I want to discuss something practical with you today, particularly about increase. When you accepted Jesus, you became a part of a kingdom, and its nature is to influence the world. Recall what Jesus preached: "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." Repentance, in this context, means to change your mind—alter your thinking.
November 27, 2023
I want to discuss something practical with you today, particularly about increase. When you accepted Jesus, you became a part of a kingdom, and its nature is to influence the world. Recall what Jesus preached: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Repentance, in this context, means to change your mind—alter your thinking. It’s not about remorse or trying to manipulate God with tears. Jesus emphasized that changing your thinking allows you to access the kingdom of God, which is within your reach.
Jesus’ agenda was to establish God’s kingdom, and upon his death and resurrection, he achieved this. The kingdom isn’t confined to a specific location; it’s within us.
Luke 17:21 – nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.
We’re not waiting for the kingdom to come; rather, we’re anticipating the influence of the kingdom of God that Jesus established to encompass the entire earth.
As part of this kingdom, our nature is to increase and influence the world. Like turning on a light in a dark room, the kingdom has the potential to overcome darkness. So, you should experience an increase—whether in ministry, business, or your career. Your salary should grow, your business profits should rise, and your ministry should expand. Deuteronomy 28 speaks of the blessing of the Lord overtaking you, meant to elevate you. You are designed to go up because the blessing of God in your life has the potential to lift you higher.
Jesus shared the parable of the five talents. Have you heard of it? In this story, a master, before his departure, entrusts five talents to one person, two talents to another, and one talent to yet another. The recipient of the five talents doubles his sum, and the one with two talents does likewise. However, the person with one talent, driven by fear, buries it in the ground. In this context, the term “talent” refers to money, not a personal skill.
For clarity, let’s establish the monetary value of one talent: it is equivalent to 20 years’ worth of salary. Consider a conservative estimate of a corporate professional earning three lakhs a year. Multiply this by 20, and you get 60 lakhs. So, when the master gave one talent to the individual, it wasn’t a trifling amount; it was a significant sum. Unfortunately, the recipient buried it and offered it back untouched when the master returned.
Upon inspection, the master’s response in Matthew 25:26 is striking.
Matthew 25:26 – But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
The master, disappointed, addresses the servant as wicked and slothful. He emphasizes that the servant was aware of the master’s ability to reap where he hadn’t sown and gather where he hadn’t scattered seed. In the context of the kingdom, the master declares that not increasing is considered wickedness. In the kingdom, if you fail to grow, you are deemed wicked. Living a stagnant life is not acceptable; it’s selfishness.
The potential in the kingdom is to increase, and failure to utilize it is labeled as wicked and unfaithful. This should ignite a fire within you.
In Genesis 1:28, when God blessed Adam, He instructed him to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over everything.” It’s essential to understand that God’s blessings are not merely for personal luxuries like a nice car or expensive shoes; rather, they are a mandate for us to take dominion.
Dominion begins with being fruitful, which means bringing forth. Consider a mother blessed with a child—God blesses her with the child, but the child comes through her. The future isn’t something that will come to us one day; it comes through us. If we don’t allow God to work through us, the future won’t manifest. Being fruitful is about bringing forth increase, and you are meant for growth. However, this growth won’t happen unless you allow it to manifest from within.
Many desire an increase in salary, but few are willing to put in the effort to study more, become better equipped, and develop new skills. This mindset is akin to slavery, where one desires more without investing in personal development.
Jesus emphasizes the comparison between serving God and serving money. If you’re not growing, you might be serving the wrong master—money.
Matthew 25:14 – For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property.
Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven, likening it to a man going on a journey who entrusts his property to his servants. When God blessed Adam, He entrusted mankind with His property—the earth. Before aiming for heaven, God expects us to take dominion over the earth, as the meek shall inherit the earth.
God’s blessings are a mandate for us to bring forth increase and take dominion over the earth. To be faithful stewards of God’s property, we must be diligent in our efforts for growth and development.
The Lord’s Prayer, as outlined in Matthew 6:9-10,
Matthew 6:9-10 – Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
This prayer signifies our responsibility as part of the kingdom mandate, aiming to make the earth reflect the will of God as it is in heaven.
