#2020 – Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow (30 November 08)

The Message

By: Dr. Robert H Schuller

Special Guest

Lynda Randle

Special Music

Joyful, Joyful
Medley – A Mighty Fortress/ Great is Thy Faithfulness
Medley – All Creatures/ How Great Thou Art
Solo/ Anthem
My Jesus, I Love Thee
Lynda Randle – I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
The Lord is My Light

The Message

Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow. I was riding with Mike Nason, an associate who’s traveled with me for nearly 40 years.  And on the plane we got out the itinerary and there were about three pages there because there were several events in several up coming days and I had finished reviewing with him what we were going to do today. And we didn’t have a sheet of paper on today but anyway, it was all clear in my mind and clear in his mind and then I took the paper that I thought was today and I crumpled it up and threw it at him. Take care of it for me. And he said that’s tomorrow’s page. Don’t throw away tomorrow. Wow! A light went on. That’s a universal principal, don’t throw away tomorrow. It’s so easy. Crumple the paper, throw it away, move on.

We do that when ideas come and we’re not ready for them and we move on, don’t even give serious attention. We do it when challenges come. We do it when problems hit us. We lose vision, get our priorities mixed up. Get overwhelmed. Don’t throw away tomorrow. 

There’s a wonderful Bible verse that is a key verse in this book, its Joshua 3:5: “Sanctify yourself,” which means get yourself together with God. Get it together, get your divine act together, sanctify yourself, for good reason, why you better, “because tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Wow! Don’t throw away tomorrow. 

It’s so easy to do. Why would people throw away tomorrow? Well, in some cases its fatigue. There’s a great Bible verse that I’ve read to myself a thousand times the past 50 years and that’s from the New Testament. “Be not weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” You walk around this campus or go to one of the countries of the world where you see Hour of Power and you will see dreams fulfilled but behind those dreams there were the shadows, the times of waiting, the times when we wondered how the whole thing could possibly work out. And 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 this garden park I picked the Bible verse in the front of it. It reads, “When He has tried me, when He has tried me, not you, when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold.” The truth is we’ve had to learn to look to tomorrow. That’s where it’s all going to happen. 

Why do people throw away tomorrow? Fatigue, they’re tired, they’ve had it. In some it’s because of disappointments, rejections, they didn’t get the raise they expected. Look at all the years they put with the company and who got the promotion? They didn’t. Look at the promises that were made and they weren’t fulfilled. It’s a world filled with a lot of negative thinking and a lot of negative people. And you can quickly succumb to that and the rejections and the failures and the setbacks and the low returns weren’t what you expected. And you wondered, the rewards, were they worth the risks? You wonder and it’s very normal and human to get disappointed. That’s okay to get disappointed but don’t let disappointments take control of your head and your heart until you throw away tomorrow.

Why would people throw away tomorrow, a dream, a possibility? Why? Because they believe the worst predictions, and they back away from hope. Tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you. 

After 50 years here I can stand before you and I can say, boy is that Bible verse true. Why would people throw away tomorrow? Fatigue, disappointments, some that haven’t had much fatigue or disappointments but they’re afraid of risk. They just are afraid of taking risks. And you’ve heard me say it more than once if you’re afraid of taking risks and you are not taking risks, then you’re not living right now in the realm of faith. People who are living by faith and in faith are running on the risky 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 for. Tempting to throw away tomorrow, that’s because there’s the fear of failure. There’s nothing that causes more of tomorrows to be thrown away than the fear of failure. You all know what saved me from that. Early in my days here, like 48 years ago, I was asked to preach in the Marble Collegiate Church in New York and on Norman Peale’s calendar that Sunday in August there was a slogan, anonymous, I grabbed it, used it all my life. The slogan said, “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail then attempt to do nothing and succeed.” Don’t throw away 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. They’ve got enough. They don’t want to fool around any more. It’s tempting. I have had more honors than I’ve deserved. I have been more rewards, more than I expected from the risks. And it’s kind of tempting to just say, well let’s retire. I was told when I entered the ministry, that at the age of sixty-five, you should retire. I’m sure glad I didn’t throw tomorrow away at the age of sixty-five. No, thank you. I wasn’t expecting applause at that point, but I liked it. Sounded nice. You can do it again. Yeah.

