Jentezen Franklin - Arise And Shine
There's a real secret to business people today that I want to talk to, and all of you, sooner or later, will be in some sort of business, so it's for everybody. But God laid on my heart Wednesday night a message that I shared. If you were not here, you really need to get it 'cause I think it was a word from the Lord to business people. And then, I want to share this secret today from Isaiah 60 that can change things in your life and in your business world. And you say, "Well, I". No, this has to do with every aspect of your life. It's a principle, a Bible principle that will lead to success.
Let's look at Isaiah 60. "Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you". I love verse three. "The Gentiles", or the lost, "will come to your light, and the kings will come to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed by your side".
I'll stop there for the sake of time, but verse one is what I'm preaching on today. "Arise and shine". Another way of saying, "Arise and shine," a more modern way of saying it would be, "Stand up and stand out". God is saying in this chapter, "I do not want My church to be hid in a closet, nor do I want My people in a dark world to hide the light that I have in them". And if I had a subtitle to this message, I would call it "The Spirit of Excellence" because the world, the world that we live in, responds to excellence. If you want to attract the attention of other people, get a spirit of excellence.
What is a spirit of excellence? It's two things, number one, do what you do well; number two, do what you do well with a good attitude. If you do what you do well, and you do it with a good attitude, a spirit of excellence will begin to shine through you in a dark world and you will stand up and you will stand out. All you've got to do in this world is become excellent at something and you'll stand up and stand out. In other words, what I'm trying to say to you, and this is very important, your performance determines your platform. The performance that you have on your job, the performance that you do in your workplace determines the platform that you will have. Or another way of saying platform is influence that you will have among people.
You see, when I say your performance determines your platform, it means people will listen to you based on your performance. I can name you people in sports, I can name you people in business, I can name you people in education, in medicine, in any field of life that you want to take, if they perform in excellence at their job, they have influence and a platform that other people do not have. You know, if they're at the top of their field, nobody stops them from talking about Jesus Christ. When they win or they receive awards or they achieve some great thing, nobody pulls the microphone away because they say, "First of all, I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ because He's blessed my life".
But there's something about their performance that determines their platform. You know, you can't talk like that. You can't talk and say those things if you don't win, if you don't succeed. So if they score the touchdown, if they get the award for most sales, if they achieve some great landmark in their life, then they can give God praise because people want to know that, what their secret is. But what I'm trying to say is, you know, if you play basketball or whatever it is that you do. If they miss the shot, if they lose the playoff game, or if they fail at what they're doing, nobody wants to know what your secret is. Nobody cares about. And it doesn't mean you're not saved; both are saved, but one has influence and one doesn't. Does that make sense?
When you arise and shine, when you begin to stand up and stand out, it gives you influence with people, when you become excellent at what you do; but if you sit on the bench and you don't score and, you know, you're not going to have a lot of influence. It doesn't mean that one's more saved than the other. It just means one's going to go to heaven by themselves. Another one's going to use that platform of excellence to influence a lot of people to go to heaven with them. You see, some churches and some Christians and quite frankly some pastors have a terrible reputation in their community. They are known for being late in paying their bills, they don't have a spirit of excellence on what they do, they're not respected, and when, you know, people don't know if they're going to fold up or make it or not, and that thing needs to come to an end in the body of Christ.
And for all of us, we need to have a spirit of excellence. The people in the Bible that influenced their generation were people of excellence. For example, I thought about David. I thought about how that the Bible said David played his harp, listen to this, skillfully. He wasn't a giant slayer first. He wasn't some famous king first. He was a musician that was excellent at what he did. Notice it didn't say he played a musical instrument. It said he played skillfully. And because he played skillfully, he began to arise and shine, stand up and stand out, on a musical instrument.
And the king heard about how gifted he was in music and brought him into the palace because he had a spirit of excellence. It took him hours and hours and hours of practice to become skillful on that musical instrument, and that excellence is what was the natural thing that God used to get spiritual power into that palace, into that kingdom. And he would eventually go to the throne through a spirit of excellence. Not only did David play skillfully and God used his excellence to impact multitudes, he influenced multitudes for generations through being excellent at strumming a harp. Isn't that amazing?
And then, Daniel; I think about Daniel. You know what the key characteristic of Daniel that's talked about first? It said he had an excellent spirit. In other words, he had a spirit of excellence. He had an excellent attitude. And we draw attention to the fact that, you know, he refused to eat the king's meat. He really had a standard. But the thing that is so impressive about that story, when he and the other men wouldn't eat what the king offered or drink what the king, the Bible said when they came in ten days later, listen to it, their countenance was fairer, they were smarter and quicker, they were sharper than the king's men. And they were ten times wiser.
