TD Jakes - Save the Scraps
Hey, everybody, greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our King. I want to share this word with you today, I believe it will bless your life. It's a powerful message, so many entertainers were there that day and the power of God filled, the Spirit moved in a significant way. Many of them have said it has become their favorite message. You don't have to be in the entertainment or be a CEO to need the Word of the Lord. This message says "Save the Scraps," you might be about to discard something that God is not finished with yet. I want you to take a look at this and watch the Lord bless your life.
He fed the multitude through the breaking process, until all of them had been served. This is the method whereby he uses. Jesus does not feed them directly, he breaks it, gives it to the disciples, and then the disciples feed the people. You have to learn how to eat God's blessing even if he brings it at somebody else's hand. Imagine sitting there with your arms folded, talking about, "I'm not gonna see nobody but Jesus. If Jesus doesn't bring it, I'm not eating it. It's gotta be the Lord". You would have starved to death. He could have stopped, seeing he knew what they had, he knew where it was, he knew how many it was, he could have stopped breaking it at the point the 5.000 were fed, but the real power of the text is not in what they ate, the real power of the text is in what they had left. He purposely designed it so that there would be leftovers.
Now, a real good chef, I'm not talking about Grandma, a real good chef can get a count of the guests and prepare the food in proportion to the people. God never misses. If he wanted to be precise, he could have been precise. He chose for them to have overflow. Don't let people tell you that God just wants to give you enough. His name, El Shaddai, means more than enough. Why would a God whose name means more than enough stop at enough? Why would David say, "My cup runneth over"? Unless you got a blind waitress, the waitress can see when the cup is full and stops pouring in proportion to the size of the cup, but God says when I pour you out a blessing, I am not limited to your capacity to receive what I have, I intend for you to have overflow, so that your children, and your children's children, and your children's children's children.
So, Jesus says, here's my dilemma, here's my whole case this morning. Jesus says to them, when the whole event is over, and everybody's about to leave, Jesus speaks to the disciples and says, "Gather up the scraps". And the Bible is careful to give us inventory of how much they had left, 12 baskets full left, now, that's overcooking. When you got 12 baskets full left, you didn't count right. Twelve baskets full were left and they loaded them on the boat to leave. Now, here's my dilemma. Why did he have them gather the scraps? I would like to think, in my mind, that maybe he thought they would get hungry again, but my problem with that is, if they were scraps, fish bones, half-eaten pieces, crust off the bread, it doesn't seem very appetizing that gathered leftovers stored in baskets could be preserved for a future meal. In the presence of a God who created something out of nothing, why do we need to make these kinds of provisions for the next meal when we didn't provide the first meal?
Just help me, I'm trying to understand the logic of saving the scraps. They loaded the scraps on the boat, 12 baskets full. It had been a long day for Jesus, perhaps one of the most important days of his ministerial career, because every other miracle, no matter how mighty or magnanimous it may have been, this particular miracle has distinction, because this was the first time he had impacted that many people at once. Five-thousand people had a piece of the miracle in their body. Five-thousand people now hit the streets talking about what happened. This is not like blind Bartimaeus, this is not like the woman with the issue of blood, this is not like Lazarus, this is not like the man in the tomb of Gadarenes where one person left screaming, "Come see a man," 5.000 men, not to mention the women and children, have now hit the streets talking about, "Let me tell you what happened at church today".
He knew that once he impacted these 5.000 men, plus women and children, that the news would spread rapidly, and with the blessing comes the burden of being blessed. Everybody wants the more, you know, give me more fish, and give me more bread. Everybody wants the light, but they can't take the heat. When you get more of one thing, you get more of another. So, at the end of a long day, Jesus now goes to the mountain to pray. I imagine he's saying, "Well, Father, I've done it now. I have set it off. Fifteen-thousand witnesses have been dispatched into every village, every town, and every city with a personal testimony, with the miracle in their belly, proof positive that I am God in the flesh. There's no turning back".
He goes in the mountain to pray after putting the 12 baskets full on the boat and telling the disciples to cross to the other side. He goes on the mountain to get ready for the burden of being blessed. He spent more time preparing himself for the burden of being blessed than he did for the blessing itself. He did that just by breaking the fish and the bread, but when he saw the consequences, that when you send out something, when it comes back to you, the pressure of the wave coming back is so strong, he said, "I better be ready to withstand the onslaught of all that will come out of being blessed".
Are you prepared for the consequences of the blessing? He goes to the mountain apart to pray, and sends the disciples across on the boat, and I'm through with the frame, let's go to the picture. He has prayed so long that the sun has gone down. The temperature has cooled. The owls have begun to coo. The birds have nests for the evening. He has prayed so long that the temperatures have dropped, and the wind has began to blow. He has prayed so long that the weather has began to change, and inclement weather has broken out in such dimensions that by the forth watch of the night, the disciples are tossed to and fro on the boat. Jesus is on the mountain, the disciples are halfway across the lake of Gennesaret, which is the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus is on the mountain and knows that his disciples are in trouble.
I want to stop for a minute and praise him not for his omnipresence, which means he's everywhere, not for his omnipotence, which means he's all-powerful, but I want to praise him for something we seldom thank him for, his omniscience, science, where we get science, omni, all-knowing God. That he knows what we can't tell him. It wasn't like he was within earshot and they screamed, and he heard them, no, he's up on the mountain, they're out in the middle of the sea, and yet, he knows.
