TD Jakes — These Are They
Grace and peace. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to greet all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Hello, family. I believe God has some great things in store for us today. The struggles that we have in life come to test our roots. We know we are firmly planted when we can stand against the storms of life. Don't let the storms deter your commitment to Jesus Christ because actually it is the storm that really validates the authenticity of your relationship with Jesus Christ. So as we go into the word of God, the message today is called "These Are They". Take a look.
So Jesus said the sower went forth sowing seed. Some fell by the way side. And the birds came along and got it. And some fell on stony ground, and it received the word with gladness. It grew up for a little while, but when persecutions came along, it went away. Some fell amongst thorns and thistles, and it started growing for a little while. But the thorns and thistles did not allow the capacity that was necessary for growth that was indicative of the quality of the seed. And because the environment was too small for the bigness of potential in the seed, eventually the plant would terminate its growth, because it was choked out, because it was crowded in by other things that did not have the capacity to accommodate the growth at the level you were headed in.
Oh, my God. And then some fell on good ground. Are you all hearing what I'm saying to you? The first group, the first group who was by the way side, their seed got stolen. It was by the way side. And Jesus said, "The birds came and ate it". The birds came and ate the seed. They ate the seed. And they didn't understand what the birds meant. He said, "I want you to understand that the birds are satan". Which makes sense, because satan is the prince of the air. Uh-huh. He's the prince of the air. He operates in the heavenlies.
That's one of the reasons we have so much catastrophes with the weather. Because he is the little "g", G-O-D, god of this world. And we're wrestling against the principalities of the powers of the air. Jesus categorizes them as birds. And he said the bird came and stole the seed. It fell by the way side. It could have technically grown by the way side. The way side is really not a great environment to raise a garden. Too much traffic going by. Uh-huh. Too much stuff going by. If I was planting by the way side, there's too much movement going by. No stability in that environment. And when some of the seed fell into that unstable environment where there's all of that traffic, the birds seized the opportunity and stole the seed.
These are they. Somebody say, "These are they". These are they that come and hear the word. They really hear the word, but they don't really ingest the word and appropriate the word, and the word gets stolen. They come to church, but the word gets stolen. Have you ever gone to church with somebody and you really had a blessed service, and you come out and it had no affect on them at all? Have you ever been in service with somebody who seemed to enjoy the service when it was going on, but when you got in the car they went right back to being who they were before? Somebody say, "These are they".
I'm going to mess with some folk this morning. It's going to get rough in here this morning. There your whole life has been changed, tears are running down your face, you've made decisions, business decisions, personal decisions based off the word of God. They get in the car, talk about something completely different, untouched by the word. You think, "How can you be in that atmosphere and be... respond in the church and walk out and not be changed at all"? What you don't know is somewhere between our front door and your car door, the bird came along and stole the word out of... And they live as if they had never been sown into. They live like they had never been invested in. Somebody say, these are they.
So the first group, everything you put in them gets stolen. Every ministry they're exposed to is stolen right out of them. It goes right above their head. While I'm preaching right now, some of this... as soon as I put the word out, I'm sowing the seed indiscriminate to who's in the crowd. And while I'm sowing it, birds are snatching it. The camera man always has to choose the crowd shots he takes. It's the funniest thing in the world. Because you can have a room full of people crying and weeping and somebody else picking their nose all in the same shot. Totally oblivious to what is going on around them. These are they.
In an atmosphere that could change your life, you leave the room unchanged. These are they. Exposed to a message that could have turned your entire situation around, but you are not bettered by it, these are they. You make appointments for counseling so we can tell you in counseling the same thing we told you in service, and you won't respond to either one of them, these are they. Touch somebody, say, "These are they".
Jesus talks about the second group, they're not in the stolen category. they're in a completely different category. The sower went forth and sowed seed and when he began to sow it, he sowed it indiscriminate to their circumstances and their situations. He did it with power. He did it with clarity. And they received the word with gladness. They were happy about it. They were excited about it. They were glad to get it. They were fired up to get the word of God, but he had sowed it into rocky places. Sowed it into rocky places. And when he began to sow it into the rocky places, they received it, the Bible talks about the attitude with which they received it.