I'm saying to you that the world and the king, Pharaoh, was drawn to them first in a natural way because they were sharper. They were head of the class. If he'd have come in and they'd have been the last in the class and they'd have been the slow ones and they'd not had themselves together and their countenance not fair and sharp. The Bible said they were sharper, they were quicker, I love that, than the king's men. The purpose of making a stand is to prove that they could do more with God than with the king. They were quicker, wiser, sharper, more intelligent, and more excellent than the king's men. And their excellence put them in a position in that nation that was a heathenistic nation, Babylon, and they had power in that nation because they were excellent.
We talk about the life of Joseph. And the Bible said that God was with him. Every place that he was put, he prospered. They put him in jail and he became the head of the jail. They put him in Potiphar's house as a slave and Potiphar put him over everything in his household. Look at that excellence. It didn't matter where you put him. Some of you said, "If somebody'd just give me a break". If you can't do it where you are, you won't do it anywhere else. You have to do it where you are. This principle works every time. You be excellent, I don't care what you do, and you'll begin to stand up and you'll begin to stand out, always.
Excellence will cause God's hand of promotion to come upon your life. And the Bible said always he did what he did, speaking of Joseph, with excellence. Since everything he did prospered, Joseph's authority got bigger and bigger and bigger, and people in a place of authority always wanted Joseph close to them. That's the powerful thing about excellence. If you will become excellent, people of authority will want you close to them. They will pull you in. You will stand out of the herd. They will call you close to them. They'll start asking your opinion. They'll start asking "what do you think" because there's a spirit of excellence on you. It always happens. It's a law in the kingdom.
If you want people of authority. I'm not even not even talking about saved people. It doesn't matter. They don't care if you're saved or not on your job. They don't hire you to talk in tongues and walk around praising God. They hire you to do an excellent job. And if you do an excellent job, those people are going to call you in close to them because always people of authority are drawn to people with excellence, every time. You can give somebody all the scripture that you want, but if they come by you and see your life all messed up, your kids look crazy, they're not clean, you don't know how to balance your checkbook, always in a broke down situation all the time.
We all go through tough times, but all the time — something's wrong. That's not excellent. That's not standing up and standing out. But when they see you and you've got your stuff together and you've got your family together and you've got your blessings together and you're sharp, you're great, you're excellent, you're excited, you're enthusiastic about life and about what you do, I guarantee you people in authority will notice it and they'll raise you up every time.
1 Kings 10, the Bible said that the Queen of Sheba came from halfway around the world to see Solomon's house that he had built; his own personal house, the kingdom, and the temple that he had built. And the Bible said the thing that caused her to come and what so astonished her is, the scripture said, when she saw how happy his servants... Let's say it another way. When she saw how enthusiastic his employees were, when she saw the joy that they had in serving, in working; it even talks about the attire that they had on; how clean, how sharp they were. When she saw how happy the people were, the servants were enthusiastic and joyful. And then the scripture said when she was the building that he had, the buildings that he had built.
Proverbs 24:3 says, "Wisdom is know by the house that it builds". Wisdom builds a house. How wise are you? And I'm not talking about the square footage of your house; I'm talking about those under your authority. How are they doing, because wisdom builds a house and the people under your covering prosper if you're building it wisely. Your children, not that they won't go through things, but if you build that house wisely, whoever is under that house is going to do well eventually 'cause you keep praying and leading them in truth. Oh, come on and praise God. That's the truth.
The last thing that the Queen of Sheba saw was his ascent to the throne of God. The first thing she saw was the grounds and the buildings and the servants and how sharp they were and how classy and how excellent everything, how enthusiastic and happy and joyful they were. Isn't that something? We want to make it so spiritual. "I'm fighting demons". Maybe you ought to just be happier on the job and be upbeat and be sharp. And it would be amazing how God would cause your light to start influencing people as you just arise and shine in a dark world. It's got to be something that gives you the right and the authority to be listened to.
And the fact that he met her, Solomon did, in the natural world first, and it gave a platform because his performance determined the platform. Not just anybody could reach the Queen of Sheba. She had it all. And there's people in the business community that a preacher like me will never ever reach. But you know what? There's people in this room who work excellent. If you will be excellent, if you will arise and shine, stand up and stand out, you can reach them, because they don't care about a preacher, but they watch you and you've got your family together and you've got your marriage together and theirs is falling apart. And they may be making millions of dollars, but they see you doing it right and the Bible said then she came and asked Solomon the "hard questions".
Isn't that something? Once she saw his performance, it gave him a platform and then he didn't have to chase her with a Bible and track and say, "You need to get saved". He just did what he did. His business did what it did. And the Bible said that she started asking him the hard questions. "Hey, how do you hold your marriage together"? "Hey, how do you do that"? "Hey, listen; my wife had a bad x-ray. I'm not a religious man, but I notice there's a difference in you. And I don't know how to say this, but would you pray, tell, ask the man upstairs to help me and my family". They'll start asking you the hard questions. That's how it happens. You don't earn the right to be listened to because of your failures. You earn the right to be listened to because of your successes.
