Jentezen Franklin - The Right Diet
If you have your Bibles, open them with me to the book of John. I want to go to the book of John 6. This whole chapter in the Bible is about food, which is interesting, that's what you have on your mind, right now. But it's all about food. It starts with the multiplication of the fish and the loaves, and it ends with Jesus announcing, "I'm the bread of life". And every verse is headed toward or coming out of food statements.
You don't want to read John 6 when you're fasting. But it's amazing what is taking place in John 6, and I want you to see it. I think we'll just read, for the sake of time, let's read verse 26. "Jesus answered and said, Most assuredly, I say unto you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled". You're coming for the food. It's free food. And Jesus said, "You're coming after Me for what I can give you".
Then, He starts making some powerful statements. He says, in verse 51, "I'm the Living Bread". He says in verse 53, "Most assuredly, if you eat of the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood... if you don't, you have no life in you. Whosever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up in the last day. My flesh is food indeed. My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him". Watch this. They said, "This is a hard saying", in verse 60, "this is a hard saying", and then, something amazing happens in John 6:66, so that's 6-6-6. And it says, "From that time, many of His disciples".
When He said, "if you're going to eat, you can't just eat one particular dish that I'm offering you. You've got to eat all that I am. You've got to take Me, completely. You can't have one dish of what I offer you. You've got to eat the whole table that I offer you". And the Bible said they said, "This is a hard saying". And in John 6:66, it says, "From this time, many of his disciples went back and walked with Him no more". Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "Will you also go away"? And Simon Peter answered and said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life".
So I want you to see this story, I want to talk to you today about, "The Right Diet", because all they wanted was the miracle. All they wanted was the multiplication of bread again. The bible said, after He fed 'em, that Jesus went across, sent His disciples, He walks on the water to the other side. And when He gets there, the people who were on the other side, came over here and they said, "Do it again. We like that one meal that You prepared on the other side, multiplied. Do it again. We raced over here 'cause there's free food. Bless us. Bless us. Give us what we want, and we only want that". Jesus starts saying, "There's so much more to the meal that I provide than one thing on your diet".
In Canada, there is a wild cat that is known as the lynx. It is especially adapted to cold weather. And it hunts and it kills its food in cold weather. The lynx has a primary diet of something called the snowshoe rabbit. The snowshoe rabbit is in very much abundance in Canada and the Yukon and all up in that area, especially in the winter years. Believe it or not, they said that there can be up to 50 of these rabbits, per acre. Except when something called the sunspot happens, and it only happens every seven to ten years.
And, when the sunspot happens, they still haven't figured out why, the population of snowshoe rabbits drops from 50 rabbits an acre to two to three rabbits an acre. And because the primary diet of the lynx is about 80% of everything it eats is the rabbit, when the rabbits' population collapses, in those years, then that causes the lynx population to collapse, because if they varied their diet, if they ate something besides just one thing - There's other animals they could eat.
There's birds. There's all kinds of things. But they only want what they like, and they end up staying on the extinct list because when the rabbits collapse and their population goes away, then those cats, the lynx, starve to death. The lynx didn't have a collapse; the snowshoe hare had a collapse, and they were tied to that source of food. And I think about you and I. What would we do, most of us, I mean, we're in Georgia, so there may be some people with farms and farm animals. But most of us, we depend 100% upon the grocery store. If Kroger burns down, we're going to die. Let's just face it.
We don't have any cows in the backyard. We don't have any pigs. I don't have any chickens. I didn't milk the cow this morning to have some milk in my cereal. The Homeowner's Association would not allow me to have cows and chickens. I wouldn't know what to do with 'em, if I did. I depend on and you depend on Krogers and Whole Foods.
Most of you don't have a garden. Most of you don't have chickens and pigs, but most of us just go to the grocery store. We're not hunting stuff to stay alive. We're hunting a grocery cart on four wheels. We listen to elevator music and sashay through the grocery store and get eggs and get bread and meat. And if something happened to our technology and it shut down the grocery stores, most of us would starve to death. Here's my point: when you have a limited diet, it makes you vulnerable.
Jesus said, "You seek Me for the loaves. You just want what you can get from Me. You only want one thing from Me. You want Me to serve you what you want, and you're not interested in the other things that I have on My table. Yes, I offer you salvation. Yes, I offer you forgiveness from your sins. But I also offer you discipleship. I also offer you sanctification. I also offer you a life of consecration and dedication".
And so many people just want what they can get from Jesus. "I only want to eat what I like, what You offer. And then, I want to take that and then I want You to leave me alone and I want You to let me do what I want to do with my life, any way I want to live. I just want You to forgive my sins. You're that guy that died on the cross, I really don't want a relationship with You". He said to them, "You're not coming for Me. you're coming for My miracles. You're coming for only what I can do for you and you're not interested in servitude. You're not interested in My will for your life. You've got to eat it all. Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, unless I fill your life with My presence".
