Jentezen Franklin - Grace, Grace
Well, I have a message today that is an old message that I felt new life come on when I read through it. To show you how old this sermon is, you can see my outline. I've had to tape it together. And I'll tell you the story behind this message. Because there's a few times when I preach sermons, and they get so engrafted to my soul and my spirit that I can never shake ‘em off. I never forget ‘em. I never fail to remember those messages and apply ‘em to my life. And I can't say that about every sermon, but I can say it's been true about this one. And it's from the Book of Zechariah 4:6.
So he answered, and he said unto me, this is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts. And then he asked a question. Who art you, oh great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a smooth plain. And he shall bring forth the cornerstone with shouts of grace, grace unto it. Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying the hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple, and his hands shall finish it also. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small beginnings? Who has despised the day of small things? That's a question. For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.
I love that verse there in verse 7, the latter part of it that says take the cornerstone and lay it with shouts of grace, grace. I wanna talk to you for a few minutes about grace. Not one time, but a double portion. Grace, grace. Of shouting grace, grace at your mountains. There are several kinds of grace that are mentioned in the Bible. Actually, there are four kinds of grace that are talked about. The first is saving grace. Our faith is not one of us working, and deserving, and earning our salvation, but by grace are you saved and not of works. Salvation is not do, do, do. It's done, done, done. Jesus said it is finished. So there's saving grace. Thank God for it today. I'm saved not by my performance, but by what Jesus did on the cross. Saving grace. Secondly, there's another kind of grace that's called justifying grace.
Listen to this verse of scripture. He says being justified freely by grace, we have peace. Being justified freely. I don't earn it. But by grace, we have peace. Being justified - so there's justifying grace. It's like it's just if I'd never sinned. We really don't understand how great God's grace is. How wonderful. Not only does it save us, but it justifies us before God. Satan is the accuser. And when the accuser attacks us, it's God's grace that covers us and says, it's just if I'd never sinned because the grace and the righteousness of Jesus has been put on me. Now listen. This is very important. What I'm preparing you and setting you up for, I promise is relevant to this crisis that we're in, and where we are right now as a nation, and you as an individual, and your business. This is one of the most important principles. Stay tuned. Lean in right now.
Thirdly, there's teaching grace. And boy, this is a part of grace that a lotta people don't know about. But it says the grace of God has appeared unto men, teaching us to deny worldly lust and ungodliness, and to live soberly and righteously in this present world. Isn't that amazing - that grace is connected with holiness? That grace is connected to living soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world? That grace is connected - the Bible said the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodly lust and worldly lust. And yet you hear that all grace is is permission to do wrong. That is not what grace is. The grace of God - the way you know it's working in your life is it teaches you to deny the wrong and to not live an ungodly life. He said the grace of God teaches us to live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world.
When the grace of God is operating in your life, it doesn't mean its permission to do more and more sin and you're covered. It means that the grace of God is pulling you further away from that whole lifestyle and making you more like Jesus. And then lastly, not only is there saving grace, and justifying grace, and teaching grace, but there is something that is shown in scripture that is enabling grace. Enabling grace. It's what Paul was talking about in the Book of Corinthians when he said that a thorn in the flesh was given to him. Some kind of affliction. Some kind of problem. And he said I prayed. I prayed three times, and I begged God to take this problem away from me. Take this issue out of my life. And three times, God came back with the same answer. Here it is. Its enabling grace. My grace is sufficient for you. I'm not taking it away. I'm not taking you out of it. I'm going to allow you to go through this, but my grace will be sufficient for you.
In other words, Paul took his thorn in the flesh to the throne of grace. And God gave him the power and enabled him to deal with the challenge that came into his life, and He gave him a special grace to deal with it. When you have enabling grace, you can do things and deal with things that would break and crush other people. The pressure that would wipe other people out. God enables you, and it's like you just do it because you've been gifted in grace to do it. It's an enabling grace. That's what Hebrews 4:16 was talking about when it said let us come boldly before the throne of grace to obtain help in the time of trouble. Which means when you get in troubled times, there is an enabling grace.
Sometimes God doesn't shield us, and just take us out of problems, and give us a perfect, beautiful life. But sometimes we have to go through great, great crisis and trouble. But with that comes the enabling grace of God. We go before the throne of grace in the time of trouble to obtain help, and He gives us that enabling grace. I love it. Grace is an important word in the New Testament. One hundred and twenty five times, grace is mentioned in the Bible. Sixteen out of 21 New Testament epistles open with the words - within the first seven verses - grace be unto you. Grace be - it must be important to be mentioned that much. Grace be unto you. Grace. Enabling grace. Teaching grace. All of these graces be unto you.