Fulfillment: I’ve had enough. Throw away tomorrow. I don’t want to be there. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. Be careful, be very careful of that sentence: I’ve been there, I’ve done that.  Be very careful that’s a potentially explosive negative word that can shoot through the hole a lot of your new dreams that only God can do through you. No, I’ve got some dreams. You’re going to be hearing about them. Yeah. Fulfillment, look upon it as a broadening of the base of strength that enables you to now think in bigger dimensions than you’ve ever thought before. 

Fulfillment, don’t let it throw away your tomorrow. There are greater things you can do that only you can do. Now why do people throw away tomorrow? Yes, 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’s what kept us holding back. It may hold us back but we’re not going to throw a big idea away.  We will give God five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, twenty-five years, thirty years, forty years. We’ll give God all the time He needs to bring the resources to us if you don’t throw away tomorrow. 

This past week I was in Florida and I called on people and I called on this one man who I only knew him as a banker and we went to visit him. And it’s a small bank but it’s his second bank. He grew up and he got a job as a janitor in a bank. He cannot claim exciting academic credentials. No. He cannot claim that he knows powerful and rich people. But he was embracing a faith and he says he owes so much of it to the Hour of Power, week after week after week. He was just a janitor in a bank and what he heard coming into his brain was, why don’t you create your own bank, become the CEO, become the president? All you need is the right ideas. So he founded a bank, founded a bank with $3 million that he collected here and there and amazing how he got that together. He didn’t have it. The bank grew and he sold it at a very good profit and now he’s building his second bank, chief executive officer. I met all of his top employees, all fourteen of them, mostly young people and they’ve been with him for ten years, twelve years, fourteen years, they love him. He treats them so generously. They would never want to work any other place. He’s a Christian, he applies it. 

Why do people throw away tomorrow? Well they see the short fall. God often doesn’t give you what you need until you’ve stuck your feet in the water. Why do we throw away tomorrow? For a lot of reasons. “Sanctify yourself for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you.”

What does sanctify yourself mean? It means to get into faith and out of the doubt. Into positive thinking and away with that negative thinking. 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’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 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 God watched them and God planned a tomorrow. 

The flood, Noah, God planned a tomorrow. And He designed something called a rainbow. His promise that if you’re 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. 

Good Friday and the bleeding, dying young man of thirty-three cried out, “It is finished,” and He died. But God was planning a tomorrow. It happened three days later on Easter morning.

Vision: we all need it and when it comes we must grasp it. Sanctify yourself; keep it full of positive thinking. Negative thinking will produce what it promises, nothing. Positive thinking will produce something and something is better than nothing. Grasp the vision; “sanctify yourself for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you.”

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking a bit with presidents of theological seminaries, about 250 of them, Protestant, Catholic, at the Garden Grove Convention Center. I said to the professors and the presidents of these theological seminaries, Protestant and Roman Catholic, I closed my remarks to them because they’re trying to deal with ‘how do we handle the church?’ I shared with them the last time I visited Malcolm Muggeridge. I don’t know if anybody here knows that name but there was a time when Malcolm Muggeridge was the most well known name in all of England. In tests more people knew about him than the Queen Mother. Phenomenal man. And he got his attention because he became a Communist, 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 do a thing on a strange woman named Mother Teresa. So he went to Calcutta, India and he met Mother Teresa and she was a common friend that both of us had and that’s how Malcolm Muggeridge and Schuller got together. 

But anyway, there he saw Christ in that simple woman, real love, real encouragement, always giving people hope and it converted him to Jesus Christ. Hallelujah.  Amen.

Let’s pray: 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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