Jentezen Franklin - A Precious Offering
Psalms 126:5, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth weeping, bearing precious seed". If you have a pen, I want you to underline "precious seed". "Shall doubtless..." I want you to underline "doubtless", "...come again with rejoicing, bringing his harvest with him". He mentions a phrase here, two words, precious seed. I can't find anywhere else where the Bible calls it precious seed, so apparently there's a difference between seed and precious seed, just as there is a difference between good, better, best, and excellent, just as there is a difference, according to Hebrews 12, it talks about the good, the acceptable, and the perfect will of God. Good is good, but there's the acceptable, that's even better, and the perfect will of God is even greater. And you can settle for either one, but there is the perfect will of God, or you can just settle for the good will of God.
And so, there is this seed, and there is the good, and there is the best, and there is the better, and there is the excellent, but there's one word that is reserved for most valuable, and that is the word precious. There's a difference between seed and precious seed. There is a tremendous power in the release of the precious seed. The reason that it's called precious seed is because it goes forth, "...he that goes forth," or sends it forth. It's not precious as long as it's held in your hand. It's not precious as long as you think about what you want to do for God, or think about what you might do, or daydream about making a difference. But, it becomes precious seed when it's no longer in your hand, but it goes forth. You send it forth, you release it, you relinquish it. It goes beyond you holding onto it. God wants the precious so you can enter into the dimension of the doubtless.
Now, this is so important. "He that goeth forth sowing precious seed..." He doesn't hold it, he sends it forth, and it becomes more than seed, it becomes precious seed. Then, notice this part, "shall doubtless return again". When you release the precious, you enter in to the dimension of the doubtless. There's something about releasing the precious that removes the doubt of whether or not the miracle is going to happen. When you get down to the precious with God, you reach the doubtless stage. They will, without doubt, be productive, God said. There's no doubt what you're doing will be productive when you release to Me the precious. But it requires the precious, and until you release the precious, you cannot enter into the dimension of the doubtless. It will require you. God wants the precious so you can enter into the doubtless.
Does anybody want to have doubtless faith, to get into the perfect realm of faith? Doubtless harvest comes when you release the precious. When God called me here, it required of me to sow a precious seed, and that was the denomination that I used to be in. All of my life, I have sown, and ministered, and been born again, and raised up, and preached in that denomination, and God told me to come to Free Chapel, and I had to release the precious. But when I released the precious, it was precious to my father, it was his denomination, to my mother. It was their denomination for generations, and God said release it. And when we knew we had heard from God, we released the precious, and God introduced us to the supernatural. But it will not come, because what happens is when you release the precious, you enter into the dimension of the doubtless.
Something happens. And, we didn't have a lot when we came here, but we had supernatural faith! We entered into the dimension of the doubtless, that says, without a doubt, God is going to do something. We put it all on the line! We've obeyed it! We did it weeping! The Bible said when you release the precious seed, you weep about it! It's something that you really feel! It's something that moves you, and because it moves you, it moves God. It's not just a seed, it's a precious seed. And you enter into the dimension of the doubtless, and you don't know why, but you know you're going to win. You know you're going to succeed. You know God is with you. You can say to the mountain, be thou removed, and not doubt it in your heart, and it'll be cast into the sea and do exactly what you tell it to do, because you've entered in to something called the dimension of faith. There's a law of the precious that's found in the Word of God.
Notice the things God calls precious. Isaiah spoke of the precious cornerstone. The most precious jewel is not a diamond, but the cornerstone. God didn't give us the good, the better, or the excellent, He gave us the precious. Jesus is the cornerstone. God gave you His precious. He endured our death so that we might live His life. He learned about us the hard way so that we can learn about Him the easy way. 1 Peter 1:19 says that Jesus came and He gave the precious blood of the lamb. Hallelujah! The precious blood. God has a right to ask for your precious, because He gave His Son's precious blood.
A missionary tells the story of being in India, and I've been to places similar to this and have actually seen people do this. And in many of the places, they don't have money. They're poor, poor, poor people, but they want to give something to the Lord, so they'll bring of their crops. They'll bring a banana. They'll bring an apple. They'll bring a handful of grain, or they'll bring sometimes an egg from the hen house, because that's and they'll put it in the offering bag. They'll put it in as their act of worship.
And this missionary said he noticed that there was one poor woman and she had nothing to give, and everybody was putting in a fistful of rice, or a handful of grain, or an egg, or whatever. And she asked for her bag and she got her own bag, and she sat it down in her chair and she sat in it, as if to say, God, I give myself. It's all I have that I can give You, but I give myself. And I submit to you that she gave more than them all, because all God's ever wanted is you, and if He gets you, He gets everything that you have! Hallelujah! I want to give Him everything today! I want to give Him the precious. That's precious in the eyes of God! It's not the amount, it's the fact that she put everything in, because He gave everything for us, all I have to give.
