Jentezen Franklin - God Wants To Prosper You
If you have your Bibles, I'd like for you to open them with me to the book of Psalms, chapter 35. I love what I'm preaching today. I believe it down to my bones. I believe it so real that if I had one thing that I'd like to teach young people, I guess, besides, you know, living right and living pure before God, it would be to let God prosper and bless the dream that He has for your life. And I want you to get a vision and a view of our heavenly Father today and how He sees and desires and yearns to bless His people.
Look with me in Psalms 35:27, "Let them shout for joy and be glad who favor my righteous calls. Let them say continually, 'Let the Lord be magnified", listen to this, "who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servants". You know, I know people, and someone may say, "Well, I know someone who tithes and gives and they're not blessed". Well, that would be true because many people tithe and give and they don't use what's left over wisely. The Bible said, "There is wine and oil in the house of the just, but the foolish spendeth it up".
So God gives blessing and people misuse and mismanage the finances and they spend it up. My translation, the Franklin translation says, "They eateth it up. They driveth it up. They weareth it up". All the men said amen. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the Bible said that when you see the father's attitude in the story, that when the boy came home from the pigpen that the father ran out to meet him, and listen to the wording. Listen to the father. The Bible said the father took, quote, and this is in Luke 15, the best robe, and then he took, quote, killed the fatted calf, not some half-diseased, one leg missing because a wolf got ahold of him, ear clipped off, but a fatted calf, best robe.
Everybody say "best robe, fatted calf", and a jeweled ring, one translation said, bling-bling, put it on his servant who had messed up, beautiful clothes. He was filthy and he covered him in a best robe and put shoes on his feet and put the ring on his hand and said, "Let's kill the fatted calf". See, hear the abundance of the father's thinking. And the older brother, the religious boy who's in church sitting out with an attitude, didn't think that God's people deserved the best robe and God's people ought not to have the fatted calf and you ought not to really celebrate and enjoy that music.
The Bible said when he heard the music and the laughter and the fun and eating the fatted calf and people dancing and having a good time. The father came outside and said, "What's wrong with you, son"? He said, "I've been around here all this time and you've never killed a skinny goat and you just killed a fatted calf for that guy right there that doesn't deserve it". Notice the two different mentalities. I've taught this before, but again I say unto thee. You either have a fatted calf, the father has a fatted calf mentality, best robe, fatted calf, jeweled ring, but religion has a skinny goat mentality, just get by, scrape by, not supposed to have nothing, not supposed to be nothing, not supposed to do nothing.
And I'm telling you that it limits you when you have skinny goat mentality. Got to hear the God who has a best robe, fatted calf, jeweled ring. That's how God thinks. That's how He thinks. Do you realize how big the Garden of Eden was? It was enough food and trees and fruit in that garden to feed thousands and thousands and thousands of people. If you just read the measurements out of the Garden of Eden, thousands upon tens of thousands of people, fruit everywhere, and God puts two people in there, because God is a God of abundance. God is a God of abundance, but you'll never experience it until you're fully persuaded that God wants to prosper you.
You say, "You don't understand. I'm a single mother. You don't understand the stuff that's against me. You don't understand the playing field. My husband left me and we're going through like you wouldn't believe," and you're the very one I'm preaching encouragement to today. God has not forgotten about you. God has not abandoned you. God has not left you. Your husband might have, and the kids, but God will not leave you and those kids, and He's going to raise you up if you can believe. He's going to make a way for those kids to go to college. He's going to make a way. And that's why I feel so passionate about this stuff. It works for people who take hold of the promises. Hallelujah.
So I want you to look at how God does it in Matthew 25, real quick. Matthew, chapter 25, very, very, very, very important parable about money and giving and obeying God with what you have. Matthew 25:14-15, watch this, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country who called his servant". Say, "I'm His servant". "And delivered His goods". Everybody say "His goods". "To them". And one of them, He gave five talents to one, two talents to another. Listen to this. This is so important. Each according to his own ability. He gave one five, he gave one two, he gave one, one because he knew what they could handle. Each person according to his individual ability what he could be trusted with.