I wanna tell you this Sunday morning that God knows. He knows where you are, he knows what's going on around you, he knows the storm that's breaking out in your life, he knows how you're dealing with the storm, he knows when you've had enough, he knows when you're in trouble, he knows when you need a break, he knows when you need strength, he knows when you need fortitude, he already knows. I know you think you need to get down on your knees and explain the situation, and give him some orders about what he ought to do about your situation, but he is not your butler, and he is not your maid. He will not take orders from you, he already knows.
In the storm, God looks like a ghost. They feared for their lives and said, "That's a ghost coming," but it was God. Sometimes the thing that you are apprehensive about coming to get you is God coming in another form. He doesn't always look like you think he ought to look. He will show up in a circumstance that you say, "Lord, if that happens to me, it's gonna take me under," but never be afraid of him, he comes in many forms. And the problem with the disciples is, whenever Jesus showed up in another form, they didn't recognize him. And that's the problem with religion, because religion teaches you a limited point of reference for God. And if he doesn't look like you think he ought to look, and if he doesn't dress like you think he ought to dress, and if he doesn't speak like you think he ought to speak, you will reject him and run from what you think is a ghost, not knowing that it is your answer.
Touch three people and say, "It's not a ghost". It's not, it's not a ghost. It's not a ghost. And he came near them, but he didn't come to them, because your God will never break into your calamity if he's not invited into it. Blind Bartimaeus would have never gotten healed if he didn't scream. The ten lepers would have never been cleansed if they didn't ask. The woman with the issue of blood would have never been healed if she wasn't ready to crawl over and touch the hem of his garment. Jesus coming near them without coming to them indicates our responsibility in the restorative process to become engaged. You can't just be a recipient of the blessing, you have to do something to make it happen.
I don't know who I'm preaching to this morning, but God is saying I have come as close as I am going to come. I have done as much as I am going to do, now the rest of it is on you. If you don't invite me into your situation, you will never see me snatch you out of a situation that you enjoy being in. And before we criticize the disciples for thinking he was a ghost, understand that this is Gennesaret, the Sea of Gennesaret. It is understandable that they would think he was a ghost. This is the same sea when the cast the demons out of Legion, and the demons requested that they go into the pigs, and the pigs requested that they go into the sea, this is the same sea that drowned the pigs that were possessed with the devils, and out there in the dark, they started thinking about all those pigs dying in that water, and when they saw something coming, they said, "Oh, my God, it's a ghost".
See, when you've already been through hell and back, anything coming at you threatens you. Once you have had so many bad experiences, anything that moves near you, you're so apprehensive, you already have a predisposed idea as to what's gonna happen next. If you've been abused, and abused, and abused, when I raise my hand, you jerk. I could be trying to hand you a piece of bread and you would jerk. But God says, "Don't be afraid of me, fear not, I didn't come to hurt you. I didn't come to destroy you. I didn't come to repeat what was already done in your life. I didn't come to terrorize you. In fact, I was praying on the mountain when I saw the winds gathering and the lightening flashing, and the thunder rolling. I was already coming to get you out of the situation".
God doesn't wait 'til you get in trouble to come, when he sees trouble coming, while trouble is coming this way, he's coming down this way. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. I wish I had a witness. I wish I had somebody who had had God snatch you out of trouble just in the nick of time. Who had been through hell and back, and just when you thought you were going down for the last time, I wish I had a witness. And the Book says that when he said, "Fear not, be of good cheer, it is I," the Book says they didn't recognize his face, they didn't recognize his walk, they didn't recognize his demeanor, they didn't recognize his gait, they didn't recognize his acts, but they recognized his voice. He said, "My sheep know my voice and stranger they will not follow".
When he said, "Be of good cheer, it is I," they say, "Hey, man, that's Jesus, that's Jesus. I can't see him, but that's Jesus". We walk not by sight but by faith. I can't see him, but I know he is there. And so, my text says that Jesus gets on the boat and then the wind ceased. Wait a minute, then the wind ceased? This storm is not a storm at all. This storm is a teaching opportunity contrived in a controlled environment. He didn't rebuke the winds and the waves, when he got on the boat, the winds and the waves stepped back. They were only sent to create an environment for the disciples to have a discovery. I don't know who I'm preaching to today, but the trouble that has come in your life did not come to break you, it came to introduce you to your God in a new and a fresh way. It was never a storm. It was never a storm, it was a test. It was a test.
Now, I'm older than most of you are, and I'm gonna date myself when I tell this, but we used to have what was called an open-book test. It meant that the questions were in the book, and the answers were in the back. It was designed to teach you to research, so that when you could not through your own mental capacities remember the answer, you would dig to the back of the book and get the answers for the test. Suddenly, I recognize this storm is just a test, and the fish scraps that are on the boat, that I couldn't understand why they were there in the first place, seeing as you couldn't eat them as they were scraps, now I understand that the scraps were the answer to the test.
Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Because when he got on the boat, he was not disappointed that they had a storm, he was not disappointed that they were afraid, he was disappointed that they did not consider, he was disappointed that they did not consider the loaves. The lesson for the test before them was in the answer from the test behind them. God never intended for you to go through something and get nothing out of it. He intended that every time you go through a test, for you to come out of it with something else on your boat that you never had before, so that when you run into your next test, you will say, "If God did that, then he's able". Ha, ha, ha, he's able. He's able to do this, too. Now, you gotta help me preach now. Touch three people and say, "Have you got anything in your boat? Have you got anything"?