Jesus illustrated the kingdom’s impact with the parable of yeast, emphasizing that, though small, it has the power to influence the entire batch of dough. Our mandate is to infect the world positively rather than be influenced negatively.
Matthew 25:15 – To one he gave five talents to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
The master distributed talents to his servants according to their abilities, highlighting that God blesses us based on our capacity to manage. If we desire an increase, aligning our expectations with our ability to handle God’s blessings is crucial. In the story of Jesus feeding 5,000, He organized the people into groups of 50 before distributing the bread, emphasizing the importance of order in growth. While growth is automatic for anything healthy, orderly growth requires intentional effort and discipline. The meek, characterized by self-restraint and discipline, will inherit the earth. It’s essential to ensure that every aspect of our lives, whether in business, ministry, or personal affairs, is in order. Disorderly growth can lead to chaos, hindering our ability to manage the increase that God wants to provide. Therefore, cultivating order in our lives positions us to receive and manage the growth that God intends.
God blesses us according to our ability to manage, and this isn’t by accident. His grace limits us from accessing more if the increase would overwhelm us. Despite the common saying that God calls the unqualified, it’s crucial to understand that God ultimately enthrones the qualified. Calling the unqualified is an invitation for transformation, but being qualified is a prerequisite for leadership positions where representation matters. Therefore, God carefully selects individuals to represent Him.
Matthew 25:16 – He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.
The servant who received five talents immediately traded with them, doubling his talents. The NIV version states that he put his money to work and gained five more talents. This highlights the principle of letting money work for us as we work for God’s purposes, emphasizing that we should not work solely for money, but rather, work with a focus on fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives.
Let money work for you. You know, here’s the thing, money is not a good master, but money is a good servant. If you let money decide your life, money will ruin you. You will remain limited in your life. But if you become the master of money and let money work for you, money is a good servant. You know how wealthy people become wealthy because they let money work for them. They don’t work for money. It’s the middle class and the poor that works for money. Don’t work for money. Work for God’s purpose. Work for the purpose that God has blessed you. And then use money to work for you. Purpose attracts prosperity. So if you don’t have purpose, prosperity will not come. What is your purpose? Do you have a purpose?
Matthew 25:20 – And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’
The servant who had received five talents approached the master, presenting the additional five talents, acknowledging that the master had entrusted the initial amount to him. The term “entrust” implies a recognition that the money does not belong to the servant but to the master. This perspective is crucial, understanding that all resources, whether in a bank account, purse, or investments, are ultimately the master’s money. Embracing this mindset cultivates a sense of stewardship and a commitment to seeking the Lord’s guidance in financial decisions.
Matthew 25:21 – His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[e] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
The master commended the servant, declaring, “Well done, good and faithful servant! The master’s response underscores a significant principle: faithfulness in managing small amounts leads to greater responsibility and blessings. God’s pattern is clear – if we prove faithful with the little we have, He entrusts us with more.
Before expecting God to meet us in faith for increased blessings, we must first demonstrate faithfulness in handling the resources already entrusted to us. This principle challenges us to examine our stewardship over the possessions and opportunities God has provided. Whether it’s taking care of a rented property, maintaining a car, or handling any blessing, faithfulness in the little things positions us for greater responsibilities in God’s kingdom.
The master’s invitation to “enter into the joy of your master” signifies an elevation to partnership. Faithfulness in the kingdom promotes us to become partners in God’s purposes. Becoming a partner involves not only increased responsibilities but also a deeper connection with the master’s joy and the fulfillment of His purposes. Therefore, the call is not just to seek God’s blessings but to be faithful stewards, knowing that faithfulness in the little opens the door to divine partnership and greater joy in the master’s plan.
Become a problem solver.
In every company, there are two types of employees: those who solve problems and those who create them. Don’t be the one who creates problems; strive to become a problem solver. Instead of asking for more money, ask for more problems that you can solve. This mindset shift will set you on a trajectory for growth.
If you aspire to be different, it begins with thinking differently. Differentiation is impossible without a shift in thinking. To be innovative means to think creatively and use existing resources to generate something new. Consider this: in the time of Moses, the parts required to build an airplane already existed, yet the knowledge was lacking. Today, technology has advanced, eliminating the need for God to part the Red Sea. Innovation is about using what already exists but thinking differently to create something new.
