share something that God spoke to me, and God gave me this phrase. Before I share that phrase with you, in fact, he gave me this phrase some time back, and I've been wanting to preach this, but he didn't release me, okay? Last week, I thought I'll get to preach it, but he had me preach on repentance and the meaning of repentance. How many are blessed with the teaching on repentance?
Okay, so today I'm gonna preach that, and I'm gonna share with you what he put on my heart, that phrase that he put on my heart, but before that let's look at a very, very familiar verse of Scripture and how people use this verse of Scripture always to come against the gospel of grace. And this is the famous Scripture that they will use, Romans 6:1, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died", aorist tense. It has happened. It cannot be repeated. We have died to sin. How can we live any longer therein, amen? The answer is not don't do it. The answer is it's an impossibility for us who have died to sin to live any longer, amen? How many understand that? All right, died to sin. Sin there is a noun, which means you have died to that state of sin.
Now, you may fall into sin, but you can never live in sin. You can never ever live in sin, all right? Just like when you were a sinner there were some good things that you did. Never change the fact that you are still a sinner. The good will never change your status, but today is the opposite. Hallelujah. Amen. You may fall into sin, but you never change your position in Christ. So, how can we live in sin? How can we continue in sin? We have died to sin, amen? But notice that the objection has this attached to it, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"? That grace may abound. Even back then the preaching is not, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may or may not abound"?
There was no question that grace will abound when there is sin. That's not the question here. The question is, shall we continue? Since grace abounds, shall we continue? There was never a dispute that grace abounds. Do you understand that? All right. That very phrase, all right, would warrant everyone in Paul's time to know that sin abounds, all right? But grace super abounds. Now, obviously, you don't hear this kind of accusation until the gospel of grace is preached. It's very interesting. Whenever you hear the gospel of grace preached, invariably one of the questions people ask is Romans 6:1, but if you don't preach grace nobody will ask this question.
So, we challenge ministers: pastors, leaders, right, are people leveling this accusation against you? Because if they're not, then are we preaching the gospel that Paul preached? Because whatever Paul preached, it caused people to ask this question, amen? Now, Paul, obviously, never, never advocated at any point, or sanctioned at any point sin in any form, whether it's a noun or a verb, okay? Never, but Paul is so confident that you must understand why this objection came. It's Romans chapter 6, verse 1, but if you look behind just two verses, all right, look back two verses, you'll find in Romans 5, towards the end, verse 20, it says, "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more".
Now, I know that I'm preaching to a church that has heard me preach a lot on grace, but sometimes I will reiterate a few things because, you know, we have millions of people watching. That sometimes they're tuning in and that's their lifeline. It's the first time they're hearing it, all right? So, you gotta bear with me for a while, and I just repeat a few things. I know you've heard me say this before. That word "where sin abounded," where sin abounded is a different Greek word from where grace abounded much more. "Where sin abounded" should be translated, "where sin increased". Where sin increased is a different Greek word from where grace super-abounded, okay? Grace abounded much more. It's a different Greek word from sin abounded, but in our King James and some translations they put the two words the same, so I'd rather say where sin increased, grace super-abounded, okay?
Now, Paul fixes a preposition to the word "abound" in the Greek. He put the word "huper," like super. There's a man, and there's Superman, Pastor Henry. Amen? Amen? Pastor Henry is married to Jeannie, Iron Lady when it comes to the finance and all that in the church, amen? Not only Margret Thatcher, amen? That makes Pastor Henry the Iron Man. Okay, anyway, when you put a preposition like "super" to a "man," it become Superman, right? So, the word "abounding" is there already, perisseuó, all right, in the Greek.
So, Paul fixes a preposition, huper, to perisseuó, and the best translation I got, all right, when I searched for this word in all the different translation is Kenneth Wuest. Kenneth Wuest. Wuest is a Greek scholar, and he has a Bible that sometime people find it hard to read because he tend to be a literalist when it comes to the Greek, but he's the best the way he interprets this verse. Look at this verse in Kenneth Wuest translation. "Where sin existed in abundance, grace was in superabundance, and then some more added on top of that". Hey-hey. "And then some more added on top of that", all right? So, it's the best translation that I see, because it brings out the Greek in all its richness, amen? So, where sin increased, grace super-bounded, and then some more added on top of that. Praise God.
It's like when God created the sun to bless the earth with its light and its heat, but scientists will tell you that only a fraction of the light and the heat reaches our globe. The rest, the superabundance of it, is actually lost in space, so God can create an oversized reservoir to bless you. There is more than enough grace to save you and then keep you saved. There is super-abounding grace, and then some more on top of that, all right, to heal your body, to provide for your needs, to set you free from all the bondages, amen? You don't have to depend on tranquilizers. You don't have to depend on sedatives, amen? There is more than enough grace. So, when I was going through this, the Lord said something to me recently, all right? He didn't say this to me at other times, but he said this to me recently, all right? He says, "Disproportionate grace. Grace is disproportionate," all right?
The Bible says in Romans 5:17, "For by the one man's offense," that is Adam, "sin reigned by one," now watch the disproportionate grace, "much more those," you and I, "who receive". Now, those who don't receive, it's not true for them, all right? But for those of us who receive, what? "Abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness"... Not reward of righteousness. Gift. God gives you righteousness as a gift, amen? Who paid for it? Our Lord Jesus Christ, with his own lifeblood on the cross, amen? So, when you receive this gift God treats you like you're the hottest thing on planet Earth, amen? God blesses you as if you are Moses, as if you're Elijah, amen? More than that, they had an imputed righteousness, all right, based on the Old Testament. Ours is the righteousness of God himself in Christ, amen?
