Jentezen Franklin - Acres Of Diamonds
Look with me in Psalms 119:18. "Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law". "Open my eyes..." The implication is it's possible that wondrous things are all around you, but you can't see 'em. And so I wanna tell you a story today, and I want you to lean in and listen for just a moment. It's a story that was first told by Mr. Russell Conwell. He heard this story from an Arab guide when he was touring the Middle East back in the late 1800s. He was on camelback. And around the campfire, his guide told him this story. Mr. Russell Conwell took the story and put it in a pamphlet, and it was printed and it sold seven million copies.
The story is this. He said, "There lived in South Africa...", it's a true story, "...a man by the name of Ali Hafed. He was a poor farmer. He had an ox. He had a plow. He had a lot of land. He lived in a very meager house. But in many ways, he was blessed and he was content... until a stranger came by his house. He worked hard for everything he had, day after day. And a stranger was passing through, a traveler was passing through, and he stopped by and told this old farmer about what was happening in India".
In those days, they were discovering mines, diamond mines in India. And you know how things get exaggerated. And he said, "What you should do, instead of working so hard and working yourself silly and you don't have much to show for it..." even though the man was content - If you're content and you're blessed, you've got enough for you and your family, you are blessed. But the man, when he started hearing about people who were finding diamonds the size of rocks and becoming fabulously rich, became totally discontented with his life. And he sold the whole farm and he said, "I'm going to chase the diamonds. I'm going to find them". And he hugged his wife goodbye, put his money in a sack, said goodbye to his children, put 'em up temporarily. And he said, "When I come back, we'll be fabulously wealthy, and you'll be set up for life". And he goes off as a soldier of fortune, looking for diamonds in India.
And after searching and searching and searching, he ends up writing a note that says, and I quote, "There's no diamonds anywhere". He jumped into a raging river and took his own life. Now, here's the part of the story that's amazing. It's a true story. The man who bought the farm hooked up the same ox, the same plow, the same field, the same old farmhouse he lived in, and he ate the same food. But one day, as he was plowing his fields, he kept noticing these black rocks that were extremely annoying to him and he was throwing 'em, every few feet, to the side of the field; stacking them up. Finally, he hits one so big he can't hardly get around it. And he thinks - As the sun hits it, it has rainbow colors in it. And he thinks to himself, "That's pretty; I don't have anything on the mantel in my little fireplace, my humble place, and I'm going to put that up there as decorations".
And he did that. And a priest came by to welcome this man who was new to the community to that area. And the priest, while he was talking, froze in mid-sentence when he saw this rock on the mantel. He said, "Where did you get that". And he said, "I got it on this property. I actually got that one out of my garden. And they're all over this property. As a matter of fact, I can't plow a field without running into so many I have to stack 'em up". He said, "You don't understand. That is a diamond in the raw. That is a diamond right there".
And sure enough, they took it to specialists and that diamond, that first diamond, was worth $25.000 in the 1800s. It was the birth of the world's largest diamond field, the famous Golconda Diamond mines that the Queen of England herself said, "I want my diamonds to come from that place..." and most of the diamonds that the Queen wears came from these mine fields that the man bought and dug out that somebody else said, "It's not worth anything; it's out there, it's not here". Now, think about what I'm saying. The man who flung himself into that raging river never realized that he had been living on acres of diamonds. He thought it was out there. He thought, "If I could just find it out there, if I could just go out there, that I could really find something of great worth..." never realizing that he was living in acres of diamonds.
Now, that's how he meant that lesson to be, is "check out where you are before you start trying to find it out there somewhere". But I wanna preach now because I remember reading a story about a prodigal son. I don't know what he had in his mind when he left the father's house. I know that he asked for his inheritance. I'm sure that he had some friends who were telling him, "Man, out there, they're having fun; if you'd just leave the father's house, out there, there's a party going on like you've never experienced. Out there, there's freedom. Out there, there's unbelievable fun that you can never have in the father's house and you ought to leave the father's house and get out there".
Whatever it was said to him, it caused him to leave the riches of his father's house. And when he got out there, you know the story, he lost everything that he had and he began to believe the lie that the grass was greener on the other side. And the bottom line is he ended up broke and he ended up in a pig pen eating the slop with the animals, until finally he realized and he understood, "I'm going right back to what I left because everything that I've ever wanted was in my father's house; it wasn't out there, it's in the father's house". I'm preaching to you today that we, right here, are living in acres of diamonds. If you know you're saved, if you know you're going to heaven, if you know that things are right with God, you are living in acres of diamonds.
