Jentezen Franklin - Show Yourself Alive
Thank you for joining us today on Kingdom Connection. Recently I preached a message that I believe sums up this year that we've all gone through. We have been through something that we've never faced before. I believe this message is gonna tell you how to respond and set yourself up for what God wants to do in 2021 in your family, in your life, and in your future. Let's go right into this service this is a word from the Lord.
If you have your Bibles, look with me in the Book of Genesis 15. “And then he said unto Abram or Abraham, Know of a certainly that your descendants will be strangers in the land that is not theirs, and they will serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; and after this or afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” They're gonna go through something. Something's going to happen and after this they'll come out with great possessions.
And then I want you to go over to the New Testament. Just a couple of verses in Acts 1. I'll straight down to Verse 3, “to whom He also presented Himself alive after,” there it is again. After this. “He presented himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” I wanna talk to you about this text in the Book of Acts and this story in the Old Testament because it speaks to our lives today. I wanna preach about “It's Time to Show Yourself Alive”. “It's Time to Show Yourself Alive”. Jesus after He was crucified showed Himself to be alive again.
In Genesis 15, we see the pattern from the Word of God. Patterns in the Word of God help us understand the ways of God. If you want to understand the way God's moving today, go back and look at the patterns in the Scripture. God never changes, and the Bible said the things that were written before time were written for our learning. The Word of God shows us the pattern of the way of God. In other words, if you wanna know what God's gonna do now, go back and look at what He did in the past. Well, here's what He did. He told Abram in Genesis 15 or Abraham. He said I wanna give you a heads up. He said your seed before Joseph his seed ever went down to Egypt He said your seed is gonna end up in bondage serving another people, and He said they'll stay there exactly 400 years, and at the end of 400 years, they're coming out, and they're coming out with great possessions.
They're not coming out like they went in. They're coming out, and I'm gonna load them down with all that I have for them because I've got a plan, and it's on a time schedule. In other words, God said the time is already set that before you get into it and before your seed goes into it, I've already set a time when they're coming out. I want you to understand, God said, that I put a limit on trouble. I have already determined how far trouble will go in your life, and it will not go a day or a moment longer than what I said and if there was a beginning, there's always an end.
The Bible said in the Book of Job, and he ought to know. He went through it. He sets an end to the darkness. He said it has a beginning point and it has an ending point. God sets the limitations, not the world. God sets the limitations, not COVID, not the President, not the United States or the United Nations or the world health organization. God sets the limits, and God says there is a time when we as a Nation and we as a world are gonna come out of these dark days and come out of this mess, and I've already set the day when it's coming, and all you gotta do is look at the patterns and know that there's coming a day and your job is when you start seeing it happen, start showing yourself alive.
Jesus said destroy this temple, and they thought that He was talking about Herod's temple, but He was talking about his body because He knew He was about to go to the cross, and He said destroy this temple and in three days, there it is again, there's a beginning. It's gonna be a rough little period here. I'm about to go through the crucifixion, nail my hands to the cross, beat my back with the whip, put the crown of thorns on my head. It's gonna look bad. It's gonna look like I'm battered and I'm beaten and I'm defeated. They're gonna put grave clothes on me, and they're gonna seal my tomb, but three days destroy this temple and in three days I will rise again. That's the pattern. That's the pattern.
Poor old Job. He thought it was the end. He didn't have the advantage of reading the Scripture, but God said, devil, I found me somebody down there that would trust me not just in the high times, and Satan said - read it. This is all in the Bible. A conversation between Satan and God. And Satan said, you know, he's only serving you because you blessed him. He's only serving you because you've got him protected and his family is so blessed, those beautiful daughters and all the good things that are happening in his life, but you just let me touch him. You let me touch his health. You let me touch his wealth. You let me touch his little world. You let me mess his family up. You let me mess with his marriage. You let me rip him to pieces. You let me hit him not one time, but I wanna hit him again and again.
And it kind of sounds like 2020. Kind of sounds like this year. I'm just gonna hit you again and hit you again and hit you. Let me have my way with him, and God said you can do whatever you want to him. I love this. But here's the limit again. God says you can do whatever you wanna do to him, but don't you destroy him. I do not give you permission to destroy him because when I get through with him after you've had your moment and your day, I'm gonna raise him up. And what did God do? He blessed Job double what he had before. Your job is to stay alive and show yourself alive and not give up and not quit. Everybody give the Lord a praise break right where you are right now.