So, abundance of grace is... the word "grace" y'all know is favor, unearned, unmerited favor. I know there are a lotta people who try to improve on that definition. They will say, "Grace is not just unmerited favor. Grace is empowerment". No, grace is not defined as empowerment. Grace is unearned, unmerited favor, the way Paul defined it. If it's of works it's no more of favor, grace, otherwise grace is no more grace. If it's of grace it's no more of works, otherwise works is no more works, amen? Therefore, what? It is antithesis to works. Human performance cannot earn God's blessings. Human performance and works cannot earn God's salvation. Human performance cannot receive God's healing for your body, God's freedom, God's richness and abundance, amen? So, it's received by unmerited favor, grace, favor, all right? So, favor is defined as unearned, unmerited favor.
Now, what it produces is empowerment, but it's more than empowerment. It produces all sorts of enablings, charismatas, giftings, amen? Call them enablings, empowerment. It produces it. It's not defined as it, okay? Praise God. "Now, Pastor Prince, what is disproportionate grace"? I just told you, all right? It's like the crime is committed like this, all right? But you're supposed to go to prison, but instead, it's like a thief was found, a teenager, right? He was found ransacking through the house, but instead of delivering him to the police, the owner of the house adopted him and made him his own son. Now, the owner of the house is one of the richest men on planet Earth. So, what has happened to the thief? He's now gain. Not only it's disproportionate. He's supposed to be punished, but instead, all right, he's given something he never had before. That's disproportionate grace.
The Bible says even so the gift is not like the offense in Romans 5. It's very interesting. You read the old King James, it says even the gift is not like the offensive. It's like you cannot compare both. It's like you're saying even the bicycle is not like the Lamborghini, or like the Ferrari. There's no comparison. How many understand that? The offense is of many, many sins result... no, sorry. One sin, Adam's sin, resulting in death, but the gift is of many, many sins resulting in righteousness. This you find in Romans 5. It's disproportionate. Grace is completely disproportionate. When God spoke in my heart disproportionate grace, my goodness, I look at the Scriptures in a different way, some of which I have touched on it. I have seen it, but, church, we're hardly, you know, like I said before, God is taking all of us, and God dipped us in the ocean of grace, and then we think we have arrived, all right? He wants us to be dunked in, drown in the ocean of grace, amen?
So, we believe that we're gonna understand more and more as Jesus returns. Praise God. I believe the time is soon. The coming of the Lord is near, amen? And I believe the church will come to a place, the Bible says the last enemy that will be put under our feet, or Jesus's feet because we're the body of Christ, sometime it says our feet. Sometime it says the Lord's feet, all right? It's the same because we're the body of Christ. The last enemy is physical death. The last enemy is physical death, and then we will live in a world, all right, where we'll never, never, ever die. We cannot die anymore. Death is an enemy to God. God never meant for men to grow old or have disease, all right, or suffer weakness in any shape, form, or fashion, and God never meant for men to die. So, just as much as you hate sin, to the extent you must hate sickness. To that extent you must hate disease. To that extent you must hate poverty. To that extent you must hate death, because all these things are the enemies of God, all right? God never meant for men to grow old, die, you know? God never meant for men to suffer poverty, amen? So, the gospel is the answer.
Now, I didn't say what the church teach is the answer. I said the gospel is the answer, all right? Churches can teach different things, all right, but you gotta teach the gospel, so I endeavor to show you the Scriptures as much as I can so you know it is the gospel that Paul preached. Hallelujah. Now, isn't it amazing, church, that all of us... look at us. We come of different backgrounds. You have a testimony of a 18-year-old boy who scored 10 points for his O levels, but started out as a gangster, was arrested by the police. And among his gang he was the top fighter. You all know the story, right? And after his bout in the police station, God began to speak to him. He's not a Christian, but God began to speak to him, all right? And he open himself up to God, and a friend invited him to church. The rest you know is history. So, God can take a gangster and make him a minister, just like in Ephesians. It's disproportionate grace.
In Ephesians it says, "Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him work with his hands, that he may have to give to him that has need," so from a thief to a giver. That's disproportionate grace. And we know, you know, not just this church. Everywhere the gospel has gone we have seen amazing things, all right? People who break their parents' hearts become people who are leading young people now, you know? It's just disproportionate. God doesn't just say, "Don't". The Ten Commandments is all about don't, don't, don't, don't, don't. "Don't steal. Don't kill. Don't commit adultery," amen? But it never tells you what to do, how to love. In the Ten Commandments you don't find, "for God so loved the world". Jesus came and shared with us that. So, the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, amen, church? Praise the Lord.
And, you know, the thing that God really want to see in his people is that there's a keen appreciation of his grace towards you, his love towards you. I think the one that pleases him the most is the one who is conscious that he loves you, that he loves the person. The person that's conscious of his love is the one that pleases him the most. I really believe that. That means you believe he loves you. That's faith. Without faith it's impossible to please God. You see, God loves all of us the same, but there is a special pleasure he has in those who believe that he loves them. So, our ministry, pastors, leaders, is actually to minister to people the love, the sense of God's love. It's like we take the peace offering made of the sacrifice of the lamb. It's roasted in the fire, a picture of Jesus on the cross, all right?
God's fiery judgment fell on Jesus because he was carrying our sins. He who knew no sin carried our sins, amen? And now the priest takes the roasted lamb and the meat of the roasted lamb, the breast meat, all right? Breast speaks of love, and feeds the people. He feeds his family. Sons and daughters of the Levites, of the priests are fed with the breast of the peace offering, so I feel that's our job as pastors. When people come to church, or you're counseling, or you're speaking to your friend, I take a piece of the meat, amen, the love of Jesus and share with them. And you'll be an effective minister, all right? Sharing with them just rules and regulation is not gonna help people, amen, church? Now, think about it. The leper, a picture of sin, right? Nothing can be more worse during the time of the Old Testament than people with leprosy. They're ostracized, all right? There are rules and regulations governing them. They're not allowed to mix with the common folk, all right? They're not even allowed to go home, to hug their children, to love their spouse. They're not allowed, all right? And what happens to the leper?