Said they received the word with gladness. What that means is they received the truth on an emotional level. They received it on an emotional level. That's why Sister McCascal put that boy out of service. He received it on an emotional level. And we were looking for people who received it in their spirit. And I didn't know the difference between one or the other. He received it with gladness. And the Bible says because it was sown into rocky places that they grew for a while, they grew for a while, but having no root, having no depth, no deeper thing, being a shallow person. Receiving the word on a superficial level. You have an emotional reaction but no permanent change because you have no root. Have no root because of your environment. You have no depth. You are a rocky place person.
Now, I want to spend some time on this. Rocky place people are shallow people. They have no depth. Whatever you give them, they react emotionally. But the emotions is no sign of real commitment. Their emotion are no sign of any real commitment, because they are shallow people. A shallow person can be in love with you and you. And you and you too. I don't know what ya'll laughing about. They're all in here. Look at somebody and say, "These are they". Yeah. Whatever passes by you. Whatever is sown into you. Whatever comes your way, you're here today and there tomorrow and over here and over there. And you have a reaction to everything but a commitment to nothing. Because you are shallow, you have no root.
Oh God, it's hard to work with somebody with no root. It's hard. Don't hire people with no root. Don't marry people with no root. It's hard to work with people with no root. They'll change churches in a minute. Change wives in a second. Change jobs in a minute. Doesn't make no difference what you give them. They'll be nowhere very long. Don't you understand? That's why they had you fill out a resume? The first thing I look at on a resume is how long you was there. Because when I see that you're 21 and have worked 25 jobs, stayed at each one a month and a half, I know you have no, root.
Look at somebody and say, "You got any root"? Yeah. You got a lot of gladness. You got a lot of joy. You got a lot of emotions. But do you have any roots? Roots is what makes you stick to something. Roots, ya'll don't hear what I'm saying. It's the deep stuff that you can't see. Oh my God. You got to have people around you who are rooted. So that when the storm comes and the lightning flashes, you'll be able to stay. You may bend all the way over, but you'll stand back up again. Rocky places. Rocky place people.
The Bible says that when the sun came out, it scorched them, because they had no root. It killed them out because they had no root. Jesus explains these people who were there, they were there as long as things were going well, but when persecution arose over the word of God, because they had no root, they dried up and died. You want to be a Christian as long as everybody on your job is a Christian. But the moment somebody this your job starts going another way, you switch to the other side because you don't want to endure the persecution. You are there for the sunshine, not for the rain. You are here for the pleasure, not for the pain. You are here for the good times, not for tough times. You have no root.
Rocky place people are with you when things are good. You can't tell them from the rest of the people when things are good. You don't know what you got until trouble comes. Trouble will tell you what you've got. Trouble will tell you what you're made of. Trouble will tell you tenacity when it's unpopular to stand and you stand anyway. When you are criticized and stand anyway. When you're persecuted and stand anywhere, it's because you have root. You are steadfast, immovable, always abounding, because you've got root. Oh God deliver me from rootless people. Glory to God. Rootless people will break your heart! They stay around just long enough to make you love them, and then they leave. Because they have no root. They promise you everything. They deliver nothing. They have no root.
I love to invest in rooty people. I'm old enough now, I have trouble wasting my time planting a whole lot of stuff in the people who have no root. I'm not worried about excitement. I don't care whether you dance or not, but I want to deliver a word down in your spirit that goes home in you, that rises up in you, that stirs up in your spirit, that comes out in your conversation, that changes the way you process. I can have less crowd and have more root. That was the second group. Somebody say, "These are they".
The third group was very interesting to me. Jesus described them as the sower went forth and sowed seed and when he sowed seed, he sowed them amongst thorns and thistles. And he said the plant began to grow but then the thorns and thistles choked them out. And when he begins to explain this, he describes the thorns and thistles as the deceitfulness of riches. Isn't that fascinating? The deceitfulness of riches. I sowed good seed, but the thorns and thistles of the deceitfulness of riches. Then he uses the word lust. "Their lust," he says, "for other things".