Take a praise break and I'll keep moving. Don't sell out so cheaply. Don't believe the lies. You may be giving up something that somebody else would give anything to have. You see, in the process of making a diamond, it takes time. A diamond is born because of intense heat and pressure. It's the intense heat and pressure on carbon monoxide that takes just coal and causes a diamond to be born. In other words, listen carefully, if the pressure is just right, if the heat is just right and the coal will submit and not get up and move away from the heat and move away from the pressure. But only the pressure and the heat can cause the coal to give birth to a diamond. That's where diamonds come from. I'm telling you that you shouldn't run from your trials. You shouldn't run from them, for in them you will learn more. You will become more. You will do more.
Quit jumping from marriage to marriage. Quit running from church to church every time something happens you don't like. Stay right there where you're under heat and you're under pressure, because only then can diamonds be born. He will not put more on you than you're able to bear. God knows just what's involved in making a diamond out of you. I'm saying to you today that there's no church without trouble and there's nobody who's going to live for the Lord and not have trials. You're going to have trials whether you live for the Lord or not. I tell people this all the time... everything's better with Jesus, including trouble. And you're going to get trouble in life with or without Jesus. I choose Jesus. I choose the One Who can carry me through. When I can't make it, He can make it. He can conquer. He can triumph. Many people are living in spiritual poverty while they're in the midst of untold spiritual wealth.
That's why David said in Psalms 119, "Open my eyes to the wondrous things all around me". Open my eyes. Let me see, God, what others... They may say it's trash, but You see the treasure. And open my eyes. I'm blessed right now. I'm healthy right now. It's not "when I get a car" or "when I get a promotion" or "when I get a bigger house" or "when I finally make it, when this happens". The single people, "when I finally get married". The married people, "if I could just be single". I'm telling you, it's always out there and you don't realize you're living in acres of diamonds. You need to take that old plow and take that old ox and get a smile on your face. Appreciate the job you have right now. Make something out of where you are right now. Turn to somebody and say, "Dig in your own backyard".
There's a phenomenon that takes place in South America, in the Amazon River. When it meets the Atlantic ocean, the Amazon River rushes out. Back in the days before they had radio and technology like we have it today, the ships had to signal one another with signal flags to communicate a message. And one of the ships at sea had gone for many, many days. They could not see land and they had run out of water and they were in their third day now. Without food for many days, but now three days without water and the men were dehydrated and about to perish. And on the horizon, they saw a ship. And it got close enough that they could send a signal by flags. And one of the men on the boat took the flags and began to signal, "We need water. We're in dire condition. We need water, please. Please come, give us water".
And as the boat was passing, it signaled back, "Let down your bucket". He signaled back and said, they must not have understood, "We need water. We are dying". And he signaled back, "Let down your bucket". And the ship kept going and rode off in the horizon. And the captain said, "I don't know what he means, but we might as well give it a try". They let down the buckets, pulled the water up, and as soon as they took a taste of the water, amazingly, the water was cool and clear fresh water. Here's what had happened. For 200 miles, there is a rush and a surge of fresh water from the Amazon River that is so clear and so cool that it pushes the heavier salt water all the way down and there's clear cool water for 200 miles where the river runs into the ocean. And it was under their nose the whole time they were thirsting to death. All they had to do was let down their bucket.
I've come today to preach that if you're thirsty, if you're empty, if you're dry, let down your bucket. There's healing for your body. There's blessing for your family. There's provision for your needs. Jesus is the living water and it's not out there, it's in the Father's house. This morning, right here, we're living in acres of diamonds. Just let down your bucket. Do you need joy? Do you need hope? Do you need faith? Do you need a future? Let down your bucket. People have had the answer right under their nose and quit; so near but missed it. I think about that thief on the cross, two of them.
Now, you listen to me. Jesus is hanging in the middle and there's a thief on one side. And he looks... Let's say this pulpit is Jesus. And the thief on one side looks and he sees worthless nothing. He sees blood. He sees the crown of thorns. He sees the blood spurting out from His side and His feet and His hands. He hears the Master moaning and groaning and praying, "Father, forgive them..." and he sees nothing but worthlessness and he curses the Savior with his last breath, and he goes into eternity. On the other side of the cross, there's a man looking at the same thing the other guy saw; the same blood, the same cross, the same suffering, the same wounds. And his eyes get opened to wondrous things and he cries out, "Remember me... You're not a worthless piece of trash. I see a treasure on that middle cross and would You remember me, King Jesus, when You come into Your kingdom". And Jesus turned to him and said, "This day, you will be with Me in paradise". You just found acres of diamonds. Both of 'em looking at it.