In Leviticus 14 you see something about the leper here. "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying"... Now remember this. When God speaks, he always has his Son, his blessed Son, in mind. When God speaks, always remember he has his Son, Jesus, in mind. You know, when God created the worlds, all right, it's in one chapter, Genesis chapter 1. Ten times the Bible says, "God said. God said. God said, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' and it was so". "God said, God said" ten times, but only took one chapter, all right, creation. But when it comes to redemption, saving men from their sin, all right, it took seven chapters in Exodus. Moses went up, and God shared about the tabernacle, all about redemption, about his Son. God shared portraits of his Son. It's almost like God opened the family album book, and God says, "Look at my Son. Look at what he did over here. Look at him. Over here he's a sin offering. Look here. He's a trespass offering here. Look at this. Look at this. Look at Jesus, right? Look at him. He's a high priest here," amen?
And if we understand God's heart we're able to walk with him, and God is very strong on those who, you know, like, for example, when Nadab and Abihu, the sons of the priests, they were drunk, and they offered strange fire in the tabernacle. They dropped dead. Why? Because God says, "There'll be no fire but the fire of the cross, where my Son was consumed," all right? For your sins and mine. God says that is to be honored forever. If you say you have another fire besides the cross, God says there'll be death in the ministry, okay? Now, that's the Old Testament. They literally dropped dead. They were fired from their job, amen? That shows how jealous God is over his Son.
Now, that is the hand of God, but look at the New Testament. Now the voice of the Father when Peter, James, and John went up with Jesus to the mountain, and then Moses appeared on the mountain. Elijah appeared on the mountain. And then, all of a sudden our friend Peter was distracted with Moses, Elijah. First time, you know, he saw his heroes of Judaism, so to speak, all right? Back then it was Judaism, and Judaism was the religion, amen, was the true way to God, but then Jesus came and brought grace. And now God is saying in Hebrews 6, "Leave behind the beginning of the Word of Christ," right? Which is Judaism. "Let's go on to perfection". That's gospel, amen? If anyone turns back, there's no place for repentance there. Amen. Praise God. It's impossible to renew them to repentance.
Now, that's what it's talking about, so the thing is this, church. When it comes to God's Son in the New Testament and Peter says, "It's good for us to be here. Let's build three temples, three tabernacles, three booths, one for Moses, one for Elijah, one for you, Jesus," and God spoke, so what was the hand of God in judgment, all right? Here he's more gentle, all right, with his people, but, nonetheless, whether it's done in innocence, whether it's done deliberately, all right, like Nadab and Abihu, God will always intervene when you forget to put Jesus in the right place. "This is my beloved Son. Hear him, not them. Not Moses even. Not Elijah. They had their season. Listen to my Son," amen? So, we endeavor to always flow with what's in God's heart. God doesn't say, "Husband, love your wives". God says, "Husband, love your wife as Christ loves the church". He put Christ right smack-dab in the middle of the marriage relationship, okay?
So, let's look at this. Don't forget God's heart is about Jesus. "This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: he shall be brought to the priest". Grace. He shall be brought to the priest. You know what's, "shall be brought"? That means there's a third party. See, the leper represents you and I. I know you don't like to hear it, but that's who we are. We're lost in sin, or we were lost in sin, for those of us who are saved, right? We were like lepers, amen? Strangers to the blessings and the commonwealth of Israel and the blessings of God, amen? So, what happened? We cannot find our way. We were brought to the priest.
Notice it's unnamed. The person that brought is unnamed. It's the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not call attention to himself. He calls attention to Jesus, all right? Unless we are brought, we cannot go. Unless we're brought, we cannot come to Jesus. So, the fact that we're saved, blessed are your eyes for you see and ears for you hear. "What shall it profit a man he gains the whole world," Jesus said, "but lose his soul"? Today, your colleagues are pursuing things other than Christ, and they think they have found what life really is, when actually at the end they just come up with their mouth empty. Gravel and sand, and a soul that's not satisfied. Why? Because God made you for Christ, and there's a Christ-shaped vacuum inside you. So, church, the leper is brought (that's grace) to the priest and watch what the priest does. "And the priest shall go out of the camp". Hey. The priest. Grace. The priest goes out of the camp, amen? Jesus left heaven's glory and came down to where we are, amen? He left heaven's glory. He left his camp to find us, amen? Praise the Lord.
"And the priest shall go out the camp, the priest shall examine him; indeed, the leprosy is healed in the leper". Now, this is Old Testament. "Then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop". You all know the story, the two birds. One bird is killed, all right, put in the blood. Okay, excuse me. He's killed. The other bird is put in the blood of the one that's killed, okay, with the cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet. And then, the one that's alive dipped in the blood, okay, of the other bird that's dead, will sprinkle the leper, and then the priest will pronounce him clean. So, the bird that's killed is our Lord Jesus at the cross. The bird that's alive sprinkling the blood is Jesus in his resurrection, amen? And then, that's how our sins are cleansed, but that's not the message today. You've heard me share on that before, but the thing is this: The disproportionate grace is here. Watch this. Drop down to verse 14. "The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering".
All right, the trespass offering can be a kid of a goat or a lamb, okay? "The blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it on the tip of the right ear of him," of the former leper, right? "The tip of the right ear of him who's to be cleansed, and the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot". Tippy-toe. Tippy-thumb. Tippy-ear, all right? The tip of his right ear. Why? Because, you know, what you hear affects what you do, and what you do affects the direction you walk, all right? You know, like Margaret Thatcher says. You know, sow a thought, you sow a word, becomes a word, becomes a habit. You sow a habit, becomes your destiny. Something like that, okay? The Iron Lady. So, the blood. Notice the blood is put on the tip of the right ear, so it affects what you hear. In other words, Jesus cleanses your mind. His blood cleanses your mind. Your hearing affects your mind, all right, what comes in? Amen. Faith comes by hearing God's Word. Fear comes by hearing the word of man. Be it through the media, whatever, many a times it paints negative pictures, 'cause good news don't sell. Bad news does, all right? Good news sells in New Creation, all right, the true good news, amen?