The Bible talks about in Ephesians the riches of His grace. The glory of His grace. And in the text that I read today, Zerubbabel had been sent back by God to rebuild, to restart, to rebirth the city of Jerusalem and the temple of God. And the scripture said that he started trying to rebuild the temple first. And when he started rebuilding it, something happened. The Bible said suddenly, as he was trying to do what God had called him to do, a mountain appeared before him. And I like the way that Zerubbabel deals with this mountain. He asked the question, who are you, oh great mountain? Identify yourself. Who are you, daring to stand between me and what God has called me to do and what God has graced me to do?
I want you to identify yourself. And I know that right now, by the Spirit of God, I'm preaching to some people who are facing frustrating mountains in your life. Financial mountains, and business mountains, and unemployed mountains. And Zerubbabel said, who are you, oh great mountain? You shall become - listen to these words - a smooth plain. I wanna preach today that God's about to smooth things out. I know you're facing a frustrating mountain. I know it feels overwhelming. But we serve the God who gives enabling grace. You don't just have teaching grace. You don't just have saving grace that got you outta sin and washed you.
You don't just have that precious justifying grace that makes you right before God. But this grace that I'm preaching today comes on you and enables you to speak and deal with the challenges, and the mountains, and the giants that come against us. And you're facing one today. But the Lord's word to you is I'm about to smooth things out. I'm about to make it smooth, and I'm gonna remove that mountain, and you're gonna know that I did it. Because you don't just have those other graces. You have enabling grace. And it's not by might, and it's not by power, but it's by my spirit. I will revive your business. I will revive your life. I will get you employment. I will provide for you. And I speak to that mountain in your life of sickness, and that mountain of fear, and that mountain of uncertainty, and I command it to be smooth. In Jesus' name.
God's gonna level mountains in the crisis and season that we are in. I really feel what I'm preaching right now down in my soul. And watch this. The Bible said that he began the project. And when he did, there came problems from without. For the scripture said that the people of the land - squatters had taken up residence, and they didn't wanna give it up. And they hired counselors or attorneys, and they basically sued them and said you can't do that. You don't have the proper paperwork. Sounds like the government trying to stop the church from doing what they were supposed to do. And they had counselors, and they said you don't have the proper permits, and you don't have all of this. And somebody is listening to me today, and you've got problems on the outside that are fighting you. And everything was put on hold. They said you don't have the proper paperwork, and they aggravated the building program, and he had to stop.
Zerubbabel starting building in 525 B.C. But then for the next 10 years, nothing happens. They get in legal arguments, and permits are not granted, and he cannot do what he was called to do. The king that gave the original license died, and now they had a new king, and he had to go back to Babylon. And it's all this paperwork. All of this stuff going on. And it's frustrating. Nothing is happening. It's not happening. Now watch this. The scripture said that God gave a commandment. Right in the middle of all of this. And I want you to put yourself in Zerubbabel's position. He's sitting there. He's discouraged. He's defeated. He's frustrated. It's one setback after another, after another, after another. Problems on the outside. Problems on the inside. And then comes the word of the prophet who walks into his life and says these big words: thus says the Lord. Begin again. Begin again.
And boy, when I read that in my old raggedy notes that I had to tape together - God gave me this message. Lord, I guess it was 15 or 20 years ago. And He said, thus says the Lord. It's time for America, and for you, and for your business, and your finances, and your shop, or whatever it is that you do - it's time to begin again. And when God gives you a word, He always gives you the enabling grace to do a thing. Hallelujah. I know when He called me to preach - He gave me the word, you're called to preach, but He didn't leave it up to me to make it happen. He gave me an enabling grace to grab a microphone and do what I'm doing right now. I didn't have it all at first, but He - really, I did have the grace. I just had to feed it. And I'm telling you that you have an enabling grace that God has put on your life to begin again. Thus says the Lord to you. Begin again. Begin to dream again. Begin to hope again. Begin to fight. Begin to go to work. Begin to try. Begin to get up again. Begin again says the word of the Lord.
