TD Jakes — Instinct To Increase
Greetings in the invincible name of Jesus Christ our king. I am so excited to have this opportunity to share the word of the Lord with you, to be blessed of God and chosen of the Lord to present his word to you is my highest honor. As we prepare to go into the word of God today, I want to prepare your heart for what I believe is a life-changing series the Lord gave me. We're calling this series, open doors. I believe God will really open doors for you.
The question is, are you ready for the door that's about to open? God presents opportunities to you. What you do with that opportunity is actually your gift back to God. Understand that sometimes opportunities come dressed up in opposition. If you decide it correctly and understand it correctly and perceive it correctly, let me go into this. I believe it will help you. This particular message shook the nation. It's the instinct to increase. Take a look at this. This is absolute pure food for the soul.
Here we are listening at Jesus teach. He has meandered through the preceding text in a manner letting himself go from this subjected to that subject to the other as it were not as someone who is just Jib Bering and jabbering around but someone who has more to say than he who has time to do it. Convey to them a truth that's quite profound. If you approach this truth then you must realize what he is saying to them, it's like a man. He let's him know this man is a very wealthy man and in a conversation with what the king James version translates servants, my version translated as slave. But there is definitely a gulf in the conversation. It is a superior speaking to an inferior.
There is a gulf in the conversation and yet there is a conversation. There is a sociological gulf. There's definitely an economic gulf. And yet there is a conversation. They were not on the level with the master and the master was not on the level with the slaves. But there was a conversation. When we look at that slave, it makes servant, it makes us a little bit uncomfortable. Feel good for us to hear that. Not only if you are my historical background there's a little tinge you don't like to hear that. People in general don't like to hear that.
We live in a democracy we can lift up the lower class to the middle class and we've done away with other systems that would alienate people from opportunity and the word is foreign to us. But this is not an American text. This is not a text about New York or Washington D.C. Or by your corporate office building. This is not a Western text at all. It is steeped in an Eastern culture that embraced a cast system whereby the notion was whatever you were born into, that's what you were supposed to be. A cast system teaches an ideology there is no responsibility on people or government or has to have not to bring people up because whoever you are is what you are. Deal with it.
It is this social logical association and ideology that was pervasive in the times of Christ's ministry. You can see it in attitudes like the poor you have with you always. You can see it how the Bible is written. You all got quiet. Stay with me. You can see how the Bible is written. Some people their names were not included though their miracles were substantive their miracles were not recorded. And maybe you didn't notice like, you remember, who is the lady the woman at the well. What was her name? Yeah, sister, woman at the well. The woman with the issue of blood you know her name was... The woman with the issue of blood.
The scripture gives some names like blind Bartimaeus sat by the highway side begging and other people remain nameless on the text. Reflection of the ideas of the writer that certain people's names weren't worth recording because there was such a gulf. No need to record your name. You are a nobody. You must understand the expansive dimension of the gulf to appreciate the power of the conversation. So if you approach it purely from your from the notions of republicans, if you approach it puerile from the notion of democracy, you'll get lost in your reasoning because you look at it through the lens of American history and slaves and turn up your nose.
You must understand the beauty of the text exists with the understanding that there is a gulf between these three slaves and this one master. And yes there is a conversation. Could it be Jesus might be saying to us the gulf between the master and the slave is like, it is like the gulf between God and man. That his thoughts are above our thoughts. His ways are above our ways. As high as the heaven is above the earth so is my thoughts above your thoughts and my ways above your ways. You were born on this level. Born in sin, shaped in iniquity. I was born with no mother, no father, I'm the ancient of days. Father of wisdom. More in my garment than all your universities compiled together. Hallelujah.
Whatever your highest thought is, it's my lowest thought. Your highs are my lows. My thoughts are so far above you. And yet, I have a conversation. What a mighty God is this. A God, who doesn't need anything. See the master doesn't need the slave. The slave needs the master. Master can go out and get another slave. Yet there is a conversation, a God who doesn't need me. I need him saying in spite of the gulf between my thoughts and your thoughts, I'm going to have a conversation with you. I know you don't understand the gulf between us but it is like... It is likened unto a master talking to a slave. Not only did they have a conversation, the audacity of the text suggests that the master gave his goods to the slave. Gave it to him. Commit into their hands.
I want you to understand that the slave owns nothing, has nothing. Has no rights or privileges yet the master through a decision in his own mind, not a request from the slave but decision from the master has decided to gift the slave with something he could not gift himself with. This vulnerable position of the slaves, position of us on earth begins with the understanding that you have been gifted. If you don't understand you have been gifted, you will spend your life walking away and walking past what only God has given you. Somebody say I have been gifted. Yeah. My gift may not be your gift. It may not be shimmering in the light like yours is. It might not be clustered on a ring. It might not be a singing voice or able to do something you're able to do. But let me tell you something. I have something. Some nebulous, indescript thing God's given me that's so unique in the earth that you'll never see it again. I have been gifted.
Do you understand that you have been gifted? Because if you don't see what you have as a gift you won't protect it, you won't guard it. You won't take care of it. You won't appreciate it. You'll run to other people who are gifted and be so enamored with what they have and you won't appreciate what you have. The greatest mysteries of all mysteries in life is what is the treasure inside of me? What all have you put inside of me? What does it take for me to discover, what do I have to go through to dig down to find what God placed deep down inside of me? I've been gifted. If you don't see it, you're the wrong one. If you can't appreciate it, you can't have it. Rest assured.
