#139 (25/07/04)
Don't Throw Away Tomorrow!

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

A wonderful children’s choir from our performing arts school located here on the campus of the Crystal Cathedral. The Crystal Cathedral Academy Chorus is one of the best. It’s directed by a wonderful, wonderful friend and woman, Carol Aspling. Now you’ve seen her smiling face when she stands down there and directs the children and brings the most out of them. And behind that powerful, energetic smile every day there’s a woman who has had enormous struggles. Carol, along with her husband, David, has been fighting to save their life of their 4-year old boy, Jacob, from a rare terminal disease.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" We Build a New Tomorrow "

" Old Time Religion Medley "

NANCY ANDEEL - "In My Child’s Eyes"
JACOB ASPLING – “I Am a Promise”
PIANO SOLO – SERAPH LIN – “LaCampanella”

Acticle of The Message

For the next two weeks I will be concentrating in privacy on the final touches to a new book that Harper-Collins is releasing in January of 2005. It will launch the 50th anniversary of this ministry. The title for the book is "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow." So, I have chosen to share some thoughts with you today on that theme:

Don't Throw Away Tomorrow.

I was traveling with Mike Nason, an associate who has traveled with me for nearly 40 years. On the plane we were studying our itinerary. There were about three pages detailing several events in the upcoming cities. I had finished reviewing a page on the itinerary, then I took the paper that I thought was today's events and I crumpled it up to throw it away. Mike said, "that's tomorrow’s page. Don't throw away tomorrow." Wow! A light went on. That is a universal principle, don't throw away tomorrow. That's so easy to do. Crumple the paper. Throw it away and move on.

It is amazing how easy it is to throw away tomorrow. We do that when ideas come and we are not ready for them, so we move on. We don't even give the idea serious attention. We throw away tomorrow when challenges come, or when problems hit us. We do that when we lose our vision, or get our priorities all mixed up. When you get overwhelmed, don't throw away tomorrow. There's a wonderful bible verse that holds the key for tomorrow.

"Sanctify yourself, (which means get together with God, get your divine act together)...sanctify yourself, (for good reason) because tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5) Wow!

Why do people throw away tomorrow? Well, in some cases it's fatigue. There is a great bible verse that I have read to myself a thousand times the past 50 years in my ministry. It’s the New Testament verse from Thessalonians, "Be not weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." (2Thessalonians 3:13) When you walk around the Crystal Cathedral campus, or visit one of the countries of the world where you see the Hour of Power television program, you will see many dreams fulfilled. But behind those dreams there were the shadows, the times of waiting, the times when we wondered how it could possibly all work out. So I held on to that verse, "Be not weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." And when we had the statue of Job put on our Cathedral garden campus I chose this bible verse to place at its base. "When He has tried Me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)

It's tempting on an anniversary to look back. The truth is at that time we must learn to look to tomorrow. That is where it will all happen.

Why do People Throw Away Tomorrow?

Why do people throw away tomorrow? For some it is fatigue. They are tired. They have had enough. For others, it is because of disappointments, and rejections. They didn't get the raise they expected. Look at all the years they worked for the company and who got the promotion? They did not. Then there are broken promises that were made and never fulfilled. We live in a world filled with a lot of negative thinking and negative people. And it is easy to quickly succumb to that. Add the rejections, the failures, the setbacks and you just want to throw away tomorrow. The low returns of your investments were not what you expected. And the rewards, were they worth the risks? It is very normal and human to get disappointed. It's ok to become disappointed, but don't let disappointments take control of your head and your heart until you throw away tomorrow. "Tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you."

Don't Let Fear of Failure Throw Away Your Tomorrow.

Why do people throw away tomorrow? They just are afraid of taking risks. You have often heard me say "if you're afraid of taking risks and you are not taking a risk, then you're not living this moment in the realm of faith." People who live by faith are running on the "risk track," because faith is what you need to move ahead when you can’t be sure that it's going to work out the way you hoped and planned. Tempting to throw away tomorrow because there is a fear of failure? There is nothing that causes more tomorrows to be thrown away than the fear of failure. I was saved from that early in my ministry. 48 years ago, I was asked to preach in the Marble Collegiate Church in New York, the parish of Norman Vincent Peale. In his office hung a calendar with a slogan. I grabbed hold of it, and used if for these nearly 50 years. The slogan read, "I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed..." Don't throw away tomorrow!