And then He gave him the strangest commandment. He said I want you to take the cornerstone. Now you gotta understand, in Jewish culture and in ancient Bible days, this was to be the last stone. This was to be like a dedication of a building when you cut the ribbon. And you were to take that last stone - the headstone - and you put it in after the building project was complete. But God says no, I don't want you to do it that way. I want you to take that stone, and I want you - because when I start something - I want you to see the beauty in this. If I ever start something, it doesn't have to look like it's finished. If I start it, I'm gonna finish it. If I ever begin a thing, don't you worry about me completing it. He who begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. The only question is, can he find anybody who will hang in there long enough until God does it? Can he find anybody who will be willing to not quit and not give up?
And He said, here. Take that stone. That stone that is supposed to go on last after everything is rebuilt. He said you take it, and I want you to shout at that stone. And He said, I want you to shout two words: grace, grace. You open your mouth. Your words are very important in this season. Your words have the power, according to Proverbs 18, of life and death. Don't talk fear. Don't talk depression. Don't talk defeat. Don't talk losing the house. Don't talk it. Don't talk financial crisis. Your words have power. Speak grace, grace. Hold up your checkbook and say grace, grace. Enabling grace to make money. Grace, grace. Hold up your business. Lay your hands on your business and - grace, grace. When you pull up in the parking lot - grace, grace to your job. When you fill out a application to go in and get a job - grace, grace. Because there is a power behind that.
When we built our first sanctuary here in Gainesville, the piece of property that we had was 18 acres, and it was a mountain. A high mountain. Very high. We had to grade just - I don't know how many feet. I think it was like 40 feet we had to grade off of that thing just to get it level. And I would ride by it, and I would say grace, grace. Grace, grace. And I did it so much that my little babies back then - they're all adults now, but my little children - Courteney, and Caressa, and Caroline - would be in their car seats, and they would hear me do it. I would never ride down McEver Road without putting my hand out toward the mountain and say grace, grace. Grace, grace. Grace, grace. We're building a church. The devil's a liar. We're gonna have plenty of money. God's gonna do it.
And, you know, it wasn't long before my little kids - they were still little toddlers. Little bitty things. But they'd pull their bottles out - they'd be in their little car seat, pop that bottle outta their mouth, and a little bitty hand go up on the windshield. Grace, grace. Grace, grace. And when one would start it - you know how they do - then all of ‘em. And my whole back seat - grace, grace. Grace, grace. Hallelujah. You say well, that's silly. Well, it worked. And we built the church and paid it off. And then when we got this 150 acres, I started doing the same thing. I would never ride by this property without saying grace, grace. Grace, grace. I don't what kinda challenge you're facing, but it's not up to you to win the battle. It's not by might. It's not by power. It's by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
And when he set that stone and shouted - and I could almost hear him in my mind. I don't get this. I don't understand. This is strange. I'm gonna do it. Lord, the people are watching me. But he takes that stone, and he says grace. And God says, I didn't say whisper. I said shout. And he says grace. I didn't say shout one time. I said say grace double. Grace, grace. So now here he is. People are watching him, and he's talking to a rock. Grace. Ooh, did you hear what I said? You're talking to a rock. In the middle of the storm, you're talking to a rock that'll hold up your house and your family. His name is Jesus. And he said grace, grace. And when he did, the Bible said the seven spirits of God got released on the building project. Oh, hallelujah.
And I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but it's not by might. It's not by power. It's by my spirit, says the Lord. You can't get that kid off drugs. You can't get that daughter straightened out. You can't get that situation, you can't make that job happen. You can't get the business back where it was. But grace, grace can do it. Enabling grace is coming on God's church. Enabling grace is coming on your family, and on your business, and on your resources. And I'm standing up here preaching to 3.000-plus empty seats. And you know what I'm gonna preach to ‘em? Grace, grace. And God's gonna fill every one of ‘em again. It's time to begin again. Hallelujah.
So right now, get a mountain in your mind and shout grace at it right in your room. Come on. Everybody lift your voice. Grace, grace. Say those words. Grace, grace. Say ‘em again. Grace, grace. Because what God starts, He finishes, and He's got enabling grace for you right now. You say well, Pastor, you don't understand. I'm lost. I'm addicted. I've got alcoholism, and it's gotten worse during this pandemic. I'm prescription drugs. And I'm so filled with anxiety, and panic, and worry, and I'm not putting you down. I understand. The older I get, the more I understand that people are sometimes dominated by fear if they allow the mountain to talk to them more than they talk to the mountain. But this is a message today of grace, grace to your addiction. Grace, grace to your family. Grace, grace to every mountain. It's gonna be a smoothing out that takes place.