When I cry out my first cry and the doctors smite my bottom, the first cry was a gifted cry. Talk like you know who you are and say, I've been gifted. I can't take credit for it. It's been given to me. I don't know why I can do what I do like I do when I do it. I just know I can do it. When you've been gifted, you just have something you can do. When you read it, you understood it. Other people read it, they don't understand it. You read it. It makes sense to you. Everybody in the room might be able to read but they can't decipher it like you decipher it. You've been gifted. Or you wouldn't have what you have and be where you are and know what you know. You have been gifted.
Somebody shout, I'm gifted. Running a ball like you run a ball. Stretching your legs like you're stretching. Touchdown after touchdown. I don't know why it came natural for me. Other people went out and couldn't do it. I've been gifted. Sure I went to school for it and I enhanced it. If the core gift isn't there, you can't enhance the invisible. I've been gifted. Don't give all the credit to the university. Some people went to the same school and flunked out. I have been... I feel something in this room. There's some gifted people in this room right now. All the gifted people clap your hands. The Master gave unto them. To one he gave five. To the other he gave two talents. And to the third one he gave one. They all were gifted. Yeah, they all were gifted. Glory to God.
My mother taught me a poem. You heard me mention it before. Written by George Washington Carver, when I was a little boy called the all the greatest of men have had. When I was eight I had to memorize it. Later did I know it would shape my thinking the rest of my life. If you have two hands, two eyes, two feet, the greatest of men have had. You start out with the same stuff. What you do with it is up to you. All the greatest of men have had. The same thing, they have subdued nations and taken down kingdoms because you have all that the greatest of men have had.
I didn't know she was depositing into my self esteem the wealth that was necessary through which I might be able to expand and draw from it the rest of my life. She was vanquishing my excuse for failure and opening my eyes to possibility. Because it was there. I have all that the greatest of men have had. Two eyes. One nose, two ears, look at that. Look at this stuff. I have been gifted. Fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm bad from the beginning. There is no question then all three the one with the five. The one with the two. The one with the one. All of them have been gifted. Gifted. But not equally. Not equally gifted. But gifted nonetheless.
I may not have what you have. But I'm gifted nonetheless. I might not have the dimension of gifts that you have but just because I don't have the dimension doesn't mean I'm destitute. I may not have five. I may only have one. But Lord, I sure do thank you. For this one. I sure do thank you for this one. I maybe a two talent kind of dude. I'm just a two talent kind of dude. Lord, I thank you for two. Because I realize that I didn't get that by myself. You just gave it to me. Willed it to me. Bequeathed it to me. Declared it unto me. Handed it to me. I have it.
Now, the problem comes as the apostle Paul clearly says we compare ourselves with ourselves and so doing it is not wise. Because if I become distracted by the discrepancies in the volumes of gifts between us, then jealousy is born. Rather than feeling gifted I compare myself with you and I can't enjoy my two for being envious of your five. So when my boat leads to understanding I'm gifted and docks on the way of comparing myself with you, that's where my carnality destroys my creativity. Because you cannot be jealous and creative at the same time. In order to be, in order to be truly trait tiff I can't be distracted with comparisons with other people.
Creativity begins when I invest, develop and bring to fruition what I do have within my power to do rather than to become distracted by the inconsistencies between me and you and what I don't have. If I don't understand that, I may waste years of my life thinking that the goal of my life is to catch up with you never realizing that I am not to be compared with you at all. What I'm supposed to be is excellent on my level. Yeah. That's the goal. That's what you're aiming at. That's what you're shooting for. You want to be excellent on your level. You don't want to sit at your little trail and look at the guy in his house and begrudge him his house when you haven't fixed up your trailer. You want to be excellent.
He gave them five. Same men had the same status. Had the same master. And they had something else. They had something else. He gave them talents all the men talents but they were not the same talents. Five. Two and one. One other thing he gave each of them it's not written in the text, but implied in the text and if you overlook it, you'll miss the power of the text. He gave them an opportunity. There is nothing in the world as wonderful as to have been given an opportunity. So many people wait in the wings. Chewing at the bit. Padding their foot. Waiting on an opportunity.
An opportunity is an invisible thing that if you don't discern it instinctively, it will not be mentioned in the text. Because opportunities are a matter of perception. You must have a revelation to see a moment as an opportunity. An opportunity will not walk up to you and say hello, ma'am, I'm an opportunity. And if you're not careful, you'll become so distracted by the inequities of life you'll not even notice the opportunity has been given to you. Because you are distracted by the comparison to such a dimension that you don't see what is in front of you as an opportunity.
I'm going to tell you how deeply veiled an opportunity may become. Opportunities are so often veiled not only are they invisible. They are often come before you in the form of opposition. Did you hear what I said? I said to you that opportunities often come to you draped in the suit of opposition and if you don't perceive it correctly you won't benefit from it correctly because you don't understand the opposition is just the suit. But under the coat is an opportunity.
I can't go too deep. Time won't allow me. You see, when the waves come in, wind is blowing and ocean produced high waves and you see masses of people jumping in cars, filling up tanks of gas trying to get away what they perceive as an opposition. You'll see a few people running towards what everybody else is running away from. And they got surfboards. What is other people's opposition, if you got a surfboard, it's an opportunity. And I'm wondering, are you running away from what you think is an opposition because you adopt see it correctly. Ya'll don't want to talk to me.