So the thing is this, the blood is put there, then the blood is put on the right thumb. A picture of a man's work, his labor. Then it's put on his right toe, his walk, okay? Every part is touched by the blood of Jesus. Representation, okay? Don't forget, it's put on the leper. Now, what happens after the blood is put on these parts? Drop down to verse 17, "And the rest of the oil", now it's the oil, "in his hand". Oil represents the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Oil represents the Holy Spirit, the anointing, the Holy Spirit, all right? "The rest of the oil, the priest shall put some on the tip of the right ear". That means what? The oil comes on the blood, okay? And the oil comes on the blood on the right ear, on the right thumb and on the big toe. So where the blood touch, the oil answers. Wherever the blood of Jesus is proclaimed, the Holy Spirit answers. The Holy Spirit always responds when we preach the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit doesn't respond just because you preach on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit responds when you preach on the blood of Jesus, amen, the grace of God. Hallelujah.
The church that preaches, the minister that preaches the grace of God, the blood of Jesus, the finished work of Jesus, will always have the power of the Holy Spirit attesting to that ministry, amen? So, now, this is a cool thing. But before that, look at the rest of the oil. "The rest of the oil," all right, "that is in the priest's hands, he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed". Now he's got the oil on the head. Disproportionate grace, why? I'll tell you why. Because back in those days, the only ones that have the anointing, all right, are the prophets, the priests, and the king. I repeat, the only ones who have the anointing on them, anointing means, all right, when others are laboring and they're sweating to accomplish something. All right, you just touch something, it prospers, amen? No stress, amen? Disproportionate grace. If you have eyes to see. Oh, I must jump ahead, and just give you this now.
2 Corinthians 12. Many of us read this. We don't understand what Paul is saying. Paul was struggling with a problem in his life because wherever he went, the devil would send a messenger of Satan. Very clear, the thorn in the flesh is not physical disease. All right, I have that covered in another teaching. Bible must interpret Bible. God used the word "thorns in your sides" about inhabitants, about people. So Paul is saying there was a messenger of Satan that troubled him. In other words, an evil spirit followed Paul and stirred up trouble wherever Paul preached. So Paul sought the Lord. Three times he sought the Lord about this matter, and the Lord answered him. "And he said to me", the Lord said to Paul, "my grace is sufficient for you". And what he said to Paul, God is saying to you. "My grace is sufficient for you".
Now, this word sufficient in the Greek, if you read up the Greek Thayer's definition of it, he says that it is to lift up a barrier against. All right, it's not like, you know, suffer, God's grace is sufficient. The idea is always, "Yes, you have this problem, my brother. Don't worry, God's grace is sufficient". Our idea is this, all right, sufficient for you to endure, all right, hold on to the end. God's grace is sufficient. Don't worry, this financial trouble you're going through, God's grace is sufficient. But actually, the word sufficient, all right, Thayer, Greek scholar, he defined this as to lift up a barrier, to ward off, to defend. So God is saying, "My grace will be a defense against this thing," okay? My grace shall be a defense. Now, the word sufficient for you, in some context we use sufficient but not in this context, okay? So the idea of sufficiency is there. I'm not saying it's not there. I'm just saying that don't forget Thayer's definition, all right, is to bring forth a defense against these things. "For my strength is made perfect in weakness".
Now, the word perfect means complete. Let me explain. If I am coffee, all right, coffee says, "I am made perfect in an empty cup. I cannot be made perfect in another cup of tea". How many of you understand? If a cup is full, I cannot be made complete. How many of you understand? So, in other words, you got to provide God the emptiness. All right, and the emptiness is for the negatives of life. When there is sickness, when there is weakness, what is that? Empty health. All right, no health. Void of health. Destitute of health. When there is suffering and all that, there's empty what? Empty of God's grace, whatever in that area. Okay, now listen carefully, God is saying, "My strength". And the word strength here in the Greek is dunamis, where you get the word dynamite, strength. Inherent strength. My strength is made complete in your weakness. So that would cause a revelation of disproportionate Greece. Wow! That means what? I should be on the lookout for my weakness. No, the church doesn't believe that. I said I should be on the lookout for my weakness. But no, we are always on the lookout for strength. We cover our weakness. We don't want people to see our weakness. Let alone boast in our weakness.
"Now, Pastor Prince, why are you talking about boasting in our weakness"? Keep on reading, "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities", or weaknesses, "that the power of Christ may rest upon me". And the power of Christ here, literally, the dynamite of Christ, his miracle-working power may rest. And word rest there in the Greek is to build a tent over. The power of Christ will build a tent over you. When? When? When you boast in your weakness. Does not say it happen for every believer. Doesn't say it happens for every, you know, person in the street, of course, that's not saved, it's not applicable, but for those who are saved. It's not applicable for everybody. Paul had to have a revelation before he had the power of Christ rest on him. All right, in other words you've got to what? "Most gladly".
Now, how many of us most gladly, let alone gladly? I would rather what? Boast in what? My strengths? My smarts? My looks? My abilities? My talents? That's what we do, isn't it? But he doesn't. So what I do is that I have to have a heart search in my life, all right? This searching of the heart will be like, "God", doesn't take long, "show me my weakness". Doesn't take long. If you have a wife, it's shorter still. And then that very area that you have a weakness in, all right, maybe you've got a problem with pornography. Maybe you've got a problem with bad temper. Maybe you've got a problem with both, because usually both go together. Maybe you've got a problem with overeating. Maybe you've got a problem with all kinds of things. You know, today's youth emo, cutting themselves. They're addicted to pain. Whatever it is, do you know that right in that area, there's superabounding grace? If the guy who is watching pornography, for example, "Well, Pastor Prince, you cannot tell them that. You tell them to repent". Yeah, that's what they've been hearing, and they are still doing. That's what we teach down through the years.