See, I wanna preach this morning. Don't you take your salvation for granted. Other people heard it, but they didn't get it. Other people set in the same service and didn't repent, but thank God He opened my eyes to who Jesus is. I believe He was born of a virgin, I believe He lived, I believe He died, and I believe He rose again, and I believe He's coming back again. And He's taking me home to acres of diamonds. Just wait 'til you see my brand new home. And here's the thing. We're always "when I get that", "when this happens", "when I get that breakthrough, then I'm going to be happy", "when I get that house", "when things settle down with my children", "when this happens", "when that happens", "when this thing happens", "when I finally get that promotion, then I'm going to be happy".
And you don't realize your greatest treasure, the greatest treasure was in the middle of that cross. And you know what your greatest treasure is right now? But there were two thieves on the sides of that cross, the thief of yesterday and the thief of tomorrow. Yesterday says, "You can't be happy because of your past... the shame, the guilt... so let yesterday rob you of the joy of today". And tomorrow says, "Things aren't exactly like you want everything, so you probate your joy and enjoy your life when you get over here; but right there, you ought to be miserable". And there's two thieves every day to our greatest treasure, which is right now. And some of you let yesterday steal what you have right now. It's over. You can't go back. You can't change it. It is what it is, so "Now therefore, there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ".
And I'm not going to wait 'til everything's perfect. I'll do that when I get to heaven. But since I'm here, right now, I'm going to live in acres of diamonds. I've got a blessed life. I've got a blessed wife. I've got a blessed family. I've got a blessed church. I'm highly favored of God. I don't have everything perfect. But this is the day the Lord has made. I'm going to rejoice and appreciate acres of diamonds right here, right now. Everybody listening to me, take a praise break and thank God for the diamonds. The thing that got me about this story is we've overlooked so much. There's some things money can't buy. And a man took the same ox... that's what messed me up... the same plow in the same field that somebody else said, "This is worth nothing, this is trash, I hate my life", somebody took the life he hated and turned it into acres of diamonds.
So you hate your life. I promise you there's somebody in intensive care who would take you, with your little limp or your little arthritis or whatever it is, your bald head, whatever it is, they could care less. They'd give anything to live in your acres of diamonds. They'd get some joy today just knowing, "I got ten, 15, 20, two years to live, six months to live". There's acres of diamonds you've overlooked and not seen. I'm closing but listen. There's hidden potential in things right now, job that you have, the place where you are, in your present job, in your current relationship, in the location you now live. The answer to your dreams may be right at your fingertips if only you would believe that it's possible. Before making a big life change, look carefully around you. There may be acres of diamonds.
And the thing that touched me about the story of the prodigal son is this... he came home to find happiness that he did not find when he lived there. And isn't it funny how once we've lost something, we don't know what we've lost and what we gave up until we lose it? You're living, folks... I'm telling you... right now, you're living in acres of diamonds. This is a word in season for people's lives. Appreciate right here, right now. Begin to enjoy your life right now. Thank God for your family and love them like they are right now. Don't worry about tomorrow and don't let the thief of yesterday steal you of valuable time that you have here on this earth right now.
Would you stand reverently for just a moment? Every head bowed, every eye closed, at every campus. "Pastor Jentezen, I know this very moment that if the trumpet were to sound or Christ were to come, should I go into eternity, I'm not ready. But I'd like to get ready today. And I want a life that I don't have to have another thing to feel content. I want a life that my greatest wealth is not in the things of this world but in my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ". There's hidden potential. You are made of dirt. In other words, you're acreage. And only Jesus knows how to give birth to the diamonds of purpose and destiny in your life. It'll never happen without Him. Just lift your hands toward heaven. Would you do that? And just say:
Lord Jesus, I surrender my life completely to You. You've opened my eyes to see the wonderful thing that Jesus did for me on the cross. I receive the forgiveness His blood bought me, and by His blood I am forgiven. I receive all that Jesus has for me. I let down my bucket. I drink of the water of live. I thank You today for blessing me and giving me acres of diamonds, in Jesus Christ.