God sets limits on our trouble. God sets expiration dates on our grief and our sorrow and our pain and what we'd call bad luck and bad spells and bad seasons. God says I'm even working in that, and I'm thinking ahead. I'm not through blessing you. I'm not through raising you. I'm not through. I'm not through. God sets time limits. He set an expiration date when it's all gonna be over. And our job is to make it to the expiration date. There's an end to all of this. Do you believe what I'm preaching? There's an end. These kind of gloomy days and kind of I'm so sick of wearing masks, I'm so sick of trying to stop the curve and kill the virus and all of that, but these days are coming to an end.
We're about to see a breakthrough, and we don't need to lose heart now. We need to show ourselves alive. We need to get back in church and show ourselves alive. We need to get back in His Word and show ourselves alive. Jesus was led to the wilderness for 40 days. It's got a timeframe. And for 40 days, three different occasions Satan himself came to Jesus and hit Him and hit Him and hit Him and hit Him. When you understand that, and you understand that it's not what you're going through. It's what you're gonna come out of it with that you need to focus on. Jesus went through the attacks. The Calvary was a different experience. Every other experience He went through, it was just attacked, and it really didn't affect Him, but Calvary scarred Him. Calvary marred Him.
Calvary would make a memory that would never be the same again, and I believe that it's impossible to go through 2020 and not be scarred emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally in homes, as a church. It's scarred us as a ministry, as a family. It's scarred us. Everybody under the sound of my voice. You have been whether you recognize it or not, this year has taken a toll, and it's not like the other trials. The other trials you might've went through, and there's times when we go through things, and you know, Jesus said when He was hanging on the cross. He said, "Lord into Thy hands"... Listen to this very carefully. When you go through crucifixion be careful who touches your spirit. Into your hands. You're the only safe place I can put my spirit when nothing's going right in my life. I can't put my spirit in anybody's hands except the Lord's.
But I love the fact that after He was crucified, the Scripture said that He showed Himself alive. He didn't show up. He said the number-one thing I've gotta do now that I've been through it, now that I've been scarred is I've gotta show myself alive. I wanna show people that I made it. I wanna show people that I'm still standing. I wanna show why? Because it's a pattern. Because they're gonna go through years like we've been through. They're gonna go through things that they never dreamed they would go through, and some things touch us and some trials we go through, they really don't.
It's kind of like Daniel in the lion's den. You know, he was in the lion's den, but the lions never scratched him. They never clawed him. They never bit him. He went through it, but it really didn't bother him. But this trial of Calvary was different. This one touched Jesus. This one marked Him, and I think that's kind of like what we've been through this year. I think that every person that I'm talking with has been through something, not one thing, but multiple hits, and I heard the Lord say it's time to show yourselves alive. It's not time for a pity party. It's not time for depression and discouragement and despair. It's time to talk life. It's time to say I am going to come alive again.
You say, well, I don't feel worthy to praise Him to be honest because during COVID I've fallen away, Pastor. During COVID I've backslid. I've lost ground. I'm not worthy. I don't feel clean. I don't feel pure. It's time to recognize that there is an afterwards. There's an after this. After the test. After the struggle. After the trial. And you wouldn't be listening to me if you were totally gone. You're still God's child. Why are your watching? Why are you listening? Why are you in church? I don't care how bad you fell. I don't care what you went back to. It's time if there's anything in you that's gravitating toward the cross. You need to show yourself alive with a mighty praise with I'm still alive. I'm still here. It didn't take me out. I've been down, but I'm not staying down. I'm getting up.
Everybody praise Him at very campus. Online give Him praise. Come on, church. Somebody in the balcony. I refuse to preach another minute until we show ourselves alive. I didn't ask if you could shout in good times. Can you shout in the middle of a mess and still give God the glory and the praise? Hallelujah! Hallelujah! You know when you start out in something, you start out from a perception and from a position of strength. Okay, we're going into this. You know how you get in a fight, and you're kind of we've gotta get into this now. Let's go. This is it. And you feel good.
It's kind of like what happened to Job. You know, first messenger came. Second messenger came with bad news. Third messenger and felt like his world was falling apart, but he still held it together, and he said the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. He said I'm gonna start this trial off right. I'm gonna kick it off with a praise, and that's a good way... let me tell you how to start a trial. If you sense you're going through one, kick it off with going back to worship. I'm going back to, he said the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
But then something happened. It's like you keep reading and you keep reading, and it's like, you know, he starts out, and he's strong, and he's powerful, and then you find him over there in Job 2, and he's sitting on top of pottery that's been broken and ash heap, and the Bible said it was pottery that was broken, and he takes a piece of that pottery that's been broken, and he starts scraping the sores on his body. It's the only thing that will give him relief. He's lost everything, and he's got a piece of pottery. That's pitiful. Torn his clothes off. Ripped his clothes. Shaved his head sitting on top of ashes with a broken piece of pottery which is a sermon within itself because sometimes when you're going through a trial, the only thing that can bring you comfort is something that's already been broken.