Those who are smoking, if you will just say, "Lord, I receive your superabounding grace right now". Right now. I know this is a bondage, but you lack of a better word, confess. You must acknowledge that you got a problem or else you won't receive. If there is no problem, receive what? If you are full, how to fill you? I know this is very deep. If the cup is full, how to fill the cup? So you must acknowledge the need before you receive the superabounding grace. But where is the grace abounding in your life right now? Right now where is it abounding? The very area of your weakness. If only we have eyes to see. So even in the area of healing, if you've got a problem, for example, "Pastor Prince, I've got a problem in my heart". "So why don't you just put your hand on your heart and say, 'Father, I receive superabounding grace for my heart". Because that very area of infirmity, that very area of weakness is where his grace is made complete. If you will but boast in it, rejoice in it, so once you realize that the more weaknesses I have, the more I'm qualified for what? Superabounding grace, amen? Are you with me, church? It causes us not to be afraid, amen?
I've said before, it bears repeating, because your pastor is the same person every year. His testimonies cannot change. So I will have to tell me about my story when I was in secondary school, not primary school, kindergarten, but secondary school. I was a stutterer. And it's a coed class, so the girls would start laughing, my ears go red, and the same teacher would always come in and have me read for the sheer pleasure of seeing my ears go red and all the girls, and he was a sadist. I saw him, by the way, not too long ago, and he looked horrible. He didn't age well, you know? But another teacher came to our church a few years ago, wrote me a little note that she scribbled. And she says, "What I'm seeing," in essence, I forgot exactly the words, but in essence what she was saying, "What I'm seeing now is a miracle". Because she knew me with that teacher, the same school, all right, and I would stand up and I would stutter, you know. I did my best. The more I tried, the worst it is.
You know, stutterers, stammerers, the more they try to speak clearly, and they do their best to speak smoothly, the worst it becomes. It was this revelation, somewhere along the way, I began to give my weaknesses to the Lord, and I say, "Lord, I receive your grace for this. Only grace can change me". And the very area of my biggest weakness was my mouth. But through the disproportionate grace, today I am leading of my mouth. I'm not talking about eating food, okay, amen? And lives, millions are being blessed all over the world, all right, because of this big, attractive mouth, amen? You know, the Bible says, "Open your mouth wide, and I'll fill it," in the Book of Psalms? I got a big one. Hallelujah. I can get a lot of blessings, amen? Turn to your neighbor and say, "Yours looks quite big also. More blessings, amen". If you're too small, hard to open your mouth and receive. God want to fill it.
So the thing is the disproportionate grace is, is watch out. Watch out. That very area, amen, is where the superabounding grace is right now abounding in. Say "Pastor Prince, I have a problem in my mind. I can't concentrate. You know, look at other people and I envy them. I envy those in my class. I envy people who can concentrate. But I find my mind, you know, no one knows the struggle. I'm depressed, pastor. I see darkness all the time". Well, right now there's superabounding grace over your mind. If you will just receive it, who knows, one of these days, man, your mind becomes bang, bang, bang, all right, in other areas. I'm thinking from experience because I had a mind like that. You know, I always saw bad images, and I believed I had committed the unpardonable sin. All right, but today I can use references. I don't even have notes. And it's all grace. It's not my ability.
All right, it's grace. And I have illustrations coming up in my mind. I have verses, all right, that I don't even prepare for many a times, and it just comes up. It's the same mind that saw this unclean images, and the devil would shoot bad images and then tell me I have committed the unpardonable sin. You can find it in my book, "Destined To Reign," all right, that story. And so my mind was another area. In fact, I got a lot of weaknesses, lah. I can't begin to tell you, amen? But if you just boast, boast not because of weaknesses, per se, but because of superabounding grace in that area. So my weakness is something that qualifies me for grace. It's unearned, 'cause weakness cannot undo anything. Strength can, talents can, weakness cannot. So it becomes a candidate, that area becomes a qualification for God's grace.
Now, don't go out here and say, Obviously, Paul preached this very strong. And then people start saying, "Well, you're saying," all right, "where there's sin, there's superabounding grace, so let's sin". No, that's stupid. We never taught you that. We never tell you, "Now, you don't have a weakness. How about cutting off your little finger so you would now have a weakness in carrying things, that you might see God's strength in that hand". You know how stupid that is? Stupid. I know I'm not supposed to say that in church, but stupid. "Pastor Prince, I've never been sick, pastor, and I see people in their testimonies of how they felt the warm of the healing power of God. I'm going to make myself sick that I might enjoy the luxury of his healing presence". Stupid, amen? You don't have to look out for those things. Just live life. The weaknesses will be there. You do not know where your weakness is, ask your spouse. God keeps our spouse there to keep us humble and Jesus central. It's too late now. You're married. You thought it was her good looks, but praise God, amen? Aren't you glad for the disproportionate grace of God?
I'm going to show you something very beautiful in the Old Testament as we bring this story to a close. So, by the way, let's finish verse 10. "Therefore," let's all read together. "Therefore, I take pleasure". Wait, wait, wait. Take pleasure, okay? This is serious stuff. I mean this is really, really serious stuff. For those who are not spiritual, they would read this and say, "This guy is masochistic". But it's not. It is the wisdom of God. So let's read, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses," for who's sake? "For Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong". When are you strong? Then you are strong. Now, the idea is what? God wants us to be strong. But when are you strong? When you are weak. What happens when you are weak? God's strength has an outlet. God's grace is attracted to the very area of your need.
