TD Jakes - The Gift
The Father created me with gifts. The Son gifted me with his life, blessed me with the gift of salvation. The Holy Spirit comes along and he releases all kinds of spiritual gifts down inside of me. And when I seem to be like Jesus, that makes me a giver, not a taker. You can't be like Jesus and be a taker. If you're like Jesus, you're going to be a... oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying? I'm going to hit on it in a minute.
Touch somebody and say, "Yeah". Let's talk about the giver. "Every good," the Bible says, "Every good and perfect gift cometh down from above, from the Father of lights in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning". "Every good and perfect gift cometh down from above," so you don't have to wonder where I don't know where I got this from. God. "Every good and perfect gift is from above and coming down from the Father of light". Every gift you got down inside of you. I'm not talking about the obvious gifts alone but every gift you've got. It's things that you've been walking past and ignoring. God planted them down inside of you. It cometh down from above, from the Father of lights, from the Father... oh, I don't even want to dissect this Scripture. If I get in that Scripture, I'm going to get lost in it. "From the Father of lights in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning".
He says, "I don't change. There's no variableness. There's no shifting in me. There's no turning in me. There's no changing me. There's no switching me. I am God, and besides me, there is no other. I have no fluctuations, I'm rigid, I'm strong, I'm tough, I'm standing. If I blessed you, I blessed you. If I curse you, I curse you. I'm God all by myself. I don't have to meet with the committee to do it. If I have decreed it, it is so. And my gifts and my callings are without repentance, meaning I will not change my mind. If I told you I called you, I called you. If I told you I wanted you, I wanted you. If I told you I need you, I need you. I know you're used to shaky people who will love you today and hate you tomorrow, applaud you today and crucify you tomorrow". He said, "But I'm not like them. There is no variableness. There is no shadow. Not only do I not turn, there's no shadow. My shadow doesn't turn. You can count on me". Oh, my God. Glory to God. Touch your neighbor and tell them, "God hasn't changed his mind".
Wouldn't it be a tragedy to squander your gift, to have it and waste it? To know that he has not changed his mind but you do every day. Wouldn't it be terrible for a stable God to love an unstable you, and you squander your gifts? You'd be shocked at the people who squander their gifts. It's one thing to not recognize them. It's another thing to recognize them and underutilize them. To waste them, to misappropriate them. The squandering of a gift is a terrible thing. It will always end on a sad tone. Remember the prodigal son? "Father, give me gift, give me gift, give me the portion of goods that cometh to me," and immediately he took the gifts and went into a far country and squandered the gift, wasted the gift, used his gift to entertain people who had no appreciation for who he was.
He wasted his gifts. But before we get angry and crucify him, I'm wondering if there isn't some prodigal son in you. Did you take what God gave you and waste it? Maybe you wasted it for years and now you're waking up and think, "Wow, I could have been so much more than I was, but I squandered my gift". I met all kind of inmates who were gifted. I've been in the homeless shelter and ran into people who could write, and sing, and draw and build and buy. Some of them, educated; some of them, intellectuals; some of them just with natural giftings. And I thought: How in the world, did somebody like you end up in a place like there? They never recognized how to use their gift to gain. They had a millionaire gift in a welfare situation. They just didn't know what to do with what they had.
That's what makes this message important because it's about what you do with what you have. Even if all you have is time, what are you going to do with what you have? You must understand, many of us have squandered the gifts we've been given. We've made all kinds of excuses for it but we've wasted the gift. We blame people for it but we've wasted the gift. How in the world are you going to let somebody do something to you when you was 5, and you 50 and you still suffering? Excuse me, that's too much power to give somebody over top of me. I will arise and go to my Father's house. I will get back up out of this. I will.
Touch your neighbor and say, "I will". Yeah, I had some rough experiences but I'm not going to let those experiences define my future. It was bad enough that it was in my present and you messed up my present, now you cannot have my... get off me. Get off me. Whoo, glory to God. Somebody shout out, "Get off me". You see, giftedness has responsibility. To him whom much is given, much is required. To him whom much is gifted, much is required. The greater the gift, the greater the requirement. You can't enjoy the gift and not meet the requirement. I'm going to say that again. You cannot enjoy the gifts and not meet the requirement.
Some people want to suck up the gift and think they have no responsibility - that's not true. The more that's been given to you, the more that's required of you. You were happy on the taking end but not on the giving end. That's not going to work. To him whom much is given, much is required. And I want to talk to you about how you manage your gift, and how you use your gift, because a gift has to be managed, even if the gift is an opportunity. What are you going to do with what you've been given?