Let’s draw inspiration from George Washington Carver, an ex-slave with a close relationship with the Lord. Carver asked God what he could make out of a peanut, and the Lord responded with a question: “How many types of milk?” Carver went on to create 300 products from a peanut, influencing numerous millionaires and leaving a lasting impact. The lesson is clear: God doesn’t give you the chair; He gives you the tree. If you can envision the chair, you can possess it. It all boils down to mindset and embracing innovation.
Consider this scenario: there’s a meme on Instagram depicting someone falling into a large ditch. Despite his attempts, he struggles to climb out. Frustrated, he prays, “Lord, deliver me.” Suddenly, a tree falls into the ditch, and he questions God, feeling burdened by yet another problem. On the flip side, another person falls into a ditch, prays for deliverance, and experiences a tree falling in. This time, he ingeniously fashions a ladder from the tree, escapes the ditch, and expresses gratitude. The lesson? It’s all about mindset. Be innovative, think differently.
What one person views as a challenge, another sees as an opportunity. Change your mindset, be innovative.
Complaining chokes creativity. Every challenge is an opportunity for growth and promotion. Embrace challenges as gifts from God to elevate you. Imagine if David hadn’t faced the challenges of a lion and a bear as a shepherd—would he have defeated Goliath? Challenges are opportunities in disguise. Jesus saw challenges as opportunities to reveal God’s purpose. When sick people approached, he prayed, healing them, spreading the gospel faster. Every challenge is an opportunity.
Stop complaining. Be innovative. When faced with a challenge, take it to the Lord, asking for clarity on how it aligns with His blessings. Don’t pray for the challenge to vanish; instead, seek to understand the opportunity it presents. Challenges are inevitable, as Jesus told his disciples: “You will have tribulation, but you will overcome them.” Don’t escape challenges; overcome them with an innovative and faith-filled mindset.
If your attitude towards coming to church is to seek spiritual highs and ignore the challenges you face, you’re missing the point. Spiritual strength empowers you to overcome challenges, not escape from them. The goal is not to ignore challenges but to be strengthened in order to overcome them. Every challenge is an opportunity for growth. Instead of asking God to remove challenges, ask Him how He is blessing you through them. Write down your challenges, recognizing them as opportunities for growth. For example, if you desire patience, God may bring situations that test your patience. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow in the areas you desire.
Attitude of honor
Carry an attitude of honor, especially towards those in authority. Respect them instead of tearing them apart. What you honor is what you attract, and what you dishonor is what you repel. If you dishonor success, you repel it. If you honor it, you attract it. Similarly, honor those in authority in the areas you wish to succeed in. This mindset shift can create an environment where success is drawn towards you.
Let me reiterate. If you encounter someone excelling in the industry you aspire to thrive in and disrespect them for any reason, you repel that success. What you honor is what you attract, and what you dishonor is what you repel. Respect is crucial.
Cultivate a love for serving people
Prioritize effective service over immediate profit. Focusing solely on profit can turn you into a taskmaster, missing the essence of genuine service. Profit will naturally follow when you serve effectively. Embrace the mindset of loving to serve, especially in corporate settings where serving might be overshadowed by completing assignments. Go the extra mile, show that you care, and demonstrate your love for serving your superiors.
As King Solomon noted in Proverbs, to be wise, walk with wise people. Your company influences your mindset. Choose your companions wisely; the wrong fellowship can lead to the wrong mindset. So, walk with great minds.
Why is good fellowship advantageous? It constantly challenges you mentally, stretching your mindset. Your hands cannot possess what your mind cannot see. Imagine aspiring to own a jet plane; it’s easy to say, but when you plan with those who have already achieved it, your journey becomes more concrete. Surround yourself with individuals who have accomplished what you aim for, and your mind will expand.
Recognize that every association either adds to or subtracts from you. Be cautious about whom you associate with, as every connection shapes you in some way.
If I pour water into this glass, how much can it hold? The capacity of the glass determines that. So, to increase the amount it can carry, you must enhance your capacity to receive more. Taking personal responsibility for your growth is essential; no one else can do it for you. While your parents cared for you up to a certain age, it is now your responsibility to foster personal development.