Now, today, in today's world, especially around the world today, with those who have financial concerns and all that, it's covered in needs. In fact, there are five things here. Five is a number of grace in the Bible, all right? So five things here. You have weaknesses, you have reproaches. How many of you have been reproached in your school, in your workplace, at home, among your family members because you're a believer? All right, rejoice. You know why? You know how Jesus said it? He says, "When people persecute for my namesake, leap for joy. For great is your reward in heaven". By the way, it doesn't mean one day you go to heaven you get it. Great is your reward in heaven means heaven will provide for you a reward. So, for all of us, there'll be persecution. They will call us holy Joe and I'll say, "You are right. My name is Joe, and I am holy," amen? And the word holy is not a bad word, you know. Today, people don't understand the word holy. The word holy means healthy. Complete. Complete. Integrated.
You know in the English vernacular, there's a word for healthy, hale. H-A-L-E. From the word hale, you come the word holy. Healthy. Like you say wholly, W-H-O, is from the word wholly as well. Complete, amen? But in the Bible, holiness is separation onto God. In other words, whatever you give to God becomes holy, amen? The same boat of Peter, the whole night, Peter toiled all night, caught nothing. When Peter gave the boat to Jesus for his preaching ministry, Jesus was being thronged by the multitude, he looked behind, and it was the lake of Galilee. How many of you want to go to Israel again? And Jesus stepped into the boat of Peter. How many of you know when Jesus steps into your boat, he's complementing you? He's preparing you, he's setting you up for a blessing. The same boat that was on the lake the whole night caught nothing. The same boat after Jesus was in it, the next thing you know, net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fishes. Something has happened to the boat. It's now magnetized. It now has the prosperity of God because Jesus is on board. Praise God.
So look out for your five areas. Are there any weaknesses in your life? Any of you? "Pastor, I have to think, pastor". "O Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way. To know me is to love me. I get better looking each day". You know that country and western song? There is such a song, by the way. So, do you have any weaknesses? Do you have any reproaches from people? People blogging against you? Do you have needs? Do you have persecutions? Do you have distresses? Areas of stress? Oh, that was very loud. That was a stressful yes. "When I am weak, then I am strong," amen?
So look for those areas, church. Look out for those areas. Those areas where the negatives of your life, that's where God's plus comes in. And negative and plus, poom. Explosion, amen? But instead of that, we cover up our weaknesses, amen, we always project our best foot forward. And the truth of the matter is that where there's grace, grace is attracted to weaknesses, and there it superabounds. And if we'll just acknowledge that, embrace that, believe that, think about it, talk about it, focus on it, guess what? Praise God, that area will be swallowed up, because that grace is a defense against that problem, against that situation, amen?
Now, I can see some of you, blink, blink, you know, you're wondering, all right. Start with gladness first. Like I'm asking you to start with most gladly. I mean the Apostle Paul is, he is beyond, right? Let's start with gladly first. "Now, pastor, I am single. How can I be glad"? Now, all right, this is a need. Embrace the superabounding grace. "So Father, I thank you that right now because I have this need, the superabounding grace is present with me for this area". And guess what? If you embrace it, because it's superabounding, you won't to get a normal guy. Ah. I say what? Superabounding. You'll get a guy and then... I was going to say and then some more on top of that. No, but this one, this one cannot apply here, you know. You know what I mean. He won't to be an ordinary guy. But the trouble is that we taught that these are areas you ought to be ashamed of. These are areas, you know. But Jesus death, burial and resurrection changed everything.
All right, so instead of preaching that these are the areas God will manifest his grace in your life, instead of that, we are ashamed of these areas, we cover up as much as we can, all right. We dare not face it. I'm telling you, I'm seen families, after families, after families, who have struggled in the area of having a child. They've been trying and trying; they don't have a child. But I've seen when finally they believe God and they receive their superabounding grace. When they have a child, it's not an ordinary child. Look at the Bible, down through the Scriptures, when Manoah and his wife, they were barren, all right, received God's grace. The angel came to give God's grace. What did the woman bring forth? Samson. John the Baptist parents were old, barren. They believed God. Received that grace. The boy wasn't ordinary. "He shall be great in the sight of the Lord". He points people to Jesus, John the Baptist. Amen.
All right, you can look at Isaac, the promised son. Down through the Scriptures, every time a barren woman, a barren couple believed God, that child is not ordinary. Why? Superabounding grace. Disproportionate grace for your need. Your need is like that, and God says, "I cannot just give you enough. I cannot. That's not my nature. I give you an oversized reservoir like the sun. A lot of it's wasted, but take whatever light and heat you can". Amen. You look to man or look to God. God's hands are bigger to supply you with. Amen. So let's look at this, another example, and then we'll bring this to a close. Praise God. By the way, do you know that there are two people in the Bible Jesus revealed who he was when he walked on the earth? You would have thought it'll be the disciples. You would have thought it would be some godly man or Nicodemus the teacher in Israel, that Pharisee. You know, religious leaders. But instead, it was a woman who was living in adultery. And not only that, she had five husbands already. And the Bible tells us Jesus went to the well and sat at the well of Jacob in the midafternoon, midday, afternoon, when it's really hot.
Now, women don't draw water at midday. It's too hot in Israel. But this woman was ashamed of her life so she wanted to avoid the other woman who normally would frequent the well in the morning. But who was there waiting for her? Jesus. For one person: disproportionate grace. And then watch this, at the end, Jesus talked to her very gently. Didn't say, "You are an adulteress". Never did that. You know what he did? The first thing he said to her? The first thing he said to her, you know what he said? "Give me the drink". He asked her for a favor. You see, today, if someone is a prostitute, for example, or even someone is, you know, what we would deem as social, you know, stigma or whatever, we will not ask them for a favor. Jesus asked this woman, who is living in adultery for a favor. "Give me some drink".
