Joseph Prince Sermon Notes #474 – God Is A Gracious Rewarder

  • What is the faith that pleases God that He wants to see in our life?
  • I think that we have made faith into a formula.
    1. Faith is a walk with God
    2. We are going to see in Hebrews 11 what faith is, the kind of faith that pleases God.
    3. Hebrews 11:5 – 6 (Amplified Bible) By faith [that pleased God] Enoch was caught upand taken to heaven so that he would not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found because God had taken him; for even before he was taken [to heaven], he received the testimony [still on record] that he had walked with God and pleased Him. But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
  • Enoch was the first one to experience rapture.
    1. Maybe he was walking with God one day and he had the kind of faith that believed that God is a good God. God is close with me.
    2. Maybe He spoke with God and said that He would not like to die. The bible says that he asked God not to die.
    3. Testimony of Enoch, “He pleased God.”
    4. People have funny ideas of how to please God.
    5. Ask the average person what it means to please God and they will say:
      1. Give money to charity
      2. Do your best
    6. What is the bible way to please God – don’t think about what we want but what pleases God. What pleases God? Faith!
    7. What kind of faith?
      1. We must believe that God is.
      2. That He exists
        1. That God wants to be everything to us.
        2. If we are sick, God is your physician
        3. If you are lacking or broke, God is your supply, your provision.
        4. God wants to be whatever you need in your life.
      3. That God is a rewarder.
        1. For some reason religious Christians believe that we should not be reward minded, that we shouldn’t do something for a reward.
        2. However, my bible tells me that God rewards us for the good things that we do.
        3. How is this reconciled with grace?
          1. Grace has nothing to do with what we do. We must use the grace through faith!
        4. Apostle Paul says this about his success as a minister, and he was the most successful minister ever!
          1. 1 Corinthians 15:9 – 10 Amplified Bible (AMP) For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I [at one time] fiercely oppressedand violently persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me.
          2. In other words it is possible for God to give you grace for something and it is given in vain as far as you are concerned, because you do not utilize the grace given.
          3. For example, God gives you the grace and even the desire to work with children, but you do not act on it. The bible says, “13 For it is [not your strength, but it is][a] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
          4. So even the willingness is from God. God will never tell you to work with children if you have no desire or even hate children.
          5. If God gives the grace and the desire and you do not act on it, God will find someone else – God is not hard up. It is a privilege for us when God moves in our hearts.
        5. If you utilize the grace that God gives you it will result in a good outcome. Your works reflect whether you are using the grace.
          1. When you use the grace, you will bear fruit.
          2. Look at Jesus encounter with Jesus in Luke 5:1-9 “So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;” (NKJV)
            1. When the Lord comes to your boat it is because He is favoring you.
            2. Why only let down a net? Maybe because he was a fisherman and Jesus a carpenter.
            3. Gods vision for you is always greater than what you have for yourself
            4. You want a position; God wants you to have a career.
            5. The boat attracted the fish because he gave the boat to Jesus.
            6. You can never give anything to Jesus anyway because He gave it to you in the first place.
            7. David said, “Both riches and honorcome from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand is power and might; and it is in Your hands to make great and to give strength to everyone. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.” “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your own hand we have given to You.  (1 Chronicles 29:12-14)
            8. Remember grace is unearned and undeserved favor.
            9. But when you use the grace God gives you, God rewards you for using the grace that He gave you. What a good God!
            10. Reason why God gives you more than enough supply is because he wants you to bless others.
              1. They called the other boat over to take some of the fish so that both boats began to sink!
            11. Peter fell down and said “I am a sinful man oh Lord”
              1. I want to announce to Pastors and Leaders, under the New Covenant it is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance
              2. Jesus just blessed Peter; He never spoke about his sin.
              3. Why don’t we just bless people and then tell them that when good things happen to you it is my God that is blessing you.
            12. Story of Ruth – she was a Moabite – – present day Jordan a gentile
              1. Famine in Bethlehem
              2. Father brought wife and two sons to Moab – sons married two girls. In matter of time father and sons died.
              3. Naomi and daughter-in-laws were only ones left.
                1. One daughter-in-law went back to her family and gods
                2. Ruth stayed and said “your God will be my God”
              4. Boaz is symbolic Jesus in story
              5. Ruth helped mother by gleaning
              6. Boaz told men to leave her more to pick up
              7. She found favor in Boaz site – “Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but stay here close by my maids. Watch which field they reap, and follow behind them. I have commanded the servants not to touch you. And when you are thirsty, go to the [water] jars and drink from what the servants draw.” 10 Then she kneeled face downward, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes that you should notice me, when I am a foreigner?” 11 Boaz answered her, “I have been made fully aware of everything that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for your kindness, and may your reward be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”” (Ruth 2:8-12)
              8. Then she said “why have I found favor in your sight?” However, at the beginning of the chapter she told her mother-in-law that she would find favor.
            13. Lost time to give your boat to Jesus
            14. When you give something to Jesus He is a rewarder
  • Even when we come to God for help there is a blessing! A reward for running to God for protection! 11 Boaz answered her, “I have been made fully aware of everything that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for your kindness, and may your reward be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.””
    1. Hebrews 11 says, “He who comes to God must believe He is a rewarder of persons”
    2. God gives us a desire and He rewards us when we do it.
    3. Even the reward is because of the grace that He has given us.
    4. John 21, after Jesus rose from the dead. Disciples went fishing and caught nothing.
      1. As morning was breaking, Jesus [came and] stood on the beach; however, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.So Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish [to eat along with your bread]?” They answered, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat (starboard) and you will find some.” So they cast [the net], and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great catch of fish. Then that disciple (John) whom Jesus loved (esteemed) said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer tunic (for he was stripped for work) and threw himself into the sea [and swam ashore]. But the other disciples came in the small boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire set up and fish on it cooking, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three [of them]; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. (John 21:4-11)
      2. The resurrected Jesus having conquered death makes breakfast!
        1. Jesus said bring some of the fish that you have caught!
        2. All night without Him they caught nothing
      3. He gave them the power and the word and all the fish came into the net.
    5. So He is the reason they caught the fish, yet He gives them the credit!
      1. Bring now the fish you have caught
      2. Jesus says to us “you faith have made you well!” and yet He gives us the faith!
      3. When we look to Jesus, faith springs up!
      4. Hear a sermon and faith comes up.
      5. When He gives us the credit, don’t think it has anything to do with us; we should give Him the credit!
      6. Without His grace we can do nothing, always give Him the praise and the glory!