#152 (24/10/04)
The Law of Faith

The Message

By: Robert H.Schuller

Special Guest

Raised in a family full of faith, and as a preacher’s kid, Michael continues to share his love for Jesus Christ today around the world. He is the former science correspondent at ABC news and a former physics instructor at Harvard University. Today, he is the chief consultant for Science and Religion, here at the Crystal Cathedral. Michael is the best selling author of numerous books including, “Five Equations that Changed the World.” And today, he is here to share with us his newest book; “Can a Smart Person Believe in God?”

Special Music

“Joyful, Joyful...”
" This Joyful Day "
" Great is Your Faithfulness "

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”

ROGER WILLIAMS – “Born Free/Proud to be an American”
DANIEL RODRIGUEZ – “The Lord’s Prayer”

Acticle of The Message

Today, I request that together we all pray for the many victims of the hurricanes in Haiti, Florida, and all who have been in its path. There has been enormous damage and loss of life. As you suffer through these hurricanes, we really feel your hurt. I especially feel for you because I have experienced fleeing for my life when our farm was completely destroyed by a tornado. We barely escaped when the house was lifted up, as was every building. I know what it is like to see everything destroyed through a tornado. So my prayers are with you. I really hurt for you.

And we must continue to pray for all of our brave men and women representing us in Iraq. They are the true peacekeepers. We are horrified at the violence and death our military and reconstruction workers face daily in Iraq. I pray for you. We pray that the time will come soon when we won't have to sacrifice our sons and daughters there anymore. And we must pray for our President and those who lead the military. None of us is smart enough to know what to do, but we pray that God will give wisdom to those who have been assigned the power to call the orders.

It has been a wonderful week as our family celebrated my birthday with a party for me the other night. My wife went out and bought two candles, a seven and an eight, because there wasn't room on the cake for all seventy-eight candles. So all I had to do was blow out two candles which made it easier. Well, one of the grandkids saw the candles laying on the table. So Grandma said, "You put the numbers on the cake and light them and bring the cake out." So he did, and he had no idea what my age was, he only knew I was old. So he came out with the numbers eighty-seven. My daughter looked at the two numbers and thought, "Dad can't be three years short of ninety, he cant be eighty-seven." Then they realized their mistake and quickly turned the numbers around. So Im keeping these candles to use again in ten years. That was the biggest laugh at the party.

This week when I went to the market, I saw a new book called, "Great Buildings of the World." Since I'm into architecture, I wanted to see which buildings were chosen by the editors of Time. The book's subtitle read, "The World's Most Influential, Inspiring, and Astonishing Structures." Wow! Paging through the book, I was shocked to see a double spread of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. It made me very proud of all of you. I'm glad you can be honored with the investment of your gifts in this Cathedral.

This past summer I was working hard to fulfill a contract with Harper Collins. I promised them another book when I wrote my autobiography. So I finished a book with the title, "Life's Rules of Engagement." I was pretty excited about it. Guess what? A month before it was to be published, another book came out with the same title. So ... now I had to write another entire book. How would you like to write a book and not be able to publish it? That's something else. So, I finally came up with a title that the publishers agreed on and I sent the manuscript to them two days ago. It is finished. The title is, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow." We are a throw-away society in America. It's unbelievable what we throw away. It's not like most of the world. I remember my first trip to Japan. I bought some souvenirs, took them out of the boxes, and threw the boxes in the wastebasket. After I arrived home, I got a letter with a big box from the hotel in Japan saying, "Dear Mr. Schuller, You forgot your boxes and here they are." In their minds, they would never throw away a cardboard box.

Yes, we are a 'throw-away' society. We throw away values that have been around for hundreds of years. We throw away some music that has a great message. We throw away marriage mates. Don't throw away tomorrow! Oh, I'm so excited that somebody else came out with my original book title and I had to start over again. Every time I have bad luck, it turns out to be good luck. This is a much better book than what would have been published, and I'll be preaching on it from time to time, but we are going to save the introduction until January 2005 when we begin our fiftieth anniversary year.

I make no apology for bragging about this new book because I'm bragging about the God I believe in and who helped me write it. In the book, I tell many interesting stories, all true. I tell a story of a Japanese friend we met on the beach in Hawaii where we walk when we visit there. For the past four years this older gentlemen with great concentration and determination walks each morning using a cane. He had a terrible stroke about three years ago and he has gradually come back. He will not let this stroke defeat him. He will not throw away his tomorrow just because he had a stroke. His cane steadies his right leg, which is weak. Up and down the beach he walks over a mile every day. Then he stops and uses his cane as an exercise bar to make a weak right arm move. When we see him, we give him thumbs up as we smile. He smiles a big smile back. He doesn't speak English, but he understands it. And I don't speak nor understand Japanese. Wow!