What you going to do with what you've been given? "I'm going to take the gift". I got that part but when you take the gift, understand whether it's said or not, there is a reciprocity. There is always, always, always, a reciprocity. You can't just be saying, "My name is Jimmy and I want you to give me". "No, Jimmy. When I get through, give me, you got to do something back". To him whom much is given, much is required. So what is required of me for the giftings I got? It's certainly not for you to sit on your hind end, and smile and look wonderful.
You remember the parable about the talents, and the Bible says that the man gave out the talents to the servants, and he didn't give out the same amount, to one he gave five, and to one he gave two, and the other one he gave one. And the Bible said after that he had done that, he went away. There it is Matthew 25, "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; and to every man according to his several ability". He gives it to you on the basis of your ability to handle it. God gives you what you can handle. God gives it to you according to your ability. And the very fact that he gives it to you is an indication that he has assessed your ability. He wouldn't give it to you if you couldn't handle it.
So he gives it to them, "According to his several ability. Straightway, he took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents". Look at that mentality. "I'm going to take it, I'm not just going to take it and hold on to it. I'm going to take it and turn it into something". Keep going. "And likewise he that had received two, he also gained another two". So even though he didn't have as much, he was working it on his level. You remember? I was teaching on this not too long ago. "But he that had received one, went and digged in the earth and hid his Lord's money". He didn't do anything with it. He hid it.
Have you hidden the very thing that God was going to use to answer your prayer? Sitting on it and saying, "Well, I didn't get as much as they got, and I can't sing like so and so, and I can't type like so and so, and I can't build like so and so". You should be excellent on your level. Brother two said, "I might not can get ten, but I think I can take this two and get four". Listen at the mindset. It wasn't about just taking and holding. It was about taking and increasing. And then when he increased it, he turns it back over into the hands of the one who gave it. Reciprocity. "But wait a minute, preacher, if he had five and he made ten, and the householder came and he gave him the whole ten, then what was the good of doing it"?
If you read the text, it brought him into another dimension. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You've been faithful over a few things. Now, I'm going to make you ruler over many," because you have proven to be profitable. Paul says, "Receive Timothy. He has proven to be profitable unto me". People never let go of anything that's profitable to them. Are you profitable? For according to your ability and the level of giftings, or were you not even thinking about profit? Do you understand that when God gives you something, you're supposed to turn it into something? You're supposed to do magic with that stuff. You're supposed, you're supposed to not only see it as it is but see it as it shall be. He gives your faith something to work on. Oh God, this is good to me. This is good to me. This is my stuff right here. This is how you get up without depending on somebody to help you up.
I want to introduce a couple of guys to you that I think fit real good into this space. One of them's name is Bill Bowerman, and the other one is Phil Knight. Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight may not be big names to you, not like George Washington, or Martin Luther King, or Ella Fitzgerald, or "Diddy," Tupac. Because we have a tendency to celebrate speaking gifts and singing gifts but not necessarily thinking gifts. But Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight had thinking gifts, and they may not be famous because they don't have... I'm trying to avoid using this term but I'mma use it 'cause it works for me. They don't have sexy gifts. And do you know what I mean by sexy gifts? I mean things that are flashy, and marketable, and transparent, and opulent, and excessive and people enjoy gazing at them.
They had thinking gifts. Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. I know it was a gift because they didn't even have the academics in the background for which they pursued. And there was no data to suggest that it was possible to do what they thought. In other words, their gift was taking them where no man had ever gone before. And it's easy to retrace somebody else's steps, but when you have a thinking gift, a mental gift, a creative gift, you see the invisible. You see treasure where other people see trash.
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight had that going. When they looked at a waffle iron and a tennis shoe... A waffle iron, I'm gonna give you a waffle iron and a tennis shoe, and I'm going to give you $500 and take your $500. And they took a waffle iron, a tennis shoe and a thousand dollars and started Nike. The largest sportswear company in the world started with somebody who used their thinking gift, and they saw treasure where other people see trash. You know how many people had been cooking waffles on that waffle iron? How many stinky feet had been in that tennis shoe? And all they saw was a tennis shoe and some breakfast? But Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight saw a multibillion-dollar corporation, and they didn't have no funding and they didn't have any backing. They started out with a thousand dollars. You give $500 and you give $500.
Are you investing in your gift, in your dream? Are you willing to feed what's feeding you or are you going to stay on the dimension of thinking that you've been on all your life so that you can have company with your friends? Do you dare to take the risk to jump out of the box, to cross the line, to say, "God has given me a gift, and it might not be a recording gift, and it might not be a singing gift and it might not be a speaking gift, but it's a gift. My personality is a gift".