Now, as he talked to her, because of time, he said to her this, "The woman said to him, 'I know that Messiah is coming who is called Christ. When he comes, he will tell us all things.' Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am he.'" By the way, in the original, the "he" is in italics. Look at your Bible. He is in italics which means it's not in the original. It's placed there by the translators to help, but sometimes it hinders. What Jesus actually said was this. He says, "that when the Messiah has come, the anointed one, when he is come, he will show us all things". Jesus says, "Woman, I who speak unto you, I am. I who speak unto you, am". It's affirmative. Am. I am. Remember that God, at the burning bush. Moses asked God, "When the people of Israel ask, 'Who sent you, what is your name God, that I may give your name to them?'" God says, "I am that I am". That's a blank check. "If you are sick, I'm your healer. I'm your healing, amen. If you are poor in resources, I'm your banker". And sometimes, when we see things happening around the world, all right, and our heart is shaken, can I say this? It shows where our trust is.
It's easy to trust God when things are going smoothly, and we say we trust God. When things are pulled out from under our feet, all right, and things are, outside us are shaken, who do we you trust? Was it really the Lord in the first place or was it your company? Was it your industry? We cannot even look to any nation. We look to the Lord. It's coming to a place where she's almost like all her friends have forsaken her. The Bible tells us about all of this in Bible prophecy. The day will come when no one would help her and she will cry, "Baruch haba hashem Adonai". "Blessed is he who call upon the name of the Lord". They will call upon the name of the Lord. Bang. He appears. Amen. The Bible tells us that he will deliver Israel. This nation Israel, let me tell you this, even though they're in darkness, they are in blindness, all right, they are still God's beloved and they're a forever nation. Okay, they are a forever nation. Look at the Romans, they're gone. Romans strong... No more. They are gone. The gladiators are gone, all right. Where are they? But the Jewish people are still around. And they have a disproportionate influence on their lives, for good or for evil, but there's a disproportionate anointing on them.
There's just some of the best, you know, inventors. People who accomplished scientific breakthroughs are Jewish people. The youngest, richest man in the world today is a Jew. All this is not because just based on their smarts. No, anyone could have come up with Facebook, but we didn't. God gave that disproportionate grace to his ancient people, and there's a reason for that. And that's why Satan hates them so much. They have been instrumental in using the disproportionate influence to come up with breakthroughs for polio vaccinations, all right, a lot of it. We had a debt to pay, because let me tell you this, okay, when God looks on planet earth, God only sees three groups of people: Jew, Gentile, and the church. All right, Jew, Gentile. You're a Chinese, you're an Indian, you're a Gentile, all right? Whatever, Caucasian, you're a Gentile. Unless you're a Jew, Gentile and the church. Church is made up of what? Jews and Gentiles that are saved. They have a special identity for God. Church. Praise God, praise God.
Now, like I said just now, let's come to Joshua chapter 20, "The Lord also spoke to Joshua, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying appoint for yourselves cities of refuge,'" all right, "of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the slayer who kills a person accidentally or unintentionally". In other words, manslaughter. Not culpable homicide. You didn't intentionally kill someone. All right, it's manslaughter. All right, unwittingly, by accident. Like for example you are chopping down a tree, the blade is loose, and you know, it killed someone near you. Well, God has a provision, even back then under the law. We are no more under the law, but God has a provision for people like this. God says to Israel, "When you enter the land, appoint six". Say, "Six". "Six cities of refuge" for those who commit this kind of crime. They murder. And they're not murderers but they are men accused of manslaughter, all right? Someone is killed. That's homicide, but it's not culpable.
All right, "Appoint for yourselves. That a slayer who kills a person accidentally or unintentionally may flee there; and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood". So, in those days, someone who is a relative of the person you killed, has a right to kill you. Whatever your motive were, all right, even by accident, the person when he finds out about it, he is the avenger of blood. He will pursue you. So it's a picture of what? The devil, all right, or as the executor of judgment. Okay. So what happened to this guy? Next verse, "And when he flees to one of those cities," there are six cities, "and stands at the entrance of the gate of the city, and declares his case in the hearing of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city as one of them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. Then if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not deliver the slayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor unintentionally, but did not hate him beforehand".
Okay, so notice, he shall dwell in that city, the city of the priests, 1 to 6 says this. And the priests are running the city, okay? "Until he stands before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the one who is high priest in those days". In other words, he can only go back. "Then the slayer may return and come to his own city and his own house, to the city from which he fled". In other words, when the high priest dies in Israel, there's only one high priest. When he dies, then he is released from the city of refuge, okay, to go back. Now, imagine that. Do you know back in those days, think this way, okay, back in those days, the richest resources, the most abundant supply is actually among the priests. God keeps his priests healthy. In fact, if you read the conditions to be a priest, you cannot have a mole, you cannot have scurvy in your body, you cannot be crooked back, you cannot be... a lot of requirements. So the priests in those these were actually good looking. It's in the DNA of Aaron. Amen.
So, and not only that, the Bible says, "They eat the best of the oil, the best of the wine, the best of the grain". Everyone that brings a lamb offering when the lamb is killed and separated and put on the altar, all right, the peace offering, for example, the high priest and the priests that assist them, they take back the roasted lamb for the sons and daughters. It belongs to them. They get to eat. So they eat the best, they dress the best, okay. And not only that, best of all, they have the best relationship with God. They are teaching. They are responsible for teaching Israel the laws, the commandments, the ways of God in those days. So when a person, a person looking at them wish they were born as a priest. But unless you are in the priestly family, you can't be born as a priest. But look at this guy, the unintentional slayer. He flees to the city of refuge. And by the way, God makes a city of refuge accessible throughout Israel. This is a map of Israel right here.
