Displaying Christian Sermons by tag: jentezen franklin
Jentezen Franklin (January-27-2023) Daily Devotional: Seek God for direction.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Pr 16:3 NIV
As a follower of Jesus Christ, your direction shouldn’t come from people and be confirmed by God, it should come from God and be confirmed by people. The Bible says: “Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. God made everything with a place and purpose” (vv. 1-4 MSG). You may be able to do what someone else has done and do it even better. But has God called you to do that particular thing? Before you follow someone else’s guidance, do these: (1) Check the source of their wisdom.
“The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless…he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path” (Pr 2:6-9 NIV). (2) Check their motives. John writes, “I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened” (Rev 20:12 NKJV). Will one of those be “the book of motives”? And if it is, will your actions and accomplishments stand up under divine scrutiny? (3) Check the outcome they’re pursuing. If you seek success in order to have power and prestige, or seek riches only to have comfort, you violate one of the core principles of God’s Word: You’re blessed in order to be a blessing to others.
Jentezen Franklin (January-26-2023) Daily Devotional: Learn to control your anger.
“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Pr 19:11 NLT
When it comes to anger, here is what you need to know: It isn’t a psychological disorder; everybody gets angry. And it’s not necessarily a sin. Like a fast-flowing river, it can generate constructive or destructive energy, and be unleashed negatively or harnessed positively. Anger is commonly misunderstood as something that’s done to us by others or by circumstances. We say, “I couldn’t help it; they pushed my buttons!” “What could I do; he got my Irish up!” (A claim also made by Italians, Hispanics, Germans, English, Scandinavians, and every other country.) That sounds like Eden: Adam said, “The woman you gave me made me do it!” Since the fall, we have claimed to be victims of people, the devil, and circumstances beyond our control—a belief that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, causing us to feel helpless and at the mercy of external forces. What does God’s Word say about our anger? “Sensible people control their temper.”
That means when sensible people get angry, they control their emotions. No matter what the external trigger is, the answer is always an internal response. “The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control” (Gal 5:22-23 NIV). Staying filled with God’s Spirit is the key to anger management. Instead of feeding your anger by telling yourself, “You can’t get away with treating me like that,” try thinking, “No matter what you say or do, God’s Spirit lives in me and I have self-control!” The Bible says, “The grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12 NIV). So, learn to control your anger.
Jentezen Franklin (January-25-2023) Daily Devotional: The joys of heaven (3)
“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” Rev 21:4 NIV
Sometimes we describe dying as “crossing the Jordan.” That’s because the Jordan River runs into the Dead Sea. The story is told of an elderly Christian lady who was dying. For most of her life, illness had confined her to bed or a wheelchair. The family gathered to say farewell. Holding her hand, one of her grandchildren asked, “Are you afraid to die?” With tears of joy, she replied, “No, I’m not afraid of death because my Father owns the land on both sides of the river.” What an answer! In heaven there will be no sickness, or depression, or pain, or loneliness, or fear, or grief, or any of the things that make life on earth so difficult. God’s Word says, “For you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2 NRS). Isaiah writes: “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa 35:10 NKJV). When we lose a loved one in death, the question arises, “Will I see them in heaven; will I know them?” Yes! You wouldn’t know less in heaven than you knew on earth. Paul answers, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1Co 13:12 NKJV). Heaven will be the greatest family reunion of all time. And here is the best part of all: We will never be separated again.
Jentezen Franklin (January-24-2023) Daily Devotional: The joys of heaven (2).
“It was about fifteen hundred miles high and fifteen hundred miles wide.” Rev 21:16 CEV
The next time you feel cramped for space, read this: “The city was shaped like a cube, because it was just as high as it was wide. When the angel measured the city, it was about fifteen hundred miles high and fifteen hundred miles wide” (v. 16 CEV). That’s an area of over two million square miles—making the new Jerusalem bigger than the state of Texas. In fact, it’s almost four times larger than the state of Alaska, and over half the size of the entire United States! A city that big would be anything but crowded and uncomfortable. And here is something even more incredible: It’s fifteen hundred miles high! There will be no space limitations.