Investing in yourself is crucial. You must elevate your capacity. How do you achieve this? Read books, attend seminars, and prioritize your personal growth. Interestingly, people may hesitate to pay for seminars but won’t think twice about spending 500 rupees on a hamburger. It reflects our priorities. To increase your capacity, cultivate a hunger for learning and knowledge. Read systematically; avoid the scattered nature of YouTube, and focus on structured lea
This advice applies to any field, not just spiritual knowledge. Technical knowledge is equally important. When was the last time you read a book to enhance your technical expertise? Regardless of your profession—be it nursing, medicine, law, or business—being hungry to learn is crucial.
Now, let’s delve into seven key points.
First and foremost, strive to be a problem solver rather than a problem creator. Bosses value individuals who bring solutions to the table instead of merely highlighting issues.
Second, cultivate an innovative mindset.
Third, steer clear of complaining, as it hampers creativity. Embrace innovation and dispense with complaints.
Moving on, the fourth point underscores the importance of honoring people. Extend honor not only to those above you but to everyone. You never know the potential within each person, and there’s always something to learn. In my experience, visiting various cities for the Blessed Life Conference, I approached each interaction with the understanding that I could glean something valuable from the people there.
Acknowledge the potential in others; every uncut diamond holds immense value. Honor goes beyond appearances; see the potential in people.
Consider this question: If you could see Christ in others, would you still dishonor them? Regardless of behavior or flaws, honor should prevail. Look beyond the surface; see Christ in every person.
The sixth point emphasizes a love for serving people. Prioritize people over money and profits. Small acts of service, like offering a glass of water, exemplify genuine love for others. Love to serve; let the focus be on people rather than material gain. As Jesus said, even giving a glass of water brings blessings. Often, we overlook the significance of small gestures in our pursuit of grand deeds. For instance, instead of waiting for the perfect moment to give flowers, consider the impact of a single flower given in a spontaneous act of kindness.
Little things matter; serving people in the little things is valuable. It doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture; it’s in the small acts of kindness, like picking up something that fell or helping someone finish their meal. Love to serve people in the little things.
Next is fellowship. Fellowship is powerful because being with people who are on fire will ignite your own passion. Associating with those passionate about God’s kingdom fuels your own enthusiasm. Small groups are excellent for this purpose, but if you can’t join one, ensure you have godly friends. Make an intentional choice to stay connected with them, recognizing the power of fellowship. Don’t wait for perfect conditions; take the initiative.
Do you wait for God to bring you food, or do you intentionally choose what to eat? Similarly, intentionally make a choice to fellowship. Every association either adds to you or subtracts from you. While we can’t isolate ourselves from the world, we can choose to intentionally enroll in associations that contribute positively to our lives. Recognize that every connection either enhances or diminishes you.
Moving on to the next point, increase your capacity. Don’t merely wait for God to bless you with $10 million; actively work on increasing your capacity. This involves continuous learning and maintaining a hunger for growth. When I talk about increasing capacity, it’s not limited to spiritual knowledge. Your profession and skills are crucial for the kingdom. Whether you’re an engineer, marketer, or in any other field, your expertise is essential. Don’t wait for the new Jerusalem to learn; be diligent, proficient, and increase your technical knowledge now.
One crucial ingredient in all of this is your time with the Holy Spirit. Spending time with God is the secret sauce that adds depth to your growth. The Holy Spirit can provide creative and innovative ideas. Remember, not everything that can be found or invented has been discovered yet. There’s much more that God is ready to reveal, and He waits for those willing to listen.
During your quiet time with God, mysteries of the kingdom can be unveiled. Embrace the power of your relationship with the Holy Spirit as you seek growth in every aspect of your life. It’s not just about spiritual mysteries; it extends to innovative ideas and technology—God is the giver of technology—Amen. So, spend time with the Lord. Ask Him questions like, ‘Lord, what dreams do you want me to dream? How do you envision the Earth? How can I fulfill your plan? Give me an idea, a crazy one.’ If you’re a musician, seek a song to write. Even if you’re not, you can still ask for a song—just ask the Lord.
I emphasize asking the Lord because it’s crucial. Ask Him, ‘Lord, how can I improve myself in my responsibilities? What more can I do to add value? In my workplace, how can I effectively represent the kingdom?’ These insights come from your personal relationship with Jesus.
