of The Message
made the decision almost a year ago that this 50th
Anniversary year, 2005, I was not going to take my usual
after Christmas rest, so I could begin the year with you
it's going to be a phenomenal year. When we reviewed the
registry of just some of the guests we've had during the
past thirty-five years of our TV ministry and the tremendous
guests joining us during our anniversary year, let me say,
the first few weeks of this year we are preaching on my
new book, "Don't Throw
Away Tomorrow." The first copy has just
arrived. It's like a new baby. I've written thirty-six books,
but I never used a ghostwriter. My daughters assisted me
in a couple of books, counseling and critiquing them, but
on this book, every word came out of my head and hand. I
rewrote and rewrote it and then rewrote it again, changing
adverbs here, adjectives there, parenthetical phrases here,
taking whole sentences out taking some paragraphs and throwing
them away. Restructuring them, moving chapter ten to chapter
two … moving chapter eight to chapter six … that kind of juggling. I mean this was hard work! I cannot say I enjoyed
it, but I knew I had to do this book before I died. I hope
I live twenty more years, but I can't be sure. So I knew
I had to write this book.
proud that the President of Fuller Seminary, Richard Mouw,
said to me, "That's new stuff, Schuller, I'll write
a blurb on that." And he wrote a great endorsement
for my book. And probably the most prominent psychologist
in America today, Martin Seligman, who is the father of
a new thinking that is sweeping psychology, called "positive
psychology," also honored me by writing an endorsement
for this book. We've been friends and in communication for
many years and he says that this book is right on.
Don't Throw Away Tomorrow
I believe that this book can really make a difference and
I want to pray for God's blessing on it. I want to dedicate it the way you dedicate a child in baptism, the
way you dedicate a new building when it is finished. The
whole concept of this book is to keep us believing in the
future and so I want to read just one page, the epilogue.
It is short and then I'll have a prayer of dedication.
wrote this one page in only about two minutes and never
changed a word. It came as an inspiration, as I remembered
the time when I started this church fifty years ago and
had no members, so I went door to door to ring doorbells.
I didn't know anybody. I would walk up to a house, ring
the doorbell and ask, "Are you an active member of
a local church?" If they were unchurched, I would invite
them to come to the drive-in church. I was trying to recruit
anyone to help me build a church.
then one day I came to a street where the houses were big,
expensive and where they had two front doors with big brass
doorknobs. That intimidated me. I didn't dare to ring those
doorbells, but I knew I needed to, so I prayed, "Christ
help me. Nudge my elbow." And that gave me the courage
to ring those doorbells. Now, fifty years later, that experience
came to me and I wrote it out on paper as the epilogue of
the book, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow."
approached the mysterious tomorrow in the same way as I
approach an impressive house. I'm supposed to call at that
intimidating mansion? I walk up the steps, I see the doorbell,
I raise my arm, and I stretch out my hand. I point my index
finger aiming for the button. I am afraid to touch it. Who
is on the other size; friend or a foe? I pray, "Christ
help me." Now I feel a soft pressure on my elbow. My
trembling arm and quivering hand move forward and the rigid
extended finger hits the button. I hear the doorbell ring.
I did it! Now the large door moves. It opens and there stands
my best friend, my future. Welcome! Step in. My name is
tomorrow. How glad I am that you came. Do I ever have some
happy surprises for you? And my tomorrow hugs me. I tremble
with the joy of happy expectations. I say,
"Thank you, God. You didn't let me throw away my
O God, Bless this book. It will be coming to the bookstores all over
the country this week and the next two or three weeks. May
people who have no faith or no hope see the title and for
some reason reach out and pick the book up, look at it and
be turned on and read it to find faith for their tomorrows.
