#165 (23/01/05)
Thanks Giving = Thanks Living Part II

The Message

By: Robert A.Schuller

Special Guest

He is an ordinary man with an extraordinary millionaire’s plan. He is author of “The Automatic Millionaire,” a powerful one step plan to live and finish rich. He has developed the “Latte Factor.” A method of becoming a millionaire in your own personal and spiritual life. David is the author of four New York Times number one best sellers and is working on his 6th book; “Start Late Finish Rich”. He’s a weekly financial contributor to CNN’s American Morning and has been featured in People Magazine, Readers Digest, USA Today and twice on Oprah.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.."
" All People Who on Earth do Dwell "
" We Build a New Tomorrow "

" Now Thank we All our God "

DOROTHY BENHAM – “Bless This House”

Acticle of The Message

Well I loved what David Bach mentioned about the freedom. There is a spiritual reality and dimension that takes place when we understand the power of giving. And until we understand that, there is going to be, what’s the right word? There is going to be a cloud over our heads. You know? It’s a Biblical principle that he was talking about.

Today I’m going to read from Malachi where God is speaking and He says, “Return to Me and I will return to you says the Lord Almighty. But you ask how are we to return. Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me, says the Lord. But you ask how do we rob You? In tithes and offerings, says the Lord. You are under a curse. The whole nation of you, because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there will be food in My house. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

It’s an amazing principle. Where when we do not tithe, when we do not give, we find ourselves under this, well, what God said, a curse. And the curse does not come from God. Don’t make that mistake and think that God’s going to curse me, God’s going to strike me dead if I don’t make sure I get that tithe in there. That’s not it at all. There are rules, realities that we live in.
If you jump off of a high 50-story skyscraper, and live to tell about it, the rules of nature will say that gravity is going to happen and there’s going to be a problem. And I know that there are some optimists, maybe you heard about the ultimate optimist. He fell off of the 50-story building and as he was falling, the people inside could hear him say, so far so good. So far so good.

There are realities to spiritual realities and laws of nature that we cannot comprehend. And one of the realities is that we need to give. And when we don’t we fall into a curse as though at the Bible says. And I like to think of it as just a cloud. And this cloud becomes apparent, especially during the holiday seasons. I don’t know what it is. But more people become depressed during the holiday season, suicides go up; it’s a terrible reality. Divorce rates go up, it’s a terrible time.

Today I’m speaking to people who have had thoughts of suicide. It’s a reality. There are people who have a gun, and there are people who have gone out and bought sleeping pills. And the gun isn’t to go hunting with. And the sleeping pills aren’t to get a good nights rest. Talking to people who are going through depression. People who truly have a cloud over their head, who have a curse today because things are so bad and the way they see it, there is absolutely no way of escape. The idea of tithing is the farthest thing in the world from their mind. Today all they can think about is why does God do this to me? Or is there even a God at all.

There was a professor who was trying to teach his class the realities of atheism and he stood on the platform and he said there is no God, in fact I’ll prove to you that there is no God. I’m going to stand here and if there’s a God, He’ll knock me off this platform in 15 minutes and I’ll prove to you before, in the next 15 minutes that God does not exist. And he went on teaching and five minutes later he says, and as you can see I’m still standing on this platform. And as the clock ticked away, there was only about a minute left and he started saying now I’ve only got 60 seconds and this is going to prove the reality that God does not exist. I am still standing here and if God was here I would be over there and as he was teaching, a 240 lineman heard him talking, opened the door, walked in, came over to the platform and pushed him across the room. And the professor stands up and says what did you do that for? And he said, well, God was busy so He sent me.

And the reality is the professor still is convinced that God didn’t push him off the platform. And you can continue to make all these ifs, ands or buts about the reality of God and if it doesn’t happen the way your perceived conception thinks it should be. Well I’ll bet God doesn’t exist. And it’s very difficult to get into the reality of something like tithing because we have all these excuses. Oh, the church is just trying to manipulate me and trying to get money out of me. Oh, there’s a million different reasons why we can hold on to that spiritual reality and not allow those dollars to leave our fingers. There’s a million reasons.