Then of course there is the frustration of politics that can cause you to throw away tomorrow's dreams. Any time you get an idea, you need people to put it together. That is the beginning of an institution. When you create an institution, there are levels of authority and boundaries that need to be established. If everybody owns it, nobody owns it. If everybody is responsible for it, nobody will be responsible. So great institutions requires the establishment of power positions, and politics comes in. Politics can be a very positive and helpful thing because it keeps an infrastructure in place, but if politics doesn't find you voting on the right side, you can throw away tomorrow because there is too much debate and ego involvement.

Don't Let Fulfillment Throw Away Your Tomorrow.

Why do people throw away tomorrow? Why do they lose their vision? For some it's fulfillment. They won a prize. Maybe they won the lottery. Now they have enough and they don't want to work any more. It's tempting. I have had more honors that I'm deserved. I have had more rewards, more than I expected. It is kind of tempting to just say, "well, I'm going to retire." But what do I do then? Sit in a chair and watch TV? Don't let fulfillment throw away your tomorrow. I've been there, done that."

Be very careful of that sentence: I've been there, I've done that. That is a potentially explosive negative sentence that can shoot a hole through many new dreams that only God can do through you. I have some dreams for tomorrows that God gives me. You and I must see fulfillment as a broadening of the base of strength that enables you to now think in bigger dimensions than you have ever thought before!

This past week, the decision was made to move ahead on the Glory of Creation here in the Crystal Cathedral in 2005, a year from today. Next summer, this Cathedral will be filled many, many times to see a musical presentation of creation like the world has never seen. You will see a whale swim through the Cathedral space. It will be a miraculous piece of theater because we are close friends with the most amazing talented people in the Hollywood industry. It's phenomenal. You'll see a great dinosaur here. I can't tell you any more but nothing has been done like it. You'll see Adam flying through space, and coming out of one cloud suddenly in his arms is Eve and he sings the world's first love song. We’re into something new next summer and in a short time we will be giving you a chance to buy advance tickets and you'll be glad you did. You won't have to wait in line. Don't let fulfillment throw away your tomorrow! There are greater things you can do that only you can do.

Why do people throw away tomorrow? Of course, the short fall of resources is a main reason. You don't have the money. You can't see where it would come from. That may hold you back, but don't throw away a big idea. Give God 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 40 years. Give God all the time He needs to bring the resources to you! Give God time, and the manpower, the craftsmen, the skill, the money will come. Don’t throw away tomorrow.

This past week I was in Florida for an autograph party of my new book and I stopped to visit a friend from television who has been writing and supporting this ministry. I visited him at his work and discovered that he was a banker. In fact, he owned this bank, a small one, and it’s his second bank. As a young man he took a job as a janitor in the bank. He cannot claim exciting academic credentials. Nor can he claim that he knows powerful and rich people. But he embraces a positive faith that he says he owes to the Hour of Power which he has continued to watch week after week after week through the years. As a janitor in the bank he heard the idea coming into his brain, "why don’t you create your own bank? You can become CEO, become the president. All you need is the right ideas." So he founded a bank with $3 million that he collected here and there. It was amazing how he managed to put that all together. He didn't have the money or the resources. The bank grew and he sold it for a very good profit and now he’s building his second bank, where he is the executive officer. I met all of his top employees, 14 of them. They are mostly young people who have been with him for 10 years, 12 years, 14 years; they love him. He treats them so generously, they don't want to work any other place. He is a Christian and he applies it in his business, in his ideas, and in his day to day working with his employees. Wow!

Why do people throw away tomorrow? They see the short fall. Remember, God often doesn't give you what you need until you've stuck your feet in the water. It was when Moses put his feet in the water and Pharaoh's army was coming down to capture and kill him that the Red Sea was separated and Moses and the people of Israel walked across to freedom! Why do we throw away tomorrow? For a lot of reasons. "Sanctify yourself, for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5) What does "sanctify yourself" mean? It means to get faith and let go of the doubt. Get into positive thinking and do away with that negative thinking. Get into possibility thinking: it might be possible if... it might be possible, when... it might be possible, after... it might be possible, however... But, don't ever use that word impossible! Wow!