Spend time with the Lord.
One remarkable thing about the Holy Spirit is that if you approach Him with questions like a friend, He responds in kind. He’ll provide answers, guidance on the stock market, and lead you in your decision-making. He’ll tell you what to do, step by step.
Allow me to share a personal experience. Upon completing my engineering degree, I immediately ventured into starting a company because I felt I couldn’t work under somebody else. The first year brought challenges, resulting in a major loss. The second year mirrored the setback, doubling the losses from the previous year. Recognizing the need for a change, I made a wise decision—I served somebody else and became an employee. This experience became a valuable learning opportunity.
It was during this time that God called me for full-time ministry. In response, I left everything behind—my technical skills, business knowledge, managerial skills, and more. I stepped into full-time ministry as God directed. However, in an unexpected turn, God then instructed me to start a business. My initial reaction was reluctance, fearing another cycle of loss. Yet, when I obeyed and launched the business, it experienced consistent growth.
After a couple of years, I felt the need to expand the business further. I decided to invest time and effort in marketing, learning the intricacies, and reaching out extensively through emails and building a database. Despite my dedication, the results were disheartening—zero business. Frustration set in, leading to two weeks of discouragement and a loss of motivation. It was then, lying on my bed, that I humbly approached the Lord, asking, ‘Lord, where did I go wrong?’ This marked the first time I sought His guidance in six weeks.
In response, the Lord gently reminded me, ‘Sam, who told you to start the business?’ I acknowledged that it was His direction. He continued, ‘Who has brought the business this far?’ Again, I recognized His hand in it. Then came His crucial question, ‘Sam, can you trust me to bring the business?’ This moment of surrender marked a turning point in my approach. From that day forward, I chose to trust God to guide and sustain the business.
Since then, I made an intentional choice. I decided not to delve into marketing or sales because God is my business partner, and He brings in the sales—something not within my role. I realized that I am meant to excel in what I have learned and my technical abilities. Why engage in something that isn’t my forte? God instructed me to do it, so He will bring the business. The moment I surrendered and ceased my efforts, the business started flowing in. We used to build websites for our clients without having our own website for two years. How did the business come about? God brought it in. Every client we acquired was through word of mouth, and they not only came but stayed with us, demonstrating that God is truly my partner in business. Maybe you’re not supposed to do what you’re not supposed to do. Trust the Lord. Why struggle or strive when you can trust and ask the Lord for guidance?
He is your business partner, and the remarkable thing is that He only asks for 10% of what you earn. Who does that? The Lord, the most creative, the giver of innovative ideas. Build a personal relationship with Jesus, not just for spiritual matters but for every aspect of your life.
Involve Him in your practical living. Bring Him into your workplace, your cabin, and even when you open your computer—let Him guide you through every browser you browse. See what God speaks to you.
For instance, there are times when we finish a digital product for a client, and we pray over it. Though intangible, it’s a digital product. We pray that whoever sees this product, their life will be blessed. These ideas were inspired by God. What you witness today has been brought forth, not just received. Everything you see—every labeled cable, every organized element—has been a result of seeking God’s guidance and bringing forth His ideas.
How? In our relationship with God, we receive heavenly ideas—Amen. You can do it. I want to affirm, you can do it. In fact, the One in you can do it—Amen. Ready to influence the world? Yes—Amen. Come on, let’s pray.
Father, we thank You. We thank You, Lord, for Your blessings and faithfulness. This is a prayer to shift our perspective from complaining to seeing the goodness and opportunities in every challenge. In the name of Jesus, we pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Illuminate our eyes to look beyond the physical challenges, recognizing the spiritual opportunities and blessings You have for us. Bless us with heavenly ideas, kingdom-led purposes, and creative innovations. We speak that a kingdom burden guides our lives, finding satisfaction not in material possessions but in the purposes, plans, and dreams You have placed in our hearts. Help us see beyond, Lord. Bless us abundantly. If God cannot get through us, He cannot get it to us. May we be conduits of Your blessings. Bring forth, be fruitful, take dominion. Father, we thank You for Your word. We receive Your word and bless Your holy name. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.