The Queen of Sheba couldn't be reached by just anyone. If she would have shown up at Solomon's house, listen, and they were pitiful and broke down, weeds were growing up all in the flowerbeds and half done, rinky dink, dirty, tired, unenthused, people standing around, "What do you want? What? What? Just help, go in yourself. I'm not going to open the door". Can you imagine? Can you imagine if she'd have shown up and the stuff, the shutters broke down, the house is broke down, everything. The people look jacked up, messed up, and standing around with attitudes, and you know, just on a cigarette break outside and just... you know what I'm talking about? That stuff matters. That stuff matters. No glory, no joy, I promise you, she wouldn't have asked the hard questions. It's time to arise and shine. It's time to stand up and stand out.
Verse three said when you do, when you become excellent at something, then the lost shall come to your light and the brightness of your promotion or your rising. God wants to raise up people in the business community. He wants to raise you up in your field, whether you're a roofer or a mechanic or a carpenter or whatever you do in business, in computers, why don't you say, "God, I want to stand up and stand out. I want to rise and shine. Give me a spirit of excellence so that my light will shine in a dark world and people will be drawn to my God. I can tell 'em my secret now that You asked me. Not that I chased you down and I badgered you to death with the Bible and my testimony. You start asking me the hard questions".
Boy, that's when you know your light's shining wherever you are. But isn't it interesting when God sent His Son to the earth, He did not place Him in a priest's home? Now, had that been me, if I was going to send my son to redeem the world, I'd have put him in a religious atmosphere. I'd have needed a third or fourth generation Baptist, Pentecostal, something. I need some kind of church atmosphere that this child is raised in. God didn't do that. You know what God did? God put Him in a business environment, isn't that something?
"I want Him to know how to do business with excellence. I want Him, until He's 30 years old, to deal with orders and deal with billing and deal with lumber and deal with hammers and nails and working with His hands. For 30 years, He never preached a sermon or did one, that I can find, one big spiritual thing, for 30 years. What did He do? He worked in a business. And I'm saying to you that this is an hour when God is saying, "We've got enough crosses in the church". Jesus drug His cross down the Via Dolorosa, which was the business district of Jerusalem. He didn't take a back street. He drug the cross because He was saying, "I want My cross in the secular business world". And you don't have to carry the cross literally. You just do what you do with excellence.
Arise and shine. Stand up and stand out. Be excellent in what you do and be excellent in your attitude. And when you do, your light will shine. Matthew 5 said that you'll be the light of the world because folks, when are we ever going to get it, the people you work with don't care about who your preacher is or your church, but if they never read the Bible, they are reading you. Wow. That's pretty good. Somebody write that one down. I don't know where that one came from. That's all right.
Turn to somebody and say, "If they never read the Bible, they are reading you". But if you're in this room today and you need a change in your life — everything I've been preaching is predicated upon one thing, Jesus needs to be Lord of your life. If you've got a dream in politics or whatever it is, God's word to you today is "arise and shine, stand up and stand out, go for it, begin with excellence". But it all has to be built on Jesus Christ. If you get in His will, He will exalt you, if you use these Bible principles, every time. He's no respecter of persons. But it starts with making Him Lord.
If you're in this room and you would say, "Pastor, pray for me; I need Jesus to be Lord of my life," and normally we call people down. I'm not going to do that this morning. I want to speak a blessing over businesses and over business people. But before I do that, I want to give you an opportunity to receive Jesus. If you're in this place and you'd say, "Pastor, pray for me; I'm not right with God and I know that's what, that's the main thing that needs to be changed in my life. Pray for me".
If that's you, boldly raise your hand right where you're standing. I want to see it. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. Keep your hand up high. Don't be ashamed about. There, there, there, there, there, there, there. Beautiful. Here. God bless you, sir. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. Anybody in the balcony? Let me see your hand. I see a hand way up there. All over this side, I see those hands. Anyone else? Anyone else? If you see anyone with their hand raised, gently put your hand on their shoulder right now. Gently put your hand on their shoulder. That's so incredible. That's so incredible. Everybody in this room, pray this prayer. I see hands all the way in that far corner. I love it. It's awesome. How many of you believe Jesus died for you? Say this prayer.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the cross and the blood that You shed. I receive what You did for me. Your blood pardons all my sin. I am forgiven. I am cleansed. And right now, I dedicate my life to You. I want to stand up for You. I want to stand out for You. I want to arise. I want to shine again. I want to be a light in a dark world. And Lord, I ask You for a spirit of excellence. Let it come upon my life. Let it come upon my work. Let it come upon my attitude. Give me an excellent attitude. And I thank You, Father, that I am forgiven and that I am changed, in Jesus mighty name.