O God, use this piece of work for Your glory. Let it become
part of a renaissance of moral and spiritual renewal in
this country called the United States of America. And in
its foreign translations, may it go to hearts and homes
whom we will never know and meet, but where You want to
do a miracle. Thank You God, that when we go through the
most horrific, the most terrible times, whether it is a
death of someone so dear and near, or whether it is the
death of a hundred and fifty thousand people from a tidal
wave. You are there even when we shout, "O God, where
are you?" Yes. Where were You when once there was a
flood and the whole world was consumed by it? Where were
You? You were planning a rainbow. Yes, we believe in tomorrow.
Thank You. Amen.
year, 2005, begins with the horrible tragedy of the Tsunami
in Indonesia, Thailand, Sir Lanka, and India. I've been
in some of the hotels in those countries. We were in Phuket
and Pattaya, Thailand for ten days with Billy Graham at
an evangelistic conference. So I can relate to some of these
places and it is just horrific! Horrific! So here at the
beginning of a New Year, all we can believe in, and the
one thing we can always expect
from God, is a tomorrow. And when you think it
through long enough and deep enough, there is nothing God
could promise you that can give you more hope than the promise
that the sun will rise tomorrow. There will be new life
… new hope. The world will
go on! So we must not throw away tomorrow.
Believe in Tomorrow
want you to know that you will throw away tomorrow if you don't have a dream. So don't throw the
dream away or you will throw away your tomorrow. I have
learned so much in psychology and theology and blended the
two together that the human being is a unique creature designed
by God with unbelievable talents, possibilities and challenges.
When many people retire they no longer have a dream, and
we are the only creatures alive who, without a dream, will
die. Call it a project … call it a purpose … call it a new challenge,
but you need that. Without a challenge, without a project,
without a problem to solve, without a dream to pursue, you
are not a wholesome, healthy human person. You are going
to be less than the healthy human you are designed to be.
We all need a dream.
If you don't have a dream, you will throw away your tomorrow!
years ago I began preaching about dreams. The theme of my
life and ministry has been, if
you can dream it, you can do it.
And the words of Jesus, "If
you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you can say to
your mountain 'move', and it will 'move.'
(Matthew 17:20) I believe that more than ever today!
I've lived it. Wow!
there was a time when I thought the dream starts in your
mind but, no, it doesn't. I may have preached that. If so,
let me correct it. Where I am today I want to tell you the
dream of this church didn't start with me … it caught me. It started
in the mind of God. Your dream
starts in the mind of God. That is why every
human being alive on planet earth has a purpose to being
here. God has a plan for every life. Ecologists know there
is a purpose for every plant, every insect, and every creature.
All of it. Everything has a plan. Every part of creation
has a plan … the star, the galaxies, the comets, everything. But of all of creation
only the human has a brain. You can think. You can be creative.
You can be imaginative. You don't have to study psychology
to realize what an awesome power imagination is and it is
only given to the creature called Homo sapiens. We are created
with that gift so we can be creative as God's children.
God is the great Creator and we are created in His image.
Discover God's dream for your life … what God wants you to
do … what God wants you to be.
Your dream starts in the mind of God …
Then God delivers His dream to someone who will believe
in the dream and not abort it just because the dream is
when God delivers you your dream, it doesn't come wrapped
up with prescriptions guaranteed to produce it in reality.
Every dream I've ever had was impossible when it first came
the dream my son has for the next fifty years of this ministry
is incredible. Imagine pockets of people, not a new denomination,
not a new "empire" religiously speaking, but a
movement of people. Not a lot of power people, nor priests
or pastors, nor ordained people, but ordinary people who
love the Bible and who believe in God and they gather together
in their homes and become Houses of Power all over the world.
That is happening and it will continue to grow and that's
the great future of this ministry. People at the 100th
anniversary of this ministry will come here to hear a recording
of what is being said today and they will say, "Wow,
was that prophecy ever true." That is the future of
this ministry became the world is becoming more open to
religion and faith.
the icon of atheism, Dr. Anthony Flew, from London, announced
just a few months ago that he is no longer an atheist. He
is 81 years old. He can no longer believe in his atheistic
teachings of his life's profession. He cannot be an atheist
because the structure of DNA makes it impossible to have
creation happen by chance. He has become a believer.
become a stronger believer than ever because of what I've
learned about the human being, the psyche, the imagination,
the creativity, and the faith building characteristics.