You don't understand. You've got to have that, if you don't eat it all, you'll starve to death. You'll starve to death. Jesus said, "You need to seek the heavenly bread. I'm the bread of life. Except you eat My flesh, you have no part with Me". And the Bible said in John 6:66, John 6 verse 66, that most of them turned away and walked away. "I only want from church what they can give me. When I'm down, I need 'em to pick me up. I need a blessing. I need help. I need comfort. I'm going through something". And you're only eating what you like from the Master's table.
It is not about just what Jesus can do for you, but once He saves you, you need to understand that there's more to it than one subject. You have to be varied in your diet. Jesus said, "You didn't come to Me, but for anything, but for the loaves". We need a full diet. 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God", all of it, "it's profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness", all scripture. You can't pick and choose. "I want salvation. I want salvation", but you don't want discipline. "I want salvation, but don't tell me how I've got to live". "I want salvation, but I want to hold on to my sins. I want salvation".
Some people in this generation only want grace from the table. Everything's grace. "I can do any way I want to do. I'm under grace. If I want to stay in adultery, I'm under grace. If I want to be a drunk, I'm under grace". That is not what the scripture teaches. The scripture teaches, "All scripture", all of it. Shout, "All of it".
Not a limited diet. Not just living off rabbits. But you've got to get a hold of the whole truth, the whole counsel of God. I'll eat it, if it's in the Bible. I'll consume the word, not just salvation, but sanctification. Separation. Consecration. Dedication. Not just blessing and prosperity. But I think with that blessing and prosperity, I see generosity. That's on the table, too. I see tithing. That's on the table, too. Doesn't matter to me. I'm just the cook. I'm just serving you. But I'm telling you, you can't have the blessing of God on your life, if you don't eat all that's on the table. Tithing and giving and helping the poor and ministering to people and loving people and being generous, it's part of it.
Heaven isn't just on the table that Jesus serves, the meal that He offers, But this book, also, warns of hell. This book also warns of judgment. Not only is forgiveness and love and mercy - And some people just want to come to church and they want one diet. I want a pick-me-up sermon. I want a feel-good sermon. I want you to tell me how good God wants to bless me and how good - That's good. That's a good meal. But you can't live off that one diet. And if you don't eat all of this book, which includes trials and tribulations and setbacks. This book says you're going to go through it, everyone who lives godly in Christ, will suffer persecution.
You gon' go through fire. You gon' go through trials. You're gon' go through disappointments. You're gon' have your heart broken. And if you don't eat the whole book, when it comes, you'll be disillusioned. You'll get mad at God. But He said that, "When you learn that you are My life". My car is not my life. My job is not my life. My family is not even my life. Jesus, You are my life. You are my everything. You gotta eat the whole book. Well, I loved my wife. I loved my husband. But now, we're not getting along, so we're just goin' call it quits and try it again with somebody new. I believe in marriage. I want God to bless my marriage. Well then, you need to eat the whole meal.
And the Bible said, "When things get tough, what God has put together let no man put asunder". And you'll spend just as much on a divorce, as you would getting some help. You'd spend just as much emotional energy in getting help as you would a divorce. So maybe you ought to look at Ephesians 6 and say, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church". And maybe, you ought to say, "Wives, submit and respect and honor your husbands". And when you eat the whole meal, you'll have a blessed home, you'll have a blessed family. It will work out for the good, when it's all settled.
I want grace. But that's not all that He's serving. He's serving submission. He's serving obedience. He's serving responsibility along with liberty. Don't pick and choose at God's table. Whatever the Father sets on the table, eat it. There are some demands the Bible makes on us. Six of the ten commandments are "thou shalt not's". "I just want to hear positive stuff. I just want to hear the good stuff. I don't want to hear that 'thou shalt not', stuff. That's Old Testament. That's Old Testament". - No, it's not. "Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not lie. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet". That's not Old Testament. That's right now.
But you can't pick and choose. You can't come to a church like this and say, "Here I am again; bless me". And God'll bless you. But at some point, if you eat all of Him, something in you is going to say, "I'm blessed to be a blessing. I need to serve. I need to reach out to people. I need to help reach the harvest. I need to get involved and do something for the king besides expect Him to give me miracle after miracle". It's quiet.
He said, "God", in so many words, he said, "God, he's eating from one main meal", prosperity. He's the richest man. "You let me take his wealth, and he'll curse You to Your face". And God said, "Let's see if he's a one-bowl guy. Take everything he's got". Satan attacked him and in one day, he lost his entire business. And we read this stuff - If you lost your lifetime of work in one day, would you become bitter at God? Watch him. He loses everything: his flocks, his sheep, everything that he has. His barns burn down. His house collapses. A tornado hits it, his mansion. Everything is gone.