And that confirms what Jesus said about heaven: “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn 14:2). Since the same God who created the earth also designed heaven, and since Paul said heaven will be “far better” (Php 1:23 NKJV), think of the most beautiful place you have ever visited and multiply that scene by infinity. John the Revelator described it in these words: “The City shimmered like a precious gem, light-filled, pulsing light” (Rev 21:12 MSG). One night as he held his father’s hand and looked up at the stars, a little boy said to his dad, “If the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side look like?” Jesus died so that you could go to heaven. But you don’t go by chance; you go by choice. So, have you placed your trust in Christ to be your Savior? If so, see you there!
Jentezen Franklin (January-23-2023) Daily Devotional: The joys of heaven (1)
“We are citizens of heaven.” Php 3:20 NLT
The story is told of a pastor who asked his congregation, “How many of you want to go to heaven?” Everyone raised their hand except one little boy. The pastor said, “Son, don’t you want to go to heaven?” He replied, “Yes, but I thought you were getting up a batch to go right now!” Let’s be honest, we don’t think or talk much about heaven until a loved one dies and goes there, or we grow old and feel like we have fulfilled our assignment here on earth. Then we feel a tug pulling us heavenward. And we should. On average, we will spend about seventy or eighty years here, whereas we will spend eternity there.
“We shall always be with the Lord” (1Th 4:17 NKJV). Here on earth we get a mixed scorecard; sometimes we do well, other times not so well. But in heaven, we will be just like Jesus. “We are citizens of heaven…we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own” (Php 3:20-21 NLT). C. S. Lewis wrote that in heaven each of us will be a “dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine.” All the patriarchs, prophets, and preachers in the Bible longed for heaven. Zechariah describes it in these words: “They’ll become…like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun. Then…they’ll shine!” (Zec 9:16-17 MSG). Question: If you were to die today, would you go to heaven? You can, by putting your trust in Jesus Christ.
Jentezen Franklin (January-22-2023) Daily Devotional: Steps to forgiveness (2)
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Lk 6:37 NIV
Here are three more steps to forgiveness: (1) Accept people as they are and don’t try to change them. You say, “I’ll only forgive them if they change.” That just keeps you tied to them, obsessing over what they did and demanding they act in ways that you approve of. Nothing makes people less willing to change than when you try to control them and demand that they meet your requirements. Changing people isn’t your job—it’s God’s job! Your job is to choose to forgive and leave the outcome in God’s hands. The formula for healing is simple: forgive, let go, and let God. (2) See your offender as God’s tool for your growth. It’s easier to forgive someone when you stop seeing them as Satan’s agent sent to destroy you, and begin seeing them as God’s instrument to develop you. The life of Joseph speaks to this principle. The path that led him from the pit to the palace was paved by injustice, disappointment, and betrayal. But God used each painful circumstance to get him to his destiny. And God can do that for you.
(3) Try reconciling with your offender. Reconciliation is God’s nature. “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Ro 5:10). And what God did for you, He wants you to do for whoever you are at odds with. Jesus made reconciliation a top priority by saying, “Leave your gift there before the altar…First be reconciled…then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:24 NKJV). Yes, it will take selflessness and humility on your part, but the return is worth the investment!
Jentezen Franklin (January-21-2023) Daily Devotional: Steps to forgiveness (1).
“Forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.” Col 3:13 NIV
The misery of living with unforgiveness in your heart always lasts longer than the pain of the offense. Always! When you hold on to resentment, you open the door to depression and physical illness. Forgiving brings healing to your wounds and restores your joy. Here are two steps to help you forgive: (1) Remember that you have been unconditionally forgiven. Recall God’s grace toward you, and the price paid for your forgiveness. By refusing to show mercy, you’re like the man Jesus said was forgiven an enormous debt, yet was unwilling to forgive another man’s paltry indebtedness to him (See Mt 18:23-34).
The grace God has extended to you leaves you no grounds whatsoever to refuse the same grace to the one who hurt you. (2) Release the offender from the debt they owe you. You may be totally justified in saying, “They owe me for what they did!” Your friends may agree. The law may agree, and you may be thinking that the only way your offender will “learn to do what’s right” is if they’re made to pay for the wrong they did. But as long as you’re holding on to your “rights,” you’re chained to the past. It has you in its grip, and your future is being held hostage to the past’s control over you. Your offender’s sin against you was paid for by the same sacrificial love that canceled your sin debt, so they have the same need and right to forgiveness that you have. And there is more; forgiveness is not just for their benefit, but for yours: “Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Lk 6:37 NIV).
