#143 (22/08/04)
Lessons to Learn for our TomorrowsPart II

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Dr. LAURA SCHLESSINGER
She’s a host of a great international syndicated radio program. She received her Ph.D. in physiology from Columbia University, holds a postdoctoral and certification and licensing in marriage and family therapy. She’s authored seven New York Times Best-selling books. Her latest book, is sure to be a next best seller: “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.”

Special Music

Hymn
" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" This Joyful Day "
" I Would be True "

Anthem
" The Lord is My Light "
"How Glorious is Your Name"

Solo
TRIO – PLUS ONE - "Be Love”
NATALIE GRANT – “Breathe on Me”
JODY McBRAYER – “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

Acticle of The Message

Today I am concluding our series of messages about Don't Throw Away Tomorrow; more specifically, Lessons To Learn for our Tomorrows. Those are great words. It is a great statement, but it's easier said than done. One of the things we have to realize about throwing away our tomorrows is that it's very easy for us to forget today in the process of looking at tomorrow.

There is a Norwegian tale about a young man who is out walking through the forest and he comes upon an egg. He is stunned when he sees the egg and he reaches down, picks it up and notices that it is still warm. He runs back to his farm and hides the egg in the chicken coop among the rest of the chicken eggs. He knew the chickens would sit on the egg and hatch it. Every day he waited in anticipation wondering what was going to come out of that egg. Finally, the day came and it wasn't a cute little fuzzy chicken; rather, it had a gnarly bill and it had claws for feet. Its feathers were brown and ugly. The young boy was rather disappointed as he looked at this ugly chicken of a thing that he had found. This bird-like thing continued to grow and it continued to live among the chickens. Having been born in a chicken coop, and been raised in a chicken coop, and living in a chicken coop, he thought he was a chicken. So he would rummage around the farm like all the other chickens and he acted like a chicken but he didn't look like a chicken. He continued to grow and he became handsome and strong and one day he looked up in the air high above his head. He could see a bird flying. It was an eagle! Suddenly he realized he was an eagle born in a chicken world! He spread his wings and he began to take flight and he left the chicken world to be what he was made to be, an eagle.

Today there are millions of people who are living in this world with a chicken-like attitude because they've been raised with chickens. That is all they know. They go through life looking for little pieces of seed and grain in the dirt and the sand living a chicken life instead of living the life they were called to live, to stretch out their wings and allow the Holy Spirit of God to put wind beneath their wings and give them the ability to soar like the eagles.

What we do today, creates the tomorrow where we can become the person that God has called us to be. For some it begins when they are young. I was very fortunate in that from the time I was young I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always knew I wanted to be a minister. I would pray the prayer, "Dear God help me to be a minister when I grow up." I knew I would go to high school and I would go to college and I would go to seminary and the time would come that I would be an ordained minister. I declared my destiny. Declaring your destiny is the first step in realizing and becoming the person that God has called you to be. Put aside the humanity and embrace the spiritual aspects of who you are and become that which you have been called to be. Declare it. Pronounce it. Pray about it and make it happen. It happens when we begin to make those choices in our lives.

A good friend of mine by the name of Phil Munsey, who is the pastor of Life Church in Mission Viejo, California, says "we make the choice, God makes the change." Isnt that good? We make the choice and God comes in and His spirit transforms us. The change begins and we start transforming from human beings to spiritual beings. We start transforming from the chicken world to the eagle world. It begins by declaring our destiny. Once we declare our destiny, then we have to chart our course. For me, it was going to high school and college and seminary. When you declare your destiny then you have to chart a course. You have to figure out how to get to where you want to go.

My family and I go to Hawaii every once in a while and when we get to Hawaii, the thing we like doing more than just about anything else is hiking. We have a book that shows us the hiking trails in the mountains of Hawaii and without this book we would never find the trails. Once we found the trails, we would have no idea what we were doing and where we were going without our hiking guidebook. We would get lost in the jungles of Hawaii! We would never reach our destination. We have found that most of the trails take you to a waterfall and a pool of water so that when you have hiked through the mud up to your ankles, you have a tremendous reward by being able to bathe in this fresh pool and feel the waterfall - its absolutely wonderful! We would never get to the waterfall if we didn't have the directions that helped us chart our course so that we could arrive at our destiny.

Embrace today by declaring your destiny. Embrace today by charting your course. Embrace today by enduring to the very end. Luke 9:62 says: "anyone having put his hand to the plow and looking back is not fit for the kingdom of heaven." We all have a destiny, every single person has been called by God for a purpose and for a reason.

The question is, why is it that people don't declare their destiny? Why is it people don't chart their course? Why is it that people continue to live in this chicken world of ours? According to the scriptures, it is because of a thing called sin. You know, sin is an interesting thing. There are lots of different ways to understand it, but it really is about separation from God. Sin is a separation between us and God. Spiritually, I see sin as a lack of faith. As individuals we have been called by God. We have been empowered by God. We have been given the Grace of God. Our lack of faith always puts us into the position where we think, "I don't know, God are you real? God, are you really there?" A lack of faith makes us worry and it gives us anxiety and stress and we spend most of our time stressing over things which never even happen. This lack of faith forces us or equips us to act a sinful life. The kind of thing that most people think about immediately when they hear the word sin is behavior that is not becoming to a spiritual person, behavior which is not becoming to a person of God, behavior which is not edifying and doesn't build you up. Sin tears you down and destroys your life.

So how do we conquer this sin? How do we overcome the sin that holds up back and prevents us from declaring our destiny and charting our course and enduring to the very end? In Revelations 2:10, Jesus says, "be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life." Be faithful unto death and I, Jesus Christ, will give you the crown of life. So we read these words and they give us hope and they give us joy and they give us purpose. We also read in Philippians 1:6, "He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion." So, we are not in this life alone, but we are in it with Jesus Christ. God is our support. He is the wind beneath our wings. We make the choice, God makes the change. As we continue to embrace our faith and do what we can do today, tomorrow becomes a new day. There will come times in our life where we look back and we see that we have failed. I can look back in my life and see many failures. But, the fact is that God takes those failures and turns them into good. He creates new opportunities and he gives us another chance. Suddenly we can begin to dream new dreams, we can dare to dream. We can begin to declare the destiny that God has given to every single one of us. We chart the course. We start to make the plans to fulfill our destiny.

You will never go through life without making mistakes, without missing the mark, without failure. When we get to a point where we see that sin has really destroyed our lives, its time to simply stop, to re-evaluate what we have done - to repent, change our ways and go on. God has come to bring healing and wholeness and health to people. He has come to put the wind under your wings to help you soar with the eagles and become the person that you have been called to be.

Don't throw away today in hopes of tomorrow. Embrace today to empower tomorrow. Embrace today that your tomorrows will give you the eagle's wings to soar and be the person that God has called you to be. Declare your destiny. Chart your course, and then simply endure to the very end.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you that you give us the power to endure, the power to dream, the power to create, the power to be the person that you have called us to be. Give us the faith to break through the sin that holds us back. Give us the faith to soar with eagles wings. We love you Lord and we praise your name always and forever. Amen.


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