And I can see hell having a square dance and demons gathered around, saying, "Watch this; he's fixing to curse God. He's opening his mouth. Look, look, look". And heaven looks over from the balconies of heaven and demons are looking and they're rejoicing, saying, "He's fixing to curse God cause he was just eating for the blessings. He just expected God to bless him all the time". And here's a man who's lost it all, and he says, "The Lord gives, the Lord takes away". And Satan goes, "Watch this. Here comes the cuss word". "Blessed be the name of the Lord".
I'm not in this for the car that He gives me. I'm not in this for the house and the neighborhood I live in. I'm in this because I love Jesus. I love what He did for me on the cross with His blood and with His body. And I'll honor Him, whether I'm on top, or whether I'm on the bottom. Like Paul, I can abound or be abased, but nothing's going to take my Jesus away from me. And if I've got Him, I'll get it all back. Hallelujah. Somebody praise the Lord, this Sunday. Whoo! Glory. Satan goes back to God. He says, "I know what his little bowl is. If You take his health, skin for skin. You let me afflict his body. Don't give him a miracle. Don't give him a miracle. Make him have to go to chemo. Let's see if he can stand it. Don't give him a miracle. Let him go through suffering".
See, some people, they're good as long as God keeps doing miracles. Let me show you the real test of Christianity. Sometimes, it's when you trust God and you don't have any answer it all. I don't understand it, I don't know what in the world is going on, but Job is afflicted from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, in sickness and disease, and with his diseased lips, he utters, "I know my Redeemer lives". And in the end, I'll stand as pure as gold - I know He's alive. My Redeemer is alive. And if they put me in the grave, "Thou He slay me, yet I will trust Him". That's a balanced diet.
So I can serve Him when the blessings are rolling in, good times are rolling. Let the good times roll. Whoo, hallelujah. Praise the Lord, brother. Look at my family. Look at my blessings. I'm blessed. I want to see what you do when hell's attacking your family and all the troubles come. That's when we find out what you've been eating, because if you think it's all about this, sooner or later, you're going to get served some trials, some setbacks, some hurt, some pain. That's when you learn to get something down in your soul. I hope you are eating a diet that says, "I'm prepared for this". This is when all those sermons are good for more than a few notes in my Bible. This is where I pull out the sword of the Spirit. I stand my ground and I decree, "My God is alive".
Can I give you one more thought? The Lord really spoke to me about this one. He said, "We will always be a praising church". And sometimes, if you were raised a certain way, the only way that you think, the only thing you think God can do in the area of worship, the most God's ever going to get out of you and your little way of worshiping God is He might get a handclap. "I'm never going to raise my hands. I'm never going to shout. I'm never going to lift my hands and praise the Lord in public places". But I warn you, you're in one of those churches. And you need to just quit limiting God to one little bowl of "how Granny always worshipped" and how the denomination you came from - Maybe, every once in a while, He wants you to get loose and clap your hands and sing a praise and shout, "Hallelujah". It might break all heaven loose if you'll throw your hands up. Praise is a Bible thing.
And there's only seven keys that you can play music in. Now, they can be sharp or flat. There's seven notes. There's only seven notes on the piano. And it's just octaves. A-B-C-D-E-F-G and that's it. And then, it can be G sharp or G flat or A flat or B flat. But they will begin with A-B-C-D-E-F-G. And you don't want to be playing in A when the conductor is calling for C. And sometimes we get so limited in how we've always worshipped that we stay in C. And sometimes the Holy Spirit is saying, "I want you to come over here to the key of G".
And I know that you only do your little clap, this and that, but there are seven words in the Old Testament for praise. One of them is the clapping of hands. Another one is the "toda", the raising of the hand. Another one is praise Him in the dance, and there's a Hebrew word for dance. Clamoring, "foolish clamoring", it says. Just get wild; jump and praise God. Then, there's other that says praise Him your knees. Bow before Him. Praise Him standing. Praise Him kneeling. These are all manifestations, the seven keys of worship. And some of you've been stuck in the same key for about 20 years. And God's saying, "I'm all offering you a lot more of My presence, but you don't get in through your method. You have to come through the keys of praise".
So right now, before we finish this service, I want you to take a 15-second power praise break, and I want you to lift up - I'm the conductor and I didn't say, "Stand there, quiet", He's been too good to you to be quiet. He's been too faithful to you. He's blessed you. I know you're going through some stuff, but He's been faithful. Come on. You've got ten more seconds. That was a pretty good five seconds. Praise Him. Get out of your little bowl and get in His key and say, "Lord, I'm Yours. I want all of You, I don't want a portion. I don't just want the blessing. I want You to make me a disciple. I want You to use me to bless others. I don't just want miracles for me. I want to be a miracle for the poor, for the broken, for the hurting, for the lost".