Don't throw away tomorrow just because you were told you have a terminal illness. Moreover, believe in those who are close to you who are going through horrific problems. Is it John? Your son? Or your nephew? Or your grandchild? You don't like where they are at? Dont throw away their tomorrow. Believe in their tomorrow. Pray for them. Miracles happen every day.

Today, I want to leave you with the most important thoughts in my new book, Don't Throw Away Tomorrow. This book, as you can expect, focuses on faith. And I ask our secular, cynical, non-believing friends, doubters and agnostics to consider two decisions.

1) Make a decision to accept faith.

2) Decide on the values in which you will place your faith.

Faith is an operational force in human personalities. Faith is a power, an enormous power! But it is not a value. Read the Bible verse, "By grace are you saved, through faith." (Ephesians 2:8) No human being is saved by faith. You are saved by grace. What power this pipeline has. But what value goes through that pipeline? Faith is the power that delivers value. Through a pipeline there can flow gas, or water to save life, or poison to destroy and kill. Faith is amoral. It has no moral commitment. The enemies can use it. The people who bombed the towers in New York had faith. Faith delivers a concept from one mind to another or one reality to another, from people to people.

Faith is a pipeline. And faith is the only kind of a pipeline that can deliver God into your life. Even if you don't believe in God, you cannot dispose of the pipeline of faith. So it is incorrect to say, "I don't believe in God, so I don't have any faith." The pipeline of faith exists in every human being. So it depends upon what you have faith in. We all have faith. We are born with it. You sit in that chair and you dont say, "Is it going to hold me up?" Would you test it out before you sit in it? "I hope it wasn't dropped last week and there is a crack in it." You have faith. Food is put before you. You have faith that the food wont poison you. How do you know if dirty hands dealt with the food, and now you are going to eat it? We have faith in the chair. We have faith in food.

Like the "law of gravity," there is a "law of faith"

We have faith in tomorrow because we assume the sun is going to rise tomorrow. We cant be sure. There is so much we dont know, but we live by faith. We have faith that we are going to be alive tomorrow morning. And guess what? All human beings are created with this inner law. Like the law of gravity, there is a law of faith. It doesnt take faith to believe in the law of gravity. It doesnt take faith to believe in faith. But faith in itself is not adequate.

People often ask me, "Well, I'm very spiritual. Isn't it adequate just to be spiritual? Do I have to have faith in God and in Jesus." Faith in faith isn't adequate because it is not delivering anything of substance. What value should we push through the pipeline of faith? Faith is a pipeline. And Faith is a satellite. Thats power. A satellite has the power to send messages all over the world, but the value is not really in the satellite. The value is in the programming that the satellite sends down. The message can be enlightening, entertaining, amusing, redemptive, or it can be very destructive to your morals and values that you are trying to live by. So the issue is not, "do you have faith?" The issue is, "What will you commit your faith to believe in?"

So I'm declaring that as there is a law of gravity, there is a law of faith. There is not a single human being that ever lived on planet earth that doesnt have that pipeline built into his mind. I have told you how, after I was elected an honorary member of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), I was invited to study the effect of neuroscience and nanotechnology in architecture to create spiritual spaces. So I am being privately tutored at the Salk Institute in La Jolla by Dr. John Eberhart. I'm beginning to get a little understanding as he impresses me that the majority of neuroscientists today have come to the conclusion that the human being is the only creature that has both a brain and a mind. And they are separate - even the dolphins don't have a mind.

The Freedom Within the Law of Faith

I remember the time when a group, who said they were atheists, asked me the question, "Dr. Schuller, if there is a God like you say there is, why doesnt he show himself ... like the sun, like the moon, like the tree, like the water, like the ground? Why would God leave it all in what you call faith?"

Because God created us with the freedom to say 'yes' or 'no'. We are free creatures. We have the freedom to believe in God or not to believe in God. Without that freedom to choose, there would be no honor to God when we choose to believe only when we have proof. Then our freedom would be gone in the most important part of life. If we had no choice, no say in the matter, then knowing God would not require faith. That would be a terrible mistake because without faith there is no relationship between people, between ourselves and our environment, or between us and God. There can be no relationship without faith. This is the law of faith!

So, the issue is what values are you going to allow to go through that instrument in your mind that has the capacity to say 'yes' or 'no'? What values will you focus your faith on? Focus it on positions, policies, or persons that will make you a better person. That is why I keep holding up Jesus Christ. It is why I believe in the Holy Bible. Thats where I get the values that redeem and transform me ... that will make me into more a beautiful person. I invite you today to see that Jesus Christ can do that for anyone why says "yes" to believing in Him.

Faith is the connecting power to connect you with God and with Jesus Christ. Now what do you believe in?

Prayer: Thank you, God, for the pipeline of faith. I am going to focus on believing in you! Let Your power flow through my pipeline of faith. Save me by Your grace. Amen.

HOP Privacy Legal  
Designed by: Ultragraphics Ltd.