You know the story in Exodus, one lamb for one house, and put the blood of the lamb on the doorpost. The ground begins to rumble as 1.000 sheep come to the high priest, and he turns, and it's Solomon. Now, the law only required one lamb, but he brought a thousand, and the Bible said they were choice lambs. They were the precious lambs. I'm sure someone watching, a business person, looked on and said, he's destroying his flocks. He's giving the choice breeders. He's giving the ones that will reproduce a perfect flock. He's giving the best, the choice, the precious sheep in his fold. He's giving to God and to His house a thousand, not one, a thousand. He will be devastated financially for being so generous to God's house.
And that night, in 1 Kings 3, the Bible said God came to Solomon in a dream, and every time God came to someone in a dream in the Old Testament, He asked them for something and asked them to do something, but this time, it was different. He came to Solomon, and God said to Solomon, what do you want Me to do for you? I saw you release the precious, and when you release the precious, I introduce you to the supernatural. What do you want Me to do for you? Not what can you do for Me, I want to do something for you. Well, he probably went broke after giving a thousand choice sheep to build the house. No, because three years later, actually two year later, in 1 Kings 8, the Bible said he brought 120.000 sheep and 22.000 oxen. God blessed him even greater because he released the precious, and when you release the precious, God will introduce the supernatural. Give me the precious seed, and I'll give you the precious harvest! The only thing that releases the precious harvest on your family, on your house, on your children, is the precious seed! 1 Peter 1:1 refers to precious faith. There is the faith that is precious. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Let me tell you what's precious to God, is when you believe in it, even though you don't see it. When you believe that the dream is working, even though you don't see the evidence. Let me tell you what's precious, is when you start praising God, and honoring God, and confessing God's Word. Even when you see nothing in the natural that looks like it's happened, God looks down and says, but they believe! They believe in the unseen, therefore, that's precious faith! It's not faith as long as you can see it and then, well, now I can see it happening now. I can see it happening now. No! He says, I'll tell you what's precious faith. It's when you don't see it, but you still believe and you carry yourself with the confidence that the Word of God is backing you up!
Come on and give God a shout of praise if you believe it! Lift up your voice and say, I have precious faith! I don't have to see it, I believe it because God said it! There's seed and there's precious seed. Solomon went beyond the ordinary, the good, the acceptable. "He that goeth forth, bearing precious seed". The woman with the alabaster box broke it open, and the Bible said it had precious ointment, the equivalent of one year's wages, and she poured it lavishly upon the body of Christ, the feet of Christ. And Judas said, what a waste! I thought about the fact that the world would tell young people, you're wasting your youth. You're wasting your youth on all of that Jesus stuff. You're wasting your youth on all of that cross stuff. You're wasting your youth. Why don't you live it up? Why don't you party? Why don't you do everything everybody's doing? Why are you so different?
The world calls it waste, but Jesus calls it worship, and He says it's precious ointment. And if you give God the precious, He will introduce you to a supernatural life of victory, and success, and favor. Ooh, I feel that! Somebody give God a shout of praise right now! Do you remember the little boy, the five loaves and the two fish? I can't prove it, but I think when he went to give the basket to the disciple, he probably took one piece of bread out and stuck it in the back of his robe somewhere back there, and he said, here's my lunch. And the apostle looked at him and said, "Is that all, son"? And he was hit with conviction. "No, Lord, here's the fifth loaf. Just in case the miracle didn't work, I was going to hold on to this. But God, here I go. Oh, by the way, take the crumbs, too. Take all of the crusts".
In that moment, that boy entered into the precious! He let go of the precious and God introduced him to the supernatural, because He not only fed the 5.000 through that boy's lunch, but he took home 12 baskets for himself. Paul put it like this. He said that when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that there will be things that we did that will be wood, hay, and stubble, and there will be things that we did that will be gold, silver, and precious stone.
Notice the difference between the two. The precious is not visible. It's below ground. It's the unseen. The wood, the hay, the stubble, is what you can see. It's the ministry you can see. It's the visible part of our lives that everybody sees. But the part that is precious, the silver, the gold, the precious stone, is the unseen part of our life. What I'm telling you is, the thing that's precious to God is not our outward boasts of religiosity, but it's the unseen part of our life when we love, and we forgive, and we're kind, and we could say something about one of our enemies, but we forgive them instead. And nobody ever sees it, and nobody ever sees your fast, nobody ever sees you pray, nobody ever sees your devotion, nobody ever sees your tears. It's the unseen part.
Do you have an unseen part to your Christianity, or do all you have is coming to church on Sunday and sitting and going through public praise and worship? Is there an unseen part to your Christianity? If not, everything you're doing, you'll make it to heaven, but you'll have no reward. It'll be wood, hay, and stubble. Do you ever do things unseen? Do you ever give to people? Do you ever do things that nobody knows about, and you don't ever brag about or ever tell anybody about? It's the unseen that is precious to God. We need that kind of heart that loves people with no motive, that loves people and they can't help us back. We just do it because that's our heart to do it! God says, I see that stuff! I see that. It's precious. It's precious.