Jentezen Franklin (January-20-2023) Daily Devotional: Today, give your problem to God.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Ps 55:22 NIV
If you grow up in hard times, you will automatically do one of these two things: (1) Trust God more because you have experienced His faithfulness. (2) Worry, think, and incessantly talk about the “what ifs” in life. And there are lots of them to think about, because the future rests in God’s hands and not yours. It’s possible for a thing to seem much bigger to you than it really is. That’s the essence of worry. It’s like a snowball; it starts small, but as you roll it over and over in your mind, it becomes bigger and bigger until it has the potential to bury you. What’s the answer? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Pr 3:5 NKJV). Fill you heart with God’s Word. Then develop the habit of letting what’s in your heart be more real to you than what you see, think, or feel. You can choose to think about what God can do instead of what you cannot do. If you continue to obsess about the difficulty of your situation, you will end up in despair. In other words, you will feel trapped. When that happens, it’s easy to panic and begin to do irrational things that just make the problem worse. Instead, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” The word “sustain” means to strengthen, support, and hold you up. God may not take you out of the situation immediately, but His sustaining grace will bring you through it. Today, give your problem to God.
Jentezen Franklin (January-19-2023) Daily Devotional: When your best isn’t good enough.
“Master…because you say so, I will.” Lk 5:5 NIV
You say: “What happened to the verse in Galatians 6 that promises whatever you sow you will also reap? I gave it my best shot. I trusted, sacrificed, did the right things, yet reaped nothing.” Whether it’s a lack of reaping in your finances, job, marriage, children, or ministry, it’s discouraging and sometimes makes you feel like quitting. The disciples were experienced fishermen. But they had fished all night and caught nothing, so now they were discouraged. And that’s when Jesus showed up! When they thought there was nothing more that could be done, He stepped into their boat. And He still works that way. As long as you think you can handle the situation yourself, Jesus knows you will keep trying to. So, He waits until you have exhausted your resources and acknowledged that you are out of options, then He gets involved. “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch,” He instructed (Lk 5:4 NIV).
Peter replied, “We have already tried that and the fish just aren’t biting.” Maybe Peter was thinking, “Lord, you’re the preacher, but I’m a professional fisherman. If there was anything out there, I would have caught it.” Jesus was saying, “This time, try it my way!” Peter replied, “Master…because you say so, I will.” And that’s when the miracle happened. Whatever Peter thought or felt, he obeyed Jesus anyway. That, too, is when your situation begins to change. When you’re clueless and helpless, thinking there is no way out, just get quiet and listen, and Jesus will tell you what to do. And when He does, even though you have questions, say, “Master, because you say so, I will obey.” Then, prepare for results only God can give.
Jentezen Franklin (January-18-2023) Daily Devotional: Be faithful to God at work.
“Working for the Lord.” Col 3:23 NIV
If you were in charge of hiring people at work, what would you look for? Skill, dedication, punctuality, reliability, patience, kindness, and consistency? Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Lk 16:10 NIV). Life mostly consists of little things, so if you’re unfaithful in little things, you will be unfaithful in most of life. Do you possess a “guilt pile” at work? It’s that little stack of items you haven’t gotten around to yet. Faithfulness includes how you handle it. It may not matter much to you that someone has sent you an email or written you a letter, but that person anticipates an answer.
Their world may be counting on it. How do you manage the little things in life? Jesus said, “If you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (v. 12 NIV). If you owned the business you work for, would you be taking all those extra coffee breaks? Would you buy the rental car you just abused for a week? How you handle the things that are not yours is a test of faithfulness to God. See how sensible this is? Faithfulness is important in all areas of life. God says you will be rewarded for your faithfulness, so do your best at work. “Work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col 3:23 NIV). As a follower of Christ, you should have a reputation for being the most dependable person on the job. Why? Because you’re aware of who your true boss is!