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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - Can Jesus Use Me?

Jentezen Franklin - Can Jesus Use Me?

Jentezen Franklin - Can Jesus Use Me?
Jentezen Franklin - Can Jesus Use Me?

I wanna talk to you for a few moments. I feel like the Lord's really dealt with my heart about that I'm given the title in the form of a question, "Can Jesus Use Me"? That's what I want you to ask yourself. Can Jesus use me?

And in Matthew 21, "Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them. And this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'Tell the daughters of Zion, behold, your King is coming lowly, sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.' So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them, and a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road," notice that, "and others cut down branches and trees and spread them on the road. The multitudes who went before them cried out, saying: 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

Can Jesus use me? Everybody say that, can Jesus use me? This third verse is what I really wanna center in on, the Lord, this particular chapter. I could've read this story in all four Gospels because it's so important. All four writers of the four Gospels of the New Testament, all four of them included this story and used that phrase. One of them made it different and said, "The Lord has need of him," but the point is clear. What's interesting about this text is nowhere else in all the Bible does God ever have a need. The Scripture said, "The Lord has need of him". Jesus told them to tell anyone who tried to stop them from taking that animal and bringing it for His purpose. He said, "You tell them the Lord has need of that. I need that". I mean, you can't find in the Bible where God has a need. He said in Acts 17 that, "I'm not worshiped with man's hands," listen to these words, "as though God needs anything". That's in Acts 17, "as though God needs anything".

God doesn't need anything. He's self-sufficient. And yet this text said, "God needs something". This is the only place in the Bible where God said, "I need something outside of myself". You need water. You need food. You need stuff to survive. God says, "I don't need anything". God's even said in Acts 17, "I don't even need your worship". We think we come to church 'cause God needs our worship. God does not need your worship. You need to worship. You need the house of God. You need to lift your hands in gratitude and praise the Lord. God is not the one who needs the worship. You need to worship 'cause you're gonna worship something, and you're gonna worship somebody, and you need to worship God. In Psalms 50, He said, "If I were hungry, would you feed me"? That's the great famous verse where He says, "I own the cattle of 1,000 hills. What are you gonna do for me? What are you gonna give me? You don't have anything I need". But in this text, this unusual text, Jesus said, "I need that donkey".

I want you to notice He didn't say I need a white stallion, I need a beautiful show horse, a Tennessee Walker or a Clydesdale that's got powerful muscles. I don't need any of that in the most, one of the most critical moments of Jesus's earthly ministry. He would use that animal to go into Jerusalem the last week of His life and die on the cross for you and for me. And in one of the most critical moments of His life He said, "I don't need a stallion. I need that donkey. I need it. I can't take salvation to the world unless I can use something that I can ride on". A donkey is a beast of burden. A donkey more than anything else is a burden bearer. If you've ever been overseas and you go to the mission field, you'll see a lot. In places like Haiti. You'll see people in South America or wherever.

In third-world countries you will see a lot of donkeys, and sometimes you will see those donkeys just so covered in a load, big bags on the side that are so massive that you can't even hardly, the animal is so low to the ground, and you can't even hardly see the thing except for its head and its tail because it's carrying such a load. If a donkey is anything, it's a burden bearer. The church was not built by stallions. The church was built by people who would take on a burden. Great families are not built by show horses. Somebody's gotta carry a burden. Somebody's gotta carry a burden for the house of God, for the finances of the house of God, for the worship. Somebody's gotta carry a burden of prayer. Somebody's gotta carry a burden of praise. You can't just, somebody's gotta start carrying a burden to win the lost again because we're in the most critical time in my lifetime, in the history of this Nation, and people are lost and deceived, and they don't know Jesus.

They know religion. They've heard the story, but they don't know Jesus, and somebody's got to carry a burden of bringing Jesus to a lost and dying world. Somebody's gotta get it. And I wanna give you some lessons from this story that I pray will become real to you, and it will answer because when I look at this donkey, I see the kinds of people Jesus can use. The kinds of people Jesus will choose and use are found in this story, and I'm gonna give you five, maybe six, if I have time, quick things that this story teaches us lessons from the donkey of what qualifies you to be used by God.