Let me show you the map of Israel. And the red dots they are the six cities of refuge on either side of the River Jordan. The River Jordan is the straight line that you see, all right. So you find that it is accessible. And it's on a mountain. Every one of them is on a mountain. In other words, Jesus who is our city of refuge, is accessible. Amen. He's easy to find. Actually, he finds us, you know. And everywhere, you can just run there. And guess what? You live in that city. You eat what the priests eat. You listen to the music of the priest. They have the best, anointed music. You are surrounded with sanctifying influences, positive input. Amen. Not only that, you are nourished on their food, the food of the priests. And they have to also provide for you, dressing for you everything. You live like a priest. Hey. A normal Israeli is not able to enter the city of refuge unless he's a priest. And here, you have the slayer, who get a chance.
"So pastor, if that's the case, if I lived in those days, I'll kill someone". No. God says what? Unintentionality. And what happened is that Jesus at the cross, the nation of Israel, God provided a refuge for them in Christ. Jesus is a city of refuge today. At the cross, Jesus actually put all their crime of surrendering him to the Gentiles under ignorance. You know at the cross he says, "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing". By the Lord's forgiveness, straightaway, he put them all under ignorance. And then on the day of Pentecost, when Peter was preaching, Peter told the Jewish people, all right, "You killed the Prince of life whom God has raised, and God has made him ruler over the house of Israel," and the people were afraid. But Peter told them, "I know that you did it out of ignorance. Now repent and receive forgiveness of sins".
So all Israel right now, they are ignorant, all right, they are blinded. They'll fight you on the fact Jesus is the Messiah. Amen. Hence, the story of their suffering these 2000 years. But the day will come when all of them will be saved. Amen. But meanwhile, okay, they are kept by God in a place of refuge. Are you listening? And the high priest, you know you and I, like Israel, we are actually in Christ, the city of refuge. We are guilty of sin. So thank God for Jesus, the city of refuge. Amen. So in the city of refuge, guess what? Praise God, we are there enjoying everything that God has. The best of the oil, the best of the wine, the best of the grain. But then, when the high priest dies, we have to leave the city and go back to our meager resources. But no, that's why the type always pales in comparison with their substance. Jesus Christ leaves after the power of an endless life. And because he lives forever, church, we will be in him forever. Hallelujah. Amen.
Now, in closing, I want to show you a very short video clip. Very short video clip. Sit back, it took me a few years to... I dream of seeing this on video. What you are about to see is an animation on video that is something from my heart. I've been wanting this, all right. Because of a lack of this, I have been using illustrations physically. But what you're about to see, is a man who brings the sin offering, all right, or the burn offering or the peace offering, it can be either one of them to the temple. Okay. He brings the offering because he has sinned. And the priests will examine the lamb. Aren't you glad God does not examine you. God examines your lamb. Amen. And it's how good your lamb is. It's not how good you are. It's obvious why you are there.
So he examines and then what? He lays hands on the lamb. Watch this, you will see this, the man's sins are transferred into the lamb. And then the lamb's righteousness is transferred to the man. That's Jesus Christ at the cross, our sins transferred to him. He died for our sins. His righteousness transferred to us. Amen. God treated him like us, and God treats us like him today. And then the lamb is killed. Now watch this, you'll see him walking away and the blessing of God is now on him. The offeror walks away with something he never had: the righteousness of the lamb. Sit back and enjoy.
The priest examines the lamb for defects, blemishes. All right, approved. The offeror lays his hands. A picture of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. All his sins transfer to the lamb. The lamb's righteousness is now transferred to the offeror.
He walks away with something he never had before: the favor, the blessings and the grace of God shining on him. Amen. Praise God. Hallelujah. Amen. So, that short clip was done by Patrick, and also his team. So praise God for anointed people. Amen. And I'm preparing something else that I've been preaching on, and it's Jesus on the cross, you know. We're going to do something powerful to show the world. But this clip, I believe is going to bless multitudes. Amen. So that's what happened at the cross.
Notice, the point of the message, "Disproportionate Grace" is that the offeror walks away with something he never had before: the favor, the blessings. Amen. I want you to walk away today, all right, like the light is shining on you. The blessings on you. Amen. And when there's an area in your life, even if there is sickness, whatever, just lay your hand on your heart. Let's say it's your heart. Say, "Father, I receive your superabounding grace of health for my heart". You've got a blood pressure problem, say, "I receive your superabounding grace of healing. I receive it now for my blood pressure". Amen. Keep on doing that and see what happen. Your heart probably will become a strong as a horse. But don't forget, it's not just healing you, barely repairing it. No. It's superabounding grace. Amen. Give Jesus the praise. Amen. Praise the Lord.
Every head bowed; every eye closed all across this place. If you are here today, my friend, and you do not know this wonderful Savior, God's blessed Son, "God so loved you," the Bible says, "that God sent his Son to die for your sins". Jesus on that cross bore all your sins. And not only a sins, your shame, your judgment, your condemnation, your curse. He took your place because he loved you. God love you. God sent him for this purpose that he might redeem you from the curse. The word redeem means buy you back.
You see, for God to create the earth, he only had to speak. For God to redeem you, Jesus had to bleed. It's a price of redemption. Sin is sin and sin must be punished or else God is not just. But God is love and God does not want to punish sin in your life. So God sent Jesus that he might be the one, your substitute, the lamb, who bear your sins to a place not inhabited, where your sins will never come back to haunt you. My friend, his work is final. His work is total. His work is finished. Will you accept a finished work? God is not asking you to do something. God is inviting you to believe and receive what Christ has done. If that is you, wherever you are that's watching this right now, pray this from your heart after me. Say this and mean it. Say to God:
Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who left heaven's glory to come to earth to die for me and I believe Christ bore my sins. He became liable for all my judgment and condemnation. He died, he was buried, and he rose from the dead. As a proclamation, sin and death are put away and all my sins are forgiven me. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, now and forever. Thank you, Father, in Jesus's name. And all the people said, 'Amen'. Amen, amen. Praise the Lord, hallelujah.