I'm not talking about being rich or being famous. I'm talking about maximizing your life. I'm not trying to point you to Hollywood, I'm not trying to make you be a millionaire. I'm talking about maximizing your life. I'm challenging you who are gifted to wake up! You're not through yet. You're not through yet. You don't get to say when you quit. Every time you wake up in the morning and suck air, you got to do something with it. You got to do something with it. I don't care if you're 90 or 9 years old, you got to do something with it. Forest, how old are you? He's 85 years old. Would you stand up for a minute? 85 years old. He's run companies, he's run businesses, he's a lawyer. Eighty-five years old; he's still talking in business, and doing stuff, and doing deals and staying alive.
If you stop moving, you are going to die. Every day you wake up and you suck in air, you got to keep it moving, baby, and work your gift. Touch three people and say, "Join the team. Join the team. Join the team". The gifted team, Team Gifted. Join the team, Team Gifted. Join the team, Team Gifted. This is how we praise the Lord, by doing something with what he gave us. I don't care if you dance till your feet come off. If you don't do something with what he gave you, you are not a praise unto God until you work what He gave you.
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight gathered the gifted and started a corporation. The church survives through gathering the gifted, the gathering of the gifted. It's not one musician, it's several. It's not one artist, it's several. It's not one choir member, it's several. You'd be surprised what the gifted are doing right now that makes this service go. There are the IT people making sure that we're streaming correctly, that nobody's hacking our lives or getting through what we're trying to do. There are cameramen and directors, and coordinators. Who's moving this way, who's moving that way? Coordinators: this has got to be right, this has got to be left. There's security people moving, there are medical people moving, there's somebody in the office typing, somebody tweeting and responding to tweets, and on Facebook doing all kinds of stuff while I'm doing what I'm doing. I didn't get here by myself. It's the gathering.
Whoo. Glory to God. Glory to God. Somebody setting up for another meeting that's going to go on after church. Somebody's moving chairs, setting up tables, moving in files while I'm preaching, gathering the gifted. You might not be an entrepreneur. You might somebody who helps an entrepreneur but you need to be around people where you have purpose, and meaning, and life and it's time for you to gather the gifted rather than hang around on dysfunctional.
Touch somebody and say, "Join the team". Join the team. And in order to join the team, you got to package yourself right, you got to package yourself right, 'cause you don't just throw gifts at people just any kind of way. My mother used to do that. When she got old, she got tired of wrapping stuff, and she'd just say, "Here". And it was nice, it was nice, it was nice. My brother and sister are laughing because they know I'm right about it. Everybody else was having their gift all wrapped up with a bow on it. Mama would come here with it in a bag, and talking about, "I don't feel like wrapping nothing. Here child". Kind of killed the joy of it, because in order to fully appreciate a gift, it has to be packaged right. And I'm not questioning are you gifted, I'm questioning are you packaged right for where you're trying to go? You got to change... Oh, God, let me quit.
See, see, I'm teaching on what I have written about. And this stuff that's in instincts, I'm fired up about it. I've been holding it for a year. I got to pull myself back because I see people every day who have wonderful talents but they're poorly packaged. And if you're not packaged right, you won't maximize your potential. Most people package themselves based on where they were rather than where they're going, but you got to package for where you're going. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying.
Oh, touch somebody and say, "Wrap that thing. Wrap that thing. Wrap it". Because when you are wrapped right, you're not afraid to sit amongst other gifted people. You are prepared for the occasion and ready to step in the moment. The only time you don't feel good about yourself is when other people are packaged and you are not. Did you ever notice that mama never put her presents up under the tree? It wasn't because the presents weren't good. It's because they weren't packaged. When a present is packaged right, it could be displayed amongst other gifts that are packaged right, and it can take its seat and shine.
Oscar didn't have to be intimidated by me. He could worship like he worships. Jamar can play like he plays. All the drummers could be like they be because all of 'em know who they are. And when you're packaged right, you can sit amongst the gifted and we could, "All things can work together for the good of them that love the Lord, who are the called according to his purpose".
My God, I feel the power of the Holy Ghost in this place. This is your time. This is your season. This is your moment. This is your second. Jump on your feet and holla, "I'm gifted"! I'm gifted. I'm not going to hide it anymore. I'm not going to walk it down anymore. I'm not going to bury it anymore. I'm going to package what God gave me. This is my season. For the next five minutes, I want every gifted thing in this house to make some noise!