Abraham, take your son, your only son. And he could have taken, he had two sons. He didn't have an only son. He had two sons. He had Ishmael, and he could have offered Ishmael, but that was not his precious. Isaac was his precious. I want to know. I want to know, Abraham, will you release the precious? Where are you going, Abraham, with Isaac? Honey, I'll be back. I heard from God. He told me to climb that mountain and build an altar, and lay our son, Isaac, on the altar. I don't understand it, but I know God told me to do it. It's unusual. It's supernatural. I don't understand what I'm doing! I don't know why I want to do this! It doesn't make sense, but I know God's asking me for the precious.
He built the altar and he laid the boy on the altar. Dad, where's the sacrifice? He ties the boy to the altar. He raises a knife. God, if you want my precious, I'll give you my precious! And at that moment, he was introduced to the supernatural when he released the precious. An angel came and said, stay your hand, and a voice spoke and God said, "I am your Jehovah-Jireh. I will provide myself a sacrifice. And I've seen you, and now I know..." listen to those words. "Now I know I can trust you"! Because you released the precious, I'll introduce you to the supernatural.
Sometimes God will bless you to see, if in blessing, you will release the precious. Sometimes the greater test is not always in finding the precious in adversity, but finding the precious and releasing the precious in blessing. Sometimes God will bless you to see if, when He blesses you, you will put it all on the altar, and He'll tell you to put it all in, do something that is so unusual that it touches your precious.
Jacob had 12 sons. One of them was Joseph, and he thought he was dead. But he had gone to Egypt and God had raised him up and put him over all of the food that was in the world. And when Jacob and the rest of his boys were starving, he sent all of his boys but one boy named Benjamin, his youngest son, to go get grain from Egypt. He thought his boy was dead, and Joseph disguised himself and when he saw his brothers, he said, how many brothers are there, and they said, we've got one back home. He said, take this sack of grain and go back and get your younger brother, and I'll bless your father. They go back and this old man... oh, and by the way, I'm going to keep one of the brothers in prison to make sure you come back.
So when they come back, the old man says, "Where's Simeon"? "He's in prison". And he said if you want enough food to live through the famine, you're going to have to release Benjamin, your youngest son. And he cries out these words. He says these powerful words. He says, Joseph is dead, Simeon is not, and now, my son is being taken from me. My youngest son is being taken from me, Benjamin. All of these things are against me! But, Dad, he said if you would obey him and give him your precious, that he would release blessings on you. And he did it. He let him go. And that's why the Bible said, "He that goeth forth sowing seed, weeping". He's weeping, bye. Bye, Benjamin! I love you. I've already grieved over one son. Now I've got one in prison in Egypt, and now there he goes, my precious Benjamin.
But the Bible said, a few chapters later, that he woke up one day and when he saw the wagons of provision coming, his spirit was revived. If you'll give God your precious, He'll turn your sack into a wagon load. I'm telling you, folks, I feel this stuff. You cannot outgive your God. And you may think the sack is really something, but I promise you, God's got wagon loads you've never even thought about. And He says, the only thing that releases the wagon loads that is exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think, is when you release the precious, when you obey Me.
I close with a story. It's a true story, in the book, "Grapes of Wrath", of John Griffith, who lived in Oklahoma in 1930, during the Great Depression, the dust bowl. Everything went dry and there was no farms that could produce, and he lost his farm. He moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and he finally found a job that paid meager earnings. His job was to lift the bridge up so that the mighty ships could go under as they passed through, headed out to sea through the Mississippi River. He took his five-year-old son, as the story is told in the book, with him to work one day. They were eating lunch, a picnic on the grassy hill. He heard from a distance the sound of the 3:00 whistle on the train coming. He had plenty of time. So he said to the five-year-old, "Stay here, son. Stay here, I'll be right back. I've got to go let the bridge down".
He goes up, and by the time he gets up, the train is closer and he's still got plenty of time. He starts to pull the lever, and when he does, he looks down and sees that five-year old son has left the hill and is now in a dangerous spot on that bridge, right where the bridge will have to come down. And he's too far out to go reach him in time, and either his son will die, or 300 passengers will perish on that train. And John Griffith said that he closed his eyes, and he pulled the lever, and his son was killed, and the train went across to safety.
I want to tell you about a God who spared not His own Son, but freely offered Him up. He did not close His eyes and watch Him die. He watched Him from heaven! He wept from heaven! He even soweth precious seed, weeping. He wept as He sowed His seed in the precious blood of Jesus on the cross! He heard Him scream, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"? And the Father wept as He sowed precious seed. And they killed Him, but on the third day He entered in to the supernatural, and He rose, and He brought with Him the harvest. And you and I, 2.000 years later, are the harvest! It's what happens when the seed that is precious is released.