Here's the key to it: God then gave to them and they increased it. The one with five invested it, and when the master came back and said, "Give an account of what you've been given," he gave him double back. He gave him ten even though he only left him originally with five. The other guy had two. He gave him four back. The guy who had one said, "I didn't do nothing with what you gave me".
Now, watch the reaction of God. God wants to trust us with more if we pass the test. That's what this is teaching. Jesus is teaching this stuff. This is not a preacher. This is Jesus Christ teaching this lesson and He's saying He wants to trust you with more if you've passed the test. The amount that you think you're ready for, if you are not using what you have presently wisely and managing it wisely and obeying God in giving wisely, God says it determines whether or not the master will trust you with more.
I don't know what stage you're in, I don't know where you are, but God does. You don't cheat God. You cheat yourself. Listen to me, young people, college students, those of you starting to work in the workforce and got you a little part-time job, you don't cheat God when you don't give that tithe to the Lord. You cheat yourself. I started when I was young obeying God in this area and I watched Him bless me and bless me and bless me. It's not the amount of money, too, it's the management of the money. You ever seen these people win the lottery? And if they're broke when they win the lottery, give them about one year and they'll be broke again. It's not money. It's a management issue. It's a management issue.
Verse 24, "Lord, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown". "And I was scared". He says in the next verse, "I was afraid and I went and hid your talent in the ground so that you have it," and the Lord answered him, verse 26, and said to him, "You wicked and lazy servant". Listen to God, y'all. You wicked and lazy servant; you want something for nothing. You didn't do nothing with what I gave you, and you want, you are wicked. And notice what wicked is tied to, lazy. "You want to reap where you have not sown". He said in verse 27, "Could you not have at least deposited the money with the bankers and drawn some interest? Could you not do nothing with what I gave you? You just want somebody to come by and give you everything. Could you not do anything"?
Now, watch how ticked off the father gets, the owner of everything gets. "Therefore," listen to verse 28. This is sweet, lovely Jesus. "Therefore, take the talent, the money from him and give it to the guy who has ten talents". "That's not fair". For to everyone who has, more will be given and he who will have abundance from him who does not have.
God is saying, "I expect you to be a productive person, and if you don't take what I've given you, you got health, you got a good mind, you got a will to do something, you got a dream in your heart, you get out and you may start with little or nothing, but you start, and you pay the price and you work hard and you give yourself and you study and you read and you get around people who will lift your thinking and you hear the word of God and meditate in it, and God begins to take you from one thing to another thing to another thing, and that's how you get a blessed life". And God says, "I take pleasure in that stuff, but I don't like wicked, lazy people laying at home playing games when the children need food and diapers and clothes and stuff in the house, and you're playing games. What's wrong with you"?
Something in me, when we started having babies, I felt crazy. I got to make some money. This generation don't get it. I preached all over this nation to supplement my income and wrote books and did everything. It was what God gave me and I tried to maximize it. Still do. I don't do it just for the money, but I'm human, too, I have needs, too. And what I'm saying to you is that God gives you stuff and you better not squander it and you better not waste it and you better not waste time.
The clock is ticking on your destiny right now. Listen, I feel this now. There are windows of opportunity, and life will pass you by and you'll be playing catch up, and God's merciful, and if you've messed up, it doesn't matter where you are. I'm preaching to you today. If you're a single mother and all your world has caved in, there's hope for you. God promises that He takes pleasure in seeing you and your family and your children prosper as you do your best. Come on, shout amen, somebody. I want you to throw a sharp elbow and say, "You need this".