With God, There is Always a Tomorrow

With God there's always a tomorrow. Adam and Eve blew it, they really blew it, but God didn't blow them away. God watched Adam and Eve walk out of the garden in disgrace, losing their pride, their self respect, their self esteem. That was their sin, and they walked out of the garden humiliated, not honored. And as God watched them, God planned a tomorrow! There was the flood, but God through Noah planned a tomorrow. And God designed a rainbow, with His promise that if you are going through a flood, and if you don’t throw away tomorrow, you are going to have some wonderful surprises that you couldn’t have expected in your low time.
On Good Friday when Jesus Christ hung on the Cross and this bleeding, dying young man of 33 cried out "It is finished," and He died, God was planning a tomorrow! It happened 3 days later on Easter morning. We all need a vision of tomorrow and when it comes we must grasp it. "Sanctify yourself;" keep full of positive thinking. Negative thinking will produce what it promises, nothing. Positive thinking will produce something better for others and for yourself. "Sanctify yourself for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5)
Yesterday, I had the honor of speaking to a gathering of presidents of theological seminaries, about 250 of them, Protestant, Catholic, at the Garden Grove Convention Center. We were thinking about how to make the church strong. They asked me to share some of my experiences. So, I shared with them how we started as a mission and we are a mission because many of the old rules on how to run a church no longer apply. Through the last 35 years we have been teaching nearly 50,000 ministers and some of them are very successful today. What is unique in the ministry of this church is that God gave me a vision, don’t build a church, be a mission. Get people who will take the love of Christ into their heart, and who will let the love of Christ shine out of their eyes, their face and their smile. Make it a mission and go on Main Street, not to convert people to a particular theology, but try to embrace them with the Spirit of the living Jesus Christ.

Christendom is Dead, but Jesus Christ is Still Alive.

As I closed my remarks to these professors and the presidents of these theological seminaries, Protestant and Catholic, I shared with them the last time I visited Malcolm Muggeridge. I don’t know if you know that name, but there was a time when Malcolm Muggeridge was the most well known name in all of England. More people knew about him than the Queen Mother. He was a phenomenal man. He got his attention because he became a Communist, and espoused it through great platforms. Finally he moved to Russia and of course he was a declared atheist. Then he got curious and he was going to write a paper on this strange woman named Mother Teresa. So he went to Calcutta, India and he met Mother Teresa. She was a common friend to both of us, so that’s how Malcolm Muggeridge and I became acquainted. When Malcolm Muggeridge met Mother Teresa, he saw Christ in that simple woman. He saw real love, real encouragement, always giving people hope and Malcolm Muggeridge was converted to Jesus Christ. Now many years later I am visiting him in his little house in Sussex, England and he said to me "you and I had a mutual friend." I said, "Yes, Mother Teresa." "Yes", he replied. "But I’m thinking of somebody else right now. I’m thinking of Archbishop Fulton Sheen." "Oh, yes, Bishop Fulton Sheen. I have been honored to know him and learned so much from him."

Then Malcolm said, "you know, he’s been gone a few years now, but the last time Bishop Sheen visited me here he looked at me and he said, ‘Malcolm, Christendom is dead.’ And I said, ‘you mean it’s dying?’ Bishop Sheen said, ‘no, I have not long for this earth but as I move out I have to say Christendom is dead and it will never come alive again.’ (Christendom is when an entire nation becomes a part of one faith, Jesus Christ.) Then, Muggeridge smiled as he described how Fulton Sheen put up his hand when he saw the sad look on Malcolm’s face and Bishop Sheen said, ‘Christendom is dead, Malcolm, but Jesus Christ is still alive!’

Tomorrow, God will work wonders among you. Hallelujah! Amen! Thank you, God. The world is changing but You are alive and we will sanctify ourselves by embracing the faith. Hallelujah! Amen.

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