But today I’m going to give you one reason to change. Norman Peale said this: “There is an invisible reservoir of abundance in the universe that can be tapped if you obey certain spiritual laws.” And one of the most critical spiritual laws that we need to learn is the law of giving, tithing, giving 10 percent. the facts are, it’s written in the Bible. I didn’t write this. I’m not sharing this with you because I think it’s a good idea. I’m sharing it with you because I know that it comes from God and it’s the voice of God and it’s what saves people from depression, it saves people from incredible turmoil, it saves people from a cloud and they wake up and the promises of God are true and real. And He blesses us. Now don’t get the wrong impression again. That doesn’t mean that God’s going to give you a billion dollars. That’s not what it means. What it means is that God is going to bless you where you need the blessing the most. There’s a big difference.

That’s like the man who was saying, was praying, he said Lord, a millenium is like a minute in Your eyes and a million dollars is but a penny in Your socks. Oh Lord grant me but a penny. And God answered and said, in a minute.

But God answers our prayers. He doesn’t always answer them the way we expect them to. All of sudden a lineman comes out from the side and knocks us across the stage. All of a sudden we witness the challenges in life and struggles in life and says, well Lord You said You were going to bless me. Well the fact is He is blessing us even through the challenging and the difficult times He’s blessing us. It’s part of the adaptation process of God because He knows that part of strengthening you and enabling you and helping you to be the person that He wants you to be requires us to be able to go through those difficult times. It’s part of the process. You know.

A hammer would hit steel forges the steel. When it hits glass, it shatters the glass. We are called by God for a purpose and for a reason. And as He continues to forge us and strengthen us, our usefulness to Him continues to grow and suddenly the abundance and the wealth and the health and the abilities that we have, just continue to grow.

In Corinthians, Paul gives us some more words: “Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. And whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give. Not reluctantly or under compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times having all that you needed; you will abound in every good work as it is written.

He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor, His righteousness endures forever. Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through your generosity will result in thanksgivings to God. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”

And it begins by us sowing the seed. Giving the gift. Having enough faith in God to give a tithe. And we don’t wait until we have an abundance, we do it with whatever He is supplied us with.
William Saroyan, he was a Pulitzer prize winner in 1939 and he was an Academy Award winner in ’43. When he was a teen he was running short of money so he wired his uncle who had some wealth and he said uncle I need some money. Would you please give me some money? And the wire came back with three words on it: have head examined. And at first he was irate about the fact that his uncle would respond in such an un-compassionate fashion. And as he read those words he realized how true they are. And then he decided to use his head and as a result of that rejection letter, he was forced to do something and he wrote a story and was able to sell it and he made his first money selling stories and the rest is history.
The tough times in life come because God wants to bless you. He is strengthening you, He is equipping you to be the person that God has called you to be and when we realize that God is blessing us in all things and in all circumstances and in all ways, we can truly say thank You God for everything. And when you can do that, there is no more blessed place in living. Thank You God for everything.

But today many of you cannot begin to see it. So it has to be a cognitive decision, not one of the heart which is based on faith and understanding but one which is based on desperation. Here’s what I want you to do if you’re in a situation like that. If you’re watching on television, I want you to put the gun down. I want you to pour the pills in the toilet. And I want you to write me a letter right now. And on that letter I want you to explain that the letter is actually not to me but it’s to you. Write yourself a letter. Write yourself a letter and tell yourself how terrible everything is right now. Put it all down on that piece of paper. Let yourself know where you are right now. And take that piece of paper and put it in the envelope, put your name and your address on that envelope, put a stamp on it, in fact if you don’t have a stamp on it, don’t worry about it. I’ll put a stamp on it for you. And then mail me that letter. I’m not going to open it. But I’m going to hold onto that letter for a year and then a year from now I’m going to mail this letter back to you and you’re going to open it up and you are going to cry for that person. And you’re going to remember how sad it was, the grief you were going through. And you’re going to experience the incredible joy of saying thank You God for bringing me here today to this place. Because God hasn’t dumped you in the valley’s. He’s taking you through the valleys. Hold on and God will carry you through, I promise you He will carry you through and a year from now you will see that God truly is victorious. And He is alive, that He lives. Send me that letter so I can send it back to you, will you? And then find a church, an institution, somebody whose doing something good and start giving. Seal it with the fate that comes from the Bible. And see what happens. Miracles are going to happen. God’s going to heal you. You’re going to find that God does deliver His people. Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father we thank You that You are alive and real today. That You are bringing healing and hope into people’s lives. That You are touching them with the reality of Your goodness and Your grace and so help us to believe in these spiritual principles that You have given to us. Help us to trust You, to believe You, to move in faith with You, to follow these simple principles. We love You Lord. Amen.

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