Number one, the greatest blessings come from the greatest burdens you bear. Jesus Christ was the greatest blessing. Understand this. The burden that animal bore was the blessing that he carried. All we care about in this generation is the blessing, the blessing, the blessing. I want the blessed life. Somebody needs to write a book about the burdened life because the greatest blessings in life always come out of the heaviest burdens that you have to carry in life. You cannot separate the blessings from the burdens. If you get a burden, then the blessings will come. Notice that the weight of Jesus on that animal, that was the burden, and yet the burden was the blessing that God would use. When you understand that the burden of Jesus Christ is where the blessing comes from. It is a burden to carry Jesus, to live for Jesus, to have convictions, to stand for what is right. It's a burden, but out of that burden comes the greatest blessing.

And many of you are dealing with burdens in your family and in your home, but I want to encourage you today that the greatest blessings of our life do not come just out of blessings and blessings and blessings, but the greater the burden, the greater the blessing, and you're not qualified to be used of God until you understand that. I've never seen a pretty donkey. Why does Napoleon always pose in a picture, why does Alexander the Great, any of the ancient pictures that they're seen in they're never seen riding on a donkey. They're riding on some beautiful stallion that's raring up on his hind legs, and they did that because they understood we need to positon the king and show and project an image of authority and power.

But here comes the King of kings. He doesn't need anything to make him look powerful. He doesn't need your talent, your good looks, your great singing ability or my preaching ability to look good. He can use anything and anybody who will get up under a burden. If you don't have a burden, I don't care how talented you are. God can't use you. You gotta get a burden for the loss and if you're gonna carry Jesus, the greatest blessings come out of the burden of carrying Jesus. We want everything easy. I don't want my friends to make fun of me. I don't want to not get invited to the party. That's the burden of carrying Jesus. Nobody wants to hang out with me right now, and I can't get nobody to date me because they want me to do things. That's the burden of carrying Jesus, but when you carry the burden of Jesus, the blessing will come, and you can't have one without the other.

Number two, if you want Jesus to use you, this story teaches us Jesus calls the unqualified. This messed me up right here. I've never seen this like this. Just reading through the story, and there's one place where it gives more description of this animal, and this is what it says. It says it's a donkey that has never been ridden before. You'll read right over that. You know what that means? That means it was an unqualified carrier. It wasn't trained. It wasn't qualified. If God's gonna use you, you don't have to know everything. You don't have to have a degree in theology. The first thing you gotta do is get under the burden of carrying Jesus Christ. If you'll carry Jesus Christ into the workplace, they don't care about the Greek and the Hebrew and what the exegesis of that text means. All they wanna know is they can feel the difference when you walk into that room and you're carrying Jesus and you're under the burden I care about you. I love you. I can pray for you. I've got a living relationship. The one riding me is real. Jesus uses and calls the unqualified.

You say, well, I don't understand everything. You don't have to understand everything to do great things for God. I look back when I started preaching over 30 years ago. I did not know a lot about the Bible. I didn't know a lot about preaching. I didn't know how to preach. It was pitiful, but I carried a burden, and I knew Jesus was on my back. The King was on my back, and I didn't know how I was gonna do it. I just felt like, oh God, I've gotta preach or I'll die. I've gotta preach or my life is meaningless. I've gotta preach. I've gotta do it. And I didn't know how. And many times when I first started preaching I made a fool of myself.

Some of you say, I can hear your thoughts, "You still do". I know. I hear you. But I'm so glad God doesn't just use stallions. I'm so glad He uses people who are not qualified, but if you go down the road with Him, He'll qualify you. He'll train you. He'll teach you. He'll mentor you. He'll raise you. And people won't give you the glory. They'll give the one you're carrying the glory because you'll mess up, but He'll never mess up. Give the Lord a mighty praise if you're thankful. Say, Lord, you can use me. Hallelujah! Here's something that's so important. This story teaches us that you have to carry, you have to carry Jesus, but Jesus will do the heavy lifting. What do you mean?