Look at that nebulous other things ties into the deceitfulness of riches. Lust and deceit are the wonder twins of destruction. Whenever a lustful individual hooks up with a deceitful individual, a deceitful individual will always play on the lust of a lustful individual. Oh, ya'll don't hear what I'm saying. Lust and deceit are the wonder twins of destruction. The deceitfulness of riches. You see, riches promises something it doesn't deliver. That's deceit. To promise something, you don't deliver.
Riches promises happiness. You see it on the TV. You see it on the internet. You see it everywhere. If you have this car, you'll be happy. If you live in this house, you'll be fine. If you could take a vacation here, you'll be wonderful. The deceitfulness of riches. Look at how wonderful they are. They don't tell you rich people committing suicide. Rich people have nervous break downs. Rich people have family problems. Rich people have everything everybody else has. But you make the mistake of worshiping stuff. This is obnoxious to God. Because in this process, you worship the gift more than the giver.
The thing and not the creator. It's like, I give you a gift. I give you a fur coat. You take the coat and leave me. You had a chance for all of this. I ain't being funny. And you walked away with that. This is my problem with people who pray to the universe. You're praying to the creation and not the creator. You're praying to the stuff he made and not the won who made it. The deceitfulness of stuff. It will disguise itself as if it were God. The Bible says that the thorns and thistles choked out, choked.
Now, ya'll know where I went with that choked. Choked out the seed that was planted in your life. What is a seed, but potential? What is a seed, but possibility? What is a seed, but a tree in disguise? An apple seed is an apple orchard in disguise. It hides its value. You cannot see the worth of a seed. But if you understand that the seed unveils the mystery of the fruit, if you understand that, you will have patience to let seedy things grow and you'll have a hoe and a rake pulling back everything that threatens the survival of the possibility that has been planted in your life. You prefer what God planted more than what you could do by yourself. And you say, "Anything that threatens the welfare of this seed has got to go. If you mess with my destiny, you've got to go".
Oh my. Can I teach this this morning? I'm just teaching a little bit. See, it's about capacity. Touch somebody, say, "It's about capacity". The seed gets choked, because it is not given space to grow. Woo. I want to work on this so bad. See, when you talk about seeds, this is why the Bible says despise not the days of small beginnings, because God will do everything great in your life. God will do everything great in your life through seed. To keep carnal people from getting it, he'll hide the orchard in the seed. If he showed the orchard, everybody would snatch it. So he'll hide it in a seed to make sure your motives were right.
And he'll give it to you in a small form and say, if you be faithful over a few things, I'm going to make you ruler, somebody's got a seed right now. It doesn't look like much right now. It can't do much right now. But if you hold on to what God planted in your life... He did not tell me, "Woman Art Loosed is a movie. It's a book. It's going to fill stadiums. It's going to take you around the world". He didn't tell me that. He said, "Why don't you teach Sunday school"? I want to see if you can get excited about Sunday school. And if you can get excited about it in its seed form, then I'm going to gradually unveil the great thing out of the small thing.
Oh, some of you don't realize right now, you are a mystery. God let somebody love you before you became fruit. Because if they would have seen where you were going, anybody would have hooked up with. But while it did not yet appear where you should be, God said, I'm going to send somebody who loves the seed of you so that you don't have to fool with all those people who only want the fruit from you.
Am I preaching this morning? Am I helping anybody this morning? Hallelujah. Slap three people and say, "It's in the seed". The Potter's House was in the store front. The crusade was in the Sunday school class. The wife was in the woman. The husband was in a man. It always starts with a seed! If you've got a seed of greatness, give God a crazy praise right now. He that goes forth in weeping bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing. Every seed-bearing soul, give God a praise now! Touch seven people, say, I got good seed. I got something growing. I got something working. Don't choke me. Don't block me. Don't stop me. Don't hinder me. Don't bind me.