Let's go ahead. Listen to what God says in Deuteronomy 8, "For the Lord your God," verse 7, "is bringing you into a good land". A land of brooks and waters and fountains flowing with milk and honey, blessing, all that. He goes on. Verse 9, "A land which you will eat bread without scarcity". Listen to the mentality of God. "Bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing". Verse 10, "Where you have eaten, and when you have eaten and are full, you shall bless the Lord". I don't have a problem with you being blessed. Just when you've eaten and you're full, don't you forget about me. You shall bless the Lord your God.
"Lest when you have eaten," verse 12, "and are full," listen to this, "and have built beautiful houses and living in them". And verse 13, "When your herds and your flocks multiply and your silver and your gold are multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, don't you forget. When your heart's lifted up," verse 14, "and you forget the Lord your God," and then verse 17, "and you say in your heart 'my power and my might, I work so hard, has gained me this wealth,' you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth".
Why? You better establish His covenant. How do you do that? Through the kingdom, through the church, through the ministry. One more. Can I give you one more? Deuteronomy, chapter 28, "It'll come to pass if you'll diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, observe carefully, do my commandments that I command you this day". This is God talking to you, young people. This is God talking to you, young couple. This is God talking to you in a marriage with two or three babies and struggling.
Nothing wrong with struggling. We've all been there. I've been there. Everybody, probably, in here has been there. The point is if you start doing what God said, obey His commandments, He will bless you. Live frugal, manage your money wise, do what I'm saying, and I'm telling you He will prosper and smile at your prosperity. But listen to what it says. He says that "I command you this day that the Lord your God will set you on high. Got high places for you". Verse 2, "All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you because you obeyed the voice of the Lord your God".
All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you because you obeyed the voice of the Lord. Listen to what He says. Listen. He said in verse 3, "Blessed shall you be in the city, blessed shall you be in the country, blessed shall be the fruit of your body and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle". Verse 5, "Blessed shall be your basket. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you. As long as you're in covenant with me, to be defeated before your face. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways".
Wow. Listen to verse 8. This is so powerful, folks. Get excited about this, now. I'm bringing good news this morning. Verse 8, "The Lord will command", listen to the wording, "the blessing". What's the blessing? You become a magnet for success. It's just coming at you. You're drawing it. You're drawing blessings. The blessing is on you and it's on your storehouses. It's on all which you set your hand to.
Whoo! It's this magnet thing. It's like a magnet in your life that's just drawing the blessings and opportunities and open doors and connections and resources. It's a blessing that's on you, and when you walk, it's like a magnet. You just have to figure out what you've got time for. Anybody believe this stuff? So let me close. Come here, David. I know you're nervous. But this young man, and everything I'm going to share with you, he's fine with us sharing. But, David, you were in prison for how long?
David: Twelve years and 21 days.
Jentezen: Twelve years and 21 days. You've been out how long?
David: About six weeks now.
Jentezen: And you started watching Free Chapel in the prison.
David: Yes, sir.
Jentezen: And you went on the 21-day fast in the prison. Tell me about that.
David: I prayed and I prayed. I wanted a spirit-led fast, and God led me to fast and, you know, I saw your sermons and I said, "Man, he's giving me the truth," and I seeked it. I was at a place where I had nothing else but Jesus, and, man, Jesus gave me everything. I was obedient. I did what the spirit led me to do, and let me tell you something, 20 days later, at this point in time, my release date was 2020. So 20 days later I get a letter from the parole board that said, "We have rescinded your decision. You will be released in 2016". Now, this date...
Jentezen: Listen, listen. You got to hear this. So you went on the 21-day fast. Listen to this.
David: The date that they reviewed my case was October 31, the day that I had began fasting, and it just goes to show me that as I was being obedient to the spirit in a prison cell, okay, in the middle of nowhere, Jesus was moving people's hearts on a whole other side of town, and it's just, the love, and I just knew that it was like Job said, you know, "I used to hear about you, but now I see you". And there was so many times from the time I was a child and my mother and grandmother planted these seeds in me that I didn't see it, but all my life He had favor over me, and He opened my eyes and now I'm His sheep and I hear His voice and I was born again in just the spirit. This morning, when I was eating my waffles before I drove up here from Marietta, I just dropped to my knees in the kitchen and I said, "God, fill my spirit today. I need it". This man said, "Hey, you'll come up on stage"? I said, "Oooh".