A creature just could not evolve in that way. Faith in God,
I predict, is going to become more respectable and will
grow more rapidly in the coming century than it has in the
past years. And this ministry is positioned to be a very
important part of it. So join us, become a member of this
God gives you a dream. (2) God delivers His dream onto someone
who will believe it - He delivers it to a human being. (3)
The third step is you have to accept God's dream - and that's not always
easy because it is always impossible.
The next level of a dream is you need to make a commitment to your dream. Commitment means you put wings under your dream. You
put ideas under your dream. You put the legs under your
ideas. You give voice to your dream. That's tough! You are
going to have to speak publicly and tell people what your
dream is. And, because it is still impossible, you run the
risk of being ridiculed, you run the risk of failure and
then people will laugh at you. I've lived it, gone through
it. That is why I am so profoundly grateful to all of you
who believed and supported me throughout these fifty years.
There is no human way I can ever begin to adequately thank
(5) God's dream consumes you
you make a commitment, guess what: the dream takes over.
The dream now is controlling you. Yes, you surrender leadership
of your life, your name, your reputation, and your talents.
You are committed. You have lost leadership of your life.
The dream is now taking over. Wow! And you can't get out
of it. Thank God the dream started with Him.
that has begun a good work in you will complete it."
(Philippians 1:6) That was my opening sermon the first Sunday
of this ministry, fifty years ago. "Be confident of
this one thing, that God who has begun a good work in you
… God gave you a dream … God who has begun a good work in you, will complete it."
Live God's Dream in Your Life
is for everybody, young and old, for the living and, yes,
for those who are near the end of their earthly life. What
dream can you still accomplish? Live God's dream for your
God's dream consumes you. What do you do? You have to wipe
out the word impossible. Never use it again. You have to set goals that are
measurable and manageable. And when you reach a point where
you think the dream is going to fail … then what do you do?
(6) Trust God to make your dream succeed
is His dream. God has to make
your dream happen. Trust Him. God knows people
you don't know. He can reach people's minds who turn you
off. Trust God to open "the waters of the Red Sea."
Suddenly you will be able to pass through.
your dream is impossible, God's glory will come. So take
your dream. What dream do you choose? Whatever profession
or career you choose, from the most humble to the most glamorous
or glorious, make your dream big enough so it can't succeed
without God. Make it big enough so there is a possibility
of failure. Make it big enough so that when you succeed
fifty years later, your biggest job will be how to keep
from crying when you face the people who help you make it
your dream this morning. Make a resolution. Set goals. Absolutely.
Try to achieve the impossible … it is possible! Hug tomorrow! The door opens ... who is there?
Oh, tomorrow smiles. Tomorrow
says, "thank you for coming. I am your future. Your best friend.
My name is tomorrow." Yes,
my tomorrow hugs me and I hug my tomorrow.
all the scenes that I saw that caused me to weep as you
did through the terrible deaths of 150,000 people in the
Tsunami, the most beautiful picture came on New Year's Day,
January 1. There was a picture of a young pregnant mother
in Sri Lanka. She had survived the flood and now she went
into delivery and she delivered her baby and there, in the
midst of disaster, is the picture of a mother with a beautiful
new little baby. That is God's dream for tomorrow.
is planning tomorrow. Connect with Him closely. Come to
church every Sunday and you will receive help to make your
tomorrow come true.
Dear Lord, thank You that You give us a dream. You inspire
our imaginations. You give us that kind of a brain. So even
after we have frustrations, defeats, setbacks, or even failures,
we come back tomorrow and we start over again and things
work out better than we ever had reason to hope. O God,
thank You. Thank You. And I pray that You will hear every
person privately praying to You now about their dream. May
the chemotherapy work. May a new job come along that is
just perfect. May the family be reconciled. May a rebellious
child come home. Keep us dreaming, God, and we won't throw
away tomorrow. Amen.