The only one who can really help you is someone who's been through something that broke them and it's something about the fact they've been through the brokenness too that brings comfort to you. So, God will use your broken places. But then you keep reading the story, and it's like he's moving, and he moves from this worship to kick the thing off, the trial off, and you move into Chapter 10, and he starts saying I'm weary of life, bitterness of soul. He says my laughter is gone, and he said I look for God, and I go forward, and He's not there, and I can't find Him.
In Verse 10, something happens. He describes how he wishes that he was never born and all this. He's losing hope. It's just wearing him down. And that's what the devil's doing. He's just trying to wear us out, but he's a liar, and I'm here today to say we're gonna show ourselves alive. We're still praising. We're still praying. We're still trusting. We're still believing. My faith has not got any less. It's actually got more focused on what matters, and that's Jesus. And by the time he gets to the end of it, he knows the way that I take in Verse 9 and 10, “and after this when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” He's hit me. He's tried this. He's tried that. It didn't work. But there's always a reason to show yourself alive and when he prayed for his friends, God turned his captivity, and God blessed him with double.
On October 1974 in Zaire, Africa which is today's Congo, Africa. George Foreman went against a young up and coming boxer by the name of Muhammad Ali. 60.000 filled the stadium in the massive heat of that African sun. One billion people watched by television as George Foreman, the high-favored, huge, muscle, cut, ripped fighter who was the heavy favored to win would go in the ring with Muhammad Ali. He was known as the Louisville Lip because he was a trash talker, and he went into fight. He was called the Louisville Lip because the fight started, he would get in press conferences, and he would say things like this, “You think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned? Wait ‘til I whip George Foreman's behind.” Then he came up with a real famous line, “Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. George, you can hit what you can't see.” Man, he was talking this and talking this.
So, the big fight starts, and as predicted, it looks like George Foreman dominates the first round. The second round. He must have heard. Everybody's thinking this, Muhammad Ali because he's going back on the ropes, and he's just leaning back, and he's using the gloves to cover his face and his forearms are trying to cover the rest of his body, and George Foreman, this massive man with arms that looked like big logs. He's just pounding away. Pounding away. Pounding away. And every once in a while, Muhammad Ali would grab him and pull him up, and he would say, “George, they told me you could hit. George!” And it would enrage George Foreman, and he would go even more in that humidity and that heat, and he was swinging with everything, and it looked like he was staggering, but Muhammad Ali would later let everybody in on his strategy.
He said, “I was planning it, and I was faking it, and I was leaning on the ropes,” and he said, “It's was what I called rope a dope.” He said, “I was leaning on the ropes, and George was the dope,” and he said, “I knew that if I could get him to hit me, hit me, hit me, hit me, that as big is he is, I'm gonna wear him out and wear him down and then my moment will come.” Well, those of you young people who are wondering what happened, you're too young to know anything anyhow. But all of us old people, we know exactly what happened. It was going bad. They actually were talking as they were calling the fight.
Howard Cosell who you don't know who that is. He's a guy who had a wig, and he was tall, and he was a critic of Muhammad Ali sometimes. And he started talking. He said, “He looks like he's going to kill Muhammad Ali. He could actually. I'm very concerned. He could actually die.” And Muhammad is just doing this and leaning on the ropes, leaning on the ropes, and every round for five rounds, and this is what happened according to George Foreman. He said, “I thought he was just another knock-out victim for me until the seventh round. I hit him in the jaw so hard I thought it would kill him,” and he said, “within a few minutes he kind of bounced off those ropes and grabbed me and he said these words in my ear in the seventh round. He said is that all you got, George?” And he said, “I can't explain it, but he said,” and I'm giving you his words. He said, “I realized this ain't what I thought it was.” He said, “In that moment, something just left me, and I realized I'm not dealing with some little weakling. He might be stronger than what I thought.”
And when I think about the eight months of restrictions, when I think about the pandemic and social distancing and flattening the curve and staying away and then on top of that we had what started out as legitimate, peaceful protests turn into riots and violence and burning and looting and then on top of that three hurricanes in the same year and tornadoes and on top of that a crazy election and people all angry at one another and hating on one another and after all of that we thought by now we could at least eat some turkey and we got some governors who are saying you can't even worship in many states. They won't even let them. And at some point, you almost feel like saying is that all you got, devil? Is that the best you can do? It's time for me to show By the way, Muhammad Ali knocked him out it the eighth round, and I got a feeling our eighth round is coming. I got a feeling that we need to show ourselves alive because some great things are coming for God's people. Give Him a shout and show yourself alive this morning.