Jentezen: Let me tell you why I did this, because he's been coming every Sunday since he got out of prison. Every Sunday he's here, comes to all the services, just can't get enough. And last Sunday he came to me and he was moved. He was in tears and he hugged me and he said, "Pastor", he said, "I need a job". Said, "Pray for me to get a job. Pray for me, Pastor, I need a job. God knows no job is too small for me. I'll do anything. I just want a job. I need it. I need it for my self-esteem. I need it because to be the man that"... Here's his employment card, somebody. Got a job the next morning. Oh, and God is smiling at your prosperity. I guarantee you, you put a smile on God's face. Whoo! To God be the glory.
Stand up on your feet all over this room, no one moving. Stand up here with me, David. But you standing out there today and here's what the Lord showed me when I was reading that story again about the Prodigal Son. The Lord said to me in a beautiful phrase in my spirit. When I say that, I'm very careful, but He said to me, "The pathway," notice the pathway to prosperity. "The pathway back to the Father's house is the pathway back to prosperity". There is no famine in the Father's house, and the pathway back to the Father is the pathway back to prosperity.
The boy even said, "In my father's house, the hired servants are doing well. In my father's house, the food is amazing. In my father's house", there is no famine in the Father's house, and the pathway back to prosperity in your life is the pathway back to the Father. And I don't care how bad you've messed up, He's smiling on this young man. He's bringing him into a good land. You're going to have a good house. You're going to have a good family. You're going to be a good man. You're going to tell your story and it's going to change lives. He's got a good plan, and He does for you.
If you're in this room and you would say, Pastor pray for me. I know I'm far from the Father and I want to get right. I know that I made a mess, but I know He loves me and I feel that love today and I would like a change in my life. Pray for me. If that's you, without hesitation, boldly raise your hand right where you're standing. Don't hold back, don't hold back, don't hold back. That's it. Hands going up all over this room, high and unashamed. Do it. Do it now. Do it because His spirit is speaking deep to you now in your soul saying, "This is your day. This is your day". There's nothing you've done God can't forgive.
Every one of you that have your hand raised, slip out of your seat. Say, "Excuse me, get out of my way. I'm going to the Father's house, and the pathway to the Father's house is the pathway back to prosperity". Come on, come on. Here they come, here they come, here they come. Come on, clap real loud. Clap real loud. Somebody else needs to come. Chains are breaking, chains are breaking, chains are breaking. Yes, He loves you. Yes, He will restore you. Yes, He has a dream for you. Yes, He believes in you. Yes, you're better than that. You're better than whatever the enemy's tried to hold you in. I hear the chains breaking. I hear the prison doors opening. He has the key that no man can shut that opens the door to your life. In Jesus' name. Anybody else? Come on. Anybody else?
Let's pray this prayer together. Let's pray it sincerely. And when you pray this prayer, Jesus will not reject you, but He will cleanse you, He will forgive you, He will wash you, and He will bless you. He will give you another chance and hold nothing that you've done against you. There may be some ramifications of some things you've done. He had to deal with 12 years of those ramifications, and 21 days. But God says, "He's forgiven and I smile on and I have pleasure when I see that boy with a heart for me being increased and blessed". Pray this prayer, everybody.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the cross. You paid the price for my salvation, and I worship you. I surrender to you. I was lost, but now I'm found. I was blind, but now I see. Because of the blood and the cross and the price you paid, I am forgiven. I am cleansed. I am accepted into the Father's house. Here comes the best robe. Here comes the fatted calf. Here comes the jeweled ring. I am a child of the Most High God. Bless me, O God, put your blessing on me and my house, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.