Isaiah 53:4, "Surely," listen to it. "Surely, He has bore our grief. He has carried our sorrow". You carry me. I'll carry that stuff. "We esteemed Him stricken, afflicted of God, but He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our inequities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed". And then it goes to say, "The Lord," listen to it, "has laid on Him the inequity of us all".

You carry Jesus. You carry the burden of carrying Christ, the reproach of carrying Christ, sometimes the rejection of carrying Christ, but He lifts the heavy load. I hear young people say It's too hard to live for God. No, it's not. Not if you really live for Him. He said, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I'll carry the heavy stuff, and you carry me. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light". I don't know who I'm preaching to this morning, but you don't have to carry the heavy lift. You don't have to make it on your own. There is a Savior who says I'll help you. Grace will lighten your shame and your guilt. Grace will lighten the load of past failure. Grace will pick you back up. Here's another big one.

This is number four. Donkeys are built for endurance, not speed. Ecclesiastes 9:11, "The race is not to the swift". Boy, are we gonna ever learn that? How many ministries have we seen? One thing about this little church. I know we go through our ups and downs and our little deals, but we're not some little fly-by-night, built on a hot-shop preacher or something or another. We're gonna go back to this Book every time. We're gonna get on our knees. We're gonna love one another and forgive one another. We are not a flash-in-the-pan ministry. A mule is not a racehorse. "The race is not to the swift. The battle is not to the strong, but he," listen, "that endures to the end shall be saved".

And boy, you better get ahold of that 'cause people are quitting the race. People are giving up the race. People are falling aside like a plague, and many of you, you're losing that joy, that peace, that fire for God, and you don't understand. It's not how good you started, but I have made up my mind. I'm gonna make it to the finish line. I don't care. I can't let nothing stop me. I've got to make it to the finish line. This is an endurance race. How many of you would say, Pastor Franklin, I have truly been blessed by God, He's done amazing blessings in my life? I don't deserve the house I have. I don't deserve the car I have. I don't deserve the life I... come on. Let me see your hand. I don't even deserve it. Well, here's a big lesson from this story.

So important. You carry the burden, but don't ever forget Jesus gets the praise. It would've been easy for that donkey when he started entering into Jerusalem and all he was ever used to was old, muddy trails. Now, they're throwing expensive coats down. Read the Bible. They're taking their coats off and throwing it down, and now he's walking up path of prosperity. Woo! High stepping. Everybody's screaming, "Hosanna! Hosanna"! Voices of praise coming from everywhere. "Wonderful Counselor". It could've been easy for that donkey to actually think, "They are really impressed with me"! You carry the burden, but He gets the glory. He gets the praise. He gets the honor. And some of you better go back to giving Him the glory. It's not about you, donkey. You need to give Him some praise.

Corrie ten Boom said, "I was just the donkey that carried Jesus to the multitudes," and if you will be that kind of person that will give Him the praise for every victory, for every success in your life, give Him the glory. I close with this. Jesus can't use you, this story teaches us, until you get untied. He said you're gonna find that colt, and it's gonna be tied to a post. And He said, "Loose it. Untie it". When you're tied to something, the scenery never changes. When you're tied to an addiction, all you see is drug addiction. Same old thing every day. Tied to it, and that's your whole world. There's a whole world out there, but when you're tied to guilt and shame, that's all you see.

When you're tied to alcohol, that's all you see. When you're tied to an immoral life, that's all you see. You can try to get away every once and a while, but you can't 'cause you're tied to it. But when Jesus unties you, watch this, and He begins to get in you and ride on you, He'll take you to places you've never been. You'll see a whole new world. You'll see a whole new life. You'll realize I was thinking so small. God really can use me. And if you'll get loose and let Him lead you, Jesus says, "I'll change the road you're walking on. I'll never leave you. I'll never forsake you". Lift your hands and worship Him all over this room. Come on. Now, go back to my title and say can Jesus use me. Can Jesus use me? Yes, He can use you if you will let Him do what He did for that lowly animal. He will use you.
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